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)

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

573 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 573
Reviews: 155
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 8.05%
Wants: 311
Gots: 267 | FT: 10
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: 573 | Reviews: 155
Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks goes out to mkorpal for sharing this with Bitterbill and myself at the Library Bar in Laramie, WY. Didn't catch the bottle number. (short review)

A nice typical looking stout, excellent lacing. Nose is all vanilla and oak with a slight chocolate and toffee profile mixed in there. Flavor is a huge vanilla, exceptionally smooth bourbon, chocolate melange. Really enjoyable beer.

Photo of gford217
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle with white wax.

Pour is consistent with all the 09 and 10's I've had, which is to say it's a little lighter than most impy stouts, dark chocolate brown with a small beige head that sticks to the sides on the way down.

Aroma is sublime, big on the bourbon, possibly the most whiskey-forward of any of the versions I've smelled before. Lots of coconut and vanilla from the barrels with the underlying chocolate malts taking a bit of a back seat.

The taste is a little different but almost as good. The bourbon is there but doesn't have quite the same vanilla and coconut character. It's more oak and booze with a heavier dose of roast than the aroma.

Mouthfeel is trademark Eclipse, crazy smooth but not overly thick.

Todd consistently makes some of the most drinkable and well-integrated barrel-aged stouts and this is no exception. This particular iteration is a little heavier on the bourbon than I would prefer (HH09 is damn near ecstasy) but is still excellent. Can't wait to try the other 2011 versions.

Photo of kawilliams81
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage. Bottle 4489. Poured from a 22 oz bottle nto a 8 oz snifter.

A- Pours black with a 1 figner brown head. Nice spotting and trails of lacing remain on the glass.

S- Big vanilla and bourbon, oak, chocolate and leather.

T- Honey, bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, slight roast and bitterness.

M- Full body and medium carbonation. Slick and creamy feel.

O- Very good BA RIS. Not sure if any beer is worth $30 but this beer has everything you would look for in this style. Have a 12 yr old also so looking forward to try that soon also!

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

on tap at monks

Pours a completely blacked out color with a thin collar of tanned head. Fades out into a few splotches of film with little lacing on the glass.

Very rich, smoothed out bourbon in the nose with nice warming heat and vanilla. Oak and peat from the booze with some dark chocolate, brownie and softer dark fruit. A bit sweet and boozy.

Layered flavors of dark malt, bourbon and oak flow across the tongue, tempered by sweetness from dark chocolate, cake and a splash of dark fruit. I can taste the Elijah on this one, which packs a very pleasant punch. Heavy malt backbone with a bit more dark fruit and bourbon soaked cake. Finishes boozy with a kiss of vanilla.

Full bodied, nice carbonation, sticky and full on the tongue with a nice creaminess. This is easily my favorite of the Eclipse's so far (although I have a few more left to try). I'm guessing it's no coincidence that the Elijah appeals to me since it's one of my favorite (still affordable) bourbons.

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

22 oz. white waxed bottle served in a CBS snifter. 2011 vintage, bottle # 4685.

A: Pours a dark black color with a dark tan head forming on the pour. It recedes to a thin ring. Soapy lace is left down the glass.

S: Very smooth bourbon, some nice roasted malts, toasted marshmallow and sweet milk chocolate. Very balanced and the barrel is well integrated.

T: The taste is pretty similar to the nose. Really nice smooth and semi sweet bourbon. Some milk chocolate with a great barrel presence. Some light oak, but nice vanilla and caramel sweetness. There is a great roasted malt bitterness as well. The finish is nice and sweet.

M: Medium bodied with a medium low carbonation. Very creamy mouthfeel with a sweet finish.

O: The is definitely the best of Eclipse variants. Great barrel presence and everything is perfectly integrated. Very nice.

Photo of maximum12
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks again to flexabull for passing these along from his compound in California. Nothing better than an Eclipse stout on a lazy Wednesday night in globally-warmed Minnesota. Bottle #2331, white wax, 2011 version.

Pours big stout black, which really should be a brownie or something. Nose is huge bourbon notes sullied with sweet, chocolate, malts. Wildly stronger than the Buffalo Trace.

Elijah Craig 18 Year Eclipse is a crazy good. The bourbon & the base stout are wedded with precision that would do an atomic clock proud. The bourbon is out front & wielding a mace - so as not to draw blood, but you all knew that. Beautiful bourbon, strong oak notes, underwire of vanilla. All laid on top of a stout that bring sweet malts, lush chocolate. Bits of black, shriveled fruits. Tummy, throat, mouth are all warmed & grinning. As all the Eclipse stouts, I strongly believe they should come in bottles the size of small swimming pools.

Wow. Fantastic. I'd be hard-pressed to say this is better or worse than any of the others, but it's brilliant. Excellent beer that runs right up to the line of overdoing the bourbon, then steps back smartly. Love.

Photo of Knapp85
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was poured at my grandparents 60th anniversary party. The The bottle was split among several of us there. The beer was black as can be, it's very thick looking with a nice looking brown head that fades in time. The smell of the beer is very nice, hints of roasted malt, bourbon, vanilla and chocolate. The taste has all that stuff in there as well with this really nice lingering chocolate feeling. The mouthfeel is heavy, like carbonated oil. Overall I think it's great. There is no doubt that these beers kicks ass. I would love to drink it again if it wasn't so expensive.

Photo of inlimbo77
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle. Forgot to right the bottle number down that night. Poured into my Victory Golden Monkey tulip.

A: Pours a pitch black RIS style color. Didn't get a ton of head on this one. About a quarter finger of lighter tan head, that faded pretty darn quickly.

S: This smells delicious. Lots of sweet vanilla. Definitely pulling some of those BA notes along with the vanilla: Caramel and Toffee. Deep flavors.

T: Up front I got the nice dark chocolate bitterness. In the middle of the mouth you really start to get those barrel notes. That EC 18yr is no joke. You get a smooth vanilla and caramel sweetness. It's not overly sweet and blends nicely with the chocolate/coffee bitterness that you initially got. As it warmed, I was also pulling some toffee for sure. Long finish on this one. Wanted more immediately.

M: It's full bodied, but not completely thick an cloying. Perfect mouthfeel.

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

2011 release (white wax). Tulip glass.

A: Pours black with a shimmer of dark tan head, leaving a razor thin ring around the glass. Looks pretty still. No lace to speak of.

S: Bourbon and oak in the forefront, lots of vanilla and roast and dark chocolate, and tobacco and char.

T: Lots of vanilla, roundish bourbon and oak, a little drying tannins and alcohol burn fruitiness, slight bitter black espresso finish with some more bourbon showing through.

M: Full bodied and medium-light carbonation, the perfect level.

O: Very good flavor, balance, and complexity. Very well crafted.

Photo of rxdrewthejew
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was third in my series of 50/50 tasters at Blue Palms last night.

Appearance is basically the same as that of the 12 year. Nothing special, just looks like the average stout. The nose is actually pretty mild, not nearly as sweet smelling as the 12 year. Deep heavy scent with bourbon and chocolate. The first sip is startling though. The boozyness really jumps out, almost to the point of being harsh. I was initially a bit shocked at just how strong the whisky character was in this beer. However, as I got used to it, the flavor mellowed out and revealed a slightly darker, more mature and less sweet version of the 12 year. Mouthfeel was a bit on the sharp and boozy side, but not unpleasantly so. I thought the 12 was better, but this was really good and I wonder if aging would serve this one well.

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

Vintage 2011 white wax. Generously shared by Nick as part of a great line-up we had on New Years Eve. Poured into a snifter.

A: Seems a bit darker than the Four Roses, maybe not. Still had a dark brown color on the pour while it looks completely black in the glass. Nice amount of tan head that faded away into some thick bubbles along the edges. Surprisingly good lacing, too.

S: Dark fruits and dark chocolate up-front, followed by a rich and sweet bourbon element. Certainly more present than the Four Roses, but it still has that sweet nature to it.

T: Bourbon is immediate here, semi-sweet and boozy but not hot really at all. Lots of bitter dark chocolate notes, caramel and raisin towards the middle. The finish brings another wash of bourbon and roasted malts. Really complex, flavorful and delicious. Very very nice.

M: Creamy, mild carbonation - just enough to break up the beer. Not really stick or hot going down, either. Very easy to drink.

Well, only my second ever Eclipse and this one certainly has many of the characteristics the Four Roses did but I found myself enjoying this one more. This had more of a bourbon element to the beer which I really like while still remaining balanced.

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

Pours a dark, near black with brown highlights, minimal cap of brown froth, gone quickly, little spotty lace left on glass. Great initial whiffs of cocoa, vanilla, bourbon, espresso bean, tart dark fruit, oak, coconut, toffee, light char... really opens up as it approaches room temperature. First thing i noticed was actually a slightly thinner than preferred medium mouth feel, sips as it was still cool were quite mellow with only faint notes of bourbon. Really opens up as it wars, rich vanilla, dark chocolate, espresso bean, lightly sweet toffee, bourbon not overly boozy but offers wood, char and coconut with its faint kiss of booze, dark pitted fruit. Fuller side of medium bodied, lightly sticky, no real lingering notes. Fantastic taste, bourbon aging done right without too much unneeded booziness.

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

650 ml bottle. 2011 vintage. Pours a dark cola brown with small light tan head settles to a ring, and leaves some light lacing on the glass. The aroma is big cocoa, bourbon, some marshmallow, vanilla, and toffee. The initial taste is sweet with mashmallow, cocoa, some bourbon and vanilla, toffee, caramel, and a bit of roastiness. A hint of alcohol on the finish. Medium body. Medium carbonation. Quite awesome. The flavors all come together quite nicely here. This was quite enjoyable, especially after the big letdown from the brandy.

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

A: dark brown to black, not very viscous, very nice tan head with excellent retention creating a froth on top.

S: vanilla, nuts, wood, cream, and slight alcohol smell with the bourbon scent.

T: more bitter than expected, which creates a nice balance with the sweet malt and dark fruit notes. Roasty flavors are more hidden beneath the dark fruit and vanilla and bourbon.

M: missing some body, but overall very good. Well carbonated.

O: excellent beer. When I first opened it, I didn't think it would be very good. Wrong. Hope they make it again, and make it at a less steep price ($30/22 ounce bottle at most places).

Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark black with a touch of brown and a finger of frothy khaki-chocolate head. Fades normal.

S - Chocolate and dark caramel malts, molasses, oak, Bourbon, vanilla, black licorice, dark cocoa, raisin, coffee, booze.

T - Sweet chocolate and bit of caramel malts, smooth Bourbon, vanilla, lots of oak, molasses, coffee, black licorice, bitter dark cocoa, raisin and other dark fruits, and some booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and a bit syrupy with a warming and sweet.

D - Great barrel aged stout. The bourbon and oak are very present, but very smooth and balanced.

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

Finally ready to crack this while on vacation in STL.

Pours a dark dark brown color with a cola edging. There is an unusually large amount of light tan head that leaves a ton of lace.

The nose is rich and luxurious. The is vanilla, oak tannin, chocolate, butterscotch, licorice, and butter. Very dessert-like and sweet. Inviting would be putting it lightly. I'm ready to dive head first into this beer.

The flavors are a cornucopia of the nuances listed above. The bourbon barrels provide a lavish combination of vanilla and oak, while the base stout still contributes cocoa, milk chocolate, caramel, and roasted malt. Very tasty and balanced .

The mouthfeel is amply carbonated and has a medium-thick mouthfeel. Sticky and sweet.

Overall, amazingly smooth, delicious, and just out-right fantastic. Can't wait to try the 12yr awaiting my thirst from the basement.

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

2011 vintage, white wax bottle, poured into a snifter

Bottle# 4659

A: Black body with 1 finger mocha head

S: Bourbon, oak, vanilla, brown sugar,

T: Follows the nose, bourbon, vanilla, bitterness from hops. I can't really taste the honey - very subtle. I would say this beer is on the sweet side compared to other beers in this ABV range but yet still a bit hot and boozy (in a good way). Very nicely done.

M: Smooth and sticky (maybe honey is contributing to this). Good amount of carbonation.

O: Excellent BA stout. This is the first bottle of 50/50 for me. I have EC 12 in the cellar that I will crack open next week.

Edit: After it warmed up, I do taste the honey.

Photo of Dope
4.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 batch, bottle 882.

A: Pours pitch black with a mid-sized and dense medium brown head. Head fades slowly with great retention. Zero lacing.

S: Wonderful bourbon and chocolate aroma. Bourbon is pretty mellow. Strong aroma but just not a sharp, stinging aroma. Age has probably calmed it down a little. Caramel, brown sugar and toasted sugars. Lots of cocoa in there too. Hint of charred oak. A little stinging alcohol when swirled.

T: More bourbon up front, similar to the aroma in that it is strong but mellowed out. Smooth caramel and toasted sugars with some dark fruits here now. Good bit of dark chocolate floating around, especially as the bourbon fades. Strong dark fruits give it a chocolate covered raisin type flavor into the finish. A little bit of toasted sugar, dark fruits and a hint of oak in the aftertaste.

M: Nice medium-heavy body. Ultra smooth, mellow and viscous.

O: Interesting variant. I've had several others, fresh and aged and this is definitely unique. Bourbon is much mellower and smooth. That can probably be attributed to the age of the bourbon and also the age of the beer itself (which is now about 3 years old). Base beer comes out quite a bit now, with loads of dark fruits that you don't get in any of the other variants. Very distinctive raisinets flavor which is a nice touch. I'm not sure if I prefer the sharper, fresher variants - they are definitely a bit bolder but this one is easily the the best drinking. So smooth and mellowed out, it just drinks great.

Photo of woosterbill
4.37/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a 25cl Duvel tulip. Huge thanks to Tony for sharing this one; always a treat to try a new Eclipse variant!

A: Black with faint dark-brown highlights. Thin dark tan head. Ok retention and spotty lace. Not bad.

S: Sweet, nougaty, lightly spicy bourbon at first; some coffee, chocolate, and vanilla follow behind. Very nice.

T: Vanilla, caramel, and bourbon up front; milk chocolate and peppery spicy thereafter. Very smooth, balanced, and terrific.

M: Creamy medium-full body. Moderate but mouth-filling carbonation. Yes.

O: Yet another terrific beer in this series. A little more nuanced than the 12, and a great pairing with actual EC 18 bourbon. Good times!

Cheers!

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 sweemzander
4.34/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Bottle # 4828. 2011 vintage.

(A)- Pours a nice pitch black color. Some subtle tan froth and lace.

(S)- A very pronounced bourbon barrel and oak profile. Really stinking good though. Bits of raisin and caramel behind it, but otherwise the bourbon and oak is the main focus. . . an awesome focus. Right at the end/finish, there is some small bits of coffee and cocoa.

(T)- A nice richness to it. Still the same great barrel characters from the smell. A bit more raisin and caramel poke through. Even almost just the tiniest bit of a brine-like salty bourbon note you can get sometimes.

(M)- A mellow/smooth carbonation level. A nice balance to it as well, but just not as harmonious as I thought the 12year was. Again, though, great barrel character throughout.

(D)- Another great barrel variant from FiftyFifty. However, I think I preferred the 12year to this one.

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (20 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 573 ratings.