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

Not Rated.
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year)Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

263 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 263
Hads: 1,656
Avg: 4.43
pDev: 7.67%
Wants: 825
Gots: 672 | FT: 57
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 263 | Hads: 1,656
Photo of ArrogantB
4/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Even though it was against my better judgement I acquired a bottle of this. I heard the EC 12 year was one of the best eclipses so I dropped an unseemly amount of money for a bomber ($24). I had this feeling all along it wasn't going to be worth the money since Parabola is only $15 and I was proven right. Dark black beer, super healthy head. Aroma is mild bourbon, and then I get notes of honey, not bad. Flavor was mostly bourbon, wood, more booze, touch of honey. I was really hoping for some chocolate or vanilla or coconut flavors but I got none. I suspected this beer was overpriced and now I feel vindicated. Caveat emptor. I sort of wish I had just bought two bottles of older viscosity instead. :(

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Photo of Kraig
4.99/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Excellent Stout beer. Slight honey flavor was outstanding. I also enjoyed the oak barrel flavoring. The oak barrel flavor and the honey flavor compliments each other greatly. This is an extremely dark beer and definitely named appropriately.

I highly recommend this beer.

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Photo of gueuzedreg
3.76/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This bottle was a little harsh for my palate, but I can see why many people enjoy it.

A- Kinda transparent for a BA Stout. Thank You Mr. Minor lacing.

S- Kinda musty. It almost smells sour, but the barrel characteristic comes out.

T- I get a harsh rye bite out of this one. Not as smooth as I like it. Barrel character is present, some charred dark fruit and molasses is present.

M- Thin like the appearance. Leaves a nice coat of barrel after drinking it though!

O- I have yet to be impressed by 50/50, but I also have not had the pappy or vanilla

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Photo of alpineclimber
4.52/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Vintage 2011, bottle #1431, purple wax, poured at cellar temperature

A nice dark mahogany brew with a slight foamy tan head.

Awesome sweet caramelized sugar with notes of bourbon and vanilla, slight alcohol in the nose. The nose is all about the bourbon.

Taste is of the amazing base stout and the sweet bourbon and vanilla. The big malt flavours typical of an imperial stout are slightly subdued. Great mouthfeel.

Overall a very easy drinking bourbon barrel aged beer. The bourbon barrel aging is perfectly combined with the base stout.

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Photo of standardcherry
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Pitch black color with a nice brown head. Leaves some small lacing.
S: Tons of chocolate. Some vanilla and sweetness. Bit of bourbon at a distance.
T: Very sweet flavor. A bit of honey/vanilla followed by lots of chocolate fudge. Tastes almost like a brownie. Very good flavor although a bit lacking in the bourbon/barrel department.
M: Full bodied with nice carbonation for the style. Feels a bit creamy and sticky. A tiny bit of booze at the end.
O: This is another great variant from 50/50. I did prefer the slight spiciness and barrel character of the Rittenhouse Rye version but this one is very solid.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of rudzud
4.36/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Received in a trade. This is a 2012 batch. Cracking this in honour of Wrestlemania!

A - Poured into my Duvel glass a a nice dark brown with a rich almost two finger dark chocolate hued head that slumped down to leave a nice quarter inch head that left some light side lacing.

S - Very nice chocolate notes here, no sweet malts. The rich bourbon is noteable from a slight distance. Smooth, rich, well rounded with light typical bourbon sweetness, faint vanilla and barrel notes as well. No alcohol on the nose either.

T - Taste is just delicious. Would like more chocolate as there is quite a bit of bourbon. Its tasty, sure, but a bit too bourbon heavy. Would like to see more notes of chocolate like say, cocoa powder, bakers, that sort of thing. Again, its there but its all rather overpowered by the bourbon.

M - Mouthfeel is awesome though, super creamy with just a little bit of carbonation. Light bourbon alcohol as well.

O - Overall its a darn tasty beer, but, for the money or going trade rate there are other damn good bourbon aged stouts for a fraction of the cost of one of these. Glad I got to try it.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.92/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into an Eclipse snifter. 2011 bottle. Bottle #1491.

Appearance - Murky black with transparent edges. Not much of a head. Wispy surface.

Smell - Slightly sharp bourbon character, not quite as harsh as others. Very sweet smelling. Chocolate. Vanilla.

Taste - Lots of sugar, very sweet. Sweeter than other variants, which I don't understand. Maybe the EC barrels add sugar, but I don't understand why that would happen. Bourbon flavor is nice, rounded out by the sugars. Chocolate and vanilla.

Mouthfeel - Slick and creamier than the base beer. Medium carbonation. Sweet and barrel booze finish.

Overall - Similar to the Elijah Craig 20, without quite that great barrel character.

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Photo of lighthabit
4.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

another sampler from my bro over the holidays, so just an impression . . .

smooth, refined, everything i would expect from this style, but a bit subdued on the front. the finish lingers long after you're done with that sip (it's a sipper, most definitely) and make me think of something subtly smoky/spicy. a unique, and very tasty, interpretation of the style.

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Photo of JohnQVD
4.81/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours black with a thin bubbly head. Heavy bourbon smell, kind of sweet. Medium-thin body, with light carbonation. The bourbon taste is heavy, with some roasted coffee in the background and a very small amount of carbonation bite. Mild aftertaste with a slight lingering astringent bitterness.

This is well-balanced for as bourbon forward as it is. This is one of the best bourbon-barrel aged beers I've had.

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Photo of xnicknj
4.39/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into snifter - 2012 vintage - thanks Penguin3200

Pitch black pour with a creamy, frothed brownie colored head resting on top. Creamy retention, spotty lacing and wispy film swirl around in the brew while drinking.

Stiff Elijah Craig bourbon scents with toasted oak, vanilla, tobacco and chocolate. Sweet and boozy, roasted dark malts, smoke and a boatload of barrel. Bullseye.

A heavy-handed helping of bourbon right up front with sweet barrel character and oaky tannins. Chocolate, molasses and vanilla lead into the robust backbone with roasted dark malts. Boozy chocolate cake, brownies, tobacco and a dash of smoke. Finishes boozy and warm with lingering vanilla.

Full bodied, milder carbonation, creamy, sticky and smooth on the tongue. It's a toss up between this and the EC 20 year for my favorite Eclipse treatments, both of which have a substantial leg up on the others I've tried. These probably aren't worth the $30 tag they fetch in Philly, but I still seem to keep buying them.

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Photo of weonfire
4.44/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A - Black murk. light mocha head, pencil thickness.

S - Chocolate, toffee, honey, bourbon and vanilla.

T - Initial: Swirl of sweet chocolate, vanilla, toffe, aged fruits and honey. Finish: contained delicious bourbon, roast, chocolate and a low level of hops.

M - Very frothy, perfect carbonation, soft as silk and high viscosity.

O - Excellent. Could actually taste the specific 'Elijah Craig' bourbon (which I enjoy). Flavors were blended superbly. A thin layer of head remained throughout entire brew- very impressed. Only downside was the nose- it was rather minor. With all these excellent flavors- I hoped for something really dank. But...at a $24 price tag- with so many incredible BA stouts out there- i can't say I would 'highly' recommend the purchase.

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Photo of oline73
4.06/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was lucky enough to try the 2009, 2011, and 2012 versions side by side. Served from the bottle into a tasting goblet. This review is of the 2009 bottle with some differenced noted.

The beer pours a very dark brown/almost black color. There isn't much head to speak of. The smell of the 2009 was very different from the newer versions. There was hardly any alcohol, but I was getting lots of dark fruit and some mild roast. I thought there was a strong raisin presence in the nose. The taste is very smooth. You can tell this beer has some age on it, but it hasn't fallen apart too much. There is a roasted malt sweetness with the bourbon mainly showing up in the finish. I'm also getting some dark fruit and mild caramel/vanilla notes. I thought there was a mild peppery note as well. The body wasn't particularly thick and there was only a little carbonation.

I liked the 2012 version of this beer more than the 2011 even though it was hotter. I thought the depth of flavor was better in the 2009 version.

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Photo of Star80
4.54/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

BR1 2012

A - Appears very dark, with a residual tan head. Very dark brown with little or no ruby highlights.

S - Smells like bourbon with a good dark, roasty smell, some char, some chocolate, vanilla, cherries, leafy tobacco and some licorice. It has a definite bourbon barrel smell nicely balanced with roasted malts.

T - Taste has a deep bourbon flavor and some heat, vanilla, toffee, char, and roasted malts. S

M - Big bold and yet smooth at the same time.

O- Overall a massive brew to tackle with lots of flavors going on at once. Extremely complex and has a fuller bourbon flavor than some of the others which makes sense given the amount of time the liquor has spent in that barrel.

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Photo of jimmy82063
4.21/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2012 vintage poured into a tulip glass.

A) Jet black with a nice tan head that does dissipate rather quickly. Very nice lacing.

S) Bourbon and Vanilla

T) The oak and the bourbon really hit you up from, what follows is some vanilla, coffee and a bit of chocolate.

M) Carbonation is medium.

O) This is very good. I like the booziness of this as the bourbon really does stand out. What is scary though is that this is easily drinkable. As this warms starting to get some more flavors such as plum. This will be savored. Glad I have another bottle!

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.48/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage. Pours an average Eclipse color...black, and this one has a nicely sized tan head that goes down quickly. Scent is heavy with the barrel characteristics...vanilla and oak. Some dark fruit aromas...plum and subtle fig. The bourbon is just so smooth in the aroma. Nose is VERY inviting. Taste is boozier than expected. I don't remember the 20-year being this boozy...but delicious nonetheless. Sweet bourbon booze with vanilla and toffee flavors. A bit of coconut as well. Some plum and raisin flavors with a ton of oak and chocolate...dark chocolate. Even though this is one of the "hotter" variants, it is up there for most complex of the Eclipses. Great flavors in this one. Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied and warming. Drinkability is surprisingly high. Overall, I love this beer. I need to drink my other 20-year bottle and review it to see which one I enjoy more. This one is pretty damn good.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz, 2012
Tired Hands glass

A: Pours really deep brown almost black. Reddish hues towards corners. Head is a light tan color. This is more head then other variations, and makes for a prettier appearance in the glass. Some lacing sheeting. Alcohol feet on the swirl.

S: I get the barrel immediately. Big vanilla and oak character coming through. Dark chocolate. Medium roast. Some blueberry underneath, like I have gotten from other ones. Some caramel flavors too.

T: Dark chocolate. Malt sweetness. Some barrel is there too. Vanilla is really nice. Blends well with base. Some bitterness in back end, but it's like a chocolate bitterness not hoppy. The mixture of base and barrel and roast and sweet is really pleasant on this brew.

M: It's full but not epically big.

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Photo of GonzoHomebrewer
4.41/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle

A- jet black, I think the negatives I've heard about the series are getting to me, but I swear this "looks light for a stout"....

S- Awesome. Everything I want in my BA stouts. Loads of oaky vanilla goodness, with some slight roastiness, but definitely oak vanilla dominant

T- more of the same, the roasted character comes through a bit more in the taste, I actually enjoy how the lightness of the body seems to lend to an urge or sense of need to drink more to coat more of the mouth to understand more of the taste...want..more...

M- Yes, the body is light. to style, not good...but know what? 50/50 makes it work, I enjoyed this part of the beer more than anticipated

O- This is my favorite so far out of the three I've had and would buy more if they weren't soo damn expensive

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.49/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared with two friends at Apex in Portland OR. 2011 vintage.

It pours a little weak looking for a stout of this level of aroma and taste. Dark brown with some lighter brown highlights, decent lacing.

The smell is nice with molasses, smoke, subtle in a good way bourbon, cereal malt, ice cream vanilla oak. Very nice.

The taste really pops with flavor, it strikes all the right notes of a barrel aged stout: a great balance of the barrel, stout and bourbon from the barrel, it really has a perfect balance and is not hot at all. Also has some nice salt water taffy and fudge flavors on top of everything else.

Feel is a little above good but not great, wish it was thicker but it has a nice roast and carbonation level for a beer like that.

I can see why this is rated so high. Great stuff.

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Photo of gcamparone
4.17/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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

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

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

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

M- Medium-heavy body, very low carbonation.

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

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Photo of MrDanno96
4.24/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Big thanks to my friend Bobby for shelling out the $30 for this bottle!

A: Pours pitch black with about a finger of tan head and a good amount of foamy lacing.

S: Everything you would expect from a BA stout. Strong suggestions of vanilla and coconut immediately meet your nose. Look past those and you find milk chocolate, coco powder, burnt coffee, and perhaps a touch of soy sauce. Inhale deeply and you may also find a hint of tobacco smoke and a tingle of intense alcohol.

T/M: Upon sipping, my immediate reaction is to how incredibly smooth this brew is for 9.5%—it goes down dangerously easy. Lots of chocolate and molasses character up front transitions to a roasty and slightly burnt-tasting finish. Not as much bourbon character as you would expect, but notes of vanilla and oak are certainly detectable throughout. This could use a little more body, IMO. I would characterize this as barely full bodied. Not quite as thick as I want my BA stouts to be.

O: Overall a fine BA stout. A great nose and incredibly well balanced and drinkable for a 9.5% beer aged in whiskey barrels. It could use just a little more body. More body would also help enhance what is already an impressive flavor experience. Worth the $30? Maybe for the one-time experience, but I will not be running back to the store to drop $30 more.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A-Pours quite dark but not absolutely black. Moderate light penetration. Head is a burnt tan color. Head dies off to nearly nothing. Small, dark lacing freckles along the glass. The body doesn't look very viscous during the pour (understandable at its ABV).

S-Bourbon is more intricate than intense. Oak and vanilla with dancing spice. Tobacco too. Charred and chocolate but predominantly java-ish. Roasted espresso beans. Warm dark chocolate and baker's chocolate powder.

T-Flavor is very delectable. Much more complex than most Bourbon Stouts but less intense than many as well. The bourbon is again very multifaceted in its flavor offerings. Vanilla and tobacco all over the place. I don't really pick up much honey (noted as an ingredient on the label). The espresso is the heaviest flavor. The various depictions of chocolate don't slouch either.

M-Lighter for the style. Subtle, massaging carbonation. Hints of alcohol. Not overly viscous. The flavor lasts (more coffee than bourbon).

O/D-One hell of a drink. Of course, the $28 price-tag is an absolute killer. Definitely too pricey. I had to grab it when I saw it though. I really loved what the barrel brought to the flavor equation. Flavors are more toned than bulky. When I think of this compared to a $12 bomber of Bourbon County Coffee Brand Stout, this variety of Eclipse just doesn't stand up in both the flavor and price department. Worth a shot one time...unless you got plenty of cash to burn.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.45/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of AdamF625
4.85/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

After digging through the esthetically pleasing purple way it was poured into a snifter

A- pours dark brown/black. Finger worth of creamy khaki head.

S- honey. Bourbon. Chocolate

M- smooth and creamy

t- honey and bourbon at first then a smooth warm chocolate finish.

O- great bourbon barrel stout. I'm glad I had it fresh but the high price tag may steer me away in the future.

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Photo of DmanGTR
4.52/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Joe for breaking this out randomly during our epic tasting!

Poured very black with garnet/mahogany hues in the light. Adorned by a big beige cap that left ample trails of lace. This is a very roasty and toasty imperial stout. Lots of burnt notes here, maybe even toasted marshmallow. Biscuit and caramel leading into lots of vanilla and oak. It's like someone took Blackout Stout and tossed in a spoonful of bourbon. Medium bodied and spritzy carbonation. Quite a delicious beer and always welcome in any tasting I attend!

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
98 out of 100 based on 263 ratings.