Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year)
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year)Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year)
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American Imperial Stout
Ranked #59
Ranked #219
4.47 | pDev: 7.38%
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
California, United States
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year)Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year)
Notes: Imperial Stout aged 200 days in an Elijah Craig bourbon barrel.
Reviews: 321 | Ratings: 2,016 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Bruno74200
4.81/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2015 vintage enjoyed in december 2019.
Very dark brown and very still.

Nose on the walnut, the chocolate, woody bourbon

The taste follows with honey, roasted espresso, chocolate, nuts like walnut and almonds. Lots of bourbon

Fine carbonation, velvety and semi-dry

Amazing stuff.

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Photo of Sandis
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2014 version poured into a snifter. I'm generally a fan of the Eclipse variants and this one, for me, does not disappoint. This version is well balanced. As others I am sure have noted, these beers don't come cheap but the quality warrants trying a version once in your life.

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

Bottle from 2015

A: Poured into a snifter to a black beer topped by a dense and rocky finger of light tan head which fades slowly to a collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing
S: Smells of chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, oak, vanilla and caramel.
T: Taste is fairly chocolatey up front with some coffee mixed in, some nice smoke and charred wood with some oak, caramel and vanilla and some burnt sugar. On the swallow there's more oak, roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, and slight smoke.
M: This beer is fairly full in body with a slightly creamy feel on the palate. Carbonation is good for the style and slightly effervescent while the beer has a drying finish.
O: Overall this is a really nice beer. It has some great flavors and complexity while also striking a great balance between all the different flavors. Nothing really stands out too tall over the other flavors. This is one to try if you can find it. It may be on the expensive side but it's worth it.

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

2012 vintage (BR/3"); drank 3/5/16 @ the Yarchives.

Brown/black appearance.

Small tan head; minimal lace.

Milk chocolate, bourbon & oak notes in the nose.

Medium thick, sticky mouthfeel.

Black coffee, oak & milk chocolate flavors up front; mild raspberry notes on the finish. Booze heat emerged as this warmed.

A complex, rich treat that was easy to quaff. Well done!

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.8/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

(on tap at Pinocchio's 9th anniversary event... served in a 5 oz snifter)

Rather mute and one-note, with only a little bourbon presence... big dominant flavor is that of a malty dark chocolate chip milk; luckily not a sweet and syrupy chocolate, but chocolate and little else... little roast, little char... I do fondly remember the delicious flavors of Elijah Craig 12-yr, and there was very little here to reminisce about... really dangerously smooth, with the alcohol very well hidden, but probably wouldn't buy a bottle

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In review is a 2012 Vintage.

A - Pitch black pour with moderate toffee lacing, lots of legs on the sides of the glass, sticky lacing, little to no carbonation.

S - Roasted chocolate malt, a hint of charcoal on the nose, bourbon, and a little bit of oak. The overall nose is extremely mellow (probably because of the age of the bottle).

T - Lots of roasty cocoa from start to finish, oak woodiness, delicate bourbon that's not overpowering in any way at all - perfectly blended, some small hits of black licorice, and ends with a mellow lingering roasted cocoa with light char, bourbon, and some black licorice on the very back end. No heat whatsoever on the way down

M - Full bodied with a silky/velvety feel on the tongue, lip smacking sticky on the lips.

O - This 2012 bottle is spectacularly impressive.

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Photo of csmrx7
4.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Straight brilliant. Nice to have stout that is so well executed, and without a tone of additives. So much going on and all of it from the base beer and barrel.

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Photo of BillRoth
4.49/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Bottling; # 3266. Picked up from Matt at Capone's at release. Cellared since then. Been saving this from a mixed case full of Eclipse back in the day.
Unsure if original or based on aging...but what I thought was going to be a powerhouse instead was a gentle sipper of immense complexity.
Am I huge fan of Elijah Craig bourbon, and was delighted with its characteristic enveloping vanilla, caramel sweetness and strains of resin from the barrel. The chocolate comes through in both nose and taste. Hints of citrus rind bitterness and molasses.
Had an attractive color with dark brown an hints/sparks of ruby in the light. No residual head/lacing... as might be expected. No ABV and very smooth carbonation; very slightly syrupy. Enhancement not a concern. Gentle sipper, seductively sweet and delicious.
FWIW...agree with others..there are many many good BA Imp Stouts out there these days. And I also get worried when more that $1/oz.
But I would still recommend this if you get a chance to grab a 2011.

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Photo of sjrider
4.39/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours an opaque brownish black color with quickly dissipating tan head and fair amount of residual lacing.Nose is very mild chocolate sweetness ,a bit of bourbon barrel and a touch of honey. Taste follows nose ,feels a bit on the thin side. Not quite a disappointment, but not the best value. Definitely a one and done, mainly due to cost.There are a whole lotta BA stouts out there for way less $$ that easily give this a run for the money.Don't get me wrong ,this is very,very good -just way over priced.

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Photo of fireazzi
4.94/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2015 bottle. Wow, amazing nose fudgey, very smooth. Thick just enough on the mouthfeel. Not boozy at all. Not too thick but looks nice and dark. Smells like classic Eclipse

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Photo of brewaddict
4.04/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 6/5/17. 2016 bottle

L - Pours a dark brown with a thin mocha colored head.
S - I get notes of milk chocolate sugary sweetness and bourbon.
T - Subtle chocolate flavors and honey sweetness on the finish. A bit of a weird aftertaste.
F - A little thin
O - Just not a lot going on here and there is little balance. Kind of a disappointment considering it's price and reputation. Not worth the hype.

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Photo of wulfie85
4.29/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured dark and thick. Aromas of oak, vanilla, whiskey, and dark chocolate. Drank very nice and smooth with the oak and dark chocolate flavors coming through well. Delicious

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

Pour is jet black, thick tan head. Aromas are led by the barrel, but the dark chocolate aromas are present, as is the honey.

The taste has the dark chocolate evolving to a rich cocoa flavor, which may be the combination of the dark chocolate flavors and the honey. Whatever it is, I absolutely LOVE it. There's also a boozy burn present, but it's well onto the back of the palate, and isn't overwhelming in any way.

I wish I'd purchased three bombers of this, because it is exceptionally well executed.

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Photo of BWood
3.78/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Solid stout here. Nice head and lace. The base beer is good enough. I don't get a great deal of smooth barrel here. Has a little bite. After taste is so so. I had another version a while ago that was much better. Can't remember the wax color.

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Photo of Stevem68
4.44/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark chocolate color. Aroma is mellow barrel with a touch of Carmel vanilla boozines. Flavor follows the nose. Nice chocolate with some char and a good Carmel vanilla bourbon flavor. A little thin but overall fantastic.

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Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.28/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Drank the 2012 bottle...Not sure how this one has not fallen off the BA Top 250 list. It was a solid BA Stout but I have had dozens of BA stouts that were better than this one. I recently had the Pappy Eclipse and it was better than this one. Shared with friends recently at a small share. Who knows...maybe the 2012 sat too long

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Photo of Buck89
4.17/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice looking beer with a nearly opaque color and a nice foamy tan head that lingered. Whiskey, coffee, cocoa, and caramel on the nose. The taste was a bit too much whiskey for me, but there was a nice sweetness and roastiness from the honey to balance things out. Not overly cloying, but essentially two dominant aspects (whiskey and honey) that battle it out. Definitely not subtle.

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Photo of wmartin
3.96/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had a 2017 bottle poured into a Teku and savored. Pours a little more viscous than most other beers, which I regard as a good sign.

It pains me to do it because I appreciate the effort that went into this beer, but I rate it a category below "world class".

This is a big, complex, and great beer, but it aims higher than it achieves. The 3 main components of this beer are plainly evident immediately upon drinking it: imperial stout, honey, and barrel-aging. This does give it a lot of complexity, especially as IS is complex to begin with and then you add honey and BA. But one flaw is that these 3 elements do not combine together to create something new. They exist side by side.

Another fault is the use of honey, which doesn't work as well as you would like. I love honey. Especially on hot biscuits where its cloying sweetness is the perfect foil to the starchy biscuit, especially with butter. With this beer, you get just the cloyingness, without really balancing anything. The honey also adds a definite silkiness to the mouth feel. Some people no doubt really like this silkiness, but I'd rather not have it.

I can't help think that the use of a different, more caramelized sweetener might have worked considerably better in fusing together the IS and BA flavors to create something really special. Something like maple syrup or brown sugar instead of honey.

On the plus side, they held the honey back enough so that it is not a sweet beer; it finishes with a strong and excellent bitterness. It has a world class finish, but then I remember the cloying honey flavor and that the BA flavors don't seem to add much, but just go along for the ride, and I realize there is room for improvement.

I hope to be in Truckee in December to try one of these on draft, but I am not currently planing to acquire more of this one.

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Photo of Radcpa
4.48/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2014 ventage - Very dark appearance with thin dark tan/brown head that desipates quickly. Aroma is a complex fruity with a hint of bourbon. Taste is very smooth bourbon and fruit without any hint of alcohol aftertaste. The aging is well worth the wait.

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Photo of ragnar3
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a taster. Bourbon, oak, some nice roasted malts and chocolate. Very well balanced overall, with a full bodied, solid mouthfeel. Well done beer!

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Photo of Sabtos
3.97/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Black with a dark tan fuzzy blanket.

Smell is almost smokey, spiced rye malt, with caramel, coffee and sweet bourbon.

Taste is powdered cocoa and dark chocolate with raisin and a mature bourbon character while not being hot, all over a full, thick body.

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Photo of haoquanlin
4.71/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

he flavor, though, surprised me; it doesn’t follow the aroma. I taste dry malt, pine needles, faint citrus. Slick mouthfeel, yet dries the tongue with some lingering cloying.

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Photo of Phineasco
4.77/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Ptch black, with nice fluffy khaki head.
Smell: Strong Bourbon smell, chocolate, roasted malts.
Taste: Bourbon, marshmallows, hot fudge Sunday.
Feel: Roasty and complex. The bourbon is not over powering.
Overall: Real smooth and easy drinking for a double digit Bourbon barrel aged imperial stout.

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Photo of KBlodorn
4.83/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Enjoyed a 2013 last night with my old man.

Everything about this beer just defined the word smooth, from the pour itself through to the finish. Nothing jumped out about any particular flavors, just tremendous balance throughout. The 3+ years of age (plus 12 year-old Elijah) have done this brew wonders, as the barrel has been tamed down to a wonderful subtleness. It shows itself just enough so you know you're drinking something barrel-aged, but that's all - something not often said about a big stout, such as this. In fact, considering the rather muted barrel and lighter, smoother viscosity, I could have probably drunk the entire bottle, which I normally can never do with any bomber. Curious how this tastes "fresh," but with the $30 price point, that's likely to only happen with trade.


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Photo of BeantownBrews
4.46/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black, light creme colored head with some minimal retention
Inviting, warm smells of sweet malt, honey, maple almost, some slight whiskey tones come through
Dark fruit, dark chocolate, raw honey, heavy oak/woody presence, finishes with a strong whiskey taste
Chewy feel but not quite as expected, a bit more syrupy than full bodied
Heavy on the barrel, I like it

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 99 out of 100 with 2016 ratings