1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

542 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 542
Reviews: 152
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 8.28%
Wants: 320
Gots: 274 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 542 | Reviews: 152 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jegross2
jegross2

Illinois

4.73/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reviewing the Imperial Eclipse Stout (Elijah Craig 18 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Company out of California
Score: 97

2011 vintage bottle, number 4733. Served in a Kate the Great snifter, shared with Robbie Moy and enjoyed on 06/03/12.

Appearance: Pours a jet black color with a finger and a half of foamy dark khaki head that settles to a thin layer atop the glass. Amazing lacing, amazing retention, excellent cling. 5/5

Smell: Super smooth, inviting and balanced. Rich milk chocolate, fudge, raisin and sweet vanilla. A modest amount of red licorice too. A lesser amount of caramel, touch of coffee and a hint of sweet honey. A lot of complex chocolate flavors dominate the nose. 5/5

Taste: Upfront is sweet chocolate and a little licorice, following by fig and raw chocolate. There's some nice honey sweetness on the midpalate. There's some fudge mixed in throughout, and some brown sugar towards the finish. Not a whole lot of vanilla, maybe just a hint. A lot less licorice in the flavor compared to the nose. Chalky sweet fudge flavor aftertaste. A really excellent

Mouthfeel: Not quite full bodied, minimal carbonation. Not quite oily, not quite creamy, not quite syrupy, but some combination of all three for the mouthfeel. Extremely dry, almost chalky, finish with mild chocolatey sweetness lingering. 4.5/5

Overall: This is a knock out imperial stout. At $30 a bottle, it is not cheap, but if you are going to drop that kind of bread on a beer this is exactly how you would expect and want it to taste. I would not hoard this beer, but I would absolutely trade for another to replenish my cellar before it's impossible to find.

Recommendation: Everyone should seek a bottle out.

Pairings: Poundcake or s'mores.

Cost: $30 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2012 01:42:26 | More by jegross2
Photo of hilgart1
hilgart1

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

11-10-2012 06:39:49 | More by hilgart1
Photo of notchucknorris
notchucknorris

California

4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Oily and black with a thin light brown head. Tons of lacing down the glass. Really good stuff.

S: Rich aromas of coconut, milk chocolate, bourbon, toffee and fudge. I could smell this all day. Truly incredible.

T: Nearly as good as the aroma. Coconut and some chocolate sweetness upfront, caramel, some honey and a touch of roasted malt and coffee on the finish. The slightest touch of bitterness at the end. Mouthfeel is absolutely perfect. Slick and velvety without being syrupy. I love this beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2012 07:40:26 | More by notchucknorris
Photo of CuriousMonk
CuriousMonk

Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage (#4736). Poured from 750ml bottle into a tulip glass. Pours dark black with a medium tan head that quickly dissispates into a thin lacing that lasts well throughout. Aromas of roast nuts, some bourbon, brown sugar, and oak. Light Elijah Craig bourbon heat upfront in the flavor along some coffee and perhaps figs. There is a distinct sweet smell that is difficult for me to pinpoint. Slightly bitter back finish. Medium mouthfeel. Damn smooth and tasty beer. I will have this beer again and do want to try the other Eclipse variants.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2012 21:17:11 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of hoppymcgee
hoppymcgee

Connecticut

4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

03-07-2012 02:48:10 | More by hoppymcgee
Photo of jampics2
jampics2

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

01-09-2013 00:35:07 | More by jampics2
Photo of inlimbo77
inlimbo77

Delaware

4.48/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle. Forgot to right the bottle number down that night. Poured into my Victory Golden Monkey tulip.

A: Pours a pitch black RIS style color. Didn't get a ton of head on this one. About a quarter finger of lighter tan head, that faded pretty darn quickly.

S: This smells delicious. Lots of sweet vanilla. Definitely pulling some of those BA notes along with the vanilla: Caramel and Toffee. Deep flavors.

T: Up front I got the nice dark chocolate bitterness. In the middle of the mouth you really start to get those barrel notes. That EC 18yr is no joke. You get a smooth vanilla and caramel sweetness. It's not overly sweet and blends nicely with the chocolate/coffee bitterness that you initially got. As it warmed, I was also pulling some toffee for sure. Long finish on this one. Wanted more immediately.

M: It's full bodied, but not completely thick an cloying. Perfect mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2012 15:23:46 | More by inlimbo77
Photo of akang
akang

California

4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

04-24-2014 05:36:26 | More by akang
Photo of sholland119
sholland119

Pennsylvania

4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle #5268.

A-Dark opaque brown black with a frothy black cherry mocha head that has great retention and good lacing.

S-Bourbon sweetness, lots of vanilla and oak but not overly boozy. Pretty approachable.

T-Reasonably hot but not unpleasant in any way. Lots of oak and toasted marshmallow, just a great bourbon character with a nicely flavorful stout underneath. I like the relative lightness of the stout but that it is still strong enough to hold its own with the barrel.

M-Medium bodied, not syrupy or cloying, heat is kept nicely in check.

O-Really excellent. Very well put together.

HV

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2012 01:21:18 | More by sholland119
Photo of oglmcdgl
oglmcdgl

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -10.5%

03-03-2013 07:57:38 | More by oglmcdgl
Photo of Adamostella
Adamostella

Washington

4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

08-19-2013 03:51:09 | More by Adamostella
Photo of peensteen
peensteen

Ontario (Canada)

4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

10-27-2013 20:22:56 | More by peensteen
Photo of MinorThreat
MinorThreat

Nebraska

4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

05-06-2013 15:42:47 | More by MinorThreat
Photo of crossovert
crossovert

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

650ml white-waxed bottle. Bottle # 4224.

It pours a thick, viscous dark blackish brown with a tall foamy but frothy tan head that dissipates with a few skids of lacing. A thick tan froth sits atop the beer.

The smell is amazing. It is hot but in a pleasant bourbony way. The bourbon explodes in the smell, nice hints of wood, caramel, and vanilla dominate. There is a noticeable pronounced fruitiness that is rich and intoxicating. The base stout comes through as well with some cocoa richness and bready but dark, roasty malts.

The flavor is dominated by bourbon in a good way, but the stout isn't lost. The initial flavor is bourbon and wood, rich, complex layers of wood and vanilla project over a nicely bitter stout base. The heat isn't overwhelming, but it is a key component in the flavor profile. There is a fruitiness again here that is devilishly good. Mid to late palate brings the chocolate and roastiness and it is fantastic, the finish is sweet.
edit: initially I flossed over the honey part but I have to say somehow this also has a hint of Baerenjaeger in it.

I have never had a barrel aged beer that had this pronounced and fresh of a bourbon flavor. Normally I hate beers because the bourbon-forward, but this one has changed my mind or something, maybe it just speaks to the expertise of this particular brewery with barrel aging.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2012 00:10:16 | More by crossovert
Photo of JRod1969
JRod1969

New York

4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

02-19-2012 05:04:59 | More by JRod1969
Photo of SpdKilz
SpdKilz

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

01-18-2013 04:07:29 | More by SpdKilz
Photo of charlzm
charlzm

California

3.3/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Consumed Saturday, January 7, 2012 at Blue Palms Brewhouse, Hollywood, CA.

Beer is opaque black with a nice tan head a finger tall.

Aroma is boozy - bourbon, rum and hint of vanilla.

Flavor is almost wholly dominated by the booze. Alcohol warmth suffuses each sip. Aftertaste is salty and woody. Very little character of the base beer makes it through.

Mouthfeel is warm and a little thick.

I prefer the base beer to this one, I'm afraid.

Serving type: on-tap

01-14-2012 18:53:12 | More by charlzm
Photo of 2beerdogs
2beerdogs

California

4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

03-09-2012 01:21:12 | More by 2beerdogs
Photo of AleWatcher
AleWatcher

Illinois

4/5  rDev -10.5%

01-20-2013 14:06:18 | More by AleWatcher
Photo of jaasen64
jaasen64

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

07-04-2013 02:35:03 | More by jaasen64
Photo of Photekut
Photekut

Tennessee

4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

05-19-2013 13:34:13 | More by Photekut
Photo of adamette
adamette

Ohio

4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
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

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2012 03:54:33 | More by adamette
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim

New York

4.8/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to ipa247 for this one. 2011 vintage. #453. Poured into a Cigar City snifter. Shared with schen9303.

.5 finger dark mocha head with no retention. Beer is pitch black. Lacing is stringy and spotty with little stick. Oily, thick legs. Average.

Nose blows me away. Dense, yet rich and aromatic booziness. Barrels are very apparent but they really enhance the molasses, chocolate, fudge, dark fruit, and roast. Really nice.

Opens sweet dark fruit, molasses, chocolate, and fudge. Booziness lingers in the back, sharpening each flavor and enhancing it. More sweetness at the back end with some roast and more chocolate. End is molasses sweetness. Slight booze on the finish. Perfect.

Medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Oily, slick, and smooth in the mouth and goes down warm, yet silky. Finish is messy with a lingering aftertaste. A perfect complement to the flavor.

This is a close contender for the best of the 50/50 Imperial Eclipses and that's saying a lot given the quality of all these beers. This beer is incredible from beginning to end. From the nose, to the flavor, to the feel that ties it all together. Gotta get more of these!

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2012 23:48:41 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of CelticAleMan
CelticAleMan

California

4/5  rDev -10.5%

08-21-2012 01:14:55 | More by CelticAleMan
Photo of brotherloco
brotherloco

California

4.8/5  rDev +7.4%
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...

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2012 02:42:34 | More by brotherloco
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (20 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 542 ratings.