Imperial Eclipse Stout - Evan Williams Bourbon | FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Evan Williams BourbonImperial Eclipse Stout - Evan Williams Bourbon
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
California, United States
fiftyfiftybrewing.com

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.90%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by largadeer on 12-02-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
181
Ratings:
579
Avg:
4.29
pDev:
7.93%
 
 
Wants:
239
Gots:
290
For Trade:
26
User Reviews
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Reviews: 181 | Ratings: 579
Photo of smakawhat
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass. BR-1 Vintage 2012.

A classic dark walnut brown, just wants to hint at black but doesn't quite get there, with nice chestnut red/brown edges. Head makes barely a finger, but what little there is does stay, in a somewhat dark mocha color. Manages an attractive wispy top and several pencil thin rings of a collar while drinking.

Nose is quite delicious with a bourbon whiskey caramel angle that fits nicely. Charing roast malt, with soot angle. Caramel becomes quite dominant with a sense of bourbon aging not from the malt bill. A little bit of "spice" kick also, not sure what that angle is on first impression, but it's nice. Hints also at a good salt angle, which matches real nicely with the caramel. Great bouquet.

Palate is a classic example of what a malty dark roasted stout should be. Char and a good warmth both hinting at malts and barrel charred. Then caramel bourbon warmth comes out, with a salty peanut like action. Body has a good light depth, mostly it seems from the honey, but this is not very silky. Not overly sweet, in fact quite downplayed on the sweetness which I enjoy. As your palate rests, some hop bitterness even comes out which feels real good, giving the beer an interesting warmth. Not boozy, but the brew has a nice kick with all this flavor and this faint hop sting at the finish.,

Overall I am not sure what to say, these Eclipse barrel brews so far from Fifty Fifty are very impressive.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lunch opened this bottle recently. Beer poured into a Darkness snifter (gifted to me by Lunch). Beer is black with a tan head of small bubbles, some lacing, low carbonation, looks like a beer.

Aroma is sweet with a mild liquorness about it. Very great. Some roast, mostly malt. Smells good.

Beer is medium in body and overall sweet. The first thing I taste is the sweetness followed by a nice booziness without the heat. This beer finishes adequately heavy as to not dry out the bitterness at the end. It is very drinkable and a pleasure. Thanks Lunch.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 Vintage - Black Wax. Poured in to snifter.

A - Poured black with a thin layer of medium brown head.

S - Sweet bourbon and vanilla up front that give way to oak, chocolate fudge and molasses aromas. Fairly sweet overall nose with a good balance of barrel notes and the base beer.

T - Bourbon, vanilla and oak flavours up front from the barrel with a nice sweetness. Mid-palate adds dark caramel, chocolate fudge and a hint of molasses. The finish has roast and more barrel.

M - Medium to full body. Sludgy and silky at the same time. Light carbonation.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Good lookin out largadeer for cracking this open on the post RS tasting

Poured a dark as night black in color with a tight thin head and left a little lacing sticking to the glass. The aroma was very nice consisting of lots of chocolate but the bourbon was definitely there but add some sweet vanilla as well. I was able to detect mild coffee, oak, and some roastiness from the malts. The chocolate flavor really dominated the palate but had vanilla, oaky, slight coffee accents with bourbon character adding complexity that was not overbearing. For sure it had lots of roastiness and had a touch of cherries. The brew was full in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a chocolatey, sweet, bourbon, roasty, and creamy finish. This brew was very delicious and definitely lives up to the hype. It was a sipper faux show but was glad to try it.

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Photo of liamt07
4.12/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared by Sammy - Bottle from Premier Gourmet, 650ml into a tulip. Tasted alongside 4 other variants.

Black with a tan head. Nose has some fruitier bourbon notes, chocolate, oak, light vanilla and some brown sugar. Bourbon at the front on the palate, alcohol, and dark chocolate/roast well into the finish.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A LOT of hype around the Eclipse series. I told myself to take it easy with Eclipse, and what do you know, the opportunity presented itself at the Rose & Crown. Even more honoring was splitting the bottle with my collegue Ricardo, who helps run a Brazilian beer rating website (www.brejas.com.br). On to the beer:

Black, black, and black. Light isn't going to penetate through the body. A small tanned head forms, dropping away to a thin lace. The nose brings the barrel characterists. Here comes oak, vanilla, and molasses.

This is good, and the taste becomes even better as it warms. At times, I almost forgot that I was drinking a stout. Very heavy are the barrel characterstics. Flavors of honey, vanilla, oak, molasses, and evenutally a big kick of licorice and a gentle dose of dark chocolate. The body is smooth and seems medium heavy; it's not one to weigh you down or leaves tons of residue around your lips after you're done drinking it. The alcohol is inserted well, only coming up as a warming sensation in the throat.

I have good news, it's a very good beer. It still doesn't compell me to chase right after the rest of the Eclipse series, but if the opportunity is right, I'll be happy to experiment.

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Photo of stevoj
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Catch up rating from Saturday's RIS bottle share. Thanks Rich! What a way to cap the night. A standout from start to finish. Warm, welcoming boozy aroma, taste brings in elements of wood and whiskey, and lots of sub-currents of chocolate and molasses. All around excellent.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.61/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22 oz 2010 black wax bottle #1372. Poured into a snifter.

Pours a mildly thin for the style mocha black with a short lived creamy tan head. Short retention and minimal lacing, the weakest part of the beer.

Aroma packs an immediate bourbon punch and is balanced by rich vanilla and milk chocolate. Molasses, raisins, brown sugar and caramel with very little roast, burnt or hop aromas. Non-existent alcohol and the sweetness is very pleasant and smooth.

Flavor is similarly smooth and balanced with surprisingly more of a milk chocolate, vanilla and molasses presence than in the nose. Bourbon is still present, particularly in the finish, but never harsh. Warming throughout, yet the balance between the barrel and base beer is remarkable.

Mouthfeel is slightly thinner than hoped for, medium thick with light carbonation; slightly milky in character. I don't feel like this detracts from my enjoyment of the beer, but for the style would have expected something a little more robust.

I'll revisit this review as I try the other 2010 versions, but this new treatment is living up to my expectations from last years.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.9/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber, #412, 2010 Vintage,

A: Pours black with a moderate tan head. Solid head retention, good lace.

S: Honeyed sweet dark chocolate, cocoa powder, vanilla, light notes of orange and citrus.

T: Malt heavy/chocolate, mild notes of roast. Bourbon is well integrated adding it's characteristic flavour. Dark fruit with a hint of charcoal in the finish with that cocoa powder note I got in the nose.

M: Medium-full body, at 9.5% it isn't a huge behemoth stout, but it's still a big beer. Smooth, creamy, spiritous finish, pleasantly alcoholic.

D: Nice beer, well made, I definitely want to see where this goes in a couple years.

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Photo of John_M
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to Dyan for obtaining this beer for me.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with pretty good head retention and considerable lacing. Right off the bat, I have to say this beer has the look of a beer that has seen some pretty serious barrel aging. The nos is quite impressive and is about what I expected from this beer, as I get considerable bourbon, coffee, vanilla, dark chocolate and some light licorice. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely in this moderately sweet stout, with the chocolate, vanilla and bourbon taking center stage. The beer is a bit boozy and sweet, but I expected that, and is not really something I mind too much in an RIS. Also, the touch of licorice in the finish helps to tame the sweetness somewhat, and enhances this beer's drinkability. Mouthfeel is soft, smooth and fairly full, in what comes across as a low carbonation beer. The beer is not at all heavy or tiring on the palate, despite the noticeable bourbon and alcohol. The finish is long and very, very smooth in this beer, and this is undeniably a very tasty beer.

Hard to imagine drinking a whole lot of this, but nevertheless, this is pretty impressive.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2/23/2011

"300 day" Evan Williams Eclipse, draft-only, aged for an additional couple of months in barrels beyond the bottled version. Poured from the growler into a snifter.

A: Near black and nebulous with a creamy light brown head. When held to light and carefully examined, the beer is a very dark shade of brown rather than pure black. Scattered lacing is left behind.

S: A great mixture of caramel and dark chocolate, with notes of brown sugar cookie dough and a strong yet well integrated bourbon profile. Vanilla billows from the glass when I venture near it. Oak provides complexity. This is much different from the bottled Evan Williams I had, granted that wasn't the 300 Day version. It's much smoother and mellower, with more positive barrel notes. Malt is faintly roasted. No coffee is evident. The amount of caramel is worth nothing again because it is quite powerful and complements the dark chocolate wonderfully. No booze is evident in the nose.

T: The flavor is just as good as the aroma. Smooth and mellow, with light oak and tannins. Though I detected no coffee in the aroma, the taste does display a little. The caramel, chocolate, and bourbon interplay is excellent. Brown sugar and vanilla maintain a firm presence throughout. Alcohol is tame in the flavor. I get a little black licorice. The finish is smooth and mellow with a slight increase in sweetness and roasted malt, and noticeable oak.

M: Full body with low carbonation. The mouthfeel is silky and smooth and there's a good deal of warming in the finish.

Overall: The best experience I've had with the 2010 batches of Eclipse. This is really good stuff.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.78/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I haven't tried that many Eclipse treatments yet (this is my second, after Java Coffee), so I can't compare this to the other variants, but this is quite simply one of the best BA stouts I've ever had. So smooth I could die. Purchased from Nathaniel Square Corner Store in Rochester. Black wax.

It pours a deep, dark black, basically opaque. The head rises mightily, about 3 fingers of dark mocha foam. The lacing is nice, stays on the glass the whole way down.

Smells incredible. Smooth bourbon, oak, vanilla, a bit of chocolate. Left my nose in this one for a while.

The taste blows the smell away though. Tastes of cocoa powder, marshmallow, vanilla, smooth, sweet bourbon, and a mild oakiness make love to my taste buds. None of the mentioned flavors are intense or harsh, they subtly hit my tongue in smooth waves. Drinks much easier than the ABV suggests (9.5%)

The mouthfeel is appropriately full, creamy, and a bit chewy.

One of the best. These Evan Williams barrels worked wonders. Holy shit. Worth the money.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Poured jet black with a nice dirty white cap and plenty of bubbles

S: Lighter bourbon than I expected but not bad because it let the chocolate, oak and toasted malt come through

T: Wow. Has a very smooth balanced feel and flavor. Not one flavor kills or competes. The chocolate, lighter whsikey, oak notes, roasted malt, coffee, some liquorice notes too

M: Nice feel, big body, tasty. The booze is pretty tame and allows this beer to shine on feel and flavor

D: Very high, sooo easy to drink!

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Photo of Rhettroactive
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 22oz bottle to tasting glass at my 30th Beerthday Bash on 9/23/11
*From notes

Vintage 2010

A: Dark and rich brownish black. A good pour yields a one finger head and minor lacing, with little retention.

S: Some coconut, chocolate and malt, kinda like a fresh Mounds bar.

T: A bit of astringency, yet it's not overly tannic. This far in, I would have thought I'd find more balance, yet what I get is a lot of bourbon hitting hard on the fore to mid. The finish washes some of this away, allowing a bit of cocoa and char to pick up the pieces.

M: Not overly viscous. It's most certainly rich, yet there's an oiliness to it that, with a bit more body, would end up coming across like satin sheets.

O: FiftyFifty's Evan Williams Eclipse was the second best of the three we had (Four Roses being #1 and Rittenhouse Rye being #3). This is a really damn fine beer, yet it's lacking something, that extra "wow" factor to push it over the top.

All in all though, don't hesitate to check this out. Damn fine drinking, here.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

650ml black waxed bomber 2013 bottle, bottle run #2, poured into tulip 21/12/13

A black liquid with a deep cola edge, two fingers of mocha foam slowly falls leaving three rings followed continuous lace deep down the glass after it fell to a thin film, sexy looking stuff

S wood, bruised plum, sweet bourbon, caramel, almost a cream brulee thing going on, some booze on a deep whiff but I'm not buying the nearly 12% I see on the bottle, I might be crazy but I get a little cinnamon, lots of chocolate fudge and a little licorice

T not quite everything the nose had going for it but still solid stuff, a little espresso and the woods a little burnt, caramel and cream brulee's not quite there, not as fruity but fudge and licorice still play a part, booze is still very well hidden

M doesn't feel too heavy at first but it ends up quite creamy and feels full, shes well carbonated for a big monster much to my surprise, slick on the palate and lots of dark roast on the finish, the booze is so mellow I don't feel it in my throat but it hits my head a little

O this ones working well for me, great nose, feels wonderful, tastes solid and the booze is nearly invisible

I'm hoping the rest of my 50-50 mixed case is this good, I'm not sure if I believe this is clocking in just shy of 12%, if it is perhaps I could jack up the score even further. If this is a true and fresh 12%er I can't wait to see what age dose to my second bottle

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks, Chris. Bottle #202X (can't quite read it), 2010 release.

Pouring black with dark brown highlights, there's a dense, light brown head that falls off to a thin disk leaving patchy lace. The nose is pretty excellent, even for Eclipse. A wonderful creamy, caramel base from the stout paired with an excellent barrel character, there's coconut, vanilla, bourbon with some milk chocolate, a little roast, a nice boozy heat and some molasses. At this point, it's wonderfully balanced. And as Arbitrator notes in his review, there is a citrusy character present, it makes me think of Grand Marnier.

This tastes like an alcoholic chocolate milk. Bourbon - vanilla, a little coconut,moderately toasted oak -, chocolate, moderate molasses. A little bit of dark fruit is present, especially on the mid-palate, with plums, a little raisins (and some of that citrus from the nose). The roast character is moderate, lending a mild bitterness on the finish. A blend of vanilla and a little alcohol is present on the finish (think vanilla creme brulee), along with a little oak. Medium in body with soft, creamy carbonation, this feels pretty excellent on the body. An excellent beer, highly recommended.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.29/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Split a bottle on 6.18.13

Br 1
2012 Vintage

A - Pours a dark, deep brown with a few tan bubbles that quickly move to the edges.

S - Bourbon, chocolate, oaky, and some more bourbon.

T - Chocolate, bourbon, oak, a hint of vanilla. Really balanced and easy to drink.

D - Mild carbonation with a heavy body. Boozy.

O - A great bourbon for a great stout. Nicely balanced with just enough Bourbon to make you pay attention.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Comes out black, shockingly! And the smell is, hold your breath: bourbonesque.

Licorice, bourbon, roasted nuts of the darker variety, coffee malt, slow burn to all of these variations in what is done with the coffee and chocolate malts. Was really smooth, brewer even mentioned heat, but I didn't pick up on it, thought it was plenty, to quote the Bullet Boys "Smooth Up In Ya. A little more chocolate going on than some of the other variations.

I'll be very interested to see how the bottles I have of this age over time. They're great right now. Don't hesitate if EW isn't your favorite drink, it really does well with the base beer.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.26/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Black pour, dark brown to the edge of the glass. Aroma, smells like bourbon.

Taste offers up much in the way of every other Eclipse variant pretty much: oak, chocolate, bourbon, nuttiness, some roasted coffee malt flavors. I thought this one brings the smooth and the chocolate more than most other variations.

While Evan Williams might not be the high pedigree bourbon (hey I have it at my bar) it definitely contributes to this excellent beer. Same with Rebel Yell (although not as good as this one).

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Photo of jrallen34
4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

300 day version thanks to Alex, consumed simultaneously with 200 day bottle version, drank from a Cigar City snifter... Looks basically like the regular version, black body with a medium tan head, nice ring with some lacing... The lovely nose on the 200 is totally destroyed by the 50% time increase in the barrel. Tons of oak, too much bourbon, but do get some nice smoke notes. You can tell instantly which beer is which, maybe in time this would be ok, maybe... In a reversal, I like the taste of the 300 better than the 200. Its better balanced with the bourbon showing off perfectly, then some great oak, chocolate and vanilla.

This is another solid beer, I like them almost equally just in different ways. I would LOVE to blend the 200 and 300, might create an almost perfect ba stout. Keep up the excellent work, Todd.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was one of my contributions to the drinks during a poker game, part of the endless struggle to get others drunk while gambling their money away. It didn't work for me this time...

It pours a dark brown, mostly opaque although you can see through it a little on the edges (just a little). Thin tan foam that lasted for the 15 minutes or so that it took me to drink my 1/3 of the bottle, no real lacing.

Nice bourbon aromas, very strong as was the case with the Four Roses version I tried a few days ago, both being less refined in aroma than the PVW I tried 1 week ago (which was a lot older). Probably with time this will become more integrated. Behind the bourbon I picked up the scents I'm starting to really appreciate in these Eclipse stouts, more sweet than roasty, cocoa and vanilla, heavy sugar like honey or molasses.

Same in the flavor, this is somewhat hot but in a way that showcases the best bourbon flavors, the sweet stout letting the bourbon shine. Cocoa and vanilla, a hint of roast, and strong blasts of bourbony deliciousness. Excellent.

Medium-heavy, this is definitely not thick but seems just adequate enough to match the flavors. None of the Eclipses I've tried have been really heavy, which probably helps increase drinkability.

Another great Eclipse beer, I'm now pretty much converted to them. So glad to try them.

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Photo of cbutova
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle #2296 purchased at Toronado in SF. No Cable Car so I figured this reasonably priced bottle would do the trick. Notes from SF trip.

A- Pitch black pour into a tulip with a mocha-brown head, silky texture and good retention. Frothy ring leaves some cryptic lacing webs down the glass.

S- Instantly reminds me of the good Bourbon aged stouts. The age on the beer gives it a relaxed, melded aroma, nothing feels harsh at all. Nice blend of whiskey, oak vanilla, caramel (aged), roast malt, cocoa.

T- Smooth and relaxed aged Bourbon aged stout. Roast malt, cocoa, whiskey, oak, vanilla take on an aged caramel malt sweetness very well. Some raisin and cherry dark fruit notes.

MF- Slicky, oily and thick body with low carbonation. A nice warming feel from the alcohol.

Reminds me instantly of Parabola 2011. A great blend of flavors and nothing harsh jumps out and takes over the beer. The aged flavors work out great. Thought the bartender was going to murder me after he had trouble getting the wax off the bottle, swearing profusely with a knife in his hand.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.07/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Gushue3 for sharing this. 22oz. bottle served in a snifter. Pours one shade shy of black with no head. One arc-like swath of lacing coats the glass during the tasting. Nose is exquisite - bourbon, malt, brown sugar, booze and a trace of soy sauce. Taste consistent with nose; however, the flavor profile comes off a bit thin. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body - somewhat thin for a barrel-aged beer. Carbonation is almost still. Overall, an easy drinking example of the style, but a bit too subdued in my opinion.

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Photo of maximum12
4.89/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Once again, many thanks to the folks at FiftyFifty for allowing us out-of-staters to purchase some of their fine brews.

Although I have a quibble: third time in a row, while engaged in a titantic struggle with 3" of wax, I've gouged myself hard enough to draw blood. Yikes! Definitely a hazard to health & hearth to get one of these bad-boys open. Bottle #232, popped open in a depressing March downpour that's due to turn to snow within a few hours. Spring in Minnesota!

Pours coal-dust black, split into two Darkness snifters for the wife & I. Smell is pure, heart-stopping perfection; a burst puffs outwards when I bludgeon wax & cap into submission, & I know immediately that this is going to be epic. Bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, malts. Beautiful.

Evan Williams Eclipse is close to the perfect crime against beer & barrels. High-end bourbon, flawless Noka chocolates, vanilla tended by a thousand paradise-bound virgins, wild oakiness, & tons of other things going on underneath, subtle antics my tongue can't even comprehend. After the taste charge, a warm, almost harsh wave of alcohol & Evan washes the subtleties away. The effect is almost like a smoothed-out, well-rounded bourbon, thought the overall taste is nothing like that. Perhaps I have ceased making sense.

Well, hell, this is one excellent beer. The only better in the series thus far was the '09 Heaven Hill, which sidled up hard to perfection. This one isn't far off either. Amazing beer; sad to only have one more. I'd like to offer FiftyFifty brewing space in my basement if they ever need an outpost in Minnesota.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.12/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Black in the glass, two finger brown head and some lacing.

S-Good deal of bourbon, nice chocolate. roasted malt and slight coffee.

T-Very bourbon heavy, nice chocolate and roasted malt as well. Tad bit of vanilla and coffee.

M-Medium bodied and nice carbonation.

O-A middle of the road Eclipse variant. The bourbon really shined through. I was shocked such a bad bourbon made a good beer.

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Evan Williams Bourbon from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
4.29 out of 5 based on 579 ratings.
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