Wednesday, April 4, 2012
FiftyFifty Brewing Eclipse 2011 Horizontal Series
FiftyFifty Brewing Eclipse varieties from the 2011 release. Four of them were acquired from Al’s of Hampden, but the Elijah Craig 18-Year Barrel was sold out before my fiancee was able to pick up the bottle for me. Therefore, I sought some help and my buddy Mark secured one from Capone’s for me. Three friends and I went in on the cost of these beers ($25-$30 a piece) and we held a tasting on a Saturday.
Elijah Craig 12 year Barrel = Purple
The beer pours a black color with a lofty brown head with plenty of lacing. The aroma consists of whisky, light peet, chocolate, vanilla, and toasted malts. The taste is smooth with a nice alcohol burn with bourbon, toasted malts with vanilla on the finish, and has a lingering light smoke flavor which is wonderful.
Elijah Craig 18 year Barrel = White
The beer pours a black color with a lofty brown head with plenty of lacing. The aroma is much bolder with bourbon flavor than the 12-Year Barrel. It has a candy-like sweetness with lots of vanilla and allows the honey to shine. There is a smooth and sweet taste with honey, less of an alcohol burn, and creamier mouth feel. Vanilla, toasted malts, and oak shine through on the finish, and the after taste blankets the tongue in chocolate.
Four Roses Single Barrel = Red
The beer pours a black color with a lofty brown head with plenty of lacing. The aroma is mostly chocolate and vanilla with a light honey sweetness in the background. It should also be noted that the nose does warm with alcohol. The taste is light chocolate at first before the tongue is punched with bourbon. Vanilla and honey play well together while the oak comes out in the finish
toasted malts are left behind. This had a much toastier flavor than the others.
Rittenhouse Rye Barrel = Green
The beer pours a black color with a lofty brown head with plenty of lacing. The aroma is spicy with whiskey flavor and is warming with hints of chocolate and vanilla in the background. The taste is dry, much more so than the others, and can be attributed mostly to whiskey. This beer brings out more of the dry cocoa nibs on the finish, as I thought that the rye and chocolate paired very well together.
Brewmaster’s Grand Cru Blend = Copper
The beer pours a black color with a lofty brown head with plenty of lacing, but it had the least amount of head and dissipated the quickest with no lacing. The aroma is very sweet with lots of honey, vanilla, and chocolate on the front end that fades in a little bit of bourbon. The taste is lightly dry but is quickly sweetened up. Plenty of chocolate, vanilla, and honey provide the base of flavors for the beer, and the alcohol flavor mostly comes out in the finish rather than in the middle of the beer like the others.
The alcohol content of all of the beers is 9.5% ABV. Of all of the beers, the 18-Year Elijah Craig and the Rittenhouse Rye were my favorites, and Four Roses was the least favorite. These opinions were the consensus of the group as well, with only one person switching the 18-Year and Rye in the top two. As for the least favorite, there were good flavors in the Four Roses, just not comparatively to the others. If this beer was imbibed on its own and not next to the other four, it probably would have been received well, but since it’s different than the others, it just didn’t seem to stack up against them.