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

1,581 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,581
Reviews: 270
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 7.83%
Wants: 803
Gots: 643 | 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: 1,581 | Reviews: 270
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 Rifugium
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had: bottle from Belmont Station, Portland, OR, or Pinocchio's, Media, PA (got a bottle from each place, not sure which was opened first)

A bit flat by the time I got to this one, but anyway. I have a FiftyFifty glass somewhere, but a Chimay chalice was handy, so into it I poured this thick, opaque liquid that was dark brown-black, with ruby-brown tints around the edges. The recapped bottle sat in the fridge overnight, but I still got a decent wispy mocha head from an aggressive pour. Nose of bourbon, cherry vanilla ice cream, and rich chocolate. Taste confirmed that this beer was still fine even after being open for hours. Dark roasty malts, big taste of barrel wood, boozy bourbon kick, notes of mingling vanilla and chocolate coming in mid-palate, roasty bitterness in the finish. Any dark fruit notes that may exist are distant and overpowered by the bourbon. Mouthfeel is rich and creamy, smooth, full body, some alcohol heat, if there was much carbonation, at least it mellowed out by the time I drank it. Very nice overall. My second bottle will sit for a few years before I open it.

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.08/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to beerdy for this beer! Thanks Brien!

bottle numbered 3748 vintage 2011 poured into snifter glass.

reviewed from notes taken on 5/4/12.

Appearance: black bodied beer with 2 finger of dark khaki head. The head stays around for a decent amount of time considering this is a BA stout. Spotty lace on glass.

Smell: mild roast. nice whiskey and oak notes. Hints of vanilla and raisins.

Taste: This beer is actually less flavorful than I expected. Its whiskey notes seems to be prominent and I only get a little bit of chocolate and vanilla from the stout. But with that said the whiskey notes are quite nice in this stout.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation for a BA Imperial Stout. Smooth and silky. Hides the ABV very well. Could have been a bit thicker too.

Overall: Solid flavors in this beer, just nothing unique in a craft beer scene loaded with BA Imperial Stouts.

Photo of Etan
4.32/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review #100!

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a brandy snifter. Bottle #2531, 2011.

A: Pours a rich black with a nice, lively chocolate-colored head. Retains pretty well and leaves a bit of lacing.

S: Big vanilla, oak, and smooth corny bourbon hits the nose. Raisins, vanilla bean, milk chocolate. Smooth as all hell, not a hint of alcohol.

T: Like the nose, sweet smooth bourbon is fantastically prominent, melding with subtle notes of milk chocolate, bitter cocoa, a bit of roast, some delicious dark fruits. Lots of vanilla and subtle oak character underlies everything. Only the tiniest hint of sweet alcohol.

M: Tiny, pervasive carbonation makes for a velvety mouthfeel. Could be a tiny bit thicker.

O: This is delicious. A bit of a thicker mouthfeel would make this even better.

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

Bottle number 3658 split three ways on a beautiful Kirkland night.

A - Pours a dark tasted bron with a nice thin dark tan head that quickly fades to the edges.

S - Mostly oak at first then some chocolate and carmel with some soy-booze.

T - Similar to th nose. Lots of chocolate and carmel with some booze finish.

D - Decent carbonation for the style and a nice medium to heavy body. As it should be.

O - Another really good Eclipse stout. Not as amazing as the 18 yr, but still very, very nice.

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

Thanks for sharing Cliff!

Pours with a nice blackness, and a mocha head, slight but adorns nicely. The aroma is very complex...oak, bourbon, vanilla, toasted nuts, chocolate creme, mild coffee and roasted malts. Balanced wonderfully. On the taste, the bourbon and oak hit you first, but don't overwhelm. Chocolate sweetness and toasted wood, vanilla and roasted malts/coffee balance things out. Full bodied, creamy, chewy and thick. You can't really taste the alcohol, and this is incredibly smooth and drinkable.

My 2nd Eclipse, and excellent still!

Photo of billab914
4.58/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into my CBS snifter. It poured black in color with a thin, tan lacing sticking closely to the edges of the glass. Very dark and still looking.

The aroma shows some very nice chocolate and bourbon flavors to it, but a good amount of alcohol heat is also there. Some notes of brown sugar and vanilla come out in it as well. Very good overall, but a little too much boozy alcohol to be great.

The bourbon barrel flavors really stand out in the taste. I get some great brown sugar, bourbon, vanilla and oak flavors coming out of it. It works very well with the chocolaty, slightly roasty flavors of the base beer. The bourbon seems to steal the show a little, but it's good enough that I can't really complain. The alcohol that seemed so evident in the aroma is also completely hidden making it very smooth and drinkable.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being low. It feels a little heavier than the other Eclipse I've had, which I like.

Overall, I thought it was a great beer. The bourbon steals the show a little, but it's also adds some pretty awesome flavors. The flavors come together extremely well in it. Great beer overall, I'd definitely put it up there with an elite group of barrel aged beers.

Photo of BlastBeats
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig 12 year barrel (purple wax) bottle no. 38 -- been saving this one for a few months; decided to finally crack it open on Easter Sunday.

Appearance: careful pour yields a slightly bubbly tan/khaki colored head that retreats into the blackness of the body.

Smell: oh yeah, this one is definitely bourbon barrel aged.. the bourbon wafts upwards, dominating the aroma.

Taste: again, the Elijah Craig bourbon takes center stage. This beer utilizes the barrel as much as any other beer I've had (perhaps minus Goose Island). I mean, it cuts through the flavor quite dramatically.. possibly overpowering the other components of the stout.

Mouthfeel: not as full bodied as I'd like, but still more than adequate.

Overall: In all honesty, this one exceeded my expectations. I should probably seek out some of the other Eclipse varieties.

Photo of rtaps
3.93/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours black with a nice deep khaki to brown like head with decent retention leaving spotty lacing behind

not a very big head here, rich chocolate and the bourbon from the barrel

taste is much better than the nose, rich chocolate a bit nutty and some heat.
medium to light bodied medium carb nice viscous and smooth

overall very nice and tasty

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

A- "Black, black as Bernie Mac"- Common. Black as Norwegian death metal. Ok, I'll stop with the offensive music analogies now. This one is opaque. Very little head. but good lacing.

S- Lots of bourbon. Oak. Some chocolate. Ripe cherries and other dark fruit as it warms up. Alcohol is noticeable, but not offensive.

T- Boozy at first, but as it warms up it softens. Bourbon and oak are there, but give way to smooth chocolate, christmas spices, figs, molasses, a trace of coffee and a mildly bitter/dry finish.

M- medium to high carbonation, but syrupy at the same time. This is a near perfect mouthfeel for the syle. Lethally drinkable.

O- Really good stout, only going to be better when I crack one in a couple of years. I'm excited to compare this next to the 18 in a few years.

Photo of MrVonzipper
4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black with 1cm khaki head. Low retention and spotty lacing. 

Roasted character in the nose with some chocolate. Bourbon is present but not Alot. A little oaky. 

Flavor is phenomenal and extremely well balanced. Deep, robust and not overly rich. Nice chocolate notes. Mild bourbon and vanilla. 

Mouth is just under full bodied. Silky with light creamy carbonation. 

Overall this beer is excellent! Great flavor and balance. Lacking inthe nose a bit but amazing flavor.

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

2011 vintage bottle number 2931 poured into a snifter on 3/4/12

A: Pours black with fairly dense brown head. Leaves some lacing around glass.

S: Lots of roasted malt, oak and alcohol with some chocolate and bourbon. Alcohol becomes much more pronounced as it warms but not to the point of being overpowering.

T: Really rich with tons of chocolate, bourbon, oak and vanilla. Alcohol is present but very well intricated. Long lingering flavors of chocolate and some bourbon after each sip.

M: Unbelieveably smooth and creamy mouthfeel with next to no heat. Low-moderate carbonation. Medium full body that finishes slightly sweet.

O: Great example of a barrel aged imperial stout, really rich, flavorful and dangerously drinkable. Lots of great barrel character that helps transform what is likely a good base beer into a fantastic final product.

Photo of brystmar
3.8/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed as part of last night's bottle share. Thanks to rlmartin, rmjavanut, hoppymcgee, and whartontallboy for contributing to this 11-bottle Eclipse tasting!

This 2011 EC12 was more raw and bold than any of the others last night. Its stout character came through well, but the bourbon treatment simply wasn't on par with EC18, Buffalo Trace, or '10 HH. A decent stout overall, but a poor value at $25.

Overall, the '11 EC18 was our group's consensus favorite. But honestly, I was unimpressed across the board with most of these beers. Bourbon County Stout is far superior to all of them except EC18. Very glad I got to try them all, but EC18 is the only one I'd seek out again.

Photo of rtepiak
4.52/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

a lucky and expensive run in. having been extensively in 'bourbon country'... or as one would put it in the american beer realm, the midwest. i think i've had enough of this style. most blend to make something that is intense and a sip at best. and granted. there is a time for this... but i'm going to go with my gut on the fact many breweries find it in there best interest to makes this a coined methodology and a heavy handed way of getting a flavor across. few get it right.

this bourbon barrel aging is really something though. not a big head at all. light carbonation. but when agitated bubbles keep coming up. nose is a distinct and pungent bourbon oder at first. one that would make you think this is going to be a slow drink. extremely drinkable. and i would all caps that. nice vanilla that is hinted with a velvety feel. a wonderful balance and a bottle that was gone in about a half an hour.

i recommend at about 50 degrees is best.

Photo of ShogoKawada
4.49/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

slightly chilled and poured into pint glass.

Beer is brown on the pour, not much of a head... maybe 1cm. Good staying power, though. Nice oatmeal cookie batter color.

The nose on this is simply fantastic... I am adrift on a sea of bourbon. I already know I am going to like this one.

The bourbon is here and it's front and center. It's not that hot, though. Really nutty and a lot of toasted oak. Brewed with honey? I don't taste it. Oh well, I'll just have to sit here and enjoy this fantastic bourbon flavor.

I remember reading that the base beer was being beefed up this year. I had EW, not EC last year, but I think I appriciate this one. It's still fairly light in the broader spectrum but it works well with the bourbon. Actually, I'm quite pleased at the body on this.

This beer is great. I'm jazzed to be sitting on the 18/20 yr. bottle... now I just need to find an excuse to open it!

Thanks, Arbi. I really enjoyed this beer.

Photo of zep9865
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed with aasher on 2/28. Poured into aecht schlenterla snifter. Pours an off black with a half finger of mocha foam head

Smells of bourbon, vanilla, and a tad bit of wintergreen mint. Booze is slightly detectable.

Vanilla is more vivid than the bourbon on the palate, with a slight spearmint aftertaste.

You can tell that it's lighter in body than bourbon county stout, but still has a great feel.

This beer is not hot at all, one of it's best qualities. Ready to drink now but would do quite well if cellared.

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

This bottle was acquired in an in person trade with TallPaul07. Thanks man!

This beer pours a medium bodied chocolate brown in color wth a light and soapy beige lacing around the glass. The nose is a vanilla and and toffee masterpiece. There is smooth chocolate, smooth vanilla, tofee, cake, and light barrel. Wow, infinitely smooth and refined. This is exceptionally more balanced than the Grand Cru. The bourbon is exceptionally well meshed with the base beer and very approachable even for the style. This beer is ridiculous, and I don't say that often. the bourbon is so well I integrated that comparing it is tough. Wow, overall this is fantastic and I don't like to gush. This is one of the better barrel aged stouts I've had thus far. I will seek this out again. This is a top performance for a highly rated brewery. I applaud this effort.

Photo of russwbeck
3.97/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was enjoyed at a tasting that included 5 Eclipse variations: Elijah Craig 12 and 18, Four Roses, Heaven Hill Rittenhouse Rye, and Brewmaster's Grand Cru.

2011 Vintage Bottle #2759. $25 for a 22oz bottle.

A: All of them pretty much poured the same. Finger or two of brown to light brown head. The color is black with noticeable bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass.

S: The aroma here is very interesting. This was the first variation I delved into, so the aroma hit me big time. Crazy sweet with chocolate, honey, and bourbon taking the cake. Light roast and some vanilla in there as well. Really nicely balanced, too.

T: Compared to some of the others, the taste here isn't that big. Chocolate body with bourbon, honey, and vanilla being the main flavors. Oak, Chocolate, and Boozy finish, the alcohol is tasted throughout the entirety of the beer.

MF: Lighter body overall than I expected, and lower than average carbonation. Big booziness on all of them, with a warming alcohol feeling to finish. The dryness on the palate varies with the different bourbons. This was specifically was lighter in body than the Elijah Craig 18 year.

O: This was good, it just didn't hold up to the other Bourbons. Just not as well balanced. I chose it as the 4th best.

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

Review #1100!
22oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Bottle #2251. Vintage 2011.

(A)- Pours a nice pitch black color. Subtle tan froth and lace.

(S)- A nice bourbon barrel and dry oak bit up front. Some nice caramel, raisin, and more oak. Very subtle cocoa and vanilla. Just a great bourbon character to the nose on this.

(T)- Similar to the smell. Just great bourbon oak characters throughout the taste; both in the background and foreground. Some great raisin, caramel, and cocoa. Just a great barrel notes that blend together well with the stout profile.

(M)- A nice carbonation level and a great balance. The beer makes it very obvious that this is bourbon barrel aged, but its not overly boozy, solvent-like or hot in any way. Extremely well integrated together to create a harmonious barrel aged stout.

(D)- Overall, an excellent stout. A pronounced bourbon barrel profile, but it pulls it off very well into the stout that was put in it. Might be my favorite of the variants.

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

This beer pours with a short off white heawouldd. Not quite as dark as I would have expected. Aroma is heavy bourbon, a bit fruity, vanilla, mild coco and roast. Flavor is more oaky than bourbon, some mild coconut when it warms and more sweet caramel, mild fruit, some cocoa. Mouthfeel is pretty on point, would like some more creamy carbonation. Medium heavy bodied. Very nice. Don't know if it is worth it, but I really enjoyed this 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 phisigben
4.74/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage served in a snifter

Its pours pitch black, with a deep dark mocha colored head it leaves only a finger width head that dissipates quickly and leaves a ring of lacing. The bourbon is up front but it isn't over powering as other 50/50's I also get some chocolate, a hint of vanilla, and a good oak aroma. The taste is absolutely amazing with most other BA stouts the barrel aging overpowers the other flavors of the stout with this beer the other flavors from the base stout like chocolate, vanilla, and roasted flavor come through and complement the barrel aging. The mouthfeel is good a little viscous but not out of line for the style a little more carbonation could have made this better. Overall this is one of the best aged stouts that I have ever had.

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 TheSevenDuffs
4.49/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purple Wax. 2011 Vintage. Bottle #51.
Poured in to CBS Snifter.

A - Black with one finger of bubbly espresso coloured head.

S - Bourbon, oak and vanilla up front. Roasted malt and some chocolate aromas in the background. The barrel aging qualities are predominant but don't completely drown out the base beer.

T - A great mix of bourbon barrel aging characteristics up front - vanilla, bourbon and oak. The base beer also contributes a lot to the palate with roasted malts, coffee, some dark fruit and a hint of licorice. A slight bitterness is present in the finish. The ABV is very well hidden. Remarkable easy drinking for 9.5% ABV.

M - Medium body but a touch thin at times. Light carbonation.

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 1,581 ratings.