Imperial Eclipse Stout - Buffalo Trace Barrel Blend
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Buffalo Trace Barrel BlendImperial Eclipse Stout - Buffalo Trace Barrel Blend
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Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #1,838
Ranked #5,181
4.08 | pDev: 10.29%
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
California, United States
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Buffalo Trace Barrel BlendImperial Eclipse Stout - Buffalo Trace Barrel Blend
Notes: Yellow wax.
Reviews: 69 | Ratings: 260 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of GuyFawkes
GuyFawkes from Illinois

4.67/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2014 vintage; drank 1/15/16 @ Fountainhead.

Black/brown appearance.

Minimal tan head; minimal lace.

Banana, milk chocolate & cherry notes in the nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Banana, cherry, lactose sugar & milk chocolate flavors up front; mild booze heat emerged as this warmed.

Incredibly delicious.

Mar 09, 2019
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Thomas_Wikman from Texas

4.24/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a truly enjoyable and complex Imperial Stout.

Look: black with a half inch mocca colored head

Aroma: chocolate, dark fruits, honey

Flavor: It is pretty good, dark fruits, raisins, some honey, chocolate and coffee, a bit sweet and no booziness.

Feel: full bodied, creamy

Dec 25, 2018
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

impressive pickup, by my dad of all people, 2014 vintage, and at this stage as good as just about any in this wildly enjoyable series of beers, identified only by their wax color. i have always loved how much honey comes through in the base beer, regardless of barrel treatment, its floral and sweet and seems to give life to the dark malts. cocoa and dark chocolate in this one, faint smoke and oxidation too at this point, some bitterness set against the honey, and a wonderful richness without ever being too sugary. the buffalo trace barrels are nice, a pretty classic bourbon complexion added here to the aroma and flavor, but more than anything i get the barrel char itself, high carbon, earthy, black, seemingly darker than any one element in the base beer itself. oak and vanilla of course too, which go real well with the honey, but the barrel in this one, as in many of these, seems to stand in service to the base beer, not override any flaw or take away from its well refined nuances. i love the bourbon with the base beer, i think its about perfectly aged at this point, and while i can get a little bit of booziness as it warms, its supremely drinkable for what it is, so smooth and mellow, even elegant. i love this series, and this one is amazing. thanks dad!

Aug 26, 2018
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stakem from Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dipping into my cellar for this one. 2011 bottling, at consumption time puts this at a little over 6 years in the bottle.

Bomber into a snifter appears black in color with a khaki head that fades leaving stringy lace.

Aroma of earth, charred grain, coffee, licorice and slight mineral aspect.

Taste is seemingly straight honey sweetness at first that gives way to fruity raison-like alcohol, slight oak and a touch of mineral component.

Medium in body with modest carbonation. This is much more sweet feeling than most other eclipse iterations are. Crazy drinkable.

Ive said it before and ill continue to proclaim it - Eclipse is either an amazing candidate for 5 years of aging or these older bottlings were infinitely better than the garbage they have been releasing lately.

Mar 30, 2018
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kevanb from Illinois

4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

650ml bottle, 2014 vintage - yellow wax, poured into a FiftyFifty Eclipse snifter glass.

The beer pours a deep jet black color, thick and viscous with a taut tan head, very good retention and incredible lace. The aroma is pleasant, strong oakiness, lightly charred, smooth bourbon, baker's chocolate, light vanilla, rich grains and some caramel. The flavors echo the nose well, bittersweet chocolate, plenty of charred oak, light bourbon, caramel and toffee with a bit of spice and vanilla and rich grain. The mouthfeel is great, thick and heavy full body, coating and creamy with a soft and warm finish.

Verdict: A very nice Eclipse variant from FiftyFifty. Aged very well, nice and mellow barrel character, distinctly Buffalo Trace and with nice grains and chocolate. Not the most vibrant or intense variant, but the balance is nice and it's very approachable.

Mar 14, 2018
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SomethingClever from Ohio

3.37/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

22 oz bottle poured into snifter.

A: Started out with a khaki inch of head that was creamy looking, but it departed quickly. Body is what is to be expected inky blackness with a little light escaping around the edges.

S: Lots of straight up bourbon, oak, a little leather and some licorice. A little roasted malts mingled in there as well.

T: Very soft no alcohol taste the taste is light chocolate, caramel, a little vanilla a little bit of a nut taste as well.

M: Thin, a touch high in the carbonation as well.

O: This was pretty average to be honest, I had high expectations going in but still it's a lot less of a beer than I thought it would be. Exceptionally thin and very basic and one dimensional.

Feb 18, 2018
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Boccu from New York

4.61/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Pours black with a nice two finger head. Nice lacing. Aroma is weird almost a metallic cap smell. Taste is by far different. Dark chocolate, molasses, deep vanilla, light coffee grinds too a smooth bourbon finish. Love 50/50. Another great stout.

Apr 04, 2017
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EMV from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a wax-coated bomber into a goblet. 2014 edition, hand labeled. Fancy stuff.

L: Inky black pour... 1 finger of tannish head. Spotty lacing.

S: Rich and boozy... lots of bourbon, coffee, vanilla, and cocoa.

T/F: Follows the smell... deliciously decadent. Roasted sugars/grains, espresso, and cocoa nibs. Some oak presence and vanilla... the bourbon really shines through. A bit of char. Complex and luscious. Thick and creamy in mouthfeel. Gets boozier as it warms.... and it warms you as well.

O: A fantastic bourbon aged stout. Big and bold... lots of flavor... and one of the best representations of the style I've had. For $40 a bomber it had damned well better be. Worth the splurge.

Feb 28, 2017
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cjgiant from District of Columbia

4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle BT 1, 2016:
Pours a medium thick black, though in the glass there is the slightest bit of light that shows the beer is not totally devoid of color. Decent lacing by the brown to tan head that lay thick at the rims and has a thin continent of bubbles acros a third of the surface.

Nose isn't giving up much other than a generic barrel aged stout - vanilla, bourbon, light wood, with a chocolate-leaning base beer. Nothing wrong, but a little more strength would be nice.

Beer feels a little thicker with some chill, and a little more fluid as it warms. The feel is soft throughout, with barely a tickle from the carbonation. Bourbon heat is nicely subdued.

Beer started chocolate/vanilla with a bourbon barrel accent to it. The was some soaked raisins or date in there, but it never really got to a true "dark fruit" feel of say a Belgian Quad. Warmth turns this flavor a little more towards a cola root beer blend - with more of a very light, natural dark sweetener combining with the bite from the root. A little birch wood bitterness finishes the taste.

An enjoyable beer that is a little sweeter and more full than the other version I tried (Woodford Reserve). I tended to like this one better, though the general consensus seems to be contrary to my opinion.

Dec 26, 2016
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billshmeinke from California

4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a wine glass.

Deep dark pour with a few fingers of tight carbonation, dies down to a good cap and leaves plenty of lacing behind.

Nose has loads of dark berries (blueberry is most prominent) with some underlying chocolate and cocoa as well as hints of toffee, caramel and espresso. Espresso is faint, not like it's been infused with coffee or anything. Perceptible whiff of alcohol.

Taste skews more caramel and toffee that fades into notes of ripe berries with and an underlying dark chocolate and cocoa throughout. Also a persistent roastiness that comes through as iced coffee, and some slight oak bitterness as well. Compared to the nose, alcohol is almost imperceptible.

Mouthfeel always stands out in the Eclipse series. Incredibly smooth, almost delicate, which is weird given how flavorful this beer is, carbonation is on the low side, higher end of viscosity and stickiness, but definitely nowhere near being over the top. The structure of the mouthfeel is just so rock solid.

Overal, 50/50's Eclipse beers remain the gold standard of barrel aged stouts, and it's always fun to see how much difference a barrel makes.

Dec 14, 2016
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SHODriver from North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured into a snifter to a deep black with a finger of dense tan head that fades quickly with minimal lacing
S: Smells of bourbon with notes of oak, caramel and vanilla with some chocolate and coffee
T: Taste is vanilla cream and caramel with some oak. Chocolate and coffee comes in at times as well with a little roasted malt. Slight alcohol but well hidden overall. Swallow is molasses and caramel with a big vanilla and oak finish with some slight coffee and chocolate but the sweetness from the bourbon lingers.
M: This beer is full bodied with a silky and creamy texture with soft but adequate carbonation and a dry finish
O: Very well done. The Eclipse beers are some of the best and this one is no exception. The flavors from the barrel are really nice and complement the base beer well. Buffalo Trace is a very sweet bourbon so the notes it provides are to be expected.

Jul 28, 2016
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

4.36/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

So originally when this came out, they poured it at the party on tap and it was dead flat. Thankfully, every tap and bottle I've come across since, this has done so much better on the carbonation tip.

You know the appearance, black with brown edge, 1/2" of tan head. Aroma was chocolate, moreso than your average Eclipse beer, more than all of them save maybe the EC barrels, and of course, bourbon and oak.

This one keeps dropping chocolate all over you. Plenty of bourbon, good BT kind. This is one of my more favorite Eclipse beers.

Jan 29, 2016
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ChainGangGuy from Georgia

4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a viscous-looking, near black body with a slender, tan head.

Smell: A good bourbon forward nose but there's also a hearty burst of hard, lightly smokey roastiness in addition to notes of scorched coffee, chocolate shavings and dark fruit.

Taste: A chary, chocolaty taste drenched in sugar sweetened black coffee. Dark fruitiness akin to a small splash of prune juice. A little coconut and spiced vanilla. Light smoke. Finishes smooth with a little hot chocolate - in that it's sustained in its chocolaty aspects and is a wee bit boozy.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Overall smooth mouthfeel.

Overall: A solid barrel-aged beer, though a bit overpriced against its competitors as this beer will have you dropping bills faster than Skrillex drops beats, yo.

Nov 19, 2015
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chinchill from South Carolina

4.29/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Large, shared 2014 bottle.
Some heat and warmth from the alcohol. Inevitable, and this beer is otherwise excellent.
Sweet and surprisingly mild aroma. Rich, well balanced flavor.
Very long lasting, and tasty, whisky barrel aftertaste.

Nov 01, 2015
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BigRedDog from Indiana

3.87/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark black with a nice mocha colored head.

The honey is definitely present in the nose as a lingering sweetness. Not quite cloying, but definitely there. Some dark fruit/raisin notes. Roasty notes round out everything on the back end.

Taste begins just like the smell. Sweet. Residual sugar from honey coating some bitter, unsweetened bakers chocolate. Roast and some char come on the back end as well it there...barrel character. Seriously though, I am having a hard time distinguishing any barrel character except for a lingering burn at the back, but I don't know if it's the beer or the curry I had at lunch. I will admit that as the beer warms some of the more traditional bourbon flavors begin to come out. Caramel sweetness and a slight oak char begin to compliment the honey. Took a bit for it to come through though.

Mouthfeel is somewhere between too thin and not thick enough. Lingering flavors of roast and honey on the palate help to aid in making this beer seem more viscous than it is.

Overall the most disappointing aspect of this beer was the lack of barrel character. I'm not looking for "in your face" charred oak and bourbon, but something nice, maybe a little subtle to compliment the beer. This fell short. I feel like the barrel aging was too subtle and not present enough.

Aug 24, 2015
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biboergosum from Canada (AB)

4.26/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle, with the yellow wax seal, BR 1 of the 2014 vintage, and 11.9% ABV.

This beer pours a solid apocryphal black, with the barest of basal cola edges when pressed to the light, and three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and somewhat bubbly tan head, which leaves some stellar fussy neighbour's hedge lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells of dark bready, light toasted caramel malt, heady Bourbon notes - damp, oily staves, vanilla, grainy rye and corn whiskey - rich bittersweet chocolate, cold coffee, sharp black licorice, a wee wet nuttiness, and tame earthy, weedy hop bitters. The taste is big and chocolaty up front, of the milky variety, with some dense caramel/toffee sweetness, a kind of receded, but still rather prominent Kentucky whiskey character - sugary vanilla, oak, and more corn than rye - candied black licorice, cafe-au-lait, and ethereal earthy, musty hops.

The carbonation is quite understated in its mostly hard to pinpoint frothiness, the body a decent medium-heavy weight, and dead smooth, with a strong commensurate creaminess. It finishes sweet - both the chocolate and whiskey exhibiting some serious lingering strength.

One of the better instances of this barrel-aged series, and I have to judge this on its own merits, as I've never partaken of the guest Bourbon itself. Very dessert-like, what with all the softly roasted chocolate flitting about, and just the right amount of cozy booze warmth. Yeah, maybe getting this in the middle of a summer heat wave wasn't the best of ideas, but at least my basement is cool enough to enjoy the hell out of the rest of this bomber.

Jul 11, 2015
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cbutova from Massachusetts

4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks KimboSlobGob. Had a bunch of these last year and they fell flat due to lack of stout base and body. Bring it 2014.

A- Pours to my snifter with a black hue like the background of a moonlight eclipse. A thick and super bubbly frothy head rises to a finger with decent retention. Small sheets and webs of lace.

S- Old Buffalo Trace wood and barrel slightly at the forefront with aged whiskey and vanilla on top of the oak. Deep chocolate base, roast malts and a cherry truffle-like fruit feel.

T- Compared to last year, the non-barrel portion of the beer is miles ahead with a rich, semi-sweet cocoa feel like a fudgey milk shake. Vanilla is huge with the chocolate, like a milk shake dessert at times. Super aged whiskey and old sweet oak. Charred grains balance it out.

MF- Massive body with a creamy and oily consistency. Carbonation is on the low side and in this case it really suits the big dessert flavors.

Miles away from the 2014 besides perhaps the Elijah Craig. The stout base is delicious and the barrel seems pumped up too. A dessert treat.

Feb 14, 2015
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rlee1390 from Indiana

4.21/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-Black in the glass, one finger brown head with some lacing.

S-Nice bourbon, sweet chocolate and coffee as well.

T-Bourbon, sweet chocolate, roasted malt, nice coffee. Faint vanilla.

M-Heavier, not much carbonation tad thick.

O-Another good Eclipse stout. Not upper echelon but one that you can justify the expense on.

Jul 08, 2014
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ppoitras from Massachusetts

4.49/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Beverage Warehouse, Winooski, VT. Gold wax, Bottle 1/2013.

Poured into DFH snifter, formed a 1/2" purpley dark brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Frothy head holds nicely, with thick coating lace. Aroma is dark, sweet, and boozy.

Taste starts with rich and dark malts, dark fruit in the middle, and closes with tannins and tons of alcohol character, which mellows through with come vanilla barrel character. Mouthfeel is slickery smooth, and drinkability is good, as in I look forward to finishing the bottle. Glad I had the opportunity to have this, even if the price point is somewhat prohibitive. A Christmas gift to myself.

Mar 27, 2014
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Alieniloquium from Florida

3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black with some transparency. Nice khaki head. Thin collar.

Smell - Bright, sharp bourbon. Oak. Chocolate. Boozy.

Taste - More chocolate. Lots of oak. Bourbon pushes into the finish. Dark chocolate finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy. Well carbonated.

Overall - Previous year Eclipses seemed to have much more barrel than this. Hmm.

Mar 25, 2014
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BMMillsy from Florida

4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2013 single barrel version, bottle run 1, yellow wax. Came from Dawson's while home in Maryland. Pours black with nearly a finger of brown head in my Teku. Aroma of chocolate milk, some hot whiskey, vanilla, graham cracker. Flavor has big chocolate up front with a beautiful char and smoke finish from the barrel. Loooove the finish here. Whiskey is there but not too hot despite seeming so in the aroma. There is a fruity flavor and floral flavor here maybe from the honey. A really nice and complex blend of flavors that is noticeably different from the Evan Williams I had last night. Lives up to thinner body reputation that takes slightly away from it but still plenty of big flavors to love. Higher carbonation for the style. Really neat beer here.

Feb 07, 2014
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inlimbo77 from Delaware

4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz, 2013
Mini snifter

A: Pitch black in the glass. Thin layer of light tan head. Alcohol feet. Not really any lacing.

S: Boozy bourbon. Dark chocolate. Vanilla. Oak dryness.

T: very similar to the MM batch. Good amount of bourbon flavor here. Roast malt. Charred oak. Dark chocolate. Vanilla. Dry tannic wood. Bitter chocolate and lingering booze heat at the close.

M: Full bodied.

Feb 05, 2014
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IKR from California

4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 Vintage
11.9% ABV

Appearance: Very dark brown bordering on black with a modest dark beige head that slowly faded.

Smell: Mild Bourbon, brown sugar , and mild coffee/roasted malt aromas. Nice smelling but not overly complex.

Taste: Moderate Bourbon, roast malts, vanilla, brown sugar and tannic oak notes. The finish features sweet Bourbon notes, vanilla, roast malt note, oak notes and mild hop notes. This variant is sweeter than the 2013 Makers Mark. Very restrained alcohol presence.

Mouth-feel: On the light side of medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation.

Overall: Good beer. Compared to the Maker Mark, the Bourbon flavor comes off a bit sweeter downplaying the roast malt/coffee aspect. As always, it's a treat to see the different barrel effects on the base beer.

Jan 25, 2014
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Dope from Massachusetts

4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Batch 1 of 2013.

A: Pitch-black pour with a very dense and tall dark brown head. Head fades impossibly slowly, leaving heavy and thick swatches behind. Top notch retention.

S: Nice mild bourbon aroma. Caramel mainly. Lots of honey and toasted sugars. Mild chocolate.

T: Bourbon up front, stronger than the aroma interestingly enough. Caramel and toffee. Pretty spicy and stinging alcohol presence. One of the hottest 50/50 variants I've had. Mild cocoa in the middle and finish. Cocoa is more bitter in the finish with hints of smoke and even coffee. A little oak in the aftertaste too.

M: Heavy, smooth and boozy.

O: Hmph, I'm a big fan of buffalo trace but this blend didn't really do it for me. Quite sharp and boozy initially. Not nearly as sweet as the other variants too, much more bitter as a result. The bitterness and harshness really drowns out everything else, resulting in a seemingly less complex and balanced brew. This is my second least favorite variation so far, with corn whiskey being at the bottom.

Jan 03, 2014
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flexabull from California

4.31/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

A great Christmas Eve tradition! A bottle of Eclipse courtesy of one of the best BAs out there, maximum12. Thanks again my man!

Pours a flat and sludge black color, with a pretty nice tan color head.

Aromas are of very prominent roasted nuts. Some coconuts, oak, and of course, bourbon.

Tasted is very nutty up front. Very pronounced oak, some toasted coconut, and dark bakers cocoa. Finish is warm from the alcohol, but it's cut the sweetness nicely, also notes of bourbon.

Mouthfeel is smooth, but thin for the style.

Overall, this is another winner from 50/50. Flavors and aromas are spot on, it's just the thinner body that hold this back a bit.

Dec 25, 2013
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Buffalo Trace Barrel Blend from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 260 ratings