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
99
world-class

1,578 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,578
Reviews: 268
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 7.83%
Wants: 803
Gots: 638 | FT: 53
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
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Ratings: 1,578 | Reviews: 268
Photo of waltersrj
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Photo of gford217
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Photo of DocJitsu
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Photo of THECPJ
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
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

Photo of Reagan1984
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Photo of Stevedore
4.51/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.52/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Photo of womencantsail
4.52/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Photo of DmanGTR
4.52/5  rDev +1.1%
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!

Photo of yourefragile
4.52/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Photo of cradke
4.52/5  rDev +1.1%
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

Photo of alpineclimber
4.52/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.52/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Photo of rtepiak
4.52/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Photo of lighthabit
4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

another sampler from my bro over the holidays, so just an impression . . .

smooth, refined, everything i would expect from this style, but a bit subdued on the front. the finish lingers long after you're done with that sip (it's a sipper, most definitely) and make me think of something subtly smoky/spicy. a unique, and very tasty, interpretation of the style.

Photo of StoneTSR
4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Photo of KFBR392
4.54/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours with a light to medium thickness on the body, dark brown head with moderate sized bubbles, and a finger worth head. Head settles in and is lightly present only in the edges of the glass. Carbonation is low in glass but present.

Smell: Bourbon forward. The bourbon brings rich tones of vanilla, toffee, and cherries, oak. Slight burn from the alcohol which is not offensive, instead with brings a welcome layer of depth. Milk chocolate tones and lightly roasted coffee grounds. The big barrel character wins out in the end but lets so many other characteristics make an appearance.

Taste: The bourbon seems to have settled a little better on the taste but is still a robust presence. The palate is greeted by a menacing vanilla, milk chocolate, and lingering oak. The body is a slightly alcohol burn, cherries, and some medium to dark chocolate. The finish is some lingering alcohol, easy vanilla, and dry chocolate.

Mouthfeel: This brew doesn't have the huge, rich, creamy body that so many other elite imperial stouts do but all the traditional stout flavors and barrel character still come through so well. For what it lacks in rich heavy body, it makes up for in elite drinkability.

Overall: I would definitely but this in the world class BA stout category. The lighter body give it a very different drinkability but in no way is a negative in the long run. The barrel character is absolutely top notch. I bought a bottle of Elijah Craig 12yr bourbon at the same time as this bottle and I hope it packs this type of punch as well.

Photo of Overlord
4.54/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Significantly better than the four roses version.

Pours black with a dark brown border. All of these beers surprise me with their aggressive bubbling/head and lighter than expected consistency.

Smells like delicious vanilla laced bourbon, just a bit of dark chocolate, much stronger sweet milk chocolate, and more bourbon. Surprising notes of wood, smoke, and leather. Smells great.

Taste is wonderfully complex, with balancing dark roasted malts that provide just a slight dash of bittering espresso with a big heaping of bourbon, alcohol laced vanilla, and a surprisingly rich and deep lingering aftertaste of smoked bourbon laced leathery sun dried plums. Only off-note is a kind of strange burnt raisin acridness ... not sure what that is, but barely noticeable.

Just a fine, wondrous beer with rich, perfectly blended flavors that does not try to do too much. I'm starting to think brewers are just going overboard with putting too much random shit into beers. It's nice to see someone take a straightforward recipe, age it the perfect length of time, and produce something truly remarkable.

*like all the beers in this series, could use a touch more body.

****SECOND BOTTLE OF THIS FAR INFERIOR. OH GOOD GOD.

Photo of rodlavers
4.54/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

BR1, 2012 vintage, poured into a snifter.

Dark cola brown, not as black as some imperial stouts, nice dark mocha head, really thin, recedes quickly to small layer of film, ringing the glass. Opaque.

Smells hot at first, very bourbon forward, but that mellows out. After a few minutes the aroma is incredibly balanced with chocolate, coffee and vanilla, with obvious bourbon notes as well. It's less sweet than boozy.

Taste is similar, and fantastic. It really changes after a few minutes; I was alarmed by my first sip, but things evolved so quickly. Wonderfully balanced, not cloying at all. Perhaps not quit sweet enough.

Feel is smooth and pleasant. Somewhat dry, but really easy to drink. Below average carbonation.

Overall drinkable at 9.5, my advice is to age, but what do I know. Cheers.

Photo of Star80
4.54/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

BR1 2012

A - Appears very dark, with a residual tan head. Very dark brown with little or no ruby highlights.

S - Smells like bourbon with a good dark, roasty smell, some char, some chocolate, vanilla, cherries, leafy tobacco and some licorice. It has a definite bourbon barrel smell nicely balanced with roasted malts.

T - Taste has a deep bourbon flavor and some heat, vanilla, toffee, char, and roasted malts. S

M - Big bold and yet smooth at the same time.

O- Overall a massive brew to tackle with lots of flavors going on at once. Extremely complex and has a fuller bourbon flavor than some of the others which makes sense given the amount of time the liquor has spent in that barrel.

Photo of SkiBum22
4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage
Bottle # 3397

A - Pours a slightly bubbly tan/khaki colored head that retreats into the blackness of the body.

S - Lots of bourbon. Oak. Some chocolate. Cherries and other dark fruit as it warms up. Alcohol is noticeable, but not overpowering.

T - Flavor is phenomenal and extremely well balanced. Deep, robust and not overly rich. Nice chocolate notes. Mild bourbon and vanilla.

M - Mouth is just under full bodied. Silky with light creamy carbonation. Spot on for how I like in Barrel Aged Stouts.

O - Amazing brew. Can't tell if I like this or the 18 year more. The only knock I have is that I wish the ABV was a little higher but other then that this is an almost flawless Barrel Aged Stout.

Photo of MrVonzipper
4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black with 1cm khaki head. Low retention and spotty lacing. 

Roasted character in the nose with some chocolate. Bourbon is present but not Alot. A little oaky. 

Flavor is phenomenal and extremely well balanced. Deep, robust and not overly rich. Nice chocolate notes. Mild bourbon and vanilla. 

Mouth is just under full bodied. Silky with light creamy carbonation. 

Overall this beer is excellent! Great flavor and balance. Lacking inthe nose a bit but amazing flavor.

Photo of DwnTwnBwn
4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Just got back form snowboarding at North Star, stopped by FiftyFifty on the way home to give the RIS a try. When I sat with my brother I noticed 4 barrels of the RIS aging next to the hostess stand with Jack Daniels brazed on to the face of the barrel.

A - Came in a rather tasty looking package of an 8 OZ tulip glass, the head was a nice mocha brown and the body of the beer was a thick viscus black. As I drank it down the Stout coated the walls of the glass with a thick brown residue and lased fairly well.

S - There was a good amount of roasted barley with Bourbon coming through. Slight Notes of Honey and Vanilla.

T - Wonderful RIS. The Strong Chocolate and toffee notes play strong against the Bourbon. The beer is pleasantly sweet while not being too cloying. Lots of Roasted Barley and dark malts come through. There seems to be a hint of dark fruit that lingers towards the giving a complex profile.

M - Perfection here. The right amount of carbonation and thickness of the beer make it feel so creamy. Just the right aftertaste is left behind.

O - This beer is wonderful, its very complex yet so very drinkable. Cant wait to try some more.

Photo of DefenCorps
4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I'm having myself an imperial stout weekend. 09 Abyss last night, FiftyFifty Imperial Eclipse (Elijah Craig) tonight, and who knows what tomorrow. Thank you, Chris. Bottle #63.

The pour is a gorgeous black with reddish brown highlights. A Dense brown head caps this beer with great retention and some lace. A fine looking beer, this.

The nose is excellent.Creamy with some caramel and a beautiful boozy character, there's bourbon and oaky vanilla. Moderate coffee, chocolate syrup. However, this really is dominated by the barrel without being hot or tannic.
The palate opens with just a beautiful bourbon barrel character; there's caramel, vanilla and of course, a moderately boozy bourbon bite. Behind this is milk chocolate, a moderate coffee character and a very pleasant roast character. A little licorice is appears before the finish that's an excellent balance of roasty bitterness, sweet caramel and vanilla and booze. The mouthfeel is quite mindblowing, medium to full in body with a soft and gentle carbonation, and the finish is just exceptional.The balance between the barrel sweetness and the roasted bitterness character of the base beer makes this one of the better imperial stouts I've had in recent memory, this is immensely drinkable.

Photo of 321jeff
4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black with minimal head, which is to be expected, but a swirl reveals some excellent legs.

Aroma is sweet vanilla and oak with hints of dark fruits and some bits of smoke. As it warms the smoke becomes more prevalent. I'm no bourbon expert, but it really reminds me of the Elijah Craig 12-yr I have in the bar.

Taste has lots of the dark fruits that become less noriceable as it warms. Oak is most apparent in the finish with some bits of vanilla and bourbon in the middle.

Mouthfeel is perfectly smooth with mild carbonation. It's a little thinner than expected but it works well. This one goes down smooth and easy, definitely one of the best barrel aged stouts I've had.

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 1,578 ratings.