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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.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

569 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 569
Reviews: 155
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 8.05%
Wants: 309
Gots: 269 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 569 | Reviews: 155 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DP34
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of FosterJM
3.85/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1218th Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
22oz White Wax
Bottle #3043

App- A very dark brown. Bordered on black but never reached it. An amber/garnet edge formed and then was gone when the small aggressive 1/2 finger brown head poured and was gone. Made way to a small ring of bubbles.

Smell- An aromatic beer with strong chocolate on a large whiff. The ensuing notes bring a bit of roasty malts and a bit of oak. The booze is very heavy but adds too much sting to the nose. Not as smooth as the other but for good reason with which barrels were used on this treatment.

Taste- As it warmed to over 55F, it became a bit more creamy and tastier. However, was a bit harsh with the booze and sting. Had a bit of molasses and chocolate on the back but doesnt go down as smooth as the rest. As I breath I get whisps of alcohol coming out lf my nose.

Mouth- A fairly medium body with a large creamy body to it and a low- medium carbonation. The after taste leaves residual booze and some oaky chocolate.

Drink- Its an eclipse stout for sure. Has that underlying flavor that each variant had. This just wasnt as smooth as the others as I mentioned but was still better than most.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.52/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 2518/2011

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.

Thanks Ynot2

Photo of zrab11
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of cosmicevan
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle #2160. 2011 vintage, white wax (billed as Elijah Craig 20 yr on the futures). enjoyed from a southampton ris snifter.

a - brew poured a watery black with just shy of a finger's worth of creamy tan head. the milky head slowly bubbled away leaving a thin skin of head on the surface of the brew. lacing was spotty. in the glass, the beer looked much fuller than when poured.

s - really nicely balanced stout and bourbon. there are nice malty chocolate notes in there, but they are dipped in woody booze. VERY nice and appetizing.

t - some vanilla notes. chocolate. char. cream. booze. sweetness. gets much tastier as it goes. the vanilla notes really help make the flavor masterful. rich and decadent. hell of a beer.

m - smooth and surprisingly not as thick as i had expected. boozy.

o - overall, nice. not my absolute favorite barrel aged stout of all time, but damn close. this beer is VERY good. as far as flavor, as this one warms, it is top notch...i look forward to tasting this in a side-by-side with others in the series. i dig a boozy barrel aged stout and this one is boozy for certain. a fun series. really nicely integrated vanilla. if you don't like the heat, then this is one that you should stay out of the kitchen with.

Photo of Texasfan549
5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of daveytheformer
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of johnbjaeger
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of bbadger
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of kk73
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of billyshears
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of mnbearsfan
5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.15/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: The beer itself has a dark brown hue with lighter, transparent brown edges. A small tan head forms on the initial pour but fades away without really leaving any lace.

Smell: The 18 year Elijah Craig comes through first, like my experience with the other barrel aged Eclipse beers. Molasses, vanilla, and oak are strong as well, with chocolate and coffee behind.

Taste: The Elijah Craig is a little bit more nuanced in the flavor. Dark chocolate, roasted malt, and coffee start a fairly strong imperial stout flavor. As soon as it starts turning sweet with vanilla and molasses notes, the bourbon and oak dry the flavor out and prevent it from moving too far in that direction. The bourbon really carries through to the finish. Interestingly, when I first tasted the Eclipse beers, I thought the flavor of the beer was quite strong, with the barrel flavor adding further depth. Now I notice the barrel flavor and feel the underlying stout might leave a little bit on the table.

Mouthfeel: For the style, the body feels to be in the middle of the spectrum. The carbonation is on the light side, trying to be creamy and smooth, but it could use some more carbonation.

Overall: This is another solid Eclipse that I am glad to have tried.

I am curious whether people who have given this beer such a great score have sampled it side by side with the Eclipse - Elijah Craig 12 year. There is not that big of a difference.

Photo of jacewg
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.75/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of korguy123
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 3268

A- Oily, midnight black pour with a finger width of short lived light tan head. Recedes to several swirls and gobs and a ring around the glass. Lacing is decent and the alcohol will not let go of the glass.

S- Bourbon, oak, slight char that mingles with coffee, brown sugar, espresso, molasses and a touch of licorice. The bourbon is mild and not overpowering. Smooth and warming in the nose.

T- Whoa mamma that is good. Right off the bat you get a super mellow, slightly warm bourbon followed by a light char taste and a touch of leather. Than the sweetness of vanilla and brown sugar kick in. Followed by bakers chocolate and a touch of coffee. There is a lingering bitter finish. The alcohol is turned way down in this. The bourbon really shines and lights the way for the rest of the beer to be as impressive.

M- Medium to full bodied. Creamy, velvety, smooth with a touch of carbonation and alcohol warmth.

O- This is remarkable. It's complex, and hearty and smooth and just luxurious. I set out to find any bottle of these variations and I think this was the one to get.

Photo of jvillefan
4.73/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: An extremely dark beer with a half finger white head.

S: A very intensely bourbon-y aroma with a ton of malt character.

T: Very hot with dark malt, bourbon, and oak in the foreground ground of the beer. In the back ground of the beer there is a subtle mint character. The high alcohol is noticeable in this beer.

M: Excellent retention. A slightly undercarbonation beer but that is to be expected from such a highly alcoholic beer.

O: Get it.

Photo of Hophead717
4.59/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pitch black with almost no head. Light lacing.

S: Sweet bourbon, chocolate, fig. A strong and dynamic nose.

T: Chocolate and bourbon upfront. Strong dark fruits mid-sip, yielding to a mildly roasty finish with hints of bourbon.

M: Medium body, slightly slick. Not heavy.

O: Awesome BA stout. Well-integrated bourbon. The finish is a bit too roasty for my taste, but overall the beer really kills it.

Photo of IPx
5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of ohtheguilt
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.73/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

2011 bottle #2300 split three ways.

A - Pours a very dark brown with a nice tan head. Decent retention and lots of lacing.

S - Chocolate, vanilla, toffee, coffee.

T - Vanilla, chocolate, toffee. Super complex and delicious.

D - Decent carbonation for the style and heavier nice body.

O - So good and complex. Very nice.

Edit:
2012 Version as well.
Reserve BR1
Tons of toffe, carmel, vanilla, barrel and a touch of anise. I think 12 is maybe even better than the 11. Great stuff. Scores Updated for the 2012 version.

Photo of will1256
5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of brotherloco
4.79/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz waxed bomber. 2011 Edition. Bottle #2932. Served in a snifter.

A vigorous pour gave me a very dark, opaque brown body topped by half a finger of dark tan foam. Dissipates to a frothy ring. A few strands of lacing.

Aroma of chocolate cherry cordial, banana, a bit of drywall dust from the wood. Melted vanilla-caramel swirl ice cream. Bourbon is at a real nice medium level, integrates with the sweet aroma and gives a booze kick. Smells amazing.

Flavor is stunning. Semi-sweet bakers chocolate meets sweet chocolate marshmallow. All of the melted icecream notes from the aroma are here too. Bourbon is present, tasty, and super well integrated. Dark fruit, smores, and roasted bitterness linger on in the aftertaste. Alcohol flavor emerges through the finish, but is nicely integrated. Definite heat after several sips.

Body hits a little above medium and carbonation a touch below. Velvety smooth and slick. Goes down way too easy.

I've had the pleasure to drink 7 variations of Eclipse and this is one is definitely my favorite so far. The booze is assertive, and the overall aroma and flavor is bourbon forward, but so damn well integrated with the base beer.

2012 Eclipse futures here I come...

Photo of oline73
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of nanobrew
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (20 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 569 ratings.