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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)

Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.90%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Imperial Stout aged 200 days in an Elijah Craig bourbon barrel.

Added by Jmoore50 on 12-29-2009

User Reviews
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Reviews: 283 | Ratings: 1,780
Photo of Hop_God
4.34/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

A: deep mahogany to brown. Thin caramel head.

S: booze. Oak. Brown sugar. Candied fruit.

T: oak. Spice. Booze. Syrup. Some maple tones. Creamy chocolate.

F: soooo smooth. No brash booze. So soft and balanced. The feel is amazing

O: this is very good. I did expect a more bold flavor but the balance is amazing.

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Photo of eifster82
4.44/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 into snifter.

Look - dark, dark brown. Not quite black motor oil. Good bit of foam head upon pour which dissipates over time.

Smell - typical imperial stout. Some cocoa, but not getting much bourbon on the nose... at least not as much as I expected based on smell from other Elijah Craig 12-year BA beers.

Taste - cocoa and coffee are the two that really come up big. But nice roasted malts, descent carbonation on the taste.

Feel - Smooth. Really nice. Not much heat but the bourbon taste is still present. Cannot stress enough: smooth. On a scale of 1 to 10 on mouth feel, I would give this a 7. Little bit thinner than I expected but by no means thin.

Overall - very good beer. I enjoyed this very much and it's actually a 22oz bottle one can enjoy by themselves (but don't drive afterwards). Would enjoy this again, but unfortunately the price tag sometimes prevents that. In the end, no one the enjoys BA imperial stouts will be disappointed.

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Photo of SaulFox
4.71/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2012 Vintage 9.5%
Coke a cola type color. No head, minimal carbonation.
Chocolate brownies, brown sugar, vanilla, oak, bourbon.
Dark fruits, raisins, fudge, charred oak, lasting bourbon.
Medium to heavy mouthfeel that coats the mouth. Minimal bitterness.
Glad I didn't miss the opportunity to have this 2012 in a trade. Due to the $30 price tag, I can only see myself enjoying this every couple of years. Decadent treat!

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Photo of papat444
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Looks like 2015 Vintage. Pours a brown-black body with dark ecru colored head. Fudge aroma; creamy coffee in flavor as well as gooey chocolate and bourbon but minimal heat.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.71/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

look: Dark dark brown as an Imp Stout should be, nearly opaque. Some cola highlights. Big ass tan head for a nearly 12%'r and thick creamy lacing.
smell: Like the other variants, a big rich nose. A characteristic honey and roast creamy nose with the nice bourbon addition.
taste: Perfect companion to the nose. All those flavors in a wonderful blend. My favorite variant so far.

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Photo of jakecattleco
4.49/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2015 bottle on my 40th birthday. Pours a solid black with a thin layer of tan head with no lacing. Nose is a delicious blend of caramel, roasty attributes, and whiskey. Taste is an even better blend of the nose attributes. Mouthfeel is surprisingly a bit thin for the ABV, carbonation good, and the finish sweet and bitter that doesn't linger. Good, very much so. Worth the price, debatable.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.49/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lots of black, brown head 1/3" like most of the Eclipse beers. Aroma was bourbon forward in a good way. A lot of vanilla there, plenty of chocolate.

Lots of wood bourbon and vanilla. Good roast and char. Carbonation nice and soft. Every year is reliable. The best version they make every year for sure.

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Photo of CHickman
4.73/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2015 Vintage, Bottle Run 2: into a snifter, it pours blood red color as it's leaving the bottle but looks black in the glass with a 1 finger foamy tan/brown head that was full of tiny bubbles, dissipating very slowly and leaving good spotty lacing that slides down on the side I drank from and foamy rings on the other side.

Smells of chocolate, bourbon, oak barrels, peat moss, coffee grinds, cocoa powder, espresso, vanilla, smoked grains, charred wood, hot fudge or brownies, earthy notes and some faint piney hops. The bourbon is very present but not dominating, letting the smoked malts and chocolate malts swirl into a complex and wonderful aroma. Like the other FiftyFifty Eclipse variants I've had, this aroma was excellent and what I expected.

Tastes similar to the nose with rich chocolate, bourbon, oak barrels, peat moss, coffee grinds, Hershey's chocolate syrup, cocoa powder, espresso, vanilla, and then some fruity notes like raisin, dates and plums, wet tobacco, brown sugar, molasses, candied sugar or Belgian yeast, and then more vanilla and coffee. The Elijah Craig bourbon whiskey taste is distinct and meshes so well with the roasted malts, barrel notes and hop accents that it leans towards the spirit flavors slightly over the beer base. After each swallow the vanilla shows up again along with toasted coconut, maple syrup, brown sugar and smoked grains. The longer it sits the better it gets, and the hops come out more with some piney notes, lemon zest, tea leaf and peppery spices. The ABV is masked completely and this is a slow sipper that I wanted to somehow drink at a pace below slow so more dynamic flavors could come out an hour later. That didn't work out (slowing it down), but this was a great brew which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Mouthfeel is creamy and buttery smooth to the point of being slick as it slides down with mild carbonation, a light alcohol burn and a thick, chewy feel that makes the body seem heavy even though it's only medium to heavy. There is a slight bitterness that's coffee-esque, with a finish that trails off on the sweet side and has a nice mix of cocoa, brown sugar, piney hops, toffee, bourbon, smoked wood and vanilla. It fades like a Frappuccino with a shot of bourbon in it and a sprinkle of dry citrus hops and roasted chocolate malts. It really was a pleasure to dink and a beer I highly recommend and will seek out again.

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Photo of Tommo
4.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

So when speaking of beers that have a high expectation, this is it. Super high price point. I mean, 25 bucks at the brewery, damn cuz. Expectations met. Huge Bourbon flavor with a great body and wonderful flavor. Maybe a tad thin if i had to complain. Overall excellent. If i was a rich guy, id drink it often, but im not

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Photo of Shermski
4.1/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is the second time I am trying a bomber of this beer in the last two months. It's good, but it's lacking that wow factor I want from BA stouts, I don't think it stands out in the category. I know it may just be my palate right now at this moment. Worth a try but would not seek or trade for.

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Photo of charlzm
3.48/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

2012 bottle, drunk on January 31st, 2016.

Pitch black, no head to speak of.

Aroma is alcohol spirits.

Flavor is boozy and lacking stout character. Just kind of a sweet, malty, boozy thing.

Mouthfeel is thinner than expected and dead still.

This is the last time I'm boarding this hype train.

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Photo of Phigg1102
4.68/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Jet black with a very thin cap, but more than I commonly see in BA stouts. Bourbon is pronounced but not obnoxious. Tons of caramel and vanilla in the nose with heavy roasted malt and chocolate. The taste doesn't have the sickly soy sauce like sweetness that can bury these beers for me. Thick, viscous feel without leaving too much sweetness in the finish.

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Photo of Kratman
4.96/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Wow had to crack this one Tonight for the Broncos celebration to the SB. So I shared this with 2 other BAs. From the smell to the finish this BA Stout was AMAZING... Yes the $ tag is up there but when it comes to drinking fine BA Beers if that's your thing then it's only$$. Well done 50/50. Will buy and drink this again.

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Photo of smanson56
4.49/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a dark black color into my snifter glass with almost no head. Lots of great bourbon in the nose with hints of some sweetness. The taste is actually fairly mellow not over blown with bourbon. The mouth feel is smooth and has a nice viscosity. Another great variant from 50/50.

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Photo of mscottjohnston
5/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2013 vintage. Aged for 2 years at 55 degrees.

Poured into oxbow snifter. 

A: tar black. One finger tan head disappears quickly. No lacing. 
S: heavy bourbon, vanilla, brown sugar
T: big malts and bourbon up front, roasted coffee in the middle, finishing with honey and maple syrup
M: wonderfully chewy, long lingering. Moderate effervescence. Very well balanced
O: by far one of my top rated imperial stouts. Very enjoyable sipping brew

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Photo of ThrewRedButter
3.79/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2014 vintage

L - Pitch black on all fronts. A finger of brown head with no lacing.

S - Bourbon is so huge even after one year. A tinge of alcohol. Milk chocolate, cherries, and oak.

T - Bourbon and a pure alcohol taste clash, but it isn't exactly "hot". Lacks the usual chocolate, coffee, and overall roasty notes from stouts. Bourbon does lend a subtle sweetness and there is some oak to be had, but overall this is falling flat.

F - Thick enough I guess, but a far cry from what you'd expect from a massive 11% barrel-aged imperial stout. some touches of alcohol, but they don't burn. It actually might be too clean on the finish.

O - It's an ok BA stout, but not worthy the money. Many, MANY other Ba stouts are more readily available and are better in overall quality. Seriously, if I find out you spent $30+ on this I will come to your home and slap you.

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Photo of Shroud0fdoom
4.39/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce Bomber into a Wine Glass.

Let's get it under way, I've got the Purple Waxed Fifty/Fifity. I might have to review this brew every season. For this year's tasting let's describe it for the masses. First things first, how did she pour? This year she poured just as exceptional as every year. Nice Dark Black sexy body with a deep Mocha Wig. She is looking Beautiful tonight!

How does she smell? First waves of subtle dark fruits..(light oxidation). Second waves of chocolate covered Almonds. It's deep with the fragrance, yet not holding attention. Light char with notes of malt sweetness. She's aight to the nose!

Ahh! The flavor! This thing hits you harder than some MTX 1200 Watt Subwoofers in a GMC Sonoma playing Frank Sinatra. She hits hard but in a classy way. The first initial flavor is, of course, Honey Sweetness that anchors notes of Chocolate. Second flavor brings that Almond aroma to life. It's that rich toasted almond flavor that I dig in Elijah Craig Bourbon. Third wave of flavors come in with toasted grains and slight Barrel Char. This finishes Sweet, Dry and Boozy with bitterness hitting the palate at full force. The aftertaste though is Banging! Sweet Chocolate covered Almonds with a tight Char note. It's a great aftertaste. The feel is upper tier but not saying anything to add to the brew's greatness. It's feel is Medium-light with so-so carbonation.

Overall: I keep it humble, IMO this brew is worth the coin. It is classy with the right amounts of Roasted Malts, sweetness and Barrel Notes that are not so agressive that you feel like you just got Bourbon Raped! The flavors on point and are to my liking. The only thing I cannot dig is its Boozy finish and its mouthfeel. Even though it's not offensive, it is just not adding dimension to the brew. This brew would be on "OMG" status if it had more heft in its Mouthfeel and a smoother finish. The brew is Outstanding and I will drink again. This Brew is Recommended!

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Photo of Tele
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type: Bottle (2013)
Consumed: 12.19.15

A: 4.5 Pours nearly black with a bit of reddish-brown around the edges. Small, light tan head that dissipates rather quickly, but leaves a bit of lace in the glass.

S: 4.5 Lots of dark and milk chocolate on the nose with a pretty strong oak presence, bringing bourbon, vanilla, and caramel. Roasted malt aromas and molasses are pretty mild by comparison, but it’s still there. Some raisin and toffee come through as the beer warms.

T: 4.5 Flavors start off sweet with marshmallow, vanilla, caramel, and strong bourbon. Roasted malt and coffee build and seamlessly start to take over the experience from the sweeter flavors. Blackberries, molasses, and a tiny bit of oxidation work in before a light lingering bitterness and coffee finish things off.

M: 4.5 Good body and really nice carb. Not the thickest imperial stout, but not too thin either.

O: 4.5 Definitely an exceptional BA stout. Lots of really great flavors, but also nothing too unique, which is kind of this beer’s downfall. For the price, you would hope it would be substantially different from BA stouts that are half the price, but it’s not. Definitely worth trying, but not something to stock up on.

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Photo of Trevor11
5/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely stellar. I had the 2013 version in December 2015 and it was so smooth with surprising head. Wax cap was challenging to remove but it did its job by preventing oxidation. I would like to try more variants. Aging seemed to only help this stout

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Photo of _RL_
4.22/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours black but not thick with no head. Smells boozy but not sharp. Taste boozy with an underlying bitterness I think is common to their stouts - Cognac Masterpiece had the same flavor. Good mouthfeel - thick, although not chewy, but still thicker than many stouts. Overall very good, but short of great. For my tastes, I wish the beer were a tad (just a tad) sweeter. Two, as other have mentioned, the price point really makes you more critical. Still glad I tried it though.

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Photo of SoxFan
4.6/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

BR 2 2014. rich, smooth, good barrel presence and not hot like some barrel aged stouts can be. nice mouthfeel and even at the end a swirl in the snifter still produced a nice fluffy head. i'm a bit more critical when a bomber is at this price point, but this still impressed. a nice treat and up there with some of the best in the style.

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Photo of Jimmys
4.54/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Bottle No. BR 1. 2012 vintage kept at cellar conditions. been waiting to pop it for a while.

A: pours a dark brown, practically black. head is light cappuccino hued and remains throughout the drink. good looking brew, not much to complain about.

S: bourbon oaky aroma greats. chocolate and vanilla. smells sweet and from what I understand you cant smell sweetness. okay fine, sweet chocolate aroma. not much roast, smoke, or coffee notes in my opinion.

T: first sip is loaded with roasted coffee notes and sweet, sweet chocolate. milk chocolate. there is the mildest amount of boozy heat, but it is basically a nonfactor as this beer should have a little bit of bite. a little bit of roasted bitterness in the finish as well. but balanced by the sweetness it is not ridiculously acrid.

M: really smooth carb on a full bodied brew for sure.

D: not sure if this is super hot or even remotely hot fresh, but it has aged gracefully and I have no complaints. the booze is faint and fitting. the bourbon has diminished over time, but it's not like it is non-existent at this point. really exceptional stuff and worth checking out. the price tag was one of the heftiest I have spent at $30 for the bomber. not sure if I will be doing that again until I start making more money.

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Photo of KGilmour
5/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow! You expect a lot at such a high price tag. Paid $27.99 at Beverage Warehouse in Winooski, VT.
Eclipse did NOT disappoint.

L: Deep dark black. In a pint glass with a direct beam of setting sun on the other side of it, I could just barely see a hint of ruby in one tiny spot of the glass. The rest was pitch black. Lacy half inch of head.

S: Sweet, alcohol, chocolate. Intense.

T: Holy wow. Like an entire bar of the best Belgian dark chocolate dipped in Bourbon. A tiny hint of the espresso and mocha. Others have mentioned Vanilla, but I couldn't detect it. Mostly sweet chocolate and alcohol. But no bitter, biting after taste. Very smooth and clean.

F: Smooth and full, lingers slightly on the tongue, then gone. Very sweet. Very delicious.

O: I'm seriously impressed. The inflated price tag demands a stringent assessment, but Eclipse (or at least this Elijah Craig 12-Year variety of it) lives up to the expectations. Not the sort of thing you could drink every day, but certainly something stout lovers should sample at least once.

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Photo of golf_n_beerguy
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this with a very nice cigar and they both complimented each other very well. The thick sweetness of this stout tamed the cigar burn in the mouth. It was almost like peanut butter and jelly. Very good stout

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Photo of Monkeyknife
4.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle a deep, dark black with three fingers of rich and creamy mocha head. Loads of heavy lacing left behind.

Aroma of toffee, vanilla, chocolate, coffee and light booze notes.

Like the aroma, it tasted of toffee, vanilla, chocolate, coffee and finished with warm booze notes on the palate.

Medium bodied and a bit sticky with a moderate carbonation.

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
98 out of 100 based on 283 ratings.