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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)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

157 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 157
Hads: 576
Avg: 4.41
pDev: 16.1%
Wants: 309
Gots: 268 | FT: 12
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: 157 | Hads: 576
Photo of TheCuriograph
3.99/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage. In an Other Half snifter.

Same impenetrable black (largely headless) appearance of the other Eclipses I've had. Nose full of vanilla, milk chocolate, hazelnut and oak. The taste is a nice blend of chocolate malt and vanilla barrel. It also has the cola notes I detected in the High West bourbon version. Mouthfeel is full but light for a bit imperial stout. This is a good example of a series I rather love and falls resolutely in the middle of the Eclipse pack. Curious how the 12 Year EC compares. Wouldn't search this out again, but I'd be pleased to see it at a bottle share.

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Photo of mrn1ceguy
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is an amazing BA stout, take the Elijah Craig 12 eclipse and add some extra smoothness and you have this beer. A true gem to enjoy, wish this would make a comeback.

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Photo of kooredaan
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.6/5  rDev +4.3%

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

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Photo of VeganUndead
4.9/5  rDev +11.1%
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

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Photo of brentk56
4.22/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle 466 or 2011

Appearance: Pours a fudge brown color with a film and some bubbles; very little lacing (particularly compared to the others in the series)

Smell: Chocolate fudge and Bourbon, with vanilla, oak and toasted coconut in the background

Mouthfeel: The Bourbon mingles with the chocolate fudge flavors, adding vanilla, toasted coconut and oak and building to a boozy crescendo in the mid-palate; the flavors mingle, after the swallow, producing a warm finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with low to moderate carbonation and some warmth in the gullet

Overall: A very nice beer but I was expecting to be overwhelmed; out of the bottles I tasted from my cellar over the past few days my favorites were the Four Roses and the brandy barrel, which were the ones I was expecting to like the least; as they say in the sports world, "That's why they play the games."

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.85/5  rDev -12.7%
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.

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Photo of Dope
4.38/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

22 oz. bomber poured into a Duvel Tulip Style Glass, bottle #3554 . Liquid portion comes out almost black, but realistically it's probably more of a dark brown. Nice coffee milk colored head with various sized bubbles, decent lacing, but after awhile, it makes its way down, but leaves a small ring around the edge of the glass. Some of the bubbles actually trapped themselves on the glass in between the liquid, but goes away after a little wile Slightest of slight syrup effect on the glass after every sip. Good looking beer.

Smell is really good. Lots of liquor aromas. There's plenty of bourbon/whiskey, vanilla, ammaretto and even some dark fruit liquor. Malt bill is good, there's some fudgy chocolate and slight hints of coffee flavors. I know I mentioned it already, but vanilla really is a dominant flavor here.

Taste is as good as the aroma. More dark than fudgy chocolate tones. Plenty of whiskey/bourbon vanilla tones and I swear I taste a little hint of coconut. Like many barrel aged beers there's an oaky flavor, but it's also a tad bit spicy, really good and well balanced. Sweet without being a sugar bomb, more the traditional style of a bourbon barrel aged beer. Tastes better as it approaches room temperature.

Mouthfeel is really good as well. Heavy medium to light full bodied; the flavor lingers but not tooo long.. good carbonation level, but it's perfectly smooth. Slight bite from the alcohol and bourbon, but nothing too strong. I was worried it would be a little gritty, but it's really not too much, might be if you drank it too fast, but it tastes too good to do that. The balance is really good, makes you want to sip it slowly, really drinkable. Like this beer a real lot. Don't know if I think it's the massive trade bait I've heard about in the past, but work trying for sure. Thanks Russ for a sweet trade.

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Photo of stakem
4.05/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.34/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a brandy snifter. Bottle 770, vintage 2011.

A: Black, with light head and decent lacing. Completely opaque.

S: Rich and wonderful. I really enjoy this one. Nougat, chocolate, and caramel.

T: Incredibly rich. Soft, sweet, and distinguished. Great bourbon is telling. Even fruity. Delicious.

M: Super-soft, but kind of flat.

O: Delicious. Definitely one of my favourite bourbon-aged stouts.

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Photo of wd40
4.57/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle 3140/2011
Sampled August 2013

Excellent chocolate brown stout. Pours a thin one finger head with a vigorous pour. Lots of vanilla and chocolate and bourbon in the nose. Taste is similar with a few hints of coffee in the background. Just a little bit of heat from the alcohol, but it actually is kind if nice. Mouthfeel is very smooth. Not very carbonated but not flat. A nice and subtle carbonation the lifts and dries the thick viscous liquid that coats the inside of the mouth. Overall a real winner.

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Photo of GregSVT
4.69/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

White waxed bomber into a snifter - 2011 Vintage

A: Pours a dark brown with a nice brown head that fades to a ring and leaves lacing all over the glass as you drink.

S: The nose is an amazing mix of vanilla, chocolate, honey, and barrel.

T: The taste is superb! Lots of vanilla, chocolate fudge, honey, roasty malt, and bourbon. The barrel has been toned down a bit here to let the chocolate and honey come forward more but it's still close to the forefront.

M: The feel is creamy and on the lighter side of medium...par for the course for the Eclipse series.

O: This is definitely one of the best variants. The barrel compliments the base beer perfectly and isn't overpowering at all. Age has done it some wonders as well. I had one fresh and it was a bit boozy but this is fudgy/vanilla heaven.

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Photo of Rutager
4.12/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

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Photo of spicelab
4.07/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2011 bottle thanks to DJButters. Reviewed fom notes.

Brown hued black with a modest saffron head. Recedes to a resilient film and collar.

Coconut, liquorice bullets, candied apples and honey.

Marshmallow, toffee apple, liquorice bullets, refined oak and mild plastic. Finishes surprisingly dry.

Smooth, not remotely heavy, with silky carbonation. Lovely benign dry roasty finish.

Uncomplicated and highly approachable, with well contained barrel character.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.24/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.52/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage. Bottle 1942. Pours a beautiful pitch black color with a very tiny tan head that turn to bubbles instantly. Scent is very inviting with chocolate cocoa, bourbon, espresso, roasted malts, and some sweet honey. Lovely oak and vanilla as well. Scent is a bit on the sweet side. Taste is absolutely delicious. Just as the nose implies, there is a a hefty amount of chocolate...chocolate fudge to be exact. Sweet chocolate fudge with a bit of saltiness to it. Smooth bourbon and oak flavors that leave a sweet honey flavor on the back of the tongue. A bit of alcohol, but not overwhelming. Mouthfeel is full-bodied and slightly boozy. Drinkability is high. Overall, this beer is so damn tasty. Hard to compete with the 12-year, but this one may beat it.

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Photo of jeonseh
3.9/5  rDev -11.6%
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

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Photo of illidurit
4.52/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared at the Santa Cruz tasting in January. I don’t have a lot of notes, but this one really stood out as tasting like a ridiculous melange of See’s candy flavors. Heaps of chocolate, vanilla, toffee and iced coffee. Very sweet and delicious.

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Photo of Spectre
3.4/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Not a terrible beer but definitely not worth the hype. 30 dollars a bottle for a low grade stout.

A. Black/brown with a tan head.
S. Like most of the variations you can only smell the stout.
T. Dark chocolate mixed with water and a hint of coffee.
M. Goes down smooth for a thin beer but could be a little more thick.

O. When you think of amazing limited stouts that are high in price you picture Dark Lord, Black Tuesday, Bourbon County ect...Not this one. I would strongly suggest you share this beer with your girlfriend and not bring to a taysting.

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Photo of NorCalYeti
4.27/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2011 vintage, bottle #2561

taste- some winey notes in the finish, milk chocolate

color- deep brown chestnut

clarity- pours clear and dark

smell- vanilla, coconut, tobacco, toasted malts, soapy

body- lingering hoppy bite under the top lip, soft and oily on the palate, light-medium weight in the mouth, short, disappointing finish

appearance- mocha-colored carbonation after the pour but it dissipates quickly to a faint layer across the top of the beer. tight, fine bubbles, decent lacing

overall impression- starting to think these beers are short lived and should be consumed sooner than later...i'm glad i'm tapping into them now. really enjoying the nose, flavors have died off slightly, body is mellow...wishing there would be more depth of flavor

notes and comments- alcohol still present, fairly well balanced...warmth in the stomach

beer spy- got in on the pre-order through fiftyfifty, 2011, 22oz

glassware: tulip

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Photo of Sarlacc83
3.8/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased in 2012. Split a couple ways. Consumed 12-17, reviewed from notes.

A: Pitch black with a very thin mocha lacing. Legs stick.

N: Deep whiff of oak, caramel, and vanilla. Fudge is the backbone, and there is a pronounced brown sugar. The bourbon is the foreground, as it should be.

T: Dominate marshmallows and vanilla. Oak is playing second fiddle. There are traces of coffee and fudge. There is a slight sourness I find distracting, but it’s not an infection.

M: Very intense alcohol. Mouthfeel is much better than the 2010; it’s heavier and fluffier.

O: A marked improvement over the previous year, but for the price, it really lacks the stand out qualities that bring it to the next tier of BA RISes. Good stuff, but I’d rather have Parabola for half the cost.

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Photo of zac16125
4.89/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.15/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Awesome extra given by leschie! Thanks Kurtis!

poured into tulip glass.

reviewed from notes taken on 1/8/13.

bottle # 2384. Vintage 2011.

Appearance: black bodied beer with a thin tan cap.

Smell: bog black licorice notes and a hint of barrel notes.

Taste: Black licorice is the big flavor upfront. Oak and tobacco. Touch of a bourbon bite. Light leathery note. Chocolates. A touch of oxidation.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer with carbonation levels at the high end of low almost a medium carbonation level.

Overall: really good 50/50 BA stout. Really glad that I got to try it.

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (20 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 157 ratings.