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

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Brandy Barrel BlendImperial Eclipse Stout - Brandy Barrel Blend
BA SCORE
4.17/5
Exceptional
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
pDev:
8.87%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
62
Gots:
108
Trade:
6
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 204 |  Reviews: 69
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.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.97/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

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Photo of Sparky44
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.54/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got to have a sneak peak of this while helping out with bottling. Then had 2-3 samples the night of, one of my favorites (the brandy always is). Dark pour, tan head, 1/2" in height.

Aroma was just awesome. Best smelling Eclipse, even better than last year's. More complex, higher on the chocolate, vanilla and smoke, less on the brandy sweetness. This was chunkier.

Taste, pretty damn good, easy to drink, silky without the sweetness. There's still sweetness, and probably more than any other version other than the rye, but its more of a brown sugar kind of sweetness, which is a little more tolerable with the other flavors in this kind of beer. The base beer (Totality) seems like its roasted qualities are on better display in this barrel. That is one base beer that doesn't get enough stroking.

When I want to convert or expose people to something they wouldn't think they might be into dark beer wise (you know the I don't drink any dark beer types) I break this out, tell them I hate Brandy, but I love what it does here. More often than not, people have their eyes opened. Can't wait to open a bottle of this. Possibly even better than last year's (a tough burden to overcome).

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Photo of Rutager
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle shared by Simon. Cheers man!! Flavours are so well integrated, awesome stuff.

89 characters

Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of AgentMunky
3.96/5  rDev -5%
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.

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Photo of pkalix
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

 1,328 characters

Photo of scottfrie
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from 22oz bottle poured into snifter (on New Years eve) supplemented by notes taken from the tap version consumed at the release.

A: Pours a very dark near black with reddish edges beneath a finger of dark mocha brown head that bubbled away into a thin wispy film.
S: Sweet, almost fruity smelling, with notes of rich malts, green apple and boozy brandy barrel.
T: Sweet like the nose with strong notes of brandy. The barrel really dominates in this version. I get notes of dark fruit, chocolate, molasses, vanilla and a hint of cola as well. Sweet yet spicy at the same time. The finish is woody and full of vanilla, and the aftertaste is full of brandy all the way. As this beer reaches room temp the brandy comes out even more and the fruit isn’t as strong.
M: Medium-thick body that is full but not the fullest, boozy but smooth mouthfeel with even carbonation.
O: The bottle seemed fruiter than I remember the tap version being at the release. This is definitely a brandy lovers beer. Rich and strong but very easy to sip on. Definitely not the smoothest or richest of the different Eclipse treatments, but this is one of the better ones.

 1,159 characters

Photo of Dope
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

 1,135 characters

Photo of warnerry
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

 823 characters

Photo of MDDMD
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of bsuedekum
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of mportnoy
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of popery
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle #1379, 2011. It's quite black, only showing brown when fairly thin. Small head, beige. The aroma has dark chocolate, molasses, vanilla, roast and a sweet brandy note. The taste is sweet and rich. It's nice big stout and packs a lot of flavor. The barrel flavor is relatively mild and blends into the roast, molasses and dark chocolate. There's some roast-bitterness to tone down the sweetness. Very tasty stuff. Mouthfeel is smooth and thick. It's a heavy beer, full of flavor. I'm a big fan of Eclipse. This isn't up to the Christian Brothers brandy version, but all of the Eclipses are quite good. My only real criticisms of this beer is that it could use more barrel flavor and a bit more depth. However, they're minor complaints, and I quite enjoyed the bottle.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.85/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours jet black with a light chocolate brown head. In the aroma, oaky and a sweet brandy/ bourbon like alcohol. In the taste, sweet roast, alcohol of cognac and bourbon. Quite smooth and a medium to bigger bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry brandy like alcohol aftertaste. WOW! what a nice sipper, big alcohol heat on this one.

 327 characters

Photo of AgentZero
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.

 735 characters

Photo of HaveUSeenMyCellar
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of birchstick
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of Reagan1984
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Satchboogie
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of whartontallboy
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of DaPan
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Brandy Barrel Blend from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.17 out of 5 with 204 ratings
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