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

Not Rated.
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (20 Year)Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (20 Year)

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

156 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 156
Hads: 573
rAvg: 4.4
pDev: 4.32%
Wants: 310
Gots: 268 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 156 | Hads: 573
Photo of pperrecone
5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Smell is of foral honey and dark malts of roast and sweetness.

Taste is of dark fruits and honey with the carmel and vanilla from the bourbon. Perfect balance of everything in play here.

body is very nice not too thick but it is an imperial stout. thick

Overall one of the best beers I have had in my life! (310 characters)

Photo of l3ilbo84
4.97/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to fragilesaison for sharing the bottle.

I haven't had every stout, but I can't imagine a better one.

A: Very thick and viscous. Not much head. I know stouts are not known for their head, but this is the only place that I could take points off.

S: Vanilla and burbon. Doesn't really smell like a beer.

T: More vanilla and burbon. Of course a lot of burnt malt flavor.

M: Very thick, yet smooth at the same time. This is why I am rating the beer so highly. Any beer that can be heavy and smooth at the same time deserves a high rating.

O: Amazing. Best stout I have ever had - superior to all other eclipse stouts. (630 characters)

Photo of Gfunk720
4.92/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

White waxed bottle, #2906. Out of my HFS stemware.

A- Pitch black. Pours with a nice tannish head that sticks around forever. Great lacing that just coats the glass.

S- Rich smells of sweet chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and bourbon. A very pleasant hint of oak, with a slight bit of heat. The barrel to base beer smell wise is pretty much perfect.

T- A thick sweet flavor initially fills the mouth. Intense notes of oak and bourbon come in, with well matched chocolate malt and roasted backbone. Really not much heat in the taste, just brilliant bourbon pairing.

M- Not sure how, but this is thicker than all of the other Eclipses. Carbonation is perfect, but it still could be just the slightest bit thicker. Certainly not bad by any means though.

O- Overall, this is one of the best barrel aged beers I've had in a while. The Buffalo Trace bottles really made me weary of the rest of the 2012 bottles, but this one is friggin stellar. After having almost all of the rest of the Eclipse series, this is definetly a stand out.

-Gfunk (1,037 characters)

Photo of dgugliuzza
4.92/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from bottle into an oversized snifter

Pours black with a half inch thick of creamy tan colored head. Long head retention for a barrel ages stout. Sticky lacing remains along the sides of the glass.

The smell is nothing short of divine. Bourbon, vanilla and honey notes are rich and plentiful. They all blend together to create an insanely rich and balanced barrel aged profile. The honey contributes sweetness while the bourbon oak adds an oaky, vanilla bouquet.

Tastes follows the smell and it is certainly an awing sensation. Sweet bourbon flavor followed by vanilla and bitter oak. Rich and chocolaty with some warming heat at the back end. I love the infusion if honey in the flavor profile. It is a perfect compliment to bourbon and all the other rich flavors going on here.

Medium-full in body with a creamy smooth mouthfeel. Light carbonation. Very drinkable considering all the bold, complex flavors. I'm taking my time, however, to savor every drop.

This is the only version I've had so far of the Eclipse stouts, and it certainly lived up to all the high marks. Every ingredient and flavor has a purpose. I would not imagine this getting any better with age. This beer is really aided by the fresh hot bourbon. Not sure about all the bottle variation talk, but this was a world class drinking experience for me. (1,333 characters)

Photo of VeganUndead
4.9/5  rDev +11.4%
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 (258 characters)

Photo of zac16125
4.89/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle into a snifter
2011 Version, Bottle Number 3668

Thanks to injuredreserve for sending this one over in a trade.

A: Black with some browning on the edges. A very aggressive pour yields approximately 1/2 fingers width of mocha colored head, which quickly dissipates down and leaves only the faintest hints of lacing.

S: Aroma is an incredibly strong sweetness, matched by few beers Ive ever had, coupled with boozy ethanol. Its a cake batter sweetness, along with vanilla, and rich chocolate fudge. I also get barrel notes with oak and bourbon, and dark fruits. This smells amazing, I think I could just smell this beer for an hour and be completely satisfied with the beer. Rich, bold, and complex aroma. Near perfect.

T: "Holy shit". Literally what I thought to myself after I took the first sip. There is a rich, decadent, chocolate fudge flavor up front, that gives way to bourbon notes coupled with cocoa and a bit of roasted malt. And all that from the first sip. I also get hints of black coffee, some booze, dark fruits, subtle hint of anise, and oak. The combination of a huge sweetness, balanced by bourbon barrel notes, and some booze make for an almost perfect flavor profile.

M/D: Full bodied, thick, chewy, smooth, low carbonation. ABV present, but adds depth to the beer rather than detracting from it, and there is no heat at all. Drinkability is good, but its a sipper for sure. Really nice mouthfeel, only downside is its a touch syrupy at times.

O: Overall, a fantastic beer. The aroma alone is enough to make this worth the price tag, and then you taste it and someone it lives up to the aroma! Just a phenomenal combination of flavors that make for a complex brew thats bordering on perfection. Ive had 250plus reviews and this is the first one Ive given a perfect 5 for all three categories of Smell, Taste, and Overall. One of the top 5 beers Ive ever had. World class. (1,912 characters)

Photo of BierJager89
4.89/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pours pitch black, with almost no head, just a few brown bubbles.

S: Nose is all bourbon, vanilla, caramel, coffee, toffee.

T: Vanilla, caramel, bourbon, roasted malt, a touch of alcohol, but it's necessary to cut the sweetness. I like sweet things, but this is too sweet.

M: Full bodied, rich, and creamy. vanilla notes, caramel, bourbon, roasted malt, a touch of alcohol, but it's necessary to cut the sweetness.

O: This would be the perfect beer for my taste, if it weren't so sweet. Worth $30? No, but I'd buy it again anyways. Can't wait to try the 12. It is better than Four Roses in my opinion. (609 characters)

Photo of BeerImmediately
4.83/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served in the low 50's, warming into 60s by the end.

Pours with a very short brown head over an opaque black body with brown edges. No real lacing to speak of.

Aromas - wow. Loads of bourbon, but balanced nicely with caramel, ad cocoa-to-milk chocolate. The sweetness is not dissimilar to some chocolate protein bars.

Flavor is wow-squared. Gets one of my rare 5's. Thick, malted-milk chocolate, marshmallow, smooth kiss of bourbon and oak. Special.

Mouthfeel is as smooth as a baby's butt. Just a touch of carbonation. Slight stickiness on the palate.

Giving it an overall 5, as I really, really enjoyed this one. Simply an awesome beer. (647 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.82/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From 03/09/12 notes. Huge thanks to Thorep429 for sharing this one; bit Want of mine. 2011 vintage, bottle 3737.

a - Pours a dark brown, almost blac color, with one inch of light tan head and low carbonation evident.

s - Smells of whiskey, vanilla, oak, sweet chocolate, roasted malts, dark chocolate, and some caramel malts. Smell is really great; an awesome blend of bourbon, chocolate, and vanilla. Bourbon is a little bit strong, but I love bourbon forward stouts so I love it.

t - Tastes of sweet chocolate vanilla, cream,
marshmallows, roasted malts, bourbon, oak, cocoa, light coconut, and caramel malts. The taste is amazing, pretty perfect in my opinion. More chocolate then the nose and less bourbon, it is just a great blend of sweet chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon.

m - Medium to full body and low carbonation, the body is insanely smooth and creamy. Really a perfect mouthfeel.

o - Overall I thought this was a fantastic stout; one of the best I've had in a while. I had the 2011 Brandy version 3 nights ago and this blew it away; it's the best Eclipse variation I've had so far (including PVW). The smell was great and the taste and mouthfeel were perfect; exactly what I'm looking for in a stout. Really wish I had made an effort to get some bottles of this, time to go searching for some. (1,309 characters)

Photo of Fux
4.82/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours oily and black as hell. Creamy brown head with quite a good retention.

S: Smell is delicious, sweet, deep and balanced. Vanilla, oak, chocolate, bourbon.

T: Taste is wonderful. Coffee, roasted malts, chocolate upfront, then sweet aromas from the barrel, vanilla, bourbon, cherry, candied red fruits, milk chocolate. The aromas are going by waves. Really long aftertaste on bitter dark chocolate.

M: Mouthfeel is really nice, creamy, smooth, not sticky. Strong body and long long aftertaste. Still very easy to drink.

O: Excellent BA stout, balanced, smooth, dense. Loved it! (588 characters)

Photo of HoppySuds
4.8/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at the Blue Palm's Eclipse release party

A - Black, thick looking, a thin head leaves as much lacing as it can on the glass. It looks like a great imp stout

S - Sweetness of brown sugars, a great bourbon smell, more then the 12yr but diffidently not too much. Roasted malts and vanilla finish off the nose.

T - Flavors blend so nicely! Roasted malt, vanilla and a clean bourbon hint rounds out the sweetness.

M - The mouthfeel on this stout is by far one of the best I've had. Creamy, full bodied, and very rich.

O - This beer was amazing! I tasted the 12yr, 18yr, and the Four Roses. All were great, with just slight differences in flavor and levels of bourbon. This one has slightly more bourbon flavors which I really enjoyed. I'm sure this beer will cellar well and continue to get better with age. (823 characters)

Photo of brotherloco
4.79/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz waxed bomber. 2011 Edition. Bottle #2932. Served in a snifter.

A vigorous pour gave me a very dark, opaque brown body topped by half a finger of dark tan foam. Dissipates to a frothy ring. A few strands of lacing.

Aroma of chocolate cherry cordial, banana, a bit of drywall dust from the wood. Melted vanilla-caramel swirl ice cream. Bourbon is at a real nice medium level, integrates with the sweet aroma and gives a booze kick. Smells amazing.

Flavor is stunning. Semi-sweet bakers chocolate meets sweet chocolate marshmallow. All of the melted icecream notes from the aroma are here too. Bourbon is present, tasty, and super well integrated. Dark fruit, smores, and roasted bitterness linger on in the aftertaste. Alcohol flavor emerges through the finish, but is nicely integrated. Definite heat after several sips.

Body hits a little above medium and carbonation a touch below. Velvety smooth and slick. Goes down way too easy.

I've had the pleasure to drink 7 variations of Eclipse and this is one is definitely my favorite so far. The booze is assertive, and the overall aroma and flavor is bourbon forward, but so damn well integrated with the base beer.

2012 Eclipse futures here I come... (1,209 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.77/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bomber into a Bruery tulip.

Appearance: Looks like Eclipse.

Smell: This stuff smells outrageously good. Coconut, cocoa, boozy amaretto, rich caramel sweetness. Just fucking fantastic.

Taste & mouthfeel: Delicious boozy bourbon, huge depth of flavor, like liquid Almond Joy. Roast and anise help balance the decadent flavors of coconut, chocolate and almond. Full-bodied, more rich and boozy than previous Eclipse vintages. The mix of coconut, chocolate and almond on the palate is pretty mind-blowing, superlative as that sounds. It could use a few months in the bottle to tame some of the alcohol and oak, but overall this is about as good as it gets for the style. (669 characters)

Photo of PatrickSwayze
4.77/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

 Bottle 2854

A: Pours a deep ass black with a dark brown head. Lasts throughout drinking session.

S: Wonderful, just wonderful. This beer smells like gods vagina if it resembled vanilla, oak and light honey.

T: The main flavors im getting are really really deep chocolate with hints of gram cracker like a s'mores whiskey bomb that is smooth as butter.

M: Really weird, like thick as you first drink it then thinner at the finish   (437 characters)

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.76/5  rDev +8.2%
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! (1,159 characters)

Photo of kooredaan
4.75/5  rDev +8%

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. (242 characters)

Photo of jegross2
4.75/5  rDev +8%
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. (1,771 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
4.74/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 2577, 2011, shared with Billy and Mike. Third straight day of drinking this beer. yikes.

Pours a near opaque milk chocolate brown with a quickly dissipating dark mocha head. Aroma and flavor are smooth, barrel dominant and nearly beyond nearly any other BA stout. Aroma is barrel sweet and mildly spicy; vanilla, bourbon, butter blend with caramel, burnt sugar and mild alcohol. Body is medium thick, smooth and silky with a soft warming alcohol presence in the finish. Barrel and stout blend together perfectly with layers of vanilla, sugar, roast malt, chocolate, figs, plum and smooth bourbon. My favorite 2011 Eclipse fresh and in my opinion surpasses 2009 EC and this year's 12 EC. Hopefully the increased production will make this beer easier to acquire; seek this out now. (787 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.73/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

2011 bottle #2300 split three ways.

A - Pours a very dark brown with a nice tan head. Decent retention and lots of lacing.

S - Chocolate, vanilla, toffee, coffee.

T - Vanilla, chocolate, toffee. Super complex and delicious.

D - Decent carbonation for the style and heavier nice body.

O - So good and complex. Very nice.

Edit:
2012 Version as well.
Reserve BR1
Tons of toffe, carmel, vanilla, barrel and a touch of anise. I think 12 is maybe even better than the 11. Great stuff. Scores Updated for the 2012 version. (527 characters)

Photo of jvillefan
4.73/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: An extremely dark beer with a half finger white head.

S: A very intensely bourbon-y aroma with a ton of malt character.

T: Very hot with dark malt, bourbon, and oak in the foreground ground of the beer. In the back ground of the beer there is a subtle mint character. The high alcohol is noticeable in this beer.

M: Excellent retention. A slightly undercarbonation beer but that is to be expected from such a highly alcoholic beer.

O: Get it. (450 characters)

Photo of crossovert
4.72/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

650ml white-waxed bottle. Bottle # 4224.

It pours a thick, viscous dark blackish brown with a tall foamy but frothy tan head that dissipates with a few skids of lacing. A thick tan froth sits atop the beer.

The smell is amazing. It is hot but in a pleasant bourbony way. The bourbon explodes in the smell, nice hints of wood, caramel, and vanilla dominate. There is a noticeable pronounced fruitiness that is rich and intoxicating. The base stout comes through as well with some cocoa richness and bready but dark, roasty malts.

The flavor is dominated by bourbon in a good way, but the stout isn't lost. The initial flavor is bourbon and wood, rich, complex layers of wood and vanilla project over a nicely bitter stout base. The heat isn't overwhelming, but it is a key component in the flavor profile. There is a fruitiness again here that is devilishly good. Mid to late palate brings the chocolate and roastiness and it is fantastic, the finish is sweet.
edit: initially I flossed over the honey part but I have to say somehow this also has a hint of Baerenjaeger in it.

I have never had a barrel aged beer that had this pronounced and fresh of a bourbon flavor. Normally I hate beers because the bourbon-forward, but this one has changed my mind or something, maybe it just speaks to the expertise of this particular brewery with barrel aging. (1,353 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
4.72/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle #2160. 2011 vintage, white wax (billed as Elijah Craig 20 yr on the futures). enjoyed from a southampton ris snifter.

a - brew poured a watery black with just shy of a finger's worth of creamy tan head. the milky head slowly bubbled away leaving a thin skin of head on the surface of the brew. lacing was spotty. in the glass, the beer looked much fuller than when poured.

s - really nicely balanced stout and bourbon. there are nice malty chocolate notes in there, but they are dipped in woody booze. VERY nice and appetizing.

t - some vanilla notes. chocolate. char. cream. booze. sweetness. gets much tastier as it goes. the vanilla notes really help make the flavor masterful. rich and decadent. hell of a beer.

m - smooth and surprisingly not as thick as i had expected. boozy.

o - overall, nice. not my absolute favorite barrel aged stout of all time, but damn close. this beer is VERY good. as far as flavor, as this one warms, it is top notch...i look forward to tasting this in a side-by-side with others in the series. i dig a boozy barrel aged stout and this one is boozy for certain. a fun series. really nicely integrated vanilla. if you don't like the heat, then this is one that you should stay out of the kitchen with. (1,246 characters)

Photo of Brabander
4.72/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I took this bottle home after a tasting at The Kulminator in Antwerps, Belgium. I was there with some of my closest BA's. Unfortunatly i had to drive but i got the last of the bottle to take home with me.

What can i say about this beer what hasn't been said...what a great BA stout. Thick and juicy. It almost feels like you are drinking a 17 abv stout.

Great beer, thanks ForgetFu! (384 characters)

Photo of mattsander
4.7/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Opaque black with a thin skin of mocha colored head.

S: Wow... The aroma starts with TONS of barrel character and it's absolutely beautiful. Oak, vanilla, some booze, earth, sweet bourbon, forest. Doesn't exhibit a ton of malt character on the nose because the barrel is so pungent. I am having a hard time taking my nose out of the snifter.

T: The barrel has permeated every molecule of this beer. Intricately balanced malt and bitterness. The fudgy dark cocoa center is highlighted with a bit of dark fruit. I've never tasted a stout with a more delicious aftertaste: A silky caramel vanilla orgasm. I actually find myself at a loss for words that will convey how much I love this beer.

M: The use of honey keeps this at a perfect silky mouthfeel, never too heavy from excessive malt. Creamy and frictionless. Extraordinarily rich yet highly drinkable.

O: I cant imagine a more perfect stout. Never ever hesitate to buy this, it's an absolute masterpiece. (965 characters)

Photo of Sideswipe
4.7/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle number 169. 2011

The beer is a dark brown color, bordering on pitch black. A wisp of tan bubbles floats on the surface for a moment, then disappears. The nose is booze, dark fruit and molasses. Taste starts out sweet with notes of chocolate, roasted malt and dates. Hints of oak vanilla, and bourbon come through mid-palate. The finish is semi-dry with a lingering boozy aftertaste. The beer is full bodied, thick and viscous, with minimal carbonation. Overall this is really well done. Great flavors of chocolate, roasted malt, vanilla and bourbon, all integrated seamlessly to provide a smooth drinking, incredibly tasty imperial stout. Highly recommended (665 characters)

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (20 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 156 ratings.