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

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BA SCORE
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world-class
160 Reviews
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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (20 Year)Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (20 Year)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
California, United States
fiftyfiftybrewing.com

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
White wax.

Added by MasterSki on 11-22-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
160
Ratings:
585
Avg:
4.41
pDev:
15.87%
 
 
Wants:
306
Gots:
265
For Trade:
10
User Reviews
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Reviews: 160 | Ratings: 585
Photo of Hophead717
4.59/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pitch black with almost no head. Light lacing.

S: Sweet bourbon, chocolate, fig. A strong and dynamic nose.

T: Chocolate and bourbon upfront. Strong dark fruits mid-sip, yielding to a mildly roasty finish with hints of bourbon.

M: Medium body, slightly slick. Not heavy.

O: Awesome BA stout. Well-integrated bourbon. The finish is a bit too roasty for my taste, but overall the beer really kills it.

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Photo of Cinderbike
4.57/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - black, opaque, thin tab head that easily fades.
S - oak, vanilla, bourbon, coconut, almond
T - roast, dark chocolate, vinous / port wine, alcohol heat
M - thankfully, thicker than the 2010. Not syrupy but very thick
O - a great RIS. This is up there with Parabola and Black Tuesday in my top 3.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.57/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of flexabull
4.57/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Christmas treat for myself courtesy of a very generous BA, maximum12, thanks again!!!

Pours a thick flat black color with a pretty nice tan head, good lacing too.

Aromas are great, boozy bourbon, toasted coconut, vanilla, chocolate, and brown sugar.

Taste is chocolately up front, bitter dark cocoa, light sweetness, some vanilla, cream, coconut, and some dark fruit notes. Finish is bitter, warm, and boozy, but not overly so. This beer is no joke, its big, very complex, tasty, and well crafted.

Mouthfeel is smooth and silky, maybe a touch thin though. I like big stouts to have a bit more body.

Overall, an excellent beer. I can see why people like this so much. The barrel flavors match really well with the big stout. This is well crafted, and top notch.

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Photo of wd40
4.57/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of SkiBum22
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours near black with a quarter inch dark mocha brown head that receded to almost nothing quick.

S - Aromas are great, boozy bourbon, toasted coconut, vanilla, chocolate, and brown sugar.

T - Roasted malt, vanilla and a clean bourbon hint rounds out the sweetness.

M - The mouthfeel on this stout is exactly what I look for in a stout. Creamy, full bodied, and very rich.

O - This is a great beer that exceeded my expectation. The bar is now set high for the 12 Year Elijah I have waiting in the closet.

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Photo of mkotsayfan
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter. Pours a deep dark black with a nice half finger dark mocha colored head. Very nice aroma, with coconut, licorice, along with some dark fruits and chocolate. The taste has similar characteristics as the aroma, along with some bourbon from the barrel aging. There is a slight amount of heat but it's not overwhelming by any means. Mouthfeel is fantastic, nice and silky smooth with just enough chewiness/thickness that an imperial stout should have. Also has a medium amount of carbonation, just enough but not too much.

A fantastic beer, always a fan of the silky smooth stouts with nice complex flavors. There is a little bit of heat, this could be an even more amazing beer with a year on it (this review was for a 2011 vintage, which has only been on shelves about a month).

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of InebriatedJoker
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle 1983 - 2011 release -Thanks Kurtis

Shared with Schwaeh

A: Black with minimal head , light off white lacing, decent carbonation.

S: Vanilla , slight bourbon, roasted malts.

T: Strong Vanilla hints with slight bourbon burn, roasted malts, slight chocolates with minimal hop hints smooth dark fruits.

O: I enjoyed the 18 much more than than 12, smooth and creamy texture and the bourbon had mellowed more compared between the two. Recommended!

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Photo of russwbeck
4.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was enjoyed at a tasting that included 5 Eclipse variations: Elijah Craig 12 and 18, Four Roses, Heaven Hill Rittenhouse Rye, and Brewmaster's Grand Cru.

2011 Vintage Bottle #5450. $30 for a 22oz bottle.

A: All of them pretty much poured the same. Finger or two of brown to light brown head. The color is black with noticeable bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass.

S: The aroma is very similar, but more rich than the 12 year. Vanilla, chocolate, booze, and bourbon are just perfectly married here. Sweet, boozy, wonderful.

T: Very rich taste. The vanilla and chocolate are on a different level. Bourbon and booze take up big parts of the base of the taste. Honey is no where near as prevalent as it was in other variations. The booze is much more noticed than it was on the 12 year.

MF: Lighter body overall than I expected, and lower than average carbonation. Big booziness on all of them, with a warming alcohol feeling to finish. The dryness on the palate varies with the different bourbons. This one was thicker and boozier than the average of the variations.

O: Voted the best of the Eclipse tasting (albeit not unanimous). The balance just puts it up above the rest. Deliciously impressive.

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Photo of adamette
4.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed by me from a bottle at Chef Paul’s Bavarian Lodge in Lisle, Illinois July 26th, 2012 in the presence of my brother in law Mat. I believe the place had been renamed simply “Bavarian Lodge” but I still refer to it as “Chef Paul’s.” By any name this is a world class BeerAdvocate place. Anyone reading this should seek it out.
Review from notes taken while I enjoyed the beer. Price of the bottle was $48.00 and Mat and I were treated to it by a fellow Beer Nerd named Neil. Thanks so very much Neil!
"4709" 2011 stamped on the bottle (or possibly the label, my notes do not specify)

A Dark, deep body but Mahogany colors show in front of direct light. Very little head which is understandable with the elevated ABV. 4.0

S Bourbon, malt. Who could ask for anything more? Really though, the bourbon presence is obvious. Personally, I love the smell combination of bourbon and a nice stout. This particular one has a great, classic smell to it. 5.0

T Unbelievable taste! Bourbon notes, dark roast malt all in a wonderful blast of tastes. 4.5

M Thick with the hefty dark roast malt and bourbon tastes. 4.0

D Great drinkability for being such an elevated ABV. Really, I wanted to continue to sip this one over and over. I did use the work "sip" here because one should not really "drink" this beer. It is far to big with too much going on to simply "drink" it. Overall this just might be a world class beer. 4.5

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.52/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 2518/2011

It's not everyday that such a strong and lush stout crosses my path and commands so much attention. Chocolate, bourbon, malt, coffee culminate in a rich and velvety taste... so much finesse built into such a bullyish recipe.

Even as the most aggressive pour was administered in the decanting of the beer, there's an oily and inky viscosity that renders the head character of the beer dainty and creamy, much like the creme of espresso as a thin and intermittent sheet retains well and the lacing also sparse and broken. But it's the sheer thick aesthetics that give this beer its onyx-like sheen and brandy-like legging.

Absolute succulence emits from the glass with the first aromatic draw of the nose in the shape of chocolate, espresso, and bourbon. Caramel and vanillans are stripped from the barrel and delivered from the nose in firm and sultry fashion and seem to inform the malty-rich aromas of malted candies, heavy cream, and molasses. Alcohol and esters combine for the impressions of cherry, licorice, and vinous grapes but do so in much lesser intensity as other aromatics.

Flavors are even more savory and seductive than even the nose implies. As others have mentioned, a heavy taste of chocolate fudge becomes the dominant flavor that all others circulate about. Very chocolaty with melded flavors of molasses, walnuts, dark roast coffees, moderate roasted grains and heavy toast- the beer has a very rich taste but forbids the harsh dry roast that can sometimes prove too dry or harsh. The bourbon flavors sometimes remind me of sweet rums but the influx of woody oak, rich caramel, vanilla, mild coconut, and cherry-like alcohols allow for the alcohols to have as much a pleasant placement in taste as it would texture.

The low-lying alcohol allows the beer to coat the mouth evenly and fully which allows for full appreciation of flavor as the carbonation doesn't lift the liquid from the taste buds. Instead, the creamy, velvety, silky feel of the stout is felt in its entirety- covering the surfaces of the mouth like heavy cream. This highly robust texture has a long and lingering finish of growing warmth, slight heat, and malty richness. Dryness and drinkability doesn't come into play as this beer is a savory sipper to conclude the best of tasting sessions.

While any big stout can be highly roasty and boozy, it's the finesse of this beer that executes the balance of sweetness, bourbon, roast, and complementary chocolates and coffees that rise to such high proportions without introducing the any smoky, ashy, or rogue fusals that often become gremlins to otherwise formidable imperial stouts. There's only the slightly more flavor intensity of Bourbon County Rare Stout, along with the magical Pappy Van Winkle intangible wood-tannic character that keeps this beer from competing with the superior Goose Island varietal.

Thanks Ynot2

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Photo of illidurit
4.52/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.52/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Shared this with Thorpe and Thorpette after they brought over a steak dinner recently (they're total ballers). Amy was holding and ogling my newborn son, so she drank hers with a crazy straw. Anywho...

The beer is dark brown with a nice beige head. Noticeably more carbonation than the Brewmaster's Grand Cru I opened recently.

Nice aroma - bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, oak. A lot of wood character.

The best of the series to this point, though I still have many to work through. Surprisingly pleasant notes of toasted marshmallow, coconut, vanilla. Really digging the subtle complexities at work here. This was served at 60 degrees, so many of the more delicate characteristics jumped out right away. Of course, bourbon, chocolate and oak are front and center, but the nuances steal the show in this beer.

Medium to full bodied with adequate carbonation. Still a bit on the low side. Silky and smooth on the palate.

A winner. I definitely recommend it.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.52/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.51/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This was the very first beer I had at the release party. Looked like a good beer, like they thickened it up a little, black pour, good amount of cherry cola like head on the top of it, something most Eclipses haven't been able to accomodate. Aroma was a blast of alcohol at first, but mellowed into a nice chocolate and bourbon blend that is what puts butts in seats at this place.

Taste was even better, alcohol blast was gone, really gone, chocolate made totality's heavy roast base fall into the background while vanilla lay prominent. Good chewy mouthfeel on it, bigger than any other Eclipse I had enjoyed up until this point. Oak impact slight. Sometimes the beer got silky. Ended up going back for this a few more times at the end of the night. It kept getting better. Can't wait for the first bottle of this one.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.51/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a Darkness snifter, sharred with scoand.

Bottle #5546
2011

A- Really attractive looking stout, really nice one finger foamy brown colored head, dark dark brown almost pitch black color, opaque, splotchy lacing.
S- Booze is apparent in the nose, dark fruit notes come out, dark malt, some earthy notes, the bourbon is very mellow in the aroma, hard to pick out.
T- Really impressed with the taste, big buttery vanilla taste, really nice chocolate notes come out, the bourbon is perfect in the beer, really balanced, really smooth, really unique bourbon taste that I have not had in other Bourbon barrel aged stouts, absolutely love it.
M- Big mouth feel, silky smooth drinking, really lush, coats the palate, big body, love the mouth feel.
O- This beer really impressed me, only the third Eclipse beer I’ve had the pleasure of drinking and I’m absolutely impressed, the aroma was a little of a letdown, the taste absolutely blew me away, would love to get my hands on another bottle.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage (#4736). Poured from 750ml bottle into a tulip glass. Pours dark black with a medium tan head that quickly dissispates into a thin lacing that lasts well throughout. Aromas of roast nuts, some bourbon, brown sugar, and oak. Light Elijah Craig bourbon heat upfront in the flavor along some coffee and perhaps figs. There is a distinct sweet smell that is difficult for me to pinpoint. Slightly bitter back finish. Medium mouthfeel. Damn smooth and tasty beer. I will have this beer again and do want to try the other Eclipse variants.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm finally getting around to reviewing my 2011 allotment of Eclipse. Thanks, Chris.

Black with brown highlights, there's a dense, brown head with excellent retention and nice lacing. The nose is great. Sweet as always, with caramel, and an initial intense expression of coconut that gives way to char, bourbon, vanilla and more coconut. This has such a fleshy coconut aroma, it's awesome. Pairs well with the caramel and cocoa too.

The palate opens moderately boozy, with bourbon, vanilla, coconut, which lead into the blend of caramel and cocoa from the base beer. The char from the barrel lends a little bitterness, and some nice oak and tannin character, especially on the finish. Moderately fruity as well, with a light grape character. In fact, the fruitiness coupled with the moderate alcohol character makes this almost brandy-like in some ways. Beautiful medium-full body with moderate carbonation, this beer is excellent.

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Photo of djmichaelk
4.49/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Chilled 22oz bottle into a snifter. My first sample out of my big box of 2011 futures; time to see if they live up to the hype.

A - Pours a dark brown, not black, with auburn highlights and a couple of fingers of mocha-colored head. Decent retention given the abv, and some wispy lacing on the glass.

S - The aroma is pretty straightforward chocolate cake, with just a hint of bourbon and bits of spicy hoppiness. I'm surprised at how well the barrel is integrated in this bottle -- you know it's there, but it doesn't smack you in the face the way something like a BCS does.

T - Lots of fudgy chocolate, vanilla, almond, and toffee. Like in the nose, the barrel is at once both very subtle and very obvious, bringing lots of toasted coconut to the party. I was a little surprised at first at the apparent sweetness, then it turned to something more dry and cocoa-like. I'm loving this beer, and I can't stop sipping on it. At this rate the entire bomber will be gone in a few minutes.

M - Maybe a bit thinner than I would've thought, but all in all it's nice enough. It lacks the creaminess that a Zhukov has, which would really make this beer something special. Finish is medium-dry.

O - Yeah, I'm in love with this one. It's not perfect, but definitely up there with some of my favorites. I can't wait to work my way through the other variations.

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Photo of Gary779
4.48/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle #5209

A: Beer pours majestically black, and forms a huge tan coloured head. The head leaves quite a fair amount of lace. Beer seems to be pitch black, but closer inspection yields red edges.

S: The smell is deceptively dark. You can just smell that this beer is ultra-mellow and grown-up. Dark chocolate and cherrywood are quite dominant flavours, and finer inspection yields red apples, bourbon, vanilla, roasted coconut, oak, almonds and an alcohol presence.

T: This beer is extremely mellow on the tongue, just pleasing your taste buds to the point where they are reluctant to identify flavours. The bourbon presence can be felt, and is accompanied by oak, chocolate and cherrywood flavours. The alcohol is distinctly present, but not bothersome.

M: Very smooth carbonation coupled with a light mouthfeel makes this imperial stout very drinkable, but makes it feel a tad watery.

O: An extremely easy-to-drink beer. I had to throttle myself to take time for reviewing. This is saying quite a lot for an imperial stout, which tends to be a slow-drinking beer.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Shane for bringing this one down to share! Review from notes, consumed side by side with EC12. Most of the attributes were very similar to EC12.

A: Pours a dark black with a small khaki/tan head on top. Moderate retention and minimal lacing.

S: A nice blend of chocolate (dark and sweet), vanilla, and bourbon. Some roasted malt, a little bit of dark fruit, and caramel.

T: Again, similar to EC 12 with a great combination of chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, and roasted malt. A touch of caramel and toffee finish it off.

M: Medium to full bodied, very smooth and easy drinking.

O: A very good beer, I found 12 and 18 to very similar, and probably wouldn't be able to pick them apart, or even tell that they are different beers. Score will be the same, even though I liked 12 more because the difference in scoring is too large to reflect how close they beers were for me.

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Photo of IdrinkGas
4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle #5501 poured slighty cooler than cellar temperature into a snifter.

Pours pitch black with a finger and a half of head.

Picking up bitter chocolate, vanilla and bourbon. All nicely proportioned Some alcohol is also detectable.

Dark chocolate, brown sugar and molasses up front. Much less oak compared to the 12yr and a little more alcohol heat. Finishes with a little burn. As it warmed it had a wonderful fudge brownie flavor.

Great carbonation and mouthfeel. This one was the most carbonated of all the variants I've tried thus far.

I'm glad I picked up a few bottles of this one! Can't wait to try it again with some age.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First had: on tap at Monk's, Philly, PA

Served in a tulip glass, an oily black pour with a thin beige head that left streaking on the glass, rather than lacing; just about no carbonation to be seen. Much like its 12-year counterpart, aromas of bourbon, fudge, black cherries. Taste is full of dark chocolate, smooth bourbon, vanilla and subdued oak, hints of sweet cherry, licorice and/or mint. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel, full-bodied, or very nearly so, well-integrated alcohol. Great beer overall. I liked it slightly better than the 12-year because it was just a tad bit more smooth.

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Photo of John_M
4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is quite impressive in this beer, as I pick up considerable vanilla, dark chocolate, bourbon, maltballs, coffee and a hint of anise. The beer is every bit as terrific on the palate, and the flavor profile seemed to be dominated by chocolate fudge, vanilla, noticeable bourbon and light licorice. There was also a hint of bitterness in the finish that, along with the licorice, seemed to help counter the sweetness in this beer. This beer has quite a presence in the mouth, and is almost decadently smooth, creamy, rich and long. Alcohol is pretty well integrated into the flavor profile, though you can definitely tell it's up there a bit in this beer.

Just a great beer. Really a lot going on in this one. Excellent stuff.

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Elijah Craig (20 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
4.41 out of 5 based on 585 ratings.
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