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

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year)Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year)
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #65
Ranked #224
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: 325 | Ratings: 2,029 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of jmdrpi
jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

4.63/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 bottle, for BA Review #4,000

22 oz bottle, purple wax

Pours jet black, thin tan colored head. The bourbon flavors are really deep but mellow - vanilla, toasted marshmallow, honey, a little toffee. Nice dark malt flavors as well, bittersweet cocoa and espresso. Really smooth mouthfeel

Jan 23, 2021
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber from Washington

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

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, appearing opaque black in the glass with a thin dark khaki head that dissipates to a few patches with a slender ring around the glass; nearly still. Aroma of dark toasted malt, whiskey, molasses, mild dark stone fruit and caramel. Flavor is rich dark toasted malt, whiskey, caramel, dark chocolate and oaky vanilla. Medium bodied with moderate creaminess; light carbonation, but silky mouth feel. Wow, I'm a bit in shock. This was one a number of nearly ten year old stouts I found in the back of the basement. Most were drinkable, but all were clearly over the stage of improvement from aging. Not this one. I wasn't even going to review it due to its age until I tasted it. Although the near still pour was expected from great age, the aroma and flavor are outstanding. There is little or no oxidation nor other over-age flavors. The malt, chocolate and whiskey are all nicely integrated and fresh tasting. Whiskey is at a perfect level. I now wish I had continued to save this for the "special occasion" it was set aside for, this would have been an excellent bottle to share. I see that I paid a lot for this in 2012, but it was well worth it and now I wish I hadn't passed up other more recent versions due to the price point. This is a worthwhile splurge that held up superbly. Extra points for tasting so good at 8 years old.

Sep 21, 2020
Photo of beergoot
beergoot from Colorado

4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is from a 2015 edition of the 12-year Elijah Craig...

Ink black body; relatively thin yet dense and creamy light tan head. Light aroma of whiskey; faint traces of cocoa and roasted malt. Rich, malty flavor dense with milk chocolate, oak, and bourbon; vanilla. Heavy body; dense and oily; chewy and sweet tempered with a nice whiskey warmth.

I believe the aroma may have suffered some with five years of age, but the taste and mouthfeel really shine on this beer. The boozy character adds a nice balancing quality to the thick, rich sweetness of this imperial stout. I'm sure the honey greatly adds to the feel and taste. I must admit that this has been around for a few years, but at nearly $35.00 a pop, I wasn't too keen on taking a stab at this. In this case, I probably should have sucked it up and gone for it. Chances are I'll be checking out some of their other versions, plus there are some newer versions of the Eclipse stouts that are now calling my name. Oh, the humanity...

Sep 08, 2020
Photo of Chico1985
Chico1985 from Massachusetts

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

Loved this at 2-3 years old but a 5-year old bottle tasted phenomenal. Still well-carbonated and a bit more honey presence than I remember previously. On the whole kind of on the sweeter side but what an amazing bourbon barrel. Loads of flavor and very smooth for nearly 12%, considering the age on it this surpassed expectations on all fronts. Wish I had another cuz the 2015 vintage will keep on truckin for sure.

Jun 04, 2020
Photo of Bruno74200
Bruno74200 from France

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.

Dec 08, 2019
Photo of Sandis
Sandis from Minnesota

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.

Aug 01, 2019
Photo of SHODriver
SHODriver from North Carolina

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.

Jun 12, 2019
Photo of GuyFawkes
GuyFawkes from Illinois

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!

Mar 09, 2019
Photo of Bouleboubier
Bouleboubier from New Jersey

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

Dec 09, 2018
Photo of jzeilinger
jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

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.

Sep 09, 2018
Photo of csmrx7
csmrx7 from Canada (AB)

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.

Aug 29, 2018
Photo of BillRoth
BillRoth from Maryland

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.

Apr 01, 2018
Photo of sjrider
sjrider from California

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.

Mar 05, 2018
Photo of fireazzi
fireazzi from Massachusetts

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

Jan 24, 2018
Photo of brewaddict
brewaddict from California

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.

Jan 03, 2018
Photo of wulfie85
wulfie85 from California

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

Oct 16, 2017
Photo of ovaltine
ovaltine from Indiana

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.

Oct 02, 2017
Photo of BWood
BWood from California

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.

Sep 17, 2017
Photo of Stevem68
Stevem68 from Ohio

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.

Aug 27, 2017
Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
YodersBeerEmporium from Iowa

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

Jun 24, 2017
Photo of Buck89
Buck89 from Tennessee

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.

May 22, 2017
Photo of wmartin
wmartin from North Carolina

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.

May 16, 2017
Photo of Radcpa
Radcpa from Washington

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.

May 14, 2017
Photo of ragnar3
ragnar3 from Iowa

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!

May 01, 2017
Photo of Sabtos
Sabtos from Ohio

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.

Apr 23, 2017
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 99 out of 100 with 2029 ratings