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)

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

257 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 257
Hads: 1,597
rAvg: 4.42
pDev: 5.88%
Wants: 803
Gots: 648 | FT: 55
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: 257 | Hads: 1,597
Photo of s1ckboy
4.47/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle.

A - Black body, tan 2-3 finger head.

S - Very sweet, a lot of oak, vanilla, a bit of chocolate, some booze.

T - A lot of bourbon up front followed by a good amount of bitterness. Chocolate, oak, vanilla, molasses.

M - Medium to full, nice carbonation.

Great beer, wish I had another. (302 characters)

Photo of gcamparone
4.17/5  rDev -5.7%
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. (1,053 characters)

Photo of MCain04
4.48/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage poured into my Darkness tulip. For $30/bomber, expecting this to be really, really good.

Appearance: Dark brown pour with a voluminous creamy tan head with great retention and lacing. Expected this to be a darker pour given the reviews, but it really isn't that dark.

Smell: Big barrel character in the nose with bourbon, vanilla, caramel, and oak. Some charred wood and a bit of roast on the nose as well.

Taste: Barrel character shines with a nicely palatable bourbon taste, sweet vanilla and caramel, with a balancing backbone of roasty malt, chocolate, and coffee. Mild bitterness. A little bit of anise on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with low carbonation, medium body, mildly sticky, but wish the body was bigger.

Overall, I'd say I went into this with high expectations. They were met, but just barely. This could have been better for being 99/100 and 100/100. I'd give it more of a 95/100. Extremely balanced, very drinkable, well-rounded overall. Just doesn't give that extra flavor-punch to push it over the edge. For $30/bottle I might not get this again, but certainly enjoyed the bottle, and it would be a staple if it were more around $18 or so. (1,183 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 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 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 StoneTSR
4.53/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

APPEARANCE: This is about as dark as it gets without being straight up black. Only a tiny bit of dark brown light got through the very top of the glass when held up to the light. No flashes of ruby, no transparency, just the smallest touch of dark brown. A quarter-inch of coffee colored head tops the glass for a few minutes before becoming a patch-work of bubbles and wisps on top of the black sea of beer. A few bubbles rise from the bottom of the glass as well, but cannot be seen until reaching the surface. There is no lacing to speak of.

SMELL: Smells like bourbon with a heavier than usual emphasis on the vanilla. Of course some wood comes through as well and a little chocolate backs it all up. The only surprises here are the hints of raisin and the lack of a more boozy smell.

TASTE: My first sip is too cold and more of the booziness comes through in the form of a more oaky bourbon flavor. Following the bourbon is a closing wave of bitter, roasted, coffee-like malt flavor. I know this will change drastically in a few minutes though. As it warms the sweeter side becomes apparent. A slightly bitter, dark-chocolate beats out the vanilla of the nose, but vanilla is still there and the chocolate gets sweeter as it warms. The hint of raisin is still present, but only at the very tail end of the sip and in the aftertaste.

MOUTHFEEL: A decent amount of carbonation provides an appropriate amount of tickle to the tongue for this big, full-bodied beer. Like many other big stouts, this has a mouthcoating, but not too sticky feel as well – it is silky smooth.

OVERALL: This was one of the biggest and best beer surprises I have had in a while. I expected it to be good, but it instantly became a new favorite of mine when I tried it on tap for the first time last week. I instantly knew I had to go grab a bottle…plus another to age. I don’t know how I’ll hold off, but I have a feeling it will be worth the wait.

Anyhow, while my first few, too chilly sips were good, this is a beer that needs to warm up a few degrees. Let it sit for 15 minutes before diving in. (2,093 characters)

Photo of bbeane
4.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle # 2573

A- Poured into an oversized snifter... dark black liquid starts with a small brown head that all but disappears leaving light spotted lacing

S- Smell is very bourbon forward with some wood and coffee

T- Wow... First off, a huge dose of bourbon. Followed by some coffee, chocolate, and notes of honey

M- Full bodied, yet a bit thin. Light carbonation

O- Awesome beer. Definitely one of the best bourbon barrel aged beers I've ever had... and should have been considering what I paid for it. All in all... I'd pay it again. Worth ever cent

CHEERS (564 characters)

Photo of Coronaeus
4.58/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle received in trade (2014)

A: Deep black with a lovely creamy medium brown head.

S: Chocolate, coffee, nuts with mild booziness.

T: Superb. Slightly sweet with well integrated alcohol. the chocolate malt is present as is caramel and toffee. Slight pleasant bitterness on the finish.

F: Appropriately full, with a creamy smoothness that finishes a little thinner than expected.

O: This is a great barrel aged imperial stout. Hits all the flavour notes I look for. A big thank you to @Corson for the bottle. (527 characters)

Photo of fx20736
4.49/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought 2 bottles from Beers of the World, $ 28.99 each on 1/9/14. Poured into a goblet served between cellar and room temp.

appearance: ebony black with a cappucino head, decent lacing.

aroma: bourbon seems hidden. Smells like malted milk balls, vanilla and honey a little caramel corn and finally some alcohol esters.

taste: molasses leads the way and in a big way followed by coffee and chocolate. Whiskey finally comes out of hiding with an immediate warming sensation

mouthfeel: supple and smooth

overall: expensive but worth it, this is an unbelievably tasty beer. Definitely belongs in the top tier of Bourbon Barrel Aged Stouts. I have another of these celaring and am debating going back to the store to see if any is left. (736 characters)

Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.87/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks jmu500! Opened and shared with some friends on Kate the Great Day 'eve. Reviewing from notes. Poured from a 22oz bottle with purple wax top into a small brandy snifter. Pour is dark with a very nice looking frothy head, and excelent sticky lacing.

Wow, the aroma is strong and wonderful! Tons of bourbon and roasted coffee. The booze is very prominent. If you like stouts, you'll be in love with the aroma of this beer...sweet and inviting...mouth watering if you will!

What an awesome beer! The bourbon just adds complexity and warmth to a great backbone. Tons of malty sweetness, chocolate, roasted barley...just totally sweet, but not overkill or overwhelming. Full body, creamy, and semi-thick, yet excelent drinkability. Carbonation is perfect for this beer. Overall...and again, what an awesome beer! (816 characters)

Photo of Jmoore50
4.97/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

When this beer first came out I thought that the Heaven Hill Rye was better. As time went on the reviews kept favoring the Elijah Craig version. Well last Wednesday the year old Elijah Craig was on tap and it was perfection. I was absolutely floored by how good this had aged in the keg.

The appearance on this is dark black with lighter mohagony edges. It is poured with a nice one finger head that develops into a film over the entire beer. Nice alcoholic legs that are now a standard with these Eclipse releases.

I could not keep my nose out of my snifter. Absolutely perfect. Vanilla, caramel, chocolate, toffee, coffee, sweet whisky sugars, a little bit of marshmelow.

It kept getting better and better every time I took a sip of this magnificant brew. Everything that I could smell was beautifully integrated in the beer. The notes of strong chocolate were being muted by vanilla and caramel, slight hints of coffee were accompanied by the roasted grains and strong sense of barrel. The whisky was not overly powering but integrated perfectly with other flavors. I mention in a few of my reviews how barrels push flavors to the brink. I do say that the flavors on this beer are not overpowering in any way. Overall incredibly impressed with the age on this one.

Outstanding.
(1,290 characters)

Photo of rayjay
4.57/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Opened this in the garage, and it was a bit of a struggle to get through the wax with my random tools; the point of this story was that from the second my screwdriver popped the seal (a minute or so before the crown actually finagled off) the garage smelled like booze...sweet, refined, woody, malty whiskey. Good God! Almost Parabola-like amount of sticky sweet bourbon dominate the nose, simply taking over the aroma albeit for a tiny bit of roasted grains.

Poured in a Stone RIS goblet. Lively carbonation but the foam does not persist. Looks like Sweet Stout from Lost Abbey the way it randomly has brown suger cling-ins around the glass.

It's one of those beers, if it's your first beer of the night it may seem a bit overkill with bourbon notes. But if you sample it at a festival, it will stand out as one of the most memorable beers.

Sweet, sticky, malty bourbon, fumes, chocolate malt and roasted barley, really delicious like dessert, and extremely drinkable. 22oz was no problem to drink and required much restraint; Abyss is one of my all time favorites but it's still a challenge to drink a whole bomber. Abyss gets me extremely wasted, but after 22oz of this I am feeling great and refreshed (we'll see about tomorrow morning). Drinkability is a perfect 5.

Creamy mouthfeel. Not the absolute perfect beer, but the more you think about it, the more you can't find anything you'd want to change. Absolutely great!

Glad to be drinking a bottle after discovering it at the Bistro barrel aged beer fest. Thanks go to brewtull for the hookup and the drive to Truckee. (1,582 characters)

Photo of pmlondrigan
4.38/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black, yup black. Coffee colored head, coffee with milk that is. Aroma is muted however what is there is chocolate, vanilla, charcoal and well perhaps a bit of honey. On the palate is where this beer shines! Milk chocolate, vanilla, oh my mint I can actually detect mint. Charcoal is big and I also get some nice bourbon soaked woody oak. Had you never had a beer with honey as an ingredient you wouldn't know, but if you have then it is clear honey is present here and a truly brilliant addition to a stout. A very rich beer it is, thick, slick and chewy. Must say this beer would be a 5 overall, but it is a tad bit too sweet. (628 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 BearsOnAcid
4.3/5  rDev -2.7%
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. (384 characters)

Photo of roodie
4.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage. Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a snifter, ~8 oz pour. Big ups to my brother in law for cracking this open.

A: pours a dark chocolate color with a thin mocha colored layer of foam. No retention and almost no lacing

S: amazing. Cocoa, vanilla, honey, molasses, and booze. Can make out the oak too

T: almost but not quite as amazing as the nose. All of the above flavors are present, though slightly muted

M: velvety and smooth. Chocolate flavor lingers nicely

O: an awesome brew. I need to try the other versions (531 characters)

Photo of InebriatedJoker
4.23/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle #880 - 2011 release - Thanks Kurtis

Shared with Schwaeh

A: Black with slight foam when poured that descends into a thin off white lacing, decent carbonation.

S: Slight bourbon with roasted malts , dark fruits.

T: Slight bourbon with sweet dark fruits , roasted malts, hints of slight bitter hop, hues of bitter chocolate and vanilla also.

O: A bit thin , a little sweet but still tasty and not overwhelming, a little burn as it goes down , could use a little more time in the cellar but good non-the-less.
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bottle 27 - 2009 release - Thanks Schwaeh

A: Black with one finger head that descends into a thin frothy lacing - great carbonation considering the age.

S: Vanilla, bourbon , roasted malt, chocolate.

T: A very smooth and mellow flavorful version of the 12 , The heat had mellowed considerably over the 2011, nothing I can think of that is out of place in this one.

O: Overall the 2009 is leaps and bounds above the 2011 , not to say the 2011 won't be as good in time but for now this one is the cats meow.

A- 4
S - 4
T-5
O- 5 (1,052 characters)

Photo of Auracom
4.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottling. 5 oz. poured in a snifter on December 20th, 2012.

A - A bit thicker-pouring than the old 2010's, though it's still not as dark as I'd like. Soft light tan head. Quick reduction. Sticky lacing. Gets a bump up in score for this year.

S - Sharp whiskey barrel. Dark chocolate, honey cake and apple. The very lightest twinge of pecan pie and alcohol solvency.

T - Woody barrel front. Light espresso, more dark chocolate bitterness. Caramel popcorn and a sweeter bourbon note balance the drink through the rear palate.

M - Smoother than expected, delightfully velvety. Medium body, semi-dry finish with an oak aftertaste.

D - Completely accessible and enjoyable. Not as tannic and overtly barrel-heavy as 2011's EC20, but definitely easier to work through. Easy recommendation here and arguably my favorite Eclipse thus far. (841 characters)

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

Pours a very dark brown with a fat, foamy, long-lasting, light mocha head. Head retention is about average. Wood, coconut, and chocolate syrup were noted in the aromas. Heavy viscous, creamy mouthfeel that becomes a little astringent at the finish. Chocolate syrup forward with some coconut and ample bourbon. A very, very good imperial stout. Much better than the Vanilla Bean Dark Lord that I'd had moments earlier. (417 characters)

Photo of jdklks
4.09/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my buddy Jmoore50 for picking this up and letting me have a glass. As a disclaimer, I will say that the rating I've given it reflects what I believe it deserves, but not what I think of the beer. What I mean is that this beer has HUGE potential (A+ for sure), but is a little rough around the edges.

The appearance is a little lighter than I like my imperial stouts and the body looks thin. There is little to head to speak of, but some milk-chocolate colored bubbles do break the surface. The smell is the best part of the beer. The barrel aging has done wonders for this beer. Bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, sweet dark fruits (chocolate covered cherries), among other things.

The flavors follows the smell closely, and I'm torn between a 4.5 and 4 rating (can I give it a 4.25?). It's pretty hot and the whiskey profile gives makes me think of it as the little brother of BCS. Lots of chocolate throughout, and a nice (almost coffee) roast in the finish. Hints of vanilla and hazel-nut (which I absolute love in imperial stouts), with an imposing sweetness up front that levels out the bitter roastiness in the finish. It has its fair share of alcohol throughout, but especially on the back of the palate and in the esophagus. It almost tastes a little watered down. Good beer that could be seriously great.

The moutfeel is that of a porter (much too thin for an imperial stout) and is the biggest disappointment of the beer. However, this adds to drinkability as this one goes down VERY easily.

Looking forward to (hopefully) trying the other versions, and to seeing how the brewing of this beer evolves over the next few years. (1,643 characters)

Photo of kiddynamite920
4.01/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle #2898 of 2011's batch. Purple wax.

A: Bottle poured into a large snifter. The head is/was tan, gone in seconds to just a ring of tight bubbles around the glass. Swirling leaves some lacing that falls quickly back into the beer. Wouldn't say pitch black here, some dark brown is noticeable when held up to light. Not really impressive looking.

S: The whiffs of this I was getting while checking out the appearance of the beer were stunning...and I'm about 3 feet away from it. Spicy and strong, smoky and woody. Sweet notes of vanilla and molasses. A bit of rye. Plenty going on here, and the base beer holds up well with all this on top of it. If you really get your nose in there it gets a bit boozy, but all the overriding sweet tones cancel this out very well. Quite nice.

T: Incredibly smooth, no alcohol burn whatsoever which I've encountered in other bourbon barrel stouts. All of the sweet notes of the bourbon come out, complimented by deep chocolate and coffee flavors. The wood adds nice tobacco and leafy characteristics. Only complaint is that it seems the base beer itself doesn't really stand out enough.

M: A bit thin for a big stout, carbonation is low. Finishes a bit strong and lasting on the back of the tongue and throat, but not much lingers otherwise.

O: Well balanced flavors and great contribution from the barrel. Found the beer thin for the style, but it is really covered by amazing compound flavors. (1,440 characters)

Photo of CommanderOfAwesome
4.49/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle poured into a snifter. Shared bottle at a tasting.

A: Pours motor oil with a nice dark brown khaki 1.5 finger head.

S: Barrel characteristics really come through on this one. Surprisingly, no coffee or chocolate notes on the aroma which is usually a staple on Imperial Stouts. Some vanilla is present.

T: Taste for me was smooth, barrel taste. Some brown sugar and molasses creamy-ness. Really surprised by the lack of chocolate or coffee taste.

M: Smooth, medium to fuller bodied but not overly thick. First few sips left my mouth with a strong whiskey taste, as if I had taken a shot of whiskey and not beer. This dissipated as I drank more.

O: A fantastic and unique brew. We had a discussion that as we drank it, we weren't focused on the beer, but rather on table talk. We were surprised by this and decided this is a sessionable beer. This beer is all about showcasing the barrel characteristics and not the characteristics of Imperial Stouts. Really unique and I would recommend trying a bottle. (1,024 characters)

Photo of muttyd
4.47/5  rDev +1.1%
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. (412 characters)

Photo of PerHops
4.38/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- "Black, black as Bernie Mac"- Common. Black as Norwegian death metal. Ok, I'll stop with the offensive music analogies now. This one is opaque. Very little head. but good lacing.

S- Lots of bourbon. Oak. Some chocolate. Ripe cherries and other dark fruit as it warms up. Alcohol is noticeable, but not offensive.

T- Boozy at first, but as it warms up it softens. Bourbon and oak are there, but give way to smooth chocolate, christmas spices, figs, molasses, a trace of coffee and a mildly bitter/dry finish.

M- medium to high carbonation, but syrupy at the same time. This is a near perfect mouthfeel for the syle. Lethally drinkable.

O- Really good stout, only going to be better when I crack one in a couple of years. I'm excited to compare this next to the 18 in a few years. (787 characters)

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 257 ratings.