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Beer Name: Eclipse (Elijah Craig 12 year – Purple Wax)

Brewer: FiftyFifty Brewing Company

Style: Imperial Stout

ABV: 11.9%

Description: One of the variants in this year’s Eclipse series of Imperial Stouts aged in various bourbon barrels.  As the name suggests, this one was from an Elijah Craig barrel.

Pour Info: Poured from a slightly chilled bottle into a snifter glass.

Price: $30 for 22 oz. bomber

Appearance:  As expected, the body pours a nice dark black.  A one finger tan head forms that leaves behind some lacing as the beer is consumed.

Smell: Sweet nose full of bourbon.

Taste: I poured my first glass at a temperature somewhat less than fully refrigerated and have absolutely no regrets.  The beer has a super smooth mellow bourbon taste that stays with you throughout the drinking experience.  There are hints of sweetness and chocolate notes up front and in the middle. A little bit of roastiness follows on the end, which is just enough to give the bourbon a little something extra.  Making this even more interesting is that it drinks incredibly smooth and there is no hint at all that the beer is 11.9% until it’s almost gone.

Mouth Feel: Fantastic.  Super smooth. Silky, creamy, thick body and very minimal carbonation outside of some nice little bubbles on the edges after finishing a sip.

Hype Factor: At $30 a bottle you better believe I had high hopes for this one.  The series is very well regarded, and my wife bought me bottles that coincide with her favorite bourbons so yeah, I was looking forward to this.

Overall: I can’t deny that the beer was pricey, but on the other hand it sure was good.  Very pleasant and enjoyable to drink and given the ABV one bottle will go a long way.  I have two other variants in my beer closet that I now have even higher hopes for. I think I can now confidently view these as special occasion beers that will not disappoint.