Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Some Beers before Christmas

I opened a number of bottles with my family over the holidays, some I took notes and pictures and some I didn't. The latter was sometimes because I didn't feel like it though honestly sometimes I just forgot. I think I drank these two on the same night so lets talk about them together! If I don't I'll never finish writing about everything so lets go.

I had thrown a couple bottles in the beer fridge at random so there was no theme for this day. We started with the white wax version of FiftyFifty Eclipse, an imperial stout aged in 20 year old Elijah Craig bourbon barrels. The thing about the Eclipse series is that the barrel treatment (aka the barrel the beer is aged inside) is only referenced by the color of the wax. You have to look up the beer somewhere and compare the wax color to figure it out. Kind of a funny way to do things, but that's how it is.
Since this was aged in bourbon barrels, it's no surprise there was a big bourbon, vanilla nose on it. There was a little more fruitiness in it at first but that faded. No alcohol heat or bite which was nice though the base stout is only 9% so not it's not super strong. Decent mouthfeel, thought it was better than the 2010 version. Mix of bourbon and vanilla with some chocolate followed in the body with a small bit of alcohol burn in the finish. Again the burn faded like in the nose once I was partway through the glass and used to it. Pretty good bourbon stout and better than the previous year. The bottles are quite expensive which does make it an iffy repeat purchase for me. Good for gifts though!

The other beer we drank that night was sent to me from San Diego by my buddy Eric. It was the Karl Strauss Mouette a Trois, a fruitcake beer. This is part of their twelve days of Christmas series but I don't think they are taking this vertical as seriously as other breweries considering the name and style.
Clove and banana nose, reminiscent of a dubbel basically with a bit more spice. Pretty interesting nose really. Body was cherry, clove and some sort of spiciness either from another spice or the alcohol, I'm honestly unsure. Some cinnamon came through too. The only real negative was the almost too strong presence of the alcohol but it didn't lower it down too much. Did it taste like a fruitcake? Well, honestly, I have no idea since I've never had fruitcake. So I guess we'll never know for sure though I suspect it didn't.

I may have had a Bourbon County that night too but don't remember. I did drink one over the holidays though and man is that beer amazing. These two beers were a nice combination regardless. A stout and a fruitcake beer are certainly diverse, right? Both were pretty good too which made for a great beer night. Look for my post about my very merry Dock Street Christmas coming soon.


  1. I picked up a couple variations of Eclipse this year and am excited to try them out. I think I got the Elijah Craig 12yr and the Rye ones. I've heard a lot of good things about these!

    My local beermonger is telling me that BCBS Cherry Rye is coming soon too, which I'm looking forward to. And that BCBCS is burning a hole in my fridge right now...

  2. They are good and seem to be getting better every year. They are just expensive which puts a damper on buying them for me.

    As far as Cherry Rye, I wish I had been able to get some but never felt like rushing out nor spending $30+ for something that goes for $20 elsewhere. Heard it's awesome though!