Imperial Eclipse Stout - Java Coffee | FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Java CoffeeImperial Eclipse Stout - Java Coffee

Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.90%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Lavender Pearl wax.

The 2013 version had 4Roses, High West Rye, High West Bourbon, Elijah Craig12 Eclipse and blended with a bigger Imperial Stout known as Totality Squared(aka Masterpiece) Starting gravity for the Stout was 31.5* Plato vs Totality's 26.5* Plato. Different hops, fermented with a blended yeast(s).

Added by DarthKostrizer on 12-07-2012

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Reviews: 72 | Ratings: 419
Photo of pkalix
4.9/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Mine is the 2013 version, and…. 11.9% ? how is this 11.9% and all the others are 9.5% ? ? ?
This one smells nice. Very nice. I don’t really like all these stouts with coffee in them although I love coffee. But they are usually a bit bitter but not in that i-love-coffee kind of bitter, ya know?
This one poured ultra dark brown with a residual creaminess on top after sitting for a few minutes (because I cant get enough of this aroma!) and smells absolutely divine. This is a just-finished filter from the Mr. Coffee or a just-done Keurig cone aroma. No bitterness whatsoever in the smell and I guess that’s why I’m hesitating to take that first sip….. I don’t want to be disappointed in the taste….. and the longer it sits, the creamier the film on top gets!! This is amazing! Okay, first sip coming up……
Some bitterness. A lit bit like sucking on that just-finished Mr. Coffee filter, yet still with some nice roundness and it blends very well with the expected Eclipse. A little weird subconsciously expecting some whiskey aromas and tastes but the coffee is doing very nicely. For the style of infusing coffee flavor (via a barrel or otherwise) this one gets a 5 in aroma and is almost perfect in taste. The coffee is subtle, yet very present, if that makes any sense at all…..
Subsequent more-vigorous pours into the snifter produce taller, much-more creamier head and smell just as beautiful. I really had my doubts on this one and maybe that is why I am so surprised I enjoy it this much. The coffee is a ‘part’ of the brew, not tasting as an ‘added’ component. What an awesome brew all these Eclipses are… ! just a tad too bitter (maybe i expect to much) but aside from that this one is TOPS...

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Photo of SHODriver
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2014 Version

A: poured into a snifter to a deep black with a finger of dense dark tan head that fades to a small pool with decent lacing
S: smells of coffee, roasted malt, chocolate, and some bourbon barrel notes with some vanilla
T: taste is coffee, roasted malts, chocolate, caramel and vanilla, bourbon and oak. swallow is smooth and creamy with more coffee, chocolate, caramel and vanilla
M: big and heavy on the palate with soft but adequate carbonation and a slightly drying finish
O: If I could only use one word to describe this beer it would be 'incredible'. Unbelievable smoothness and complexity. The eclipse series is truly one of the best lines of barrel aged stouts there is. It may cost a lot but it's worth every penny for every last drop.

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

22 oz. bottle - Vintage 2016

Pours pitch black with a dense creamy brown foam head. Smells like roasted coffee, dark chocolate, honey, with some oak barrel and mild hop notes. Tastes like huge roasted coffee, dark chocolatey malts, some honey, with oak barrel and mild hop notes. Feels medium bodied, creamy with moderate low carbonation. Overall a really nice barrel aged imperial coffee stout.

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Photo of TheCuriograph
4.71/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Just getting into this series, and I've yet to be disappointed. Went into the Java (2012) with unreasonably high expectations:

A - Monolithic black, with a surprisingly full tan head.

S - Vanilla, hazelhut, espresso and massive baker's chocolate, with notes of black cherry, pipe tobacco and toasted coconut. Each swirl conjures fresh pipesmoke and molasses.

T - All of the above, but accented with some fruit - fig and blackberry preserves - and something like peanut butter. The taste is more like dark chocolate mousse than coffee (though admittedly the coffee might have faded with time).

M - Heavy, sticky and hot on the tongue.

This is what I'm talking about. I wouldn't mind taking up permanent residence in this bottle. Not to speak ill of everyone's favorite coffee stout, but I'd take Eclipse Java over BCBCS any day of the week.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.68/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: black-bodied beer with a finger of creamy white head, shiny motes of lace follow the beer down the glass

S: rich roasted dark malts kick up aromas of chocolate and coffee; hints of oak and wood

T: coffee, espresso and regular, sweet and mildly bitter; chocolate, bittersweet and rich, dark and sensuous; oak barrels, light and woodsy, airy and dry - a perfect storm of these influences dominates the palate and wraps you up in an indulgent drinking experience.

M: milky-smooth, slick and slightly sticky, medium-full body, mild bittersweetness and drying finish

O: exquisite ale - price-point may deter some, but if you like coffee stouts, take the plunge.
Easily on par with Peche Mortel, Speedway Stout, and BCB Coffee Stout and other top-tier coffee stouts and barrel-aged stouts.

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Photo of Boccu
4.66/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours dark with a nice head. Strong coffee aroma. Dark coffee roast yet super smooth. Light booze then back to coffee. Excellent highly recommended. Price point is the only problem. Great mouth feel. I will look for more of these. Great stout from 50/50. Big fan of them.

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Photo of BeerTheater
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2015 release. Very well done, if not for the wax and the price point i'd call this a grand slam. This beer shines in the taste dpt. Glad it's not a super sweet beer. However, maybe not the best barrel character being shown but all the other flavors are spot on and delicious. This is a very smooth beer. I love the coffee taste it carries and the stout flavors we all love. Roasty, chocolate and full bodied. It's great, and maybe they prefer to showcase the java before the barrel, but i'd prefer more barrel character and perhaps a thicker body. I'd drink this anytime.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.61/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2015 release, reviewed fresh.

A - A little thin in the pour but really nice in the glass. Dark chocolate body with 2 fingers of tan head. Outstanding retention and ok lace.

S - Fantastic nose. Rich, bold cold brewed coffee with touches of almond, cream, French vanilla, and a hint of oak.

T - Lives up to the nose. Delicious, smooth medium roast coffee, touch of oak, chocolate liquor, cream, light caramel, and espresso.

M - Probably the weakest part of the beer, but still excellent. Light body for the style, but smooth and well balanced. Great staying power.

O - A fantastic beer. One of the best coffee stouts out there.

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Photo of Damian
4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 1 pint, 6 fl oz bottle purchased at Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA
Bottle run no. 1/2013
Served in a snifter

Like the other Eclipse Stout variants, this beer poured slightly thin for the style. The slick, motor oil brown liquid was topped by a billing, foamy, caramel colored crown. The fluffy mass deposited thick, drippy rings of beautiful lacing all down the glass.

Not much coffee came through in the aroma initially. The nose was actually quite muted and simplistic. Roasty malts and char-like notes were apparent. Some dark chocolate. Touch of smoke. There was a crisp, dry yeast quality that almost seemed like something you would find in a lager. In this case, perhaps a Baltic porter. Subtle hints of coffee were detectible. As the beer warmed, the coffee presence came out exponentially. It reminded me a lot of freshly ground coffee beans, and it soon dominated the nose. Loads of bourbon/booziness and oak appeared as well. Really fantastic.

Unlike the nose, the flavor profile was remarkably complex and coffee-forward from the get-go. Rich and robust. Super smooth and balanced. Loads of roasted and caramel malts came through on the front end. Strong brown sugar notes. Copious amounts of dark chocolate and creamed coffee. Freshly baked chocolate fudge brownies came to mind. Raisins and prunes were noticeable. Espresso notes appeared in the center and carried through into the rich, roasty, slightly ashy and dry finish. A touch of earthy, piney bitterness was also detectable. With time, both the coffee and bourbon notes became much more intense, almost overwhelming (in a good way) the overall flavor profile.

The mouthfeel was thinner bodied for the style yet still creamy and smooth. A fine, moderate effervescence gave the liquid a nice frothiness. After every sip, the liquid left a slightly sticky film on my lips.

Although this beer was a bit underwhelming initially, it finished in a really big way. Serving this at cellar temperature seemed appropriate, but it really needed to warm up substantially for the coffee to show its true colors. Of the three Eclipse Stout variants I have sampled thus far, this was definitely my favorite. Hopefully someday I can find an even fresher batch with an even more intense coffee presence.

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Photo of KettleBellFreak
4.54/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Glad to get to drink this beer.

Pours jet black with a tight head with a hissing carbonation. Not much lacing, but still nice imo, head doesn't dissipate completely for 20 minutes or so.

Smells wonderful! Coffee, peanut butter and vanilla with some salty burnt wood and toffee sweetness. Very good aroma.

Flavors have a slight bite to them with some bourbon quality, coffee and burnt sugar mix in with a woody and toffee finish that's really fantastic.

Mouthfeel is slick and thick, not as chewy as I had hoped, but still great.

Great stout, price point is fucked though. I reviewed the beer though, not the msrp.

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Photo of jethrodium
4.54/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

650 ml bottle. Pours a dark cola brown with a small tan head that settles to a ring and leaves some light lacing on the glass. The aroma is lots of coffee, some chocolate, marshmallow, bourbon, vanilla, and coconut. Awesome. The taste has a bit of initial sweetness. There is lots of coffee, bourbon, vanilla, and some light coconut. The finish has a lot of coffee, some oak and some lingering bourbon with a very light astringency. Medium body. Medium carbonation. Amazing beer. It should probably be drank soon before the awesome coffee flavor fades.

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Photo of timmy2b
4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 Vintage Lavender Wax. Pours a dark almost black color with a cloudy dark brown head. Light espresso, chocolate and a small amount of bourbon in the nose. Very smooth drinking beer with a light amount of all flavors. Coffee, Chocolate, Caramel, light amount of fruit and Bourbon. Not as heavy as I expected in the mouthfeel. Amazing drinking beer, price point is high, but I would drink this again and again!

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Photo of Marius
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from memory. Sampled a few days after the Enijah Craig version. A solid stout, like the others in the series, but I expected to feel the coffee more.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

look: Love the look of these guys. 3rd one i've had and all are dark dark brown with a big mocha head and messy lacing. This Coffee is letting in less light around the edges than the other 2.
smell: Rich roasty coffee and cocoa. Theres the honey roasty milkshake thing too.
taste: again, roasty coffee up front. a bit of a bitter, spicy thing i haven't gotten form the others. The bitterness is gentle, blooms a bit and lingers far into the finish.

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Photo of richj1970
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 22 oz bomber into Old Guardian glass. 2014 vintage.

A: Pours a dark murky black with one finger mocha colored head that settles after a few minutes to a thin cap, and leaves a slight oily film on the surface. Some light lacing,

S: Fantastic smelling beer. I might buy another bottle just to inhale the aromas again. Strong espresso, and rich dark chocolate. Vanilla and bourbon lingering around in the back. A light fruity note - maybe blueberry.

T: Tons of bold espresso flavors mixed with very rich quality dark chocolate. Vanilla, and brown sugar.

M: Full bodied and fairly carbonated for a BA beer. A slight dry and sweet finish.

O: A truly wonderful beer combining many of my favorite flavors - coffee, chocolate, bourbon. My only wish is that it was more affordable, but on the other hand I don't have to fight a line of folks to buy a bottle.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Thanks to Arthur for this.

A: Black with a finger of frothy beige mass. Scattered lacing.

S: Nutty dark chocolate and subtle coffee. Delicious bourbon and vanilla notes. There's a little dark toffee in there accompanying earthy notes. Some coconut is present.

T: Firm bourbon presence with a nice vanilla profile blending with rich chocolate. Subtle but evident coffee with some nutty notes and a touch of earth. Light booze presence with lower medium bitterness. Alcohol is well hidden. There's a light spiciness and I'm not sure where it's coming from. Strong licorice and molasses throughout.

M: Sticky, silky, somewhat chewy mouthfeel. Full body with lower medium carbonation.

Overall: Arthur told me the coffee was fading fast on this and I believe him. It's subtle but still evident and a welcome addition. Stronger in the aroma than in the flavor. This is the best bottle of Eclipse I've had in quite some time.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.46/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 Vintage
22oz bottle poured into an oversized wine glass

A- pours jet black in color with a one-finger foamy and creamy khaki colored head that retains long after the pour, leaving some nice leaving behind

S- a nice mix of coffee and dark chocolate up front, along with notes of mocha fudge & toasted walnut. The bourbon barrel is subtle, but does add some earthy wood, creamy vanilla & a hint of caramel

T- coffee is surprisingly still quite bold up front with a big blast of espresso, vanilla & heavy whipping cream sweetness. Mid-palate brings some dark chocolate fudge notes, along with some caramel sweetness. The finish brings out the subtle bourbon barrel notes, that add some spicy wood that balance out the sweetness up front. Lingers of more coffee

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that turns into a creamy silky finish, abv has mellowed out nicely

O- coffee has survived nicely after the aging, everything has meshed very well to create a great drinkability. One of the best Eclipse variants I've had

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

One of two variants of this series I've tried. The EW was slightly better, but this was still incredibly enjoyable. Purchased at AJ's in Rochester, NY.

Pours a dark black color. Might be dark brown, but still very dark. Foamy, dark head forms, about one finger. Small amount of lacing but not much.

Smells great. Sweet coffee, slight bourbon.

Tastes amazing. Dark, roasty malt flavors intermingle with sweet coffee, mild oak and vanilla from the bourbon, and chocolate. The coffee, as I drink more of this beer, starts to give off a slight tartness that's almost fruity. The coffee beans used for this beer are very tasty. The bourbon flavors are mild, since it's a blended BA beer.

Mouthfeel is great. Medium to full bodied, good carbonation.

A great treatment of Eclipse. I'm not sure if any beer is worth the money for this series, but very tasty nonetheless.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i anticipated a much more coffee heavy experience, this is actually rather relaxed on the coffee front, until it warms up in fact its almost hard to notice, but once it does, the coffee really expands out of it, especially in the finish, which carries no acidity at all and a great mix of earthy soil and charred bitterness, its really good stuff. a blend of some of the more interesting barreled editions of this, with what i remember from the elijah craig 12 being the most forward, that sweetness is there. not majorly bourbon heavy though, i get notes of dark chocolate dessert and vanilla crumble coffee cake, a nice mix of the light and dark sides here. the coffee is tough to pick out on the front end. only with temperature is it there, and even then only in the finish. nice burnt barley undertones and a lot of bourbon on it, its just layered and great. one thing i love the most is the texture, its not s thick or syrupy as others, and as such, drinks only as patiently as i choose. the honey is more subtle in this one than others, dryer too, but its still a very rich beer. this whole series is rather special, i wish i could afford to cellar a number of them, but the coffee in this one adds a layer that i love. bakers chocolate heavy though, woody, worthy of the nearly 30 bucks they fetch for this, and i don't often say that...

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Photo of MasterSki
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Mike (AgentZero). Served in a Russian River tulip.

A - A thin tan foam settles to a partial cap, thick collar, and minimal lacing. Very dark brown body with a hint of transparency at the fringes of the glass.

S - A nice mix of coffee, honey, bourbon, vanilla, nuts, and semisweet chocolate. Base beer shines through more than some of the other Eclipses, and the coffee presence is restrained and more integrated into the flavor profile than some of the palate-raping coffee stouts I've tried.

T - The taste is quite similar, with a hefty dose of the Totality base's sweetness and honey, with coffee, oaky vanilla, and bourbon all working harmony to round out the flavor profile. The coffee lingers into the finish but avoids being overly bitter or astringent. No obvious alcohol.

M - Medium chewy body, pleasant moderate carbonation, roasty and tannic from the coffee, and a dryish finish. Really smooth, with well-concealed alcohol.

D - We had this side-by-side with BCS Coffee and this is a much more subtle beer. I love them both, but I think I could drink substantially more of this one in an evening thanks to the lower ABV and reduced palate fatigue. Hope Todd does this variant again some time.

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Photo of maximum12
4.4/5  rDev +3%

Thanks to hefman for kicking me this bottle, which I’ve been lusting after for quite some time. This is the first year I haven’t ordered a bunch of Eclipse & I might regret it. We’ll see. 22 oz. bottle split with my coffee loving wife.

The pour is full Eclipse black with a healthy, hard head for a big brew. Smells like a big, strong, sweet pot of coffee. Beer? Perhaps. Is sweet a beer?

Java Eclipse is making happy in my frontal cranial orifice. Wow. A gorgeous bouquet of java or bean or coffee or whatever hits the palate like a ton of Juan Valdez. But before the coffee machine hits Folgers levels, the sweet malts intervene, & the bourbon rears its head & cries out with a joyful noise. Mid-palate brings a few subtleties, a soft acorn or two, mild bitterness, vanilla, faint chocolate. The end lists into eternity & beyond with the barrel & the java mingling beautifully. Creamy, thicker than the regular Eclipse lineup. I could have easily taken the entire bottle, but would have needed to do so in secret, or face the Wrath of Wife.

This kind of brew is what gives coffee beers a good name. The lineage is good, the look is good, the beer is better than good. The world would be a better place with more beers like this one; excellent, & knocking on the steel door of elite.

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Photo of Dope
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Batch 1, 2013. 11.9%

A: Pitch-black pour. Tall, dense medium/dark brown head. Top notch head retention with a very, very slowly fading head. Thick, heavy and continuous lacing. The 50/50 IE versions have some of the best appearances of any beer, IMO.

S: Pure roasted coffee beans. Wow, great coffee aroma, clearly high quality. There's some chocolate, giving it somewhat of a mocha character. Not really getting any bourbon, maybe just in the alcohol sting when swirled. Absolutely mouth watering.

T: Ahh there's the bourbon. Initially it is a very bourbon-coffee flavor. It tastes like coffee that someone spiked with bourbon, that's the best way I can describe it. Caramel, toffee and lots of oak combined with the mildly bitter coffee and chocolate flavors. Great roasted coffee beans and chocolate from start to finish. Aftertaste is some bourbon and oak and coffee (what else?). Lingering coffee beans for a lonnng time between sips. No real sign of booze despite the big ABV.

M: Quite heavy, noticeably more so than the other variants (9.5% vs 11.9%). Bourbon isn't as strong as the other variants as well, so it doesn't cut the sweetness or thickness quite as well.

O: Pretty seriously good brew. Bourbon is not nearly as hot as in many of the other variants, it's either weaker or the coffee is overshadowing it. It's a nice layer of complexity but not the star of the show like the other variants. The coffee steals the spotlight in this one. Very tasty brew. One of my favorite variants but it's quite different than the rest at the same time.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, coffee bean, and brewed coffee aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa covered coffee bean flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer that has a fantastic blend of cocoa and coffee qualities.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.37/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle consumed Dec 2012. Thanks Chad.

A: Normal eclipse look (raisin to near black with a small head). Looks fairly thick and delicious. Spotty lace.
S: Rich coffee beans and dark chocolate fill my nose. One of the more potent smelling coffee beers I've had, probably due to its freshness. I detect hints of vanilla mixed in with the coffee ground scent as well.
T: Big chocolate fudge sickle taste mixed with super rich and extremely bitter coffee grounds. One of the more richer and smoother of the Eclipse treatments. Vanilla comes through more as toasted marshmallow along with flavors of oak, raisins and buttery EC 12. The bourbon is not strong, but its balancing, smoothing, presence is felt. The aftertaste is very bitter and lingers with chocolate and coffee long after the swallow.
M: Medium-full body but a medium-thin mouthfeel. Carbonation is normal. Could be slightly thicker but this beer is very smooth and creamy and drinks very well. No warming alcohol detected.
O: Drinks like a rich coffee stout. Bourbon doesn't stand out but where it lacks the coffee steps in. One of the more flavorful, unique, and delicious Eclipses made yet.

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Photo of raynmoon
4.37/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

it smells amazing, rich, rich coffee, some salted caramel. Almost like kahlua coffee. awesome.

taste is similar, big coffee notes, come chocolate and heat coming through. Light to medium viscosity. Very, Very nice.

Not sure if this is barrel aged, but it tastes wonderful.

had this on tap at Toronado and gave it a 4.75. This has a little too much heat in the bottle.

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Java Coffee from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
4.27 out of 5 based on 419 ratings.
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