Which FiftyFifty Eclipse?

Discussion in 'Pacific' started by Thickfreakness, Jan 20, 2013.

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  1. beerhan

    beerhan Defender (619) Apr 28, 2010 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    I haven't tried this year's rittenhouse rye but lthe 2011 was definitely one of the beers that stood out the most to me that I drank last year. I did not care for the brandy treatment very much but this one truly was delicious and is the only one I want to have again. I have trouble drinking Elijah Craig whiskey and have not really enjoyed any beers that have stated they were aged in those barrels (too many bad Manhattans long ago...) and I think Evan Williams is just a terrible whiskey.

    I guess the real answer to your question is if you are a whiskey drinker choose which barrel is most similar to your favorite if not then pick your favorite color.
  2. ObeMaltKinobee

    ObeMaltKinobee Initiate (0) Jul 13, 2010 Illinois

    I agree with everything that you said. But..You also have to take into account angels share which can vary. Also the risk the beer gets infected or just doesn't come up to par with taste. So if they had to dump one barrel that would cost quite a bit. Say they make ten dollars a bottle profit (not sure what the margins would be for them). That would mean they lost 2600 dollars on the one barrel.
  3. FosterJM

    FosterJM Poo-Bah (2,719) Nov 16, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    I still think the JD 300 day is the tits. Hard to find but damn it was worth it.

    Did you like the Iced one?

  4. jtmartino

    jtmartino Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    "Angels Share" doesn't affect BA beer nearly as much as whiskey. The liquid is not in the barrel as long and beer is not as volatile as whiskey. If you lose more than a gallon, you have a leak.

    Your infection analogy doesn't really make sense - if a brewery screws up part of their batch, the remainder doesn't have to be more expensive to absorb the loss. They can spread it across all of their products throughout the year, as it's built into the company's annual overhead.

    Breweries charge a lot for BA beers because they can. Luckily, not all breweries practice obscene pricing. Yet.

    Eclipse is a great beer, but it's not $30 great. If it were $15 at the brewery and $20-22 at local stores, I'd be more willing to pick it up. As it stands, it's still available at many places around California and likely will stay on shelves for the next few months. I know of places that still have 2011 for sale.

    My favorite at this point is EC 18 year. We opened another bottle for a tasting yesterday and it's damn good.
  5. ObeMaltKinobee

    ObeMaltKinobee Initiate (0) Jul 13, 2010 Illinois

    I agree with you that Eclipse is not worth a 30 dollar price tag. I never said they had to make up cost with that same batch of beer. Not sure how that doesn't make sense? I was just showing that it can be expensive and sometimes risky. One of my best friends is a brewer at a place where they have a couple hundred barrels. They age a russian imperial stout for 9 months and he says angels share is 15 to 20 percent.
  6. jtmartino

    jtmartino Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    I thought you were implying that the high price tag is due to the fact that losses from infection are absorbed into the overhead (in defense of the high price). If that's not what you were implying, my mistake, but then I don't get the point of bringing it up.

    And I'm calling BS on your friend the brewer. Whiskey barrels and wine barrels only lose between 2 and 10% volume in a year. Beer would be no different. If anything, it would lose less due to the decreased volatility. There are numerous sources of this information online, including these:

    https://oakbarrelsltd.com/files/The Angels Share and More.pdf




    There's no need to defend the exorbitantly high prices that some brewers charge for BA beers. As Levi said above, BA beers are approaching the same price as whiskey. That's ridiculous.
  7. CJLuzzo

    CJLuzzo Initiate (0) Feb 22, 2012 Indiana

    I've been staring at the Eclipse on shelves for each of the last 3 weeks... it hasn't had much movement. I've since bought FIS, Hopslam, BCBS, 12' Bigfoot, and even some underwhelming Leinie's Vanilla Porter with my weekly beer budget... Can't pull the trigger on the Eclipse..
  8. DonDirkA

    DonDirkA Initiate (0) Dec 14, 2011 Arizona

    The best craft bar here in town is selling "six packs" with one of each for $150. That's only $25 each. I want it so bad. I may try to use my tax money for it even though its supposed to be for reserving my new apartment....

    I have never had any but the EJ12 sounds the best to me because I love aged whiskey..
  9. ObeMaltKinobee

    ObeMaltKinobee Initiate (0) Jul 13, 2010 Illinois

    Thats fine call BS. They have their actual data from filling the barrel to what the yield is. You can believe that or not believe it your call. I am not defending high prices or trying to argue against you. I just told you information I got from somebody who actually deals with this on a daily basis. I agree with practically everything you are saying just trying to give another side of it that is all. Beers that are more than the whisky/bourbon from the same barrel is ridiculous.
    On the same note I am suprised the Bruery isn't talked about more in these conversations.
  10. jtmartino

    jtmartino Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    I don't :wink: . The only way they're hitting 15-20% is if they're using smaller-than-standard barrel sizes or their barrels are leaky.

    The Bruery is a significant offender but their prices are a little more justified because the bottles are slightly bigger, they typically barrel age their beers longer (12 months for BT vs. 6 months for most Eclipse) and the alcohol content is a lot higher. It's much harder to make a 14-20% beer than a 10% beer.

    But that's not really an excuse since Parabola, Abyss, and many other beers are 1/2 the price.
    ObeMaltKinobee and Levitation like this.
  11. charlzm

    charlzm Poo-Bah (2,215) Sep 3, 2007 California
    Beer Trader

    I bought one of each just to be safe.
    Squidly likes this.
  12. NickMunford

    NickMunford Savant (978) Oct 2, 2006 Wyoming

    Whichever one doesn't sell and goes clearance for $15.
  13. Siggy125

    Siggy125 Devotee (460) Nov 10, 2006 California
    Beer Trader

    Are we talkin Sofia Vergara type tits or Cameron Diaz mosquito bites?
    Levitation likes this.
  14. MexicanSkittel

    MexicanSkittel Initiate (0) Jun 14, 2010 California

    I'm going Evan Williams I really enjoy their single barrel offerings.
    Then, Eligia Craig, rye, wheat, fitz, corn. In that order.
    I have to say that I'm missing the four roses. I guess I'll have to drink my 2010's to get my fix
    KevSal likes this.
  15. sandiego67

    sandiego67 Initiate (0) Feb 25, 2008 California

    I had a discussion last week with one of the brewers at Alesmith and asked if there might be a shortage of barrels now that so many brewers are using them. He said that there a lot of barrels available. It is never a problem to find them. Most of the cost is in the shipping.
  16. stupac2

    stupac2 Zealot (518) Feb 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    No it's not, the cost of materials isn't the only determinant of a price of something. Look at how long those cheaper beers last on shelves, if they even ever hit them. It seems like it's more accurate to say that Parabola etc. are underpriced relative to demand than to say that Eclipse and the North Coast ones are overpriced. (Of course, the North Coast ones seem to suck now, but that's a separate issue.)

    So the fact that the whiskeys are cheaper than the Eclipse variants used in the barrels isn't really meaningful, except insofar as 50-50 expects beer geeks to gobble up whatever variants they make, while the various distilleries don't. That assumption seems to me to be correct.
  17. jtmartino

    jtmartino Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    The only legitimate reason for breweries to charge $20+ a bottle is because they can. As a brewery, that's the only reason you need, and that's totally understandable because at the end of the day breweries are businesses. People who try to validate the pricing for any other reason are wasting their time.

    As a consumer, my only choice is to voice my opinion and vote with my wallet, and hope that others do the same. I just hope people realize that most bottles of Eclipse still aren't as good as Parabola, but they are twice as expensive in the store.

    And the whiskey price comparison is valid for many reasons mentioned above in the thread links provided by Levi.
  18. mondegreen

    mondegreen Devotee (423) Nov 4, 2009 Georgia

    I'm sure these beers are phenomenal, but damn. I picked up a bottle of 10 year Single Barrel Evan Williams Bourbon for $25 the other day, and that bottle will likely last me 9-12 months. I'd love to try some of the Eclipse stuff (it isn't anywhere near me), but they are definitely on the upper end of the market.
  19. stupac2

    stupac2 Zealot (518) Feb 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    Except that you can't just walk into the store within two months Parabola's release and get some. It's all gone within days, maybe a couple weeks if you're lucky. Hence it's underpriced relative to demand. That's what I'm saying here. Eclipse is probably still a bit overpriced from this perspective, but not by as much as Parabola is underpriced.
    I fail to see how. He just says "it's an important psychological barrier" and talk about the aftermarket, etc. Well, sure, but that has literally nothing to do with my point, which is entirely based on supply and demand. I'm saying that the cost of the barrels isn't relevant at all to the cost of the beer because demand for the beer is higher than demand for the whiskey (or, at least, 50-50 expects demand to be higher compared to the supply than the manufacturers of the whiskey think it will be for the whiskey). Hence it's more expensive.

    It might be funny, and it might be a turnoff for some people, but it's also expected because these are different products with different markets.
  20. FosterJM

    FosterJM Poo-Bah (2,719) Nov 16, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    Go look up Lucy Pinder. Those tits

  21. maximum12

    maximum12 Poo-Bah (3,694) Jan 21, 2008 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Rittenhouse Rye fresh is my favorite. Either Elijah Craig, or the Evan Williams close behind.

    And I'm convinced that there's a lonely sub-set of people on this website that utilize the search function at least twice a day looking for any hint of a thread on the Eclipse beers so they can copy & paste their rants on "cost" & "bottle variation" & "FiftyFifty Sucks".

    Yes, yes, we get it. Do something original, like address the question the OP asked, for a change...
    PaulStoneAnchor likes this.
  22. Levitation

    Levitation Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2009 California

    no, it's just person (singular).

    /so ronery

    p.s. am i wrong about bottle variation?
  23. maximum12

    maximum12 Poo-Bah (3,694) Jan 21, 2008 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Nah, you're just in the top 3. :grinning:

    I've never personally experienced any bottle variation; that's not to say it doesn't exist.
  24. Squidly

    Squidly Initiate (0) Nov 26, 2006 New Jersey

    I fought myself not to buy the EC at $34 in Philly on Saturday. I guess I should be patting myself on the back for the restraint...but damn it hurt to walk out of there.

    At least I had 6 of Russian River to soothe the pain.
  25. jtmartino

    jtmartino Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    I like EC 20 year (white wax.) I'd buy more of it if it weren't $30/bottle.

    I know nothing about bottle variation since I haven't tried more than a few bottles. If it were cheaper, I'd buy more and could comment on the topic.
  26. jplopez21

    jplopez21 Initiate (0) Nov 14, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Yeah, see I dont get that. Why the hell does russian river only distribute to the west coast and then nothing until pennsylvania.
  27. sandiego67

    sandiego67 Initiate (0) Feb 25, 2008 California

    Maybe someone in the distribution industry or retail liquor sales can explain why San Diego liquor stores will sit on product at higher prices while customers across the country can sell the same product for less.

    Eclipse was $32.99 to $34.99 at the 2 stores that I saw it stocked. Clem's Bottle shop is sitting an a lot right now. Are San Diego stores requiring a higher margin than other parts of the Country?

    I see the same price difference with the FW special releases, Abyss and other limited release beers. It seems that they sell for a lower retail price around the country.
  28. HopHead84

    HopHead84 Poo-Bah (3,190) Nov 29, 2006 California
    Beer Trader

    This will demystify the subject:

    domtronzero, Xul and stupac2 like this.
  29. Earlycsquid

    Earlycsquid Zealot (552) Jan 7, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    Just depends on where you go. Hanger 24 sell their Barrel roll series for $20 at the brewery, but most other places vary. I saw it at Whole Foods for $18.99 and then at my local bottle shop for $16.99.

    Even in L.A., it just depends on where you go. Vendome sells Eclipse for around $32. But you go across town and Ramirez had them for $29. So it's not just some San Diego vs the rest of the country sort of thing.
  30. Sebowski

    Sebowski Initiate (123) Jan 11, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    LOL that the one of the first guy's always to defend North Coast pricing is always one of the first to attack FiftyFifty's.
  31. afrokaze

    afrokaze Zealot (580) Jun 12, 2009 Arizona
    Industry Beer Trader

    Back to the topic... trade for a Gourmet Haus Stuadt Blend (cobalt blue wax). Liked it better than this year's Rye and at least as much as 2011 EC 12/18.
    PaulStoneAnchor likes this.
  32. vurt

    vurt Savant (941) Apr 11, 2004 Oregon
    Premium Member

    Stranahan's in Colorado has already been asking breweries to stop using their name on the labels of barrel-aged beers, and refuses to sell their old barrels to out-of-state breweries:

    Levitation likes this.
  33. lmchalmers

    lmchalmers Initiate (0) Jan 15, 2013 California

    Green is for the money and Gold is for the Honey's...Old Fitz was fantastic. Just bought a bottle for $28 the other night. Well worth the money.
  34. PaulStoneAnchor

    PaulStoneAnchor Disciple (375) May 30, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    IMO, I would go with the EC12 or Mellow Corn or Evan Williams from this year's line up. Although, I really enjoyed this year's EC20, Grand Cru, Rebel Yell, and Mellow Corn! To be honest, you cant go wrong with the Rye as well. :grinning:
  35. Earlycsquid

    Earlycsquid Zealot (552) Jan 7, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    I picked up the EC12 and Evan Williams. I was on the fence and I do regret not picking up the Mellow Corn simply because.... well, it sounded interesting. Hopefully I'll come across it at a bottle share as I really don't want to drop another $30 on these suckers.
  36. 3rdto1st

    3rdto1st Aspirant (214) Dec 1, 2011 California

    We did all of them along with the associated bourbons for NYE. We felt it went like this:

    1. Elijah Craig 12
    2. Evan Williams
    3. Bernheim
    4. Old Fitz
    5. Rittenhouse
    6. Rebel Yell

    Interestingly enough, we ranked the bourbons the same way, except we felt bernheim was better than Evan Williams, and Rittenhouse was better than Old Fitz. The consensous was that Elijah was the most smooth and had greatest "drinkability" and Old Fitz had the most bourbon character. If I could only grab one? Elijah. If I could grab 2, Elijah and Old Fitz just to see the comparison.
  37. DRBiser

    DRBiser Disciple (395) May 4, 2012 Maryland

  38. Levitation

    Levitation Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2009 California

    just this year.

    i tried some eclipses in late 2010 and found them pretty bad. i attacked their quality, but i didn't say they were overpriced for a barrel-aged beer. $25 or so is in line for most -bal aged stouts.

    incidentally, the brewer jumped on my ass for saying the bottles were bad (they had strong elements of ash and char). after reading reviews and other threads, i got clued in to bottle variation and presented my findings. he flipped his shit. he was especially livid after i called him out for hyping pvw eclipse's value in someone else's trade thread. not that that's relevant here, i just find it funny.

    two-ish years later, the price is $8 higher per bottle, and it has surpassed the price of the underlying whiskeys. now, as you stated, i actually am attacking the price. btw, north coast is cheaper per oz ($23/16.9 = $1.36) than eclipse ($33 / 22 = $1.50).

    i also tried a few of the 2011 bottles after people told me they were better. they were, but i had two bottles of the elijah craig 20 (white wax) and they tasted different. so clearly their problem isn't under control. and to raise prices yet again despite not dialing that in is just ridiculous. so if anyone is contending that i haven't at least tried a few eclipses before making my criticisms - i have. and yes, i'm vocal, and i'm an asshole, but i'm quite willing to reverse my position if new evidence comes to light. so far, none has.

    north coast's pricing is definitely off for some areas of the country where the bottles linger. the stores i frequent run out of bottles in 6 months or so, which i think is good pricing. but i've been to several stores with 2011 and 2012 eclipses side by side, which i think is an issue. if you can buy a vertical off the shelves, it's probably overpriced.

    and again, let me reiterate that there have been multiple threads on eclipse bottle variation (in past years) and prices (several just this year), which are important: it's not like i'm the only guy saying these things.

    i think eclipse would be ok as a $12 beer. abyss should be $18 and parabola should be $25.

    interesting info, thanks for the link. i wonder if this will become a more widespread thing.
  39. Beerandraiderfan

    Beerandraiderfan Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2009 Nevada

    Doubtful if those bottles sell by January 2014.

    FiftyFifty already sold out its futures (quickly), and sold the rest to distributors (quickly). Whether they sell out in the next 11 months will determine if a price reduction could occur in the future. If a merchant can't move that product, then they won't order more next year. If the product moves, they'll probably order more.
  40. Sebowski

    Sebowski Initiate (123) Jan 11, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    Good point nothing you posted is relevant here. In a thread asking which one of this year's is best.

    Love how you take the highest markup you've seen on the most expensive variation and state it as the universal price for a bottle of Eclipse. If you didn't do that your per ounce math wouldn't work out in your favor. I love every Eclipse I've had. I would never pay $33 for one though. That is just over my price range for it. I will keep buying them on preorder for much less than that.

    Your in SD, right? Several stores with 2011 Eclipse? Name them or GTFO. Meanwhile I still see the BA Old Stocks around.
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