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
97
world-class

156 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 156
Hads: 573
rAvg: 4.4
pDev: 4.32%
Wants: 310
Gots: 268 | 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:
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: 156 | Hads: 573
Photo of NorCalYeti
4.27/5  rDev -3%
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 (932 characters)

Photo of Sarlacc83
3.8/5  rDev -13.6%
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. (799 characters)

Photo of zac16125
4.89/5  rDev +11.1%
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. (1,912 characters)

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.15/5  rDev -5.7%
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. (585 characters)

Photo of BierJager89
4.89/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pours pitch black, with almost no head, just a few brown bubbles.

S: Nose is all bourbon, vanilla, caramel, coffee, toffee.

T: Vanilla, caramel, bourbon, roasted malt, a touch of alcohol, but it's necessary to cut the sweetness. I like sweet things, but this is too sweet.

M: Full bodied, rich, and creamy. vanilla notes, caramel, bourbon, roasted malt, a touch of alcohol, but it's necessary to cut the sweetness.

O: This would be the perfect beer for my taste, if it weren't so sweet. Worth $30? No, but I'd buy it again anyways. Can't wait to try the 12. It is better than Four Roses in my opinion. (609 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.59/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage with white wax. Thanks to Robbie for this bottle. Poured in to snifter.

A - Black with one finger of medium mocha brown head.

S - Sweet bourbon and toasted oak up front with a hint of vanilla as the barrel qualities come through. Chocolate, fudge, char and roast aromas are also present. A wonderful nose.

T - A big sweetness at first: bourbon, charred oak and vanilla from the bourbon barrel shine. A big chocolate fudge presence enters mid-palate with roast, molasses and light char notes. The big bitter roast profile and a touch of warming alcohol cut through the sweetness nicely, creating a superbly balanced beer.

M - Full body. Thick and chewy with a nice silky texture. Light carbonation. (716 characters)

Photo of s1ckboy
4.05/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 bottle aged a little over 1 year.

A - Black body, slim tan head.

S - Oak, vanilla , chocolate, boozy

T - A lot of bourbon, good amount of bitterness, chocolate, oak ,vanilla , molasses. Slightly harsh finish.

M - Medium to full, decent amount of carbonation.

Didn't enjoy this as much as the Elijah Craig 12 yr though they are very similar. After having the Rittenhouse Rye version, which was a lot smoother, this came off as a little harsh. (451 characters)

Photo of yamar68
4.67/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Really a nice looking big stout - dark oily black body with a spotty finger of light brown head, large gauge carb, tons of really interesting thick lacing.

Beautiful smooth bourbon character, some butterscotch, honeycomb, sweet milk chocolate, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, musty wood notes, insanely well balanced smelling beer. Needless to say it's quite similar to the EC12 variation.

Perfect velvet mouthfeel, not as sweet as I remember the other one being, soft chocolate, some brown sugar, a lot of vanilla, the honey plays such a delicate but integral role in the overall flavor profile, bourbon-soaked oak lingers forever on the finish, zero heat - this beer is just fantastic. (688 characters)

Photo of Holland
4.42/5  rDev +0.5%
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). (625 characters)

Photo of cfrances33
4.47/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared, thanks to scud. Poured into a snifter.

Pour: Completely black. Pours a little splashy, with a finger of khaki head that hangs around for a little bit. Little bit of lacing.

Smell: Really nice bourbon vanilla up front, with some toasted marshmallow. Chocolate and a light dark honey in the background.

Taste: Wow. Really nice, smooth combination of toasted marshmallow and bourbon. Nice vanilla and milk chocolate in there too. Some caramel sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Sticky, yet very smooth and goes down very easily. No trace of alcohol for me.

Overall: Awesome beer. I've always been skeptical of the Eclipse series, but this was amazing. Highly recommend (673 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.12/5  rDev -6.4%
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. (1,487 characters)

Photo of MrVonzipper
4.62/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rich brown color with a mild vanilla colored head with decent retention and spotty lace.

Nose is big, bright and robust. Big bright toasted brown sugar. A touch of vanilla. Fantastic!

Flavor is fantastic as well. Just short of the nose though it follows the characterics very well.

Mouth is pretty full and a bit tacky. Low carb.

Overall one of my favorite variations by far. A very well made beer! (405 characters)

Photo of Beaver13
2.5/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22 oz bottle, bottle 3768 / 2011. Pours brown black with a small dark brown head that quickly foes to a thin film and leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is sweet molasses and dark fruits with a lot of sharp whiskey.

The flavor is roasted malts and sweet sugary dark fruits with a lot of sharp burnt alcoholic whiskey. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, it's too sweet and boozy for me. It does mellow some as it warms, but still very sweet. (469 characters)

Photo of Treebs
4.47/5  rDev +1.6%
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. (848 characters)

Photo of wordemupg
4.24/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

650ml white waxed bomber poured into tulip 5/10/12 thanks Sean9689 and Masterski for sending the bottle

A black liquid with a thin dark cola edge, just a finger of dark tan head that fizzes out fairly quickly and leaves zero lace

S boozy smokey bourbon, woody, licorice, chocolate fudge is strong, just a little coffee, and sweet chocolate

T just a little dark fruit and chocolate covered raisin, everything I smells still there but stronger and its very rich, some charred wood and lots of barrel in general, only booze keeps this one from perfection

M silky with low-medium carbonation, thick but not as thick as I expected, warming booze almost hot, slightly sticky and almost floats your teeth with a slightly numbing effect

O tasty stuff for sure but I should've sat on it for another year or two, looks basic but all other areas are solid

a big boozy brew with nice qualities from the barrel, easy enough to drink but if I had another I'd sit on it for a while. Stoked to try it but top 100? maybe in a year or two (1,030 characters)

Photo of tarheels86
3.58/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

651mL 2011 white wax thanks to MrLo. Good, thicker tan head atop thicker brune head. Sweet strawberry nose with super sweet brandy and milk chocolate. Taste is sweet, hot, heavy dark chocolate ganache. Palate is drier, bitter, intense. Not bad. I enjoyed this. 7/4/7/4/14=3.6 (275 characters)

Photo of pmarlowe
4.47/5  rDev +1.6%
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. (585 characters)

Photo of Scrumtralecent
4.62/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle. Poured into a snifter.

A - Black with a thick light tan head. Head sticks around and lingers. Very good looking beer.

S - I can just smell the inside of that barrel. A malty, warm, bourbon smell. Chocolate, vanilla, and dark fruit come to mind. Pretty much exactly how I love a wonderfully aged imperial stout to smell.

T - The bourbon is so well melded to the stout, it's impeccable. Up front, the stout tries to shine through a little with some maltiness and sweet candied flavors, but then the barrel comes up. Not that I'm complaining. The oak, vanilla, and bourbon flavors are on point and warming without being hot. A complex marriage of taste that makes you ponder each sip.

M - The first thought was velvet. It's got a little heat as a barrel aged stout should have, but in no way hot and seems to go down so smooth. Malt gives some body, and along with the barrel, can make this a sipper. Carbonation is there, but not too much, not too little, right on point.

O - I realized, that everything I thought about above, I kept thinking about how well FiftyFifty nailed this. So good. Really. This is one best enjoyed with that barrel still present to show the full body and complexity of this beer. (1,221 characters)

Photo of adamette
4.54/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed by me from a bottle at Chef Paul’s Bavarian Lodge in Lisle, Illinois July 26th, 2012 in the presence of my brother in law Mat. I believe the place had been renamed simply “Bavarian Lodge” but I still refer to it as “Chef Paul’s.” By any name this is a world class BeerAdvocate place. Anyone reading this should seek it out.
Review from notes taken while I enjoyed the beer. Price of the bottle was $48.00 and Mat and I were treated to it by a fellow Beer Nerd named Neil. Thanks so very much Neil!
"4709" 2011 stamped on the bottle (or possibly the label, my notes do not specify)

A Dark, deep body but Mahogany colors show in front of direct light. Very little head which is understandable with the elevated ABV. 4.0

S Bourbon, malt. Who could ask for anything more? Really though, the bourbon presence is obvious. Personally, I love the smell combination of bourbon and a nice stout. This particular one has a great, classic smell to it. 5.0

T Unbelievable taste! Bourbon notes, dark roast malt all in a wonderful blast of tastes. 4.5

M Thick with the hefty dark roast malt and bourbon tastes. 4.0

D Great drinkability for being such an elevated ABV. Really, I wanted to continue to sip this one over and over. I did use the work "sip" here because one should not really "drink" this beer. It is far to big with too much going on to simply "drink" it. Overall this just might be a world class beer. 4.5 (1,431 characters)

Photo of sukwonee
4.38/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (677 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
4.2/5  rDev -4.5%
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. (973 characters)

Photo of kawilliams81
4.47/5  rDev +1.6%
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! (543 characters)

Photo of Brabander
4.72/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I took this bottle home after a tasting at The Kulminator in Antwerps, Belgium. I was there with some of my closest BA's. Unfortunatly i had to drive but i got the last of the bottle to take home with me.

What can i say about this beer what hasn't been said...what a great BA stout. Thick and juicy. It almost feels like you are drinking a 17 abv stout.

Great beer, thanks ForgetFu! (384 characters)

Photo of claspada
4.02/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a jet black color with a small tan head but still leaves some super lacing as your swirl the beer around.

Aromas of sweet Bourbon upfront followed by oak, vanilla, plum, dark chocolate, roasted malt and burnt caramel. As it warms you get some toffee, bitter espresso and light caramel maltiness.

The tastes follow the nose and begin with sweet bourbon, oak, roasted malts and dark chocolate. The flavor is also quite heavy on the barrel/char flavors as well as the vanilla. Light sweetness of molasses in the background.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Finish is dry and biting due to the emerging Bourbon presence.

Overall this Eclipse falls in the middle of the road of the 5 variations I have had. The smoky aspect which also I did not enjoy in the EC 12 is also here which hinders my enjoyment as I sip. The other barrel variations just seem to blend more effortlessly with the base beer compared to the EC ones which seem to overpower the flavor profile. (1,000 characters)

Photo of Gobzilla
4.2/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a dark as night black with a thin dark brown head that left some good frothy lacing sticking to the glass.

S: lots of boozy bourbon barrel heat in the aroma with lots going on consisting of chocolate roastiness, caramel, vanilla, hints of coconut, caramel and a little dark fruit as well.

T: the chocolate roastiness was more prominent on the taste alongside caramel, molasses, vanilla, lots of bourbon barrel booze heat, dark fruit accents and a touch of maple syrup.

M: the brew was medium in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had sweet, very mild fruity bourbon barrel, boozy, roasty, chocolatey, silky and rich finish.

O: very delicious beer with great characteristics and curious to see how it does with a little age on it. (757 characters)

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (20 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 156 ratings.