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.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

573 Ratings
THE BROS
-
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 573 | Reviews: 155
Photo of comfortablynumb1
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cracked this bad boy in celebration of the wife getting an awesome new job.

A - Pours black with a one finger light brown head. Head retention is decent, and there is some sticky lace that coats the glass...

S - Oak, vanilla, toasted coconut, chocolate, dark fruits, and a good dose of Bourbon. Scent is very enticing...

T - Delicious. Chocolate, and caramel up front. Oak/vanilla, lingering chocolate, and smooth Bourbon in the finish. Excellent balance of flavors...

M - Rich and creamy, but as with the other Eclipse variants, a tad thin. On the higher end of the medium bodied scale. Carbonation is moderate...

O - Definitely my favorite of the Eclipse series thus far. Looking foward to revisiting my other bottle after a little time has passed...

Cheers...

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 sholland119
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle #5268.

A-Dark opaque brown black with a frothy black cherry mocha head that has great retention and good lacing.

S-Bourbon sweetness, lots of vanilla and oak but not overly boozy. Pretty approachable.

T-Reasonably hot but not unpleasant in any way. Lots of oak and toasted marshmallow, just a great bourbon character with a nicely flavorful stout underneath. I like the relative lightness of the stout but that it is still strong enough to hold its own with the barrel.

M-Medium bodied, not syrupy or cloying, heat is kept nicely in check.

O-Really excellent. Very well put together.

HV

Photo of crossovert
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

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 PatrickSwayze
4.77/5  rDev +6.7%
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  

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Fifty Fifty Eclipse Elijah 18 (white wax), bottle courtesy of JRod1969, a good guy. Thanks for the exchange!

It took forever to get the wax out, and the bottle even fell on the floor while trying to open it.

Appearance: Once the wax was conquered, this thing pours beautiful. Thick, black and oily as you expect it to be. A first serving did not yield any head, barely a mantle, but my second pour did come with a more sizable head, thick lacing and good retention.

Smell: As I let it warm, the nose becomes more and more complex. Honey and sharp bourbon right away, then a bit of booze and cocoa nibs. I imagine Elijah Craig with hot chocolate, and voila, Eclipse! A whiff of vanilla at the end.

Taste: Chocolate is the dominant profile here, followed by some wood and spice. A tad of high-quality soy sauce as it goes down the throat. Mellow hoppiness at the end, like frolicking on an open field in Nova Scotia, gorgeous summer morning. Cigar ashes.

Mouthfeel: Thumbs a bit down here. Rather thin for such a big beer (although we can't forget this is "only" 9.5% instead of the 14% of other big stouts like Bourbon County.) Full flavor, though, and low-but-adequate carbonation. Great thick creaminess, and such a pleasant bourbon-y chocolaty finish.

Overall: This is truly outstanding. A beautiful sipper. The kind of beer I want to drink all day long!!! Better than porn, if I may say so.

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

Bottle #5501 poured slighty cooler than cellar temperature into a snifter.

Pours pitch black with a finger and a half of head.

Picking up bitter chocolate, vanilla and bourbon. All nicely proportioned Some alcohol is also detectable.

Dark chocolate, brown sugar and molasses up front. Much less oak compared to the 12yr and a little more alcohol heat. Finishes with a little burn. As it warmed it had a wonderful fudge brownie flavor.

Great carbonation and mouthfeel. This one was the most carbonated of all the variants I've tried thus far.

I'm glad I picked up a few bottles of this one! Can't wait to try it again with some age.

Photo of afksports
4.66/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed this while watching the second half of a painful Superbowl (I don't like either team). The beer saved the game for me. Fantastic rich bourbon aroma, red ring of lace on top of the beer, deep black viscous liquid that makes it a sipper. What's nice is that it's dialed back a notch from some of these crazy bourbon barrel beers. Not overly sweet or thick, not overly alcoholic. It's still... a drinkable beer. The malt notes are rich, too, with a good roast presence of coffee and carbon. There's enough bitterness to allow it a clean finish. Balanced.

It's a badass beer, and if I weren't watching the booze level, I'd have polished the bomber off solo. Fantastic job, Todd.

Photo of Heavenisbeer
4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Excited to finally try this. Picked up at City Beer store in SF.

A: Cue-ball black, with a two-finger mocha head fading to a Millennium logo/Lucent Technologies ring (I know, odd 90s references) gripping the edges of the glass. Spotty lacing.

S: There's not much layering to this, or a linear story line to the smell. It just all hits you at once, but it's still very complex. Dark fruits stand out (figs, raisins, prunes), brown sugar, sweet espresso, dark bitter chocolate, vanilla, lots of oak, whisky tannins (leathery), boozy heat, tobacco, and probably a hundred other notes that I just can't discern.

T: Bigger than the nose, but similarly simultaneous. Huge dark fruit flavor, dark chocolate, vanilla, brown sugar, espresso, whisky barrel, oak, soy sauce, tobacco, and some light grassy hop notes in the finish. Lots of boozy heat throughout, and especially in the finish, which sticks with you for a spell.

M: Has a lighter body than I'd expect, but still overshadows any regular stout. Very little carb. Has a ton of boozy heat in the finish--has the best aspects of whisky without the bite.

Well worth the $28 price tag. I enjoyed every sip of it, and I'll remember this one for a long time.

Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.51/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a Darkness snifter, sharred with scoand.

Bottle #5546
2011

A- Really attractive looking stout, really nice one finger foamy brown colored head, dark dark brown almost pitch black color, opaque, splotchy lacing.
S- Booze is apparent in the nose, dark fruit notes come out, dark malt, some earthy notes, the bourbon is very mellow in the aroma, hard to pick out.
T- Really impressed with the taste, big buttery vanilla taste, really nice chocolate notes come out, the bourbon is perfect in the beer, really balanced, really smooth, really unique bourbon taste that I have not had in other Bourbon barrel aged stouts, absolutely love it.
M- Big mouth feel, silky smooth drinking, really lush, coats the palate, big body, love the mouth feel.
O- This beer really impressed me, only the third Eclipse beer I’ve had the pleasure of drinking and I’m absolutely impressed, the aroma was a little of a letdown, the taste absolutely blew me away, would love to get my hands on another bottle.

Photo of InebriatedJoker
4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle 1983 - 2011 release -Thanks Kurtis

Shared with Schwaeh

A: Black with minimal head , light off white lacing, decent carbonation.

S: Vanilla , slight bourbon, roasted malts.

T: Strong Vanilla hints with slight bourbon burn, roasted malts, slight chocolates with minimal hop hints smooth dark fruits.

O: I enjoyed the 18 much more than than 12, smooth and creamy texture and the bourbon had mellowed more compared between the two. Recommended!

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 Florida9
4.22/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Very dark brown, almost black. Forms a thin off-tan head. Leaves some very mild lacing.

S: Lots of booze and quite bourbon-y. Chocolate, oak, vanilla, and a little molasses.

T: Fairly oaky and mildly sweet. Lots of roasted malts, some dark caramel, brown sugar, and light vanilla.

M: Medium to heavy bodied with a mild bitterness and lower carbonation levels.

O: A good to very good beer that offers up a nice balance between the imp stout itself and the strong flavors of the barrel, while still being pretty damn smooth.

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 ferrari29
4.27/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer poured from bottle into a Snifter shaped glass

A - Beer pours with a dark brown, black colored body; coffee/tan colored head; no visible carbonation; small amount of lacing; liquid/watery pour appearance; very small head formed

S - Vanilla; brown sugar; very high ABV nose; back-end has a nice dark chocolate and coffee taste; cream; scotch whiskey; dark fruit; prunes; raisin

T - Very boozy; liquor taste; barley any taste of honey; bourbon barrel flavor; strong vanilla; figs and dates; prunes; dry oak barrel taste

M - Medium build; heavy lingering coffee bourbon aftertaste; kind of creamy

D - Pleasurable and certainly unique; great idea to age these beers in barrels from different years;' I think the bourbon taste is great and the beer has just the right amount of flavor where it doesn't completely overwhelm every other ingredient

Photo of Sideswipe
4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
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

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 orangesol
4.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Deuane for opening his newly purchased bottle for us to try. I was really looking forward to trying this one.

A - Pours black as night with a nice one finger tall tan head leaving light lace down the glass. A little light on the carbonation it seems...

S - Smells fairly similar to the 12yr. with a bit more barrel to it. Still has plenty of vanilla, chocolate, and coffee but the bourbon and oak have really taken this bottle over.

T - Starts off with a big dose of bourbon heat slowly giving way to a mix of sweet vanilla and chocolate and day old coffee grounds. Finish is pretty dry with plenty of oak tannins. Like the 12yr., I can only imagine how good this beer will be with some time on it.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderately low carbonation. Fairly similar to the 12yr. in that has a smooth body, maybe a bit more booze and tannins in this version.

O - This one was pretty good, although not as good as the 12yr. I still have one of these in the cellar and I look forward to revisiting this one in the future.

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. 2011 vintage, bottle #4016. White wax so I have the correct listing.

This is my third version of this year (EC 12 and BT blend) and fourth overall ('10 EW).

4.5 A: Black color. One and a half fingers of creamy tan head. Retention is good and a big ring of lacing is left. Like the others, this one looks good.

4.0 S: This is as smooth as the EC 12 was, but it's much more lively. First, the bourbon brings out the chocolate in the stout much like the BT blend did. The bourbon itself is leathery, mildly fruity, and earthy. Booze is in check and there are no signs of astringency or off-flavors. The barrel gives a soft vanilla that complements well. Soft roastiness from the stout. I very much like the aroma, but I still want more from the stout.

4.5 T: I must say I'm impressed with the taste. I expected all of the variants to be let downs due to the simplicity of the base beer, but this is too tasty not to love. The EC works magic in this. The strongest flavor is creme brulee with leather, melon, light dark fruit, and light earthiness. Slightly boozy, but it's actually a nice addition and super smooth. Soft roast and moderate chocolate from the base stout.

4.0 M: Hell, even the mouthfeel is better. It's the same medium body, but there's a noticeable increase in the creaminess. Good moderate carbonation. Super smooth.

4.5 D: I'm very glad to have had this and so far this is the only variant I've had that is worth what I paid. Very tasty beer. If the base stout was better, this would be a favorite of mine for sure.

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage (#4736). Poured from 750ml bottle into a tulip glass. Pours dark black with a medium tan head that quickly dissispates into a thin lacing that lasts well throughout. Aromas of roast nuts, some bourbon, brown sugar, and oak. Light Elijah Craig bourbon heat upfront in the flavor along some coffee and perhaps figs. There is a distinct sweet smell that is difficult for me to pinpoint. Slightly bitter back finish. Medium mouthfeel. Damn smooth and tasty beer. I will have this beer again and do want to try the other Eclipse variants.

Photo of notchucknorris
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Oily and black with a thin light brown head. Tons of lacing down the glass. Really good stuff.

S: Rich aromas of coconut, milk chocolate, bourbon, toffee and fudge. I could smell this all day. Truly incredible.

T: Nearly as good as the aroma. Coconut and some chocolate sweetness upfront, caramel, some honey and a touch of roasted malt and coffee on the finish. The slightest touch of bitterness at the end. Mouthfeel is absolutely perfect. Slick and velvety without being syrupy. I love this 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 keanex
3.98/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter from a 2011 650ml bottle.

A: Deep opaque brown, only seen through on the edges. Thin tan head quickly disappears leaving a small coating.

S: Mellow, but mostly bourbon and oak, slight sweetness comes through.

T: Same as the smell, huge alcohol bourbon sweetness with vanilla mixing in and out. Slight chocolate notes, but very subtle. Easy to sip.

M: Full bodied with light fizzy carb, syrupy.

O: The price of this is my biggest gripe, my second gripe is the price. I like this, but for $30.

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.06/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

White waxed bottle poured into a snifter after being pulled from the wine cooler set to 55'F.

Obsidian black and topped by a creamy hot chocolate colored head that is well retained for a stout of this gravity. Additionally, as it dissipates and I drink, swirls of lace are deposited all over the walls of the glass.

The nose is surprisingly devoid of any bourbon character. Sweet clover honey, deep ashy tobacco, and roasted malts mix with warm alcohol in the background to round out the aroma. The flavor is more on par with what I was expecting. Toffee, caramel, and molasses all come out where they were completely lost in the aroma. As the beer opens up, so do the barrel notes. Bourbon, a ton of vanilla, and toasted oak balance some of the ashy tobacco that was so overpowering in the aroma. The finish ends with some sweeter chocolate and hints of the clover honey, as well as the warm alcohol.

In my previous experience with the PVW Eclipse, I found the texture thin and disappointing. Not so here. Creamy and full-bodied, this is much more what I expect to see from an Imperial Stout. Looking forward to drinking the rest of the varieties, for sure.

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