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

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245 Ratings
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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Buffalo Trace Barrel BlendImperial Eclipse Stout - Buffalo Trace 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: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Yellow wax.

Added by MasterSki on 12-08-2011

BEER STATS
Ratings:
245
Reviews:
63
Avg:
4.05
pDev:
10.37%
 
 
Wants:
76
Gots:
101
For Trade:
10
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 245 |  Reviews: 63
Photo of TurdFurgison
3.55/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The first of the 2011 Eclipse treatments that I opened. Yellow wax, delivered to my house about a month ago. This pours dark brown like all Eclipses, with very little head at first (and only a thin ring after a little while).

Sweet smelling with only a minor bourbon nose. I had a BA Blackout right before this, which unfortunately highlighted how much better that beer was. No roasted aromas at all, just a sweet stout with hints of dark fruit and bourbon.

It tastes as sweet as it smells, and while the bourbon flavor is evident there's no hint of heat. It never really gets cloying but the taste gets a little tiring. Light carbonation, slightly sticky and full body.

Not bad at all, but not worth the price in my opinion. I was lured in by my tastes of Pappy and Elijah Craig versions last year.

 804 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
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.

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Photo of Bay01
3.6/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter from a bomber, thanks to Ryan being a great proxy!

A - Pours a not opaque black with brown highlights without much apparent viscosity. Small tan head with carbonation present. Looks a bit thin for a BA stout.

S - Rich chocolate and a good bit of oak with bourbon present but not overpowering

T - Well balanced with the oak, the bourbon, and chocolate and coffee notes from the stout all playing a role while non are standing out front. Fuller taste than the thin appearance let on.

M - This is the weakpoint of this beer for me, it's not thin but it's also not thick and chewy like BCBS is.

O - Above average BA stout with great balance of flavors but below some of my favorites such as BCBS because the body is lacking a bit. The barrel character is definitely present but it's not hot and doesn't require any smoothing out. Can't wait to try my others!

 881 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.63/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter. 2011 vintage, bottle #919. Yellow wax so I got the right listing.

4.5 A: Black color. One and a half fingers of creamy tan head. Retention is a touch above average and a good bit of lacing is left behind.

4.0 S: Like the only other Eclipse I've had (last year's EW), the barrel aging seems to be done flawlessly. No off-flavors, no tannic astringency. However, the stout doesn't have the stones to compete with the barrels. Aside from a soft roastiness and a touch of chocolate, the stout isn't doing much. The bourbon and barrel give a lot of melon, some oak, a good bit of vanilla, and some raisin as well. Booze is well in check. Good smell despite the stout's inadequacies.

3.5 T: Well, well, well. I need to stop counting chickens because this tastes a lot better than it smells. The base stout has a lot more flavor than it did last year. Moderate roastiness, plenty of bittersweet chocolate, some anise, a light plum and raspberry fruitiness, and some caramel. It still isn't a great base stout, but it's definitely an improvement. Surprisingly, the barrel has a lot less influence in the taste. There's still plenty of melon and vanilla, but less oak, raisin, and earthiness. Booze is apparent at 9.5%.

3.0 M: This is the worst part of the beer. Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Mild creaminess. They really need to kick up the body in this. If they did, it would improve the taste and smell as well.

3.5 D: Decent offering, but not worth the hefty price. This doesn't hold a candle up to BCS, even though I can get twice as much BCS for the same price. Still, I'm glad I got to try it.

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Photo of comfortablynumb1
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a Stone IRS Snifter...

Yellow Wax. Bottle#281

A - Pours black with a one finger light brown head that dissipates at a good pace. Some sticky lace is present...

S - Bourbon up front, with chocolate, sweet vanilla, and dark fruits in the mix.

T - Chocolate, roasted barley, oak/vanilla, and smooth bourbon on the end. A hint of raisins comes through in the aftertaste with some lingering vanilla. The dark fruits that came through in the scent are very muted...

M - A tad thin. On the higher end of medium bodied. Carbonation is above average for the style...

O - Not my favorite from the lineup, but still very enjoyable. Going to sit my other one for awhile and see how it holds up...

Cheers...

 728 characters

Photo of Kmlund
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of NickMunford
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of ajzy
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of facesnorth
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of kayakandbeer
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of CelticAleMan
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of JLeet
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of furthurgone
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of LoveStout
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of pmarlowe
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of muskiesman
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of jrob21
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of WynnO
3.82/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of AgentZero
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to lurchingbeast for busting this one out.

A - Mostly black beer with a little bit of brown on the edges. Looks a little thicker than other Eclipses. Probably a good thing, I have always felt that these have been too thin.

S - Chocolate, some sweeter smells like berries, oak, and some bourbon. Smells nice.

T - Taste is very smoothed out, the whiskey is not hot, and there is some decent barrel influence. Some good sweet chocolate, little bit of roasted malts, oak, some bourbon. I like this quite a bit.

M - Good carbonation, maybe a little too much, but it's alright. Decently close to full bodied.

O - Smooth, pretty enjoyable. Won't blow you away, but I liked drinking this and found it to be a solid beer.

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Photo of BigRedDog
3.87/5  rDev -4.4%
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 as...wait...is 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.

 1,326 characters

Photo of bbb099
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to scottfrie for sharing this one!

A - Pours dark brown almost black. Caramel colored head that dissipated quickly.

S - Bourbon aroma with hints of roasted malt and molasses.

T - Tasted just like what you would expect: dark malt accompanied with cocoa, barrel/woody, and some bourbon favors.

M - Low carbonation. Full bodied.

O - Solid imperial stout. Probably not something I could drink often however.

 415 characters

Photo of ehammond1
3.91/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011)

Thanks for snagging this for me at the release party, DarthKostrizer!

(Aged for 6 months)

Black in color, with a finger's worth of bubbly brown head that eventually leaves the glass lined and messy with spiderwebs of lace. Gorgeous, and easily the prettiest of the Eclipses I've had so far.

A somewhat disappointing aroma, at least compared to the other beers in the series. There's some chocolate, mild roast, only a little bit of barrel, some minerals, and a little bit of licorice, interestingly enough.

The flavor carries significantly more barrel character, along with some chocolate and roast. There's a bit of licorice as well, which I'm never a huge fan of. There's a hint of vanilla, but the dark chocolate lingering finish is quite nice.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. This actually has one of the better, fuller mouthfeels of the 2011 Eclipse lineup.

Good, but not great. This lacks aroma and depth.

 942 characters

Photo of corby112
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage, bottle #637. Pours a dark chesnut brown color that's completely opaque with a half finger beige head that immediately settles into a thin ring. Spotty lacing left behind.

Slightly smokey aroma with a strong barrel character that's nicely integrated into the sweet and roasted malt notes of the base beer. Some spicy bourbon but the other barrel notes really stand out in the nose. Lots of earthy oak, vanilla bean, marshmallow and toasted coconut complimenting hints of coffee bean, toffee, toast and dark chocolate. Smells pretty nice but could use more of a bourbon presence.

Medium bodied but a bit thinner than expected with a stronger bourbon presence than the aroma suggests. Still, the barrel character is well integrated into the flavor of the beer without completely dominating the other notes. Some dry, toasted oak, almond and faint vanilla along with spicy, sweet bourbon lingering over the malt backbone into a dry finish. The smokiness from the nose I'd barely noticeable and it's a bit sweeter than expected with hints of chocolate cake, fudge, toffee and burnt toast. Good bourbon flavor with little to no heat. ABV excellently masked making it deceptively drinkable. Not very complex and the spirit presence isn't as strong as in some of the other treatments but it's still very enjoyable.

 1,324 characters

Photo of kaseydad
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black ale with a huge light brown creamy, foamy head. Decent lacing. Glad it held for so long.

Aroma consists a lot of the bourbon barrel. Light dark fruits. Burn in the nostrils. Apple. Brown sugar. Honey. Molasses.

Taste is woody and still very barrel forward. Getting a lot of bourbon flavor without the heat. Char taste is present also. Chocolate is there but more on the baker's chocolate flavor. Definitely improves as it warms. The 9.5% definitely seems stronger.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall this is not improving with time imo. I had this right after purchasing it and the honey and bourbon worked great together. Now? Not so much. It's still good, but it definitely lacks that "something" when compared to other variants.

 748 characters

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Buffalo Trace Barrel Blend from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
4.05 out of 5 based on 245 ratings.
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