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FiftyFifty Eclipse question-wax color variant

Discussion in 'Beer Trading Talk' started by fickenmeimirish, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. fickenmeimirish

    fickenmeimirish Initiate (176) Feb 18, 2011 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Can someone please help confirm which variant this is? I know the purple is Elijah Craig 12yr, the other one im not sure. Would thit be white or beige wax? According to the BA who sent it to me it was a heaven hill rittenhouse rye, but according to fiftyfifty's website white is elijah craig 20yr and beige (which im guessing mine is) is bernheim wheat. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


  2. OakedCanuck

    OakedCanuck Initiate (0) Jun 23, 2009 Washington

    The purple is the EC 12.

    Hard to tell the exact shade of the other one, but if it is stark white, then it is the EC 20 (or 18, depending on who you talk to...). But yes, the Bernheim wheat is "beige". tough to call, but my EC 20 seems to be a lot "whiter" than the one in your picture. I'd guess it's the wheat.
  3. Johnnyramirez

    Johnnyramirez Initiate (0) Nov 17, 2012 California

    That looks like the Bernheim Wheat. The Rittenhouse Rye is green isn't it?

    And the white wax, EC20. I was under the impression it's EC20 with the exception of 2011 where it was EC18. Or am I wrong?
  4. fickenmeimirish

    fickenmeimirish Initiate (176) Feb 18, 2011 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Thanks thats what I thought. Here is the response I got when I asked him

    That's a Eclipse Rittenhouse Rye. Its this years release. Don't believe they've done it previous years.
  5. MTBBright

    MTBBright Initiate (0) Sep 12, 2010 California

    It is the Bernheim. Rittenhouse is Green and was done this year and last. Bernheim was new for this year, and i believe it was rarer but I coulld be wrong.
  6. breaks808

    breaks808 Initiate (195) Jan 28, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    The Elijah Craig 18 year bottle is bright white so the bottle is definitely the Bernheim Wheat. Also the Elijah Craig 18 year was originally named 20 year but is the same bottle that was released in 2011. So you can name it 20 year or 18 year, its the same thing.
  7. ShawDeuce22

    ShawDeuce22 Initiate (184) Mar 17, 2009 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    2012 Eclipse Wax Colors

    Metallic Red.............. Rebel Yell
    Blue........................ Old Fitzgerald
    Green..................... Rittenhouse Rye
    Beige...................... Bernheim Wheat
    Black...................... Evan Williams
    Purple..................... Elijah Craig 12-yr
    Metallic Gold............. Mellow Corn
    White...................... Elijah Craig 20-yr
    Bronze.................... Grand Cru
    Pink w/ Purple Swirls... Coffee Eclipse
    Steel Grey............... GHS Special Blend

    ...this is from Fiftyfifty's website
    claaark13 likes this.
  8. MikeTen

    MikeTen Initiate (0) Apr 3, 2009 California

    Completely uninformed. You are dealing with an ignoramus. Not only is it not the Rittenhouse Rye (which is green, as others have stated), but it has been done since 2009. You definitely received the Bernheim Wheat. The wax doesn't look as white as the growler cap in your photo.

    He sent you the wrong beer. Ask him to make right.
  9. usofar

    usofar Initiate (0) Dec 23, 2010 California

    That's definitely not the EC 20 year (nor Rittenhouse Rye which is green wax). The wax would be as white as the labeling on the bottle. EC 18/20 was released in both 2011 and 2012. For the 2012 bottles, Todd said he was certain that it was EC 20 year barrels. The 2012 bottles were in the $35 price range and were only sold at the brewery this year (to my knowledge). The 2011 bottles will have a hand labeled bottle number and the year, the 2012 bottles will have a bottling run number (BR1) and the year.
  10. cbeer88

    cbeer88 Crusader (719) Sep 5, 2007 Massachusetts

    Is there a reason why FiftyFifty doesn't just label the bottles with what they are at this point? The secret decoder wax stuff is getting silly with so many variants out there, and year-to-year the colors don't even always mean the same thing.
  11. usofar

    usofar Initiate (0) Dec 23, 2010 California

    I'm sure it has to do with unknown yield and uncertainty about the availability of barrels from year to year. It's a lot cheaper to buy the same bottle in bulk, and just change the wax color each year. As popular as the Eclipse series is the brewery is tiny.
  12. Johnnyramirez

    Johnnyramirez Initiate (0) Nov 17, 2012 California

    My guess is that it's cheaper for them to not pay the extra few cents/bottle and label them and just use the same bottles, plus the wax adds to the novelty and perceived rarity of them.
  13. kscaldef

    kscaldef Initiate (0) Jun 11, 2010 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    But they hand number and date each bottle (and wax dip them). It seems like they could label them with the variant as well.
    corby112 likes this.
  14. claaark13

    claaark13 Zealot (504) Nov 29, 2007 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    Agreed, but it's cheaper for me to just not buy them anymore.
  15. cbeer88

    cbeer88 Crusader (719) Sep 5, 2007 Massachusetts

    Fair enough - isn't there some cost to waxing all the bottles though, particularly in different colors? Seems like they could move to stickered labels for even less...
  16. usofar

    usofar Initiate (0) Dec 23, 2010 California

    You're probably right, and things may change as they continue to grow. It's all speculation on my part but I'm guessing it was easier the way they do it when they first started and they've stuck with it as a novelty. It may also have to do with CA labeling laws. In the eyes of the government all eclipses may be the same. Some BAs already feel that way, myself excluded. I agree 11 different waxes for I've year alone is a bit much. Trying to figure out if it's mellow corn, berheim wheat or grand cru can be tough when you're partly color blind
  17. kylep3

    kylep3 Initiate (0) Feb 1, 2012 Pennsylvania

    This is my problem, I usually have to ask someone at the store and then it becomes an internet search for the website to find out what color is what.
  18. MikeTen

    MikeTen Initiate (0) Apr 3, 2009 California

    My guess is they aren't permitted to use the trademarks of the whiskey distilleries for their own product.

    I don't think that's correct.

    Yeah, I stopped too. Futures are reasonably priced, but I was always betting heavily on the wrong ones (2010 Brandy anyone?), so I waited until after the release to buy them. But I balked at the retail price -- I'm not spending $30+ on beer that was $20 a few years ago.
  19. cbeer88

    cbeer88 Crusader (719) Sep 5, 2007 Massachusetts

    Definitely not true on the colors - they are not always consistent:


    Red is Rebel Yell this year, Four Roses last. Green used to be HH, now is Rittenhouse. Purple was Brandy for a year... etc, etc...

    As for the whiskey trademark, that's a good point, but then I also though breweries weren't supposed to even talk about it. I've seen smaller breweries than 50/50 go out of their way to avoid mentioning the barrels used in beers. Yet, 50/50 has it plastered all over their web site and marketing...
  20. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Savant (945) Mar 17, 2009 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I thought it was just stranahans that told everyone to take their name off of beer labels.
  21. MikeTen

    MikeTen Initiate (0) Apr 3, 2009 California

    Ah, I guess if you're lumping them by general colors, then yes. Metallic Red (Rebel Yell) is distinct from Red (Four Roses) if you put them side by side.

    Heaven Hill IS Rittenhouse Rye. They just called it by the distillery name all these years for some reason.

    Brandy was actually maroon (not straight purple) for both years it came out. I see it is listed as burgundy and purple/brown on the website, which is confusing, so I understand what you mean. It's more clear if you own all of them, but I concede it's quite confusing otherwise.

    You got me there.
  22. cbeer88

    cbeer88 Crusader (719) Sep 5, 2007 Massachusetts

    I have no idea if it's a TTB thing, a bourbon thing, an individual distillery thing, or just a bunch of vague rumor-mongering. But I do know it's really hard to find a beer label that will talk about specifically what brand of barrel a beer was aged in, and brewers can be coy about it sometimes. So there has to be something to it.
  23. evilcatfish

    evilcatfish Defender (606) May 11, 2012 Missouri
    Beer Trader

    Regardless of which barrels those came from, they aren't worth $29.99
  24. pjl44

    pjl44 Initiate (0) Oct 3, 2008 Massachusetts

    What if the majority of barrels used are just something like Old Crow? It's a dirty secret amongst all brewers to suppress the information, except for the rare times when they get a Pappy barrel and can't help spouting off about it. Consumer confidence would plummet if we really knew what swill was sitting on that oak before these precious stouts. That's my theory anyhow, based on nothing of substance whatsoever.
  25. Highbrow

    Highbrow Devotee (442) Jan 7, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    that's in part because it would appear 50/50 goes through a great bit of verification to know the actual provenance, down to the actual "bottled" iteration of the barrels they utilize.

    what's apparent is a lot of enthusiasts & it's looking like a lot of brewers too, don't understand many aspects of the whiskey industry (behind the scenes). smaller breweries are probably less likely to have the buying power to deal directly in branding - so they take quantities of barrels from a source without a specific bottled brand necessarily disclosed.

    also - it's obviously advantageous to say your ale is aged in known spent Pappy barrels versus not necessarily so to blast off it was aged in Fighting Cock or Cabin Still barrels. in the latter cases, it makes sense to simply declare product was aged in "whiskey barrels" rather than disclose it was aged in barrels specifically dumped & bottled as a brand not so highly regarded. that's assuming the brewer actually knows what brand the barrels were bottled for, which probably is not the case in a lot of instances because it's also advantageous for the distiller/bottler/cooper or other barrel source to evade disclosing the barrels were used to bottle a less talked about / poorly rated brand.
  26. evilcatfish

    evilcatfish Defender (606) May 11, 2012 Missouri
    Beer Trader

    I kind of like Old Crow....
    kerry4porters and Highbrow like this.
  27. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Savant (945) Mar 17, 2009 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    There can be many different kinds of barrels being blended in the final product. Might be silly or pointless to list all of them on a label. Highbrow made some good points too.
    Highbrow likes this.
  28. Highbrow

    Highbrow Devotee (442) Jan 7, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    an example of what i mean with regards to consumer... & lilkely brewer lack of insight. how many of you realize the better regarded bottles of Rittenhouse Rye appear to NOT be distilled/made by... but rather are "BOTTLED" by Heaven Hill?
    this was also my point about the unfamiliar practices (behind the scenes). for example, there is no such thing as a "Pappy" barrel until said barrel is dumped, vatted & bottled as Pappy. all the old S-W barrels are marked "Old Fitzgerald". a barrel that doesn't make the cut might be dumped vatted & bottled as another iteration (Old Weller, for example) or sold off to another distiller/bottler (to name a few possibilities).

    what i find is most people assume a barrel of Brand X is created from birth & barrel entry. the recipe & other factors used have intended consequences & results, but if the intended results are not exactly as planned, said barrel typically goes on to serve another purpose. therefore, it becomes difficult for a brewer to say all 200 barrels secured & utilized were TRUTHFULLY bottled as Brand X. the easier solution is to say: "whiskey barrel aged", "bourbon barrel aged" & other generalized statements such as we use "Heaven Hill barrels". although, i often wonder when GI & FW announce that, if they realize there's a good chance their holding barrels that weren't actually filled by or with product actually distilled by Heaven Hill.:eek:
  29. BigGene

    BigGene Initiate (0) Oct 30, 2010 Florida

    I say just write on the bottle when you are waxing and hand numbering them. Not too difficult. But what do I know, I'm no brewer
  30. cbeer88

    cbeer88 Crusader (719) Sep 5, 2007 Massachusetts

    This is all fascinating. Thank you.

    So, does 50/50 somehow have better insight into the barrels they are getting, or are they just pulling a fast one over on everybody? Also, if they do have better insight, might this have something to do with their higher than average bottle cost?
  31. Highbrow

    Highbrow Devotee (442) Jan 7, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    excellent questions.

    my guess & generalized answer, as i can't speak for them outright... my assumption is, (1) we know for a fact, at least in the past they used Griffin to secure some barrels. https://draftmag.com/features/beer-in-good-spirits/ (2) i sort of filed it as a mere footnote when originally reading that article (when it was first published), but if you read carefully, Mr. Ashman isn't exactly a stranger to barrels & i would assume knows some of the hidden aspects of the industry itself - see the part of about Jack Daniels? (3) it would appear 50/50's barrel batches are smaller scale, which makes it easier to get to actual facts that have a beginning & ending (4) they appear to use specialized sources such as Griffin in the acquisition or barrel securing process. this again makes for better *facts*.

    when you combine 3 & 4 you might also recognize potential for higher costs. from what little i do actually know, it would appear they are not pulling a fast one & actually do go the distance to verify the legitimacy of their product as advertised.

    again i can't speak for others but by my best estimation, from all i've witnessed/researched, GI for example displays 18 wheelers rolling up with pallets full of mixed wood in the form of barrels all sold in a "lot" from a source such as Heaven Hill.
  32. fickenmeimirish

    fickenmeimirish Initiate (176) Feb 18, 2011 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Nah im not worried about it, he sent it in a bif so I wasnt asking for anything specific. Just wanted to know what I have. Thanks
  33. melliott2811

    melliott2811 Initiate (114) May 29, 2010 Arizona
    Beer Trader

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