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
97
world-class

256 Reviews
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Reviews: 256
Hads: 1,591
rAvg: 4.42
pDev: 5.88%
Wants: 803
Gots: 646 | FT: 54
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
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Reviews: 256 | Hads: 1,591
Photo of Ciocanelu
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Didn’t expect very much from this beer (I don’t know exactly why) but it was a really nice surprise. Big bourbon smell with some alcohol notes but not disturbing. Complex taste with some honey, coconut and vanilla. Not too sweet though, very balanced. Thick and creamy. Excellent! (284 characters)

Photo of srandycarter
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%

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

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

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

T - Delicious. Big bold flavors.

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

D - Yum. (385 characters)

Photo of Corkpuller
4.74/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Impressive complexity and mouthfeel. Just a hair drier than most imperial Stouts, but anything but thin. It's expensive yes. But it's also amazing.

oh, also has the best balance of barrel flavors with the base beer. (219 characters)

Photo of phisigben
4.74/5  rDev +7.2%
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. (771 characters)

Photo of yamar68
4.72/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to corregidore for this one, along with an 18 year! Been hunting for this one for a while. 2011 vintage, #3,307, poured from bottle to brandy snifter:

Pours a near pitch black... maintaining a slight bit of dark copper clarity. A thin half-finger of light brown head fades out to a neat collar. Great, oily lacing. Nice looking beer.

Tons of lush honeycomb and caramel cake on the nose... super refined, just a suggestion of booze comes with a big snort. Rich bourbon without the heat.

Holy hell... fantastic. It's nice that this is 9.5% because it allows for a smooth bourbon character that isn't accompanied by too much alcohol which sometimes can trick your mind into tasting heat from the bourbon itself. Honey and caramel play key roles. Exceptionally drinkable for a BA imperial stout.

One of the most unique and delicious beers I've ever had.

ISO. (872 characters)

Photo of waltonc
4.72/5  rDev +6.8%
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. (980 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 batch.

Dark and opaque chocolate brown in color, topped by a tiny 1/4 inch head that quickly settles to the thinnest of rings. There's faint translucency around the edges.

The Elijah Craig bourbon barrel imparted a huge mark on this beer - it absolutely reeks of sweet caramel, vanilla and oak. While the Heaven Hill Rye and Jack Daniels versions of this beer have well-integrated and somewhat balanced barrel characters, this one is dominated by bourbon. The chocolatey, roasty, bready base beer is still present, but it's more of a foundation for the incredible aromas the barrel has imparted.

It's equally bourbon-forward on the tongue, opening with flavors of maple syrup, dark fruit, vanilla and honey. The mid-palate brings out a balancing roastiness, hints of licorice and burnt toast. The body is medium-full and creamy, though not especially viscous or oily. The finish is bittersweet and hot, like a liqueur-filled chocolate. (943 characters)

Photo of 4thelvofbeer
4.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Awesome. Period. This was my first of the many eclipses, the EC12 was smooth and absolutely delicious!
A:Black, nice thin brown head.
S/T: Notes of smooth bourbon, honey, vanilla, molasses, and chocolate!
M: Really smooth, silky and nice...
O: I love this stout...really tasty! (278 characters)

Photo of brockdidntslide
4.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Best imperial stout i have ever had. Had Just the correct amount of the excellent bourbon flavor without making it so overwhelming that you miss the other flavors of the stout in the beer.

Just a terrific job here fifty-fifty. It's a little on the expensive side, but still well worth it in my book. (301 characters)

Photo of Ynot2
4.7/5  rDev +6.3%
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. (578 characters)

Photo of joe1510
4.69/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

22oz Bomber

Cheers to Rockstein for splitting this bomber with me! 50/50 is a black hole of a beer, the room darkens and my smile widens with the pour. The milk chocolate head rises super late from the black body to a cap of foam after the pour. After a few minutes in the snifter the head settles to a thin ring and leaves little chunky lacing behind with each small swirl of the glass. The looks alone tell me this is a stout to be reckoned with.

It would be tough for more complexity to be jammed into the nose of this stout. The bourbon barrel qualities pop through first with sweet, lightly spiced bourbon, handfuls of toasted coconut, and vanilla galore. Soon after come the hugely complex stout characteristics. Butterscotch and a plethora of dark fruits make up for the main body with a somewhat sweet, somewhat spicy bourbon finish.

The flavor profile somehow manages to trump the incredibly rich nose. The barrel characteristics I mentioned in the nose go expertly hand in hand with the huge stout body. Butterscotch works from front to back but isn't overly sweet like in most other stouts that bring butterscotch. The dark fruits roll through mid palate after the barrel aging characteristics start to fade and integrate into the overall flavor. There is a crazy cotton candy like airy sweet finish that wraps this beer up beautifully. A touch of spiciness from the bourbon lasts for a few seconds after each swallow. The complexity of this beer comes together amazingly well. There is no part that dominates the others.

Just like the other aspects of this beer the mouthfeel has been nailed. The body is thick, rich and coating but fades a few seconds after each sip. A lot of these big stouts are sticky sweet but this one walks the line perfectly. A touch of warmth on the swallow cuts what sweetness is present and makes for a luxurious mouthfeel.

I could easily sip the night away with this 50/50. The balance between sweet and heat & barrel and stout make a great compliment to one another. It's rare that you run across a stout that's this big, robust, and complex that's so easy to drink.

50/50 Elijah Craig is one of the best stouts I've had in recent memory. I could easily live with a few more of these floating in my fridge. This is a stout worth seeking out without a doubt. Thanks again for the pour, Dave!

Reviewed: 2/25/10 (2,358 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
4.69/5  rDev +6.1%
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. (746 characters)

Photo of WillCarrera
4.68/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Purple wax. Bottle number 2521, 2011 vintage. Poured into a snifter.

A- Pours pretty damn near black, mahogany highlights at the edges when held to light. Capped with a thin creamy tan head that eventually settles to a thin collar. Good lacing.

S- First thing is bourbon, a bit smoky, behind it is some fruit, molasses, and thick roasted malts with coffee and a bit of dark chocolate.

T- Malt and bourbon flavors are competing from the get go. The first thing I'm tasting is chewy, cake-like roasted malts with a lot of chocolate and a bit of coffee, wrestling with a smoky bourbon with vanilla and oak. The bourbon on this beer is perfect, it provides just a bit of alcohol burn towards the finish but doesn't overpower the other flavors, it's really spot-on. Underneath this there's a fruity layer, with raisins, figs and dates.

M- Full-bodied, thick and chewy, smooth feel, carbonation is on the lower side but is perfect for this beer. Alcohol isn't intrusive on the flavor and provides a nice warmth as you drink.

O- I can't remember the last time I had an Imperial Stout like this, take this as a benchmark of what the style should be and how to barrel age a beer. Totally delicious. (1,196 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.67/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter glass. BR 1 - 2012.

A real straightforward textbook looking large stout. Black walnut bodied in color, with a simple microscopic bubbled creamy head that forms. The head color manages a light mocha, light tan brown, and has a good amount of presence. A little tilt and you can see a little bit through it on the edges, and a good swish brings some leopard spotty lacing.

The nose hits with a large amount of fruit. It feels black berry, currant, creme de cassis, or some other dark black fruit, a light honey sweetness matching nicely in the background, I can't even tell this came from bourbon it's so fruity, it smells incredible. A little bit of char hides in the back. It smells incredibly creamy.

The palate feels so incredibly wonderful. The sweetness angle on this beer is just "perfect". High quality milk silky chocolate on the finish. The mid palate brings all that black fruit with a honey kiss of sweetness. There's some playful carbonation on the tip of the tongue at first, but alows the silky character to just come through. There is a wonderful sooty smoke component to this also, like you could blow black ash right out of your mouth.

Overall this drinks so easily, and is one of the most perfect sweet balanced big stouts I've ever had. Finished this bottle in nothing flat. Just a great beer. (1,359 characters)

Photo of BeerImmediately
4.67/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 2741 for 2011.

Poured at cellar-to-room temp into snifter. Short tan head over a deep brown cola body (when held to the light). Spotty lacing.

Aromas are full of deep red wine, with some dark chocolate, and oak barrel. Pretty sure that if you didn't look at this, you'd swear it was a wine.

Amazingly smooth on the palate. Flavors are much sweeter than the nose, with dark chocolate, vanilla, molasses, wood, floral hops, and then mocha in the finish. The bourbon really only comes through in the "glow" / aromas that accompany the swallow. Freaking creamy and smooth for a BBA Impy Stout...only a hint of carbonation. But zero harsh.

Honestly, if this were on draft I'd have to be cut off for the first time in my life. This is a remarkably smooth and tasty beer. (778 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
4.66/5  rDev +5.4%
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. (557 characters)

Photo of MLDucky
4.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2012 bottle, bourbon flavor was retained nicely. Not too thing, not overly viscous. I was very happy with this bottle and hope to try it fresh someday. (152 characters)

Photo of richj1970
4.64/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from 22 oz bomber into taster glass. Bottle date is 2/2013.

A: Pours pitch black with smallish one finger mocha colored head. Some decent retention and some spotty lacing.

S: Bourbon was apparent the second I popped the cap on this one. Very nice bourbon aroma in your face, some vanilla, bitter chocolate, a bit of oak.

T: Following the nose, there is lots of bourbon flavor. A nice alcohol heat mixed with chocolate, vanilla, and some earthy oak goodness.

M: Thick and creamy coating the tongue nicely. A bit of burn from the alcohol.

O: Very nice BA stout. Combines some of my favorite characteristics of a big stout and a nice bourbon. Other than the price point, this brew is a home run. (705 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
4.64/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into Delirium Noël glass. Bottle #49. Bottled 2009. This is apparently my 200th review, although I did not plan it. It turns out this is a very fitting (amazing) beer to mark this occasion.

A: Pours a deep black with dark brown highlights. Hardly any head or lace. After a moment this beer is flat looking with just a slight bubbly collar around the glass.
S: Big notes of bourbon, vanilla and oak. Amazing smelling. Also picking up powdered cocoa and maybe the slightest hint of dark cherries and sweet honey.
T: The barrel really came out in this one with dominant flavors of vanilla, oak, and bourbon. There is an overall honey sweetness and buttery richness to this brew. Aftertaste is full of honey that seems to coat your mouth. Light coffee and chocolate syrup throughout.
M: Fairly thick and sticky. Very viscous but damn near flat with a touch of rough tannins to round out the finish. Alcohol is warm but incredibly smooth. Low carbonation.
D: This one took imperial stout to a new level for me. What an amazingly rich and flavorful yet smooth and drinkable beer. I could easily finish off a bottle of this by myself. What a wonderful beer. (1,168 characters)

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.64/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap served in a tulip

Pours an ink black with some tan bubbles around the rim of the glass, no discernable lacing. This is a viscous beer; coats the inside of the glass with a thin oily film when swirled.

On the nose, holy shit. Loads of whiskey and booze. Molasess, butterscotch, raisins, Belgian dark chocolate, oak...extremely rich and robust. Blows the nostrils away.

Molasess, butterscotch, bourbon, dark chocolate, raisins, dry oak, rolled oats, figs....just straight up bourbon barrel goodness. Huge, robust notes with a relentless finish.

Full-bodied, smooth, lush, creamy. Low carbonation, large amounts of ethanol. This guy is big and bad.

Huge, robust stout with heavy bourbon influence. Utterly delicious. (725 characters)

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

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

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

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

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

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

O: This is really good stuff. (1,217 characters)

Photo of GregSVT
4.64/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

100th review! 22oz bomber into a snifter. Bottle number 1127. 2009 Vintage.

A: Pours a deep/pitch black with a tiny dark brown head that barely rose up after pouring it pretty vigoursly. It disappeared faster than it took to rise up and leave a small bit of lacing.

S: The nose is very similar to GI BCS with tons of vanilla, chocolate, and molasses. I've yet to find a beer close to the intensity of the BCS but I think I found it here.

T: The taste is similar too but it has a buttery element that I've never experienced before. Lots of roasty cocoa and vanilla with a molasses backbone. This is good stuff.

M: This is the surprising characteristic that I wasn't expecting...it's pretty thin. I wouldn't say it detracts from the beer but I'd like to see it a bit thicker. Still I think it sets this one apart from BCS.

D: This is a damn good barrel aged stout and one I would love to drink on a regular basis if it wasn't so expensive and limited. ABV is a bit high as well but I don't see that being a problem.

Great beer and I'm glad I chose this one for my 100th. I'd love to try this in a year or so. (1,112 characters)

Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
4.63/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance – A very dark brownish black color that is just slightly translucent. Has a nice thick head that dissipates quickly to a thin layer. Leaves a medium-light wet lacing.

Smell – Roasted malts, a nicely sweet smelling bourbon, oak and vanilla.

Taste – Sweet bourbon, malts, and vanilla.

Mouthfeel – Creamy, smooth, very little carbonation, with a mild bourbon aftertaste.

Drinkability – I like bourbon beers best with a little sweetness to them. This one has it. (485 characters)

Photo of SteveB24
4.63/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Really interesting beer, has Big, bold, roasty, malt flavors one excepts from a BA stout such as chocolate and coffee, as well as an equal dose of raisins, caramel and vanilla, to almost comes off as a cross between a barley wine and a stout. Seriously awesome beer. (266 characters)

Photo of larryi86
4.63/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle, 2013, poured into a tulip

A- Black with a three finger mocha head.

S- Bourbon, oak, vanilla, molasses, some honey, chocolate.

T- Bourbon, oak, some honey, dark chocolate, bitter coffee finish vanilla, bourbon is big, but not harsh or overly boozy.

M- Silky smooth, medium body.

O- Very well done and tasty. I am still not sure if I would pick up again because it is pricey. (392 characters)

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 256 ratings.