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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.

263 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 263
Hads: 1,656
Avg: 4.43
pDev: 19.41%
Wants: 825
Gots: 672 | FT: 57
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 263 | Hads: 1,656
Photo of gibgink
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

An absolutely amazing beer. Was expecting a good bourbon barrel stout, but did not know the transformation that takes place with this beer. The bourbon is present in the nose and a little on the palate, but the chocolate blew me away. Simply fantastic!

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Photo of rjp217
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2012 bottle poured into taster size snifters

A - Pitch black with a half finger head that holds magnificently long. Huge amounts of lace that stay on the glass throughout. Perfect!

S - Bourbon, chocolate, honey, graham cracker, vanilla, toffee. This has such a good and balanced aroma. I can detect so many smells that all blend together. Perfect!

T - Follows the nose completely with some toasted marshmallow. Fn amazing how the bourbon just comes together with the chocolate notes. You can taste the 12yr Elijah Craig greatness in every sip

M - Silky, frothy type smoothness with no burn at all. The mouthfeel I've always looked for in a big bourbon barrel stout

O - Well, I did it. Perfect 5s. I've never had the pleasure of having this fresh but the year and half put on this has put it in a class of its own. This is truly sublime and a masterpiece. The price point is pretty insane but after tasting this I can almost justify it. Just perfect!

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Photo of 120minuteman
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a beer. A MUST try for anyone passionate about barrel aged beers.

A: Rustic black color, lots and lots of lacing, minimal head.
S: Sweet goodness. Notes of caramel, toffee, and butterscotch (the sweet smell of a carnival)
M: Slick and creamy texture, very light carbonation.
O: This beer promises lots of rich and complex flavor, and boy does it deliver. Not for the light of heart, but one of the best beers I've ever had. Pricey at $30 a bottle, but definitely worth trying. Excited to try the java variant in the coming weeks.

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Photo of KGilmour
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow! You expect a lot at such a high price tag. Paid $27.99 at Beverage Warehouse in Winooski, VT.
Eclipse did NOT disappoint.

L: Deep dark black. In a pint glass with a direct beam of setting sun on the other side of it, I could just barely see a hint of ruby in one tiny spot of the glass. The rest was pitch black. Lacy half inch of head.

S: Sweet, alcohol, chocolate. Intense.

T: Holy wow. Like an entire bar of the best Belgian dark chocolate dipped in Bourbon. A tiny hint of the espresso and mocha. Others have mentioned Vanilla, but I couldn't detect it. Mostly sweet chocolate and alcohol. But no bitter, biting after taste. Very smooth and clean.

F: Smooth and full, lingers slightly on the tongue, then gone. Very sweet. Very delicious.

O: I'm seriously impressed. The inflated price tag demands a stringent assessment, but Eclipse (or at least this Elijah Craig 12-Year variety of it) lives up to the expectations. Not the sort of thing you could drink every day, but certainly something stout lovers should sample at least once.

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Photo of wpqx
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I honestly didn't think this was going to be as good as it was. Picked up the 2012 version so it has about a year's worth of age on it, poured into a makeshift tulip (my best glassware is not here). So a few thoughts:

A - Even holding this up to the light there is virtually no color, just black, they don't call it Eclipse for nothing, outstanding.

S - Smells like that Elijah Craig 12 year whiskey, you can definitely get the boozy aromas with a bit of the honey, a little coffee as well, just an overall wonderful smell.

T - For a beer that's 9.5% this is very noticeably boozy which might be a turnoff for some but is everything I love about a good barrel-aged imperial stout. Incredibly smooth but with a noticeable bourbon taste to it.

M - This just coats your palette like a good beer should, decent amount of carbonation to for a beer of this kind.

O - I initially balked at the retail price of this beer (as well as the rest of the Eclipse series) but good god this was sooo worth it. This is the first thing I've ever tried from FiftyFifty and they have a new #1 fan. Extraordinary beer.

There I'll stop kissing this beer's ass now, but if you see it, buy it, so good.

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Photo of pkalix
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

ultra-dark brown, not black. nice layer of tan-ish foam on the first pour- not too vigorous, don't wanna spoil what liveliness exists in this gal,,, supreme super shiny micro-bubble lacing down the sides. had her sister last night, the Grand Cru. best brew I had ever had, in my life, I believe.... I thought I was spoiled....
strong, pleasant, sweet mix of bourbon/whiskey with some coffee, dark fruits and vanilla(?). like a really good whiskey, I could go on sniffing this until it warms... I am expecting very much from this one; this is my 4th Eclipse in the last month. i'd never heard of it, nor known of it before. what a find! what a heavenly aroma! without grossing you out, I could probably orgasm with a constant stream of this smell into my nostrils... and I haven't even taken my first sip... raisin? plum? alcohol!
first sip.... nicely darkened fruit. nice malty, sticky syrup on the finish. a little bit of coffee. I've never wanted to nurse and embrace a beer like I have this one. I've never wanted to take my time with a beer like I have this one. I've never been so giddy knowing there's still half a bottle of beer in the frig to finish off as this one. I've never wanted to be so ALONE with a beer as I have with this one. still relishing the wonderful fragrance, another long smooth draw is utterly satisfying to the palate. my girlfriend would never understand and I hope she doesn't come home anytime soon. she's already threatened to put me in to Jenny Craig.... or was that
Betty Ford? I get the two mixed up. maybe because it's that I know this is my last one and I don't know where to find another one until December, but I am utterly ravished with this nectar. the pliny before this cant hold a candle to it. i'm sorry. if every beer were like this, I wouldn't feel the need to rush through beer after beer to get to the next one in hopes of finding the next "god-sent" product. as I stare lustily at my STILL-half-filled glass, my ability to restrain myself surpasses ALL my expectations and I can only imagine the jealousy my girlfriend would experience if she only knew I could hold on this long for such a beautiful endeavor. another privileged mouth full of heaven and I can feel the smooth rush of bourbon-tinted wonderfulness teasing and exciting every last taste bud on my tongue- even the lethargic ones left over from my pot-smoking days are energized into a frenzy and clamoring for more. I am utterly entranced. these people who make this beer are my heroes. they have made me forget about Russian River completely. I am completely and utterly enamored with this brew. I cant hold off any longer. my youth and inexperience are coming back and I feel like a teen-ager again. I don't know how much longer I can hold back- I just wanna GULP in this last bit of my glass... must, hold, back...
okay. i'm back. I can honestly say I've never taken this long to write a BA review for any beer before. 2nd pour is just as beautiful as the first, maybe a little more head. but that dissipated rather quickly. I don't know why but I felt this internal, inherent desire to CHEW away the remaining grape-colored wax dripping off the side in suspension... I AM heterosexual...
I don't know what else to say. this is rapture, losing-your-virginity and a firm-pat-on-your-dog's-head kind of ecstasy all rolled into one. my only desire is to relax and finish this one out in privacy. if anybody within my close personal circles is reading this, a case of this is my ultimate Christmas present and birthday present all rolled into one. hell, i'll even give you a pass for the rest of my life.
if St. Bernardus is a 5, this is a 6. I will renounce all my beliefs in modern-day science and call the earth flat for a case of this beer. umm, in case you're wondering, this is my 5.... on top of all other 5's....

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Photo of Kraig
4.99/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Excellent Stout beer. Slight honey flavor was outstanding. I also enjoyed the oak barrel flavoring. The oak barrel flavor and the honey flavor compliments each other greatly. This is an extremely dark beer and definitely named appropriately.

I highly recommend this beer.

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Photo of Jmoore50
4.97/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

When this beer first came out I thought that the Heaven Hill Rye was better. As time went on the reviews kept favoring the Elijah Craig version. Well last Wednesday the year old Elijah Craig was on tap and it was perfection. I was absolutely floored by how good this had aged in the keg.

The appearance on this is dark black with lighter mohagony edges. It is poured with a nice one finger head that develops into a film over the entire beer. Nice alcoholic legs that are now a standard with these Eclipse releases.

I could not keep my nose out of my snifter. Absolutely perfect. Vanilla, caramel, chocolate, toffee, coffee, sweet whisky sugars, a little bit of marshmelow.

It kept getting better and better every time I took a sip of this magnificant brew. Everything that I could smell was beautifully integrated in the beer. The notes of strong chocolate were being muted by vanilla and caramel, slight hints of coffee were accompanied by the roasted grains and strong sense of barrel. The whisky was not overly powering but integrated perfectly with other flavors. I mention in a few of my reviews how barrels push flavors to the brink. I do say that the flavors on this beer are not overpowering in any way. Overall incredibly impressed with the age on this one.


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Photo of DosBeerigos
4.94/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

C: How Clear is Black?
H: Deep Black
N: Chocolate, Bourbon, & hints of Vanilla

WOW, A Perfect Barrel Aged Beer? Maybe not perfect, but this is DAMN CLOSE.
Tons of chocolate with hints of bourbon all though the taste. The mouth feel is fantastic, even with little-to-no carbonation. I would like just a hint of more body, but honestly this is one of the best barrel aged beers I have ever had.
If you have the opportunity to try it, DO IT! Big thanks to JahLove for hooking me up with a taste of this!

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Photo of coriswrasse
4.94/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle poured aggressively down the middle into a concave pint. Happy Super Bowl Sunday! Extremely creamy and frothy head 2 inches tall and then settling in nicely. Leaves tremendous lacing after each sip. Nose is subtle at first but then breathe in once more and oh my! Chocolate and the slightest back hints of bourbon. Other stouty flavors abound as well. Nice! Taste is superb. Not heavy chocolate in the finish but just thin malty sweet goodness that lasts on the tongue. The bourbon flavor creeps in the back end quite nicely as well. You want more after each sip. At this point it's aged well so dare I say I want to session this?!

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.92/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This review is of the 09' vintage as i did a side by side of this one and the 11' this past weekend

Look: Very dark brown almost black in color with a 1/4 inch tan head and ok retention and when you drink it down it leaves a film on the side of the glass

Smell: The nose is loaded with copious amounts of chocolate, oak, marshmallow, coconut, and bourbon

Taste: The flavor is just as good if not better than the nose. It starts out with a wonder chocolate and coconut flavor and the coconut is just wonderful. The beer then finishes with a nice amount of oak and elijah bourbon. The alcohol is incredibly well hidden where as the 11' the alcohol still shows its face

Mouthfeel: Medium body and mild carbonation with absolutely no alcohol burn which the 11' still had

Overall: The 09' is drinking incredible well at this point and I honestly don't see it getting any better where I believe the 11 could use some time in the bottle but is still great in its own right

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Photo of ProfessorKeon
4.89/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I compare this one to Oskar Blue's Ten-Fidy but in a perfected way. Much of the same malt flavours/aromas but the over all flavor is so much smoother and nicer to drink. Then the sweetness. Wow. I'm glad I made the investment to try one of these. Very worth it.

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Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.87/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks jmu500! Opened and shared with some friends on Kate the Great Day 'eve. Reviewing from notes. Poured from a 22oz bottle with purple wax top into a small brandy snifter. Pour is dark with a very nice looking frothy head, and excelent sticky lacing.

Wow, the aroma is strong and wonderful! Tons of bourbon and roasted coffee. The booze is very prominent. If you like stouts, you'll be in love with the aroma of this beer...sweet and inviting...mouth watering if you will!

What an awesome beer! The bourbon just adds complexity and warmth to a great backbone. Tons of malty sweetness, chocolate, roasted barley...just totally sweet, but not overkill or overwhelming. Full body, creamy, and semi-thick, yet excelent drinkability. Carbonation is perfect for this beer. Overall...and again, what an awesome beer!

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Photo of AdamF625
4.85/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

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Photo of MBrausen
4.82/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage, poured from a bottle into a CBS snifter.

A. Pours a pitch black color with a very slight red hue, a 1mm head that quickly resides to light bubbles.

S. Smells very sweet, somewhat of port wine, light chocolate and whiskey.

T. Tastes of chocolate, port wine flavors coming through and some mild and well blended whiskey.

M. Medium-heavy body, tingle and a wine-style dryness, with high carbonation.

O. This is an amazingly good beer. Very smooth and well bodied. Not very hot at all given this has not been aged at all. Lots of bold flavors. A beer everyone should attempt to have at some point!

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Photo of shortysdude285
4.82/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a very deep brown. Not quite black as it's not entirely opaque, especially in front of light. No real carbonation or lacing to speak of.

S - Smell is complex and incredibly well balanced. A little heat at first from the barrel, with notes of coffee, licorice, and brown sugar.

T - Taste is as delicious as the smell. With every sip I swirl it on my tongue for a bit before swallowing to get the full body. Not quite as good as the Heaven Hill was in my opinion but the difference doesn't change the 5 rating

M - The low carbonation gives it a smooth taste, caramelizing in the mouth before being swallowed. Not too sticky, but the highlights of the taste complexities stick around after the liquid is gone.

D - Though I love Imperial Stouts, 1 bottle usually pretty much does me in for a night. However, this one somehow packs a backdoor drinkability. Along with its incredibly complex flavors, I find myself just wanting more and more of it.

Unfortunately this is my last of my bottles that isn't for trading with the exception of my 1 EC and 1 HH I have aging, but those are for another time. Can't wait to try these two again with some settling time.

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.82/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After immense struggling with the wax, I got the bottle top off. Poured halfway into a duvel tulip.

Seriously pitch black, I can see my reflection in the glass. Half finger bubbly khaki head. Good retention. Head resides to covering half the surface of the beer and good head around the edge of the brew that is touching glass.

Lots of fragrance as soon as the bottle is opened. Smells like dark chocolate, vanilla, coconut, and pistachio. Also, sweet chocolate malts and alcohol.

Tastes like vanilla, chocolate, coconut, bourbon, nut oil (almond, peanut, pistachio).

This beer is quite heavy. Fairly well carbonated, and medium dry.

Good drinkability. Especially for the abv.

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Photo of JohnQVD
4.81/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours black with a thin bubbly head. Heavy bourbon smell, kind of sweet. Medium-thin body, with light carbonation. The bourbon taste is heavy, with some roasted coffee in the background and a very small amount of carbonation bite. Mild aftertaste with a slight lingering astringent bitterness.

This is well-balanced for as bourbon forward as it is. This is one of the best bourbon-barrel aged beers I've had.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.8/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

1361st Review on BA
Bottle to CBS Snifter

2011 Purple Wax

App- So I am really suprised at the black richness of this compared to the 18 year. Much more inky black with a better two finer head with a great line of cling and a swirl on the top.

Smell- This is a great smelling stout. Its a bit of a bourbon, creme, vanilla, chocolate mousse type of thing. No burn at all on the nostrils and just can sit and smell for days. The booze is there on a large pull but its completely hidden within the confines of a small smell.

Taste- I can understand why this one is the best of the bunch. Has a ton of flavor behind it without being cloying or abrasive. The booze is super hidden and the bourbon adds just layers of super creamy flavors. Its a bit oaky and vanilla and a bit of a whip creme like note. Just a wonderful stout. To me its almost a baby BT. Just cut in 1/2.

Mouth- A full medium body with a low medium carbonation. Super creamy with a lush feel to it. Just a smidge too thin. I am just being nitpicky I think. Amazing residual creme, vanilla and oaky booze.

Drink- There is no doubt in my mind why this is so highly rated. I know why I wasnt a fan of the 18. This kicked its ass and now I am kicking my ass for not drinking this sooner and ordering more of it...DAMN!!

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Photo of francisweizen
4.8/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark, dark, dark black with a small mocha whisp head

S: Bourbon, specifically Elijah Craig!, a bit of oak, vanilla, and almost some red wine in the very very back

T: Oak, chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, and more.

M: Thick, in fact almost a bit too thick for this BA

O: Phenomenal but almost overdone. This is fantastic, but the drinkability is an issue for me.

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Photo of rxdrewthejew
4.78/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this in a flight last night at Blue Palms. Very impressive stuff.

This was taster number 2. The appearance is nothing special, dark black, no head to speak of, but looks a bit syrupy. The smell really jumps out at you. It smells very sweet, boozy, bourbon and vanilla. The smell is great but it did make me a bit concerned that the beer would be oversweet. Not a problem though. The beer is sweet, but not overly so, and a lot of the booze in the nose is gone in the taste. Vanilla, coffee, bourbon and chocolate dominate the flavor. Very little roastyness, which I really like in a stout. The feel is outstanding. Low carbonation, and very smooth and syrupy. Coats the mouth and the flavor lasts. Finish lingers but is not dry. Although it's a sipper, the glass was gone before I even realized it. And the alcohol is surprisingly low considering the flavor...this is practically sessionable as imperial stouts go. Really really good stuff, by far the best of the four Eclipses I had last night.

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Photo of fatsnowman22
4.78/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A - nice tan head dissipates quickly to a pencil thin ring. great barrel presence

S - cocoa. dark chocolate, slight cinnamon, bright bourbon

T - everything very balanced and nuanced. caramelized brown sugar, chocolate, bitter chocolate

M - coats the tongue without being thick. spot on

O - phenomenal brew with great balance and a myriad of things going on. if someone detected something and told you i am sure you could find it

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.77/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I would be a liar if I said I was not entirely over joyed to be able to crack open this purple wax seal last night. Bottle #1152, I have only previously had the Pappy version which was outstanding. But this was a whole new level. Served damn near room temperature for most of the session, this one was
consumed on 07/11/2010.

Pours dark as night, abyss like with no color coming through and the viscosity of oil. Small head of tan peaks up fro just a moment before settling back down to earth and leaving a mostly bare top that had some decent lacing down the glass,
but never really did recover.

Aroma is deep vanilla and boozy notes. Hits you like a ton of bricks right from the start. Amazing depth here, dark chocolate goo, rich roasted coffee that provides a touch of bitterness to the back end. Toffee, wood notes and as it really hit its peak a dark fruit that almost came across kind of smoky. Rich, thick profile, really like chewing on it as it goes down and you feel every drop of this one. Vanilla leads that charge with a soaking dose of whiskey and cocoa. Extremely mean flavor as each sip wanted to destroy my body on me, really un cool, but I wanted it. Final taste was a long boozy vanilla that mixed well with a light coffee bitterness to seal the deal.

Overall really just a great, great beer. I am not sure what more you could ask for in a BA RIS, other then a bit bigger of a look. But damn, this one laid me out.

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Photo of ISmith87
4.77/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - 5.0 - This is an amazing looking beer. Brown/black opaque beer with a nice mocha head that is very fine and sticks around.
S - 4.75 - Tons of bourbon, chocolate, cocoa, caramel, vanilla, sweet cream. It smells very sweet and a little boozy.
T - 4.75 - At first you get a lot of bourbon and booze, but then it gives way to chocolate, cocoa, woody and smokey characteristics. Caramel and vanilla are in there but very faint. You can definitely tell this is barrel aged as it's very smooth despite the ABV.
M - 4.75 - Thick, chocolate milkshake type mouthfeel. Little bit boozy, but at 11.9% ABV it's reasonable. The aftertaste is a nice roasty, chocolate/coffee.
O - 4.75 - I went back and forth on the idea of buying this for a while. It's very readily available but so expensive.

There's two ways to look at this.

FIRST - A lot of people wouldn't think twice about spending this much on a bottle of wine or hard liqour. In addition to that, it's barrel aged for at least 3 months, and then most of the bottles on the shelf are early 2012 or 2013 (they probably sit because they're expensive) so they're already aged for basically another year or two. This could be aged for a long time and would probably only get better. So looking at it like that, it's reasonable.

SECOND - For the price of this beer (28.99 + tax), you could easily make a good batch of homebrew, or buy multiple 22 ounce bombers or six packs of something else. It's really expensive.

IN CONCLUSION - I'd say it's worth it if you really care about trying different kinds of beer. Maybe it's just the mystery of what a 30 dollar beer really tastes like, but I had to get this out of my system to be satisfied. And in addition, I could probably never get an elijah craig barrel to age an imperial stout in, and that's assuming I could make an imperial stout this good in the first place, which I haven't had the patience to do yet. I wouldn't buy it again, but I'm glad I got it to try just once.

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Photo of Omnium
4.77/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bomber into a sniffer glass
A. Black cherry color with a finger of khaki head, little lacing.
S. Some dark fruits, fig, black cherry, coffee, rich roasts, sweet malts.
T. Smooth toasted caramel rich subtle chocolate light malt roasts creamy smooth . Slight alcohol flavor. Light ly woody some subtle dark fruits. Just incredible.
M. Smooth and rich no detection of the nearly 12% abv. Velvety texture.
O. Split this with 4 friends and its one of the best things I've ever had. Incredible balance of rich flavor

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
98 out of 100 based on 263 ratings.