1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year) - FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year)Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year)

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

1,062 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1062
Reviews: 235
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 8.05%


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

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.90% ABV

Availability: Fall

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

(Beer added by: Jmoore50 on 12-29-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 1,062 | Reviews: 235 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Mississipping
Mississipping

Mississippi

4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours completely black, letting almost no light through at all. A small mocha-colored head sits atop, and slowly recedes, leaving minimal lacing left behind.

S: Dark chocolate and bourbon dominate, with subtler vanilla, toffee, and roasted barley. Just a slight hint of oak in the background too.

T: Lots of chocolate (almost fudgy) up front with roasted malt, bourbon, vanilla, caramel, and oak all crammed in one sip, yet subtle in comparison. This really has a lot going on, yet the transition and balance are very impressive. Booze is almost completely hidden, with JUST a touch of heat in the throat. Finishes slightly sweet and with delicious lingering barrel characteristics.

M: Nice viscosity, yet smooth and slightly chewy. Lightly carbonated, but still provides a tingle on the tongue. Almost no heat at all, and only a tad drying at the finish. Very well done in my opinion.

D: This one went down almost too easy. Alcohol hidden well, extremely tasty, well balanced, and nice mouthfeel made it a stout to remember. I'd love to get my hands on another bottle of this, for sure.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2011 22:03:58 | More by Mississipping
Photo of roodie
roodie

Texas

4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage. Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a snifter, ~8 oz pour. Big ups to my brother in law for cracking this open.

A: pours a dark chocolate color with a thin mocha colored layer of foam. No retention and almost no lacing

S: amazing. Cocoa, vanilla, honey, molasses, and booze. Can make out the oak too

T: almost but not quite as amazing as the nose. All of the above flavors are present, though slightly muted

M: velvety and smooth. Chocolate flavor lingers nicely

O: an awesome brew. I need to try the other versions

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2011 05:15:53 | More by roodie
Photo of ColdPoncho
ColdPoncho

Ohio

4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for sharing, Bill (mistakebythelake)
From notes

A - Dark body, hint of red light in the edges, small ring of tan head

S - spent grain, chocolate, sweet, bourbon, vanilla.

T - Just the same as the nose. A good tasting beer for sure.

M - thick, full, smooth, very nice.

O (D) - A really great beer. well done, and thanks again Bill.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2011 01:26:09 | More by ColdPoncho
Photo of Urbancaver
Urbancaver

Ohio

4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black. Very dark with a touch of light tan head around the edges. Smells chocolatey and vanilla heavy. The nose on this is incredible. Tastes of dark chocolate and vanilla. Overall the flavour is really solid but there is a harsh booziness that hits a bit hard. I like the beer quite a bit but it feels hotter than it should.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2011 00:58:56 | More by Urbancaver
Photo of TurdFurgison
TurdFurgison

Ohio

4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle graciously shared by Dyan last month in DC, very appreciative for the chance to try this. One of these days I'm gonna set up a tasting with a bunch of FiftyFifty Eclipse beers side-by-side, it would be cool to check out the differences from the barrels. By itself this one seemed kind of special to me, my second favorite to PVW.

It pours dark brown with a tan foam, same as the other Eclipse beers I suppose. The nose is very nice, big hits of Elijah Craig along with the sweet malty aromas of the base beer. Some cocoa and oak, but mainly the bourbon.

It tasted really good, large barrel character along with cocoa and dark fruits. Viscous and sticky feeling, the flavors lasted long after my glass was empty. Excellent, I'd be very happy to try this one again any time. I owe you Dyan.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2011 02:17:23 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of jampics2
jampics2

Ohio

4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Healthy pour from a 22oz bottle with purple wax into my snifter at our awesome pre-Dark Lord Day tasting. Not sure who brought this out, but it made a wonderful addition to a star-studded night (and there were good beers there too!).

Guess what? This American Double/Imperial Stout is black. Surprised? You shouldn't be - 50/50 does a good job with the base beer here, and this version hasn't lost any of the solid black color. Thick, oily and viscous looking, the beer lacks any real head except for an initial brown cap, and there's no lace. Still an appealing looking beer.

The smell is the first real indication that this will be a treat to remember. There's a luscious vanilla and cocoa powder thing going on that just draws me in. The roast isn't heavy, but gives nice chocolate and coffee notes with just a touch of sweet caramel underneath. The barrel really shines here, and the resulting bourbon, oak and vanilla notes are really smooth, expressive and alluring.

This beer tastes fantastic. If it wasn't for my experience with some of the top, top, top tier bourbon aged stouts, I'd say this was perfect. That's not a put-down - this beer is damn close to liquidized idealism. Things start off with great roasted malts - there's a nice chocolate note reminiscent of fudge and some touches of toffee, molasses and sugary bread dough. The barrel aging really shines - there's tons of bourbon and oak, lending some great booze and vanilla. I'd have to say this is extreme and balanced at the same time - the mastery in barrel aged artistry is on display. Some dry bourbon in the finish with a touch of lingering vanilla and sweet malt. Amazing!

The mouthfeel is medium plus body with low, creamy carb. The beer is never syrupy and dances along on it's journey to my belly. The booze is well concealed except for the bourbon which totally makes this the winner it is. Overall, this beer kicks total ass. Something I'm permanantly ISO. Nice one, fidy fidy!

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2011 18:07:24 | More by jampics2
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.22/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2011 04:32:29 | More by drabmuh
Photo of seeswo
seeswo

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a tan head. Looks the part. The smell is nothing too exciting - small hints of the barrel combine with that honey sweetness and cocoa / chocolate. The taste of this beer, however, is a huge winner. Honey, cocoa, chocolate, fudge, roast, bourbon, vanilla, oak, char all combine seemlessly to provide a decadent and yet somehow light and easy drinking (for the style), perfectly balanced barrel aged imperial stout. Once again, the base beer is a ridiculous palette to paint barrel aging on and this is the best one that I have had to date (have not had PvW yet). Mouthfeel is very good - reasonable carbonation and a good body, especially considering the low ABV. This is just fantastic and worth seeking out. The only ding for me is a less than spectacular nose.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2011 22:40:53 | More by seeswo
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
ThreeWiseMen

California

4.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled this at Creekside Brewing Company during a central coast BA gathering last night. bulletrain76 shared this one. Thanks Sam!

Poured into a 4oz. tasting glass.

Appearance: Black body with brown edges. A tight, filmy head sits atop for the duration of the tasting. Nice lacing. I wish it was a bit darker, but no real complaints here.

Smell: Sweet caramel and floral bourbon, dark chocolate, and cocoa powder. No fusel notes; alcohol is hidden very well. Smooth and pleasant, but not that complex.

Taste: Dark chocolate, chocolate syrup, caramel, booze, and vanilla. Very little hop character. Rich and very smooth, with gentle sweetness and warmth in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Full, a touch syrupy, warm, semi-dry, and lightly carbonated. Very smooth for a bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout.

Overall: Hits all the marks you're looking for in a barrel-aged imperial stout. Smooth and complex without being too dry or hot. Delicious!

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2011 16:44:54 | More by ThreeWiseMen
Photo of ktrillionaire
ktrillionaire

Florida

4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2011 15:47:37 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of DaveHS
DaveHS

California

4.28/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2011 02:22:20 | More by DaveHS
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2011 20:02:12 | More by MasterSki
Photo of callmemickey
callmemickey

Pennsylvania

4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As part of a Eclipse Vertical (PPW, 09 HH, 10 HH, EC, FR, CB, & EV)

A: Deep black brown body with just a thin khaki head.

S: Assertive, but refined bourbon notes of vanilla, oak and booze.

T: Like the nose this had assertive, but balance and refined bourbon. As a result you really could explore the bourbon notes that augmented the solid malty base of caramel, roast, and a little chocolate.

M: Nice carbonation provides a little tingle on the tongue when combined with just a smidgen of bourbon heat.

O: A very nice bourbon barrel stout that hangs with all the big boys. It was a toss up for me between this and PPW for best of show. The other tasters put this a clear consensus #2.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2011 04:43:03 | More by callmemickey
Photo of DosBeerigos
DosBeerigos

Florida

4.95/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

C: How Clear is Black?
H: Deep Black
N: Chocolate, Bourbon, & hints of Vanilla

WOW, A Perfect Barrel Aged Beer? Maybe not perfect, but this is DAMN CLOSE.
Tons of chocolate with hints of bourbon all though the taste. The mouth feel is fantastic, even with little-to-no carbonation. I would like just a hint of more body, but honestly this is one of the best barrel aged beers I have ever had.
If you have the opportunity to try it, DO IT! Big thanks to JahLove for hooking me up with a taste of this!

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2011 18:12:59 | More by DosBeerigos
Photo of BearsOnAcid
BearsOnAcid

Massachusetts

4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black liquid with a small khaki head.

Smooth integrated bourbon is first noticeable in the aroma. Glazed raisins, big vanilla wafting into the air. Slightly stronger alcohol smell next to the '09 JD and HH.

Taste is a chocolate fudge bomb with a beautiful bourbon aftertaste. Sharp notes of charred oak and vanilla. A real easy drinking BA stout. It's just so smooth and chocolatey.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2011 18:29:55 | More by BearsOnAcid
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oil slick black, minimal head on most of the Eclipse beers. Aroma was heavy on the bourbon, as to be expected. Played up the vanilla more than any of the other Eclipses I can recall.

Taste, again, wood, bourbon, vanilla. Dwarves the totality base stout in here. Good charred qualities. Not super viscous, went for subtlety vs. trying to make the biggest stout in the world.

Low carbonation allows the quaint amount of chocolate to come out as it warms. Warming. Had on tap at the 1st annual pre release party Dec. 1, 2010. Chewy, without being over the top in any one area, everything played real nice with each other. Possibly my favorite bourbon version of Eclipse.

EDIT: Damn, the 2011 version was pretty damn nice too.

Serving type: on-tap

04-09-2011 19:29:32 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of muttyd
muttyd

Massachusetts

4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The stand-out brew compared to the other two I tried with it (the Heaven Hill and the Jack).

Black pour, thin tan head. Aroma is of roasted malts, burnt wood, caramel/chocolate sweetness. Flavor follows the nose. Very well balanced whiskey barrel stout. Bitter-sweet chocolate, vanilla, wood, roasted malts, grain. Some fruity/apple characteristics as well. Big chewy, well carbonated mouthfeel. Excellent brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2011 23:53:49 | More by muttyd
Photo of nuggetsofnectar
nuggetsofnectar

Pennsylvania

4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

App: Obsidian black hue with a nice 3/4" burnt brown cap...decent lacing falls behind

Smell: Elijah...you are without a doubt present....smooth bourbon notes up front with dark malt and hints of fig in the back

Taste: Smooth chewy..bourbon notes are all over this one...robust but not bitter nor cloying vanilla tanins with rich mocha in the background....great balance with the malts here...very complex and gets better as it warms

Mouthfeel: extremely nice..not too thick....not too hot either...great sipper

Overall: ridiculously good offering....

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2011 23:16:50 | More by nuggetsofnectar
Photo of francisweizen
francisweizen

Arizona

4.8/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark, dark, dark black with a small mocha whisp head

S: Bourbon, specifically Elijah Craig!, a bit of oak, vanilla, and almost some red wine in the very very back

T: Oak, chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, and more.

M: Thick, in fact almost a bit too thick for this BA

O: Phenomenal but almost overdone. This is fantastic, but the drinkability is an issue for me.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2011 05:15:31 | More by francisweizen
Photo of nkersten
nkersten

Illinois

4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Elijah 50

Poured into NB globe black dark brown with tan collar and light edges

Smell is brownies fudge marshmallows raisins dark fruit some alcohol

Burnt malt, barrel, chocolate, bitter bakers chocolate, marshmallow root, cinnamon, some hot bourbon uncredible and complex

Heavy medium and light

An excellent beer, best eclipse I have had so far

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2011 04:02:57 | More by nkersten
Photo of Sean9689
Sean9689

Illinois

4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks, Nate! 22oz bomber into CCB snifter.

A - Pours black, small mocha head, no lacing or retention.

S - Huge vanilla, lots of chocolate, fudge. Dessert. Nice bourbon note that's so smooth and well-blended.

T - Chocolate fudge bourbon brownies, basically. Not overly sweet, just right. There's some coconut notes in here as well.

M - Full, rich, smooth, viscous, no carbonation, creamy finish.

O - Top-notch Imperial Stout worthy of the scores it's been getting. The blend on this beer is phenomial. A sipper, so rich and decedent. A must-try.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2011 03:55:08 | More by Sean9689
Photo of jrallen34
jrallen34

Illinois

4.68/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I drank this originally from a tasting glass at NotB then re-reviewed and scored off a bottle from Nate on 3/20/2011... The beer pours a super dark black, hardly any head though. Poor lacing... The aroma is great, chocolate brownies, vanilla, bourbon finish. Not decadent or overstated, very restrained. Outstanding... The taste is superbly balanced, tastes great, and easily crushable. Fudge brownies, vanilla, light bourbon, a nice warm alcohol sensation in the middle, and the finish has some nice roasted coffee notes. The full spectrum is displayed and perfectly integrated. I had the PVW last weekend I think I almost prefer this, would love to do a side-by-side comparison.

I originally rated this a 4.6, this time its deservedly higher.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2011 03:54:11 | More by jrallen34
Photo of AgentZero
AgentZero

Illinois

4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Poured a deep black with no bubbles and no visible carb. No head on it. Left no stick on the sides.

S - Great smelling of chocolate and bourbon with vanilla notes. Nice and roasted with just the right amount of wood.

T - A lot like a chocolate brownie with great bourbon notes and barel wood. The vanilla is present along with roast and slightly charred malts. Tiny bit of molasses and dark fruit.

M - Smooth, low carbonation, full bodied, about perfect for this.

O - This is an amazing beer that is a great sipper for any evening. Can't get enough.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2011 03:51:02 | More by AgentZero
Photo of yourefragile
yourefragile

District of Columbia

4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2011 01:59:44 | More by yourefragile
Photo of 321jeff
321jeff

Maryland

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2011 02:25:06 | More by 321jeff
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 1,062 ratings.