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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)

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

259 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 259
Hads: 1,606
rAvg: 4.42
pDev: 2.49%
Wants: 813
Gots: 660 | FT: 56
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 259 | Hads: 1,606
Photo of StoneTSR
4.53/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

APPEARANCE: This is about as dark as it gets without being straight up black. Only a tiny bit of dark brown light got through the very top of the glass when held up to the light. No flashes of ruby, no transparency, just the smallest touch of dark brown. A quarter-inch of coffee colored head tops the glass for a few minutes before becoming a patch-work of bubbles and wisps on top of the black sea of beer. A few bubbles rise from the bottom of the glass as well, but cannot be seen until reaching the surface. There is no lacing to speak of.

SMELL: Smells like bourbon with a heavier than usual emphasis on the vanilla. Of course some wood comes through as well and a little chocolate backs it all up. The only surprises here are the hints of raisin and the lack of a more boozy smell.

TASTE: My first sip is too cold and more of the booziness comes through in the form of a more oaky bourbon flavor. Following the bourbon is a closing wave of bitter, roasted, coffee-like malt flavor. I know this will change drastically in a few minutes though. As it warms the sweeter side becomes apparent. A slightly bitter, dark-chocolate beats out the vanilla of the nose, but vanilla is still there and the chocolate gets sweeter as it warms. The hint of raisin is still present, but only at the very tail end of the sip and in the aftertaste.

MOUTHFEEL: A decent amount of carbonation provides an appropriate amount of tickle to the tongue for this big, full-bodied beer. Like many other big stouts, this has a mouthcoating, but not too sticky feel as well – it is silky smooth.

OVERALL: This was one of the biggest and best beer surprises I have had in a while. I expected it to be good, but it instantly became a new favorite of mine when I tried it on tap for the first time last week. I instantly knew I had to go grab a bottle…plus another to age. I don’t know how I’ll hold off, but I have a feeling it will be worth the wait.

Anyhow, while my first few, too chilly sips were good, this is a beer that needs to warm up a few degrees. Let it sit for 15 minutes before diving in. (2,093 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.52/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours very dark with a small tan-mocha head and whisps of lacing.

S: Nice characteristics of roasted malt, bourbon, coffee, caramel, vanilla, some booze.

T: The bourbon really shines through against the rest of the flavors. Underneath are vanilla, some oak tannin, chocolate, coffee, and roasted malt. Very nice combination.

M: Beautifully boozy with plenty of bourbon; just the right territory for an imperial stout.

D: Very drinkable all around. Had this side by side with the Heaven Hill version and this one was just a tad bit better. (545 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.52/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Chris for sharing this here tick. I've had this several times now, but finally getting around to reviewing it.

A: The pour is viscous and black with a finger of tan colored head forming.

S: Smells like bourbon--delicious, delicious, bourbon. Lots of vanilla and chocolate making the nose a thing of decadence. Smooth roasted malts along with a nice oak aroma. Some toffee and caramel provide additional sweetness.

T: Intense vanilla, bourbon, and chocolate on the tongue provides an excellent drinking experience. Great roasted malts along with a really creamy caramel flavor.

M: The body is medium to full and is silky on the tongue. The carbonation is there but stays out of the way, providing a really smooth mouthfeel.

D: As much as I don't want to hype these beers up, they are just so damn good. Probably my favorite series of imperial stouts. I will definitely be doing my utmost to go to the next release party. (934 characters)

Photo of DmanGTR
4.52/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Joe for breaking this out randomly during our epic tasting!

Poured very black with garnet/mahogany hues in the light. Adorned by a big beige cap that left ample trails of lace. This is a very roasty and toasty imperial stout. Lots of burnt notes here, maybe even toasted marshmallow. Biscuit and caramel leading into lots of vanilla and oak. It's like someone took Blackout Stout and tossed in a spoonful of bourbon. Medium bodied and spritzy carbonation. Quite a delicious beer and always welcome in any tasting I attend! (533 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
4.52/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Purple wax 22 oz bottle, sampled with the 09 and 10 HH with Jeff and Adam.

Pours a viscous near black, opaque and foreboding with a quickly fading tan head and no lacing.

Aroma is rich and sweet, thick with bourbon, vanilla, oak, char, roast and smoke. A little too mild to be a 5, but perfectly balanced. As with all the Eclipses, balance between the beer and barrel is superb, with the EC bourbon dominating the flavor, a little more vanilla than the chocolate that dominated the EW and a more prominent oak and roast finish than the others. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, with subtle carbonation. Overall effect is like other Eclipses, a little thin compared to other beers of this style, but not detrimentally so.

As this warms the finish and oak separate this from the HH and make this beer a little more interesting in my opinion. Extremely smooth and balanced, it's a tossup which Eclipse I prefer. (910 characters)

Photo of cradke
4.52/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle #1930

Appearance: Dark brown to black. Even a little amber. Thin head that dissipates quickly.

Smell: Very brown sugar. pretty bitter. Some honey and chocolate. A little bit of leather.

Taste: Lots of brown sugar. Semi-sweet. Good amounts of chocolates. A very nice amount of malt. Really good complexity. The bitterness is spot on.

Mouthfeel: Enjoyable.

Overall: Really enjoyed it. I had it paired with the EC 12 which was a nice treat. Would I pay $35 for it? No. But i'm glad I got the experience and would love to have another variant again (556 characters)

Photo of alpineclimber
4.52/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Vintage 2011, bottle #1431, purple wax, poured at cellar temperature

A nice dark mahogany brew with a slight foamy tan head.

Awesome sweet caramelized sugar with notes of bourbon and vanilla, slight alcohol in the nose. The nose is all about the bourbon.

Taste is of the amazing base stout and the sweet bourbon and vanilla. The big malt flavours typical of an imperial stout are slightly subdued. Great mouthfeel.

Overall a very easy drinking bourbon barrel aged beer. The bourbon barrel aging is perfectly combined with the base stout. (542 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.52/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a FiftyFifty Eclipse snifter.

Finally getting around to trying this beer. I've been excited about this one for some time. Shared with the group during a FiftyFifty themed tasting.

The beer appears near black with a thin beige head. The aroma is vanilla, perhaps some toasted coconut, roast, chocolate, oak. Lovely. The taste follows suit. Simply delicious. A standout among the FiftyFifty Eclipse series.

It was interesting sipping this side by side with the Elijah Craig 18 Eclipse. I think both are fabulous beers, each offering a myriad of flavors. Highly recommended. (586 characters)

Photo of rtepiak
4.52/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

a lucky and expensive run in. having been extensively in 'bourbon country'... or as one would put it in the american beer realm, the midwest. i think i've had enough of this style. most blend to make something that is intense and a sip at best. and granted. there is a time for this... but i'm going to go with my gut on the fact many breweries find it in there best interest to makes this a coined methodology and a heavy handed way of getting a flavor across. few get it right.

this bourbon barrel aging is really something though. not a big head at all. light carbonation. but when agitated bubbles keep coming up. nose is a distinct and pungent bourbon oder at first. one that would make you think this is going to be a slow drink. extremely drinkable. and i would all caps that. nice vanilla that is hinted with a velvety feel. a wonderful balance and a bottle that was gone in about a half an hour.

i recommend at about 50 degrees is best. (949 characters)

Photo of Stevedore
4.51/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Shaun, for bringing this one to our latest tasting today, 11/26/2013. Poured into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass.

Review #298.

Pours a nice viscous dark brown/black body, minimal mocha head with minimal retention. Lacing is spotty. Standard bourbon barrel stout here.

Smells incredible. There's that customary bourbon barrel scent- oaky, almost on the verge of fungal, but overwhelmed by a delicious smelling chocolate brownie scent. Very rich. Phenomenal nose here.

Flavour is a notch below the nose; however I get a lot of that bourbon barrel ala Bourbon County. There's a lot of similarities to BCBS, although this tastes a little more like chocolate fudge brownies than anything else. Quite decadent.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, just the right amount of carbonation. A decent bit of heat accompanies the beer, but otherwise very smooth and complex.

Thanks for bringing this one, Shaun. This is the first 50/50 Eclipse beer I've ever had, and after this one I kind of want to see what else is out there from that same brewer. Well-done, very well-constructed and nicely chocolatey with a good mix of bourbon. (1,122 characters)

Photo of zep9865
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed with aasher on 2/28. Poured into aecht schlenterla snifter. Pours an off black with a half finger of mocha foam head

Smells of bourbon, vanilla, and a tad bit of wintergreen mint. Booze is slightly detectable.

Vanilla is more vivid than the bourbon on the palate, with a slight spearmint aftertaste.

You can tell that it's lighter in body than bourbon county stout, but still has a great feel.

This beer is not hot at all, one of it's best qualities. Ready to drink now but would do quite well if cellared. (520 characters)

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

A big thanks to waltonc for this great beer. Shared with fellow BA’s at the CBS release. Taken from notes. Bottle #1142, 2009 version.

Appearance – Pours as one would expect a vicious black into a tulip. About a half finger of dark chocolate head is achieved with a sloppy pour which dissipates somewhat quickly leaving slight brown lacing.

Smell – A luscious chocolaty vanilla aroma up front. The bourbon is there ever so slightly, though through the entire sniff. Oak, char, roasted malts, sweet fruits.

Taste – As with the nose, vanilla, bittersweet chocolate, and oak. The smooth Pappy comes in midway and refuses to be told what to do, and thus stays till the end of the sip. A wonderful char and roasted malt character toward the finish, and ends with a slight dryness. As the beer warms more dark fruits can be tasted, though they are not the focal point whatsoever. So smooth.

Mouthfeel – Thick, though not enough to take away from the beer. Lower carbonation; creamy.

Overall – I really wish I could have had this side by side with the Pappy version I had at Zwanze day. A fantastic beer, and right up there with the Pappy. Sadly, I feel this may be right there WITH the Pappy but I was so damn cold from standing outside for CBS that I did not get to properly enjoy this as I was able to with the Pappy. I would love to try this version again. (1,370 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

3/22/2010

Bottle #65 of the 2009 vintage poured into my Bruery snifter. Dark brown tinged deep crimson with a one finger light brown head lingers for a minute and leaves a little lacing when it recedes.

Prominent bourbon accompanies rich chocolate and illustrious caramel notes. As the beer warms to room temperature, vanilla and oak are more apparent. Alcohol vapor is quite mellow in the nose, and there's just a shadow of coffee behind the bourbon, chocolate, and caramel.

The flavor opens up with a touch of alcohol that's quickly eclipsed by bourbonic caramel and chocolate. There's something about the flavor of this beer that reminds me a lot of Firestone 13. Perhaps it's the interplay between the caramel and bourbon. Regardless, it's a good thing. The restrained presence of roasted malt and even lighter presence of coffee make this a smooth and mellow bourbon Imperial Stout. The heat is at an ideal level for me, neither too mellow nor stinging. The beer is lightly sweet, but it dries out in the lightly astringent, warming, and caramel bourbon finish.

The mouthfeel is silky and creamy, with a really nice upper low level of carbonation. There's a little astringency and there's a drying woody quality. Overall, this is a top notch bourbon Imperial Stout. (1,276 characters)

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

2009 Vintage shared at our Seattle BA Imperial Stout Tasting.

Pour: Pitch black with a dark espresso head and moderate carbonation.

Nose: Fantastic. The sweet, fudge, chocolate, and vanilla base beer gets a great treatment of toasted coconut, oak, toffee, and more vanilla.

Taste: Pretty similar to the nose, the bourbon is so well integrated that it blew my mind. People liked this better than the PvW version.

Mouthfeel: Dense, decently carbonated.

Overall: Really fantastic stuff here. I believe eNIGma gave it an "OMFG" and I concur. (544 characters)

Photo of gford217
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz purple waxed bottle shared with the usual suspects at the Brick Store.

Pours almost completely black with hints of light showing through the mahogany edges. Head recedes fairly quickly leaving some spotty lacing.

The aroma has more whiskey presence than the Pappy and Heaven Hill. It's got whiskey, vanilla and lots of chocolate on top of the heavily roasted black malts. Some hints of leather and tobacco.

Again, the bourbon really comes out in the taste up front. Vanilla, chocolate, roasted malts and maybe even some dark fruits hiding underneath. The finish is boozy and a bit dry, certainly compared to the other treatments I've had.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and almost slick with some soft carbonation and definitely influenced by the bourbon.

As usual for Fifty Fifty, this is barrel aging at it's very best. I think I like the more nuanced character of the Heaven Hill but, hey, that's a seriously high bar. Outstanding. (944 characters)

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

Pours a very dark brown with a fat, foamy, long-lasting, light mocha head. Head retention is about average. Wood, coconut, and chocolate syrup were noted in the aromas. Heavy viscous, creamy mouthfeel that becomes a little astringent at the finish. Chocolate syrup forward with some coconut and ample bourbon. A very, very good imperial stout. Much better than the Vanilla Bean Dark Lord that I'd had moments earlier. (417 characters)

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

I had this with a very nice cigar and they both complimented each other very well. The thick sweetness of this stout tamed the cigar burn in the mouth. It was almost like peanut butter and jelly. Very good stout (211 characters)

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

Reviewed from notes: Huge thanks to Jacob.

appearance: pitch black with a 1 finger mocha head

smell: bourbon, booze, roast, barley, malts, vanilla,

taste: bourbon, booze, vanilla, malts,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, full body,

overall: this is one hell of a stout. very well done with the balancing of the ingredients and the incorporation of the barrel.

Cheers,
The CPJ (376 characters)

Photo of Reagan1984
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Specual thanks to Ultraman9000 for providing this one in trade.

Bottle 559 from 2011

The tan head sits like a coffee milkshake. Deep shiny dark brown, not quite black. A surprising amount of frothy thick lace.

Aroma is thick, sweet chocolate, coconut with a smidge of alcohol/bourbon.

More bourbon in the flavor and some more coconut. A lovely chocolate dark malt flavor. The aftertaste is almost the highlight here. Stays with you and is wonderful. The more I play with this glass, the more I enjoy the bourbon flavors here.

Fairly bold body and quite slick. Slippery and oily, but nice. Rounded edges.

Very good beer. (625 characters)

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.49/5  rDev +1.6%
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. (965 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.49/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purple Wax. 2011 Vintage. Bottle #51.
Poured in to CBS Snifter.

A - Black with one finger of bubbly espresso coloured head.

S - Bourbon, oak and vanilla up front. Roasted malt and some chocolate aromas in the background. The barrel aging qualities are predominant but don't completely drown out the base beer.

T - A great mix of bourbon barrel aging characteristics up front - vanilla, bourbon and oak. The base beer also contributes a lot to the palate with roasted malts, coffee, some dark fruit and a hint of licorice. A slight bitterness is present in the finish. The ABV is very well hidden. Remarkable easy drinking for 9.5% ABV.

M - Medium body but a touch thin at times. Light carbonation. (704 characters)

Photo of fx20736
4.49/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought 2 bottles from Beers of the World, $ 28.99 each on 1/9/14. Poured into a goblet served between cellar and room temp.

appearance: ebony black with a cappucino head, decent lacing.

aroma: bourbon seems hidden. Smells like malted milk balls, vanilla and honey a little caramel corn and finally some alcohol esters.

taste: molasses leads the way and in a big way followed by coffee and chocolate. Whiskey finally comes out of hiding with an immediate warming sensation

mouthfeel: supple and smooth

overall: expensive but worth it, this is an unbelievably tasty beer. Definitely belongs in the top tier of Bourbon Barrel Aged Stouts. I have another of these celaring and am debating going back to the store to see if any is left. (736 characters)

Photo of Hatzilla
4.49/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2011, Bottle 350

A - Pitch black pour, foamy brown one inch head

S - Raisins, chocolate, cocoa, leather, oak, vanilla, bourbon and licorice

T - Lots of bourbon, chocolate, dark fruits, vanilla and charred oak barrels. Alcohol is well masked for the strength; a great sipper.

M - Mouth is silky smooth, carbonation in the low to medium range with a dry cocoa powder finish.

O - My first Eclipse and I can't wait to try more! This beer reminded of me of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, which is to say damn good! A strong beer but the alcohol is relatively well hidden. I really like the chocolate and relative lack of alcohol. It's there but not over the top. Cheers! (683 characters)

Photo of GJ40
4.49/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 22oz bottle.

A - Black with a moderate tan head that fades quickly leaving only a nice dusting.

S - Greta bourbon and vanilla without overpowering the other notes of cocoa, dark chocolate and brown sugar.

T - Much like the aroma. Such strong flavors yet so balanced and coordinated. A slight a sweetness which helps it stand up to those strong flavors. The medley of flavors lingers nicely.

M - Thick and chewy with a low carbonation.

O - Fantastic! I love this beer!!! (489 characters)

Photo of woosterbill
4.49/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

What is it with this tasting and purple wax? Surly Four, now this. Poured into a Weyerbacher tulip.

A: Black body with a thin dark tan head of rich foam. Looks good, but not quite great.

S: Sweet, oaky, vanilla, caramel goodness. Amazingly well-integrated barrel notes, with the bourbon only noticeable in a subdued, nuanced way. I can't really imagine a better-smelling stout.

T: Bourbon takes over more here, but not to an irredeemable point. Impressive, but not quite as splendid as the nose.

M: Very sweet, sticky, and rich. I'm loving it.

D: Intense bourbon flavor isn't necessarily the most drinkable aspect a beer can have, but this one is drinkable nonetheless.

Notes: Gigantic thanks to Tony for being so generous as to share this rare and delicious -bal aged awesomeness. I don't know what else to say about this one - it's great. I wish I had the ammo to put together a horizontal tasting of all the Eclipse beers, as that would be the definition of epicness.

Cheers! (985 characters)

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 259 ratings.