Tuesday, May 8, 2012

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

Last week was the Craft Brewer's Conference and World Beer Cup in San Diego, which meant that there were a ton of great beer events in town. With all the great breweries in town for the event, it was hard to pick which events to go to, but there was one in particular that I knew I had to attend - the FiftyFifty event at Hamilton's in South Park.

You might remember the name FiftyFifty as the brewers of a beer I reviewed a few months ago - Imperial Eclipse Stout-Elijah Craig 18 Year, a beer which has since climbed all the way to #80 on the Top 100 List. But FiftyFifty makes another version of Imperial Eclipse Stout that's ranked even higher. And I was finally able to find it on tap last week at Hamilton's. At number 65 on the Top 100, Imperial Eclipse Stout-Elijah Craig (12 Year).

Imperial Eclipse Stout-Elijah Craig (12 Year) pours a pitch black color with no head whatsoever. It looked like motor oil in my glass and I couldn't wait to see what lay underneath the ominous surface. A rich aroma of bourbon, vanilla, toffee and raisin wafted out of the glass and could be smelled from a good ways off. I really couldn't wait to take a sip of this one.

I was expecting a ton of bourbon in the taste, but that never really happened. Instead, I got huge notes of chocolate covered raisin and salted caramel, which left a lingering saltiness on the back of my tongue after every sip. Definitely not what I was expecting, but it left me wanting more and more of this beer. The finish brought a ton of complexity with notes of wood, char and roasted malt with a bit of a dryness from the bourbon. In my opinion, the 18 Year Elijah Craig Eclipse was a bit better, but this beer was definitely Top 100 worthy in my book. I really have to try some more beers in this series.

Top 100 Beers Tasted: 38

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