Total Eclipse Black Ale | Hoppy Brewing Co.

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81
good
99 Ratings
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Total Eclipse Black AleTotal Eclipse Black Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Hoppy Brewing Co.
California, United States
hoppy.com

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
Ratings:
99
Reviews:
61
Avg:
3.49
pDev:
16.33%
 
 
Wants:
2
Gots:
4
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 99 |  Reviews: 61
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.

 295 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.25/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an almost opaque dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is off dark roasted malt, cocoa, and some herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with a mild roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is drinkable but nothing all that special for the style.

 508 characters

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +14.6%

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.

 704 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of dmorgan310
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of LXIXME
3.82/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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.

 1,060 characters

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.

 1,765 characters

Photo of orangesol
3.25/5  rDev -6.9%

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.

 636 characters

Photo of JAHMUR
3/5  rDev -14%

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.

 479 characters

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.

 287 characters

Photo of beernads
1.5/5  rDev -57%

Photo of DoubleJ
3.44/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

You know, I never hear people raving about Hoppy Brewing Company in these forums, but they are available at whatever BevMo I walk into. I can get this 1Ā½ mile from where I live, but this was bought in Gilroy. So here we go with the bomber, and on to the beer:

Be shocked, but the color is black. A little orange hue at the edge of the glass, and the light tan tinted head is holding good retention and leaves a creamy lace. Lots of good quality lacing, yah! Not a bad nose. There is a little chocolate syrup, some coffee grounds, and some roasted notes. But as time progresses, it becomes less sweet and more astrigent, becoming less interesting.

First sip....it's alright. There's just enough good flavor to keep me interested in this. Ground coffee is the first thing to pop up. Bittersweet chocolate emerges, and it compliments the pleasant astringency well. Medium hoppiness in the back. It's buzzy carbonation buzzes in the mouth....I'd like a little less of that, please. On my second pour from the bomber, I get my wish, and the beer becomes smoother.

This beer won't have me raving about this brewery, but it is another choice on the shelf that I can live with.

 1,175 characters

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.

 1,667 characters

Photo of wrightst
4/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of Latarnik
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%

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.

 340 characters

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

22oz bottleĀ 

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.

 470 characters

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.

 625 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.35/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

This may have been the first true black ale I ever had. Has the black appearance, consistency and viscosity like a schwarzbier, 3/4" brown head. Hopping in the nose is apparent, also like a schwarzbier.

Taste is all over the place, you get the dark roasted notes producing a coffee like feel, the bitter hops, smoke, dark fruit. Wow. Continually remains relatively dry and highly carbonated throughout.

Everything they make is always in the bomber format, but it isn't as big of a bummer as most breweries, these are usually kept in the $4-5 range.

 558 characters

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Total Eclipse Black Ale from Hoppy Brewing Co.
3.49 out of 5 based on 99 ratings.
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