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

1,578 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
Sort by:  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: 1,578 | Reviews: 268
Photo of nrs207
4.18/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Let me start out by saying this beer isn't worth the money.

A - It's a nice looking imperial stout. It has an impressive head for a BA stout. Nothing to detract from appearance.

S - Bourbon dominates. Fairly smooth. I think I get a bit of the honey.

T - Too much booze. It's 9.5%. Come on. The honey finish is nice, but the overall beer isn't very impressive.

M - Too thin, too boozy. It's smooth, but it's not a world class stout mouthfeel.

O - How this sells is beyond me. Such a ripoff. I was hoping this highly rated version would be good. Incorrect. BCBS destroys this on every level at half the cost (if your store marks it up) or 1/3 the cost at reasonable prices. Drinking this makes no sense. It's a decent tick, but that's it. Don't recommend buying any of the eclipse beers.

Photo of Jonada
4.18/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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.

Photo of Hayes86
4.19/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2012 bottling. Not as good as the buffalo trace i just had. But definitely good. And did have a different flavor

Photo of Powderhornphil
4.2/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Photo of drabmuh
4.2/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.2/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Photo of jimmy82063
4.21/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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!

Photo of GoGriz
4.21/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Blanco
4.22/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 3076 of the 2011 Batch.

Beer poured into over-sized snifter with no head whatsoever. Smell is primarily a very pleasant bourbon smell though it sort of hits the back of my nostrils making me pull back if I whiff too strongly.

The taste is unlike most bourbon barrel beers I've had. The bourbon is almost a footnote with the flavor of the beer taking center stage. Definitely more complex flavor bourbon stouts, slight hint of smoke, vanilla and oak. This goes down smooth. The only thing keeping me from giving it a 5 in flavor is a weird aftertaste that I can leave with but would appreciate more if it wasn't there.

Mouthfeel is a bit light, but not by too much to detract me from loving this beer.

This is a tremendous brew, incredible in a lot of ways. I appreciate the way the bourbon lays in the background and the beer shines through. The complexity of flavor here is impressive. Can't wait to try the other variations.

Photo of dchester
4.22/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my duvel tulip. Served around 50-55F. Pours a very opaque dk. brown to black with a nice viscosity(similar to milk). Paper thin Dk. Beige head froths and retains for the life of the drink as does the lacing. The smell is great. You definitely get the aged smoke, booze, and sugar.the taste is... Wow. A big pop of flavor up front with the residual after notes of booze, caramel, and roasted marshmallows. This is very smooth beer with only the slightest burn going down. A definite must have for any stout lover.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.23/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In memory of Valerie. R.I.P 1/4/11. A girl's best friend.
Huge thanks to Jeff (ipa247) for this one. 2009 vintage. Poured from a 22oz. bottle (#175) into a Darkness snifter.

A: Gentle pour yields a slowly forming .5 finger light mocha head with poor retention. Beer is opaque black with the slightest hint of light peaking through at the top. Lacing is stringy with decent stick.

S: Nose is subtle. Bourbon, sweet soy sauce, dark chocolate, and liquified prunes. Cocoa and liquorice linger in the background. Flavors are very appropriate but I really have to breathe deep for this one.

T: Opens chocolate, prune, plum, and sweet soy sauce. Bourbon presence is prominent but not overwhelming. A good compliment to the base flavors. Roasted malt, honey, and cocoa powder towards the middle. Heat increases a bit. Finish is milk chocolate and sweet, dark fruit. Aftertaste is the same with bourbon added.

M: Medium bodied with low carbonation. Smooth, oily, and filmy in the mouth. Slight heat and coarseness around the edges. Goes down smooth and coats the palate. Finish is messy with a pleasant, lingering aftertaste.

D: Clearly one of the better -bal aged brews due to its overall subtlety. Feel is not super heavy and spirits are not overwhelming here. The barrel complements the beer here. Not the other way around. Definitely worth seeking out.

Photo of steve8robin
4.23/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So glad to see this coveted brew land in Mass! 22oz bottle, 2012 vintage...

A: Perfectly bitch black as night with a 1 inch tan head that fades at a decent pace. Very good.

S: I get some creamy roastiness on first sniff followed by some minor honey / dark fruit scents. Some nice vanilla / charred oak notes take up the backend. Good.

T: A thick easy drinking creaminess upfront with some great balanced vanilla and dark fruit. A minor hop bite dances on the back of your palate and the end finishes with a thick creaminess. Can't even tell this is alcohol! Very good.

M: Full body with a great carbonation. A creamy thick finish. Good.

O: All in all, I can definitely see the hype behind this brew. It is so easy to drink. While this is a great beer, I still think there are better brews. If you like thick stouts, give this one a try.

Photo of InebriatedJoker
4.23/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle #880 - 2011 release - Thanks Kurtis

Shared with Schwaeh

A: Black with slight foam when poured that descends into a thin off white lacing, decent carbonation.

S: Slight bourbon with roasted malts , dark fruits.

T: Slight bourbon with sweet dark fruits , roasted malts, hints of slight bitter hop, hues of bitter chocolate and vanilla also.

O: A bit thin , a little sweet but still tasty and not overwhelming, a little burn as it goes down , could use a little more time in the cellar but good non-the-less.
---
bottle 27 - 2009 release - Thanks Schwaeh

A: Black with one finger head that descends into a thin frothy lacing - great carbonation considering the age.

S: Vanilla, bourbon , roasted malt, chocolate.

T: A very smooth and mellow flavorful version of the 12 , The heat had mellowed considerably over the 2011, nothing I can think of that is out of place in this one.

O: Overall the 2009 is leaps and bounds above the 2011 , not to say the 2011 won't be as good in time but for now this one is the cats meow.

A- 4
S - 4
T-5
O- 5

Photo of MrDanno96
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of BlastBeats
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig 12 year barrel (purple wax) bottle no. 38 -- been saving this one for a few months; decided to finally crack it open on Easter Sunday.

Appearance: careful pour yields a slightly bubbly tan/khaki colored head that retreats into the blackness of the body.

Smell: oh yeah, this one is definitely bourbon barrel aged.. the bourbon wafts upwards, dominating the aroma.

Taste: again, the Elijah Craig bourbon takes center stage. This beer utilizes the barrel as much as any other beer I've had (perhaps minus Goose Island). I mean, it cuts through the flavor quite dramatically.. possibly overpowering the other components of the stout.

Mouthfeel: not as full bodied as I'd like, but still more than adequate.

Overall: In all honesty, this one exceeded my expectations. I should probably seek out some of the other Eclipse varieties.

Photo of DaveHS
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

Photo of Treebs
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

Photo of M_chav
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

Uber sweetness takes over in the taste profile, it's hard to get past the sugars here. Bourbon taste is heavy- really good BA brew here - only knock on this is the price point.

Photo of jsanford
4.27/5  rDev -4.5%
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!

Photo of TMoney2591
4.27/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.27/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

Photo of MasterSki
4.27/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

Photo of Auror
4.28/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

Photo of claaark13
4.29/5  rDev -4%
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.

Photo of cbutova
4.29/5  rDev -4%
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.

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