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

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286 Reviews
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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year)Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.90%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Imperial Stout aged 200 days in an Elijah Craig bourbon barrel.

Added by Jmoore50 on 12-29-2009

BEER STATS
Reviews:
286
Ratings:
1,807
Avg:
4.43
pDev:
19.19%
 
 
Wants:
848
Gots:
760
For Trade:
55
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 286 | Ratings: 1,807
Photo of fatsnowman22
4.78/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A - nice tan head dissipates quickly to a pencil thin ring. great barrel presence

S - cocoa. dark chocolate, slight cinnamon, bright bourbon

T - everything very balanced and nuanced. caramelized brown sugar, chocolate, bitter chocolate

M - coats the tongue without being thick. spot on

O - phenomenal brew with great balance and a myriad of things going on. if someone detected something and told you i am sure you could find it

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.77/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I would be a liar if I said I was not entirely over joyed to be able to crack open this purple wax seal last night. Bottle #1152, I have only previously had the Pappy version which was outstanding. But this was a whole new level. Served damn near room temperature for most of the session, this one was
consumed on 07/11/2010.

Pours dark as night, abyss like with no color coming through and the viscosity of oil. Small head of tan peaks up fro just a moment before settling back down to earth and leaving a mostly bare top that had some decent lacing down the glass,
but never really did recover.

Aroma is deep vanilla and boozy notes. Hits you like a ton of bricks right from the start. Amazing depth here, dark chocolate goo, rich roasted coffee that provides a touch of bitterness to the back end. Toffee, wood notes and as it really hit its peak a dark fruit that almost came across kind of smoky. Rich, thick profile, really like chewing on it as it goes down and you feel every drop of this one. Vanilla leads that charge with a soaking dose of whiskey and cocoa. Extremely mean flavor as each sip wanted to destroy my body on me, really un cool, but I wanted it. Final taste was a long boozy vanilla that mixed well with a light coffee bitterness to seal the deal.

Overall really just a great, great beer. I am not sure what more you could ask for in a BA RIS, other then a bit bigger of a look. But damn, this one laid me out.

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Photo of ISmith87
4.77/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - 5.0 - This is an amazing looking beer. Brown/black opaque beer with a nice mocha head that is very fine and sticks around.
S - 4.75 - Tons of bourbon, chocolate, cocoa, caramel, vanilla, sweet cream. It smells very sweet and a little boozy.
T - 4.75 - At first you get a lot of bourbon and booze, but then it gives way to chocolate, cocoa, woody and smokey characteristics. Caramel and vanilla are in there but very faint. You can definitely tell this is barrel aged as it's very smooth despite the ABV.
M - 4.75 - Thick, chocolate milkshake type mouthfeel. Little bit boozy, but at 11.9% ABV it's reasonable. The aftertaste is a nice roasty, chocolate/coffee.
O - 4.75 - I went back and forth on the idea of buying this for a while. It's very readily available but so expensive.

There's two ways to look at this.

FIRST - A lot of people wouldn't think twice about spending this much on a bottle of wine or hard liqour. In addition to that, it's barrel aged for at least 3 months, and then most of the bottles on the shelf are early 2012 or 2013 (they probably sit because they're expensive) so they're already aged for basically another year or two. This could be aged for a long time and would probably only get better. So looking at it like that, it's reasonable.

SECOND - For the price of this beer (28.99 + tax), you could easily make a good batch of homebrew, or buy multiple 22 ounce bombers or six packs of something else. It's really expensive.

IN CONCLUSION - I'd say it's worth it if you really care about trying different kinds of beer. Maybe it's just the mystery of what a 30 dollar beer really tastes like, but I had to get this out of my system to be satisfied. And in addition, I could probably never get an elijah craig barrel to age an imperial stout in, and that's assuming I could make an imperial stout this good in the first place, which I haven't had the patience to do yet. I wouldn't buy it again, but I'm glad I got it to try just once.

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Photo of Omnium
4.77/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bomber into a sniffer glass
A. Black cherry color with a finger of khaki head, little lacing.
S. Some dark fruits, fig, black cherry, coffee, rich roasts, sweet malts.
T. Smooth toasted caramel rich subtle chocolate light malt roasts creamy smooth . Slight alcohol flavor. Light ly woody some subtle dark fruits. Just incredible.
M. Smooth and rich no detection of the nearly 12% abv. Velvety texture.
O. Split this with 4 friends and its one of the best things I've ever had. Incredible balance of rich flavor

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Photo of gtermi
4.76/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: This beer is black as night. Even when it is held up to light, there is no way of even slightly seeing through it. It has a pretty thin tan head and it leaves a lot lace on the glass. The head never fully goes away.

S: Wow, this smells like I am about to drink a glass of Bourbon. There are some roasted malt and alcohol on the nose, but really the bourbon smell is way too over-powering.

T: At first its just like a glass of bourbon.... but then the beer lingers and lingers and lingers. After the beer moves past the bourbon, it starts to get a nice vanilla taste to it... Then after that I get some roasted malt and then after that, I start to get a sweet caramel. It is such an amazing taste.

M: For as strong and as much alcohol as this beer has, it is beyond smooth. It has hardly any burn to it and leaves a slight dry feeling in my mouth. A perfect mouthfeel for this style of beer.

O: I was very shocked at how awesome this is. The smell really turned me off at first, but once you drink it and then smell it, it compliments the beer. This for sure belongs in the top 100 beers.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Didn’t expect very much from this beer (I don’t know exactly why) but it was a really nice surprise. Big bourbon smell with some alcohol notes but not disturbing. Complex taste with some honey, coconut and vanilla. Not too sweet though, very balanced. Thick and creamy. Excellent!

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Photo of srandycarter
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%

2011 Version brewed with honey. Purple top. Can't really tell if this is the correct one.

A - Dark, dark brown, almost black with small reddish hue. Hardly and lace or head.

S - Booze and coffee. Yep, soy sauce is there too.

T - Delicious. Big bold flavors.

M - Just enough carbonation, just enough bitter to quell the sweet. Finish is boozy but surprisingly clean.

D - Yum.

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Photo of Corkpuller
4.74/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Impressive complexity and mouthfeel. Just a hair drier than most imperial Stouts, but anything but thin. It's expensive yes. But it's also amazing.

oh, also has the best balance of barrel flavors with the base beer.

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Photo of phisigben
4.74/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage served in a snifter

Its pours pitch black, with a deep dark mocha colored head it leaves only a finger width head that dissipates quickly and leaves a ring of lacing. The bourbon is up front but it isn't over powering as other 50/50's I also get some chocolate, a hint of vanilla, and a good oak aroma. The taste is absolutely amazing with most other BA stouts the barrel aging overpowers the other flavors of the stout with this beer the other flavors from the base stout like chocolate, vanilla, and roasted flavor come through and complement the barrel aging. The mouthfeel is good a little viscous but not out of line for the style a little more carbonation could have made this better. Overall this is one of the best aged stouts that I have ever had.

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Photo of CHickman
4.73/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2015 Vintage, Bottle Run 2: into a snifter, it pours blood red color as it's leaving the bottle but looks black in the glass with a 1 finger foamy tan/brown head that was full of tiny bubbles, dissipating very slowly and leaving good spotty lacing that slides down on the side I drank from and foamy rings on the other side.

Smells of chocolate, bourbon, oak barrels, peat moss, coffee grinds, cocoa powder, espresso, vanilla, smoked grains, charred wood, hot fudge or brownies, earthy notes and some faint piney hops. The bourbon is very present but not dominating, letting the smoked malts and chocolate malts swirl into a complex and wonderful aroma. Like the other FiftyFifty Eclipse variants I've had, this aroma was excellent and what I expected.

Tastes similar to the nose with rich chocolate, bourbon, oak barrels, peat moss, coffee grinds, Hershey's chocolate syrup, cocoa powder, espresso, vanilla, and then some fruity notes like raisin, dates and plums, wet tobacco, brown sugar, molasses, candied sugar or Belgian yeast, and then more vanilla and coffee. The Elijah Craig bourbon whiskey taste is distinct and meshes so well with the roasted malts, barrel notes and hop accents that it leans towards the spirit flavors slightly over the beer base. After each swallow the vanilla shows up again along with toasted coconut, maple syrup, brown sugar and smoked grains. The longer it sits the better it gets, and the hops come out more with some piney notes, lemon zest, tea leaf and peppery spices. The ABV is masked completely and this is a slow sipper that I wanted to somehow drink at a pace below slow so more dynamic flavors could come out an hour later. That didn't work out (slowing it down), but this was a great brew which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Mouthfeel is creamy and buttery smooth to the point of being slick as it slides down with mild carbonation, a light alcohol burn and a thick, chewy feel that makes the body seem heavy even though it's only medium to heavy. There is a slight bitterness that's coffee-esque, with a finish that trails off on the sweet side and has a nice mix of cocoa, brown sugar, piney hops, toffee, bourbon, smoked wood and vanilla. It fades like a Frappuccino with a shot of bourbon in it and a sprinkle of dry citrus hops and roasted chocolate malts. It really was a pleasure to dink and a beer I highly recommend and will seek out again.

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Photo of yamar68
4.72/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to corregidore for this one, along with an 18 year! Been hunting for this one for a while. 2011 vintage, #3,307, poured from bottle to brandy snifter:

Pours a near pitch black... maintaining a slight bit of dark copper clarity. A thin half-finger of light brown head fades out to a neat collar. Great, oily lacing. Nice looking beer.

Tons of lush honeycomb and caramel cake on the nose... super refined, just a suggestion of booze comes with a big snort. Rich bourbon without the heat.

Holy hell... fantastic. It's nice that this is 9.5% because it allows for a smooth bourbon character that isn't accompanied by too much alcohol which sometimes can trick your mind into tasting heat from the bourbon itself. Honey and caramel play key roles. Exceptionally drinkable for a BA imperial stout.

One of the most unique and delicious beers I've ever had.

ISO.

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Photo of waltonc
4.72/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I'm a big fan of Elijah Craig bourbon so it's great to have a chance to try a stout aged in EC barrels.

A: Pours non-opaque dark brown without a great deal of head. Some lacing lingers after the pour.

S: lots of bourbon, vanilla, chocolate and oak.

T: One of the better-tasting barrel-aged stouts I have had. Heavy bourbon in this, but it works. Fairly sweet, with plenty of vanilla, toffee, and chocolate character. No heat, and not particularly boozy. Little hop presence. So right up my alley, as I don't care for hoppy stouts (e.g., some Abyss vintages), and get annoyed when crazy high ABV beers are bottled in bombers or 750s.

M: As with all Eclipses, this is medium-bodied and will slightly disappoint those who think a barrel aged stout is required to be thick. Great in my opinion, though. Carbonation is light to moderate.

D: Overall, one of the best bourbon barrel-aged stouts I have had. Love all the different barrel treatments Fifty Fifty is doing with this.

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Photo of SaulFox
4.71/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2012 Vintage 9.5%
Coke a cola type color. No head, minimal carbonation.
Chocolate brownies, brown sugar, vanilla, oak, bourbon.
Dark fruits, raisins, fudge, charred oak, lasting bourbon.
Medium to heavy mouthfeel that coats the mouth. Minimal bitterness.
Glad I didn't miss the opportunity to have this 2012 in a trade. Due to the $30 price tag, I can only see myself enjoying this every couple of years. Decadent treat!

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.71/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

look: Dark dark brown as an Imp Stout should be, nearly opaque. Some cola highlights. Big ass tan head for a nearly 12%'r and thick creamy lacing.
smell: Like the other variants, a big rich nose. A characteristic honey and roast creamy nose with the nice bourbon addition.
taste: Perfect companion to the nose. All those flavors in a wonderful blend. My favorite variant so far.

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Photo of largadeer
4.7/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 batch.

Dark and opaque chocolate brown in color, topped by a tiny 1/4 inch head that quickly settles to the thinnest of rings. There's faint translucency around the edges.

The Elijah Craig bourbon barrel imparted a huge mark on this beer - it absolutely reeks of sweet caramel, vanilla and oak. While the Heaven Hill Rye and Jack Daniels versions of this beer have well-integrated and somewhat balanced barrel characters, this one is dominated by bourbon. The chocolatey, roasty, bready base beer is still present, but it's more of a foundation for the incredible aromas the barrel has imparted.

It's equally bourbon-forward on the tongue, opening with flavors of maple syrup, dark fruit, vanilla and honey. The mid-palate brings out a balancing roastiness, hints of licorice and burnt toast. The body is medium-full and creamy, though not especially viscous or oily. The finish is bittersweet and hot, like a liqueur-filled chocolate.

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Photo of 4thelvofbeer
4.7/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Awesome. Period. This was my first of the many eclipses, the EC12 was smooth and absolutely delicious!
A:Black, nice thin brown head.
S/T: Notes of smooth bourbon, honey, vanilla, molasses, and chocolate!
M: Really smooth, silky and nice...
O: I love this stout...really tasty!

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Photo of brockdidntslide
4.7/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Best imperial stout i have ever had. Had Just the correct amount of the excellent bourbon flavor without making it so overwhelming that you miss the other flavors of the stout in the beer.

Just a terrific job here fifty-fifty. It's a little on the expensive side, but still well worth it in my book.

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Photo of Ynot2
4.7/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first review and it is a winner.

Pours into a tulip glass a deep dark black with a faint line of tan foam.

A wonderful aroma of chocolate, vanilla, caramel, Bourbon and oaks.

The first taste matches the aroma, sweet vanilla and chocolate melded with a smooth bourbon taste. Nothing overwhelms other flavors in this complex beer.

A rich fairly full profile, sweet but enough bourbon to not be too sticky.

Very drinkable especially for a beer with this level of bourbon.

I liked this beer more as it came up to temperature, the aromas and the flavors just kept improving.

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Photo of joe1510
4.69/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

22oz Bomber

Cheers to Rockstein for splitting this bomber with me! 50/50 is a black hole of a beer, the room darkens and my smile widens with the pour. The milk chocolate head rises super late from the black body to a cap of foam after the pour. After a few minutes in the snifter the head settles to a thin ring and leaves little chunky lacing behind with each small swirl of the glass. The looks alone tell me this is a stout to be reckoned with.

It would be tough for more complexity to be jammed into the nose of this stout. The bourbon barrel qualities pop through first with sweet, lightly spiced bourbon, handfuls of toasted coconut, and vanilla galore. Soon after come the hugely complex stout characteristics. Butterscotch and a plethora of dark fruits make up for the main body with a somewhat sweet, somewhat spicy bourbon finish.

The flavor profile somehow manages to trump the incredibly rich nose. The barrel characteristics I mentioned in the nose go expertly hand in hand with the huge stout body. Butterscotch works from front to back but isn't overly sweet like in most other stouts that bring butterscotch. The dark fruits roll through mid palate after the barrel aging characteristics start to fade and integrate into the overall flavor. There is a crazy cotton candy like airy sweet finish that wraps this beer up beautifully. A touch of spiciness from the bourbon lasts for a few seconds after each swallow. The complexity of this beer comes together amazingly well. There is no part that dominates the others.

Just like the other aspects of this beer the mouthfeel has been nailed. The body is thick, rich and coating but fades a few seconds after each sip. A lot of these big stouts are sticky sweet but this one walks the line perfectly. A touch of warmth on the swallow cuts what sweetness is present and makes for a luxurious mouthfeel.

I could easily sip the night away with this 50/50. The balance between sweet and heat & barrel and stout make a great compliment to one another. It's rare that you run across a stout that's this big, robust, and complex that's so easy to drink.

50/50 Elijah Craig is one of the best stouts I've had in recent memory. I could easily live with a few more of these floating in my fridge. This is a stout worth seeking out without a doubt. Thanks again for the pour, Dave!

Reviewed: 2/25/10

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Photo of jrallen34
4.69/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I drank this originally from a tasting glass at NotB then re-reviewed and scored off a bottle from Nate on 3/20/2011... The beer pours a super dark black, hardly any head though. Poor lacing... The aroma is great, chocolate brownies, vanilla, bourbon finish. Not decadent or overstated, very restrained. Outstanding... The taste is superbly balanced, tastes great, and easily crushable. Fudge brownies, vanilla, light bourbon, a nice warm alcohol sensation in the middle, and the finish has some nice roasted coffee notes. The full spectrum is displayed and perfectly integrated. I had the PVW last weekend I think I almost prefer this, would love to do a side-by-side comparison.

I originally rated this a 4.6, this time its deservedly higher.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.68/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Purple wax. Bottle number 2521, 2011 vintage. Poured into a snifter.

A- Pours pretty damn near black, mahogany highlights at the edges when held to light. Capped with a thin creamy tan head that eventually settles to a thin collar. Good lacing.

S- First thing is bourbon, a bit smoky, behind it is some fruit, molasses, and thick roasted malts with coffee and a bit of dark chocolate.

T- Malt and bourbon flavors are competing from the get go. The first thing I'm tasting is chewy, cake-like roasted malts with a lot of chocolate and a bit of coffee, wrestling with a smoky bourbon with vanilla and oak. The bourbon on this beer is perfect, it provides just a bit of alcohol burn towards the finish but doesn't overpower the other flavors, it's really spot-on. Underneath this there's a fruity layer, with raisins, figs and dates.

M- Full-bodied, thick and chewy, smooth feel, carbonation is on the lower side but is perfect for this beer. Alcohol isn't intrusive on the flavor and provides a nice warmth as you drink.

O- I can't remember the last time I had an Imperial Stout like this, take this as a benchmark of what the style should be and how to barrel age a beer. Totally delicious.

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Photo of Phigg1102
4.68/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Jet black with a very thin cap, but more than I commonly see in BA stouts. Bourbon is pronounced but not obnoxious. Tons of caramel and vanilla in the nose with heavy roasted malt and chocolate. The taste doesn't have the sickly soy sauce like sweetness that can bury these beers for me. Thick, viscous feel without leaving too much sweetness in the finish.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.67/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter glass. BR 1 - 2012.

A real straightforward textbook looking large stout. Black walnut bodied in color, with a simple microscopic bubbled creamy head that forms. The head color manages a light mocha, light tan brown, and has a good amount of presence. A little tilt and you can see a little bit through it on the edges, and a good swish brings some leopard spotty lacing.

The nose hits with a large amount of fruit. It feels black berry, currant, creme de cassis, or some other dark black fruit, a light honey sweetness matching nicely in the background, I can't even tell this came from bourbon it's so fruity, it smells incredible. A little bit of char hides in the back. It smells incredibly creamy.

The palate feels so incredibly wonderful. The sweetness angle on this beer is just "perfect". High quality milk silky chocolate on the finish. The mid palate brings all that black fruit with a honey kiss of sweetness. There's some playful carbonation on the tip of the tongue at first, but alows the silky character to just come through. There is a wonderful sooty smoke component to this also, like you could blow black ash right out of your mouth.

Overall this drinks so easily, and is one of the most perfect sweet balanced big stouts I've ever had. Finished this bottle in nothing flat. Just a great beer.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
4.67/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 2741 for 2011.

Poured at cellar-to-room temp into snifter. Short tan head over a deep brown cola body (when held to the light). Spotty lacing.

Aromas are full of deep red wine, with some dark chocolate, and oak barrel. Pretty sure that if you didn't look at this, you'd swear it was a wine.

Amazingly smooth on the palate. Flavors are much sweeter than the nose, with dark chocolate, vanilla, molasses, wood, floral hops, and then mocha in the finish. The bourbon really only comes through in the "glow" / aromas that accompany the swallow. Freaking creamy and smooth for a BBA Impy Stout...only a hint of carbonation. But zero harsh.

Honestly, if this were on draft I'd have to be cut off for the first time in my life. This is a remarkably smooth and tasty beer.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.66/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Poured a deep black with no bubbles and no visible carb. No head on it. Left no stick on the sides.

S - Great smelling of chocolate and bourbon with vanilla notes. Nice and roasted with just the right amount of wood.

T - A lot like a chocolate brownie with great bourbon notes and barel wood. The vanilla is present along with roast and slightly charred malts. Tiny bit of molasses and dark fruit.

M - Smooth, low carbonation, full bodied, about perfect for this.

O - This is an amazing beer that is a great sipper for any evening. Can't get enough.

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
98 out of 100 based on 286 ratings.
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