Tuesday, January 7, 2014

FiftyFifty Brewing Company - Imperial Eclipse Stout (Four Roses Bourbon)

We're only a week into the new year and a lot has happened already. My girlfriend and I moved into a house; I finally realized I have too much beer after picking up my purchases for the year at The Bruery; we got adopted by a neighborhood black cat that I've named Sundown AND I was able to find a bottle of something that I've been wanting to try for a while- FiftyFifty's Four Roses Eclipse. I've only tried the two Elijah Craig variants of Eclipse to date, so I was excited to branch out a little bit with this one.

As the name might suggest, Eclipse pours a deep charcoal color with just a thin sand-colored head. The beer poured a tad thin, but each sip yielded a nice curtain of lace, so I didn't think I had much to worry about mouthfeel-wise on this. The smell was a bit faint, but after letting it warm up for about half an hour, it started to open up a lot. Notes of rich cocoa laced with bourbon began to emerge from the glass along with some honey, roasted malt, charred wood and just a touch of dark fruit. Pretty nice.

Roasted malt and honey were the first things I picked up in the taste and they worked together really nicely. Some toasted brown sugar, milk chocolate, molasses and just a touch of char could be found in there as well. There's just a tickle of bourbon in there as well, with a finish that definitely leans towards the barrel. If there's one thing lacking here, it's definitely the mouthfeel. This beer just feels too light. I don't expect beer like this to have the consistency of used engine oil, but the flavors of this beer just beg to be coupled with a fuller mouthfeel. Overall, this is a tasty beer, but I just can't justify the price when there are so many beers out there (see: Caldera's Mogli) for much cheaper that are also better. Unless I find more variants on tap somewhere (or unless the price gets chopped in half), this is likely the last time I'll be buying Eclipse.

Final Grade: B+

Top 250 Beers Tasted: 126

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