Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (20 Year) - FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (20 Year)Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (20 Year)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

572 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 572
Reviews: 155
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 8.05%
Wants: 309
Gots: 267 | FT: 11
Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MasterSki on 11-22-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

White wax.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 572 | Reviews: 155
Reviews by scottfrie:
Photo of scottfrie
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into snifter.

A: Pours near black with a quarter inch dark mocha brown head that bubbled away into a faint collar.
S: I get strong notes of vanilla, coffee and smooth butter. I get a hint or two of wood and dark fruits as well. Overall the nose is smooth and integrated. I would say this is the most mellow and creamy of them all aside from PvW.
T: The flavors are so buttery in this one. This beer is crazy rich and smooth. The bourbon is just barely warm, and flavors or caramel, vanilla, oak and wood dominate and blend well with the bourbon. I’m not getting as much coffee as the nose. Oak and buttery barrel bring up the finish, and the aftertaste is rich and lingers forever.
M: Thick, full body, mellow carbonation and smooth and lightly greasy mouthfeel. The alcohol is just a touch warm at this point but it is hardly hot. Overall very smooth, rich and drinkable.
O: One of the better stouts in the world and probably the best or second best Eclipse. Another couple months on this and the tiny bit of warmth that is left from the bourbon will be all but integrated. A very rich, smooth and well done beer.

More User Reviews:
Photo of stakem
4.05/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber #4046 from 2011 poured into a matching Eclipse snifter. The brew appears a dark brown color with lighter brown seen around the edges. A thin film of khaki bubbles collects around the edge of the glass and leaves some spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma includes vanilla and caramel with a touch of fruity bourbon and toffee-like burnt sugars extracted from the barrel during aging. Some roast elements and a bit of bourbon accents that already warming fruity alcohol edge.

The taste has some raw woody elements and earth with oak barrel flavoring and an alcohol burn that is slightly raisony. Some earth and more solvent booze towards the back with a bit of herbal hop kick before blending into a roasty coffee-like aftertaste.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is smooth yet boozy and bitey. Dare I say the aroma is significantly better than the flavor but still very good and warming. A pleasantly complex sipper that is not showing its 2 years of aging at all.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.6/5  rDev +2.9%

One of the white wales in this series for me, this is a 2012 bottle that pours a rustic murky thick sludgy dark brown with a dark tan head and spider web lacing as it drinks. Dynamic nose of oaky sweet bourbon, way more dramatic than the other bourbon editions, less boozy, more vanilla bean, and a very good platform for the chocolate notes in the malt to launch from. Time has done this well as the booze is nonexistent and while the honey flavor is all time, there is little residual sugar. It's just so well integrated, and the better bourbon barrel has predictably produced a better beer. This is as good as any other version I have had, and may even be my favorite of the lot! A must for fans of the series

Photo of SkiBum22
4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours near black with a quarter inch dark mocha brown head that receded to almost nothing quick.

S - Aromas are great, boozy bourbon, toasted coconut, vanilla, chocolate, and brown sugar.

T - Roasted malt, vanilla and a clean bourbon hint rounds out the sweetness.

M - The mouthfeel on this stout is exactly what I look for in a stout. Creamy, full bodied, and very rich.

O - This is a great beer that exceeded my expectation. The bar is now set high for the 12 Year Elijah I have waiting in the closet.

Photo of Beaver13
2.5/5  rDev -44.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22 oz bottle, bottle 3768 / 2011. Pours brown black with a small dark brown head that quickly foes to a thin film and leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is sweet molasses and dark fruits with a lot of sharp whiskey.

The flavor is roasted malts and sweet sugary dark fruits with a lot of sharp burnt alcoholic whiskey. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, it's too sweet and boozy for me. It does mellow some as it warms, but still very sweet.

Photo of ehammond1
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2011)

Super Junior Market
San Diego, CA

Very dark brown, nearly black in color, without a lot of visible carbonation and not much head. Eventually, however, this does leave sticky spots and sheets of lacing down the glass. Quite pretty.

Lovely aroma, especially as the beer inches closer and closer to room temperature. The familiar coconut, bourbon, chocolate, wood, roast, and coffee elements combine here for something quite lovely. I can hope that all the other variations are similar, because this is wonderful!

The flavor follows similarly, with toasted coconut, chocolate, bourbon, and earthy vanilla flavors combining into something very special. There is hardly any trace of alcohol harshness. This is incredibly drinkable.

Medium mouthfeel with low carbonation. I think I would prefer it be a touch thicker, but I think the body of this beer actually adds to it's drinkability. I look forward to drinking a bottle of this with me, myself, and I.

Great execution of an often imitated style. That being said, these guys nailed it.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.51/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This was the very first beer I had at the release party. Looked like a good beer, like they thickened it up a little, black pour, good amount of cherry cola like head on the top of it, something most Eclipses haven't been able to accomodate. Aroma was a blast of alcohol at first, but mellowed into a nice chocolate and bourbon blend that is what puts butts in seats at this place.

Taste was even better, alcohol blast was gone, really gone, chocolate made totality's heavy roast base fall into the background while vanilla lay prominent. Good chewy mouthfeel on it, bigger than any other Eclipse I had enjoyed up until this point. Oak impact slight. Sometimes the beer got silky. Ended up going back for this a few more times at the end of the night. It kept getting better. Can't wait for the first bottle of this one.

Photo of jeonseh
3.9/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared as part of Eclipse tasting

A - Dark chocolate with small milk chocolate head

S - Boozy nose with light vanilla and caramel to it.

T - Chocolate up front with a good bourbon presence that adds warming alcohol, vanilla and caramel. There is a nice oaky barrel presence as well as dark chocolate and black licorice. The bourbon comes through in the finish as well

MF - Light body with slight boozy stickiness to it. Slightly watery

O - Best of the 3 eclipses we had of the night. This one had a good bourbon presence that added a nice sweetness and complexity to the base beer which balanced well with the slight bitterness

Photo of mdaschaf
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Shane for bringing this one down to share! Review from notes, consumed side by side with EC12. Most of the attributes were very similar to EC12.

A: Pours a dark black with a small khaki/tan head on top. Moderate retention and minimal lacing.

S: A nice blend of chocolate (dark and sweet), vanilla, and bourbon. Some roasted malt, a little bit of dark fruit, and caramel.

T: Again, similar to EC 12 with a great combination of chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, and roasted malt. A touch of caramel and toffee finish it off.

M: Medium to full bodied, very smooth and easy drinking.

O: A very good beer, I found 12 and 18 to very similar, and probably wouldn't be able to pick them apart, or even tell that they are different beers. Score will be the same, even though I liked 12 more because the difference in scoring is too large to reflect how close they beers were for me.

Photo of MrVonzipper
4.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rich brown color with a mild vanilla colored head with decent retention and spotty lace.

Nose is big, bright and robust. Big bright toasted brown sugar. A touch of vanilla. Fantastic!

Flavor is fantastic as well. Just short of the nose though it follows the characterics very well.

Mouth is pretty full and a bit tacky. Low carb.

Overall one of my favorite variations by far. A very well made beer!

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.76/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to ipa247 for this one. 2011 vintage. #453. Poured into a Cigar City snifter. Shared with schen9303.

.5 finger dark mocha head with no retention. Beer is pitch black. Lacing is stringy and spotty with little stick. Oily, thick legs. Average.

Nose blows me away. Dense, yet rich and aromatic booziness. Barrels are very apparent but they really enhance the molasses, chocolate, fudge, dark fruit, and roast. Really nice.

Opens sweet dark fruit, molasses, chocolate, and fudge. Booziness lingers in the back, sharpening each flavor and enhancing it. More sweetness at the back end with some roast and more chocolate. End is molasses sweetness. Slight booze on the finish. Perfect.

Medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Oily, slick, and smooth in the mouth and goes down warm, yet silky. Finish is messy with a lingering aftertaste. A perfect complement to the flavor.

This is a close contender for the best of the 50/50 Imperial Eclipses and that's saying a lot given the quality of all these beers. This beer is incredible from beginning to end. From the nose, to the flavor, to the feel that ties it all together. Gotta get more of these!

Photo of dbossman
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks again to a great tasting group!

A: Black with a thin head and nearly no retention on the head; some slight film for lacing

S: Really woody with some anise; really boozy; a touch of chocolates and lots of maltiness and a bunch of bourbon of course throughout

T: So rich and bourbony and woody and malty and spicy and licoricey--sorry, I'm just making up words left and right; there is also vanilla and dark fruits and pepper; delicious

F: Creamy and thick--great, nearly perfect mouth feel

O: This is a boozy, thick, bourbon-heavy awesome beer with subtle anise, which for me pushes it over the top; nice, nice beer

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

650 mL bottle poured into an Eclipse snifter. 2012 bottle. Says "Reserve" on the bottle, but I don't know what that means.

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

Smell - Smoother bourbon character than Old Fitz. Nice bourbon and barrel character. Vanilla comes through. Chocolatey.

Taste - Bourbon is smooth here too. Lots of vanilla. Much sweeter. Less bitter chocolate. Bourbon doesn't linger throughout.

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

Overall - Much nicer barrel character than the Old Fitz. Sweeter though, which I don't love as much as others seem to.

Photo of Vonerichs
4.17/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Lighting was low, but from what I can tell the color is an inky black. There's very little head.

Smells heavily of vanilla and oak, with lighter notes of chocolate and lighter yet, roasted marshmallow.

The vanilla and oak dominate the taste and is a little bit more harsh than the 12 year, but still very good. Chocolate and coffee roasts finish it.

Mouthfeel is rich and creamy. It leaves a pleasant burn in the back of the throat.

I liked this slightly less than the 12 year, but still an outstanding beer nonetheless. The price point is a bit high, though.

Photo of thagr81us
4.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one was a part of cmrillo’s 40 Beers* @ 40 Birthday Bash! Shared by cmrillo at his own party! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured pitch black with a half finger khaki colored head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, vanilla, sweet alcohol, and dark chocolate. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, coffee, vanilla, dark chocolate, and sweet alcohol. It had a heavy feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a fairly great brew. If you were to ask me what I thought an Imperial Stout should be, this is one of those brews that I would describe without hesitation. I can honestly see why this one has made the Top 100 list and doesn’t look like it is going anywhere anytime soon. If you call yourself a stout lover and have not had this brew before, you don’t know what you are truly missing.

Photo of mkotsayfan
4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter. Pours a deep dark black with a nice half finger dark mocha colored head. Very nice aroma, with coconut, licorice, along with some dark fruits and chocolate. The taste has similar characteristics as the aroma, along with some bourbon from the barrel aging. There is a slight amount of heat but it's not overwhelming by any means. Mouthfeel is fantastic, nice and silky smooth with just enough chewiness/thickness that an imperial stout should have. Also has a medium amount of carbonation, just enough but not too much.

A fantastic beer, always a fan of the silky smooth stouts with nice complex flavors. There is a little bit of heat, this could be an even more amazing beer with a year on it (this review was for a 2011 vintage, which has only been on shelves about a month).

Photo of claaark13
4.28/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Founders snifter, thanks to drink__ for making this a nice little back end of our interesting trade.

A - Pours fairly dark with a great looking head. Wow, I really didn't expect this at all in comparison to many under-carbonated bottles I've consumed. The head fades into thin lacing with a little bit of lacing and some small bubbles. Sticks to the side of the glass well enough.

S - Mild fudge, strong oak aroma. Light vanilla, slightly more of a toffee/caramel aroma in the middle. Then oak again. I'm confused by what seems to be virgin oak surrounding the entire nose.

T - Fudge, light vanilla and toffee. Somewhat expected by the aroma, although the dry oak doesn't come out until the end. No real booziness evident...maybe a slight amount about 3/4 through the flavor. There is some sweetness in the backbone as well that seems to help carry the vanilla/toffee flavors. More fudge battles light vanilla in the dry finish. The dryness seems to come on just a bit too early. That is a shame, because the rest of the flavors are great. (4.25)

M - Medium to, dare I say, full body? Interesting. It does seem thicker than previous releases. There is carbonation and a thicker body that really adds to the flavors. It starts off a little light on the tongue, but then sticks very well.

O - This is an improvement on the 2010 releases in body and head retention. I also like the look of the white wax, but that should be irrelevant. It is a good beer, but I don't really know how it will hold up with time. With the exception of the early-onset dry finish, the rest of the beer is great. I'm having a tough time dropping the taste down to the 4.0, as I think it is lower than a 4.5 but higher than a 4.0.

I just opened bottle #1848 and noticed some different flavors. There is a dark fruit aroma/taste element that I didn't find before.

Photo of CooperEllis
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz into Duck Rabbit snifter from Dajtai007 in a recent trade, thanks Daniel.

Great brew, really enjoyed all three phases here - first glass, through 3rd glass. As it warmed it opened considerably and a lot of the stout came forward.

Very creamy in the body despite a strong EC presence in the nose, and the taste. No bourbon in the body, not a hint of watery/oily - full bodied, creamy across the middle and crisp at the end with sharp bitterness and the caramel/alcohol flavors of the liquor.

The EC is strong in the nose, but there is also the strain of malt, a richness that comes through, a bit of bitter chocolate, slight dark fruit in the finish; dates.

(175th)

Photo of Rutager
4.12/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2011 bottle #1094. Thanks Mrbubbler!

Appearance. Pours black (and not especially thick) with a skim of tan head.

Smell. Woody, sweet, and very smooth bourbon, caramel, vanilla and chocolate, some coffee. Not too shabs.

Taste. Very woody, smooth bourbon, caramel and vanilla, a little chocolate and a bit of coffee.

Mouthfeel. On the low side of full bodied, low carbonation.

Overall. A nice stout with a good amount of bourbon. Smooth and not a lot of heat.

Photo of VeganUndead
4.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2012 vintage, tasting alongside 12 year, bernheim wheat, old Fitzgerald, makers mark, and pappy. By far the best of the group, only to be topped by the previous mekers mark I was able to enjoy very fresh. Still haven't been disappointed by the series. Cheers

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.85/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of bourbon and rich black chocolates is harsher than ion the 12 year version. Taste is also dominated rich black chocolate notes with some medium rye whiskey notes with rounds off the rough or bitter edge of the base stout but some of the harsher notes don’t really comes out clean. Body is full with nice oily and creamy texture with good carbonation with alcohol not that apparent in this version. I preferred the 12 year old Elijah version to this one base on overall taste being not as smooth as the other version.

Photo of kooredaan
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

Initial taste was a bit hot and syrup like but as the beer warmed in a snifter the sweetness of Totality and EC20 came to the forefront.

Poured dark with a hint of amber. Nose was polite with a hint of booziness but dissipated as it warmed.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.59/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage with white wax. Thanks to Robbie for this bottle. Poured in to snifter.

A - Black with one finger of medium mocha brown head.

S - Sweet bourbon and toasted oak up front with a hint of vanilla as the barrel qualities come through. Chocolate, fudge, char and roast aromas are also present. A wonderful nose.

T - A big sweetness at first: bourbon, charred oak and vanilla from the bourbon barrel shine. A big chocolate fudge presence enters mid-palate with roast, molasses and light char notes. The big bitter roast profile and a touch of warming alcohol cut through the sweetness nicely, creating a superbly balanced beer.

M - Full body. Thick and chewy with a nice silky texture. Light carbonation.

Photo of 2378GCGTG
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a duvel tulip

Appearance: Black in color with a 0.5 inch mokah head, no retention, but noticeable lacing

Nose: Molases, caramel, bourbon, oak, and vanilla.

Taste: Roasted malt, toffee, bourbon and oak, all followed by light chocolate and a coffee finish

Mouth: Velvetty and flowing on the palate though there is a slight acerbic note on the finish

Overall: An excellent stout, wish the mouthfeel was a bit smoother, but all in all I would definitely re-visit this if not for the price.

Photo of jegross2
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reviewing the Imperial Eclipse Stout (Elijah Craig 18 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Company out of California
Score: 97

2011 vintage bottle, number 4733. Served in a Kate the Great snifter, shared with Robbie Moy and enjoyed on 06/03/12.

Appearance: Pours a jet black color with a finger and a half of foamy dark khaki head that settles to a thin layer atop the glass. Amazing lacing, amazing retention, excellent cling. 5/5

Smell: Super smooth, inviting and balanced. Rich milk chocolate, fudge, raisin and sweet vanilla. A modest amount of red licorice too. A lesser amount of caramel, touch of coffee and a hint of sweet honey. A lot of complex chocolate flavors dominate the nose. 5/5

Taste: Upfront is sweet chocolate and a little licorice, following by fig and raw chocolate. There's some nice honey sweetness on the midpalate. There's some fudge mixed in throughout, and some brown sugar towards the finish. Not a whole lot of vanilla, maybe just a hint. A lot less licorice in the flavor compared to the nose. Chalky sweet fudge flavor aftertaste. A really excellent

Mouthfeel: Not quite full bodied, minimal carbonation. Not quite oily, not quite creamy, not quite syrupy, but some combination of all three for the mouthfeel. Extremely dry, almost chalky, finish with mild chocolatey sweetness lingering. 4.5/5

Overall: This is a knock out imperial stout. At $30 a bottle, it is not cheap, but if you are going to drop that kind of bread on a beer this is exactly how you would expect and want it to taste. I would not hoard this beer, but I would absolutely trade for another to replenish my cellar before it's impossible to find.

Recommendation: Everyone should seek a bottle out.

Pairings: Poundcake or s'mores.

Cost: $30 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (20 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 572 ratings.