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)

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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 jethrodium
4.42/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

650 ml bottle. 2011 vintage. Pours a dark cola brown with small light tan head settles to a ring, and leaves some light lacing on the glass. The aroma is big cocoa, bourbon, some marshmallow, vanilla, and toffee. The initial taste is sweet with mashmallow, cocoa, some bourbon and vanilla, toffee, caramel, and a bit of roastiness. A hint of alcohol on the finish. Medium body. Medium carbonation. Quite awesome. The flavors all come together quite nicely here. This was quite enjoyable, especially after the big letdown from the brandy. (537 characters)

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

Poured into my Darkness tulip.

Thick rich looking pour. Two full fingers of mocha head. Dissipates at a snail's pace. Some lacing is evident.

Smell is quite nice. Sweet molasses, vanilla, some light spice. Faint bourbon and some slight toasted coconut. Very appealing.

Fairly thick on the tongue. Almost chewy. Not as sweet as the smell. Roast is prominent up front, but not overly done. Some wood is picked up. Followed by dark chocolate. Booze warms the back of my throat, but I don't taste any. The aftertaste holds all the sweetness that I was looking for. Very drinkable.

I'm going to finish this bottle and see what else I can pick up. I tasted a little more of the toasted coconut I got in the nose after my bottle opened up. Very tasty beer. Looking forward to my next bottle to see how this develops. (815 characters)

Photo of phichifiji00
4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Almost black, subtle tan head, no lacing.

Smell: chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, oak, licorice.

Taste: chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, oak, honey.

Mouthfeel: full bodied, moderate carbonation, silky, smooth.

Overall: A tasty bourbon barrel aged beer. Lots of vanilla/chocolate flavors. Pretty complex. Well balanced. Very drinkable. (342 characters)

Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
4.19/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

White waxed neck, part of an Imperial Stout tasting on DL day 2012.

Appearance: Poured almost jet black with a fine tan head leaving modest lace.

Nose: Very rich with vanilla, oak, chocolate, coffee and fruit notes, along with a hint of hops. Complex and balanced.

Taste: Very nicely balanced, subtle bourbon flavor, coffee and chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Nice and heavy, the best mouth-filling imperial stout of the night.

Overall: this beer brings it all together, one where the total is greater than the sum of the parts. I enjoyed it more and scored it higher than the average of the individual scores. Would like to get my hands on more of this fine brew. (659 characters)

Photo of TheJollyHop
4.3/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured an opaque black into a wine glass.

Scents of vanilla, bourbon, oak, caramel sweetness, dark chocolate, and wisps of roast.

On the palate the alcohol is very well integrated. Creamy, carbonation is at a medium level, with a nice lingering flavor of dark chocolate and bourbon. This beer is extremely rich, and the Elijah Craig 18yr really adds depth without distracting from the flavors of the stout itself. Overall the desire to continue to drink this beer only increased as the the beer warmed up.

A pleasure to drink and well worth the purchase; definitely meant to be shared with others. (601 characters)

Photo of Heavenisbeer
4.65/5  rDev +5.7%
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. (1,210 characters)

Photo of CooperEllis
4.42/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz into Duck Rabbit snifter from Dajtai007 in a recent trade, thanks Daniel.

Great brew, really enjoyed all three phases here - first glass, through 3rd glass. As it warmed it opened considerably and a lot of the stout came forward.

Very creamy in the body despite a strong EC presence in the nose, and the taste. No bourbon in the body, not a hint of watery/oily - full bodied, creamy across the middle and crisp at the end with sharp bitterness and the caramel/alcohol flavors of the liquor.

The EC is strong in the nose, but there is also the strain of malt, a richness that comes through, a bit of bitter chocolate, slight dark fruit in the finish; dates.

(175th) (673 characters)

Photo of 2378GCGTG
4.42/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a duvel tulip

Appearance: Black in color with a 0.5 inch mokah head, no retention, but noticeable lacing

Nose: Molases, caramel, bourbon, oak, and vanilla.

Taste: Roasted malt, toffee, bourbon and oak, all followed by light chocolate and a coffee finish

Mouth: Velvetty and flowing on the palate though there is a slight acerbic note on the finish

Overall: An excellent stout, wish the mouthfeel was a bit smoother, but all in all I would definitely re-visit this if not for the price. (514 characters)

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

Pours with a thin cappuccino colored head, black, yet clear dark brown around the edges.

Dark and sweet milk chocolate covered dark fruit that was soaked in whiskey come to mind. Marshmallows and coffee make appearances as well. Fantastic.

Whiskey and a dry charred oak meet you at first sip. Not quite as luscious and supple as the nose would have you believe. Sweet alcohol, vanilla, bitter dark chocolate show themselves as you take your next taste. Harshness from oak and booze are overtaken by the rich deliciousness as you warm the beer and continue to enjoy. Had to bump from 4-4.5 here.

Does not come across thin to me, and certainly not viscous. While it is definitely dry, it still has nice body and richness. A very pleasant and inviting mouthfeel.

Very tasty beer. Perhaps could use a year or so to let the flavors settle and meld, temper the brash booze and char, but it's very tasty right now. Tasting partner mentioned it being somewhere between BCBS and Parabola, fairly apt way to put it. Well done. (1,020 characters)

Photo of Gfunk720
4.92/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

White waxed bottle, #2906. Out of my HFS stemware.

A- Pitch black. Pours with a nice tannish head that sticks around forever. Great lacing that just coats the glass.

S- Rich smells of sweet chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and bourbon. A very pleasant hint of oak, with a slight bit of heat. The barrel to base beer smell wise is pretty much perfect.

T- A thick sweet flavor initially fills the mouth. Intense notes of oak and bourbon come in, with well matched chocolate malt and roasted backbone. Really not much heat in the taste, just brilliant bourbon pairing.

M- Not sure how, but this is thicker than all of the other Eclipses. Carbonation is perfect, but it still could be just the slightest bit thicker. Certainly not bad by any means though.

O- Overall, this is one of the best barrel aged beers I've had in a while. The Buffalo Trace bottles really made me weary of the rest of the 2012 bottles, but this one is friggin stellar. After having almost all of the rest of the Eclipse series, this is definetly a stand out.

-Gfunk (1,037 characters)

Photo of keanex
3.98/5  rDev -9.5%
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. (518 characters)

Photo of xpimptastikx
4.26/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 White waxed bottle

A - Darkness with a finger of milk chocolate head, a thin sheet that sticks around and leaves some legs.

S - Alcohol heat, oak, vanilla, cocoa.

T - Nice roasted malts, cocoa, vanilla, toffee, bourbon, oak, light coconut, and a light dark fruit that falls perfectly into place.

M/D - smooth and creamy, slightly tannic from the barrel. A great treatment for the base beer, one of my favorites to date, and the only real complaint would be the alcohol present in the nose. (498 characters)

Photo of peacebone116
4.3/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage, bottle no. 3470. Poured into Delirium snifter at cold cellar temp.

A: Deep brown--almost black, with tan highlights. The coffee foam head recedes quickly with a little hiss.

N: Notes of coffee and sweet hot bourbon bellow forth at the rim. Further back, hints of chocolate, coffee, coconut and fresh fig and honey waft up.

T/M: The tastes follow the nose, with the addition of sweet caramelized sugar. The beer is hot and boozy, but not too heavy or syrupy. The carbonation is perfect, reminding you that, although there is a bourbon presence, this is in fact beer. There is a defined dryness to the beer, which compliments the heat.

Overall, the Eclipse is my favorite display of bourbon barrel-aged beer. Although this EC18 is the first Eclipse that I have reviewed, it is not my first one enjoyed. This version does seem to be a bit more hot than the others, which could imply that there is room to improve over time. I really like this one and look forward to future enjoyments. (1,001 characters)

Photo of Fux
4.82/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours oily and black as hell. Creamy brown head with quite a good retention.

S: Smell is delicious, sweet, deep and balanced. Vanilla, oak, chocolate, bourbon.

T: Taste is wonderful. Coffee, roasted malts, chocolate upfront, then sweet aromas from the barrel, vanilla, bourbon, cherry, candied red fruits, milk chocolate. The aromas are going by waves. Really long aftertaste on bitter dark chocolate.

M: Mouthfeel is really nice, creamy, smooth, not sticky. Strong body and long long aftertaste. Still very easy to drink.

O: Excellent BA stout, balanced, smooth, dense. Loved it! (588 characters)

Photo of Azurescens
4.23/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage bottle number 4470 poured into snifter on 3/4/2012

A: Pours black with light brown head. Decent head retention that leaves some lacing around glass.

S: Oak, alcohol, sweet dark malt, and a hint of dark fruit. The dark fruit aroma is interesting and was not present in the Eclipse Elijah Craig 12 I just had, this is also more roasty and intense. Some vanilla, bourbon and caramel are present as well.

T: Quite rich and flavorful, loaded with roasted malt, oak, vanilla, chocolate and dark fruit. Some nice creaminess, bourbon and caramel towards the finish.

M: Smooth but with a slight sharpness that was not present in the EC12 version. Low-moderate carbonation and finishes slightly sweet.

O: Great barrel aged imperial stout, I prefered the Elijah Craig 12 version ever so slightly more than this one. While this has some nice dark fruit notes and is slightly more intense, it is not quite as smooth or drinkable. Enjoyed both versions a lot and very glad I got the chance to sit down and review these. (1,023 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 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 rxdrewthejew
4.43/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was third in my series of 50/50 tasters at Blue Palms last night.

Appearance is basically the same as that of the 12 year. Nothing special, just looks like the average stout. The nose is actually pretty mild, not nearly as sweet smelling as the 12 year. Deep heavy scent with bourbon and chocolate. The first sip is startling though. The boozyness really jumps out, almost to the point of being harsh. I was initially a bit shocked at just how strong the whisky character was in this beer. However, as I got used to it, the flavor mellowed out and revealed a slightly darker, more mature and less sweet version of the 12 year. Mouthfeel was a bit on the sharp and boozy side, but not unpleasantly so. I thought the 12 was better, but this was really good and I wonder if aging would serve this one well. (809 characters)

Photo of Cinderbike
4.57/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - black, opaque, thin tab head that easily fades.
S - oak, vanilla, bourbon, coconut, almond
T - roast, dark chocolate, vinous / port wine, alcohol heat
M - thankfully, thicker than the 2010. Not syrupy but very thick
O - a great RIS. This is up there with Parabola and Black Tuesday in my top 3. (298 characters)

Photo of mkotsayfan
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter. Pours a deep dark black with a nice half finger dark mocha colored head. Very nice aroma, with coconut, licorice, along with some dark fruits and chocolate. The taste has similar characteristics as the aroma, along with some bourbon from the barrel aging. There is a slight amount of heat but it's not overwhelming by any means. Mouthfeel is fantastic, nice and silky smooth with just enough chewiness/thickness that an imperial stout should have. Also has a medium amount of carbonation, just enough but not too much.

A fantastic beer, always a fan of the silky smooth stouts with nice complex flavors. There is a little bit of heat, this could be an even more amazing beer with a year on it (this review was for a 2011 vintage, which has only been on shelves about a month). (819 characters)

Photo of dgugliuzza
4.92/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from bottle into an oversized snifter

Pours black with a half inch thick of creamy tan colored head. Long head retention for a barrel ages stout. Sticky lacing remains along the sides of the glass.

The smell is nothing short of divine. Bourbon, vanilla and honey notes are rich and plentiful. They all blend together to create an insanely rich and balanced barrel aged profile. The honey contributes sweetness while the bourbon oak adds an oaky, vanilla bouquet.

Tastes follows the smell and it is certainly an awing sensation. Sweet bourbon flavor followed by vanilla and bitter oak. Rich and chocolaty with some warming heat at the back end. I love the infusion if honey in the flavor profile. It is a perfect compliment to bourbon and all the other rich flavors going on here.

Medium-full in body with a creamy smooth mouthfeel. Light carbonation. Very drinkable considering all the bold, complex flavors. I'm taking my time, however, to savor every drop.

This is the only version I've had so far of the Eclipse stouts, and it certainly lived up to all the high marks. Every ingredient and flavor has a purpose. I would not imagine this getting any better with age. This beer is really aided by the fresh hot bourbon. Not sure about all the bottle variation talk, but this was a world class drinking experience for me. (1,333 characters)

Photo of PatrickSwayze
4.77/5  rDev +8.4%
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   (437 characters)

Photo of wd40
4.57/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle 3140/2011
Sampled August 2013

Excellent chocolate brown stout. Pours a thin one finger head with a vigorous pour. Lots of vanilla and chocolate and bourbon in the nose. Taste is similar with a few hints of coffee in the background. Just a little bit of heat from the alcohol, but it actually is kind if nice. Mouthfeel is very smooth. Not very carbonated but not flat. A nice and subtle carbonation the lifts and dries the thick viscous liquid that coats the inside of the mouth. Overall a real winner. (510 characters)

Photo of HoppySuds
4.8/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at the Blue Palm's Eclipse release party

A - Black, thick looking, a thin head leaves as much lacing as it can on the glass. It looks like a great imp stout

S - Sweetness of brown sugars, a great bourbon smell, more then the 12yr but diffidently not too much. Roasted malts and vanilla finish off the nose.

T - Flavors blend so nicely! Roasted malt, vanilla and a clean bourbon hint rounds out the sweetness.

M - The mouthfeel on this stout is by far one of the best I've had. Creamy, full bodied, and very rich.

O - This beer was amazing! I tasted the 12yr, 18yr, and the Four Roses. All were great, with just slight differences in flavor and levels of bourbon. This one has slightly more bourbon flavors which I really enjoyed. I'm sure this beer will cellar well and continue to get better with age. (823 characters)

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