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

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year)Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year)

Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
California, United States

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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 301 | Ratings: 1,888
Photo of Sabtos
3.97/5  rDev -10.4%
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 +6.3%
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 +7.7%
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 +9%
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 +0.7%
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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Photo of metter98
4.39/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a quarter finger high dark tan head that died down, leaving a thin webbing of bubbles covering the surface and a narrow collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of bourbon are present in the nose along with hints of honey.
T: The taste has lots of flavors of vanilla from the bourbon barrel aging—once it stats to warm up the bourbon also becomes prominent as well. Notes of honey are present in the finish.
M: It feels full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This imperial stout is big and bold. It tastes strong, but does a good job at masking most of the alcohol from the taste.

Note: 2016 vintage

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.52/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

For the record, Elijah Craig 12 Year is my go to bourbon, so there might be a bias. The aroma is nicely nuanced with the bourbon all the same. Notes of coconut, vanilla, and oak barrel show up, but conceal the base stout somewhat. Flavors of vanilla opens it, closes it, and do everything else in between. There are gentle touches of smoke and roast also near the back end, but otherwise the simplistic nature of the base beer really lets things down. At least the bourbon presence rocks (duh!) I also like how easygoing it is for 11%, however - the honey creates a dry finish that counteracts the sweetness some. Oak tannins also keeps the mouthfeel dry (but slightly astringent). This one is a decent barrel-aged stout that showcases one of my favorite bourbons nicely, but is a letdown in most other aspects. At $30 a bottle, I don't need to have it again.

3.52/5: Good, but at $30 I may as well just buy regular Elijah Craig bourbon

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Photo of bob_roberts
4.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2016 poured into a snifter on 1-1-17.

L - Very dark with mahogany edges. A finger of brown head that dissipates to a ring on the edge with decent amount of lacing.

S - Bourbon and oak, not a lot of sweetness. Drier than a lot of other BA stouts I've had initially but some caramel roast as it warms.

T - I get a lot of bourbon and black pepper. Gets a little sweeter as it approaches room temp. Surprisingly clean taste as flavors don't linger on the palate which is unexpected from something as heavy and slick. Lacks the usual roasty chocolate and coffee notes experienced with other BA stouts. Flavor is definitely not what I had expected. Not in a bad way, but different than other BA imp stouts. The bourbon/alcohol here is also different than I've experienced from other BA stouts. There's a certain astringency present that one would get from a neat bourbon. A lot of very subtle and mellow flavors going on. Interesting.
Side note: I'm getting a very intriguing, very slight and fleeting, taste of lavender. Could be attributed to the honey..? Maybe I'm just making it up.... who knows.

F - Beautiful mouth-feel. Not as thick as other imp stouts but it's not a bad thing here. SG and viscosity work perfectly with the carbonation. Pretty awesome, really.

O - Very interesting flavor profile. Really enjoyable as it's unexpectedly different from any BA stout I've had to date. Highly enjoyable, but hard to justify the price tag.

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Photo of Hyptochrons
4.46/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

dark pour with a tan head, leaves some lacing.

aromas of woody oak, vanilla, leather, subtle bourbon & chocolate, caramel. not overly pungent but quite nice.

taste follows nicely, molasses, chocolate, bourbon, caramel, honey, vanilla, roast, touch of booze on the fish. medium bodied with a nice creamy texture, gives hint of marshmellowy sweetness.

overall definitely a class BA stout, but its still hard to justify the over the top price.

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Photo of patre_tim
4.38/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Black with a ruby tinge when held to the light. Topped with a finger of dark, rusty brown head.

Smells of molasses, chocolate, vanilla, hazelnuts, black liquorice , whipped cream and a light smoky quality.

Tastes of black liquorice, coffee, vanilla, hazelnuts, dark chocolate, and hints of scotch. There's a light sweetness to this one. The wood notes from the barrel age come through more as I sip it.

Thick and slightly oily body, with a moderate amount of foamy, dry carbonation. Quite smooth for the style.

This bottle is a 2015 vintage, bought at Whole Foods in Davis California. Drinking in Chiang Mai, Thailand, Nov 14th, 2016. Really complex, very noteworthy and smooth, really growing on me as I drink it.

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Photo of gatornation
4.21/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a black/brown color with a creamy mocha head, that recedes to a fresh collar. Smells of chocolate and bourbon with some toffee and roasted malts. Strong Barrel presence on this it very good a tad hot still, bourbon was not as mellow as i like but still very good, mothfeel was a little thin but this stout packs a punch of BA. Overall was very tasty and a pleasure to sip.

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

2014 vintage. Poured into a stout snifter. Dark black/brown with thick creamy brown head that sticks around with healthy lacing. Exquisite smelling beer-sweet roasty chocolate with strong barrel presence. Tastes great too-bold sweet chocolate notes, backed by boozy barrel flavor that comes with a mild tang. Only complaint is the slight thin feel to it, but otherwise, this is an outstanding barrel aged stout.

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Photo of hopsputin
4.58/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: silky black color that lets a little light through, which gives the top of the glass a muddy brown color. very shiny. no head - there is a dark tan film on top

s: aroma on this is incredible. roasted malts, dark chocolate, rich oak, leather, vanilla, molasses, leather, bourbon, dark cherry, an almost coffee-like presence, and finishes the nose with more dark chocolate

t: slightly bitter dark chocolate, chewy coffee, roasted malts, oak, vanilla, a dash of honey sweetness, cola. i'm glad to see that dark cherry also made its way into the taste as well. there is a silky molasses sweetness as well (a touch darker tasting than honey). there is a real nice dark, earthy flavor coming from the wood in here as well. the bourbon is laying in the background here - just a faint hint, adding a real nice layer of complexity and depth to this. a real treat

m: medium mouthfeel - a tad lighter than i was expecting, but it really works well with the way the beer has been made

o: this is a delightful beer to drink. the flavor has great depth, and is extremely well harmonized. price tag is high, for sure, but this is a fantastic sipper, and a great one to share

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Photo of aoampm
4.61/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep black with a head that disappears fairly quickly and has a foam that circles around the glass but nothing in the middle. The smell is very sweet. Vanilla, almond, roasted pecans, coffee, and dark chocolate. The taste is even better! The bourbon and honey comes through right away along with brown sugar, more roasted nuts, and chocolate. Also a lingering vanilla flavor makes this one quite sweet which is just fine by me. It is an incredibly smooth beer and has one of the best feels, easily up there with the other world class barrel aged stouts that I've had. Overall it's a special beer and is definitely not worth 30 dollars but for a special occasion this fits the bill perfectly.

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Photo of nerdboy19
4.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Look - Black, tan head - 4/5
Aroma : Vanilla, oak, wood, whiskey, chocolate, roasted, coffee, very well balanced aroma - 4/5
Mouthfeel : Full bodied, low carbonation. Thick. - 5/5
Flavor : Bourbon whiskey, vanilla, oak, little bit sweet but bitterness balances it well - 4.5/5
Overall : Very well balanced Eclipse, I prefer Woodford Reserve to this, but this beer is the second best among the Eclipse I've tried. Great beer! - 4.25/5

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Photo of Hat_Fulla_Beer
4.49/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle poured into Sam Adams pint glass. 2014 release.

Pours nearly black with faint ruby highlights and 1.5 fingers of brown head that leaves a solid sheet of melting ice cream lace as it recedes.

Smells of dark fudge, toasted brown sugar, coffee grounds, dried dark fruit, maple syrup, vanilla, bourbon, and fireplace smoke.

Tastes of more rich fudge and strong coffee, candied dried cherry, plum and raisin, melted brown sugar, boozy bourbon barrel, charred wood, dried vanilla and faint bitter hops.

Feels big and strong. Full bodied with creamy carbonation. Finishes dry.

Verdict: Vigorously recommended. Aging this one was a good idea.

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Photo of ccg
4.04/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Eclipse 2015 - Elijah Craig
Look: Half inch of dense foam. A little bit of lacing. It fizzes up a bit when you tilt it side to side. Nice-looking stout, but it doesn't have the typical BA stout look to it. 4.0
Smell: Tons of bourbon and cocoa powder and an oaky spiciness to it with a bit of dark fruit in the background. Subtle and layered. 4.25
Taste: Follows through with the bourbon and cocoa, and the oak barrel is still assertive. Some bitter hops on the finish balance it out. 4.0
Mouthfeel: Nice stickiness but not the fullest body. 3.75
Overall: A great BA stout. 4.0

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Photo of Hop_God
4.34/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

A: deep mahogany to brown. Thin caramel head.

S: booze. Oak. Brown sugar. Candied fruit.

T: oak. Spice. Booze. Syrup. Some maple tones. Creamy chocolate.

F: soooo smooth. No brash booze. So soft and balanced. The feel is amazing

O: this is very good. I did expect a more bold flavor but the balance is amazing.

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Photo of eifster82
4.44/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 into snifter.

Look - dark, dark brown. Not quite black motor oil. Good bit of foam head upon pour which dissipates over time.

Smell - typical imperial stout. Some cocoa, but not getting much bourbon on the nose... at least not as much as I expected based on smell from other Elijah Craig 12-year BA beers.

Taste - cocoa and coffee are the two that really come up big. But nice roasted malts, descent carbonation on the taste.

Feel - Smooth. Really nice. Not much heat but the bourbon taste is still present. Cannot stress enough: smooth. On a scale of 1 to 10 on mouth feel, I would give this a 7. Little bit thinner than I expected but by no means thin.

Overall - very good beer. I enjoyed this very much and it's actually a 22oz bottle one can enjoy by themselves (but don't drive afterwards). Would enjoy this again, but unfortunately the price tag sometimes prevents that. In the end, no one the enjoys BA imperial stouts will be disappointed.

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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 papat444
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Looks like 2015 Vintage. Pours a brown-black body with dark ecru colored head. Fudge aroma; creamy coffee in flavor as well as gooey chocolate and bourbon but minimal heat.

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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 jakecattleco
4.49/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2015 bottle on my 40th birthday. Pours a solid black with a thin layer of tan head with no lacing. Nose is a delicious blend of caramel, roasty attributes, and whiskey. Taste is an even better blend of the nose attributes. Mouthfeel is surprisingly a bit thin for the ABV, carbonation good, and the finish sweet and bitter that doesn't linger. Good, very much so. Worth the price, debatable.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.49/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lots of black, brown head 1/3" like most of the Eclipse beers. Aroma was bourbon forward in a good way. A lot of vanilla there, plenty of chocolate.

Lots of wood bourbon and vanilla. Good roast and char. Carbonation nice and soft. Every year is reliable. The best version they make every year for sure.

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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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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (12 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
4.43 out of 5 based on 1,888 ratings.
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