1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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

1,457 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,457
Reviews: 250
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 7.83%
Wants: 772
Gots: 598 | FT: 49
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year) Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,457 | Reviews: 250 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Renobrew
4/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of tom10101
4/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of kiddynamite920
4.01/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle #2898 of 2011's batch. Purple wax.

A: Bottle poured into a large snifter. The head is/was tan, gone in seconds to just a ring of tight bubbles around the glass. Swirling leaves some lacing that falls quickly back into the beer. Wouldn't say pitch black here, some dark brown is noticeable when held up to light. Not really impressive looking.

S: The whiffs of this I was getting while checking out the appearance of the beer were stunning...and I'm about 3 feet away from it. Spicy and strong, smoky and woody. Sweet notes of vanilla and molasses. A bit of rye. Plenty going on here, and the base beer holds up well with all this on top of it. If you really get your nose in there it gets a bit boozy, but all the overriding sweet tones cancel this out very well. Quite nice.

T: Incredibly smooth, no alcohol burn whatsoever which I've encountered in other bourbon barrel stouts. All of the sweet notes of the bourbon come out, complimented by deep chocolate and coffee flavors. The wood adds nice tobacco and leafy characteristics. Only complaint is that it seems the base beer itself doesn't really stand out enough.

M: A bit thin for a big stout, carbonation is low. Finishes a bit strong and lasting on the back of the tongue and throat, but not much lingers otherwise.

O: Well balanced flavors and great contribution from the barrel. Found the beer thin for the style, but it is really covered by amazing compound flavors.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.03/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of bourbon and rich black chocolates is very soothing. Taste is also dominated rich black chocolate notes with some medium bourbon notes with really rounds off the rough or bitter edge of the base stout. Body is full with nice oily and creamy texture with good carbonation with alcohol not that apparent in this version.

Photo of Dominic_Decoco
4.04/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of Phelps
4.05/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into a snifter.

Pours a clear amber that coalesces to become dead black. One finger of thick, sticky sandy brown grips the glass in full walls.

Maple syrup, molasses, vanilla, oak, a touch of toasted coconut. Sweet, rich.

A bit of alcohol heat in the nose. Booze is just a bit more intense than the underlying stout. Sweet bourbon, vanilla, oak, brown sugar, maple syrup. A little more stout flavor would be good here, but the bourbon is nice. Not too harsh.

Silky medium body. Creamy. Soft carbonation, a mild massage.

Good flavor. Not the best variation ever.

Photo of femALEist
4.05/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at City Beer Store's FiftyFifty event:
It smelled pretty similar to the Heaven Hill Rye with a little bit more roasted flavors and a light bourbon nose. It tasted a bit more roasted, more bitter with espresso & toffee notes. It has a nice carbonation to it- stronger than the heaven Hill but you can taste and feel the alcohol more in this one.

Photo of oline73
4.06/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was lucky enough to try the 2009, 2011, and 2012 versions side by side. Served from the bottle into a tasting goblet. This review is of the 2009 bottle with some differenced noted.

The beer pours a very dark brown/almost black color. There isn't much head to speak of. The smell of the 2009 was very different from the newer versions. There was hardly any alcohol, but I was getting lots of dark fruit and some mild roast. I thought there was a strong raisin presence in the nose. The taste is very smooth. You can tell this beer has some age on it, but it hasn't fallen apart too much. There is a roasted malt sweetness with the bourbon mainly showing up in the finish. I'm also getting some dark fruit and mild caramel/vanilla notes. I thought there was a mild peppery note as well. The body wasn't particularly thick and there was only a little carbonation.

I liked the 2012 version of this beer more than the 2011 even though it was hotter. I thought the depth of flavor was better in the 2009 version.

Photo of artoolemomo
4.06/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours up a little more than a finger's worth of head which has a little retention. The head is a medium beige while the body is a opaque, dark chocolate black. Some lacing is left behind.

Nose- Not as much presence as I've come to expect from barrel aged imperial stouts. Some chocolate, a bit of coffee. Some heat. A bitterness (mostly oaky) that is a little bit astringent, almost like formic acid. Later, some cream and milk shows. Some graham cracker, a little bit of honey. Suggestions of caramel and toffee. Swirling shows a slight sweetness- maybe cherries or raisins.

Taste- Starts off with a good amount of chocolate (some cocoa) that has bourbon notes playing off it. Good amount of oak which builds to the finish but is surprisingly rounded. I generally don't enjoy massive oak notes but it's working so far. A little bit of heat which interacts well with the oak. The chocolate is very deep and dark and suggests notes of raisins. Light hints of coconut and vanilla start to emerge. Seems a little subdued but there is the notion that this beer will have a lot more complexity as it opens up. Unfortunately, this notion does not seem to be playing out as the beer seems to be restrained. Very approachable with a lot of balance and integration but lacks the complexity that I desire- I will suffer a bit of messiness for a more interesting flavor profile. Good to really good beer though, most leaning toward really good. Doesn't fare well in comparison to the BCBS I had last night but little does. Some ashiness and small suggestion of tobacco. Could use some sweeter notes.

Mouthfeel- Between medium bodied and heavy bodied with light carbonation. A little chalky on the finish.

Drinkability- Very mellow for a 12% barrel aged beer- perhaps, a little too mellow. The price is certainly steep- I won't be buying another to age. Aging this seems pointless anyway.

Overall- Good to really good beer, mostly good. Definitely worth a try but if the 28 dollar price tag makes you pause, you are correct in your concern. I will not be buying it again.

Photo of Daniellobo
4.06/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Ewlew
4.07/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.08/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to beerdy for this beer! Thanks Brien!

bottle numbered 3748 vintage 2011 poured into snifter glass.

reviewed from notes taken on 5/4/12.

Appearance: black bodied beer with 2 finger of dark khaki head. The head stays around for a decent amount of time considering this is a BA stout. Spotty lace on glass.

Smell: mild roast. nice whiskey and oak notes. Hints of vanilla and raisins.

Taste: This beer is actually less flavorful than I expected. Its whiskey notes seems to be prominent and I only get a little bit of chocolate and vanilla from the stout. But with that said the whiskey notes are quite nice in this stout.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation for a BA Imperial Stout. Smooth and silky. Hides the ABV very well. Could have been a bit thicker too.

Overall: Solid flavors in this beer, just nothing unique in a craft beer scene loaded with BA Imperial Stouts.

Photo of jdklks
4.09/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my buddy Jmoore50 for picking this up and letting me have a glass. As a disclaimer, I will say that the rating I've given it reflects what I believe it deserves, but not what I think of the beer. What I mean is that this beer has HUGE potential (A+ for sure), but is a little rough around the edges.

The appearance is a little lighter than I like my imperial stouts and the body looks thin. There is little to head to speak of, but some milk-chocolate colored bubbles do break the surface. The smell is the best part of the beer. The barrel aging has done wonders for this beer. Bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, sweet dark fruits (chocolate covered cherries), among other things.

The flavors follows the smell closely, and I'm torn between a 4.5 and 4 rating (can I give it a 4.25?). It's pretty hot and the whiskey profile gives makes me think of it as the little brother of BCS. Lots of chocolate throughout, and a nice (almost coffee) roast in the finish. Hints of vanilla and hazel-nut (which I absolute love in imperial stouts), with an imposing sweetness up front that levels out the bitter roastiness in the finish. It has its fair share of alcohol throughout, but especially on the back of the palate and in the esophagus. It almost tastes a little watered down. Good beer that could be seriously great.

The moutfeel is that of a porter (much too thin for an imperial stout) and is the biggest disappointment of the beer. However, this adds to drinkability as this one goes down VERY easily.

Looking forward to (hopefully) trying the other versions, and to seeing how the brewing of this beer evolves over the next few years.

Photo of AgentMunky
4.09/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a brandy snifter. Bottle 668, vintage 2011.

A: Black, with no head, but heavy lacing.

S: Boozy and strong.

T: This is a delicious beer. Not as strong as I was expecting, it's mild and inviting, with lots of soft vanilla and bittersweet chocolate. The aftertaste is warming and lingering. Still, after two years, I expected a bit more.

M: Surprisingly clean without being carbonated or thin. Solid beer.

O: Very nice! I like this beer a lot.

Photo of Chambic
4.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

01.23.10 at City Beer Store

A: dark and opaque; the barely-there head is kinda filmy

S: faint syrup, this thing promises to be sweet, although there are cocoa flavors that hopefully balances it

T: yum, it IS sweet, although it's more like chocolate

M: really nice, stays on the tongue a bit

D: highly quaffable for something that seems (IS!) so dangerous

Photo of nilesschmidt
4.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 Matonika
4.11/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a great beer. As it warms the smells and tastes inrease dramatically. Lots of vanilla, bourbon, lil oak, dark chocolate. Lots Of SOY sauce flavor. Pairs excellent with aged sharp Chedder ,older the better also a stilton would be good. This is also went good with a dark chocolate particularly one with almonds toffee caramel. Great pairing beer. Not worth the price though 32.99.

Photo of Rothobinide
4.11/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.11/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Straight black. A touch of dark brown. Small creamy tan head. Drops to a small, almost nonexistent cap and slightly larger collar. Minimal carbonation on the pour.

Smell: Coconut, caramel, toffee, vanilla, and a solid roasted malt. A touch fudgy with a solid brownie batter and chocolate push. An touch of alcohol as well. The barrel influence is heavy, dropping all sorts of bourbon. Butterscotch. A touch of cocoa.

Taste: Rich roasted malts. Loaded with chocolate, both sweeter milk and slightly darker cocoa. Bourbon is assertive and makes everything a bit boozy. Layers of vanilla, coconut, butterscotch, a touch of oak. Fudge and some brownie. The bourbon is actually really mellow and adds a nice dimension to the base stout. A touch of cola syrup thrown in the mix.

Mouthfeel: Slick with a full but not syrupy body. Minimal to moderate carbonation. Surprisingly clean.

Overall: Light urple.

The Rittenhouse Rye managed to blend better, but the whiskey here is stupid smooth and easy going.

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 sukwonee
4.12/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

2011 Vintage (so about 1.5 years old), purple wax, served at slightly colder than room temperature

A: Black, looks a tad bit thin from the way it swirls, half a finger head, mocha head that retains for a few minutes. It's aight

S: Vanilla and coconut forward (very nice!), I also get quite a bit of alcohol, roasted malt... that's about it.

T: Alcohol is a bit too much for me but it really follows the nose. I am a bit surprised though that after a year and a half, it's still this hot (and it's only 9.5%). I also taste honey towards the middle/end. It's delicious, but slightly disappointed? I think EC18 was better.

M: It's chewy alright, but a bit on the thinner side. Alcohol burn is felt for sure.

O: It's a very very good barrel aged stout, but not among the best I've had. I am glad I got to try it though! (I will be sticking to Parabola, which is cheaper and easier to obtain for me)

Photo of KRG
4.14/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mulder1010
4.15/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage poured into a CBS Snifter
#2925
Did it really need more wax??

A-- Pours a dark cola color and settled a dark reddish black color. All sorts of ruby hues with this. Nearly clear when shown to the light. Half finger of light brown head that quickly fades to a thick film that eventually breaks up into a splotchy film. Lots of carbonation bubbles in the head. Nice spotty lacing on the sides of the glass.

S-- Dark milk chocolate, honey, coconut, toasted marshmallow, and slight oak. Once opened up it shows signs of bourbon and alcohol, yet it mellows again to the original nose. Well balanced and not as sweet as the other variations have been.

T-- A little bourbon forward. Bourbon at first, followed by milk chocolate, carmel, honey, and toasted coconut. Flashes of alcohol but quite restrained. rather smooth really.

M-- Slick and oily. Alcohol is more obvious in the mouth as there is more heat in the mid and back of the palate. Bit of a milk chocolate, honeycomb, and marshmallow finish to this. There are thin parts to this but the barrel notes do a good job in covering it well.

O-- Brandy or bourbon? Something that needs to be sipped and savored. Enough notes of the base beer and enough of the barrel to make this really nice. Well done in the balance and in the softer touches of the barrel notes. Not something that hits you over the head with a hammer.

Photo of stakem
4.15/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from 2009, numbered 1151 poured into a matching Eclipse snifter. The brew appears black in color with a thin line of brown around the edges. Some big brown bubble formation around the edges.

The smell is very roasted and boozy with hints of black licorice before getting solvent. A little bit of vanilla and caramel. As it warms up, it gets a sweet almost candy-like vanilla scent that is deceptive smelling.

The taste is like burnt molasses with an oaked taste that blends into caramel and toffee with chocolate covered raisons and anise. Quite boozy with a hint of bourbon tang across the finish mixed with oak, roast and earth.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest to low level of carbonarion. It is earthen and very boozy but still shows the alcohol vibrantly with a little barrel presence. It is quite good and 4 years in the bottle has hardly mellowed this out but it has a soft amount of oxidation present.

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 1,457 ratings.