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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)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

551 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 551
Reviews: 154
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 8.28%
Wants: 317
Gots: 272 | 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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

White wax.

(Beer added by: MasterSki on 11-22-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 551 | Reviews: 154 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rifugium
4.48/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Rifugium, Jun 09, 2012
Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev -10.5%

mendvicdog, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of mdfb79
4.85/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

mdfb79, Mar 10, 2012
Photo of beernads
4/5  rDev -10.5%

beernads, Jul 02, 2013
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Rochefort10nh, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of Halcyondays
4.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Beachwood II,

A: Pours black with a medium tan head. Solid head retention, spotty lace, not as good looking a beer as the 12 year old.

S: Very spiritous, direct bourbon and ethanol notes, not the huge vanilla bomb of the 12. Refined.

T: Good dark chocolate flavour with spiritous bourbon. The ethanol mixes well with the other flavours and never goes overboard. A restrained yet powerful effort.

M: Full-bodied, spiritous I keep saying. Mellow, a sipper, an after dinner drink for sure.

O: The best Eclipse I've had so far. Well made and contemplative.

Halcyondays, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of imperialking
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

imperialking, Feb 06, 2012
Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev -10.5%

drewone, Dec 20, 2011
Photo of yourefragile
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

yourefragile, Dec 12, 2011
Photo of corby112
4.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage, bottle 4138

Pours a dark chestnut brown color that appears pitch black and completely opaque in the glass with a one finger beige head that quickly settles into a thin, lasting ring. Spotty lacing left behind.

Complex aroma with a prominent barrel presence that compliments the base beer without completely obliterating it's characteristics. Lots of dry oak and spicy bourbon along with subtle vanilla and toasted coconut followed by a robust roasted malt presence. Slightly smokey with hints of dark chocolate, gourmet coffee bean, burnt toast and oatmeal. Nice balance of oak, spirit and roasted malt preventing it from becoming acrid or overly boozy in the nose.

Medium bodied with a strong barrel character that's decently integrated into the flavors of the base beer. Very dry with lots of charred oak and spicy bourbon lingering over the deeply roasted dark malts into a bone dry finish. Unfortunately not as complex as the aroma suggests with the dry wood flavors eliminating the vanilla/coconut notes. Plenty of spicy bourbon flavor but it's not hot or tough to drink. Also, it's not as tasty as the 12 year treatment, tasting like a different bourbon to me all together. Underneath, there is a complex malt backbone with a balance of roasted coffee bean, oatmeal, burnt toast and sweet fudge/chocolate cake notes. This is still a really good beer but the oak presence is a bit too strong for my liking and the bourbon flavor didn't live up to my expectations.

corby112, Oct 24, 2012
Photo of orangesol
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

orangesol, Jan 25, 2012
Photo of stakem
4.04/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

stakem, Oct 21, 2013
Photo of duceswild
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

duceswild, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Shared this with Thorpe and Thorpette after they brought over a steak dinner recently (they're total ballers). Amy was holding and ogling my newborn son, so she drank hers with a crazy straw. Anywho...

The beer is dark brown with a nice beige head. Noticeably more carbonation than the Brewmaster's Grand Cru I opened recently.

Nice aroma - bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, oak. A lot of wood character.

The best of the series to this point, though I still have many to work through. Surprisingly pleasant notes of toasted marshmallow, coconut, vanilla. Really digging the subtle complexities at work here. This was served at 60 degrees, so many of the more delicate characteristics jumped out right away. Of course, bourbon, chocolate and oak are front and center, but the nuances steal the show in this beer.

Medium to full bodied with adequate carbonation. Still a bit on the low side. Silky and smooth on the palate.

A winner. I definitely recommend it.

Huhzubendah, Feb 22, 2012
Photo of BARFLYB
4.23/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Imperial Eclipse Stout, Elijah Craig (18 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co is a black stout with a dark tan bordering on brown cap that left some splotches on the glass.

Smell is what you would expect from the style, dark chocolate with slight vanilla notes and oak toppled by the blend of bourbon BA'ing resulting in bourbon and stout. Some dark fruit pops out. I May have smelled the honey used, but that could be my mind.

This is nice, not as large than I was expecting in body, yet tons of flavor from the barrel without losing the base beer. Nice hits of charred oak, vanilla, booze, chocolate, cocco, and some roasted malt. By this time the hops have all but faded leaving for a malty ride.

Feel is a little thin for the style. I kind of like that as it makes it easier for me to drink, and Im sure it helps to pick up more of the barrel in a thinner stout. The carb was a bit lacking, yet not dead. Over time, it dwindled. A great beer but 5oz's are plenty for me.

BARFLYB, Sep 03, 2012
Photo of Gonzoillini
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Gonzoillini, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of Mebuzzard
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

Mebuzzard, May 05, 2012
Photo of BillRoth
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

BillRoth, Jul 11, 2013
Photo of mdaschaf
4.48/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Shane for bringing this one down to share! Review from notes, consumed side by side with EC12. Most of the attributes were very similar to EC12.

A: Pours a dark black with a small khaki/tan head on top. Moderate retention and minimal lacing.

S: A nice blend of chocolate (dark and sweet), vanilla, and bourbon. Some roasted malt, a little bit of dark fruit, and caramel.

T: Again, similar to EC 12 with a great combination of chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, and roasted malt. A touch of caramel and toffee finish it off.

M: Medium to full bodied, very smooth and easy drinking.

O: A very good beer, I found 12 and 18 to very similar, and probably wouldn't be able to pick them apart, or even tell that they are different beers. Score will be the same, even though I liked 12 more because the difference in scoring is too large to reflect how close they beers were for me.

mdaschaf, Jun 04, 2012
Photo of John_M
4.48/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is quite impressive in this beer, as I pick up considerable vanilla, dark chocolate, bourbon, maltballs, coffee and a hint of anise. The beer is every bit as terrific on the palate, and the flavor profile seemed to be dominated by chocolate fudge, vanilla, noticeable bourbon and light licorice. There was also a hint of bitterness in the finish that, along with the licorice, seemed to help counter the sweetness in this beer. This beer has quite a presence in the mouth, and is almost decadently smooth, creamy, rich and long. Alcohol is pretty well integrated into the flavor profile, though you can definitely tell it's up there a bit in this beer.

Just a great beer. Really a lot going on in this one. Excellent stuff.

John_M, Mar 17, 2012
Photo of billab914
4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2011 vintage poured from a 22oz bottle into my Devil's Backbone tulip. It poured pitch black in color with a thin tan head clinging to the edges of the glass.

The aroma is very rich with chocolate, bourbon, oak and vanilla all coming out in it. I get a little bit of roasty coffee to it as well. The bourbon barrel flavors are well done and very complimenting. A lot of bold flavors are there, but it really comes together well and balances the imperial stout and barrel aging characteristics very well.

The taste shows more of the bourbon and chocolate up front. The finish is where I get more of the woody oak and vanilla mixing with some roasted malt bitterness. The oak seems to outshine the bourbon a little for me. Very smooth with some excellent, bold flavors to it. Again it really comes together well and feels very balanced and smooth for the style.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the style with carbonation being moderate. It did feel a little thin at times, which is probably my biggest criticism of it. A little heavier mouthfeel and lower carbonation like BCS for example would really put this one over the top.

Overall it was a great beer. They really did a good job complimenting the beer with some great bourbon flavors. Very bold and flavorful but also smooth and drinkable. Very nice beer to sip on this evening. This one definitely rivals some of the best barrel aged beers I've had.

billab914, Mar 18, 2012
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.54/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This was the very first beer I had at the release party. Looked like a good beer, like they thickened it up a little, black pour, good amount of cherry cola like head on the top of it, something most Eclipses haven't been able to accomodate. Aroma was a blast of alcohol at first, but mellowed into a nice chocolate and bourbon blend that is what puts butts in seats at this place.

Taste was even better, alcohol blast was gone, really gone, chocolate made totality's heavy roast base fall into the background while vanilla lay prominent. Good chewy mouthfeel on it, bigger than any other Eclipse I had enjoyed up until this point. Oak impact slight. Sometimes the beer got silky. Ended up going back for this a few more times at the end of the night. It kept getting better. Can't wait for the first bottle of this one.

Beerandraiderfan, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of liamt07
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

liamt07, Oct 27, 2013
Photo of ShanePB
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

ShanePB, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of HopHead84
2.73/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12/24/2011

Bottle opened by me on Christmas Eve after my box randomly showed up the day before. Luckily I was there to receive it as I had no idea it was coming because I never received a tracking number.

A: Looks like Eclipse. The color is black and there's a not insubstantial light brown head that fades quickly.

S: Chocolate, a ton of licorice and anise, molasses, and somewhat harsh barrel phenolics. There's a little bourbon, but oak, licorice, and fusel alcohol dominate this.

T: This is a letdown. Lots of oak and harsh alcohol notes with a lot of licorice. Chocolate and bourbon are feeble. Astringency accompanies oak and stinging booze in the licorice finish. This tastes like the underwhelming bottles of Eclipse I had last year when they had severe bottle variation. I guess they haven't solved that problem.

M: Full body but somewhat thin and watery. Carbonation is low.

Overall: I had an ounce of EC 18 (not enough for a review) from a bottle shared by a friend that was really outstanding so I was excited for this, but after opening my first bottle I've come to the realization that perhaps this year's Eclipse versions will be riddled with bottle variation like they were last year. Hopefully I have better luck with the rest of my bottles.

HopHead84, Dec 27, 2011
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (20 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 551 ratings.