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

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year)Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year)

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

257 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 257
Hads: 1,592
rAvg: 4.42
pDev: 2.49%
Wants: 803
Gots: 647 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 257 | Hads: 1,592
Photo of inlimbo77
4.35/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz, 2012
Tired Hands glass

A: Pours really deep brown almost black. Reddish hues towards corners. Head is a light tan color. This is more head then other variations, and makes for a prettier appearance in the glass. Some lacing sheeting. Alcohol feet on the swirl.

S: I get the barrel immediately. Big vanilla and oak character coming through. Dark chocolate. Medium roast. Some blueberry underneath, like I have gotten from other ones. Some caramel flavors too.

T: Dark chocolate. Malt sweetness. Some barrel is there too. Vanilla is really nice. Blends well with base. Some bitterness in back end, but it's like a chocolate bitterness not hoppy. The mixture of base and barrel and roast and sweet is really pleasant on this brew.

M: It's full but not epically big. (773 characters)

Photo of JWD
4.35/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle purchased locally.

A- very good, dark, thick, with a nice tan head. Almost no light get through look similar to the JD version.

S & T - i really liked this one, i could taste the bourbon and the beer which worked very well together unlike the Heaven hill version which destroyed my tastes.

M & D - good thick body just like the JD but not as thick and coating as the HH version. This one was easy to enjoy the full bomber over a couple of hours to enjoy the nice flavor changes as the tempature rises.

End of the day i would probably rank the Eclipse series a little different than most, i would put it in this order

1. Elijah Craig
2. Jack Daniels
3. Heaven Hill (best mouthfeel by far!!) (716 characters)

Photo of Rutager
4.34/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This ones been in the cellar a while. Went through a bit of a thing with stouts. We've since made up so lets do this. 2013 bottle. Big thank you to wordemupg!

Black, very little brown head. Nice nose with plenty of bourbon and vanilla.a little black licorice and chocolate. Taste is sweet, bourbon, milk chocolate, vanilla and wood. Very smooth and can't find any oxidization. Great stuff. (390 characters)

Photo of mechamifune
4.34/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Looks almost a cola-like consistency as opposed to the motor oil look that a lot of BA stouts have. Slight head and pretty strong lacing. Looks enough to style.

Smell is sweetness, vanilla, bourbon, and chocolate. No real hop presence. A nice smell.

Taste is very bourbon-y upfront and finishes with a nice sweetness. Oak, vanilla, and chocolate all show up an meld together quite nicely. You taste the EC barrel here for sure. Maybe a slight char taste but no real bitterness.

Mouthfeel is a touch light, but still very smooth. I prefer my BA stouts generally to be a little chewier, but I can't really complain about this one.

Overall this is an interesting experience. You taste the bourbon in this one more than most in the style, I appreciate that a lot. As a whole, this makes me think of a more bourbon-forward Event Horizon. The only problem that that is that EH is less than half the price of this. If you are really into bourbon I can certainly see having a high appreciation for this series. In the end though, I would have a hard time justifying a repeat purchase given the price tag. (1,100 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.33/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle number 3658 split three ways on a beautiful Kirkland night.

A - Pours a dark tasted bron with a nice thin dark tan head that quickly fades to the edges.

S - Mostly oak at first then some chocolate and carmel with some soy-booze.

T - Similar to th nose. Lots of chocolate and carmel with some booze finish.

D - Decent carbonation for the style and a nice medium to heavy body. As it should be.

O - Another really good Eclipse stout. Not as amazing as the 18 yr, but still very, very nice. (504 characters)

Photo of Dope
4.33/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle 2964 of the 2011 batch.

A: Pours a pitch black with a large, dense medium brown head. Head fades slowly, leaving nice solid walls of lacing behind. Great head retention too.

S: Wonderful sweet bourbon aroma with lots of caramel, brown sugar and vanilla. Toasted sugar too. Chocolate from the roasted malt melds in nicely. Maybe even hints of coconut from the barrels? Sweet and rich smelling. Wonderful.

T: Oh yeah, really nice bourbon up front. Sweet and heavy caramel and toffee and even some molasses it seems. Lots of charred oak in there too. Heavy on the dark chocolate, kinda fudgy in a way. Chocolate turns a bit bitter in the finish with some oak from the barrels and a little burnt sugars to boot. Lingering oak in the aftertaste with just a little alcohol burn between sips.

M: Nice medium-heavy bodied. Smooth and thick.

O: One of the nicer Eclipse variants. This one is a bit heavy on the wood with lots of charred oak. I'll have to try this one fresh sometime, I wonder if the bourbon has faded a bit - this is definitely the oldest eclipse I've had (at least 18 months old now I'm guessing). Strong in the aroma but not as strong as some of the fresher variants I've had. Hard to say. Still quite good, don't get me wrong but it makes me wonder. (1,272 characters)

Photo of Holland
4.33/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to CheapBeerBuzz for this beauty!

A: dark brown to black, not very viscous, very nice tan head with excellent retention creating a froth on top. Same as the EC 18 but with a more foamy head.

S: bourbon and oak are slight in smell along with some vanilla.

T: dark fruits are heavy, but this has quite a bourbon and wood flavor along with some vanilla.

M: missing some body, but overall very good. Well carbonated with fine bubbles. Very creamy.

O: excellent beer. When I first opened it, I didn't think it would be very good. Wrong. Hope they make it again, and make it at a less steep price ($30/22 ounce bottle). Not quite as enjoyable as the EC 18, but really close. (689 characters)

Photo of Etan
4.32/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review #100!

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a brandy snifter. Bottle #2531, 2011.

A: Pours a rich black with a nice, lively chocolate-colored head. Retains pretty well and leaves a bit of lacing.

S: Big vanilla, oak, and smooth corny bourbon hits the nose. Raisins, vanilla bean, milk chocolate. Smooth as all hell, not a hint of alcohol.

T: Like the nose, sweet smooth bourbon is fantastically prominent, melding with subtle notes of milk chocolate, bitter cocoa, a bit of roast, some delicious dark fruits. Lots of vanilla and subtle oak character underlies everything. Only the tiniest hint of sweet alcohol.

M: Tiny, pervasive carbonation makes for a velvety mouthfeel. Could be a tiny bit thicker.

O: This is delicious. A bit of a thicker mouthfeel would make this even better. (788 characters)

Photo of JAXSON
4.32/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle, pours black with a very thin ring around the edges and some fine lacing. Nose is a lot of that really round, big malt, bourbon, wood, vanilla. Quite smooth and rich. Mouth is a lot of oak and vanilla up front segueing into a rich, fairly boozy bourbon finish. Spicy and showcasing a lot of vanilla. Mouth is thin. This is quite, quite good, not as hefty as I though it might be but just impressive flavor profile. (421 characters)

Photo of craytonic
4.32/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 2010 release party bottling. Shared with Habmike, Kkipple, SpencerDB, RobOrb and Advent. Many thanks to a kind mule.

Appearance: Looks basically like the rest of the 50/50 barrel aged lineup; small head, some lacing, dark pour with some mahogany brown edges.

Smell: I hate saying each of these smells like bourbon but they truly do smell like the brands of bourbon they used for the barrels. If you have not had each of the bourbons several times (enough times to pick them out of a 7 bourbon lineup) you won't have the fun wow factor of smelling and tasting each of them. After the bourbon I got a good bit of vanilla, caramel, fudge brownie chocolate and oak.

Taste: Again, the Elija Craig dominates - I can't imagine there is much character to the base beer itself besides a nice sweetness as the barrels really dominate the beer. After that there is an enjoyable fudge, vanilla toffee flavor to it.

Mouthfeel: Like to rest of the lineup, mouthfeel is the only slightly disappointing aspect. carbonation was perhaps a bit light.

Drinkability: Drinkable and enjoyable. It is funny we powered through 6 of these with no problem but were ready to cut our tongues out with a FW10-13 tasting.

We did a big side-by-side and I would rate them in this order: Pappy 50/50; Evan Williams 50/50; Elijah Craig 50/50; 4 Roses 50/50; Heaven Hill 50/50 (noticeably worse than the rest); Brandy 50/50 (Brandy being a drain pour). It was fun to try them side-by-side, each is incredibly distinct and there are certainly some winners and some losers. (1,550 characters)

Photo of lordofstarside
4.32/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2012 into a snifter, celebrating tonights lunar eclipse

Pours pitch black with a finger of brown foam. No transparency when held to the light, great lacing and retention. No visible carbonation, all around great looking beer

Smells of strong oak, bourbon, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, toffee, brown sugar and molasses, figs, currant, and alcohol. Everything blends together wonderfully, this is a lot of fun to smell

Taste mixes and matches with the smell. Upfront lots of oak and bourbon, but also strong fruit notes- lots of currant and fig. Chocolate and coffee malts follow soon after, finishing with notes of vanilla and molasses. Finally a bit of booze on the finish

Feel is thick and heavy, alcohol drinks pretty warm

Overall good, still very strong with the booze and fruits which I figured would have been long gone sixteen months later (852 characters)

Photo of BearsOnAcid
4.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black liquid with a small khaki head.

Smooth integrated bourbon is first noticeable in the aroma. Glazed raisins, big vanilla wafting into the air. Slightly stronger alcohol smell next to the '09 JD and HH.

Taste is a chocolate fudge bomb with a beautiful bourbon aftertaste. Sharp notes of charred oak and vanilla. A real easy drinking BA stout. It's just so smooth and chocolatey. (384 characters)

Photo of jethrodium
4.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 650 ml bottle generously shared by colonelforbin. Thanks Mike. Pours a black that is cola brown at the edges when help up to the light. A small tan head has good retention and leaves a decent amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma is soft oak, some bourbon, marshmallow, vanilla, honey, caramel, some cherry, and some light alcohol. Initial taste has some sweetness with marshmallow, oak, bourbon, and some light roast. Then some hints of plum and cherry. Finish has a light bitterness and leaves a bit of lingering bourbon flavor. Quite smooth overall. Like the other versions of Eclipse this has a light mouthfeel, although this version has a bit of creaminess. Low carbonation. Overall, this is a great beer. (718 characters)

Photo of claaark13
4.29/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Mike/Mihir for sending this my way.Poured into a Founders snifter at around 60 degrees. 2009 bottle.

A - Pours fairly black. Light head turns quickly into lacing. Sticks surprisingly well to the side of the glass. The bubbles that appear solely due to the pour ending in the middle of the glass are considered in the score here, as they don't make it look better. Looked the same on both pours.

S - I could smell it with the hiss of the cap. Sweet, smooth bourbon. Not as potent as I'd initially thought from the opening of the bottle. Slightest hints of toffee and chocolate.

T - Smooth, fairly balanced amount of a caramel/toffee, dark malts, slight sweetness and then a nice charred oak finish. Quite enjoyable. I find some dark fruits throughout as well. There is a little bit of hotness still going on, but nothing to deter me at all. The balance that the taste provides, while still being complex, is by far my favorite thing about this beer.

M - Moderate thickness and silky. Has almost a bit of flatness to it though and I find that a little bit off-putting. The mouthfeel grew on me as ounces disappeared. It is like carbonation was sacrificed for a better feeling of thickness. I guess I actually like that.

O - Pretty good one here. It lacks here and there, but I could drink this all day. Due to the carbonation and current balance, I really don't see this getting much better. That won't stop me from waiting another year to open my next bottle. (1,474 characters)

Photo of cbutova
4.29/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Last of four Eclipses of the night. Stoutfest III rolls on.

A- Pitch black pour to seven glasses for all of the great attendees of our annual StoutFest. On top of the black beer there is a small light tan cap to about a finger with decent retention. Falls to a small-ish foamy ring leaving spotty lace and some nice blankets too.

S- Seems a bit deeper than the previous offerings of Eclipse and lacks the huge dark fruity dominance. Whiskey is deep with fresh oak, vanilla and general Bourbon notes. Cocoa, caramel and some sweets in the backdrop.

T- As an Elijah Craig 12 drinker, I can appreciate this. The whiskey feel just reminds me of the greatness that EC12 is for a $30 bottle. Strong, in your face fresh toast oak and peppery Bourbon whiskey with a nice sweet vanilla finish. Base is still a bit weak IMO and that is true in all the Eclipses we had. Cocoa, caramel and some toasted nutty malts.

MF- Medium thick body with moderately high carbonation. Semi-creamy but lacking texture for a, basically, 12% stout. Finishes with some peppery Bourbon heat and faint roasty bitterness.

Probably my favorite Eclipse of the night because I truly recognize the EC12 feel. I love that "in your face" Bourbon character of Elijah Craig and the dilution into this stout works out pretty well. Still wish the base stout had more character but I can appreciate this. (1,367 characters)

Photo of john0721
4.29/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle.

color:black

head: thin, light brown, fading fast

nose: bourbon, oak, vanilla

taste: initial sweetness, bourbon, vanilla, hint of berries, fading into chocolate which remains in a mild bitter finish.

I like this beer, but I can't say it lives up to its price point. (284 characters)

Photo of NorCalYeti
4.29/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

taste- maple syrup, milk chocolate, hints of coffee, bourbon, raisins, cinnamon

color- deep brown

clarity- pours clear but is opaque in the glass

smell- toast, vanilla, oak, alcohol

body- syrupy and smooth, warmth from the alcohol, bitterness from the hops tends to hit at the front of the mouth, lingering finish, sweet mid-palate

appearance- completely flat, the faintest hint of lace on the glass, no noticable active carbonation

overall impression- a bit disappointed...i was expecting a much fuller beer with a little more complexity. very nuanced and balanced just didn't pack the punch i was hoping for.

notes and comments- bottle 987/2009. probably shouldn't wait much longer on this bottle unless you like your beers with less spontaneity. little to no audible carbonation upon opening. pretty boozy and will catch up with you in a hurry

beer spy- monument wines and spirits, concord ca, 2011, $22.99, 22oz

glassware: tulip (941 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.29/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle 128 of the 2011 release

Appearance: Pours a pitch black color with a very modest head that leaves a trail of dots behind

Smell: Roasty and slightly smoky, with chocolate fudge, bourbon and vanilla elements

Taste: Chocolate fudge, up front, with the roasty/smoky elements building into a full Bourbon character by mid-palate; after the swallow, the vanilla builds to smooth out some of the harshness of the beer's relative youth though the finish still has some rough edges

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with low to moderate carbonation; slightly creamy but also slightly thin; warmth in the gullet from the abv

Overall: A very nicely balanced bourbon-barrel aged IS; other than the appearance and slightly thin mouthfeel, this is really a top drawer example of the style (783 characters)

Photo of Auror
4.28/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed today but reviewed from notes later. Split two ways. Cellar temp bottle poured into my CBS snifter.

Appearance- Poured black with a tan, surprisingly fluffy head. Head fades fairly quickly but leaves a nice persistent ring. Thick lacing coats the glass. Looks like a bourbon barrel-aged stout should.

Smell- Notes of chocolate, alcohol, and molasses dominate. Moderate fragrance level.

Taste- Chocolate again, surprisingly some nuts. Bourbon lends alcohol heat and vanilla. Decent amount of oak and roasted coffee bitterness on the back-end that was missing from the aroma. Very solid, but doesn't blow me away.

Mouthfeel- Very soft carbonation, and not dry at all. Definitely a viscous component. This beer is somehow both thin and chewy, but I like it.

Overall- The alcohol was well hidden in this (I'm told its higher than listed 9.5% abv), and the flavors were good, if not mind-blowing. A nice interplay of chocolate and vanilla. Pretty drinkable. Probably not worth the $, but splitting it made it worth it. (1,027 characters)

Photo of jsanford
4.27/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle 90.

Poured a dark black with a thin khaki-colored haze and slight ring. Big, sweet aromas of dark roasted malt, brownie batter, and caramel, vanilla, and oak from the Bourbon barrels. Taste is similar to the nose, tons of dark chocolate, malt, and high-quality Bourbon character. Incredibly smooth and drinkable, the Bourbon has none of that "fiery" quality and is so nicely integrated into the beer. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, with a medium mouthfeel (a bit thinner then I hoped/expected) and lowish carbonation. Overall an amazing barrel-aged Stout, glad to be able to crack it with good friends! (611 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
4.27/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Big thanks to my boy Ryan for sharing this bottle with me!

Bottle #2508. My second Eclipse variant, and hopefully not my last. It pours a straight obsidian topped by a small bit of dark tan foam. The nose comprises chocolate syrup, chocolate powder, roasted malts, bourbon, vanilla bean, oak, and molasses. The taste brings in more of the same, though with a touch more vanilla, a good amount of bourbon, and a tiny touch of char in the background. The body is a lithe medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a pretty damn smooth feel. Overall, a very nice stout, one that suffers only from its relative thinness (though this doesn't hold it back too much, if you ask me). Good times. (731 characters)

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.27/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Alex for generously sharing fifty million things, including this.

A - It pours a shiny brown-black, and is capped with a thin layer of khaki froth, eaving spotty lacing upon the glass.

S - The nose is subtle and sublime; notes of chocolate, sweet buttercream, vanilla-oak and dark fruit make for a smooth and understated nose. Heavy roast, coffee, char, brutality; none of it is apparent in the nose.

T - The taste is so smooth, that I actually think it is crosses the line into being too smooth; it has no edginess to speak of. There are delicate nuances of milk chocolate, vanilla fudge, buttery oak, and hazelnut; whisky barrel character is quite subdued, I'd honestly prefer to see more of it. As it airs out, the booze is slightly more apparent, but still, this Elijah Craig stuff is just too damn smooth.

M - The feel is very nice; as silky as I recall a brew being.

O - This beer, though quite nice, is over-hyped. It is not mind-blowing, it is just very very good. The barrel is too subdued, and the base beer is not dynamic enough to push it to the highest level. (1,091 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.27/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Nanoslug for sending me this a while back. Finally got around to opening it - shared at the WLV/de Struise event. Served in a wine glass.

A - Late-rising half-finger of tan foam that settles to a wispy partial cap, leaving behind spotty lace. Near-black body that is raisin brown at the fringes.

S - Big raisin and dark fruits, milk chocolate, fudge, and vanilla. It's on the sweet side of things, with only light roast and oak character.

T - Taste is heavier in oak, with some elements of cocoa and anise bitterness in the finish. Seems a bit empty mid-palate, although it improves substantially as it warms up. It's closer to a 4.0 when it starts, but gets closer to 4.5 by the time I was wrapping up my pour.

M - Smooth, sticky, and chewy body. Plenty sufficient in heft for the listed 9.5%, although I think that's actually for the base beer. No obvious alcohol warmth.

D - This is very good, but I can't get past the nagging feeling that it was probably better about six months ago. A very enjoyable barrel-aged stout that isn't quite up to the level of the top percentile. Still - highly recommended. (1,121 characters)

Photo of DaveHS
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2009.

A-Pitch black with a thin, coffee colored head. No lacing.

S-Bourbon oak, vanilla, espresso bean, raspberry, bittersweet chocolate.

T/M-Just gorgeous. Thin on the tongue, but lush and silky on the back of the throat. Strong coffee bean/bourbon flavors, complemented by a touch of vanilla and honey. There is an off flavor of charred wood/chalkiness that gets distracting after awhile. Full bodied with low carbonation.

O-A great beer, but WAY too expensive. Loses some points for the ludicrous price. (518 characters)

Photo of Treebs
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. purple waxed bottle served in a Firestone Walker tulip. 2011 vintage, bottle # 2286.

A: Pours black color with dark brown edges. A one finger height of light tan foam forms on the pour and recedes quickly to a thin collar. It's a little bubbly and leaves some spotty lace down the glass.

S: Bourbon and oak with honey sweetness. There is nice mild chocolate, some roasted malts and a little caramel on the finish.

T: Sweet bourbon. It's very smooth and is integrated nicely with the base beer. Mild oak with a nice caramel and dark chocolate flavor profile. The finish is slightly warming.

M: Medium bodied with a medium carbonation. Smooth and rich mouthfeel.

O: The best of the 2011 variants (that I've had so far). The barrel was nicely integrated and melded well with the base beer. (798 characters)

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 257 ratings.