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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: 1,720
Avg: 4.43
pDev: 7.67%
Wants: 835
Gots: 725 | FT: 57
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: 1,720
Photo of cbutova
4.29/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

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Photo of 120minuteman
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a beer. A MUST try for anyone passionate about barrel aged beers.

A: Rustic black color, lots and lots of lacing, minimal head.
S: Sweet goodness. Notes of caramel, toffee, and butterscotch (the sweet smell of a carnival)
T: WOW
M: Slick and creamy texture, very light carbonation.
O: This beer promises lots of rich and complex flavor, and boy does it deliver. Not for the light of heart, but one of the best beers I've ever had. Pricey at $30 a bottle, but definitely worth trying. Excited to try the java variant in the coming weeks.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.6/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with a few brown bubbles of head.

S: Bourbon vanilla/oak characte, sweet dark chocolate, brown sugar, some coffee and some alcohol.

T: Starts of with sweet chocolate, bitter coffee, oak and vanilla, the bourbon character shows up more in the finish.

M: Full bodied and creamy smooth.

O: Not as good as the EC 20, Four Roses or Rittenhouse, but still an eclipse, still aged in the barrels of excellent whiskey, and still delicious.

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Photo of angrybabboon
4.18/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Consumed 1/16/2014

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this

2013 bottle

Appearance: Dark, dark brown, black at its core - pours with a medium tan head, fades to a wispy cap, leaves some nice streaks of lacing

Smell: Big malts and big whiskey - rich malts, with a load of roast, burnt, and chocolate - tons of rich caramel, molasses, and burnt sugar - dark chocolate, with a touch of semisweet chocolate, and some fudge - the bourbon aroma is big, but it's nice - the Elijah Craig is nice, with some nice woody and vanilla notes - sweet, but it works with the overall complexity

Taste: Chocolate, caramel, and bourbon - burnt chocolate malts, dark chocolate, semisweet chocolate chips - very solid, nice stout base (not surprising, as the other Eclipse stouts are great) - burnt, roasty notes, with some coffee - big, cooked caramel, and molasses - the bourbon flavor is quite potent, but it's nice - bourbon, vanilla, wood, and some booze

Mouthfeel: Borderline full body, nice carbonation, smooth, finishes mostly dry with some booze

Overall: Another color of wax, another win

I'm not sure if this is better than the Heaven Hill Rittenhouse Rye, but it's approximately as good. The stout base is great, with a ton of chocolate, and the bourbon is nice. This is definitely a nice sipper.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.11/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Straight black. A touch of dark brown. Small creamy tan head. Drops to a small, almost nonexistent cap and slightly larger collar. Minimal carbonation on the pour.

Smell: Coconut, caramel, toffee, vanilla, and a solid roasted malt. A touch fudgy with a solid brownie batter and chocolate push. An touch of alcohol as well. The barrel influence is heavy, dropping all sorts of bourbon. Butterscotch. A touch of cocoa.

Taste: Rich roasted malts. Loaded with chocolate, both sweeter milk and slightly darker cocoa. Bourbon is assertive and makes everything a bit boozy. Layers of vanilla, coconut, butterscotch, a touch of oak. Fudge and some brownie. The bourbon is actually really mellow and adds a nice dimension to the base stout. A touch of cola syrup thrown in the mix.

Mouthfeel: Slick with a full but not syrupy body. Minimal to moderate carbonation. Surprisingly clean.

Overall: Light urple.

The Rittenhouse Rye managed to blend better, but the whiskey here is stupid smooth and easy going.

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Photo of fx20736
4.49/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought 2 bottles from Beers of the World, $ 28.99 each on 1/9/14. Poured into a goblet served between cellar and room temp.

appearance: ebony black with a cappucino head, decent lacing.

aroma: bourbon seems hidden. Smells like malted milk balls, vanilla and honey a little caramel corn and finally some alcohol esters.

taste: molasses leads the way and in a big way followed by coffee and chocolate. Whiskey finally comes out of hiding with an immediate warming sensation

mouthfeel: supple and smooth

overall: expensive but worth it, this is an unbelievably tasty beer. Definitely belongs in the top tier of Bourbon Barrel Aged Stouts. I have another of these celaring and am debating going back to the store to see if any is left.

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Photo of rjp217
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2012 bottle poured into taster size snifters

A - Pitch black with a half finger head that holds magnificently long. Huge amounts of lace that stay on the glass throughout. Perfect!

S - Bourbon, chocolate, honey, graham cracker, vanilla, toffee. This has such a good and balanced aroma. I can detect so many smells that all blend together. Perfect!

T - Follows the nose completely with some toasted marshmallow. Fn amazing how the bourbon just comes together with the chocolate notes. You can taste the 12yr Elijah Craig greatness in every sip

M - Silky, frothy type smoothness with no burn at all. The mouthfeel I've always looked for in a big bourbon barrel stout

O - Well, I did it. Perfect 5s. I've never had the pleasure of having this fresh but the year and half put on this has put it in a class of its own. This is truly sublime and a masterpiece. The price point is pretty insane but after tasting this I can almost justify it. Just perfect!

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Photo of mechamifune
4.34/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Looks almost a cola-like consistency as opposed to the motor oil look that a lot of BA stouts have. Slight head and pretty strong lacing. Looks enough to style.

Smell is sweetness, vanilla, bourbon, and chocolate. No real hop presence. A nice smell.

Taste is very bourbon-y upfront and finishes with a nice sweetness. Oak, vanilla, and chocolate all show up an meld together quite nicely. You taste the EC barrel here for sure. Maybe a slight char taste but no real bitterness.

Mouthfeel is a touch light, but still very smooth. I prefer my BA stouts generally to be a little chewier, but I can't really complain about this one.

Overall this is an interesting experience. You taste the bourbon in this one more than most in the style, I appreciate that a lot. As a whole, this makes me think of a more bourbon-forward Event Horizon. The only problem that that is that EH is less than half the price of this. If you are really into bourbon I can certainly see having a high appreciation for this series. In the end though, I would have a hard time justifying a repeat purchase given the price tag.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.11/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle, purple wax sealed, and 11.9% ABV for bottle run numero 2 of 2013. Is there an online instruction manual, or something, that describes how to open this sort of enclosure, without picking away at the wax with a knife?

This beer pours a fairly deep dark black abyss, yet with prominent basal cola highlights, and two chubby fingers of densely foamy, weakly puffy, and broadly bubbly chocolate milk brown head, which leaves some nice low-pressure system lace around the glass as it slowly abates.

It smells of mildly astringent rye whisky barrel wood, the titular booze, dry vanilla, crusty caramel, bittersweet chocolate, the hint of the earthy floral honey quietly noted on the label, and some surprisingly prominent herbal, leafy hops. The taste is more woody, boozy barrel notes right up front, some dry, earthy black licorice, a touch of cold java, lightly toasted, but not inherently light caramel malt, a grainy besotted breadiness, a weirdly evolving semi-sour milkiness, and subtle earthy, musty hops.

The bubbles are pretty sublimely restrained, the body a solid medium-heavy weight, and quite equitably smooth, with a pleasant stab at everyman creaminess. It finishes still almost cripplingly sweet, the caramel, vanilla, alcohol, anise, honey all equally culpable. But recall, I said 'almost'.

I am not at all versed in the spirituous offerings of one Elijah Craig, so all I can discern from this offering is that it is one pleasantly understated example of a Bourbon County staple, based on the thorough, yet inoffensive effects rendered herein. The base RIS is only mildly altered, I presume, and the overall experience is quite agreeable enough - tasty, full, and sweet to a point that dessert pairing is hardly out of the question.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.38/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

650ml purple waxed 2013 bomber bottle run #2 poured into tulip Christmas day 2013

A black liquid with a deep cola edge, lots of tiny bubbles going up the side and feeding a big three finger mocha foam that quickly cuts in half but then sticks around with a slight island, several rings of lace followed by random patches, looks great

S lots of chocolate fudge, vanilla, some sweet soft caramel and I'm getting some of the honey I didn't notice in the other variants, not too heavy on the barrel but has nice mellow bourbon and wood thing going on, booze is there but quite well concealed

T more booze then the nose with some burnt coffee and char, whats on the nose is still there but doesn't mesh together quite as well, still solid don't get me wrong but doesn't quite match the nose

M not very heavy for the color but the tiny bubbles cream it up and like the other 2013's I've had I'd plain and simply be amazed if this clocks in at nearly 12%

O another great beer from the series but I don't think its my favorite, the taste doesn't quite keep up to the nose but still great all-around

everything I've had from the Eclipse series has been great and perhaps the number of reviews has gotten this one in particular on to the top 250 but I don't think its my personal favorite even though its awesome.

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Photo of MCain04
4.48/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage poured into my Darkness tulip. For $30/bomber, expecting this to be really, really good.

Appearance: Dark brown pour with a voluminous creamy tan head with great retention and lacing. Expected this to be a darker pour given the reviews, but it really isn't that dark.

Smell: Big barrel character in the nose with bourbon, vanilla, caramel, and oak. Some charred wood and a bit of roast on the nose as well.

Taste: Barrel character shines with a nicely palatable bourbon taste, sweet vanilla and caramel, with a balancing backbone of roasty malt, chocolate, and coffee. Mild bitterness. A little bit of anise on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with low carbonation, medium body, mildly sticky, but wish the body was bigger.

Overall, I'd say I went into this with high expectations. They were met, but just barely. This could have been better for being 99/100 and 100/100. I'd give it more of a 95/100. Extremely balanced, very drinkable, well-rounded overall. Just doesn't give that extra flavor-punch to push it over the edge. For $30/bottle I might not get this again, but certainly enjoyed the bottle, and it would be a staple if it were more around $18 or so.

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Photo of artoolemomo
4.06/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours up a little more than a finger's worth of head which has a little retention. The head is a medium beige while the body is a opaque, dark chocolate black. Some lacing is left behind.

Nose- Not as much presence as I've come to expect from barrel aged imperial stouts. Some chocolate, a bit of coffee. Some heat. A bitterness (mostly oaky) that is a little bit astringent, almost like formic acid. Later, some cream and milk shows. Some graham cracker, a little bit of honey. Suggestions of caramel and toffee. Swirling shows a slight sweetness- maybe cherries or raisins.

Taste- Starts off with a good amount of chocolate (some cocoa) that has bourbon notes playing off it. Good amount of oak which builds to the finish but is surprisingly rounded. I generally don't enjoy massive oak notes but it's working so far. A little bit of heat which interacts well with the oak. The chocolate is very deep and dark and suggests notes of raisins. Light hints of coconut and vanilla start to emerge. Seems a little subdued but there is the notion that this beer will have a lot more complexity as it opens up. Unfortunately, this notion does not seem to be playing out as the beer seems to be restrained. Very approachable with a lot of balance and integration but lacks the complexity that I desire- I will suffer a bit of messiness for a more interesting flavor profile. Good to really good beer though, most leaning toward really good. Doesn't fare well in comparison to the BCBS I had last night but little does. Some ashiness and small suggestion of tobacco. Could use some sweeter notes.

Mouthfeel- Between medium bodied and heavy bodied with light carbonation. A little chalky on the finish.

Drinkability- Very mellow for a 12% barrel aged beer- perhaps, a little too mellow. The price is certainly steep- I won't be buying another to age. Aging this seems pointless anyway.

Overall- Good to really good beer, mostly good. Definitely worth a try but if the 28 dollar price tag makes you pause, you are correct in your concern. I will not be buying it again.

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Photo of larryi86
4.63/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle, 2013, poured into a tulip

A- Black with a three finger mocha head.

S- Bourbon, oak, vanilla, molasses, some honey, chocolate.

T- Bourbon, oak, some honey, dark chocolate, bitter coffee finish vanilla, bourbon is big, but not harsh or overly boozy.

M- Silky smooth, medium body.

O- Very well done and tasty. I am still not sure if I would pick up again because it is pricey.

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Photo of rodlavers
4.54/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

BR1, 2012 vintage, poured into a snifter.

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of kojevergas
3.5/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"BR3 2012." 9.5% confirmed. 1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass with purple wax-ed over branded pry-off pressure cap acquired at a bottle shop in Beverly Hills, CA for $27.00 and served into an Odell stem-tulip in me friend's gaff in high altitude Fort Collins, CO. Reviewed live. Expectations are sky high given the price point and the brewery's reputation.

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a two finger wide head of khaki colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. Retention is good - about 5 minutes. Even lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a predictable opaque solid black. Nontranslucent/nontransparent. No yeast particles are visible.

Overall, it's a good appearance for an imperial stout, but isn't unique or special. No egregious flaws. I'm looking forward to trying it.

Sm: Chocolate, vanilla, dark malts, chocolate malts, and cream. No real oak barrel character comes through unfortunately - no refined or rich character. No hop or yeast character is detectable. There is some alcohol presence. A mild to moderate clean aroma of well above average strength.

T: Dark malts, chocolate malts, cream, faint marshmallow, light chocolate, faint vanilla, and very light oak. Decently balanced and cohesive, but not gestalt. I do like it. Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour. Not particularly intricate or nuanced.

Decent complexity and subtle. Little intricacy/nuance. I've had far deeper and more complex beers,

Mf: Smooth, wet, unrefreshing, medium-bodied, and nicely thick. A biteen sticky. Suits the flavour profile pretty well. Suits the flavour profile generally well, but doesn't feel custom-tailored to it.

Not astringent, oily, harsh, gushed, boozy, or hot.

No real roasted barley, coffee, spices, or yeast. Has some alcohol presence.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable, but noticeably boozy. I wouldn't buy it again at this price point. Good but not great. My companion and I will easily kill this bottle, but it's far from exemplary. I wouldn't recommend it to friends, but it's likeable enough. Not worth it.

High B-

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Photo of rand
4.61/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

From 22 oz wax-dripped bomber to oversized wine glass.

I reviewed the Four Roses here http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/14936/64055, as good as it was I think I underrated it. Also, at the time I hadn't had as many BA stouts, the ones I had weren't all that impressive. Now I think they're possibly the world's finest beverage, making this one of the best of the best.

As far as how the Elijah Craig is different, it's smoother, more singular on the palate (likely from age), as the licorice notes have made room for vanilla and cocoa.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.51/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Shaun, for bringing this one to our latest tasting today, 11/26/2013. Poured into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass.

Review #298.

Pours a nice viscous dark brown/black body, minimal mocha head with minimal retention. Lacing is spotty. Standard bourbon barrel stout here.

Smells incredible. There's that customary bourbon barrel scent- oaky, almost on the verge of fungal, but overwhelmed by a delicious smelling chocolate brownie scent. Very rich. Phenomenal nose here.

Flavour is a notch below the nose; however I get a lot of that bourbon barrel ala Bourbon County. There's a lot of similarities to BCBS, although this tastes a little more like chocolate fudge brownies than anything else. Quite decadent.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, just the right amount of carbonation. A decent bit of heat accompanies the beer, but otherwise very smooth and complex.

Thanks for bringing this one, Shaun. This is the first 50/50 Eclipse beer I've ever had, and after this one I kind of want to see what else is out there from that same brewer. Well-done, very well-constructed and nicely chocolatey with a good mix of bourbon.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.16/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to mlaroche for this trade way back when.
2009 - Bottle 78

Pours a wicked dark brown almost black color, not much of a head though and pours almost flat, no light penetration even around the edges, no lacing on the glass.

Smell has a huge bourbon molasses aroma, subtle hints of dark fruit, rich toasty malt backing that makes all the other characteristics blended so not to overwhelm the nose.

Taste starts out with a thick roasted/burnt malt flavor with a bit of a char aspect, the bourbon kicks in but after four years of age the burn has mellowed, molasses and dark fruit in the aftertaste, big thick chewy body that is hampered by a very low almost flat carbonation, not quite Lost Abbey bad but enough to hurt it from being excellent on all fronts.

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Photo of stakem
4.15/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from 2009, numbered 1151 poured into a matching Eclipse snifter. The brew appears black in color with a thin line of brown around the edges. Some big brown bubble formation around the edges.

The smell is very roasted and boozy with hints of black licorice before getting solvent. A little bit of vanilla and caramel. As it warms up, it gets a sweet almost candy-like vanilla scent that is deceptive smelling.

The taste is like burnt molasses with an oaked taste that blends into caramel and toffee with chocolate covered raisons and anise. Quite boozy with a hint of bourbon tang across the finish mixed with oak, roast and earth.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest to low level of carbonarion. It is earthen and very boozy but still shows the alcohol vibrantly with a little barrel presence. It is quite good and 4 years in the bottle has hardly mellowed this out but it has a soft amount of oxidation present.

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

Deep black and viscous it held a very thin bubbly head.

The scent had nice barrel aged qualities with a lot of coconut, vanilla and wood. Very light chocolate notes and a touch of caramel are also in the nose.

The flavors are strong in the bourbon and barrel, tending to brash at times. There's then a goodly amount of coconut that can be found. Some light chocolate malt flavor is hidden near the end.

The feel is so incredibly creamy and thick, it's truly beautiful.

Overall, this may have been a touch too heavy in the bourbon. Then the coconut came on strong without a balance of vanilla. As always though, it's more a matter of personal taste.

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Photo of Scotchboy
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Purple wax-dipped 22oz bomber, 2012 vintage, thanks to laymansbeefan and leshkie, split with my bro as a nightcap, my portion into a Deschutes snifter.

A: Pours redish/brown and opaque with a foamy dark tan head that sticks around.

S: Big caramel, vanilla, chocolate, alcohol is pretty muted. Really nice, rich, decadent whiskey. Hints of honey as well? The bourbon is really nice without making the nose too hot.

T: More chocolate on the palate, melding with notes of coffee for a mocha finish. Caramel and vanilla big time, some marshmallow too making this a well-rounded dessert sipper. Alcohol bitterness is detectable but there is very little heat; apparently I found a good age for this beer!

MF: Creamy smooth full body with lower carbonation.

O: The sum of all its parts make this beer excellent. Great bourbon character, rich dessert notes of chocolate, caramel, vanilla and marshmallow (mocha as well), and a silky smooth and creamy body without much alcohol burn make this one really nice.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.63/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle BR 1 2012 into a snifter.

pours a pitch black with a half inch beige head. smell is big on bourbon .. this is gonna be a big beer...or is it. taste is extremely smooth and balanced, Damn. the flavor is insane. bourbon , vanilla, oh my god. this is possibly the best tasting imp stout I've ever had. full bodied with light carbonation.

overall you need to drink this beer now. amazing by all accounts.

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Photo of wpqx
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I honestly didn't think this was going to be as good as it was. Picked up the 2012 version so it has about a year's worth of age on it, poured into a makeshift tulip (my best glassware is not here). So a few thoughts:

A - Even holding this up to the light there is virtually no color, just black, they don't call it Eclipse for nothing, outstanding.

S - Smells like that Elijah Craig 12 year whiskey, you can definitely get the boozy aromas with a bit of the honey, a little coffee as well, just an overall wonderful smell.

T - For a beer that's 9.5% this is very noticeably boozy which might be a turnoff for some but is everything I love about a good barrel-aged imperial stout. Incredibly smooth but with a noticeable bourbon taste to it.

M - This just coats your palette like a good beer should, decent amount of carbonation to for a beer of this kind.

O - I initially balked at the retail price of this beer (as well as the rest of the Eclipse series) but good god this was sooo worth it. This is the first thing I've ever tried from FiftyFifty and they have a new #1 fan. Extraordinary beer.

There I'll stop kissing this beer's ass now, but if you see it, buy it, so good.

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Photo of Jonada
4.18/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

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Photo of pkalix
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

ultra-dark brown, not black. nice layer of tan-ish foam on the first pour- not too vigorous, don't wanna spoil what liveliness exists in this gal,,, supreme super shiny micro-bubble lacing down the sides. had her sister last night, the Grand Cru. best brew I had ever had, in my life, I believe.... I thought I was spoiled....
strong, pleasant, sweet mix of bourbon/whiskey with some coffee, dark fruits and vanilla(?). like a really good whiskey, I could go on sniffing this until it warms... I am expecting very much from this one; this is my 4th Eclipse in the last month. i'd never heard of it, nor known of it before. what a find! what a heavenly aroma! without grossing you out, I could probably orgasm with a constant stream of this smell into my nostrils... and I haven't even taken my first sip... raisin? plum? alcohol!
first sip.... nicely darkened fruit. nice malty, sticky syrup on the finish. a little bit of coffee. I've never wanted to nurse and embrace a beer like I have this one. I've never wanted to take my time with a beer like I have this one. I've never been so giddy knowing there's still half a bottle of beer in the frig to finish off as this one. I've never wanted to be so ALONE with a beer as I have with this one. still relishing the wonderful fragrance, another long smooth draw is utterly satisfying to the palate. my girlfriend would never understand and I hope she doesn't come home anytime soon. she's already threatened to put me in to Jenny Craig.... or was that
Betty Ford? I get the two mixed up. maybe because it's that I know this is my last one and I don't know where to find another one until December, but I am utterly ravished with this nectar. the pliny before this cant hold a candle to it. i'm sorry. if every beer were like this, I wouldn't feel the need to rush through beer after beer to get to the next one in hopes of finding the next "god-sent" product. as I stare lustily at my STILL-half-filled glass, my ability to restrain myself surpasses ALL my expectations and I can only imagine the jealousy my girlfriend would experience if she only knew I could hold on this long for such a beautiful endeavor. another privileged mouth full of heaven and I can feel the smooth rush of bourbon-tinted wonderfulness teasing and exciting every last taste bud on my tongue- even the lethargic ones left over from my pot-smoking days are energized into a frenzy and clamoring for more. I am utterly entranced. these people who make this beer are my heroes. they have made me forget about Russian River completely. I am completely and utterly enamored with this brew. I cant hold off any longer. my youth and inexperience are coming back and I feel like a teen-ager again. I don't know how much longer I can hold back- I just wanna GULP in this last bit of my glass... must, hold, back...
okay. i'm back. I can honestly say I've never taken this long to write a BA review for any beer before. 2nd pour is just as beautiful as the first, maybe a little more head. but that dissipated rather quickly. I don't know why but I felt this internal, inherent desire to CHEW away the remaining grape-colored wax dripping off the side in suspension... I AM heterosexual...
I don't know what else to say. this is rapture, losing-your-virginity and a firm-pat-on-your-dog's-head kind of ecstasy all rolled into one. my only desire is to relax and finish this one out in privacy. if anybody within my close personal circles is reading this, a case of this is my ultimate Christmas present and birthday present all rolled into one. hell, i'll even give you a pass for the rest of my life.
if St. Bernardus is a 5, this is a 6. I will renounce all my beliefs in modern-day science and call the earth flat for a case of this beer. umm, in case you're wondering, this is my 5.... on top of all other 5's....

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