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)

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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: 640 | 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 rlee1390
4.46/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Black in the glass with a one finger tan head.

S-Bourbon, vanilla are prominent, chocolate, roasted malt and coffee.

T-Great balance of bourbon, slight vanilla, nice chocolate, tad coffee, nothing overpowering.

M-Heavy, thick and not much carbonation.

O-What balance, so smooth. A wonderful stout. The vanilla and bourbon notes went together so perfectly.

Photo of Dope
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle 2964 of the 2011 batch.

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

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

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

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

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

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

On tap at Hamilton's during CBC

A: Pitch black with no head whatsoever. A touch intimidating.

S: The smell's pretty incredible, with a rich aroma of bourbon, vanilla, toffee and raisin. Really great smell.

T: The bourbon isn't in the forefront as the smell would suggest, which is actually kind of nice. Instead, it lingered behind notes of chocolate covered raisin and salted caramel with a touch of dryness from the bourbon on the finish. Hints of wood, char and roasted malt. Really complex and very tasty, though I liked the 18 year better.

Photo of Sean9689
4.39/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

Photo of srandycarter
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

2011 Version brewed with honey. Purple top. Can't really tell if this is the correct one.

A - Dark, dark brown, almost black with small reddish hue. Hardly and lace or head.

S - Booze and coffee. Yep, soy sauce is there too.

T - Delicious. Big bold flavors.

M - Just enough carbonation, just enough bitter to quell the sweet. Finish is boozy but surprisingly clean.

D - Yum.

Photo of ehammond1
4.39/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2011)

Super Junior Market
San Diego, CA

(Aged for 1 year)

Very dark brown, nearly black in color, without a lot of visible carbonation and not much head. This does leave sticky spots of lacing down the glass. Not a particularly heavy or substantial looking stout.

Lovely aroma, especially as the beer inches closer and closer to room temperature. The familiar coconut, bourbon, chocolate, wood, roast, and coffee elements combine here for something quite lovely.

The flavor follows similarly with chocolate, bourbon, and earthy vanilla flavors combining. There is hardly any trace of alcohol harshness. This is incredibly drinkable.

Medium mouthfeel with low carbonation. I think I would prefer it be a touch thicker.

Fantastic. This is perhaps the best of the 2011 bottlings.

Photo of Eziel
4.79/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Awesome stout! Tons of bourbon on the nose. Maybe a little thin to me but excellent overall!

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

2009 vintage bottle # 177 traded to me by cpferris thanks again for the opportunity!

Appearance: Pours black with a 1 finger khaki crown that shows little retention and moderate lace.

Smell: Bourbon, rich caramel, some roast, a dash of soy sauce, a pinch of stale hops, and a whisper of oxidation.

Taste: Same as the nose with a fairly strong alcohol note and warmth. This is a fairly beautiful barleywine like stout in the sense that it really has a nice caramel malt profile despite the roast quality and dark color. Intriguing.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied (a touch thin for my liking for this style) with medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Goes down well despite the big bold flavors. The mouthfeel makes it more drinkable although slightly less enjoyable.

Photo of Jeffo
4.15/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My mate Doops and I were lucky enough to be able to try the entire 2010 - 2008 series. This was the fifth bottle we opened. A big thanks to everyone who made putting this set together possible. This was my favorite of the seven bottle bunch!

From a bomber into a snifter
Vintage: 2009
Bottle: 986
Wax: Purple

APPEARANCE: Similar to all the 2010 bottles, but with a bubblier head. Thin, transparent pour yields a small, bubbly looking, tan head with decent retention. Head quickly recedes to a faint wisp and bubbly ring. Black body, quite transparent, with no carbonation evident. A bubbly ring remains until the end leaving no lacing. Just too light and transparent for the style, unfortunately, and the head is just too bubbly on this one.

SMELL: Huge nose on this one. Perhaps the biggest and boldest nose of the series. Lots of bourbon aromas and plenty of barrel, such as oak, vanilla and milk chocolate. Some nice dark chocolate and licorice notes accompany a hint of roasted notes from the base beer. Lots of barrel and quite impressive. Favorite nose of the series.

TASTE: Big bourbon barrel up front, then a very nice balance between barrel and base beer through the middle into the finish. Bourbon, oak, vanilla and some milk chocolate up front eventually allow room for some dark chocolate and slight roasted notes from the base beer to show through at the swallow. A big and persistent aftertaste of barrel flavors, dark chocolate and licorice linger nicely on the palate. No heat and very, very flavorful stuff. This one probably had the best profile of the series. A bold and enjoyable flavor profile, and the barrel accompanied the base beer very well.

PALATE: Medium body and lower levels of carbonation. Smooth and silky on the palate, goes down fine and finishes slightly mouth-coating. A little watery perhaps, but very silky and smooth with enough body as well.

OVERALL: I hate to say it, but believe the hype. Easily my favorite of the ’08 – ’10 series. The look on this one was even more lack-luster than the rest of the series, which is an accomplishment in itself, but the nose and flavor profile were the most impressive, interesting, complex and well balanced of the series. Lots of barrel flavors and a good showing by the base beer lead to a very tasty brew in the end. I look forward to drinking some of the 2011 vintage of this beer, and would love to track down another ’09 as a comparison. Time will tell. This one was worth the hunt. Highly recommended!

Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.92/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This review is of the 09' vintage as i did a side by side of this one and the 11' this past weekend

Look: Very dark brown almost black in color with a 1/4 inch tan head and ok retention and when you drink it down it leaves a film on the side of the glass

Smell: The nose is loaded with copious amounts of chocolate, oak, marshmallow, coconut, and bourbon

Taste: The flavor is just as good if not better than the nose. It starts out with a wonder chocolate and coconut flavor and the coconut is just wonderful. The beer then finishes with a nice amount of oak and elijah bourbon. The alcohol is incredibly well hidden where as the 11' the alcohol still shows its face

Mouthfeel: Medium body and mild carbonation with absolutely no alcohol burn which the 11' still had

Overall: The 09' is drinking incredible well at this point and I honestly don't see it getting any better where I believe the 11 could use some time in the bottle but is still great in its own right

Photo of Tucquan
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had this on 2013-02-01 in Columbia, PA (BR1 2012 code)

A - Opaque dark brown with a 3-finger head that leaves medium lacing.

S - Sweet aromas of bourbon, coconut, vanilla, medium roasted grain and chocolate malt. . Very appealing.

T - Bold and delicious. Sweet dark roasted grain, bourbon oak, vanilla, chocolate and very dark/dried cherry, The welcome alcohol sweetness and bite compliments the bourbon flavor. It's not too sweet though and is well-balanced with some char, light smoke and peat. Finishes with some lingering peaty/chocolate malt and roasted bitterness.

M - Medium body and light-medium carbonation. Creamy and smooth.

O - Had this served at 60 degrees and it warmed some from there. Gotta say that I like this more than Founders KBS. It is quite expensive and I can't/won't make a habit of having this on a regular basis but I sure am glad I've got another bottle tucked away for a special occasion.

Photo of jsanford
4.27/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle 90.

Poured a dark black with a thin khaki-colored haze and slight ring. Big, sweet aromas of dark roasted malt, brownie batter, and caramel, vanilla, and oak from the Bourbon barrels. Taste is similar to the nose, tons of dark chocolate, malt, and high-quality Bourbon character. Incredibly smooth and drinkable, the Bourbon has none of that "fiery" quality and is so nicely integrated into the beer. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, with a medium mouthfeel (a bit thinner then I hoped/expected) and lowish carbonation. Overall an amazing barrel-aged Stout, glad to be able to crack it with good friends!

Photo of Overlord
4.54/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Significantly better than the four roses version.

Pours black with a dark brown border. All of these beers surprise me with their aggressive bubbling/head and lighter than expected consistency.

Smells like delicious vanilla laced bourbon, just a bit of dark chocolate, much stronger sweet milk chocolate, and more bourbon. Surprising notes of wood, smoke, and leather. Smells great.

Taste is wonderfully complex, with balancing dark roasted malts that provide just a slight dash of bittering espresso with a big heaping of bourbon, alcohol laced vanilla, and a surprisingly rich and deep lingering aftertaste of smoked bourbon laced leathery sun dried plums. Only off-note is a kind of strange burnt raisin acridness ... not sure what that is, but barely noticeable.

Just a fine, wondrous beer with rich, perfectly blended flavors that does not try to do too much. I'm starting to think brewers are just going overboard with putting too much random shit into beers. It's nice to see someone take a straightforward recipe, age it the perfect length of time, and produce something truly remarkable.

*like all the beers in this series, could use a touch more body.

****SECOND BOTTLE OF THIS FAR INFERIOR. OH GOOD GOD.

Photo of nickd717
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh wow, look how awesome I am, I'm reviewing this super-rarity again. "Jersey Shore," you will rue the day you rejected me from your show, mark my words! Bottle this time, provided at a cigar tasting by Sandstone. Thanks, Roger. This beer was excellent.

Pours jet black with a nicely formed small tan head and a little lacing. Looks a bit better than the tap version.

Aroma is really great, with vanilla, whiskey, sweet rich chocolate, and roastiness.

Flavor is also excellent. You have your typical imperial stout flavors - roast, chocolate, and mild coffee - all really intense and in your face, then you've got your -bal aged flavors - vanilla, oak, and whiskey. Mild hop bitterness as well that I didn't get as much of on tap. All this melds really well together, with just some mild tannins to keep it from a perfect 5.

Fairly full and smooth on the palate with low carbonation and just a slight hint of booziness.

Drinkability is pretty good, and overall, this is really a great beer. Get it if you can. I recommend sending me a bottle of Midnight Sun M in exchange for this.

Photo of KYGunner
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
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.

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

22oz bomber. 2011 Edition. Bottle #3014. Served in a tulip.

A vigorous pour gave me a pitch black body topped by a finger and a half of dark tan foam. Most of it dissipates but plenty of chunky bubbles cling around the edge. Only hints of lacing left in glass.

Aroma has an immediate hit of dry dusty barrel. Rich sweet chocolate malt quickly follows. Vanilla and woody oak are big in this one. Also get a nice sting of boozy bourbon.

Wow, bourbon flavor really dominates in this version. Sits on top of the malt through the entire flavor. The expected sweet malt is certainly present though, and supports the bourbon flavor. Semi-sweet dusty bakers chocolate notes. Roasty char is present as well. Finishes with a long lingering whiskey note. Big and boozy, but tasty.

Body is full but carbonation is low, so the overall feel is quite oily slick. Goes down quicker than is good for me.

From a personal preference, this isn't my favorite Eclipse, but it is damn good and really shows off what a bourbon barrel can do to a beer. Got another one of these in the cellar and will let it sit longer than the others given the overall aggressive strength.

Photo of seeswo
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

Photo of Raziel313
2.99/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

This is very light in comparison to the 4 roses variant.

Photo of Arbitrator
4.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lightly chilled bottle into a glass.

My first impression, after having this on tap, was that this is the weakest of the 3 2009 versions. My second impression, upon having the bottled form side-by-side with the Heaven Hill, is Oh My Lord God Thank You For This Bounty.

A: Pours a dark brown, translucent at the edges. It's not really black. The head is short-lived, very thin, a light tan cap. It's easily the weakest part of the beer.

S: Buttery, toasted oak. Caramelly bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, raisins, molasses, and some booze.

T: A bourbon bomb, but it doesn't overwhelm the other flavors. Bourbon, caramel, buttery oak, nuts, vanilla, chocolate, molasses. A hint of anise and dark fruit near the finish. I'm going to guess French oak on the barrels, seeing as how the flavor is softly tannic and nutty in the finish.

M: It's very low on carbonation. Creamy, smooth. Hard to beat, really. Not a thick, chewy stout: it's pretty lacking in viscosity, in fact. Well-attenuated. But it's very full in flavor, and that makes all the difference for me.

D: It's very easy to finish a full bottle of this beer, which isn't something I can say often about a barrel-aged imperial stout. It's $20-$22 a bottle, which is pricey... But this is one of the few beers I've had that is truly worth it. Amazing? You're damn right. On tap, I felt this was inferior to the Heaven Hill version. Out of the bottles, no question: I think this is easily the best of the 3. Where have you been all my life?!??

My only complaint is that they supposedly didn't blend the barrels, so you could potentially have massive bottle variation in this beer. That's very disappointing to hear. However, I've had 6 bottles of this so far, and each one has been amazing (yet slightly different)...

Photo of jampics2
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!

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.27/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

Photo of pkalix
5/5  rDev +11.9%
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....

Photo of Kendo
4.64/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Handwritten notation on bottle says "BR/3" and "2012." Consumed on 1/25/2013.

A: Poured from the 22 oz bottle - after cutting through the purple wax seal - into a Piraat tulip/snifter-type glass. Body is black. No light is penetrating, not even at the edges. Smallish (maybe a half-finger) light-brown head on top settles pretty quickly to leave a little ring of lace behind. Good splotches of lace on the way down.

S: Bourbon. But not in an over-the-top, in-your-face sort of way. It's integrated nicely, with strong scents of vanilla and a woody, tannic hint as well.

T: Oooooh that's good. First impression is the bourbon. Alcohol heat is definitely felt on the palate and especially on the way down. After a couple sips and a bit of a palate adjustment period, however, I get a good amount of chocolate malt underneath the booze. Don't get me wrong, this is still a big, boozy beer and a sipper rather than a roasty or chocolatey quaffer; but there's more to it than the bourbon. There's a touch of molasses as well, but a nice, tannic bitterness at the finish provides a surprising amount of balance.

M: This is a heavyweight. Carbonation is modest; a slightly slick sipper.

O: This is really good stuff.

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

In memory of Valerie. R.I.P 1/4/11. A girl's best friend.
Huge thanks to Jeff (ipa247) for this one. 2009 vintage. Poured from a 22oz. bottle (#175) into a Darkness snifter.

A: Gentle pour yields a slowly forming .5 finger light mocha head with poor retention. Beer is opaque black with the slightest hint of light peaking through at the top. Lacing is stringy with decent stick.

S: Nose is subtle. Bourbon, sweet soy sauce, dark chocolate, and liquified prunes. Cocoa and liquorice linger in the background. Flavors are very appropriate but I really have to breathe deep for this one.

T: Opens chocolate, prune, plum, and sweet soy sauce. Bourbon presence is prominent but not overwhelming. A good compliment to the base flavors. Roasted malt, honey, and cocoa powder towards the middle. Heat increases a bit. Finish is milk chocolate and sweet, dark fruit. Aftertaste is the same with bourbon added.

M: Medium bodied with low carbonation. Smooth, oily, and filmy in the mouth. Slight heat and coarseness around the edges. Goes down smooth and coats the palate. Finish is messy with a pleasant, lingering aftertaste.

D: Clearly one of the better -bal aged brews due to its overall subtlety. Feel is not super heavy and spirits are not overwhelming here. The barrel complements the beer here. Not the other way around. Definitely worth seeking out.

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