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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall: ridiculously good offering....

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elijah 50

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

Smell is brownies fudge marshmallows raisins dark fruit some alcohol

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

Heavy medium and light

An excellent beer, best eclipse I have had so far

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 jrallen34
4.69/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

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

Photo of AgentZero
4.66/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

Purple wax 22 oz bottle, sampled with the 09 and 10 HH with Jeff and Adam.

Pours a viscous near black, opaque and foreboding with a quickly fading tan head and no lacing.

Aroma is rich and sweet, thick with bourbon, vanilla, oak, char, roast and smoke. A little too mild to be a 5, but perfectly balanced. As with all the Eclipses, balance between the beer and barrel is superb, with the EC bourbon dominating the flavor, a little more vanilla than the chocolate that dominated the EW and a more prominent oak and roast finish than the others. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, with subtle carbonation. Overall effect is like other Eclipses, a little thin compared to other beers of this style, but not detrimentally so.

As this warms the finish and oak separate this from the HH and make this beer a little more interesting in my opinion. Extremely smooth and balanced, it's a tossup which Eclipse I prefer.

Photo of 321jeff
4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black with minimal head, which is to be expected, but a swirl reveals some excellent legs.

Aroma is sweet vanilla and oak with hints of dark fruits and some bits of smoke. As it warms the smoke becomes more prevalent. I'm no bourbon expert, but it really reminds me of the Elijah Craig 12-yr I have in the bar.

Taste has lots of the dark fruits that become less noriceable as it warms. Oak is most apparent in the finish with some bits of vanilla and bourbon in the middle.

Mouthfeel is perfectly smooth with mild carbonation. It's a little thinner than expected but it works well. This one goes down smooth and easy, definitely one of the best barrel aged stouts I've had.

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.2/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tasting glass.

Appearance: This pours a dark brown with walnut edges. A small brown head forms initially but fades rather quickly and leaves no lace.

Smell: The delicious aroma of Elijah Craig hits me first, with molasses, vanilla, and oak coming next. Chocolate and a bit of coffee add to the wonderful aroma.

Taste: The EC takes a minute to really hit my taste buds. Dark roasted malt blends well with a decadent dark chocolate and a bit of coffee flavor. Then a vanilla and molasses sweetness introduce the bourbon flavor. A bit of woody oak, a touch of smoke, and then the finish is lightly sweet and more bourbon. Delicious.

Mouthfeel: This is full bodied with an appropriate level of carbonation. Somewhat creamy, but also a bit dry. Bourbon has the typical warming effect.

Drinkability: Getting to try this was a treat. The beer performed as well, meeting my expectations. Another success for barrel aged stouts.

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

Thanks to Chris for sharing this here tick. I've had this several times now, but finally getting around to reviewing it.

A: The pour is viscous and black with a finger of tan colored head forming.

S: Smells like bourbon--delicious, delicious, bourbon. Lots of vanilla and chocolate making the nose a thing of decadence. Smooth roasted malts along with a nice oak aroma. Some toffee and caramel provide additional sweetness.

T: Intense vanilla, bourbon, and chocolate on the tongue provides an excellent drinking experience. Great roasted malts along with a really creamy caramel flavor.

M: The body is medium to full and is silky on the tongue. The carbonation is there but stays out of the way, providing a really smooth mouthfeel.

D: As much as I don't want to hype these beers up, they are just so damn good. Probably my favorite series of imperial stouts. I will definitely be doing my utmost to go to the next release party.

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.

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

From the 2010 release party bottling. Shared with Habmike, Kkipple, SpencerDB, RobOrb and Advent. Many thanks to a kind mule.

Appearance: Looks basically like the rest of the 50/50 barrel aged lineup; small head, some lacing, dark pour with some mahogany brown edges.

Smell: I hate saying each of these smells like bourbon but they truly do smell like the brands of bourbon they used for the barrels. If you have not had each of the bourbons several times (enough times to pick them out of a 7 bourbon lineup) you won't have the fun wow factor of smelling and tasting each of them. After the bourbon I got a good bit of vanilla, caramel, fudge brownie chocolate and oak.

Taste: Again, the Elija Craig dominates - I can't imagine there is much character to the base beer itself besides a nice sweetness as the barrels really dominate the beer. After that there is an enjoyable fudge, vanilla toffee flavor to it.

Mouthfeel: Like to rest of the lineup, mouthfeel is the only slightly disappointing aspect. carbonation was perhaps a bit light.

Drinkability: Drinkable and enjoyable. It is funny we powered through 6 of these with no problem but were ready to cut our tongues out with a FW10-13 tasting.

We did a big side-by-side and I would rate them in this order: Pappy 50/50; Evan Williams 50/50; Elijah Craig 50/50; 4 Roses 50/50; Heaven Hill 50/50 (noticeably worse than the rest); Brandy 50/50 (Brandy being a drain pour). It was fun to try them side-by-side, each is incredibly distinct and there are certainly some winners and some losers.

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 MrChopin
3.95/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

'09 Elijah Craig - 1yr old. jet black, thin large-bubbled head is coaxed with a vigorous pour but remains. Nose at first shows a dusty, oxidized malt, some unsweet bourbon, and a light soy. Reminds of aged 7000 without as much of the robust malt. Flavor is hotter up front, a thin but delicate body reminds of a nice rum-candy with warmth on the mid-palate, with some wood and cocoa through the lengthy finish, dry finish. Body and malt profile are a bit washed out but also chewy and overly sweet, some unfermented sugars remaining amidst near-balance. Still, I personally find the light body and lack of strong malt to be a trend growing too common from stout experimenters like CCB, Bruery, and now 50-50. And yet there is a ton of bourbon in this, which I've hardly mentioned, and I think this is because the bourbon blends so well with the base beer flavors.

Photo of GoGriz
4.21/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rec'd this bottle (#1105 from 2009) from jhenry04 in a killer trade. Thanks for giving me a chance to try this.

Appearance is lacking...really no head to speak of. Super thin ring of light colored foam aroud the edges and some neat looking spotting at the top of the liquid. Not inky black but close.

Smell is amazing! Bourbon, chocolate and hefty malt come through in a sweet and decadent scent that is exactly what I want out of a barrel aged beer.

Taste is dynamic. Flavors start with bitter chocolate, sweet chocolate, scotch then coffee. Finish is bourbon with a tad too much heat and bitterness for me. Still, I can see where most would think this great. I guess while I get a lot of flavor out of this, it doesn't have as much integration as I'd like.

Mouthfeel is solid - medium carnonation and perfect amount of heft on the tongue.

Drinkability is hurt by the heat and bitterness. I really want to like this beer but I can't get myself to enjoy this one as much as I want to. That being said, I want to try the other versions and compare.

Photo of maximum12
4.15/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to cloudskipper for this bottle of '09 Elijah Craig. Just rec'd bottles of the current batch from the excellent folks at FiftyFifty, so I figured we'd celebrate by kicking the last one from '09. Split with my wife. As a side note, after the kick-ass Heaven Hill bottle, she insisted on auditing the pours to assure that I hadn't jacked her out of 1/5 of an ounce. Turn a girl on to big stouts & see what happens? Bottle #596.

Pours black, with a surprising twinkle of red around the edges. Smell is subdued, barrel, malts, good but not over-the-top.

The Elijah Craig version brings on inevitable comparisons to the Heaven Hill, which isn't quite fair (comparing anything to that near perfection). The whiskey is obviously different, rougher, giving off John Wayne vibes vs. the Ivy League tumbler of the 'Hill. The roughness bleeds through the taste. The malts seem unsettled, a bit at war with the stapled chocolates, long pull of nuttiness, chocolate, arsenic (OK, I haven't actually tasted arsenic, but I bet it's like this). Lots of minor chords, but the slash-and-burn whiskey rides roughshod over the subtleties.

Excellent beer. If it weren't fairly rare & expensive, this would be a great beer to crack open around a campfire deep in the wilderness after shedding my chaps for the day. Looking forward to trying more varieties of Eclipse.

Photo of Ynot2
4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first review and it is a winner.

Pours into a tulip glass a deep dark black with a faint line of tan foam.

A wonderful aroma of chocolate, vanilla, caramel, Bourbon and oaks.

The first taste matches the aroma, sweet vanilla and chocolate melded with a smooth bourbon taste. Nothing overwhelms other flavors in this complex beer.

A rich fairly full profile, sweet but enough bourbon to not be too sticky.

Very drinkable especially for a beer with this level of bourbon.

I liked this beer more as it came up to temperature, the aromas and the flavors just kept improving.

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 orbitalr0x
4.49/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 - Purple Wax - Bottle# 850

Pours into my glass a deep brooding black with a small dark tan head that quickly fades. Bit under carbonated. No light getting through this brew. Aromas start off with smooth dark roasted malts, chocolate and honey. Vanilla and sweet bright bourbon alongside an oak barrel character. Bourbon is really well integrated and draws you in.

First sip brings smooth dark malts, chocolate truffle upfront with honey sweet accents. Bourbon rolls in with caramel and vanilla flavors. Woody oak barrel as it flows down with a touch of spiciness. Smooth and well balanced, the bourbon is perfectly integrated here. Wonderful.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied. A bit slick with mellow carbonation. I enjoy the fact that this is not overly heavy. Overall, this is a great bourbon aged stout with well integrated flavors that all hit the right marks. Really happy to have been able to sample this and looking forward to the 2010 versions.

Photo of gford217
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz purple waxed bottle shared with the usual suspects at the Brick Store.

Pours almost completely black with hints of light showing through the mahogany edges. Head recedes fairly quickly leaving some spotty lacing.

The aroma has more whiskey presence than the Pappy and Heaven Hill. It's got whiskey, vanilla and lots of chocolate on top of the heavily roasted black malts. Some hints of leather and tobacco.

Again, the bourbon really comes out in the taste up front. Vanilla, chocolate, roasted malts and maybe even some dark fruits hiding underneath. The finish is boozy and a bit dry, certainly compared to the other treatments I've had.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and almost slick with some soft carbonation and definitely influenced by the bourbon.

As usual for Fifty Fifty, this is barrel aging at it's very best. I think I like the more nuanced character of the Heaven Hill but, hey, that's a seriously high bar. Outstanding.

Photo of errantnight
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted in a Spiegelau tulip during a RIS tasting (with plain crackers and water for palate cleansing between tastings).

A thin, brown, lightly opaque pour with a thin, short lasting head.

On the nose this is boozy and rich, chocolate and more chocolate with some fruity esters.

And if you'd stopped me here I'd have said I was fully expecting to be disappointed... but then it hit my palate.

Great, great, great barrel character. Toffee and brown sugar sweetness with that intense cocoa and roast hinted at by the chocolate on the nose. Rich, decadent, but balanced and enormously complex.

Medium-full body with a rich viscosity, this nevertheless doesn't quite have the truly full, silky body of the very best (in mouthfeel) beers in this style, but all faults are overwhelmed by that sublime flavor.

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

What is it with this tasting and purple wax? Surly Four, now this. Poured into a Weyerbacher tulip.

A: Black body with a thin dark tan head of rich foam. Looks good, but not quite great.

S: Sweet, oaky, vanilla, caramel goodness. Amazingly well-integrated barrel notes, with the bourbon only noticeable in a subdued, nuanced way. I can't really imagine a better-smelling stout.

T: Bourbon takes over more here, but not to an irredeemable point. Impressive, but not quite as splendid as the nose.

M: Very sweet, sticky, and rich. I'm loving it.

D: Intense bourbon flavor isn't necessarily the most drinkable aspect a beer can have, but this one is drinkable nonetheless.

Notes: Gigantic thanks to Tony for being so generous as to share this rare and delicious -bal aged awesomeness. I don't know what else to say about this one - it's great. I wish I had the ammo to put together a horizontal tasting of all the Eclipse beers, as that would be the definition of epicness.

Cheers!

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

Bottle, pours black with a very thin ring around the edges and some fine lacing. Nose is a lot of that really round, big malt, bourbon, wood, vanilla. Quite smooth and rich. Mouth is a lot of oak and vanilla up front segueing into a rich, fairly boozy bourbon finish. Spicy and showcasing a lot of vanilla. Mouth is thin. This is quite, quite good, not as hefty as I though it might be but just impressive flavor profile.

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