Total Eclipse Black Ale | Hoppy Brewing Co.

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Total Eclipse Black AleTotal Eclipse Black Ale

Brewed by:
Hoppy Brewing Co.
California, United States

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

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Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 99
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 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 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 Gusler
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer after its release from the 22-ounce brown bottle sets in the glass a pitch-black color with a moderate in size head and frothy light brown head, as it erodes the lace forms a decent covering upon the glass. Nose is caramel with hints of toasted grain; sweet and pleasant, start is sweet with a nice malt presence, and the top middling in its feel to the palate. Finish has a light acidity with the hops pleasing in their spiciness, quite dry and a drinkable beer.

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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.

 340 characters

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.56/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Plain brass colored crown cap, and just one main obverse rather Psychedelic looking label with an eclipse blackened Sun that still retains a funky smile. The label on my bottle has a strength of ‘Alc. 5.6% By Vol’ listed in the bottom right hand corner of the label, but no freshness date.

Appearance: Oh yeah, this one is Black as an Eclipse alright! Impressive dark black ink body that fails to return any light that happens to strike it. The head is a smooth foamy creation that looks like a blanket of dirty fire foam. The surface of the head is lunar at first but soon settles to a smooth dark tan covering that leaves some neat crispy lacing. Fine carbonation.

Nose: Not many surprises here, roasted malts with some dark cooking chocolate and light coffee hints in the dying nasal impact. Lots of roasted malts dominate this one though.

Taste: Dry roasted malt start with some dark chocolate and bitter coffee on the middle. The Astringency catches you in the middle just as a hop bitterness rises in strength at the end. Has a dry lingering finish with a nice roasted malt cum delicate dry hopped swallow. A very clean drinking “Black Ale”.

Mouthfeel: Nice smooth feel with a dry crisp hoppy tone amidst the burnt bitter malts. Difficult to mark the mouthfeel, looking at it you expect something thick and heavy, however it only feels above average in practice.

Drinkability: Nicely balanced, but if you’re not a fan of dry bitter Stouts you may find this one a tad tough, I happen to like dry stouts and this one is relatively easily taken down.

Overall: My fourth of the Hoppy Brewing beers thus far, and this one is quite the turn up for the books, certainly not your typical bland run-of-the-mill offering, it has plenty of character, and it takes some getting used to, but its time well invested. Worth trying.

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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 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.

 315 characters

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.

 361 characters

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.

 253 characters

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.

 299 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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