Imperial Eclipse Stout - Brandy Barrel Blend
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Brandy Barrel BlendImperial Eclipse Stout - Brandy Barrel Blend
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Style:
Stout - American Imperial
ABV:
9.5%
Score:
93
Avg:
4.18 | pDev: 8.85%
Reviews:
70
Ratings:
207
From:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
 
California, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  59
Gots
  106
SCORE
93
Outstanding
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Brandy Barrel BlendImperial Eclipse Stout - Brandy Barrel Blend
Notes: Burgandy wax.
Reviews: 70 | Ratings: 207 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of SHODriver
SHODriver from North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured into a snifter to a black beer topped by a dense finger and a half of light tan head which fades slowly to a collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing.
S: Smells of strong brandy barrel on the nose with some oak and chocolate with some slight roasted malts
T: Taste is sweet brandy up front followed by some fudgy chocolate, chocolate covered espresso beans, with some roasted malts and slight oxidation. Nice oak and brandy toward the back end as well. On the swallow this beer is more chocolate and brandy with some slight lingering coffee and roasted malts.
M: This beer is definitely full bodied with a creamy and silky feel on the palate. Carbonation is somewhat low but it is definitely adequate while the beer has a drying finish which is consistent with the style and ABV.
O: Overall this is an outstanding beer. The brandy barrel adds some nice flavor dimensions that just aren't there with a bourbon barrel. This one is definitely on the sweeter side but that's to be expected. This one is probably a little bit beyond its prime but it still tastes amazing.

Nov 08, 2018
Photo of rodbeermunch
rodbeermunch from Nevada

4.52/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown and black pour, beige head over/around half an inch in depth. Aroma was really unique, the brandy makes for a very different, sweeter, less roasty eclipse, brings out elements of smoke unique to this barrel, but still has the dark chocolate, vanilla and oak impressions.

Taste is smooth, the sweet nose dies off and makes for a dark mild brown sugar vibe, roasted malt comes through harder without bourbon notes to drown them out.

One of those weird things, I am not a fan of Rebel Yell whiskey or brandy in any form, but here, put a beer in those barrels, and the product is definitely greater than the sum of its individual parts. Extremely well done.

Jan 13, 2016
Photo of cosmicevan
cosmicevan from New York

3.97/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage enjoyed from an eclipse snifter.

a - nine more black. All eclipse beers are stunning...they have a gorgeous shine and a thin head that is gone quick leaving sparse islands of bubbles on the surface.

s - nose is really pleasant. Big bold chocolate infused with sangria. Deep fruit from the brandy. Way more fruity than the Christian bros one I tried not too long ago.

t/m/o - big lush flavorful brew. Big chocolate roast. The brandy adds an element of fruit and booziness. It works well but doesn't seem as silky as other eclipse beers...seems a touch fizzy, fizzy for an eclipse so it still is fairly smooth and goes down easy for such a big beer. Pulls off the brandy treatment well, but doesn't hold a candle to the bourbon variations in the series.

Nov 04, 2014
Photo of rand
rand from California

4.7/5  rDev +12.4%

Another ridiculously delicious brew, poured from bottle #1942, 2011 batch, into a snifter. This has been sitting in my house at room temp for 3 years, opened 09/26/2014, and tastes basically perfect.

I don't see the point in reviewing each Eclipse variety from scratch...if anyone is intersted in my first review, here's the link http://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/14936/55063/?ba=rand. But to quickly note the uniqueness of this bottle, I remember drinking this fresh, early 2011, and it was hot and a little too boozy. As expected, aging has rounded out its astringent, prickly aspects (and beer at this level doesn't NOT need to be at cellar-temp, unless you're aging for a long-ass time), yielding a decadent beverage that proves the entire Eclipse project is an exercise in patience. Any grape-y, off-putting sweetness from the brandy barrels has rolled into dark-chocolatey goodness. Amazing.

Sep 28, 2014
Photo of brentk56
brentk56 from North Carolina

4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle 884 of 2011

Appearance: Pours fudge brown with a modest head that leaves a nice smattering of lace

Smell: Fruity brandy aromatics with undertones of chocolate, caramel and licorice

Taste: The brandy flavors jut forward off the bat and blend delicately with the chocolate, fruit and licorice; the sweetness stays on an even keel with the chocolate and the alcohol; very smooth, but slightly sweet finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with low carbonation; velvety smooth

Overall: One more Eclipse to go and this is the smoothest of the bunch; while I prefer Bourbon to Brandy, this is a really well done Brandy barrel treatment; it may not be the most complex but it sure is well-balanced

May 06, 2014
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

3.81/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color ale with a large brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of rich black chocolates notes with some light soy sauce notes and quite a bit of residual sugars is different than the other BA Eclipse. Taste is also a good mix between some rich black chocolates notes with some light soy sauce notes with quite a bit of residual sugar notes. Body still has the nice creamy and oily texture with good carbonation. Interesting but I found the sweeter side to his varieties less interesting.

Feb 14, 2014
Photo of BierJager89
BierJager89 from California

4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Same as always, black with a mocha head.

S: Sweet wine, raisins, rummy canded fruits, a little vanilla and some oak in the nose.

T: Sweet candied rummy fruit, a little orange, a little lemon, vanilla, sweet chocolate and oak.

M: Full bodied and creamy smooth.

O: I wouldn't buy a bottle of this for $30, but I'd be glad to get it in a sampler with other eclipses again. Not too many beers are worth $30, at least taste-wise, but this is definitely a very tasty beer. I'd love it if they did more rye barrels, as well as scotch. I think Scotch is the one thing that's always been missing from the series.

Jan 18, 2014
Photo of stakem
stakem from Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bomber #2396 poured into a matching Eclipse snifter. Consumed immediately after the Christian Brothers Brandy version. The bree appears a dark cola brown thats lighter around the edges. Some big bubble formation rises atop and collapses before really forming any significant cap. Legs of clear alcohol coat the glass.

The smells contains chocolate and raisony alcohol. A little earthen with roast and suggestions of coffee. The barrel presence is mild with a bit of fruity tang and soft vanilla-like oak with a hint of spice somewhat like cinnamon.

The taste is boozy like chocolate covered raisons and a bit of fruity alcohol. Some soft vanilla blends into raw oak and some lingering woodiness. The bitterness is like day old strong coffee.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is complex, interesting and shows off the spirit seemingly moreso than the barrel that was used to age the brew. Having drank this after the other brandy version, there are some definite similarities but I actually liked the vanilla barrel presence on this one and the overall cleanliess/roast more than the single barrel.

Oct 22, 2013
Photo of pkalix
pkalix from California

4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

so, the 2011's are still running around out there in the wild . . . . ? hope they age well!
pours a dark, dark mahogany with no foam. just a filmy layer sitting on top as typical of the style.... beaded lacing down the side.... nice....
smell is of wood and alcohol and, secondarily, brandy...
taste is . . . thin. well, thin-bodied. heavy alcohol presence. not of the existing content, but of the residual left by the casking. sweetness develops as it sits on the tongue. $45 bucks at Stone Bistro, $40 at Churchill's Pub in San Marcos.... commands quite a value, eh? is it worth it? some stouts are thick, and yet some are thin and contain a fair abv. I like this one. I think I like the first one I had better (Fitzgerald?), but probably because it was a whiskey and not a brandy. the brandy seems to impart a particular sweetness. but these are very good brews and i'm happy to have stumbled upon them. I suppose when one understands the ingredients and process which actually produces a beer, then it can be understood why it costs so much. as opposed, of course, to the ones which are all hype and do not deserve your money.
but this is a good one. I like it. a lot of flavor in the thin-bodied liquid. a nectar, of a sort... cask-aged brews can be very nasty, if not done well. these seem very well done. just my opinion.

Aug 23, 2013
Photo of warnerry
warnerry from Michigan

4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle 2118 into a Duvel tulip. 2011 vintage.

A - Pours a very deep brown/black, though clearly translucent on the pour. A solid one inch of creamy brown head. Pretty good persistence.

S- Lots of fruit in the aroma, with rich chocolate coming in right behind. Booze-soaked (I'm not a brandy drinker, so I can't say whether it is a brandy aroma) raisin is prevalent. A bit vinous. Quite nice.

T - In contrast to the aroma, chocolate is the dominant flavor, followed by the dark fruits, red wine and alcohol.

M - Haven't had an Eclipse in awhile, but this seems to have a thicker mouthfeel than then other variants I've had. Nice and creamy, but still not heavy. A bit dry on the finish.

O - Very enjoyable. The brandy notes seem to bring a very slight harshness to this, but still a nice twist on the barrel aged stout.

Apr 14, 2013
Photo of ngeunit1
ngeunit1 from Massachusetts

4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark black with a touch of brown and a finger of frothy khaki-chocolate head. Fades normal.

S - Chocolate and dark caramel malts, molasses, dark fruits, vanilla, oak, Brandy, black licorice, dark cocoa, coffee, booze.

T - Sweet chocolate and caramel malts, Brandy, vanilla, oak, molasses, coffee, black licorice, bitter dark cocoa, raisin, figs, dates and other dark fruits, and some booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and a bit syrupy with a warming, sweet finish.

D - Great barrel aged stout. The brandy barrel is a nice touch and the dark fruits come through a bit more.

Apr 14, 2013
Photo of HuskyinPDX
HuskyinPDX from Washington

4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle opened again on 10.28.13
2011
B076

A - Pours a dark brown with a tan head that fades slowly.

S - Sweetness, then bourbon and bitter chocolate.

T - Sweet brandy, chocolate, roasted malts. Nice.

D - Good carbonation with a heavy body.

O - Swwet and drinks very easy. Great version.

Apr 11, 2013
Photo of AgentMunky
AgentMunky from New York

3.96/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a sampling glass. 2011 vintage. From notes. Reviewed 12 February 2013.

A: Pitch-black with cola edges and a light brownish head.

S: Sweet grapes and strong liquor. Deep and complex.

T/M: Bright and tasty, with a great soft aftertsate. Brandy is evident, grapes, but it's perhaps oversweet.

O: It's okay. Not my favourite. Stick to the whiskey barrels.

Feb 14, 2013
Photo of johnnnniee
johnnnniee from New Hampshire

4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage from secret Santa Alex M, thanks for the opportunity!
Pours a solid black with a nice sized tan head that slowly dissipates to a cap on top with a moderate amount of lace on the sides. Smells of roast and chocolate with a heavy hit of molasses and dark fruits. Cherries, plums, raisins and a touch of alcohol round out the nose nicely. The flavor is lots of milk chocolate and coffee with a hint of smoke. Subtle supporting flavors of vanilla, dark fruits, tangerines, and a hint of wood. Medium to thick body with a light level of carbonation and a sweet silky mouthfeel. I really enjoyed this eclipse version. The Brandy gives it a much softer barrel treatment than the bourbon barrel I last had.

Jan 07, 2013
Photo of actone2001
actone2001 from California

4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Bottle #1566, consumed with smoked blue cheese and prosciutto (a perfect pairing for any good BA stout!). Word to the wise, let this one warm up.

A - Typical black stout. Quarter inch tan head, lingers for a little bit, then fades as the beer warms.

S - sweet fig, date, raisin, dark fruits. Definitely some brandy, but in a reserved fashion.

T - Good amount of brandy up front, balanced by dark fruit flavor, slight roast, and then a bit of alcohol heat. Molasses/dark brown sugar provide the sweetness, but the brandy creates a presence which is complimentary to the dark malts. The sweet date flavor is most prominent as it warms.

M - More thick than medium of a mouthfeel. Compliments the big stout perfectly. Silky smooth.

O - Great beer overall! I love the Brandy barrel influence! It's my first fiftyfifty eclipse, and I'm very impressed! It's balanced, big, and has some depth. Can't wait to break out some other eclipses from the cellar!

Dec 30, 2012
Photo of bcostner1
bcostner1 from Tennessee

4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle #1065. Enjoyed 11/28/12 from a brandy snifter.

A: Deep dark rich brown bordering on black; thick milky-tan head that pours richly and stick around for quite a while.

S: Brandy, raisin bread, roasted dark figs and dates.

T: Really awesome. Smooth brandy throughout. Lots of rum/brandy soaked raisins, figs, dates. Toasted rown sugar raisin bread. Some rich caramel. A nice, rich melange of all the above listed elements along with some vanilla, mild wood, and a strong malt backbone. Delicious.

M: Smooth drinker for sure. The brandy/booze is there but not offensively so. Definitely a warming beer that is best enjoyed as a sipper.

Overall, a great brew. Glad I got to try it and I'm looking forward to the other Eclipse varieties that I have waiting.

Nov 29, 2012
Photo of inlimbo77
inlimbo77 from Delaware

4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz, 2011 vintage, bottle # 3091
Mini nonic pint glass (4oz)

A: Pours a deep black color. Completely opaque. Some carbonation because I got a half finger of slightly tan head. Not a ton of lacing. Slight alcohol feet. Lots lacing.

S: Getting lots of that brandy barrel on this one. More than what I have read in other reviews. Lots of dark fruit and candied sugar. Overwhelms the roast.

T: Lots of dark fruit sweetness. Heavy prune. Rum soaked raisin. Then you get that roasted malts. This is completely different then the other variations I have had where it was more vanilla, caramel, oak, etc. Some what dry finish.

M: Medium leading to full.

Nov 26, 2012
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84 from California

2.96/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

11/24/2012

2011 vintage into a snifter.

A: Black with an enormous frothy light brown head. Great retention and lots of lacing. Nice looking beer.

S: A lot of Totality and a mellow barrel presence. Anise, licorice, oak, molasses, and a lot of roasted malt. Just a little vanilla and brandy. Pleasant coco notes.

T: Rich dark chocolate with a fair amount of booze and roasted malt. Heavy on the licorice and roasty bitterness. Subtle brandy and dark fruit with a touch of vanilla. Lots of booze and bitterness in the astringent roasted licorice finish. When the beer warms up it begins to taste like Robitussin.

M: Full body with medium carbonation. Sticky mouthfeel with alcohol warming.

Overall: Not a fan of this. The combination of licorice Robitussin and brash alcohol did not make for a pleasant drinking experience. I won't be finishing this bottle.

Nov 25, 2012
Photo of corby112
corby112 from Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle # 1446, 2011 vintage.

Pours a dark chestnut brown color that appears pitch black in the glass with a one finger beige head that quickly settles into a thick, lasting ring. Spotty lacing left behind.

Roasted, smoked malt aroma with a decent barrel presence that seems to be nicely integrated into the base beer. There's some toasted oak, vanilla and coconut but the spirit/brandy is much tamer here than in the other treatments. Some boozy brandy sweetness but there's room for the strong malt presence to shine. Pretty robust smelling with smokey charcoal along with roasted coffee bean, oatmeal, toast and dark chocolate. Decently balanced but the brandy presence could be a touch stronger for me.

Full bodied with a stronger barrel presence than I anticipated. Sweet brandy and vinous dark fruit notes along with dry, toasted oak and vanilla. Still, it's nicely integrated into the flavors of the base beer and doesn't overpower the roasted dark malt flavors. The oak compliments the robust malt and the brandy sweetness counters hints of burnt toast, espresso, oatmeal and chocolate cake. Really well balanced and the ABV is excellently masked, with little to no heat.

Nov 14, 2012
Photo of Dope
Dope from Massachusetts

4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 1079, 2011 batch.

A: Very dark brown pour, not quite black. Big billowing dense head, light brown in color. Fades slowly, leaving a pretty heavy coating of lacing behind. Excellent retention.

S: Very fruity, lots and lots of dark fruits. Cherry, grape, and berries (raspberry/blackberries I would say) mainly. Sweet and a bit sharp with some alcohol sting in the nose. Slight metallic twang to boot.

T: Again, very sweet and fruity up front. Loaded with dark fruits to the hilt. Nice chocolate and some chalky char comes through in the middle and into the finish. Sharp alcohol in the finish as well. Lingering dark fruits and honey between sips. Awesome.

M: Not as heavy as you'd think but still plenty full. A touch chalky sometimes.

O: Awesome barrel aged stout. I've had the rittenhouse rye version too and that one was completely different while still being excellent. I did find the rittenhouse rye one slightly better but not enough to justify the leap down to 4.0. Regardless, this one is sweeter and very fruity. Great brandy flavor and aroma goes well with a chocolatey/roasty stout. Well balanced and delicious.

Nov 11, 2012
Photo of sitarist
sitarist from Ohio

4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another blind review via the "blind bif 7." While reviewing 2b. last night the power went out. From my candle lit notes...

Pours deep brown, opaque, 1/4" of tan head falls to a ring with a tiny island just a couple spots of lacing.

I'm expecting a big burbon aroma, instead Im greeted with a well balanced scent of chocolate, vanilla, raisins, with a clean alcohol aroma. Port? Whatever it is, I like it.

Flavors fall in line with its aroma. Its flavors are delicately balanced. Coco, & vanilla start it off with some fruit in the middle, bitter-sweet chocolate, faint hints of anise, & port at the end.

Medium body, and lightly carbonated...works well with its flavor. Creamy to dry, an easy drinking imp.stout.

A well crafted beer that is intriguing, yet easy to drink. There is a wicked storm outside, and the power is out, but I do not have a care in the world.

Im guessing its an Imp. Stout. I do not think it has anything in common with 2a. other than being a stout.

Wrong...its a Fifty Fifty - Eclipse(bottle#1090, year 2011) with dark red wax, which I believe is the Brady Barrel Blend version. Quite different, and much more complete than the Grand Cru Blend. I cant believe how different the two blends are, though they started out as the same.

Oct 31, 2012
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billab914 from Virginia

4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage poured into my CBS snifter. Pitch black in color with a thin tan head scattered across the top and sticking to the sides of the glass. Good lacing as I drank it and a nice looking beer overall.

The aroma blends the chocolate and roasted malts with the dark fruits of the brandy barrel. They compliment each other very well. Some alcohol is noticeable, but not too bad. I really liked the rich dark fruits the brandy barrel added.

The taste shows more of the brandy barrel up front with some really nice notes or dark fruit and red wine to it. The finish is where more of the chocolate and and roasted malts come out. The chocolate in the finish particularly stands out. Again, it really comes together well.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the style with carbonation being average. Overall, I thought it was a great beer. The brandy barrel complimented the beer better than any other brandy barrel beer I've had. The rich dark fruits and chocolate went together perfectly. Very rich and bold, but also smooth and balanced for the style. Great beer overall.

Sep 22, 2012
Photo of NorCalYeti
NorCalYeti from California

4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

really enjoyed this beer over the grand cru which i sampled recently. the beer was soft in the mouth and had a nicely balanced hop/malt taste. long warming finish. a hop bite in the swallow for sure. beer had tropical flavors along with a toasted element and chocolate in the finish. apricots come to mind. the beer tasted sweet up front but that component backed off after a while. my thought was this could be a digestif and could be paired with a gelatinous dessert, a ciger, and/or chocolate. felt like the beer had high gravity and felt weighty on the palate, a sipper.

Sep 15, 2012
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Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split a bottle of this with Paul yesterday.

The beer is dark brown, nearing black. Half inch of dense beige head. Looks like all of the other Eclipse stouts.

The aroma brings oak, booze, chocolate, roast. Smells nice.

The flavor is a small step up from the aroma. I would probably award aroma and taste each a 4.25 if possible. Nice balance of flavors, with a gentle sweetness imparted by the brandy barrel. Subtle notes of vanilla.

Medium bodied and easy drinking. A touch of heat in the finish. Well done.

Overall, another solid stout from FiftyFifty. I have enjoyed all of the beers in this series so far.

Jul 29, 2012
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim from New York

4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ipa247 for this one. 2011 vintage. Bottle #488. Shared with schen9303. Poured into a Cigar City snifter

Pours 1 finger, dense, light mocha head with moderate retention. Beer is dense, opaque black. Lacing is thick, stringy, with nice stick. Oily legs.

Nose is chocolate, fudge, sweet soy sauce, molasses, booze, and very subtle roasted malt in the back. Nicely aromatic but good balance too.

Opens sweet soy sauce, prunes, chocolate, and cocoa powder. Brandy presence emerges a bit towards the middle and sweetens this one even further. Fudge and roasted malt at the end give this a slight bitterness. Finishes sweet with some molasses and more cocoa in the aftertaste. Solid.

Medium body with light carbonation. Oily and warm in the mouth and warm going down. Moderately smooth with a hot finish and sticky, lingering aftertaste. Great body.

As far as the 50/50 Imperial Eclipse series, this is rather middle of the road. Still, that makes it a far-above-average imperial stout and definitely not one to miss out on!

Jul 17, 2012
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Brandy Barrel Blend from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 207 ratings