Imperial Eclipse Stout - Brandy Barrel Blend | FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Brandy Barrel BlendImperial Eclipse Stout - Brandy Barrel Blend
BA SCORE
93.1%
Liked This Beer
4.17 w/ 204 ratings
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Brandy Barrel BlendImperial Eclipse Stout - Brandy Barrel Blend
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Burgandy wax.

Added by MasterSki on 12-08-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
69
Ratings:
204
Liked:
190
Avg:
4.17/5
pDev:
8.87%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
62
Gots:
108
Trade:
6
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 204 |  Reviews: 69
Photo of FosterJM
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1210th Review on BA
Bottle CBS snifter
22oz Burgundy wax

Bottle #16??

App- Almost an opaque black with brown highlights. More burgundy on the edges. A nice two finger brown head fell with so-so cling.

Smell- Sweetness prevails like the brandy it was aged in. Roasty like a good stout with a large amount of oak and some milk chocolate.

Taste- To begin its very smooth. Much more so than the others. Tastes likes small belgian rich chocolate with the brandy and oak creating a rich layered stout.

Mouth- A rich and creamy medium body with a medium low carbonation. Brandy sweetness very forward.

Drink-An outstanding treatment. Very rich and smooth with huge pockets of flavors as mentioned. One of the better variants of the 2011 series.

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Photo of gafferjohn
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of daveytheformer
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of patm1986
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.56/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter. 2011 vintage, bottle #1727. Burgundy wax so I have the right listing.

4.5 A: Black color. Nearly three fingers of creamy/frothy light brown head. Retention is good at first and gets great for the last half finger. Tons of lacing is left behind.

3.5 S: The brandy brings out the chocolate in the base beer quite well. Otherwise, earth and lightly vinous brandy persists. Not much else going on though aside from a light roastiness.

3.5 T: Tastes like the nose. Big chocolate. Vinous, fruity brandy. Light roastiness.

3.5 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Light creaminess. Boozy finish and aftertaste.

3.5 D: This is a pretty good brandy barrel stout, but I'd prefer a more sturdy stout that this.

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Photo of seeswo
3/5  rDev -28.1%

Photo of sludgegnome
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of mdfb79
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this one in the 2012 Birthday BIF from futhurgone; Thanks Rob! Another want of mine…always excited for a new Eclipse beer. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my Sierra Nevada XXX Anniversary tulip. 2011 vintage, bottle #1840.

a - Pours a pitch black color with one finger of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Head lasts for four to five minutes and leaves an inch throughout drinking, with spotty lacing on the glass. Looks awesome.

s - Smells of sweet dark fruits, chocolate, roasted malts, brandy, oak, molasses, sweet cherries, sugar, and some toasted malts. Nose is nice but quite sweet.

t - Tastes of sweet dark fruits, sweet chocolate, roasted malts, cherries, fruity malts, brandy, alcohol, oak, light vanilla, cocoa, molasses, and toasted malts. Again, pretty sweet but I like it.

m - Full bodied stout and low carbonation, thick and chewy. The low carbonation makes this one super smooth and easy to drink, and there isn't really any alcohol heat. Very nice body for a stout; a tiny bit more carbonation and it would be perfect.

o - Overall I thought this was a good beer and another good Eclipse variant, though it isn't nearly as good as the other versions I've had so far (PVW, Evan Williams, 12 Yr EC, and Four Roses). I've thought those 4 were outstanding and this was very good. I guess it's because of the barrel, but this one is much fruitier and sweeter than the others, thought the body is nice. I liked it, but prefer my stouts not quite as sweet. Definitely worth checking out, but not if you can have one of the other 4 variants over this one.

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Photo of hoppymcgee
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of brystmar
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed during last night's bottle share. Thanks to rlmartin, rmjavanut, hoppymcgee, and whartontallboy for contributing to this 11-bottle Eclipse tasting!

This Brandy version was nicely balanced with a hearty roasted malt backbone that supported the brandy's sweetness nicely. Refreshingly balanced: not too much booze, not too sweet, not too roasty. Most of the other barrel varieties over-emphasized the barrel flavors, so the mix of flavors here was certainly welcome.

Overall, the '11 EC18 was our group's consensus favorite. But honestly, I was mostly unimpressed with the Eclipse variants. Bourbon County Stout is superior to all of them except EC18. Very glad I got to try them all, but EC18 is the only one I'd seek out again.

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Photo of whartontallboy
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of SpdKilz
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 version, bottle 448. Thanks to Abel for being my proxy for these beers. BTW, opening this beer was freaking annoying.

Appearance – Pours into my Surly Snifter with a utter black viscosity and two fingers of great looking mocha head that dissipates slowly leaving great looking lacing.

Smell – Bittersweet cocoa, vanilla, oak, brandy, roasty malts.

Taste – Heavy dark roasted malts and nice bittersweet chocolate up front. Lots of brandy barrel at the beginning also. Nice dark fruits such as dates and figs, nice oaky flavors, and slight ash.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, good carbonation, finishes dry.

Overall – Honestly, I really enjoyed this Eclipse variation. I enjoy stouts a bit dryer and less sweet. This was perfect in balance to me. A hint of sweetness mixed with bittersweet cocoa and roasted malts. Pretty darn good.

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Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of IdrinkGas
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of kiddynamite920
3.3/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Doesn't appear completely black, although light seems to have a tough time passing through it. Thin head like all the Eclipses I've tried so far. Swirling produces a tan cream that fades right back down quickly. Beer itself looks thin as well.

S: Sweet brandy, mixed with some heavy booze. Some nice chocolate and cherry, but not much as far as the base stout goes. Easy to pick up the barrel and some vanilla/oaky aromas.

T: Easily the smoothest I've tried of the series so far, but that doesn't necessarily help the stout. Comes off sweet and lacks roastiness until late where a small amount of bitterness creeps up. Reminds me of a jar of brandied cherries, with some chocolate aftertones.

M: Thin, big shocker there. It's smooth, but finishes boozy and almost with a tart cherry thing going on. Perhaps these are just familiar brandy flavors to me.

O: Everyone knows these beers aren't worth the price, but can't help but buy them. Gotta catch'em all. Not my favorite variation without question. Too sweet and lacks the stout underneath.

 1,049 characters

Photo of sweemzander
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Bottle #3140. 2011 vintage. Thanks to Chris for sharing!

(A)- Pours a nice pitch black color. Some good tan froth and lace too.

(S)- A nice sweet but rich aroma. Plenty of caramel, toffee, raisin, and subtle chocolate covered bread and coffee ground.

(T)- Similar to the smell. An underlying sweetness to it with raisin, cocoa, and caramel. You can just tell this is brandy instead of bourbon due to the slightly larger sweetness behind it. I do find that brandy barrel aging does lend far more sweetness to some stouts as opposed to bourbon, but this one does keep it balanced well.

(M)- A nice smooth carbonation level. A rather nice balance as well even with a slightly larger overall sweetness level. Rich and sweet but it does have nice subtle barrel character to help with its balance.

(D)- Like I mentioned before, I do find most of the brandy barrel beers I have tried to be a bit too sweet sometimes for my liking, however this one pulls it off quite well: smooth and balanced. I am looking forward to trying the other variants as well.

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Photo of bsuedekum
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of brotherloco
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz waxed bomber. 2011 Edition. Bottle #2219. Served in a brandy snifter.

A vigorous pour gave me a finger and a half of dark beige foam on top of a dark brown/black brew. Holding it to the light reveals a root beer tinged color. Head settles to a dense creamy ring. Nice big swoops of lacing left in glass.

Aroma hits me with more initial alcohol than I've smelled in other varieties of Eclipse. Milk chocolate malty notes lie underneath but are more subtle. A dry and dusty barrel presence hangs around in the background. Vanilla and oak.

Flavor is initially really sweet and roasty. Chocolate malt, espresso, tobacco, dark fruit, vanilla ice cream. This flavor transitions into a highly spirited (as in booze) brandy-like sting. A little astringent. Finishes with a rich and creamy roasted bitterness, with some sweetness lingering as well.

Mouthfeel is great on this one. Full bodied, creamy, slick, and nicely carbonated, if a touch sharp. A real pleasure to sip.

Overall another very good Eclipse, but perhaps a touch astringent compared to the bourbon varieties I've tried.

 1,086 characters

Photo of maximum12
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another in the series of one of my favorite barrel-aged bunches. What better way to clear out the Town Hall goodness than one of the pyramids of BA madness? Bottle #2978, split with the wife.

Heh. Pours typical big black bad; more head than most Christians, uh, what? Nose on this is spot-on as advertised, brandy, dark maltish, chocolate. Niiice.

Brandy Barrel Blend is just lovely. Long chocolate milk with a shot of brandy, just like Santa ordered. Tingly sweet malts. Roast, vanilla, heavy dose of oak in the back-fill. Really easy to drink, this is a barrel-aged session beer.

One more winner in the series, this is a huge improvement over the 2010 version, in my exalted opinion. Excellent beer.

 707 characters

Photo of Swervine44
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of BeerImmediately
3.84/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22oz into goblet.

Beautiful looking beer. Short coffee ice-cream-colored head over a deep, opaque brown body.

Decent aromas that won't knock you over. Strangely, the first thing I picked up was concentrated apple juice. Cocoa, caramel, and a touch of char round things out. The brandy fruitiness continues to dominate, though.

Flavors and mouthfeel make this pretty damn easy drinking for a brandy barrel aged impy stout. Vanilla is pretty prominent. Some sweet, creamy white chocolate, along with dose of black licorice, and a kiss of charred wood in the finish. Maintains its smooth mouthfeel throughout.

I just can't get enough of these, as I feel they're very well crafted. Glad I picked up two of each, even with the huge dent in my wallet.

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Photo of warbird07
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of waltonc
3.93/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glass top of the bottle cracked off as I opened this. Poured the beer through a colander into my Bruery tulip in hopes I don't ingest any glass. Pours dark brown with an inch of velvety head. Nice to see fifty fifty release this with appropriate carbonation this year. I was quite disappointed that the brewery knowingly released the brandy eclipse last year without adequate carbonation. Smells of nice toasty malt, brandy, vanilla and brown sugar. Flavor is really nice. Not too much char and roast (unlike my first bottle of EC 18 year eclipse). Sweet brandy, vanilla, and brown sugar. Body is fairly thick with nice velvety carbonation. So far no lass in my mouth. Overall, quite a good beer. I just wish the bottle didn't break upon opening.

Would I buy this again? No, not at this price point. Too many good beers available for considerably less cost per fluid ounce.

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Photo of jonvan04
3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After trying the Rittenhouse Rye version of this beer, I was excited to try this since I loved the other and have never had a brandy barrel aged beer before.

This beer poured black with a 1/4 inch tan head.

The aroma was of dark fruits, cherries, chocolate, and wood.

The taste was very much fruit forward with some chocolate flavors blended in. I didn't detect as much flavors from the barrel but definitely got a lot from the brandy. The fruit and brandy flavors seemed to almost enhance the bitterness in the finish as the hops were much more detectable than the Rye barrel version of this beer.

This would be great for somebody who loves chocolate covered strawberries. This was a nice mix of the fruit and stout flavors, however after having tried it I think I'll stick to the other versions of this beer.

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Brandy Barrel Blend from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 93.1% out of 100 with 204 ratings
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