Total Eclipse Black Ale | Hoppy Brewing Co.

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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 bargerking
2.31/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a dark black into a snifter from a 22oz bottle. Dark leathery head. Smell is really light and bland. Roasted malt with a faint hint of hops. After taste is funky and not enjoyable. Mouthful is spicey, almost astringent. Thin body. This is a very one deminsional beer with nothing special. A very boring beer for me.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
2.45/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Beers from this brewery have started popping up all over town recently. The labels are quite corny, but the price is low. I've been curious so I picked this one up for $4.99. I thought it was a black IPA, so I was let down when I found out it was a stout.

Appearance
A thin black, the body shows lots of reds. The head rises pretty easily, but doesn't lace the glass. The beer looks a tad on the thin side.

Aroma
Some sharp roast, but it seems weird, almost artificial. No real chocolate, just bitter black cocoa and faint coffee. The aroma has a malty, husky profile to it.

Taste
Similar to the aroma, the taste is weak, lacking a strong roastiness. Its mostly bittered by a plastic taste that stands in place of a real, rich roast.

Mouthfeel
Thin, but not overly so. Carbonation is high, but I can deal with it.

Overall
Well, at least this was only $4.99. I really wanted a black IPA when I bought this. This beer isn't hoppy, so I'm curious to try one of their hop forward styles. Since the price is right I'll probably grab the red ale or something.

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Photo of ronniebruner
2.59/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Of all the beers I have had in my life, I cannot remember having one that is so foamy! I was afraid to set the bottle down because every time I did, foam right out the top! Take a drink? Foam! Now, there are a few redeeming qualities about this brew...it does have a nice appearance of dark black molasses, but it tastes of burnt wood. The mouth feel is also going to be rated low by me as well for the unacceptable amount of foam I encountered in this beer. I even let it sit for some time thinking maybe I inadvertently shook it up, but I do not believe that to be the case. When I lived in the Sacramento area I used to frequent the Hoppy Brewery and remember it being a bit run down and I made a trip to Sacramento recently and brought back 2 cases of Hoppy brews. Gotta say I was disappointed. Oh well, next up?

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Photo of Jredner
2.75/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bomber from Hi-Time Wine Cellars.

Pours dark brown and settles a very deep brown. The body holds a two finger thick mocha head that is lasting, but bubbly and frothy. Aroma is fairly hoppy for the style and features a decent roast profile, mild coffee and hints at cocoa and chocolate.

Thinnish fore has tongue cutting carbonation, mild cola notes, coffee, roast and a fairly bitter profile overall. Has some plusses, but the overalll feel is thinnish and not very satisfying. Admittedly I prefer my Porters closer to stouts in feel and flavor, so considering that this just wasn’t enough beer for me.

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Photo of BWood
2.97/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Had this on tap at the brewery.

L: dark with great lacing.

S: meh. Not much there.

T: malty with chocolate at the end. Slight hop character. Not bad but nothing to praise either.

F: it reminds me of a porter with its look and taste but doesn't have that smooth feel.

O: average beer. I do not think I would buy it except while I was at the brewery.

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Photo of germaniac
2.99/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours as advertised-black enough to block out a smiley sun. Puts out a faint aroma of roasted malt and semi-sweet chocolate. Tastes of chocolate and coffee, with a slight hop bitterness that comes close to being sourness. But there's enough initial flavor to compensate. Mouthfeel is thin, and carbonation is mid-range. I don't really see this as a stout, but it makes a pretty decent porter.

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Photo of Brent
3/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Squid-ink black, just the barest light penetrates at the edge of the glass. Not much head to speak of, even after a hard pour. Great aroma - toasty chocolate malt. Nice roasted malt, but flavor quickly degrades into a rather stale, carboardy malt profile. A strong start, but unfulfilled in the end.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.03/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

After passing up several times, I decided to buy and drink. I didn't expect much, just not to completely disapoint. Though it holds some intriguing flavors, I cannot get over the sharp, grainy, charcoal-like astingency that shows up early and often. Aromas, first, surprise with a firm Belgian sourness; quickly followed up with roasted malts. Flavors follow a similar profile, but there is too much competition between the chalky burned grain flavor and the low-bodied sour ale flavors. The graininess cannot blend into the weak body per flavor. Finsihes complex, but muddled. Despite a very dark brown and ideal head retention, the astringency persists. Not horrible, but not a second buy in my future.

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Photo of theboozecruise
3.04/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a imperial pint glass.

It's a dark brown beer, fairly impenetrable with a light brown bubble head. Good retention and lacing. All the Hoppy Brewing beers I've tried have been lookers, that's for sure.

The smell is faint of chocolate and roasted malts... a little metallic twinge to it.

The taste is a little subdued too... mostly a roasted flavor to it, like charred malts. There is a charred aftertaste and really no hops to speak of. It's alright, but nothing special.

It's kinda thin, not much body to speak of... I'd drink it again, but I wouldn't hunt it down.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.06/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with a one-finger light brown head that fades slowly and leaves some lace. Totally black color. Medium-heavy carbonation and body. Nose is coffee. Starts with a good balance of hops and malt and finishes as a mix of porter and stout. Slight bitter aftertaste. $2.49 for a 22 oz bottle; found at Hoosick Street Disc Beverage, Troy, NY.

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Photo of jvillefan
3.07/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: When poured from a 22 oz bottle into a perfect pint glass there was a 2 1/2 finger light brown head that was above the very brown/black beer that lives up to its name.

S: The smell was very unimpressive as the dominate smell coming from the beer was ethanol. In the background the only thing I could detect was a slight smell of hops.

T: The taste mirrored that of the smell. The ethanol came through despite the beer only being 5.6%. There were hoppy and malty flavors present but were not that bold compared to other black ales.

M: The mouthfeel was good as there was an element of viscosity probably created from the malted hops.

O: Overall this beer is ok, while it is better than some there is a long list of beers that I would choose over this one.

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Photo of prototypic
3.1/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Total Eclipse Black Ale isn’t quite black. It is a dark chocolate fudge color, although it’s nowhere near opaque. Burgundy highlights are very apparent throughout. Carbonation looks to be active. A semi-careful pour yields a tan head that stands over three fingers tall. It recedes slowly, leaving a sticky coat of lace behind.

The nose is alright. It features a blend of roasted and chocolate malts. The roasted variety is definitely stronger. The chocolate malts smell like bittersweet dark chocolate. It doesn’t smell sweet at all. Coffee or espresso is quite prominent. That’s about it. It’s relatively simple and straight forward, but isn’t bad. Alcohol is masked well and doesn’t come through.

The flavor is mostly consistent with the nose, but is rather average. The malt base is very roasty. Perhaps a little too roasty. Chocolate is definitely in the mix and has a very bittersweet flavor. There isn’t a sweet flavor in the house. Coffee is very strong and seems bolstered a bit by the roasted malts. It has an intense coffee/charred flavor that’s just a little too strong. Alcohol isn’t noticeable. Finishes with a strong mix of roasted and charred flavors.

Total Eclipse has a lighter body. Carbonation is quite active and buzzy. It doesn’t feel smooth at all. Actually, it’s a little below average for a stout. Eh. It’s honestly a little tough to finish off a bomber. The flavor’s too intense and isn’t all that satisfying.

Total Eclipse is my first go with Hoppy Brewing Co. For an American Stout, it’s average. The flavor isn’t all that bad, but its intense roasty/charred flavors are too strong and grow very tiresome. If you’re into that sort of stout, then maybe this is worth a try. Otherwise, I’d suggest taking a pass. This one needs a little work.

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.17/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black with a nice tan colored head that melts to sticky lacing.
Aroma is very subdued...I don't catch much of anything in the nose
Taste is a mellow roasted malt...not too sweet....coffee..chocolate...drying hops.
Aftertaste becomes slightly dry but you are left with a mocha coffee flavor that is pleasant.
Nothing really remarkable or special about this stout. Just good clean and balanced....what's wrong with that?

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.21/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber, this beer was overcarbonated, resulting in a very foamy, overexaggerated head. After giving that plenty of time to settle, the beer has a very typical black, opaque appearance. The smell is muted, but very distinctly malty and sweet. Taste reveals coffee flavors with a moderately bitter aftertaste. Very drinkable; likely similar to pounding a couple of pots of coffee. Have had better Black Ales, and would likely seek out one of the others in the future.

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Photo of Stoneman78
3.24/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was very intrigued as this beer won a Bronze Medal at the 2006 GABF in the Robust Porter category (which confuses me that is in the Stout category in AB), Oh well, it was number three in my "Porter" tasting night.
A- Pours a very deep brown hue, the head on this beer (from the bottle mind you) was absolutely amazing: brown/off white color, thick/creamy/frothy texture that absolutely dominated a pilsner glass with a slow pour, almost comical but very cool, i really dig the frothy foam and subsequent thick lacing
S- Nose is subtle and characterized by coffee beans and slight chocolate and roast tones as well
T- Straight forward taste follows the aroma, mostly subtle roast and coffee throughout, some sweet chocolate, not a lot of malt, some bitter hops in the finish, not very deep or complex
M- Light-medium bodied, watery and smooth texture, good carbonation
D- This is an easy drinking beer that I think leans more toward porter than stout, either way it has a fairly simple taste that I wouldn't rush out to re-experience any time soon, I am surprised this won a medal last year (perhaps the judges were simply in awe of the amazing head presentation)

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.25/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a flared pokal at Bliss.

Figured I'd donate some beer to the most recent Bliss tasting. Why not? This said bottle pours a murky blackish-brown topped by over a finger of dirty sandy foam. The nose comprises coca powder, brown sugar, toasted biscuit, very light roasted malts, and light coffee. The taste brings in more of the same, but with a bit more roast and a slightly richer chocolate flavor. The body is a light medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a pretty smooth feel. Overall, a pretty meager stout: one that's way too thin and way too laid-back, but one that's generally inoffensive and easy to drink.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.26/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

An opaque brown-black body reveals glimmering highlights of clear ruby when held to direct light; and it's full head of creamy dark tan froth holds exceptionally well and leaves some very nice lacing around the glass. Intensely dark roasted malt (almost like an ashtray) and yeast greet you in the nose (it's better than it sounds), livened by a cusp of fruitiness and some leafy hops in the background. It's mildly zesty on the tongue with a fine-bubbled median carbonation and medium body. The flavor is bold, but fairly one-sided (even more so than the aroma), with a charred wood and burnt coffee character that dominates. It's roastiness appears right upfront, awash in yeasty fruitiness; followed by a nice display of some caramelish malt; and finally some leafy and mildly minty and spicy hops amidst a rising, brittle bitterness and dark malt acidity. The finish is overtly dry and astringent, and detracts from its overall drinkability. It's interesting, but it seems that "intensity" was more important in the formulation of this recipe than balance.

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Photo of weeare138
3.31/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appears a dark brownish black with a rocky 2 finger tan head. Leaves some nice, chunky lacing sticking all over my deep tulip glass.
Smell is of crystal malt, caramel malt, and molasses.
Taste is of light molasses with a watery mix of malts.
Mouthfeel is a bit overcarbonated and lingering on the front to middle of the tongue with the molasses sweetness resonating. A slight bit of bitter chocolate seems to come through as the beer warms but it lacks a solid balance of sweetness, malt, and bitterness.
This is an interesting brew, so the drinkability is above average but not quite good for a stout.

It's ok, dog.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.33/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours near jet black with cola brown edging. Head is light tan in color and sits 2 fingers high. Retention is decent. Resulting lace is thin, but consistent and with nice stick.

Smell - Big notes of semi-sweet chocolate and fair hints of alcohol.

Taste - Roasted malts with bitter chocolate character and finishes with quite a bit of metallic astringency. Aftertaste rings with same sharp bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium body. Decent carbonation.

Overall - A bit "light in the pants" and a fairly simplistic flavor, but it's a decent brew nonetheless. Probably wouldn't buy again though.

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Photo of mattcrill
3.33/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: Mild chocolate, cocoa nibs, and slight roasty dark grain notes up front. More milk chocolate sweetness as the beer warms. No hop aroma. No fruity esters.

Appearance: Dark brown with ruby highlights. Moussy thick tan head that retains well.

Flavor: Firm chocolate and roasty malt profile up front. The roasty grains provide a bittering counterpoint to the chocolate sweetness. Background earthy bitterness that is muted by the chocolate and roasty overtones. Balance is firmly roasty and bitter. Finish is crisp and clean with a lingering roasty aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation. Slight astringency due to the roasted grains.

Overall impression: A roasty chocolate highlighted black ale. I'm missing the hop presence (aroma and/or flavor) that would designate this as an "American Stout" but overall an enjoyable beer. Worth a try once but there are so many other examples out there that I'm not sure I'll re-visit.

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Photo of supercolter
3.36/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ok so the high points of this brew are as follows: Love the appearance- pretty black with a tan head, doesn't look intimidating but looks delicious. Smell is pretty decent as well, with roasted nuts and bitter chocolate for smells. Taste isn;t the greatest, a bit weaker than expected and the hops don't seem to mix too well with the flavor, difficult to describe.

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Photo of tonistruth
3.36/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- black with copper hughes, fluffy float like head with excellent retension

S- roasted malts and nutty

T- dry roasted malt flavors, earthy, nutty, black coffee and tea flavors with astringent malt flavors in the after taste

M- dry and creamt with a medium body

D- sessionable and tasty but only works for me as a sessionable stout, not something I would go out of my way for

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Photo of meatyard
3.36/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, clear, black/ruby color with a huge, densely foaming, light tan head that has good retention and lacing. Quite a few active carbonation streams are visible when held to a light.
The smell is pretty mild though I can pick out some darker, roasted malt, a little coffee and chocolate.
The taste is also on the mild side but has the same elements as in the aroma.
Mouthfeel is medium to thin and stays actively carbonated.
Drinkability" There isn't anything in particular happening with this beer in a good or bad way. At a moderate 5.6% it won't affect you too much that way anymore than the taste does. Not bad/not good.

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Photo of Offa
3.38/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I've had this on tap and in the bottle and I think it is a little smoother and well-balanced on tap. In the end, it's a decent stout that somewhat resembles a somewhat more bitter, Irish-style dry stout.

Essentially black reddish browm it has a very big dark tan head that slowly shrinks to a thin permanent head and leaves some decent lace in even rings.

The aroma is pretty good, being chocolate, coffee, darkly toasted brown bread, and a hint of prunes. It has no off-putting skunky-funky burnt smell that some stouts can have, restraining this in the nice toasted brown bread element.

The taste and feel are not quite up to the aroma, though. It has a light body that makes it fairly easy to drink and a bit on the more refreshing side for stouts. It has some good flavours of roasty chocolate, dark toast, hints of coffee and at moments light hints of prunes, but overall is rather dry and, particularly in the bottle, has too much of a roasty-bitter quality for the amount of flavour. However, it lacks any off-putting stale, smokey-burnt-weed quality that some stouts have and it is very clean with pleasant qualities. In the end, it just needs to be a little less bitter or, preferably, a little more flavourful to balance out the roasty bitterness.

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Photo of rkhaze
3.43/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured jet black with barely perceptable dark brown edges. Small creamy tan head. Left good lace. Aromas of deep roasted malt, chocolate and coffee.
Heavy roasted, almost charred malt flavor with espresso and chocolate upfront. Kind of flat in the middle and a funky bitter hop aftertaste.
Light to medium bodied.

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