Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (20 Year) - FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 548 | Reviews: 153 | Display Reviews Only:
4.3/5 rDev -3.8%
On tap at Blue Palms Brewhouse in Los Angeles, CA as part of the FiftyFifty Eclipse Release Party.
Pours an opaque black with a 1/2 inch foamy khaki head that fades to an oily film. Small streaks of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, vanilla, wood, and a very mellow bourbon aroma. Taste is pretty much the same. The bourbon from the 18 year Elijah Craig is very mellow and smooth flavor wise. There is a slight roasty bitterness and a very slight alcohol warmth in the back of the throat with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good barrel aged stout with a very mellow and smooth bourbon presence. I can only assume the higher quality version of Elijah Craig is the reason why.
12-18-2011 04:42:34 | More by UCLABrewN84
4.6/5 rDev +2.9%
Bottle number 5348. Shared with Amyliz4 and served in a SAVOR wine glass.
Pours near-black with a pretty good light mocha head and a surprisingly-large amount of lacing as it goes down. Thin cap recedes a bit quickly and makes way to a thin collar, which holds throughout. The nose brings bourbon first and foremost, but then has a good dosing of coconut and vanilla. Light oak character. Chocolate there as well.
Flavor has good oak, coconut, and vanilla in addition to the bourbon. Subtle roast and chocolate in the background. Most everything seems to be coming from the barrel and I won't complain one bit. Full body and chewy with just a bit of booze. Low-medium carbonation. Great complexity. Absolutely exceptional. Boom.
01-08-2012 03:21:11 | More by Thorpe429
4.23/5 rDev -5.4%
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."
05-06-2014 23:28:28 | More by brentk56
3.86/5 rDev -13.6%
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.
02-14-2014 18:54:50 | More by Phyl21ca
4.53/5 rDev +1.3%
It's not everyday that such a strong and lush stout crosses my path and commands so much attention. Chocolate, bourbon, malt, coffee culminate in a rich and velvety taste... so much finesse built into such a bullyish recipe.
Even as the most aggressive pour was administered in the decanting of the beer, there's an oily and inky viscosity that renders the head character of the beer dainty and creamy, much like the creme of espresso as a thin and intermittent sheet retains well and the lacing also sparse and broken. But it's the sheer thick aesthetics that give this beer its onyx-like sheen and brandy-like legging.
Absolute succulence emits from the glass with the first aromatic draw of the nose in the shape of chocolate, espresso, and bourbon. Caramel and vanillans are stripped from the barrel and delivered from the nose in firm and sultry fashion and seem to inform the malty-rich aromas of malted candies, heavy cream, and molasses. Alcohol and esters combine for the impressions of cherry, licorice, and vinous grapes but do so in much lesser intensity as other aromatics.
Flavors are even more savory and seductive than even the nose implies. As others have mentioned, a heavy taste of chocolate fudge becomes the dominant flavor that all others circulate about. Very chocolaty with melded flavors of molasses, walnuts, dark roast coffees, moderate roasted grains and heavy toast- the beer has a very rich taste but forbids the harsh dry roast that can sometimes prove too dry or harsh. The bourbon flavors sometimes remind me of sweet rums but the influx of woody oak, rich caramel, vanilla, mild coconut, and cherry-like alcohols allow for the alcohols to have as much a pleasant placement in taste as it would texture.
The low-lying alcohol allows the beer to coat the mouth evenly and fully which allows for full appreciation of flavor as the carbonation doesn't lift the liquid from the taste buds. Instead, the creamy, velvety, silky feel of the stout is felt in its entirety- covering the surfaces of the mouth like heavy cream. This highly robust texture has a long and lingering finish of growing warmth, slight heat, and malty richness. Dryness and drinkability doesn't come into play as this beer is a savory sipper to conclude the best of tasting sessions.
While any big stout can be highly roasty and boozy, it's the finesse of this beer that executes the balance of sweetness, bourbon, roast, and complementary chocolates and coffees that rise to such high proportions without introducing the any smoky, ashy, or rogue fusals that often become gremlins to otherwise formidable imperial stouts. There's only the slightly more flavor intensity of Bourbon County Rare Stout, along with the magical Pappy Van Winkle intangible wood-tannic character that keeps this beer from competing with the superior Goose Island varietal.
04-12-2012 05:30:21 | More by BEERchitect
4.1/5 rDev -8.3%
Thanks for sharing this one, Chris.
Pours viscous and black in color with a finger of tan head. Intense barrel and bourbon aromas, especially charred wood. There is a nice vanilla note to it and plenty of dark chocolate and roasted malt. The flavor is also quite heavy on the barrel/char flavors as well as the vanilla. A nice bit of chocolate and roasted malt, minimal coffee notes. Light sweetness of molasses in the background. Medium bodied with smooth, low carbonation.
12-28-2011 22:13:02 | More by womencantsail
4.48/5 rDev +0.2%
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.
02-16-2012 05:06:32 | More by Knapp85
4.75/5 rDev +6.3%
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.
12-20-2011 06:14:54 | More by largadeer
4.65/5 rDev +4%
2011 Vintage, bottle #4287. At the time of this review, this beer is the #29 beer on the "Top Beers - American Double / Imperial Stout" list on the best of beeradvocate.com. Yeah, it really is that good. This beer is effing amazing. Served in a DFH snifter.
Beer is black with a nice thin tan head of small bubbles, moderate to low carbonation, some lacing, decent retention.
Aroma is complex, fudgy, sweet, bourbon, malt, bourbon and more bourbon. Fucking amazing.
Beer is medium bodied, sweet up front, the alcohol cuts through a little but ultimately the bourbon and oak win out over the alcohol, vanilla, creamy mouthfeel, great finish, one of the best stouts I've had in a while.
12-22-2011 00:41:10 | More by drabmuh
4.48/5 rDev +0.2%
First had: on tap at Monk's, Philly, PA
Served in a tulip glass, an oily black pour with a thin beige head that left streaking on the glass, rather than lacing; just about no carbonation to be seen. Much like its 12-year counterpart, aromas of bourbon, fudge, black cherries. Taste is full of dark chocolate, smooth bourbon, vanilla and subdued oak, hints of sweet cherry, licorice and/or mint. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel, full-bodied, or very nearly so, well-integrated alcohol. Great beer overall. I liked it slightly better than the 12-year because it was just a tad bit more smooth.
06-09-2012 05:56:22 | More by Rifugium
4.65/5 rDev +4%
Poured from the bottle into a goblet.
Appearance: Pours black and very viscous. There is a half finger of thick tan head that fades to a ring around the glass.
Smell: Sweet chocolate and roast with some coconut. The bourbon and alcohol are there, but they compliment and don't overwhelm. Very complex.
Taste: A lot like the smell thank goodness. Dark chocolate with some dark fruit and warm bourbon. I'm getting the same coconut note along with the sweetness. Very smooth finish, a delicious beer.
Mouthfeel: Thick and smooth with tingly carbonation and a dry finish. The mouthfeel is superb.
Overall: This beer is nothing short of awesome. My favorite version I have tried so far. I would love to get a hold of another.
03-23-2012 01:03:05 | More by oline73
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (20 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 548 ratings.