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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Brewmaster’s Grand Cru Blend 2011 | FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Brewmaster’s Grand Cru Blend 2011Imperial Eclipse Stout - Brewmaster’s Grand Cru Blend 2011
206 Ratings
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Brewmaster’s Grand Cru Blend 2011Imperial Eclipse Stout - Brewmaster’s Grand Cru Blend 2011

Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Copper wax.

Added by MasterSki on 12-08-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 206 |  Reviews: 69
Photo of brystmar
2.86/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

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

This Grand Cru was my least favorite of the night. Extremely hot with tangential whiskey/bourbon flavors shooting out in every direction. Hard to tell it was a stout from just its flavor profile. This is a perfect example of trying to be too fancy with barrel aging; it's a boozy mess with flavors headbutting each other for control of your taste buds.

Overall, the '11 EC18 was our group's consensus favorite. But honestly, I was unimpressed across the board with most of these beers. Bourbon County Stout is far 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. And this Grand Cru should be avoided.

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Photo of Arbitrator
2.88/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Review of a 2011 bottle.

A: Pours a murky, dark brown that appears black in the glass. The 2011s are generally darker than previous vintages, which poured clear in small quantities. That's an improvement. Small tan head.

S: Vanilla, bourbon, oak. Charred oak is noticeable. I found this a debilitating flaw in the 2010 Eclipses versus the 2009s; I am not happy to see it again in the 2011s. In my opinion, the strongest aromas in Eclipse are the refined anise / licorice and milk chocolate notes. The rough barrel aromas obliterate the subtleties and make the beer seem unfinished.

T: Plenty of charred oak, with some vanilla, chocolate, licorice, bourbon. It's not very well integrated; some sips are bourbon-heavy and others are char-heavy. Still others seem to be entirely Totality, with a nice presence of chocolate and anise.

M: This is hot, charry, and unresolved, with odd flareups of bourbon and char during sips. Honestly, it reminds me of a solution that hasn't mixed well.

O: I couldn't figure out how this, as a blend of Elijah Craig 18 and other beers, is poorer than the Elijah Craig 18 (which is the best of the 2011 varieties, in my opinion). Whatever the case, it's fairly disappointing, and it ranks with the Buffalo Trace as my least favorite of the 6 varieties from 2011. (I didn't buy any Brandy because I hated the 2010 version.) I traded the second of the two bottles I bought. I think this is a "pass" at $30 on the shelf.

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Photo of mindspin315
2.97/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not a very interesting looking beer. Poured no head whatsoever. Dark body...deep brown teetering on black. Looks like dark water in a glass. No lacing, no carbonation, and no head when poured (I poured it aggressive too)

Vanilla, toasted oak, and bourbon upfront. Chocolate, coffee, and dark cherry/plum sweetness in the background. Mild char graininess.

Drinks a lot more like an Old Ale than an Imperial Stout. Absolutely no carbonation and also the body is quite thin. For an Imperial Stout I'd like a medium-full bodied beer. The beer starts out with some flavor and mouthfeel complexity but finishes thin with not to much of an aftertaste. Charred roasted malt bitterness on the tongue. Hints of dark bittersweet chocolate, dark roast coffee, leather, roasted maltiness, some oak/vanilla at the middle to back end, and molasses in the aftertaste. Alcohol flavor comes through in the taste but I don't get any alcohol burn in the mouth/chest...only the bourbon notes in the flavor.

I was expecting a lot more from this one. The beer really lacks on the back end/after taste here. Quite thin and not much flavor hanging around. This one drinks more like an old ale than an imperial stout. Not that I don't like old ales, but it falls that way rather than actually aiming to be in that style category.


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Photo of NickMunford
3/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of CityofBals
3/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.02/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bottle #86. Served in a SAVOR wine glass.

Pours near black with almost no head. A few mocha bubbles, but that's about it. Very thin mocha ring for a bit. A bit troubling. The nose has quite a bit of bourbon. Fairly smooth, but also a lot of heat. Chocolate and moderate roast in the background. The flavor is fairly boozy, though the bourbon character of it is quite nice. Milk and dark chocolate in the background. Medium body with very low carbonation. Fairly hot. Medium-full body.

Hopefully this was just an off bottle. I will revisit the next time I have one.

 567 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.03/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a snifter. 2011 vintage, bottle #1582. Copper wax so I have the right listing. This is my fifth in the 2011 horizontal (brandy is missing) and sixth overall ('10 EW).

4.0 A: Black color. Two fingers of creamy light brown head. Retention is average and a short ring of lacing is left.

3.5 S: Overwhelmingly full of bourbon, but isn't boozy in the least. Leather, melon, a touch of peat, oak, vanilla, raisin, and apple fruitiness. No sign of tannins or astringency. The base beer is hidden moreso in this one than the other variants. Very subtle roastiness and light chocolate.

3.0 T: The taste is a little less vibrant than the nose. The individual flavors are harder to pick out. There's also a lot more booziness. Raisin, tobacco, and leather lead the charge. Oak, peat, and melon after. Vanilla and chocolate bring up the rear. There's some astringency in here as well.

2.5 M: Lighter medium body. This seems to be the lightest of the 2011 variants. Good moderate carbonation. This is the least creamy as well. Booze and tannic aftertaste.

2.5 D: I'm a little shocked that I find this to be the second worst of the 2011 variants (rye was my least favorite). How could it be less good than it's parts? I dunno. In any case, the different barrels coming into one didn't help this beer. Not a bad beer, but not worth the price.

 1,345 characters

Photo of Hoops4life511
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of fehrminator
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of whartontallboy
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of beernads
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of wagenvolks
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.52/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ipa247 for this one. Bottle #355. Bomber poured into a Founders snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a dense, black with no head and very spotty lacing but thick, viscous, and oily legs.

Nose is sweeter than I expect. Honey, sweet booze, plum, prune, chocolate, and cocoa powder and fudge create a slight graininess. Despite being a "grand cru", this one's not quite as appetizing as some of the others. Still very solid though.

Opens sweet. Honey, cocoa, fudge, and chocolate. Some molasses and plum add a slightly odd flavor towards the middle. Booziness awakens towards the end but this time, it doesn't add too much to the flavor profile. Ends sweet honey and dark fruit. Honey and molasses on the finish. Decent but this one doesn't stand out as one of the better blends.

Medium bodied with moderate to low carbonation. Oily and slick in the mouth with some bubbles going down and a nice bit of heat. Messy finish with a lingering aftertaste. The eclipse series always seems to have great feel.

One of my least favorite from the eclipse series is still a very solid beer. Too bad it comes from a line where most of the other versions are better. There's just something missing here whether it be the lack of barrel character or lack of dimension in the flavor.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
3.52/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into a Darkness snifter sharred with a fellow BA.

Bottle # 2425

A- Not the most attractive looking beer, no carbonation, thin bubbles on top that dissipate to nothing, pitch black color.
S- Nice bourbon aroma, buttery vanilla, slight dark fruits, some sweetness comes out, cocoa, no heat in the aroma.
T- Interesting, I was expecting this to be thicker, really thin, some bourbon, nice buttery vanilla, slight cocoa, a little disappointing.
M- No carbonation at all, really thin, watery, smooth drinking, abv is hidden.
O- Alright beer had so much potential, the lack of carbonation played a big factor in my overall impression of this beer, really thin, watery mouth feel, nice bourbon characteristics but the lack of carbonation dropped this beer down in my books.

 789 characters

Photo of aasher
3.54/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My fiancé bought this for me while we were in Chicago at the beginning of the week. It was a ridiculous $34.99.

First off, the wax was pretty tough to fight through. I ended up having to take a knife to it after five minutes of barely being able to get to the cap. It poured a medium bodied dark chocolate brown which later resembled black as it pooled in my snifter. It was almost still and only had slight bubbling around the rim. It looks weak. The nose features soft chocolates, light roasted malts, light vanilla, some woodyness, and light whiskey. All aspects are a little muted in my opinion, but I realize it's a blend of sorts. The flavors are much different than the nose. This one is very whiskey forward with plenty of vanilla and barrel. The chocolate is secondary. The flavor is nice but it's very whiskey forward. It drinks very light for an imperial stout, not watery but something less than medium in body. Luckily I like bourbon forward beers so I'm a fan of the flavor but the lighter body hurts drinkability. Overall this is a decent stout but was nowhere near being worth $20 let alone $35. The fleecing of beer geeks must stop.

 1,151 characters

Photo of IdrinkGas
3.56/5  rDev -15%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Black with a barely there layer of reddish off white head from an aggressive pour. If you blinked you would have missed the head. It was gone that quickly and left no lacing.

Smell is heavenly. Strong semi sweet chocolate, bourbon and oak stand out most.

Taste is of huge bourbon barrel flavors that mesh together perfectly. Toasted coconut, vanilla, espresso, chocolate and a little sweet brandy in the finish.

Big body with a smooth creamy mouthfeel. I'd like some carbonation.

Great taste but the lack of carbonation really brings it down a few notches.

 564 characters

Photo of Beaver13
3.57/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, number 1674. Pours dark brown black with a thin bubbly tan head that quickly goes to a thin collar that leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is roasted fudgy chocolate malts, black licorice and a little bourbon.

The flavor is huge - lots of roast chocolate malts, black licorice, some sweet honey and quite a bit of booze with a bitter alcohol finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, it's a huge flavorful beer. It's quite bit over the top especially in the alcohol, but I enjoyed drinking it.

 537 characters

Photo of Blanco
3.58/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black, with a tan head. Starts of frothy, but sort of falls back. Lacing is evident though mostly transparent and filmy. Smells of bourbon, malt and caramel. More like a barrel-aged barleywine than a stout. Taste is sweet, slightly fruity, hints of wine almost, followed by the booze. Alcohol presence is warming. Though the taste is sweet, aftertaste is somewhat dry, strangely. Vanilla and toffee as well. Medium bodied.

After being so impressed with the 12 year Elijah Craig, I'm sort of disappointed in this one. Has a fruity toffee presence that I'm not enjoying as part of the profile of this stout. It's certainly not bad, but I was definitely expecting more.

 668 characters

Photo of tewaris
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Eclipse Grand Cru 2011 sent a while back by Dan, thanks!

Dark brown color with garnet highlights and a small ring of bubbles for head. Smells a bit alcoholic with some vanilla and caramel. Roasty, dark and a bit tart but still smooth. The thin body, while disappointing, lets the alcohol come forward nicely. Overall it is a good beer but I am still to drink any Eclipse worth its price.

 388 characters

Photo of MrVonzipper
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Kegatron
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of IrishColonial
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of nmann08
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of seeswo
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Brewmaster’s Grand Cru Blend 2011 from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.19 out of 5 with 206 ratings
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