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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

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.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 69 | Ratings: 206
Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.52/5  rDev -13.5%
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 mdfb79
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 09/03/12 notes. Bought this is Philly a few months ago for about $26.99 at the new store in Ardmore, PA, The Beer Shoppe, their opening weekend. Poured into my Bruery tulip. 2011 vintage, bottle #65.

a - Pours a pitch black color with a few very dark brown bubbles when poured aggressively, and light carbonation evident. Looks pretty nice, though not much head.

s - Smells of whiskey, roasted malts, chocolate, and caramel malts. As it warms up, a little vanilla too. Whiskey is very strong and up front here, moreso than the other variations.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, toffee, roasted malts, chocolate, roasted malts, whiskey, and vanilla. Taste has much more caramel and more vanilla than the nose, and the whiskey is hidden a little better, though still prevelant.

m - Medium to thick, full body and low carbonation, with some alcohol heat. Little bit harsher than the other variations.

o - Overall I am a big fan of the Eclipse series, and this is a good beer, but this is probably my least favorite of the Eclipse's I've had so far. I felt the whiskey was a bit harsher and more prevelant than the other 6 or so variations I've had at this point. Don't get me wrong, this is still a good beer, but if you can choose between this and any of the other variations, I would go with one of the others.

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Photo of illidurit
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at Woodshop 7 at Beachwood BBQ in Long Beach for the Ratebeer Summer Gathering 2012. Black with a tan head. Chiefly a battle between chocolate, vanilla and caramel, with a boozy thread throughout. Honestly rather tame for a 'Grand Cru.’

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Photo of xnicknj
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into snifter

Pours an inky black with a frothy, bubbled tan head resting on top. Spotty, patchy lacing all over the glass, with a swirled cloud of retention on top.

Heavy scents of bourbon with oak and vanilla. Decent amount of sweetness with roasted malts and warmth. A few hints of dark fruit with alcohol and dark fruit. Chocolate and roasted notes warm the nose.

Sweet and boozy up front with a swirling bourbon flavor and oaky vanilla. Warm and roasty throughout, the barrel components really dominate from top to bottom. Roasted dark malts, chocolate, cocoa and molasses. Burnt sugar with vanilla and warming alcohol. Finishes sweet and sticky with bourbon soaked chocolate cake.

Full body, well carbonated, sticky and lingering on the tongue. Heavy, slow sipping drinking with plenty of barrel character from top to bottom. This isnt the best of the Eclipse series, but the mesh of bourbon flavors is quite unique.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: poured a dark as night black with a thin collar head that left very little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: lots of booze heat rising from the glass with a blend of brandy and bourbon but had vanilla, oaky, brown sugar, and roasty chocolate malts coming through as well.

T: plenty of roasted chocolate malts upfront on the palate alongside good vanilla oaky character, brown sugar, hints of coconut, brandy bourbon booze combo, and caramel molasses accents.

M: the brew was medium to full in body with moderate amount of carbonation which had a roasty, sweet, oaky, very mild fruity, boozy and silky finish.

O: very solid from beer from the series but was not my favorite. Really glad to have tried it though.

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Photo of comfortablynumb1
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes

22oz waxed bottle

A - Pours black with a one finger khaki head. Head retention is not the best, but there is some nice lacing to be had...

S - Caramel, roasted malt, molasses, oak, vanilla, and raisin. Bourbon comes through a little heavier than on other variants...

T - Caramel, molasses, roasted malt, and a little raisin. Good amount of vanilla and oak come through with some bourbon on the finish, Bourbon comes through alot smoother than in the scent. Chocolate is present, but is alot more subdued than the other Eclipses...

M - As expected, the body is light for the style, and leaves alot to be desired. Carbonation is on the moderate side...

O - My least favorite of the 2011 variants with the Buffalo Trace. Besides the EC18, I have been fairly disappointed with Eclipse seies this year. All in all, just not worth the price imo...


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Photo of brotherloco
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz waxed bomber. 2011 Edition. Bottle #1920. Served in a brandy snifter.

A vigorous pour reveals half a centimeter of dark beige foam that quickly settles to a thin ring on top of a very dark brown opaque beer. Mild amounts of lacing left in the glass.

Aroma of slightly oxidized dark fruits. Sherry, port, and red wine notes. Backed up by sweeter vanilla and marshmallow notes. A moderate amount of alcohol on the end of the draw.

Flavor is sweet, but not overly so. There's a lot of graham cracker grain flavor mixed with vanilla and caramel notes. A good bit of roasty bitterness emerges in the middle and through the finish. Long lingering bitterness in the aftertaste along with a decent amount of alcohol, but not as much as in the aroma.

Medium bodied with medium-low soft carbonation. Doesn't get too thick and drinks well.

This version of Eclipse seems to round out a lot of the components of the other versions I've had. I imagine that's the goal with a brewmaster's blend, so great job.

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

Bottle #1941. Pours a dark black liquid with a very tiny tan head that disappears quickly. Scent is quite boozy with a hefty amount of dark chocolate. A ton of vanilla with some mellow toffee and coffee aromas. More dark chocolate with a bit of charcoal and burnt malt. Some sweet whiskey aromas. Taste is very similar to the Four Roses one I drank the other night, just not as well-balanced or delicious. There is the same amount of lovely whiskey/bourbon flavor, but this one had an overwhelming amount of dark chocolate, whereas the FR version had a well-balanced mixture of marshmallow, chocolate, vanilla, cherry, and toffee. This one had those flavors (except for the cherry), but was overpowered by the dark chocolate. Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with a syrupy, boozy finish. Drinkability is fairly high for such a big beer. Overall, this was a VERY tasty beer, but not my favorite of the Eclipses I've had.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Like the other variants, black in color with minimal head formation. Lots of roasted malt and almost a mild char. Quite a bit of vanilla and whiskey. A fair amount of booze but some nice chocolate and molasses. The flavor is a bit heavier on the roast and char than some of the other varieties. Not all that much sweet malt flavor or spirit. Some whiskey and booze with moderate vanilla notes on the palate. Good, but not the best from the series.

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Photo of Treebs
3.87/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle served in a Firestone Walker snifter. 2011 vintage, bottle # 2808.

A: Pours a dark black with brown edges. Even with a semi-rigorous pour a thin, dark tan head forms on the pour and dissipates quickly to a thin ring. Splotchy lace is left on the glass.

S: Boozy, sweet alcohol flavors. Dark fruits, oak, sweet toffee and some light chocolate.

T: Pretty close to the nose. Also boozy, toasted malts and some nice smooth oak. Nice dark fruits, a little figgy with some mild fruity esters as well. The finish has some roast and chocolate.

M: Medium bodied with some low carbonation. A little silky and chewy with some heat on the finish.

O: Overall I think the low carbonation helped this beer a bit as it's a little thin for a stout of this type. A good try, but wouldn't seek out again.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.92/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Snifter. 2011 release. Bottle #1797.

A: Black with an inch of light brown froth that lingers for a few minutes. Lacing is left on the glass.

S: Lots of vanilla and oak with a firm roasted malt presence. I get traces of soy and coconut with pronounced brown sugar and caramel notes. There's a little plum-like brandy character. Bourbon is strong. Again, there's a lot of oak in the aroma, as well as a strong booze profile. When the beer really opens up there's a pretty great macadamia toffee note.

T: Bittersweet dark chocolate with notes of licorice, molasses, coffee, and vanilla. There's a big dose of brown sugar. The beer has a lower moderate earthy bitterness. The finish is a little boozy, hinting at a potency that surpasses the 9.5% listed on the label. The flavor is pleasant enough, with many nice elements, but these elements seem disjointed and sometimes at odds with one another. Perhaps a bit too roasted, boozy, licoricey, and bitter. Still, the flavor is pretty good.

M: Full in body with upper medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is sticky, silky, and smooth.

Overall: I recall liking the first bottle I opened quite a bit more, but it could be my imagination. A solid addition to the Eclipse series but not good enough for me to buy it again.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to sincereNc for sharing this one during a recent tasting! Served from bottle into a Boulevard tulip. Poured a massively dark brown with a half finger light tan head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malt, vanilla, wood, sweet alcohol, dark chocolate, and smoke. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate, vanilla, dark chocolate, and wood. It had a heavy feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. This one was definitely a very well-rounded brew. A lot of balanced notes in the nose and flavor going on in this one that keep you coming back for more. I had an idea of what to expect after having the Elijah Craig 12 and 18. Compared to those two, it fell a little short. However, this was definitely one of the better brews from the style I’ve had to date as far as balance and complexity. Definitely worth trying if you get the chance!

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle #1964 from the 2011 release. Thanks, Chris!

Pouring the standard Eclipse pour, this is black with highlights that are obscured by the dense, dark brown head with excellent retention and nice lacing. The nose is a nice blend of barrel expressions. There's a lot of vanilla, toasted coconut, a pomace-like brandy aroma, a moderate fruitiness and the base stout (which, rather unfortunately, I'm yet to have tried) Nice, creamy milk chocolate, caramel, and not much roast.

The palate has a nice balance between brandy and bourbon flavors, with some rye-like spiciness also present (though that could be the power of suggestion). Coconut, vanilla, bourbon, booze and brandy, and of course, a little rye whiskey are all present in the barrel department. Moderately fruity and rather unusually for this beer, there's a slight ashy flavor as well. I do welcome it, though, as it adds a nice bitterness to the finish. Caramel, brown sugar round out the malt components, though this is mostly about the fruits. Mildly sweet on the finish with a moderate barrel character, some oak tannins and a little ash, this beer is medium-full in body, moderately carbonated and very nice on the palate. I am quite thoroughly enjoying this.

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Photo of claaark13
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mark is a madman. Bottle #2705 poured into a Founders snifter at cellar temp.

A - A shade lighter than black with some very slow rising lacing. Sticks well actually. Is this the best looking Eclipse I've seen? Possibly, but still no better than a 4.

S - Lots of oak, little bit of heat, chocolate and caramel.

T - Caramel and bits of vanilla upfront, chocolate and then some oak and heat. Finish is somewhat dry with the oak. Heat comes and goes in the back part of the flavor with the oak.

M - Silky medium feel. A little light, but it does feel nice.

O - The oak is a little strong on this one, but the overall components are nice. I think if I were to blend the versions, I would focus on a little bit of a better finish. That being said, it is still a really good beer. I hate to give a straight 4.0score across the board, but it is what it is.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle #1648
enjoyed from a blue point snifter

a - brew poured a watery black with a finger's plus of creamy milky tan head. the milky head slowly bubbled away leaving a thin skin of head on the surface of the brew. lacing was streaky.

s - milk chocolate malts with a soft glaze of bourbon. seems wonderfully balanced. the booze is subtle and the beer has a really nice creamy smell.

t - much like the nose, the flavor is soft and milk chocolatey. the barrels and booze definitely takes a back seat to the wonderful stout flavors.

m - the first thing i noticed when the beer crossed my lips is the feel. smooth and silky while being rich and full. wonderful creaminess. really just a delight in my mouth. feels like a coating of milk chocolate is left behind. really REALLY nice.

o - overall a masterful blend. creamy and rich, not boozy...probably the least boozy of the series that i've tried...although i'm having this one solo instead of side-by-side with others. super enjoyable, especially if you don't want to be knocked out with booze. granted there is bourbon flavors in this beer, it doesn't knock me out and i like my bourbon barrel beers HOT, the heat reveals itself more in the buzz than the flavor. i really enjoyed this.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour sampled at mrbubbler's tasting courtesy of Retsinis.

2011 vintage.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, wood, and bourbon. Taste is the same with an alcohol kick on the finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good Eclipse treatment with some nice aromas and flavors.

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Photo of Pahn
4.82/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle into Duvel tulip. #520, 2011. Huge thanks to generous BA KevSal for including this as an extra in a trade awhile back!

Appearance: Free pour yields a 3/4 inch light tan head that dissipates slowly and leaves a solid lacing wall from the surface of the beer to about 1/4 inch up. Pours black with red orange highlights and leaves leggy spots and swatches of lacing.

Smell: From the bottle: hah, smells like a bottle of bourbon. Hope it doesn't taste as hot as it smells.

In the glass, it's still boozy, with slight caramel and vanilla, and a strong, spicy bourbon aroma. Chocolate comes out and really grows, along with a light toffee aroma that builds up strongly as well. Some great smoky notes sort of accent everything else... hard to describe, but nice.

While not the perfect/ultimate aroma, it's telling that I'm keeping the beer in my hand, held up to my face, while writing notes in my notebook, rather than putting it down at any point (not my usual procedure).

Taste: Wow, first impression is that I'm drinking a bourbon milkshake. What a mouthfeel; excellent. Lots of caramel and vanilla oak up front, with interesting malt and spirit nuances through the middle. Bit of a roasted malt and lingering hop influence through the semi-dry finish. Perfect bitterness and dryness to emphasize the spicy flavors and keep the thick, creamy feel and caramel/vanilla flavors in check.

Each sip basically yields bold barrel flavors, a prominent, well-done base beer--decent amount of roasted malt and caramel malt, with some complimentary hops (I thought Willamette, but online research says German Perle, which are described as "Minty bittering and good "green hop" aromas," which is what the "lingering hop" flavor here is like--had to look up German Perle because I have not used them myself).

This is what a barrel aged stout is supposed to provide: strong, consistent base flavor, with intriguing, constantly evolving (some wine and brandy reminiscent flavors, spicy bourbon, more expansive chocolate and vanilla notes, etc), but always complimentary nuances.

Basic flavor evolves as well, with a strong and welcome anise flavor through the finish that helps balance the heavy barrel influence up front. This is a spectacular beer.

Mouthfeel: Perfection. Thick, creamy full bodied. Low but sufficient carbonation. Dry enough finish to balance the decadence. Spot on; exactly what a barrel aged imperial stout's mouthfeel should be.

Overall: I've been sipping on this beer for about 2 hours now, and it still commands my complete attention for each sip. Masterfully put together beer. Will definitely seek out more Eclipse variants in the future.

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Photo of maximum12
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Seeing FiftyFifty announced their Future 2012 sale, well, made me thirsty for an Eclipse stout. Lo! there's one in my fridge. 22 oz. bottle #1640.

Pour is Eclipse dark. Smell is bourbon, lots of wood, & a dose of standard chocolate.

Brewmaster's Grand Cru isn't quite the sum of its parts. More bourbony, less focus. Bourbon is terrifically strong, with more Hawaiian oak than I recall in the other varietals; the wood really throws itself at the palate. Chocolate is more distant, barely speaking to me. A little milky, plenty of vanilla, do I detect brandy? I'm trying not to lust after this & failing. Spot on mouthfeel as always, & really easy to slug for a big stout. Per usual.

Another ho-hum excellent Eclipse stout. One of a few beers that I'm glad never shows up on shelves near me, because I'd be flat broke drinking this every night. Mmmm.

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Photo of Arbitrator
2.88/5  rDev -29.2%
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 brystmar
2.86/5  rDev -29.7%
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 russwbeck
4.09/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was enjoyed at a tasting that included 5 Eclipse variations: Elijah Craig 12 and 18, Four Roses, Heaven Hill Rittenhouse Rye, and Brewmaster's Grand Cru.

2011 Vintage Bottle #1242. $25 for a 22oz bottle.

A: All of them pretty much poured the same. Finger or two of brown to light brown head. The color is black with noticeable bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass. This had the smallest head and had hardly any lacing.

S: Biggest alcohol of all the aromas. Big bourbon, chocolate underneath, sweet vanilla, and honey.

T: Probably the beer with the most notes from the barrel, for better or worse. Wood, vanilla, bourbon, booze. Chocolate lays underneath, not as sweet as the others.

MF: Lighter body overall than I expected, and lower than average carbonation. Big booziness on all of them, with a warming alcohol feeling to finish. The dryness on the palate varies with the different bourbons. Very boozy, this one had a better body than its parts.

O: This was a big change from the others. The blend made a huge difference. Perhaps too much bourbon. Maybe putting more of the base beer in the mix would have made this great. It fell to #3 of the 5. Still pretty damn good, just not the best.

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

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Bottle #1933. 2011 Vintage. Thanks to Chris for sharing!

(A)- Pours a pitch black color. Some tan froth and bubbles.

(S)- Very rich compared to the other variants we opened. Plenty of caramel and raisin with cocoa, coffee, and a subtle oaky spice.

(T)- Similar to the smell. An overall larger richness to it with caramel, raisin, and cocoa. A bit sweeter too overall.

(M)- A smooth carbonation level and a nice balance. Again, a bit richer/sweeter/heavier in its taste and feel than the other variants we opened.

(D)- Overall, definitely a larger/heavier beer than the other variants we opened tonight. Still, a solid stout that we all enjoyed. Some liked this the best, but I preferred the Elijah Craig versions far better.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.03/5  rDev -25.6%
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.

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Photo of Blanco
3.58/5  rDev -12%
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.

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Photo of aasher
3.54/5  rDev -13%
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.

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Brewmaster’s Grand Cru Blend 2011 from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
4.07 out of 5 based on 206 ratings.
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