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)

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

1,579 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,579
Reviews: 268
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 7.83%
Wants: 803
Gots: 641 | FT: 53
Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

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

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jmoore50 on 12-29-2009

Imperial Stout aged 200 days in an Elijah Craig bourbon barrel.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,579 | Reviews: 268
Photo of claaark13
4.29/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Mike/Mihir for sending this my way.Poured into a Founders snifter at around 60 degrees. 2009 bottle.

A - Pours fairly black. Light head turns quickly into lacing. Sticks surprisingly well to the side of the glass. The bubbles that appear solely due to the pour ending in the middle of the glass are considered in the score here, as they don't make it look better. Looked the same on both pours.

S - I could smell it with the hiss of the cap. Sweet, smooth bourbon. Not as potent as I'd initially thought from the opening of the bottle. Slightest hints of toffee and chocolate.

T - Smooth, fairly balanced amount of a caramel/toffee, dark malts, slight sweetness and then a nice charred oak finish. Quite enjoyable. I find some dark fruits throughout as well. There is a little bit of hotness still going on, but nothing to deter me at all. The balance that the taste provides, while still being complex, is by far my favorite thing about this beer.

M - Moderate thickness and silky. Has almost a bit of flatness to it though and I find that a little bit off-putting. The mouthfeel grew on me as ounces disappeared. It is like carbonation was sacrificed for a better feeling of thickness. I guess I actually like that.

O - Pretty good one here. It lacks here and there, but I could drink this all day. Due to the carbonation and current balance, I really don't see this getting much better. That won't stop me from waiting another year to open my next bottle.

Photo of s1ckboy
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle.

A - Black body, tan 2-3 finger head.

S - Very sweet, a lot of oak, vanilla, a bit of chocolate, some booze.

T - A lot of bourbon up front followed by a good amount of bitterness. Chocolate, oak, vanilla, molasses.

M - Medium to full, nice carbonation.

Great beer, wish I had another.

Photo of BierJager89
4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Photo of gcamparone
4.17/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz bomber that has "BR2 2012" written on it into a snifter. Acquired in a trade from Surge1311.

A- Pours an opaque black body with amber highlights. A thin mocha-colored head rises and reduces quickly to leave a khaki ring. Leaves spotty lacing.

S- I'm straining to get a good sense of the aroma, but it's taking a lot of effort. After a bit of swirling, I get whiskey, dark fruits, vanilla, and some pretty noticeable booze (which is odd considering the 9.5% abv - I get less from bcbs @ 15.00%)

T- Sweet milk chocolate, raisons, dark fruit, bourbon, vanilla upfront, on the finish is freshly roasted grain and toasty black coffee. There's a hugely noticeable hop bite on the finish.

M- Medium-heavy body, very low carbonation.

I was expecting big things from this brew, and I got what I was expecting - but nothing more. Didn't blow me away. It was indeed rich and complex and very enjoyable to drink. I'm definitely going to age my second bottle, maybe that will mellow out the booze which I think is the downfall of this brew.

Photo of MCain04
4.48/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Photo of waltonc
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I'm a big fan of Elijah Craig bourbon so it's great to have a chance to try a stout aged in EC barrels.

A: Pours non-opaque dark brown without a great deal of head. Some lacing lingers after the pour.

S: lots of bourbon, vanilla, chocolate and oak.

T: One of the better-tasting barrel-aged stouts I have had. Heavy bourbon in this, but it works. Fairly sweet, with plenty of vanilla, toffee, and chocolate character. No heat, and not particularly boozy. Little hop presence. So right up my alley, as I don't care for hoppy stouts (e.g., some Abyss vintages), and get annoyed when crazy high ABV beers are bottled in bombers or 750s.

M: As with all Eclipses, this is medium-bodied and will slightly disappoint those who think a barrel aged stout is required to be thick. Great in my opinion, though. Carbonation is light to moderate.

D: Overall, one of the best bourbon barrel-aged stouts I have had. Love all the different barrel treatments Fifty Fifty is doing with this.

Photo of SteveB24
4.63/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Really interesting beer, has Big, bold, roasty, malt flavors one excepts from a BA stout such as chocolate and coffee, as well as an equal dose of raisins, caramel and vanilla, to almost comes off as a cross between a barley wine and a stout. Seriously awesome beer.

Photo of bbeane
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle # 2573

A- Poured into an oversized snifter... dark black liquid starts with a small brown head that all but disappears leaving light spotted lacing

S- Smell is very bourbon forward with some wood and coffee

T- Wow... First off, a huge dose of bourbon. Followed by some coffee, chocolate, and notes of honey

M- Full bodied, yet a bit thin. Light carbonation

O- Awesome beer. Definitely one of the best bourbon barrel aged beers I've ever had... and should have been considering what I paid for it. All in all... I'd pay it again. Worth ever cent

CHEERS

Photo of StoneTSR
4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

APPEARANCE: This is about as dark as it gets without being straight up black. Only a tiny bit of dark brown light got through the very top of the glass when held up to the light. No flashes of ruby, no transparency, just the smallest touch of dark brown. A quarter-inch of coffee colored head tops the glass for a few minutes before becoming a patch-work of bubbles and wisps on top of the black sea of beer. A few bubbles rise from the bottom of the glass as well, but cannot be seen until reaching the surface. There is no lacing to speak of.

SMELL: Smells like bourbon with a heavier than usual emphasis on the vanilla. Of course some wood comes through as well and a little chocolate backs it all up. The only surprises here are the hints of raisin and the lack of a more boozy smell.

TASTE: My first sip is too cold and more of the booziness comes through in the form of a more oaky bourbon flavor. Following the bourbon is a closing wave of bitter, roasted, coffee-like malt flavor. I know this will change drastically in a few minutes though. As it warms the sweeter side becomes apparent. A slightly bitter, dark-chocolate beats out the vanilla of the nose, but vanilla is still there and the chocolate gets sweeter as it warms. The hint of raisin is still present, but only at the very tail end of the sip and in the aftertaste.

MOUTHFEEL: A decent amount of carbonation provides an appropriate amount of tickle to the tongue for this big, full-bodied beer. Like many other big stouts, this has a mouthcoating, but not too sticky feel as well – it is silky smooth.

OVERALL: This was one of the biggest and best beer surprises I have had in a while. I expected it to be good, but it instantly became a new favorite of mine when I tried it on tap for the first time last week. I instantly knew I had to go grab a bottle…plus another to age. I don’t know how I’ll hold off, but I have a feeling it will be worth the wait.

Anyhow, while my first few, too chilly sips were good, this is a beer that needs to warm up a few degrees. Let it sit for 15 minutes before diving in.

Photo of zachary80
4.17/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Reminds me of black note. Smooth and mellow

Photo of MLDucky
4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2012 bottle, bourbon flavor was retained nicely. Not too thing, not overly viscous. I was very happy with this bottle and hope to try it fresh someday.

Photo of MNishCT77
4.71/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

22 oz. bottle purchased at Meridian Pint, 2012 vintage, labelled "BR 2 2012," poured into a small snifter and drank over 30 minutes

Photo of fx20736
4.49/5  rDev +0.4%
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.

Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.87/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks jmu500! Opened and shared with some friends on Kate the Great Day 'eve. Reviewing from notes. Poured from a 22oz bottle with purple wax top into a small brandy snifter. Pour is dark with a very nice looking frothy head, and excelent sticky lacing.

Wow, the aroma is strong and wonderful! Tons of bourbon and roasted coffee. The booze is very prominent. If you like stouts, you'll be in love with the aroma of this beer...sweet and inviting...mouth watering if you will!

What an awesome beer! The bourbon just adds complexity and warmth to a great backbone. Tons of malty sweetness, chocolate, roasted barley...just totally sweet, but not overkill or overwhelming. Full body, creamy, and semi-thick, yet excelent drinkability. Carbonation is perfect for this beer. Overall...and again, what an awesome beer!

Photo of Desp59
2.46/5  rDev -45%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

This was ok but nothing too special.

Photo of Jmoore50
4.97/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

When this beer first came out I thought that the Heaven Hill Rye was better. As time went on the reviews kept favoring the Elijah Craig version. Well last Wednesday the year old Elijah Craig was on tap and it was perfection. I was absolutely floored by how good this had aged in the keg.

The appearance on this is dark black with lighter mohagony edges. It is poured with a nice one finger head that develops into a film over the entire beer. Nice alcoholic legs that are now a standard with these Eclipse releases.

I could not keep my nose out of my snifter. Absolutely perfect. Vanilla, caramel, chocolate, toffee, coffee, sweet whisky sugars, a little bit of marshmelow.

It kept getting better and better every time I took a sip of this magnificant brew. Everything that I could smell was beautifully integrated in the beer. The notes of strong chocolate were being muted by vanilla and caramel, slight hints of coffee were accompanied by the roasted grains and strong sense of barrel. The whisky was not overly powering but integrated perfectly with other flavors. I mention in a few of my reviews how barrels push flavors to the brink. I do say that the flavors on this beer are not overpowering in any way. Overall incredibly impressed with the age on this one.

Outstanding.
J

Photo of rayjay
4.57/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Opened this in the garage, and it was a bit of a struggle to get through the wax with my random tools; the point of this story was that from the second my screwdriver popped the seal (a minute or so before the crown actually finagled off) the garage smelled like booze...sweet, refined, woody, malty whiskey. Good God! Almost Parabola-like amount of sticky sweet bourbon dominate the nose, simply taking over the aroma albeit for a tiny bit of roasted grains.

Poured in a Stone RIS goblet. Lively carbonation but the foam does not persist. Looks like Sweet Stout from Lost Abbey the way it randomly has brown suger cling-ins around the glass.

It's one of those beers, if it's your first beer of the night it may seem a bit overkill with bourbon notes. But if you sample it at a festival, it will stand out as one of the most memorable beers.

Sweet, sticky, malty bourbon, fumes, chocolate malt and roasted barley, really delicious like dessert, and extremely drinkable. 22oz was no problem to drink and required much restraint; Abyss is one of my all time favorites but it's still a challenge to drink a whole bomber. Abyss gets me extremely wasted, but after 22oz of this I am feeling great and refreshed (we'll see about tomorrow morning). Drinkability is a perfect 5.

Creamy mouthfeel. Not the absolute perfect beer, but the more you think about it, the more you can't find anything you'd want to change. Absolutely great!

Glad to be drinking a bottle after discovering it at the Bistro barrel aged beer fest. Thanks go to brewtull for the hookup and the drive to Truckee.

Photo of pagriley
4/5  rDev -10.5%

Meah.

I mean it was nice, but lacked the wow factor that it would need to have to justify the price.

Photo of pmlondrigan
4.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black, yup black. Coffee colored head, coffee with milk that is. Aroma is muted however what is there is chocolate, vanilla, charcoal and well perhaps a bit of honey. On the palate is where this beer shines! Milk chocolate, vanilla, oh my mint I can actually detect mint. Charcoal is big and I also get some nice bourbon soaked woody oak. Had you never had a beer with honey as an ingredient you wouldn't know, but if you have then it is clear honey is present here and a truly brilliant addition to a stout. A very rich beer it is, thick, slick and chewy. Must say this beer would be a 5 overall, but it is a tad bit too sweet.

Photo of mj81
4.61/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours beautiful. Nice creamed coffee color head that stays around for a good while before dissipating to a nice sticky lace. Initial smell and you can really pick up the aromas that the quality of the Elijah Craig barrel gives. At first glance it appears as it would be thicker on the mouthful than it is but that said, the non-syrupy feel actually works perfectly with the quality of the bourbon as it allows the flavors to come through without the viscosity getting in the way. There's a great balance between the slight sweetness of a barrel aged stout and the dark, toasty flavors of dark chocolate, coffee and oak tannins from the barrel. Very smooth. Overall this is very well done and worthy of the praise they receive. Definitely worth the price to try at least once.

Photo of BearsOnAcid
4.3/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Photo of roodie
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
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

Photo of mquinn919
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

one of the best beers I have tried in the last year.

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

bottle #880 - 2011 release - Thanks Kurtis

Shared with Schwaeh

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

S: Slight bourbon with roasted malts , dark fruits.

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

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

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

S: Vanilla, bourbon , roasted malt, chocolate.

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

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

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

Photo of Auracom
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottling. 5 oz. poured in a snifter on December 20th, 2012.

A - A bit thicker-pouring than the old 2010's, though it's still not as dark as I'd like. Soft light tan head. Quick reduction. Sticky lacing. Gets a bump up in score for this year.

S - Sharp whiskey barrel. Dark chocolate, honey cake and apple. The very lightest twinge of pecan pie and alcohol solvency.

T - Woody barrel front. Light espresso, more dark chocolate bitterness. Caramel popcorn and a sweeter bourbon note balance the drink through the rear palate.

M - Smoother than expected, delightfully velvety. Medium body, semi-dry finish with an oak aftertaste.

D - Completely accessible and enjoyable. Not as tannic and overtly barrel-heavy as 2011's EC20, but definitely easier to work through. Easy recommendation here and arguably my favorite Eclipse thus far.

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 1,579 ratings.