A new barrel-aged imperial stout is debuting in New Jersey this week, as bottles of FiftyFifty Eclipse are beginning to hit retailers via Hunterdon Distributors. Previously only available at the brewery and retailers in California, increased production over the past couple years has allowed them to expand distribution to locations such as Denver, Chicago, Philadelphia and now New Jersey.
The Eclipse series is an exercise in barrel-aged imperial stouts, allowing brewmaster Todd Ashman to experiment with a wide variety of treatments from some of the country’s most popular bourbon and whiskey distillers. The process begins with brewing FiftyFifty’s Totality imperial stout, which is then transferred to bourbon barrels for at least 180 days. While aging, the thick, dark beer picks up character and influence from each barrel, including oak, vanilla, coconut, bourbon, dried fruit and more, finishing at 11.9% ABV.
6 of the 11 treatments produced in 2013 will hit New Jersey retailers, packaged in mixed 6-bottle cases containing one of each version. Housed in wax-sealed 22oz bottles, the color of each denotes which varietal you hold in your hands. Here’s the guide:
- Buffalo Trace – Bright Yellow
- Elijah Craig 12-yr – Purple
- Evan Williams – Black
- High West Bourbon – Tangerine
- Four Roses – Bright Red
- Makers Mark – Metallic Silver
As you might expect, supply is extraordinarily limited and bottles will be pricey, retailing somewhere in the $28 range each. If you miss out in New Jersey, expect to see FiftyFifty Eclipse in Philadelphia as well.