Fifty Fifty Brewing Company released a whole series of barrel-aged beers. We were excited to see that each beer was aged in barrels from a different distillery, giving bourbon nerds like us an opportunity to taste the characteristics that individual bourbons give to beer. We picked up two bottles from this series.
First up is the Eclipse Imperial Stout, which was aged in oak barrels from Old Fitzgerald distillery. The nose is thickly chocolatey with hints of cinnamon and malt. We both thought it smells like dessert, specifically brownies. Upon sipping, espresso is strongly present, along with a mild sweetness from the honey used during the brewing process. The barrel flavors really come through mid palate with some vanilla and oakiness leading a light hoppiness. The finish is long with chocolate again at the fore and a lasting sweet bitterness.
It is lightly carbonated and creamy. This is a substantial beer that is great for sipping in the evening. It is 9.5% ABV.
With regard to design, the label is great, but we have to say we really disliked the wax used on top of a regular beer cap. It was not user-friendly at all. Wax may look pretty, but it really only works well on top of cork. The color of the wax does let us know which whiskey barrels the beer was aged in. While it looks nice, that information could be conveyed in a different way. That we’re picking nits about the bottle wax is testament to how much we enjoyed drinking the beer.
The beer is brewed in small batches, and with such a specialized beer, you can expect a higher price tag. We paid $30 for this 22 oz. bottle, which is definitely on the uppermost end of the price range for bourbon barrel-aged beers.