Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year) | FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
98
world-class
279 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
279
Ratings:
1,770
Avg:
4.43
pDev:
19.41%
 
 
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842
Gots:
745
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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year)Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.90%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Imperial Stout aged 200 days in an Elijah Craig bourbon barrel.

Added by Jmoore50 on 12-29-2009

User Reviews
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Reviews: 279 | Ratings: 1,770
Photo of drabmuh
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by dyan recently. Thanks! Working my way down the top 100, very slowly for the last 10 or so.

Beer is black / dark brown, appears thick. Thin head, diffuse, breaks, pulls toward the glass. No lacing.

Aroma is sweet and big, mild barrel flavor, mild bourbon, very sweet, molasses, darkness.

Beer is medium to thick in body. Sweet at the lead off, the midpalate is molasses and bourbon, not hot, heavy finish, thick overall. Decent beer, very good. I'd have it again, looking forward to this year's Elijah Craig bottles.

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Photo of seeswo
4.43/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled this at Creekside Brewing Company during a central coast BA gathering last night. bulletrain76 shared this one. Thanks Sam!

Poured into a 4oz. tasting glass.

Appearance: Black body with brown edges. A tight, filmy head sits atop for the duration of the tasting. Nice lacing. I wish it was a bit darker, but no real complaints here.

Smell: Sweet caramel and floral bourbon, dark chocolate, and cocoa powder. No fusel notes; alcohol is hidden very well. Smooth and pleasant, but not that complex.

Taste: Dark chocolate, chocolate syrup, caramel, booze, and vanilla. Very little hop character. Rich and very smooth, with gentle sweetness and warmth in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Full, a touch syrupy, warm, semi-dry, and lightly carbonated. Very smooth for a bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout.

Overall: Hits all the marks you're looking for in a barrel-aged imperial stout. Smooth and complex without being too dry or hot. Delicious!

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.27/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

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Photo of DaveHS
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2009.

A-Pitch black with a thin, coffee colored head. No lacing.

S-Bourbon oak, vanilla, espresso bean, raspberry, bittersweet chocolate.

T/M-Just gorgeous. Thin on the tongue, but lush and silky on the back of the throat. Strong coffee bean/bourbon flavors, complemented by a touch of vanilla and honey. There is an off flavor of charred wood/chalkiness that gets distracting after awhile. Full bodied with low carbonation.

O-A great beer, but WAY too expensive. Loses some points for the ludicrous price.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.27/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Nanoslug for sending me this a while back. Finally got around to opening it - shared at the WLV/de Struise event. Served in a wine glass.

A - Late-rising half-finger of tan foam that settles to a wispy partial cap, leaving behind spotty lace. Near-black body that is raisin brown at the fringes.

S - Big raisin and dark fruits, milk chocolate, fudge, and vanilla. It's on the sweet side of things, with only light roast and oak character.

T - Taste is heavier in oak, with some elements of cocoa and anise bitterness in the finish. Seems a bit empty mid-palate, although it improves substantially as it warms up. It's closer to a 4.0 when it starts, but gets closer to 4.5 by the time I was wrapping up my pour.

M - Smooth, sticky, and chewy body. Plenty sufficient in heft for the listed 9.5%, although I think that's actually for the base beer. No obvious alcohol warmth.

D - This is very good, but I can't get past the nagging feeling that it was probably better about six months ago. A very enjoyable barrel-aged stout that isn't quite up to the level of the top percentile. Still - highly recommended.

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Photo of callmemickey
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As part of a Eclipse Vertical (PPW, 09 HH, 10 HH, EC, FR, CB, & EV)

A: Deep black brown body with just a thin khaki head.

S: Assertive, but refined bourbon notes of vanilla, oak and booze.

T: Like the nose this had assertive, but balance and refined bourbon. As a result you really could explore the bourbon notes that augmented the solid malty base of caramel, roast, and a little chocolate.

M: Nice carbonation provides a little tingle on the tongue when combined with just a smidgen of bourbon heat.

O: A very nice bourbon barrel stout that hangs with all the big boys. It was a toss up for me between this and PPW for best of show. The other tasters put this a clear consensus #2.

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Photo of DosBeerigos
4.94/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

C: How Clear is Black?
H: Deep Black
N: Chocolate, Bourbon, & hints of Vanilla

WOW, A Perfect Barrel Aged Beer? Maybe not perfect, but this is DAMN CLOSE.
Tons of chocolate with hints of bourbon all though the taste. The mouth feel is fantastic, even with little-to-no carbonation. I would like just a hint of more body, but honestly this is one of the best barrel aged beers I have ever had.
If you have the opportunity to try it, DO IT! Big thanks to JahLove for hooking me up with a taste of this!

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Photo of BearsOnAcid
4.3/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

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Photo of muttyd
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

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Photo of nuggetsofnectar
4.62/5  rDev +4.3%
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....

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Photo of francisweizen
4.8/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of nkersten
4.62/5  rDev +4.3%
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

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Photo of Sean9689
4.39/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.69/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.66/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.52/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Photo of 321jeff
4.55/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.52/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.23/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

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Photo of craytonic
4.32/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

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Photo of waltonc
4.72/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

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Photo of MrChopin
3.95/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
98 out of 100 based on 279 ratings.