Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (20 Year)
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (20 Year)Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (20 Year)
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Stout - American Imperial
ABV:
9.5%
Score:
99
Avg:
4.5 | pDev: 8%
Reviews:
162
Ratings:
592
From:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
 
California, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  303
Gots
  261
SCORE
99
World-Class
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (20 Year)Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (20 Year)
Notes: White wax.
Reviews: 162 | Ratings: 592 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Jayman931
Jayman931 from Mississippi

4.43/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2011 Eclipse aged in 20yr Elijah Craig Barrels.
White wax #4680. Stored in Eurocav since bought. Served in a snifter 11/26/2019
Look- Very dark as expected. Held at the right angle a faint deep brown/amber is visible on the edges. Very little to no head.
Smell-mild bourbon, cocoa and mildly sweet...teenie tiniest alcohol smell at the end but not a bad thing.
Mouth Feel- Mildly thick that coats the tongue. Very nice mouth feel.
Taste- it held up well. Little bitter dry cocoa taste up front and bourbon, a little bourbon tang that tingles on the tongue and a little sweet.

All and all I'm very pleased with how it held up.

Nov 28, 2019
Photo of SHODriver
SHODriver from North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 Vintage

A: Poured into a snifter to a black beer topped by a dense finger of tan head which fades slowly to a collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing.
S: Smells of intense oak and wood with some coffee and chocolate. Nice roasted malts in the back as well with just a little vanilla.
T: Taste is pretty heavy on the oak in the front with some chocolate and coffee coming in. Slight butterscotch as well with some more oak and a little vanilla. Slight molasses note as well along with some roasted malts along with some more chocolate. On the swallow this beer is creamy vanilla and chocolate with some more roasted malts and a little more wood with some slight woodspice.
M: This beer has a pretty full and silky body. Carbonation is light but adequate for the style while the beer has a drying finish.
O: Overall this one is really nice. It has some great flavors and complexity while being very well integrated. Just a decadent and delicate beer for the most part right now. Not tasting too much over aging on this one so I chose a good time to crack it open.

Nov 26, 2018
Photo of Furlinator
Furlinator from California

4.46/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage. Bottle #2882. Consumed on 09/15/16.
Pours opaque near black. A thin beige head forms and quickly disappears completely leaving no lace. The smell is of burnt sugar, oak, spice, leather and pipe tobacco. The taste is of booze soaked plums and apricots, toffee, caramel and faint cocoa. Full texture with low carbonation. Very good.

Sep 15, 2016
Photo of davidperez
davidperez from Mexico

5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled in 2015.

Served in a snifter, it pours black as a midnight with a coy moon, for the rim of the glass unveils a dark brown, slightly diaphanous. In fact, if a sunbeam hits the beer directly, it turns ruby-like.
Decent amount of carbonation visible, as the pour formed a one-finger head, dark brown, that dissipated quickly. A small trace of such head is left visible as a thin ring, decorating the rim.
Swirling the glass provokes some very nice lacing combined with alcohol legs.
It definitely looks very peculiar for a BA IS.

The bouquet is delicious.
The bourbon character is definitely there, but subtle. Assertive yet not overpowering, compared to other BA IS's. Such trait makes this bouquet probably the most enjoyable I've experienced so far within this style, as there is an equilibrium to it. The coconut note is also worth mentioning, since it is not as overpowering as it often is.
Bourbon, vanilla, lots of chocolate, oak, charred wood, coconut, espresso, caramel, prune.
Scrumptious.

What an incredible delight.
The subtle character from the bouquet is equally perceivable in the flavors.
They are all there, but at ease, without quarrels for protagonism.
I don’t enjoy a high or decent carbonation in this style, and judging from the look of this beer, I thought this was one of those cases, but the first thing that stands out is a very low carbonation. Somehow they managed to keep the proper look of a beer without hampering the mouthfeel of the style. The high ABV is well disguised.
The bourbon hits first, followed closely by vanilla; then, chocolate overruns your palate. Afterwards, coconut, dark fruit liquor, oak, caramel and molasses.
Another stunning characteristic: after the bevy of sweet notes enrapture your senses, a slight bitterness enters the frame, and then you realize, the sweet notes in this beer are not overly sweet, they are balanced.
The aftertaste has a decaying sweetness in the form of vanilla, bourbon and caramel, but short after, it becomes dry. Such balance and dryness add a layer of complexity to an already superb beer.
Velvety, full body, silky, but not chewy. The texture of the beer is as subtle as its bouquet and flavor.

The complexity, balance, and subtlety of this beer is second to none. Beer at its finest. I liked this even better than BCBS.

World class beer for sure.

May 27, 2016
Photo of rodbeermunch
rodbeermunch from Nevada

4.57/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Black pour, cherry cola color head on the top. Mix of chocolate, booze, bourbon, roast that makes up the aroma.

Taste just pours on the decadence, the Elijah Craig barrels always seem to impart the most chocolate of any of the barrels. Plenty of vanilla on this one too. Mouthfeel smooth and chewy. Sticky. Easily one of the best Eclipse beers ever made.

Jan 09, 2016
Photo of TheCuriograph
TheCuriograph from New York

3.99/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage. In an Other Half snifter.

Same impenetrable black (largely headless) appearance of the other Eclipses I've had. Nose full of vanilla, milk chocolate, hazelnut and oak. The taste is a nice blend of chocolate malt and vanilla barrel. It also has the cola notes I detected in the High West bourbon version. Mouthfeel is full but light for a bit imperial stout. This is a good example of a series I rather love and falls resolutely in the middle of the Eclipse pack. Curious how the 12 Year EC compares. Wouldn't search this out again, but I'd be pleased to see it at a bottle share.

Sep 28, 2015
Photo of mrn1ceguy
mrn1ceguy from Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is an amazing BA stout, take the Elijah Craig 12 eclipse and add some extra smoothness and you have this beer. A true gem to enjoy, wish this would make a comeback.

Dec 02, 2014
Photo of kooredaan
kooredaan from Colorado

4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Initial taste was a bit hot and syrup like but as the beer warmed in a snifter the sweetness of Totality and EC20 came to the forefront.

Poured dark with a hint of amber. Nose was polite with a hint of booziness but dissipated as it warmed.

Nov 27, 2014
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.6/5  rDev +2.2%

One of the white wales in this series for me, this is a 2012 bottle that pours a rustic murky thick sludgy dark brown with a dark tan head and spider web lacing as it drinks. Dynamic nose of oaky sweet bourbon, way more dramatic than the other bourbon editions, less boozy, more vanilla bean, and a very good platform for the chocolate notes in the malt to launch from. Time has done this well as the booze is nonexistent and while the honey flavor is all time, there is little residual sugar. It's just so well integrated, and the better bourbon barrel has predictably produced a better beer. This is as good as any other version I have had, and may even be my favorite of the lot! A must for fans of the series

Sep 17, 2014
Photo of VeganUndead
VeganUndead from Virginia

4.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2012 vintage, tasting alongside 12 year, bernheim wheat, old Fitzgerald, makers mark, and pappy. By far the best of the group, only to be topped by the previous mekers mark I was able to enjoy very fresh. Still haven't been disappointed by the series. Cheers

Jul 28, 2014
Photo of brentk56
brentk56 from North Carolina

4.22/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle 466 or 2011

Appearance: Pours a fudge brown color with a film and some bubbles; very little lacing (particularly compared to the others in the series)

Smell: Chocolate fudge and Bourbon, with vanilla, oak and toasted coconut in the background

Mouthfeel: The Bourbon mingles with the chocolate fudge flavors, adding vanilla, toasted coconut and oak and building to a boozy crescendo in the mid-palate; the flavors mingle, after the swallow, producing a warm finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with low to moderate carbonation and some warmth in the gullet

Overall: A very nice beer but I was expecting to be overwhelmed; out of the bottles I tasted from my cellar over the past few days my favorites were the Four Roses and the brandy barrel, which were the ones I was expecting to like the least; as they say in the sports world, "That's why they play the games."

May 07, 2014
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

3.85/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of bourbon and rich black chocolates is harsher than ion the 12 year version. Taste is also dominated rich black chocolate notes with some medium rye whiskey notes with rounds off the rough or bitter edge of the base stout but some of the harsher notes don’t really comes out clean. Body is full with nice oily and creamy texture with good carbonation with alcohol not that apparent in this version. I preferred the 12 year old Elijah version to this one base on overall taste being not as smooth as the other version.

Feb 14, 2014
Photo of Dope
Dope from Massachusetts

4.38/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 batch, bottle 882.

A: Pours pitch black with a mid-sized and dense medium brown head. Head fades slowly with great retention. Zero lacing.

S: Wonderful bourbon and chocolate aroma. Bourbon is pretty mellow. Strong aroma but just not a sharp, stinging aroma. Age has probably calmed it down a little. Caramel, brown sugar and toasted sugars. Lots of cocoa in there too. Hint of charred oak. A little stinging alcohol when swirled.

T: More bourbon up front, similar to the aroma in that it is strong but mellowed out. Smooth caramel and toasted sugars with some dark fruits here now. Good bit of dark chocolate floating around, especially as the bourbon fades. Strong dark fruits give it a chocolate covered raisin type flavor into the finish. A little bit of toasted sugar, dark fruits and a hint of oak in the aftertaste.

M: Nice medium-heavy body. Ultra smooth, mellow and viscous.

O: Interesting variant. I've had several others, fresh and aged and this is definitely unique. Bourbon is much mellower and smooth. That can probably be attributed to the age of the bourbon and also the age of the beer itself (which is now about 3 years old). Base beer comes out quite a bit now, with loads of dark fruits that you don't get in any of the other variants. Very distinctive raisinets flavor which is a nice touch. I'm not sure if I prefer the sharper, fresher variants - they are definitely a bit bolder but this one is easily the the best drinking. So smooth and mellowed out, it just drinks great.

Dec 17, 2013
Photo of AndyAvalanche
AndyAvalanche from Massachusetts

4.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

22 oz. bomber poured into a Duvel Tulip Style Glass, bottle #3554 . Liquid portion comes out almost black, but realistically it's probably more of a dark brown. Nice coffee milk colored head with various sized bubbles, decent lacing, but after awhile, it makes its way down, but leaves a small ring around the edge of the glass. Some of the bubbles actually trapped themselves on the glass in between the liquid, but goes away after a little wile Slightest of slight syrup effect on the glass after every sip. Good looking beer.

Smell is really good. Lots of liquor aromas. There's plenty of bourbon/whiskey, vanilla, ammaretto and even some dark fruit liquor. Malt bill is good, there's some fudgy chocolate and slight hints of coffee flavors. I know I mentioned it already, but vanilla really is a dominant flavor here.

Taste is as good as the aroma. More dark than fudgy chocolate tones. Plenty of whiskey/bourbon vanilla tones and I swear I taste a little hint of coconut. Like many barrel aged beers there's an oaky flavor, but it's also a tad bit spicy, really good and well balanced. Sweet without being a sugar bomb, more the traditional style of a bourbon barrel aged beer. Tastes better as it approaches room temperature.

Mouthfeel is really good as well. Heavy medium to light full bodied; the flavor lingers but not tooo long.. good carbonation level, but it's perfectly smooth. Slight bite from the alcohol and bourbon, but nothing too strong. I was worried it would be a little gritty, but it's really not too much, might be if you drank it too fast, but it tastes too good to do that. The balance is really good, makes you want to sip it slowly, really drinkable. Like this beer a real lot. Don't know if I think it's the massive trade bait I've heard about in the past, but work trying for sure. Thanks Russ for a sweet trade.

Oct 25, 2013
Photo of stakem
stakem from Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber #4046 from 2011 poured into a matching Eclipse snifter. The brew appears a dark brown color with lighter brown seen around the edges. A thin film of khaki bubbles collects around the edge of the glass and leaves some spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma includes vanilla and caramel with a touch of fruity bourbon and toffee-like burnt sugars extracted from the barrel during aging. Some roast elements and a bit of bourbon accents that already warming fruity alcohol edge.

The taste has some raw woody elements and earth with oak barrel flavoring and an alcohol burn that is slightly raisony. Some earth and more solvent booze towards the back with a bit of herbal hop kick before blending into a roasty coffee-like aftertaste.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is smooth yet boozy and bitey. Dare I say the aroma is significantly better than the flavor but still very good and warming. A pleasantly complex sipper that is not showing its 2 years of aging at all.

Oct 21, 2013
Photo of AgentMunky
AgentMunky from New York

4.34/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a brandy snifter. Bottle 770, vintage 2011.

A: Black, with light head and decent lacing. Completely opaque.

S: Rich and wonderful. I really enjoy this one. Nougat, chocolate, and caramel.

T: Incredibly rich. Soft, sweet, and distinguished. Great bourbon is telling. Even fruity. Delicious.

M: Super-soft, but kind of flat.

O: Delicious. Definitely one of my favourite bourbon-aged stouts.

Aug 20, 2013
Photo of wd40
wd40 from New York

4.57/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle 3140/2011
Sampled August 2013

Excellent chocolate brown stout. Pours a thin one finger head with a vigorous pour. Lots of vanilla and chocolate and bourbon in the nose. Taste is similar with a few hints of coffee in the background. Just a little bit of heat from the alcohol, but it actually is kind if nice. Mouthfeel is very smooth. Not very carbonated but not flat. A nice and subtle carbonation the lifts and dries the thick viscous liquid that coats the inside of the mouth. Overall a real winner.

Aug 12, 2013
Photo of GregSVT
GregSVT from Texas

4.69/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

White waxed bomber into a snifter - 2011 Vintage

A: Pours a dark brown with a nice brown head that fades to a ring and leaves lacing all over the glass as you drink.

S: The nose is an amazing mix of vanilla, chocolate, honey, and barrel.

T: The taste is superb! Lots of vanilla, chocolate fudge, honey, roasty malt, and bourbon. The barrel has been toned down a bit here to let the chocolate and honey come forward more but it's still close to the forefront.

M: The feel is creamy and on the lighter side of medium...par for the course for the Eclipse series.

O: This is definitely one of the best variants. The barrel compliments the base beer perfectly and isn't overpowering at all. Age has done it some wonders as well. I had one fresh and it was a bit boozy but this is fudgy/vanilla heaven.

May 20, 2013
Photo of Rutager
Rutager from Canada (BC)

4.12/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2011 bottle #1094. Thanks Mrbubbler!

Appearance. Pours black (and not especially thick) with a skim of tan head.

Smell. Woody, sweet, and very smooth bourbon, caramel, vanilla and chocolate, some coffee. Not too shabs.

Taste. Very woody, smooth bourbon, caramel and vanilla, a little chocolate and a bit of coffee.

Mouthfeel. On the low side of full bodied, low carbonation.

Overall. A nice stout with a good amount of bourbon. Smooth and not a lot of heat.

May 14, 2013
Photo of spicelab
spicelab from Australia

4.07/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2011 bottle thanks to DJButters. Reviewed fom notes.

Brown hued black with a modest saffron head. Recedes to a resilient film and collar.

Coconut, liquorice bullets, candied apples and honey.

Marshmallow, toffee apple, liquorice bullets, refined oak and mild plastic. Finishes surprisingly dry.

Smooth, not remotely heavy, with silky carbonation. Lovely benign dry roasty finish.

Uncomplicated and highly approachable, with well contained barrel character.

Apr 19, 2013
Photo of ngeunit1
ngeunit1 from Massachusetts

4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark black with a touch of brown and a finger of frothy khaki-chocolate head. Fades normal.

S - Chocolate and dark caramel malts, molasses, oak, Bourbon, vanilla, black licorice, dark cocoa, raisin, coffee, booze.

T - Sweet chocolate and bit of caramel malts, smooth Bourbon, vanilla, lots of oak, molasses, coffee, black licorice, bitter dark cocoa, raisin and other dark fruits, and some booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and a bit syrupy with a warming and sweet.

D - Great barrel aged stout. The bourbon and oak are very present, but very smooth and balanced.

Apr 14, 2013
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium from Florida

4.24/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

650 mL bottle poured into an Eclipse snifter. 2012 bottle. Says "Reserve" on the bottle, but I don't know what that means.

Appearance - Murky black with transparent edges. Not much of a head. Wispy surface.

Smell - Smoother bourbon character than Old Fitz. Nice bourbon and barrel character. Vanilla comes through. Chocolatey.

Taste - Bourbon is smooth here too. Lots of vanilla. Much sweeter. Less bitter chocolate. Bourbon doesn't linger throughout.

Mouthfeel - Slick and creamier than the base beer. Medium carbonation. Sweet and barrel booze finish.

Overall - Much nicer barrel character than the Old Fitz. Sweeter though, which I don't love as much as others seem to.

Apr 06, 2013
Photo of DovaliHops
DovaliHops from California

4.52/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage. Bottle 1942. Pours a beautiful pitch black color with a very tiny tan head that turn to bubbles instantly. Scent is very inviting with chocolate cocoa, bourbon, espresso, roasted malts, and some sweet honey. Lovely oak and vanilla as well. Scent is a bit on the sweet side. Taste is absolutely delicious. Just as the nose implies, there is a a hefty amount of chocolate...chocolate fudge to be exact. Sweet chocolate fudge with a bit of saltiness to it. Smooth bourbon and oak flavors that leave a sweet honey flavor on the back of the tongue. A bit of alcohol, but not overwhelming. Mouthfeel is full-bodied and slightly boozy. Drinkability is high. Overall, this beer is so damn tasty. Hard to compete with the 12-year, but this one may beat it.

Mar 29, 2013
Photo of jeonseh
jeonseh from Indiana

3.9/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared as part of Eclipse tasting

A - Dark chocolate with small milk chocolate head

S - Boozy nose with light vanilla and caramel to it.

T - Chocolate up front with a good bourbon presence that adds warming alcohol, vanilla and caramel. There is a nice oaky barrel presence as well as dark chocolate and black licorice. The bourbon comes through in the finish as well

MF - Light body with slight boozy stickiness to it. Slightly watery

O - Best of the 3 eclipses we had of the night. This one had a good bourbon presence that added a nice sweetness and complexity to the base beer which balanced well with the slight bitterness

Mar 19, 2013
Photo of illidurit
illidurit from California

4.52/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared at the Santa Cruz tasting in January. I don’t have a lot of notes, but this one really stood out as tasting like a ridiculous melange of See’s candy flavors. Heaps of chocolate, vanilla, toffee and iced coffee. Very sweet and delicious.

Feb 20, 2013
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (20 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 99 out of 100 with 592 ratings