Total Eclipse Black Ale | Hoppy Brewing Co.

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60 Reviews
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Total Eclipse Black AleTotal Eclipse Black Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Hoppy Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Brent on 01-12-2003

BEER STATS
Reviews:
60
Ratings:
98
Avg:
3.49
pDev:
20.92%
 
 
Wants:
1
Gots:
4
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 60 | Ratings: 98
Photo of leechungsr
4.4/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very drinkable bear for me. Mouthfeel is not exactly what I expected; as it is much thinner than it looks. The dark color is deceiving, it's not so stout.
Very malty and chocolatey (sp?), with just a hint of hop bitterness. Goes down easy with great aroma.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.38/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out to a clear black, with deep brown accents, forming a tall soapy and clumpy light tan head with amazing retention and very nice lacing. Very good looking brew. Aroma is sweet with root beer (sassafras), milk chocolate, fresh leafy and floral hops, and lightly roasted coffee....very intriguing. Carbonation is moderately firm. Mouthfeel is flittery on the tongue with a satisfying medium body which is decievingly lighter than expected, but very good. This stuff tastes great...a recapitulation of the aroma with wonderful chocolate and coffee overtones balanced by a pleasant hop flavor and mild bitterness. Cleanly fermented with no off-flavors. Alcohol is imperceptable. A pleasing hint of chalk in semi-roasted, lightly dry finish.

This is a surprisingly wonderful and complex porter (though it's called a Black Ale), and is exceptionally easy to drink. I dig everything about this brew. Recommended!

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Photo of hikanteki
4.35/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz bomber ($4.49 at BevMo) into a pint glass.

Appearance: The head rushes up. The initial pour was about 20% beer and 80% head, although it settled down pretty quickly and I was able to top it off to a reasonable amount.

Smell: Heavy citrus, with some bitter cocoa coming through.

Taste: Like it smells, and that's a good thing. Citrus and hops first, then cocoa and hops, followed by toffee and hops, and then just hops. But it's interesting how the hops come back strong with each layer. Consequently a bitter aftertaste with some citrus.

Mouthfeel: Pleasant. Not too thin, not too thick, but it coats your mouth and stayed with me. Satisfied.

Overall: I'm not sure whether this is supposed to be a Black IPA or a Stout. It simply says "Black Ale." But whatever it is, it's a darn good beer. It pushes the bitterness level for a stout, and pushes the mouthfeel for an IPA. Well done, Hoppy.

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Photo of WakeandBake
4.2/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz Bottle, A sweet trade extra. A clear dark brown/black with a huge rocky off white head that leaves loads of lacing all the way down. Aroma of dark roasty malts,bitter coffee,a bit of chocolate,charcoal,pipe tobacco. Flavor is just roasty enough, some light smoke,roasted coffee, and this light malty sweetness for some great balance, clean refreshing mouthfeel,medium carbonation, and a slightly dry finish. Very drinkable, a very well made craft brew ,and a fun try.

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Photo of itsfordoc
4.1/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Just as advertised - Tastes like a stout but not as heavy. That's why I gave mouthfeel such a high rating - not that I have a problem with a stout but this was refreshing. A summer stout, maybe? Nice toasty aftertaste with some hoppy notes. Could drink a lot of these and probably will since a picked up a case off the clearance rack at Westy's in Camp Hill, PA, for $30.00!

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Photo of BierJager89
4.06/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black with a medium brown head.

S: Chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, plum and other dark fruits in the nose.

T: Chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, really good.

M: Smoothish, and full bodied.

O: Tasty, if a bit boring. Recommended if you can find it. I think it's their best beer, but don't be fooled by the brewery's name. Their beer's are seldom very hoppy.

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Photo of DmanGTR
4.05/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is my celebratory beer for *approaching* the end of the 1st year of med school. Last big final was today so I'm opening this because it's really happy (see label) yet, I'm dead tired from not having slept for like 2 days now, hence the darkness. Well, here goes (I'm a little bit out of my reviewing game...)

Poured very dark brown with hazelnut edges in the light. A frothy, beige head topped the darkness for a good while, diminishing to a thin ring with trails of lace all over. A germinal center of bubbles expand to renew the soapy film of a scant cap.

The aroma is inviting with hints of cocoa, burnt toast, biscuity grain, and a light coffee tone. Slightly lighter than I'd like it, but very nicely balanced.

Very much like the aroma. There is a lingering ashy aftertaste almost like coffee that has been sitting on the heating element for too long. However, the flavor is quite balanced and refreshing. I haven't had a good regular stout in a while (or any beer for that matter...) and this is a great everyday drinking beer.

Not the thickest, but not watery like Guinness either. This is exactly how I want a good old stout to drink like: medium body leaning towards the heavy side with an impeccably smooth texture. Not cloying or sticky, yet not thin and substanceless.

Approved.

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Photo of rkuhnel
3.98/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 22 oz bottle purchased from BevMo in Sacramento, CA. Clever label, with the regular “Hoppy” gold icon blacked out as it would be in an Eclipse. These folks don’t name their beers so you can figure out what it is, so while this was called a Black Ale it was a bit of a mystery to me until I came to post this rating. It poured a dark brown, far from black, and raised a big fluffy tan head that was slow to settle and left ample lacing. The nose was dark malts, and there were hints of chocolate and coffee. Mouthfeel was quite clean and just a bit dry, but very pleasant. Flavors were a light roasted malt and every so slightly sweet. This made the finish a surprise as it was a little hoppy with a hint of pine. But then hops are what these brewers are all about, and they sure know how to define their own style. The is a mild stout just as advertisd, but very easy to drink, and was good from first drop to last drop.

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Photo of tone77
3.95/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 22 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of coffee, some chocolate. Taste is big on coffee, this would have been great in the morning. Some roasted malts are present in the flavor. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a quality beer.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.93/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Just saw this new arrival at my local beer store earlier today so I thought I'd give it a try. 22 ounce bottle. Served in a Guinness pint glass, the beer pours dark brown/black with an inch frothy tan head. Head retention and lacing are both pretty good. Aroma is roasted malt, coffee, chocolate and some grassy hops. The taste is pretty much like the aroma, with the bitter, roasty flavors being the strongest. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it seems a bit thin and is well carbonated. Overall I think it's a good brew, it's smooth, easy and enjoyable to drink.

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Photo of jbphoto88
3.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew starts out with an aggressive head that is thick and very much double the size of what pours from the bottle. The coffee colored foam looks like a scoop of lattte whipped cream ontop of a dark ruby colored brew.

The nose is a light malty blast of roasted grains and mild bakers chocolate. I've smelt bolder stouts but considering this one is only a simple 5.6% and NOT imperial then the simple scent is quite impressive.

The flavor ranges from roasted malts to light coffee and chocolate. Mild but flavorful which is again impressive for the size of this beer. This stout is solid in all the right places.

If there are any flaws they appear in the mouthfeel. The beer doesn't have the viscous solid feel that you would expect from a stout. Instead is a lightly carbonated, almost watered down brew. However lack luster the mouthfeel is this is still a fantastic stout. Great nose and flavors more then make up for the feel. This beer is a must try for anyone who enjoys the dark.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shows a brilliantly clear, deep ruby hued color when held up to the light, it pours with a chocolate brown stream, and sits in my glass a dark brown to blackened amber color; so much for being a black ale. It has a frothy, brown-tinged, tan colored head that starts out a fat finger in thickness and even leaves some lacing patterns on the side of the glass. Aromas of roasted / black malt are quite prominent; aromas lean towards lightly roasted coffee beans, some burnt grain acidity, toasted malt notes, dusty chocolate, as well as notes that remind me of soda crackers left to deeply brown in the oven.

Quite light feeling on the palate, yet this beer has lots of dark grain flavor to it. Notes of chalky coffee, roast grain husks and something like burnt minerals (if that makes sense). Underneath is a touch of burnt prunes and blackened raisins, which add a touch of fruitiness and balance along with some darkened caramel flavors in the finish. The finish starts out with a sharp, lingeringly bitter character that is a mix of hop notes and black malts. The finish though is an exercise in balance as the fruit / caramel notes intertwine, wane and wax with the bitterness in a long, lingering, interesting finish. This beer seems quite dry at times but at others has just enough sweetness to offset the dark grain notes that are causing the dryness in the first place.

This is a really nice beer, I was not expecting so much roast character here. The black ale label threw me off a bit as I was not expecting something with the flavor of a porter or stout. This is a really nice beer, I really like how light it is; easily quaffable, yet full of flavor.

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Photo of beerguy101
3.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black color, large tan/beige head. Roasted malt aroma with hints of chocolate and coffee. A medium bodied stout. Medium hopped. Intense roasted malts. Good balance. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean. Aftertaste is bitter, roasted malt flavor.

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Photo of alleykatking
3.83/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bottle. Review from notes...

A- Pours a well black color. Light red hues on the sides of the glass when held to the light. Two finger fluffy dirty white head that shows great retention. Ringy lacing left on the glass.

S- Light roasted malts collide with a chocolate bitterness. A real gentle smelling beer with a hint of toasted brown bread as well. Just plain and simple...I like that!

T- Light roasted malts dominate the beer for the most part. Some chocolate notes in this along with some light prune hints as well. The backing of this has a bitter hop bite to it. This almost reminds me of a black IPA with a little less hop bite to it.

M- Light mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the beer. Roasted malts left on the palate with some light hops in the aftertaste. Light drying on the palate. Flavors were bland overall and distant or faded.

D- This was a drinkable beer that at first I wasn't too sure about but found to love overall. I will be looking for more from this brewery. I think this is a good beer for non-stout drinkers to try to get into the style of stouts or even porters.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.83/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Park Lane Liquor in Lancaster, CA. Pours black with a thick and foamy beige head that dissipates slowly. Patches of lacing on the glass. Roasted chocolate malt aroma with hints of coffee. Medium-bodied with a roasty character and flavors of grainy malt, coffee and hops. The flavor is chocolatey at times as well. The finish is mostly burnt malty with a mild coffee and hops aftertaste. Not sure if this is a mild Stout or some kind of hybrid Stout/Schwarzbier but either way it is pretty good.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.81/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle 

A- Pours a dark black color with a light tan head with really nice lacing and retention.

S- The aroma is dark roasted malts, coffee notes and some hops.

T- The taste like the aroma is dark and roasty malts up front with some coffee flavors and some bitterness in the finish from the hops.

M- The mouthfeel is between light and medium bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, this Total Eclipse is a solid Black Ale that is worth a try.

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Photo of hops4me
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Tan head with nice foamy lace. Black body down the middle of the glass. Ruby red around the edges.

S - Toasted/burned brown sugar. Mocha...Coffee. A sweetish and roasted flavor together.

T - Bready graininess right up front. That is quickly shot down by a roasted coffee bean. A chocolate flavor quickly steps in giving way to a slight bitterness in the aftertaste.

M - It is a little light for an American Stout. I would say more of a brown porter.

D - Good drinkability. It lightness contributes to this. I can't get this on the east coast but if I could I would buy it again. It is refreshing and easy going stout.

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Photo of hoegaardenhero
3.73/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: dark brown w/ some clarity; long-lasting tan head with light lace

s: light coffee; light sweet dark chocolate; vanilla

t: sweet chocolate; nuts; burnt toffee; roasted coffee

m: smooth; a little cloying; light carb; solid body

d: interesting; especially the nutty flavors

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Photo of Sammy
3.69/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle just in from Lueken Liquors. Is this how the brewer intended it? Maybe something more hoppy. As a dry stout, pretty decent, more of a light shwartzbier, with a muted hop. Very good drinkability. Light black coloured body, almost no head. Medium mouthfeel. Mollasses and light roast smell.

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Photo of hoppygirl
3.68/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Is this ale dark! Espresso bean and chocolate on the nose, which turns into an almost charcoal/sooty quality as it warms. The taste is smoky and peaty, with almost a wet dog finish on the mouth. It finishes with a bitterness, but not overpoweringly so. The malts are intense, but the hops provide that nice balance. An interesting ale and a nice change of pace.

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Photo of BigBry
3.65/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bobmber that I brought back from our bi-annual trip to BevMo in San Jose.
No brewed on / best before date, "Great Food - Awesome Beer - Cool People!!!"
Opaque, black color with reddish brown highlights. Large, chocolate milk colored head, thick sheets of lace. Smells of roasted barley malt, slightly bitter black coffee, and a little chocolate.
The flavor has lots of coffee, like a strong, bitter roast. Some unsweetened chocolate as well. Some hopiness at the end, but not enough to stand up to the coffee, cocoa, chocolate bitterness. Although dark, almost black color, the body is light. Medium mouthfeel, dry and slightly tart finish.
I was expecting more of an 'American Stout': big, heavy, bold, and sweet. Instead got a light, bitter, coffee dominanted ale. I'm not complaining, just not what I expected.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.65/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Opaque dark walnut with reddish brown highlights. The three finger head is the color of chocolate milk and has enough tackiness to deposit thick sheets of buckshot-riddled lace on the upper reaches of the glass. The head-lace combination is the star of the show, but the beer itself is no slouch.

There's a decent amount of oomph in the aroma. For once, I don't have to come close to dipping my nose to appreciate the beer's nose. I smell plenty of generously roasted barley accented by black coffee and a little bittersweet chocolate. The beer smells somewhat dry and powdery to me, as if there's very little sweetness present. That's a bit of an odd characteristic; let's see if it's a true reflection of the flavor.

The flavor profile focuses on coffee to the near exclusion of anything else. As the aroma suggested it would be, Total Eclipse is definitely a dry beer. The finish is flinty, semi-arid and as clean as a whistle. A little unsweetened chocolate tries to poke its head above the ground coffee bean, but gets slapped down in a hurry. Although there's plenty of hop bitterness, I'm unimpressed by the hop flavor; either in terms of quantity or quality.

The body is no bigger than light-medium, a shortcoming that I have a hard time tolerating in an American stout. In addition, the dry, evaporative finish accentuates the sensation of lightness since there's no mouthcoating to give one something to mull over until the next sip.

Total Eclipse Black Ale is an okay version I suppose. If you're in the market for a good looking, coffee-dominant, dry, bitter, light-bodied stout, then you've found your beer. With respect to that list, my stout preferences end at 'good looking', so I won't be in a hurry to acquire any more of this bad boy.

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Photo of bonkers
3.62/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I got this as part of the tickers bif, black pour with a 3 inch rock hard, white head that leaves a ton of lacing. The aroma is big on roasted malts. It has big roasted coffee notes, some chocolate, light hoppiness, very dry. The body is medium, average carbonation, the huge head impeded the drinkability a little. I actually thought I was going to be drinking a black IPA from the name of the beer, a decent little stout, need to beef up the body.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.6/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – Well, it’s not quite black but pretty darn near close. The head is explosive so be careful on the pour. It’s light brown in color and very light and fluffy. It’s reminds me of whipped cream.

Smell – The coffee is big at the nose along with a sharp roasted aroma. The coffee is more like coffee beans. The table sugar tries to calm it down but to little affect.

Taste – The coffee bean comes over nicely at the taste, but there is a strange lack of malt to this American Stout. There’s also a tangy kind of sweetness that throws things off, almost like a splash of orange soda or something.

Mouthfeel – This was lighter than medium and just didn’t have the body to support the big huge coffee bean flavor. It was overly carbonated as well and felt cheap and fuzzy in the cheeks.

Drinkability – I can drink this OK but you really have to be selective when choosing a stout for the night and this just didn’t make the grade.

Update – I originally tried this fella in 2006 so thought I’d tackle it again in ’07. It hasn’t changed a bit.

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Photo of DogFood11
3.6/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 bomber. "black ale". Big smiley face sunshine on label.

Poured into a tulip. 1 finger dark tan head. super sticky lacing that coats with each pull to the point I may need a brillo brush to clean this pup. jet black. you could use this as sunscreen as no ultra violets are getting through ever.

Roasted maltiness up front with some acidic/sour in the middle and a longgg dry aftertaste with the burnt malty flavor hanging around on the palate for what seems to be eternity. Good mouthfeel as it swirls around with a great complex creamy body. Seems a bit watery for a stout but ok.

Notes: Thought it was decent overall representation. Just above average for me at best.

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Total Eclipse Black Ale from Hoppy Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 60 ratings.
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