I promised big news this month from the folks at Pinnacle Imports, and I am here to make good on that promise. Pinnacle is proud to announce that FiftyFifty Brewing Co. (Truckee, California) will release their highly sought-after Eclipse Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout series in the Alabama market beginning in mid-December.
Barrel-aged beers (stouts in particular) are all the rage these days, and FiftyFifty Brewing Co. is known for being one of the American craft breweries doing the barrel-aged stout some serious justice. Each year, FiftyFifty brewers take their award-winning Totality Imperial Stout and age it for a lengthy amount of time in a series of barrels from some of the country's finest bourbon/spirits producers to make the coveted and limited Eclipse Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout. For all the details on Eclipse and the process, here is the full brewery description from their press release:
Our brewmaster has taken FiftyFifty’s award winning Totality Imperial Stout, and aged it in Oak Bourbon Barrels for a minimum of 180 days. Imperial Stouts are noted for being rich substantial beers, and this barrel-aged version does not disappoint on that fact. Brewed in small 300 gallon batches, our brewers lovingly craft this masterpiece just once a year. Made with the finest malts, hops, fresh mountain water and yeast, over 18 separate ingredients lend their unique character to this beer. Different barrel-aging styles are noted by the color of the wax top.
At first taste there is a large presence of dark chocolate, espresso and warmth from the alcohol of the beer. Oak barrel character then comes into play with hints of vanilla and coconut, followed by mild bitterness from the hops, and then a nice long lingering finish with hints of tobacco, dark dried fruit and more chocolate. Eclipse is a wonderful companion with dessert. A beer meant for contemplation best enjoyed in a snifter and with a friend.
Eclipse weighs in at a hefty 11.9% ABV, and it is packaged in wax sealed 22 oz. bottles. For the Alabama release, we will see six Eclipse varieties finding their way to store shelves. Each beer is identified by the color of its wax seal, and they are as follows:
- Makers Mark - Metallic Silver Wax
- Four Roses - Bright Red Wax
- High West Bourbon - Tangerine Wax
- Evan Williams - Black Wax
- Elijah Craig 12-yr - Purple Wax
- Java Coffee - Lavender Pearl Wax
Word is that we are looking at a tentative release date of December 13th (that is not 100% confirmed yet), and the bottles should fall in the price range of somewhere between $25 to $30 per 22 oz. bottle. That may seem pricey, but this beer is a labor of love that is brewed once a year in very limited batches. Once this batch runs out, that is all until next year. This is very much a specialty item that would make a great early holiday present or stocking stuffer for the beer lover in your family/circle of friends.
The fact that FiftyFifty Brewing Co. is joining the Alabama craft beer scene is huge for our state and Pinnacle Imports. I say that because Eclipse is only available in 15 states and Alabama will be the only state in the Southeast carrying these beers. This is yet another sign that Alabama continues to make huge strides in the right direction when it comes to craft beer. I will update you further with official release dates, events and other details as soon as I get them from the good folks at Pinnacle Imports. Stay tuned. Prost!