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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year) - FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year)Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

1,545 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,545
Reviews: 264
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 7.83%
Wants: 793
Gots: 630 | FT: 54
Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.90% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jmoore50 on 12-29-2009

Imperial Stout aged 200 days in an Elijah Craig bourbon barrel.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,545 | Reviews: 264
Reviews by jampics2:
Photo of jampics2
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Healthy pour from a 22oz bottle with purple wax into my snifter at our awesome pre-Dark Lord Day tasting. Not sure who brought this out, but it made a wonderful addition to a star-studded night (and there were good beers there too!).

Guess what? This American Double/Imperial Stout is black. Surprised? You shouldn't be - 50/50 does a good job with the base beer here, and this version hasn't lost any of the solid black color. Thick, oily and viscous looking, the beer lacks any real head except for an initial brown cap, and there's no lace. Still an appealing looking beer.

The smell is the first real indication that this will be a treat to remember. There's a luscious vanilla and cocoa powder thing going on that just draws me in. The roast isn't heavy, but gives nice chocolate and coffee notes with just a touch of sweet caramel underneath. The barrel really shines here, and the resulting bourbon, oak and vanilla notes are really smooth, expressive and alluring.

This beer tastes fantastic. If it wasn't for my experience with some of the top, top, top tier bourbon aged stouts, I'd say this was perfect. That's not a put-down - this beer is damn close to liquidized idealism. Things start off with great roasted malts - there's a nice chocolate note reminiscent of fudge and some touches of toffee, molasses and sugary bread dough. The barrel aging really shines - there's tons of bourbon and oak, lending some great booze and vanilla. I'd have to say this is extreme and balanced at the same time - the mastery in barrel aged artistry is on display. Some dry bourbon in the finish with a touch of lingering vanilla and sweet malt. Amazing!

The mouthfeel is medium plus body with low, creamy carb. The beer is never syrupy and dances along on it's journey to my belly. The booze is well concealed except for the bourbon which totally makes this the winner it is. Overall, this beer kicks total ass. Something I'm permanantly ISO. Nice one, fidy fidy!

More User Reviews:
Photo of SkiBum22
4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage
Bottle # 3397

A - Pours a slightly bubbly tan/khaki colored head that retreats into the blackness of the body.

S - Lots of bourbon. Oak. Some chocolate. Cherries and other dark fruit as it warms up. Alcohol is noticeable, but not overpowering.

T - Flavor is phenomenal and extremely well balanced. Deep, robust and not overly rich. Nice chocolate notes. Mild bourbon and vanilla.

M - Mouth is just under full bodied. Silky with light creamy carbonation. Spot on for how I like in Barrel Aged Stouts.

O - Amazing brew. Can't tell if I like this or the 18 year more. The only knock I have is that I wish the ABV was a little higher but other then that this is an almost flawless Barrel Aged Stout.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.49/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 - Purple Wax - Bottle# 850

Pours into my glass a deep brooding black with a small dark tan head that quickly fades. Bit under carbonated. No light getting through this brew. Aromas start off with smooth dark roasted malts, chocolate and honey. Vanilla and sweet bright bourbon alongside an oak barrel character. Bourbon is really well integrated and draws you in.

First sip brings smooth dark malts, chocolate truffle upfront with honey sweet accents. Bourbon rolls in with caramel and vanilla flavors. Woody oak barrel as it flows down with a touch of spiciness. Smooth and well balanced, the bourbon is perfectly integrated here. Wonderful.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied. A bit slick with mellow carbonation. I enjoy the fact that this is not overly heavy. Overall, this is a great bourbon aged stout with well integrated flavors that all hit the right marks. Really happy to have been able to sample this and looking forward to the 2010 versions.

Photo of warnerry
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 2273. 2011 Vintage into a snifter.

A - Pours deep brown with half a finger of brown head. Head settles rather quickly, but does leave some lacing behind.

S - Chocolate, quite a bit of vanilla, some dark fruits, some oak, including a small amount of char, and some noticeable alcohol.

T - Chocolate and vanilla lead the way, with some oak notes and roasted malts. Chocolate is semi-sweet. Dark fruits become noticeable midway through, with some char and bitter chocolate on the finish. Subtle bourbon burn, works very well.

M - Medium mouthfeel with a very nice creaminess. Finish becomes more earthy and bitter.

O - This is the first of of the Eclipse beers I have had, and I was impressed. Not too heavy of a mouthfeel, but still a very nice creaminess. Bourbon is prominent but not in your face, and the fruit notes are nice.

Photo of standardcherry
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Pitch black color with a nice brown head. Leaves some small lacing.
S: Tons of chocolate. Some vanilla and sweetness. Bit of bourbon at a distance.
T: Very sweet flavor. A bit of honey/vanilla followed by lots of chocolate fudge. Tastes almost like a brownie. Very good flavor although a bit lacking in the bourbon/barrel department.
M: Full bodied with nice carbonation for the style. Feels a bit creamy and sticky. A tiny bit of booze at the end.
O: This is another great variant from 50/50. I did prefer the slight spiciness and barrel character of the Rittenhouse Rye version but this one is very solid.

Photo of ehammond1
4.39/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2011)

Super Junior Market
San Diego, CA

(Aged for 1 year)

Very dark brown, nearly black in color, without a lot of visible carbonation and not much head. This does leave sticky spots of lacing down the glass. Not a particularly heavy or substantial looking stout.

Lovely aroma, especially as the beer inches closer and closer to room temperature. The familiar coconut, bourbon, chocolate, wood, roast, and coffee elements combine here for something quite lovely.

The flavor follows similarly with chocolate, bourbon, and earthy vanilla flavors combining. There is hardly any trace of alcohol harshness. This is incredibly drinkable.

Medium mouthfeel with low carbonation. I think I would prefer it be a touch thicker.

Fantastic. This is perhaps the best of the 2011 bottlings.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oil slick black, minimal head on most of the Eclipse beers. Aroma was heavy on the bourbon, as to be expected. Played up the vanilla more than any of the other Eclipses I can recall.

Taste, again, wood, bourbon, vanilla. Dwarves the totality base stout in here. Good charred qualities. Not super viscous, went for subtlety vs. trying to make the biggest stout in the world.

Low carbonation allows the quaint amount of chocolate to come out as it warms. Warming. Had on tap at the 1st annual pre release party Dec. 1, 2010. Chewy, without being over the top in any one area, everything played real nice with each other. Possibly my favorite bourbon version of Eclipse.

EDIT: Damn, the 2011 version was pretty damn nice too.

Photo of glid02
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Grant, compared to the Heaven Hill he brought last week - many thanks!

Pours black with a half-finger light brown head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of smooth roasted malts with large amounts of vanilla from the barrels. Also present are hints of dark chocolate and traces of alcohol.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Robust roasted malt flavors kick things off and are quickly joined by well-integrated dark chooclate and vanilla flavors. Midway through the sip the vanilla flavors take over a bit before fading out into a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is also very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall this beer was much more of a bourbon bomb than the HH version. Still a very nice beer but the complexity and nuance of the HH version was lost on this one. Very much worth a shot but thus far my second favorite of the series.

Photo of weonfire
4.44/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A - Black murk. light mocha head, pencil thickness.

S - Chocolate, toffee, honey, bourbon and vanilla.

T - Initial: Swirl of sweet chocolate, vanilla, toffe, aged fruits and honey. Finish: contained delicious bourbon, roast, chocolate and a low level of hops.

M - Very frothy, perfect carbonation, soft as silk and high viscosity.

O - Excellent. Could actually taste the specific 'Elijah Craig' bourbon (which I enjoy). Flavors were blended superbly. A thin layer of head remained throughout entire brew- very impressed. Only downside was the nose- it was rather minor. With all these excellent flavors- I hoped for something really dank. But...at a $24 price tag- with so many incredible BA stouts out there- i can't say I would 'highly' recommend the purchase.

Photo of AdamF625
4.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

After digging through the esthetically pleasing purple way it was poured into a snifter

A- pours dark brown/black. Finger worth of creamy khaki head.

S- honey. Bourbon. Chocolate

M- smooth and creamy

t- honey and bourbon at first then a smooth warm chocolate finish.

O- great bourbon barrel stout. I'm glad I had it fresh but the high price tag may steer me away in the future.

Photo of biboergosum
4.11/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle, purple wax sealed, and 11.9% ABV for bottle run numero 2 of 2013. Is there an online instruction manual, or something, that describes how to open this sort of enclosure, without picking away at the wax with a knife?

This beer pours a fairly deep dark black abyss, yet with prominent basal cola highlights, and two chubby fingers of densely foamy, weakly puffy, and broadly bubbly chocolate milk brown head, which leaves some nice low-pressure system lace around the glass as it slowly abates.

It smells of mildly astringent rye whisky barrel wood, the titular booze, dry vanilla, crusty caramel, bittersweet chocolate, the hint of the earthy floral honey quietly noted on the label, and some surprisingly prominent herbal, leafy hops. The taste is more woody, boozy barrel notes right up front, some dry, earthy black licorice, a touch of cold java, lightly toasted, but not inherently light caramel malt, a grainy besotted breadiness, a weirdly evolving semi-sour milkiness, and subtle earthy, musty hops.

The bubbles are pretty sublimely restrained, the body a solid medium-heavy weight, and quite equitably smooth, with a pleasant stab at everyman creaminess. It finishes still almost cripplingly sweet, the caramel, vanilla, alcohol, anise, honey all equally culpable. But recall, I said 'almost'.

I am not at all versed in the spirituous offerings of one Elijah Craig, so all I can discern from this offering is that it is one pleasantly understated example of a Bourbon County staple, based on the thorough, yet inoffensive effects rendered herein. The base RIS is only mildly altered, I presume, and the overall experience is quite agreeable enough - tasty, full, and sweet to a point that dessert pairing is hardly out of the question.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes. Big thanks to Morgan for hooking me up with this one! Consumed side by side with EC 18.

A: Pours a thick black with a small tan head on top. Decent retention and minimal lacing.

S: Wow, a good amount of bourbon going on mixed with some chocolate and a hint of vanilla. The chocolate has both cocoa notes and milk chocolate. There is a little bit of dark fruit, light roast, and oak as well.

T: A nice follow up from the aroma with a nice combination of chocolate, bourbon, and vanilla. There is a little bit more roasty malt and some caramel. The dark fruit on the aroma didn't really show up.

M: Medium to full bodied, very creamy and smooth. Very easy drinking.

O: Very impressed. Liked this beer a lot, so easy to drink with a lot of flavor. While hard to differentiate with the 18 year, I did like this one a bit more, but would have no problem drinking either one again.

Photo of MrVonzipper
4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black with 1cm khaki head. Low retention and spotty lacing. 

Roasted character in the nose with some chocolate. Bourbon is present but not Alot. A little oaky. 

Flavor is phenomenal and extremely well balanced. Deep, robust and not overly rich. Nice chocolate notes. Mild bourbon and vanilla. 

Mouth is just under full bodied. Silky with light creamy carbonation. 

Overall this beer is excellent! Great flavor and balance. Lacking inthe nose a bit but amazing flavor.

Photo of nkersten
4.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Elijah 50

Poured into NB globe black dark brown with tan collar and light edges

Smell is brownies fudge marshmallows raisins dark fruit some alcohol

Burnt malt, barrel, chocolate, bitter bakers chocolate, marshmallow root, cinnamon, some hot bourbon uncredible and complex

Heavy medium and light

An excellent beer, best eclipse I have had so far

Photo of Erinmystic
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The most amazing stout I have ever had in my life. A must have before you die.

Photo of Roguer
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Solid dark brew, topped by a good size lighter brown head. Very good retention, and wide fields of lacing.

Nutty, boozy aroma. Honey, roasted malts, nuts, caramel, coffee, alcohol, oak, bourbon coming through relatively mild, but building with warmth.

Very smooth flavor. Sweet, but not overmuch. Roasty, but not exceptionally bitter. Strong bourbon notes, but not overpowering or too sickly-sweet.

Chocolate and coffee from the malt; vanilla, oak, and bourbon from the barrel; nuts, honey, and toffee.

Unbelievably smooth mouthfeel; 11.9% and you'd never know it. Silk. Could be a touch thicker, but it's far from thin (think: cheaper, thinner egg-nog, whereas Ten-FIDY is the good stuff).

I guess if I have a complaint, it's that the brew comes across very, very smooth, but not particularly deep or complex. I would love a slightly stronger stout base for the brew; the barrel character in this one is very well integrated, but I don't get as nuanced or complex a flavor profile as I do in FW brews or BCBS.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.23/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In memory of Valerie. R.I.P 1/4/11. A girl's best friend.
Huge thanks to Jeff (ipa247) for this one. 2009 vintage. Poured from a 22oz. bottle (#175) into a Darkness snifter.

A: Gentle pour yields a slowly forming .5 finger light mocha head with poor retention. Beer is opaque black with the slightest hint of light peaking through at the top. Lacing is stringy with decent stick.

S: Nose is subtle. Bourbon, sweet soy sauce, dark chocolate, and liquified prunes. Cocoa and liquorice linger in the background. Flavors are very appropriate but I really have to breathe deep for this one.

T: Opens chocolate, prune, plum, and sweet soy sauce. Bourbon presence is prominent but not overwhelming. A good compliment to the base flavors. Roasted malt, honey, and cocoa powder towards the middle. Heat increases a bit. Finish is milk chocolate and sweet, dark fruit. Aftertaste is the same with bourbon added.

M: Medium bodied with low carbonation. Smooth, oily, and filmy in the mouth. Slight heat and coarseness around the edges. Goes down smooth and coats the palate. Finish is messy with a pleasant, lingering aftertaste.

D: Clearly one of the better -bal aged brews due to its overall subtlety. Feel is not super heavy and spirits are not overwhelming here. The barrel complements the beer here. Not the other way around. Definitely worth seeking out.

Photo of Corkpuller
4.74/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Impressive complexity and mouthfeel. Just a hair drier than most imperial Stouts, but anything but thin. It's expensive yes. But it's also amazing.

oh, also has the best balance of barrel flavors with the base beer.

Photo of nickd717
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh wow, look how awesome I am, I'm reviewing this super-rarity again. "Jersey Shore," you will rue the day you rejected me from your show, mark my words! Bottle this time, provided at a cigar tasting by Sandstone. Thanks, Roger. This beer was excellent.

Pours jet black with a nicely formed small tan head and a little lacing. Looks a bit better than the tap version.

Aroma is really great, with vanilla, whiskey, sweet rich chocolate, and roastiness.

Flavor is also excellent. You have your typical imperial stout flavors - roast, chocolate, and mild coffee - all really intense and in your face, then you've got your -bal aged flavors - vanilla, oak, and whiskey. Mild hop bitterness as well that I didn't get as much of on tap. All this melds really well together, with just some mild tannins to keep it from a perfect 5.

Fairly full and smooth on the palate with low carbonation and just a slight hint of booziness.

Drinkability is pretty good, and overall, this is really a great beer. Get it if you can. I recommend sending me a bottle of Midnight Sun M in exchange for this.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.92/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into an Eclipse snifter. 2011 bottle. Bottle #1491.

Appearance - Murky black with transparent edges. Not much of a head. Wispy surface.

Smell - Slightly sharp bourbon character, not quite as harsh as others. Very sweet smelling. Chocolate. Vanilla.

Taste - Lots of sugar, very sweet. Sweeter than other variants, which I don't understand. Maybe the EC barrels add sugar, but I don't understand why that would happen. Bourbon flavor is nice, rounded out by the sugars. Chocolate and vanilla.

Mouthfeel - Slick and creamier than the base beer. Medium carbonation. Sweet and barrel booze finish.

Overall - Similar to the Elijah Craig 20, without quite that great barrel character.

Photo of Vonerichs
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Jet black inky color. Even when I hold it to the light there's barely a trace of brown. There's not much head. It just looks evil.

What a beautiful bourbon smell. Tons of vanilla and oak. There's coffee, soy, cocoa, and even a little artificial grape smell hiding in there.

Big, robust favors pop all over. The bourbon takes over, but remains smooth. The vanilla really softens it from being boozy. It is hot, but intentionally. The taste even adds a dimension of raisins and dates.

Mouthfeel is smooth and low carbonation. It could use a little more body, but I'm really stretching to find any flaw.

This is a great beer. It's pricey, but I'd buy it again in a heartbeat.

Photo of IKR
4.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 Vintage

Appearance: Very dark brown bordering on black with a modest beige head that slowly faded. The head appeared to stick around longer than that on my 2012 Evan Williams (same tulip glass).

Smell: Mild Bourbon (less than that in my 2012 Evan Williams), coffee/roasted malt aromas, brown sugar and some vanilla notes.

Taste: Bourbon, roast malts, vanilla, caramel/brown sugar and oak notes. The finish is fairly dry with Bourbon, roast malts notes and mild hop notes. To my tastes, The Elijah Craig had a more restrained Bourbon presence than that of my 2012 Evan Williams.

Mouth-feel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation.

Overall: Good beer. It really is interesting to see the impact the different barrels have on the Eclipse series.

Photo of thagr81us
4.12/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one was a part of cmrillo’s 40 Beers* @ 40 Birthday Bash! Shared by cmrillo at his own party! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured a dark reddish brown with a half finger khaki colored head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate, wood, sweet alcohol, and vanilla. The flavor was of sweet malt, dark chocolate, wood, vanilla, caramel, and sweet alcohol. It had a heavy feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. After having the 18 year old version right before this one it was quite easy to pick out the differences. This one had a caramel note hinting around in it which was nice but not awesome. It did have quite an excellent smell going on with it that was rather inviting. Whether you are trying the 12 or the 18, you really can’t go wrong.

Photo of richj1970
4.64/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from 22 oz bomber into taster glass. Bottle date is 2/2013.

A: Pours pitch black with smallish one finger mocha colored head. Some decent retention and some spotty lacing.

S: Bourbon was apparent the second I popped the cap on this one. Very nice bourbon aroma in your face, some vanilla, bitter chocolate, a bit of oak.

T: Following the nose, there is lots of bourbon flavor. A nice alcohol heat mixed with chocolate, vanilla, and some earthy oak goodness.

M: Thick and creamy coating the tongue nicely. A bit of burn from the alcohol.

O: Very nice BA stout. Combines some of my favorite characteristics of a big stout and a nice bourbon. Other than the price point, this brew is a home run.

Photo of DwnTwnBwn
4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Just got back form snowboarding at North Star, stopped by FiftyFifty on the way home to give the RIS a try. When I sat with my brother I noticed 4 barrels of the RIS aging next to the hostess stand with Jack Daniels brazed on to the face of the barrel.

A - Came in a rather tasty looking package of an 8 OZ tulip glass, the head was a nice mocha brown and the body of the beer was a thick viscus black. As I drank it down the Stout coated the walls of the glass with a thick brown residue and lased fairly well.

S - There was a good amount of roasted barley with Bourbon coming through. Slight Notes of Honey and Vanilla.

T - Wonderful RIS. The Strong Chocolate and toffee notes play strong against the Bourbon. The beer is pleasantly sweet while not being too cloying. Lots of Roasted Barley and dark malts come through. There seems to be a hint of dark fruit that lingers towards the giving a complex profile.

M - Perfection here. The right amount of carbonation and thickness of the beer make it feel so creamy. Just the right aftertaste is left behind.

O - This beer is wonderful, its very complex yet so very drinkable. Cant wait to try some more.

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 1,545 ratings.