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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.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

259 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 259
Hads: 1,607
rAvg: 4.42
pDev: 2.49%
Wants: 811
Gots: 661 | FT: 56
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: 259 | Hads: 1,607
Photo of BierJager89
4.6/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with a few brown bubbles of head.

S: Bourbon vanilla/oak characte, sweet dark chocolate, brown sugar, some coffee and some alcohol.

T: Starts of with sweet chocolate, bitter coffee, oak and vanilla, the bourbon character shows up more in the finish.

M: Full bodied and creamy smooth.

O: Not as good as the EC 20, Four Roses or Rittenhouse, but still an eclipse, still aged in the barrels of excellent whiskey, and still delicious. (443 characters)

Photo of mj81
4.61/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours beautiful. Nice creamed coffee color head that stays around for a good while before dissipating to a nice sticky lace. Initial smell and you can really pick up the aromas that the quality of the Elijah Craig barrel gives. At first glance it appears as it would be thicker on the mouthful than it is but that said, the non-syrupy feel actually works perfectly with the quality of the bourbon as it allows the flavors to come through without the viscosity getting in the way. There's a great balance between the slight sweetness of a barrel aged stout and the dark, toasty flavors of dark chocolate, coffee and oak tannins from the barrel. Very smooth. Overall this is very well done and worthy of the praise they receive. Definitely worth the price to try at least once. (776 characters)

Photo of nataku00
4.61/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 766 from 2009 release shared and poured into a snifter glass. Beer pours a very dark brown, bordering on black, with some lighter browns at the edges of the glass when held up to the light. No head formation at all, but a bit of alcohol feet after swirling. Not much carbonation visible either.

The bottle was stored cold but even poured cooler than is ideal, the aroma is very nice and strong. Big bourbon influences with vanilla, toasted oak and coconut, dark chocolate, medium roasted fruity coffee, dried dark fruits like prunes and cherry. As it warmed a little, a little more sweetness comes through, dark caramel bordering on burnt sugar, toffee, and molasses.

Taste doesn't disappoint, more of the dark fruit flavor comes through initially with some prune, raisin and cherry upfront, then a good amount of dark chocolate and coffee flavors. As the beer sits on your tongue and warms, the vanilla, toasted and charred oak comes through, roasted malt. Finish is long, with toasted coconut, vanilla and dark chocolate sticking around on your tongue for a long time. Very complex and balanced flavor.

Barely medium body with minimal carbonation, a thinner body that I would expect from a fairly big beer. The alcohol is very well hidden, no heat in the taste or in the back of the throat. Balanced and smooth beer, fantastic aromas and flavor. Well worth the cost of the bottle. (1,395 characters)

Photo of rand
4.61/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

From 22 oz wax-dripped bomber to oversized wine glass.

I reviewed the Four Roses here http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/14936/64055, as good as it was I think I underrated it. Also, at the time I hadn't had as many BA stouts, the ones I had weren't all that impressive. Now I think they're possibly the world's finest beverage, making this one of the best of the best.

As far as how the Elijah Craig is different, it's smoother, more singular on the palate (likely from age), as the licorice notes have made room for vanilla and cocoa. (542 characters)

Photo of nkersten
4.62/5  rDev +4.5%
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 (350 characters)

Photo of nuggetsofnectar
4.62/5  rDev +4.5%
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.... (554 characters)

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

Lightly chilled bottle into a glass.

My first impression, after having this on tap, was that this is the weakest of the 3 2009 versions. My second impression, upon having the bottled form side-by-side with the Heaven Hill, is Oh My Lord God Thank You For This Bounty.

A: Pours a dark brown, translucent at the edges. It's not really black. The head is short-lived, very thin, a light tan cap. It's easily the weakest part of the beer.

S: Buttery, toasted oak. Caramelly bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, raisins, molasses, and some booze.

T: A bourbon bomb, but it doesn't overwhelm the other flavors. Bourbon, caramel, buttery oak, nuts, vanilla, chocolate, molasses. A hint of anise and dark fruit near the finish. I'm going to guess French oak on the barrels, seeing as how the flavor is softly tannic and nutty in the finish.

M: It's very low on carbonation. Creamy, smooth. Hard to beat, really. Not a thick, chewy stout: it's pretty lacking in viscosity, in fact. Well-attenuated. But it's very full in flavor, and that makes all the difference for me.

D: It's very easy to finish a full bottle of this beer, which isn't something I can say often about a barrel-aged imperial stout. It's $20-$22 a bottle, which is pricey... But this is one of the few beers I've had that is truly worth it. Amazing? You're damn right. On tap, I felt this was inferior to the Heaven Hill version. Out of the bottles, no question: I think this is easily the best of the 3. Where have you been all my life?!??

My only complaint is that they supposedly didn't blend the barrels, so you could potentially have massive bottle variation in this beer. That's very disappointing to hear. However, I've had 6 bottles of this so far, and each one has been amazing (yet slightly different)... (1,778 characters)

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

A: Pours a medium brown color with a tan lacing at the edges. I had thought this would be darker than it is , it almost appears to be a brown ale with the lighter hues at the edges.

S: Fresh bourbon, roasted cocoa, coffee and roasted malts.

T: Well, the taste completely makes up for any thing lacking in the appearance. The flavors are extremely well rounded Elijah Craig bourbon notes with American oak barrel and sweet malt flavors. There is a great amount of depth of flavor in here for a 9.5 Imperial stout. There is close to no booze presence and extremely well rounded overall.

M: Light mouthfeel for a stout. Light carbonation which is right for the style.

O: Very impressed with my first 50/50 Eclipse stout. The subtle nuances of the bourbon barrel are really felt and enjoyable. I do not think I have had a bourbon barrel aged stout that had quite this much bourbon flavor without being boozy and I could definitely appreciate this again. (956 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)

Photo of Axnjxn
4.63/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle BR 1 2012 into a snifter.

pours a pitch black with a half inch beige head. smell is big on bourbon .. this is gonna be a big beer...or is it. taste is extremely smooth and balanced, Damn. the flavor is insane. bourbon , vanilla, oh my god. this is possibly the best tasting imp stout I've ever had. full bodied with light carbonation.

overall you need to drink this beer now. amazing by all accounts. (410 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 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 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 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 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 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 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)

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 259 ratings.