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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)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

1,257 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,257
Reviews: 239
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 7.83%
Wants: 734
Gots: 518 | FT: 32
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:
Imperial Stout aged 200 days in an Elijah Craig bourbon barrel.

(Beer added by: Jmoore50 on 12-29-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year) Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,257 | Reviews: 239 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of stakem
4.15/5  rDev -7.2%

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.

stakem, Oct 21, 2013
Photo of maximum12
4.15/5  rDev -7.2%

Thanks to cloudskipper for this bottle of '09 Elijah Craig. Just rec'd bottles of the current batch from the excellent folks at FiftyFifty, so I figured we'd celebrate by kicking the last one from '09. Split with my wife. As a side note, after the kick-ass Heaven Hill bottle, she insisted on auditing the pours to assure that I hadn't jacked her out of 1/5 of an ounce. Turn a girl on to big stouts & see what happens? Bottle #596.

Pours black, with a surprising twinkle of red around the edges. Smell is subdued, barrel, malts, good but not over-the-top.

The Elijah Craig version brings on inevitable comparisons to the Heaven Hill, which isn't quite fair (comparing anything to that near perfection). The whiskey is obviously different, rougher, giving off John Wayne vibes vs. the Ivy League tumbler of the 'Hill. The roughness bleeds through the taste. The malts seem unsettled, a bit at war with the stapled chocolates, long pull of nuttiness, chocolate, arsenic (OK, I haven't actually tasted arsenic, but I bet it's like this). Lots of minor chords, but the slash-and-burn whiskey rides roughshod over the subtleties.

Excellent beer. If it weren't fairly rare & expensive, this would be a great beer to crack open around a campfire deep in the wilderness after shedding my chaps for the day. Looking forward to trying more varieties of Eclipse.

maximum12, Dec 18, 2010
Photo of Jonada
4.16/5  rDev -6.9%

22oz bomber. 2012 vintage. Served in a snifter.

Appearance: Pours dark brown with less than a finger of a creamy tan head. Once in the glass the body is opaque black. Nice retention and lacing.

Smell: Bourbon, caramel, chocolate, vanilla, hint of dark fruit, and butterscotch.

Taste: Follows the aroma. Bourbon, fudge, toffee, roasted malt, and a bit of oak presence. Sweetness is perhaps a tad high, bordering on cloying.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, thick chewy mouthfeel. Carbonation is on the lower end of medium. Medium alcohol warmth after the finish.

Overall: Really good bourbon barrel aged stout. Probably overpriced, but still really enjoyable.

Jonada, Sep 12, 2013
Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.18/5  rDev -6.5%

Thanks to mlaroche for this trade way back when.
2009 - Bottle 78

Pours a wicked dark brown almost black color, not much of a head though and pours almost flat, no light penetration even around the edges, no lacing on the glass.

Smell has a huge bourbon molasses aroma, subtle hints of dark fruit, rich toasty malt backing that makes all the other characteristics blended so not to overwhelm the nose.

Taste starts out with a thick roasted/burnt malt flavor with a bit of a char aspect, the bourbon kicks in but after four years of age the burn has mellowed, molasses and dark fruit in the aftertaste, big thick chewy body that is hampered by a very low almost flat carbonation, not quite Lost Abbey bad but enough to hurt it from being excellent on all fronts.

deltatauhobbit, Nov 16, 2013
Photo of GoGriz
4.18/5  rDev -6.5%

Rec'd this bottle (#1105 from 2009) from jhenry04 in a killer trade. Thanks for giving me a chance to try this.

Appearance is lacking...really no head to speak of. Super thin ring of light colored foam aroud the edges and some neat looking spotting at the top of the liquid. Not inky black but close.

Smell is amazing! Bourbon, chocolate and hefty malt come through in a sweet and decadent scent that is exactly what I want out of a barrel aged beer.

Taste is dynamic. Flavors start with bitter chocolate, sweet chocolate, scotch then coffee. Finish is bourbon with a tad too much heat and bitterness for me. Still, I can see where most would think this great. I guess while I get a lot of flavor out of this, it doesn't have as much integration as I'd like.

Mouthfeel is solid - medium carnonation and perfect amount of heft on the tongue.

Drinkability is hurt by the heat and bitterness. I really want to like this beer but I can't get myself to enjoy this one as much as I want to. That being said, I want to try the other versions and compare.

GoGriz, Dec 19, 2010
Photo of johnnnniee
4.18/5  rDev -6.5%

2012 bottling Pours a solid black with a decent sized tan head that slowly dissipates. The aroma coming out of my glass is roasty, chocolate, caramel and coffee wrapped in a subtle but evident barrel treatment of vanilla, and sweet bourbon whiskey. The flavor starts off sweet and malty with lots of roast, brown sugar, and chocolate. The barrel notes rush in with vanilla, whiskey, light wood to remind us that this is no ordinary stout. Lingering roasty whiskey with a touch of ethanol burn lasts long after every sip. Thick body with a light level of carbonation and a sweet almost syrupy creamy mouthfeel. Nice stout, the bourbon adds a nice sweetness that really compliments this version.

johnnnniee, Jan 21, 2013
Photo of Jeffo
4.18/5  rDev -6.5%

My mate Doops and I were lucky enough to be able to try the entire 2010 - 2008 series. This was the fifth bottle we opened. A big thanks to everyone who made putting this set together possible. This was my favorite of the seven bottle bunch!

From a bomber into a snifter
Vintage: 2009
Bottle: 986
Wax: Purple

APPEARANCE: Similar to all the 2010 bottles, but with a bubblier head. Thin, transparent pour yields a small, bubbly looking, tan head with decent retention. Head quickly recedes to a faint wisp and bubbly ring. Black body, quite transparent, with no carbonation evident. A bubbly ring remains until the end leaving no lacing. Just too light and transparent for the style, unfortunately, and the head is just too bubbly on this one.

SMELL: Huge nose on this one. Perhaps the biggest and boldest nose of the series. Lots of bourbon aromas and plenty of barrel, such as oak, vanilla and milk chocolate. Some nice dark chocolate and licorice notes accompany a hint of roasted notes from the base beer. Lots of barrel and quite impressive. Favorite nose of the series.

TASTE: Big bourbon barrel up front, then a very nice balance between barrel and base beer through the middle into the finish. Bourbon, oak, vanilla and some milk chocolate up front eventually allow room for some dark chocolate and slight roasted notes from the base beer to show through at the swallow. A big and persistent aftertaste of barrel flavors, dark chocolate and licorice linger nicely on the palate. No heat and very, very flavorful stuff. This one probably had the best profile of the series. A bold and enjoyable flavor profile, and the barrel accompanied the base beer very well.

PALATE: Medium body and lower levels of carbonation. Smooth and silky on the palate, goes down fine and finishes slightly mouth-coating. A little watery perhaps, but very silky and smooth with enough body as well.

OVERALL: I hate to say it, but believe the hype. Easily my favorite of the ’08 – ’10 series. The look on this one was even more lack-luster than the rest of the series, which is an accomplishment in itself, but the nose and flavor profile were the most impressive, interesting, complex and well balanced of the series. Lots of barrel flavors and a good showing by the base beer lead to a very tasty brew in the end. I look forward to drinking some of the 2011 vintage of this beer, and would love to track down another ’09 as a comparison. Time will tell. This one was worth the hunt. Highly recommended!

Jeffo, Feb 07, 2012
Photo of angrybabboon
4.19/5  rDev -6.3%

Consumed 1/16/2014

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this

2013 bottle

Appearance: Dark, dark brown, black at its core - pours with a medium tan head, fades to a wispy cap, leaves some nice streaks of lacing

Smell: Big malts and big whiskey - rich malts, with a load of roast, burnt, and chocolate - tons of rich caramel, molasses, and burnt sugar - dark chocolate, with a touch of semisweet chocolate, and some fudge - the bourbon aroma is big, but it's nice - the Elijah Craig is nice, with some nice woody and vanilla notes - sweet, but it works with the overall complexity

Taste: Chocolate, caramel, and bourbon - burnt chocolate malts, dark chocolate, semisweet chocolate chips - very solid, nice stout base (not surprising, as the other Eclipse stouts are great) - burnt, roasty notes, with some coffee - big, cooked caramel, and molasses - the bourbon flavor is quite potent, but it's nice - bourbon, vanilla, wood, and some booze

Mouthfeel: Borderline full body, nice carbonation, smooth, finishes mostly dry with some booze

Overall: Another color of wax, another win

I'm not sure if this is better than the Heaven Hill Rittenhouse Rye, but it's approximately as good. The stout base is great, with a ton of chocolate, and the bourbon is nice. This is definitely a nice sipper.

angrybabboon, Jan 16, 2014
Photo of gcamparone
4.19/5  rDev -6.3%

Poured from a 22 oz bomber that has "BR2 2012" written on it into a snifter. Acquired in a trade from Surge1311.

A- Pours an opaque black body with amber highlights. A thin mocha-colored head rises and reduces quickly to leave a khaki ring. Leaves spotty lacing.

S- I'm straining to get a good sense of the aroma, but it's taking a lot of effort. After a bit of swirling, I get whiskey, dark fruits, vanilla, and some pretty noticeable booze (which is odd considering the 9.5% abv - I get less from bcbs @ 15.00%)

T- Sweet milk chocolate, raisons, dark fruit, bourbon, vanilla upfront, on the finish is freshly roasted grain and toasty black coffee. There's a hugely noticeable hop bite on the finish.

M- Medium-heavy body, very low carbonation.

I was expecting big things from this brew, and I got what I was expecting - but nothing more. Didn't blow me away. It was indeed rich and complex and very enjoyable to drink. I'm definitely going to age my second bottle, maybe that will mellow out the booze which I think is the downfall of this brew.

gcamparone, Feb 14, 2013
Photo of jimmy82063
4.21/5  rDev -5.8%

2012 vintage poured into a tulip glass.

A) Jet black with a nice tan head that does dissipate rather quickly. Very nice lacing.

S) Bourbon and Vanilla

T) The oak and the bourbon really hit you up from, what follows is some vanilla, coffee and a bit of chocolate.

M) Carbonation is medium.

O) This is very good. I like the booziness of this as the bourbon really does stand out. What is scary though is that this is easily drinkable. As this warms starting to get some more flavors such as plum. This will be savored. Glad I have another bottle!

jimmy82063, Mar 06, 2013
Photo of MrDanno96
4.21/5  rDev -5.8%

Big thanks to my friend Bobby for shelling out the $30 for this bottle!

A: Pours pitch black with about a finger of tan head and a good amount of foamy lacing.

S: Everything you would expect from a BA stout. Strong suggestions of vanilla and coconut immediately meet your nose. Look past those and you find milk chocolate, coco powder, burnt coffee, and perhaps a touch of soy sauce. Inhale deeply and you may also find a hint of tobacco smoke and a tingle of intense alcohol.

T/M: Upon sipping, my immediate reaction is to how incredibly smooth this brew is for 9.5%—it goes down dangerously easy. Lots of chocolate and molasses character up front transitions to a roasty and slightly burnt-tasting finish. Not as much bourbon character as you would expect, but notes of vanilla and oak are certainly detectable throughout. This could use a little more body, IMO. I would characterize this as barely full bodied. Not quite as thick as I want my BA stouts to be.

O: Overall a fine BA stout. A great nose and incredibly well balanced and drinkable for a 9.5% beer aged in whiskey barrels. It could use just a little more body. More body would also help enhance what is already an impressive flavor experience. Worth the $30? Maybe for the one-time experience, but I will not be running back to the store to drop $30 more.

MrDanno96, Feb 11, 2013
Photo of drabmuh
4.22/5  rDev -5.6%

Bottle shared by dyan recently. Thanks! Working my way down the top 100, very slowly for the last 10 or so.

Beer is black / dark brown, appears thick. Thin head, diffuse, breaks, pulls toward the glass. No lacing.

Aroma is sweet and big, mild barrel flavor, mild bourbon, very sweet, molasses, darkness.

Beer is medium to thick in body. Sweet at the lead off, the midpalate is molasses and bourbon, not hot, heavy finish, thick overall. Decent beer, very good. I'd have it again, looking forward to this year's Elijah Craig bottles.

drabmuh, May 16, 2011
Photo of Powderhornphil
4.23/5  rDev -5.4%

2012 vintage.

Pours black, small amount of light around the edges. Maybe two fingers of tan head and very little lacing. Nice looking overall.

Smells of sweet bourbon dominates. Maybe a bit of the barrelwood. Some vanilla. I am not as blown away by the smell as I was expecting.

Taste, bourbon, light chocolate. Barrel notes. Some licorice flavor.

Full mouthfeel with good carb.

Overall this is a nice, well done beer. But for the price, there are many stouts at least this good. Really thought this was going to be at least 4.5s across the board so really a bit of a disappointment.

Powderhornphil, Jan 06, 2013
Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.23/5  rDev -5.4%

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tasting glass.

Appearance: This pours a dark brown with walnut edges. A small brown head forms initially but fades rather quickly and leaves no lace.

Smell: The delicious aroma of Elijah Craig hits me first, with molasses, vanilla, and oak coming next. Chocolate and a bit of coffee add to the wonderful aroma.

Taste: The EC takes a minute to really hit my taste buds. Dark roasted malt blends well with a decadent dark chocolate and a bit of coffee flavor. Then a vanilla and molasses sweetness introduce the bourbon flavor. A bit of woody oak, a touch of smoke, and then the finish is lightly sweet and more bourbon. Delicious.

Mouthfeel: This is full bodied with an appropriate level of carbonation. Somewhat creamy, but also a bit dry. Bourbon has the typical warming effect.

Drinkability: Getting to try this was a treat. The beer performed as well, meeting my expectations. Another success for barrel aged stouts.

KickInTheChalice, Feb 23, 2011
Photo of Schlais
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

Schlais, Apr 13, 2014
Photo of mkrass
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

mkrass, Jul 18, 2014
Photo of daveytheformer
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

daveytheformer, Apr 07, 2012
Photo of Beerontwowheels
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

Beerontwowheels, Feb 22, 2013
Photo of akukucka
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

akukucka, May 11, 2013
Photo of MADPolo
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

MADPolo, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of qcbrewer
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

qcbrewer, Dec 07, 2013
Photo of beergorrilla
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

beergorrilla, May 10, 2013
Photo of penguinstout
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

penguinstout, Apr 12, 2013
Photo of stuart3368
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

stuart3368, Aug 23, 2013
Photo of HereforBeer
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

HereforBeer, Jul 06, 2013
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 1,257 ratings.