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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)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

273 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 273
Hads: 1,719
Avg: 4.43
pDev: 7.67%
Wants: 834
Gots: 726 | FT: 56
Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

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: 273 | Hads: 1,719
Photo of AgentMunky
4.09/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

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Photo of joe1510
4.69/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

22oz Bomber

Cheers to Rockstein for splitting this bomber with me! 50/50 is a black hole of a beer, the room darkens and my smile widens with the pour. The milk chocolate head rises super late from the black body to a cap of foam after the pour. After a few minutes in the snifter the head settles to a thin ring and leaves little chunky lacing behind with each small swirl of the glass. The looks alone tell me this is a stout to be reckoned with.

It would be tough for more complexity to be jammed into the nose of this stout. The bourbon barrel qualities pop through first with sweet, lightly spiced bourbon, handfuls of toasted coconut, and vanilla galore. Soon after come the hugely complex stout characteristics. Butterscotch and a plethora of dark fruits make up for the main body with a somewhat sweet, somewhat spicy bourbon finish.

The flavor profile somehow manages to trump the incredibly rich nose. The barrel characteristics I mentioned in the nose go expertly hand in hand with the huge stout body. Butterscotch works from front to back but isn't overly sweet like in most other stouts that bring butterscotch. The dark fruits roll through mid palate after the barrel aging characteristics start to fade and integrate into the overall flavor. There is a crazy cotton candy like airy sweet finish that wraps this beer up beautifully. A touch of spiciness from the bourbon lasts for a few seconds after each swallow. The complexity of this beer comes together amazingly well. There is no part that dominates the others.

Just like the other aspects of this beer the mouthfeel has been nailed. The body is thick, rich and coating but fades a few seconds after each sip. A lot of these big stouts are sticky sweet but this one walks the line perfectly. A touch of warmth on the swallow cuts what sweetness is present and makes for a luxurious mouthfeel.

I could easily sip the night away with this 50/50. The balance between sweet and heat & barrel and stout make a great compliment to one another. It's rare that you run across a stout that's this big, robust, and complex that's so easy to drink.

50/50 Elijah Craig is one of the best stouts I've had in recent memory. I could easily live with a few more of these floating in my fridge. This is a stout worth seeking out without a doubt. Thanks again for the pour, Dave!

Reviewed: 2/25/10

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Photo of Rinkor16
4.41/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had a few of these bottles (2012) for a while now. Finally decided to enjoy one with 2 buddies that are new to the beer world.

A: Pitch black with some head that dissipated. Typical stout appearance.

S: Lots of chocolate, roasted malts, bourbon and vanilla.

T: Follows the nose exactly. Lots of bourbon up front (which I love), chocolate and vanilla.

M: Nice and smooth mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.

O: I'm a huge fan of FiftyFifty Eclipse variants. Even though the price is fairly high, the taste is always worth the money.

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Photo of Igotmypistola
4.59/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Been saving this for a good occasion. Long day running around, serving tables. TIME to serve myself up some of that 'treat yo' self!'

Right away pours that inkly black you can only find inside an Elijah Craig bourbon barrel. Smells like I dumped a few drops of that sweet sticky inside my morning joe. BIG roasty, vanilla, cacao. the bourbon notes are so delicate and subtle but right there. Soooo smooth and layered. The oh so mild sweetness lingers on the tongue forever.

LOVE this brew. Can't say enough about it. Would buy time and time again. Even at 27$ a bomber. I'm worth it.

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Photo of Phelps
4.05/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

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Photo of Hatzilla
4.49/5  rDev +1.4%
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!

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Photo of Brad007
4.46/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Pours a shade of charcoal with a huge brown head into my glass. Takes a while to settle, leaving a ton of lacing on the sides.

Bourbon, tobacco and cocoa come through on the nose. Obviously, age has mellowed the bourbon presence.

Cocoa, tobacco and dark fruits dominate the taste upfront with a faded bourbon note. Again, very mellow, almost too mellow for me. I find myself searching for more flavors but can't seem to find anything else.

Mouthfeel gets creamy towards the back with a lingering cocoa presence. A bit of searching brings up the tobacco/dark fruit flavors. Clean, creamy finish.

A marvelous imperial stout. Was it worth $26.99? Honestly, I've had better examples for half that price or even less. Still, if you're into aging imperial stouts for a very long time, this is a good investment. I bought this bottle back in December of 2012 and it's been in the fridge since. I do want to try the other varieties available. If you're a fan of imperial stouts and want something different, check this out.

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Photo of Dope
4.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle 2964 of the 2011 batch.

A: Pours a pitch black with a large, dense medium brown head. Head fades slowly, leaving nice solid walls of lacing behind. Great head retention too.

S: Wonderful sweet bourbon aroma with lots of caramel, brown sugar and vanilla. Toasted sugar too. Chocolate from the roasted malt melds in nicely. Maybe even hints of coconut from the barrels? Sweet and rich smelling. Wonderful.

T: Oh yeah, really nice bourbon up front. Sweet and heavy caramel and toffee and even some molasses it seems. Lots of charred oak in there too. Heavy on the dark chocolate, kinda fudgy in a way. Chocolate turns a bit bitter in the finish with some oak from the barrels and a little burnt sugars to boot. Lingering oak in the aftertaste with just a little alcohol burn between sips.

M: Nice medium-heavy bodied. Smooth and thick.

O: One of the nicer Eclipse variants. This one is a bit heavy on the wood with lots of charred oak. I'll have to try this one fresh sometime, I wonder if the bourbon has faded a bit - this is definitely the oldest eclipse I've had (at least 18 months old now I'm guessing). Strong in the aroma but not as strong as some of the fresher variants I've had. Hard to say. Still quite good, don't get me wrong but it makes me wonder.

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Photo of sukwonee
4.12/5  rDev -7%
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)

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Photo of zac16125
4.45/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a snifter
2012 Vintage, bottle number Br3

A big thanks to fatbeats18 for sending this one over in a trade.

A: Pours black with some browning on the edges. 1.5 finders width of light mocha colored head dissipates down at a moderate rate to a thin film. That film remains throughout the majority of the drink though, and leaves a fair amount of lacing.

S: Dark fruits, cocoa, roasted malt, booze, chocolate fudge, cinnamon. Barrel notes are presents with oak, vanilla, and bourbon but not nearly as strong as I remembered the EC 18 year being. Still very nice though, and only improves as it warms.

T: Lots of sweetness up front. There is a honey sweetness, then a rich chocolate fudge character. This is followed by oak and roasted malts on the finish. I get bourbon next, bitter black coffee, and vanilla. There is an aftertaste of oaky-vanilla that lingers forever after each sip.

M/D: Nice and smooth, thicker than it looks during the pour, and fairly chewy. Carbonation on the higher end of the spectrum for the style. ABV well masked. Drinkability is good.

O: This is an excellent beer, but its not as good as the 2011 FiftyFifty EC 18yr I had a little while back. That being said the EC 18 was one of the best beers Ive ever had. This one, although still great, had noticeably less barrel notes, and less of the chocolate fudge/cake batter sweetness that I got in the 2011 EC 18 (same base beer I believe so not sure what the difference was, different vintage, different batch, more time?). That being said, still a hell of a beer. Glad I got to try this one. Thanks again fatbeats for sending it my way!

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Photo of ArrogantB
4/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Even though it was against my better judgement I acquired a bottle of this. I heard the EC 12 year was one of the best eclipses so I dropped an unseemly amount of money for a bomber ($24). I had this feeling all along it wasn't going to be worth the money since Parabola is only $15 and I was proven right. Dark black beer, super healthy head. Aroma is mild bourbon, and then I get notes of honey, not bad. Flavor was mostly bourbon, wood, more booze, touch of honey. I was really hoping for some chocolate or vanilla or coconut flavors but I got none. I suspected this beer was overpriced and now I feel vindicated. Caveat emptor. I sort of wish I had just bought two bottles of older viscosity instead. :(

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Photo of Kraig
4.99/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Excellent Stout beer. Slight honey flavor was outstanding. I also enjoyed the oak barrel flavoring. The oak barrel flavor and the honey flavor compliments each other greatly. This is an extremely dark beer and definitely named appropriately.

I highly recommend this beer.

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Photo of gueuzedreg
3.76/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This bottle was a little harsh for my palate, but I can see why many people enjoy it.

A- Kinda transparent for a BA Stout. Thank You Mr. Minor lacing.

S- Kinda musty. It almost smells sour, but the barrel characteristic comes out.

T- I get a harsh rye bite out of this one. Not as smooth as I like it. Barrel character is present, some charred dark fruit and molasses is present.

M- Thin like the appearance. Leaves a nice coat of barrel after drinking it though!

O- I have yet to be impressed by 50/50, but I also have not had the pappy or vanilla

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Photo of alpineclimber
4.52/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Photo of standardcherry
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Pitch black color with a nice brown head. Leaves some small lacing.
S: Tons of chocolate. Some vanilla and sweetness. Bit of bourbon at a distance.
T: Very sweet flavor. A bit of honey/vanilla followed by lots of chocolate fudge. Tastes almost like a brownie. Very good flavor although a bit lacking in the bourbon/barrel department.
M: Full bodied with nice carbonation for the style. Feels a bit creamy and sticky. A tiny bit of booze at the end.
O: This is another great variant from 50/50. I did prefer the slight spiciness and barrel character of the Rittenhouse Rye version but this one is very solid.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark black with a touch of brown and a finger of frothy khaki-chocolate head. Fades normal.

S - Chocolate and dark caramel malts, molasses, Bourbon, vanilla, oak, black licorice, dark cocoa, raisin, coffee, booze.

T - Sweet chocolate and bit of caramel malts, smooth Bourbon, vanilla, oak, molasses, coffee, black licorice, bitter dark cocoa, raisin and other dark fruits, and some booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and a bit syrupy with a warming and sweet.

D - Great barrel aged stout. The bourbon is very present, but very smooth and balanced.

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Photo of rudzud
4.36/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Received in a trade. This is a 2012 batch. Cracking this in honour of Wrestlemania!

A - Poured into my Duvel glass a a nice dark brown with a rich almost two finger dark chocolate hued head that slumped down to leave a nice quarter inch head that left some light side lacing.

S - Very nice chocolate notes here, no sweet malts. The rich bourbon is noteable from a slight distance. Smooth, rich, well rounded with light typical bourbon sweetness, faint vanilla and barrel notes as well. No alcohol on the nose either.

T - Taste is just delicious. Would like more chocolate as there is quite a bit of bourbon. Its tasty, sure, but a bit too bourbon heavy. Would like to see more notes of chocolate like say, cocoa powder, bakers, that sort of thing. Again, its there but its all rather overpowered by the bourbon.

M - Mouthfeel is awesome though, super creamy with just a little bit of carbonation. Light bourbon alcohol as well.

O - Overall its a darn tasty beer, but, for the money or going trade rate there are other damn good bourbon aged stouts for a fraction of the cost of one of these. Glad I got to try it.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.92/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into an Eclipse snifter. 2011 bottle. Bottle #1491.

Appearance - Murky black with transparent edges. Not much of a head. Wispy surface.

Smell - Slightly sharp bourbon character, not quite as harsh as others. Very sweet smelling. Chocolate. Vanilla.

Taste - Lots of sugar, very sweet. Sweeter than other variants, which I don't understand. Maybe the EC barrels add sugar, but I don't understand why that would happen. Bourbon flavor is nice, rounded out by the sugars. Chocolate and vanilla.

Mouthfeel - Slick and creamier than the base beer. Medium carbonation. Sweet and barrel booze finish.

Overall - Similar to the Elijah Craig 20, without quite that great barrel character.

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Photo of lighthabit
4.53/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of JohnQVD
4.81/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours black with a thin bubbly head. Heavy bourbon smell, kind of sweet. Medium-thin body, with light carbonation. The bourbon taste is heavy, with some roasted coffee in the background and a very small amount of carbonation bite. Mild aftertaste with a slight lingering astringent bitterness.

This is well-balanced for as bourbon forward as it is. This is one of the best bourbon-barrel aged beers I've had.

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Photo of xnicknj
4.39/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into snifter - 2012 vintage - thanks Penguin3200

Pitch black pour with a creamy, frothed brownie colored head resting on top. Creamy retention, spotty lacing and wispy film swirl around in the brew while drinking.

Stiff Elijah Craig bourbon scents with toasted oak, vanilla, tobacco and chocolate. Sweet and boozy, roasted dark malts, smoke and a boatload of barrel. Bullseye.

A heavy-handed helping of bourbon right up front with sweet barrel character and oaky tannins. Chocolate, molasses and vanilla lead into the robust backbone with roasted dark malts. Boozy chocolate cake, brownies, tobacco and a dash of smoke. Finishes boozy and warm with lingering vanilla.

Full bodied, milder carbonation, creamy, sticky and smooth on the tongue. It's a toss up between this and the EC 20 year for my favorite Eclipse treatments, both of which have a substantial leg up on the others I've tried. These probably aren't worth the $30 tag they fetch in Philly, but I still seem to keep buying them.

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Photo of weonfire
4.44/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A - Black murk. light mocha head, pencil thickness.

S - Chocolate, toffee, honey, bourbon and vanilla.

T - Initial: Swirl of sweet chocolate, vanilla, toffe, aged fruits and honey. Finish: contained delicious bourbon, roast, chocolate and a low level of hops.

M - Very frothy, perfect carbonation, soft as silk and high viscosity.

O - Excellent. Could actually taste the specific 'Elijah Craig' bourbon (which I enjoy). Flavors were blended superbly. A thin layer of head remained throughout entire brew- very impressed. Only downside was the nose- it was rather minor. With all these excellent flavors- I hoped for something really dank. But...at a $24 price tag- with so many incredible BA stouts out there- i can't say I would 'highly' recommend the purchase.

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Photo of oline73
4.06/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

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Photo of Star80
4.54/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

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Photo of jimmy82063
4.21/5  rDev -5%
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!

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
98 out of 100 based on 273 ratings.