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Old Conundrum - FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Conundrum
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very good

36 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 36
Reviews: 8
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 5
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  9.05% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: nickd717 on 01-25-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 36 | Reviews: 8 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of irv2424
2.75/5  rDev -32.4%

irv2424, Jun 11, 2013
Photo of Jmoore50
3.4/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The appearance is a dark brown with a crisp khaki head. The head leaves very fast and transforms into a lacing over the brew. It leaves a medium-light leg on the glass. Poured into a 8 oz. snifter by the way.

The smell is of brown sugar, dark fruits and some fresh hops. This is all mildly pungent and does not leave an overwhelming impression.

The taste is good, but this in my opinion is not a barleywine but a American Strong Ale. This has some barlwine characteristics but nothing too strong stands out. There is some fresh hops with a malt background that is enjoyable. Overall average.

The mouthfeel is carbonated fairly strong and was it was served cold which did not help the mouthfeel. After it warmed up it was good, not really heavy on the palate.

Good drinkability, but there are better barleywines out there. Did not leave a memorable impression.

Jmoore50, Feb 18, 2010
Photo of MastaShonuf
3.5/5  rDev -14%

MastaShonuf, Mar 20, 2014
Photo of nataku00
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

nataku00, Dec 28, 2013
Photo of sansho
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

sansho, Jun 02, 2013
Photo of ScottO
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

ScottO, Jul 25, 2013
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

zestar, Jan 05, 2014
Photo of gueuzegossage
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

gueuzegossage, Jan 02, 2014
Photo of Knapp85
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a reddish copper color, there was a very thin head on top. The retention was minimal and the lacing wasn't really there either. The smell of the beer is sweet and malty. There is a bit of fruit-like aromas coming off of this beer also. The taste of the beer is sweet, lots of malt in this one, the complexity varies from sweet to bitter in the finish. The mouthfeel of the beer is smooth, not really all that carbonated... A little on the flat side. Overall this beer was a pretty good Barley Wine but I wouldn't have to seek it out in the future.

Knapp85, Sep 30, 2012
Photo of nickd717
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at City Beer for FiftyFifty day. Weird how this has the same name as an old Flossmoor Station beer, and if I'm not mistaken, FiftyFifty's brewer worked at Flossmoor. Coincidence? I doubt it.

Pours a clear dark amber-brown color with a medium off-white head leaving some foam and bubbles as it settles.

Aroma is nice and hoppy, pretty much what you'd expect from a decent fresh barleywine. Caramel, toffee, wood, and earth in there.

Flavor is lots of sticky caramel malt, toffee, rough resinous and earthy hops, wood, and slight citrusy notes

Medium bodied, mildly syrupy and sticky, with average carbonation.

Overall pretty good, but not the standout that FiftyFifty's imperial stouts are.

nickd717, Jan 25, 2010
Photo of jh1982
4/5  rDev -1.7%

jh1982, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of mc4z
4/5  rDev -1.7%

mc4z, Jan 18, 2014
Photo of ChrisPro
4/5  rDev -1.7%

ChrisPro, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev -1.7%

drewone, Nov 23, 2012
Photo of sideshowe
4/5  rDev -1.7%

sideshowe, Oct 03, 2012
Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -1.7%

spycow, Jan 12, 2013
Photo of Rado
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Rado, Oct 18, 2014
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev -1.7%

westcoastbeerlvr, Jan 15, 2013
Photo of ColForbinBC
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


A slightly clear copper color with no head whatsoever. The head settled to a thin collar. Nose is of butterscotch, toffee, sticky caramel popcorn, and honey. Waves of sweetness upon sweetness. The flavor profile follows the nose. Ribbons of sticky caramel, toffee, burnt brown sugar, honey, and ethanol. Maybe a touch of rye and pine. Medium body with loads of sugary sweet malt. The finish is sweet, dry, and boozey. A nice American barleywine without loads of hops. Heavily reliant on malts, and I am ok with that. Well made.

ColForbinBC, Sep 29, 2012
Photo of kaseydad
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed in a snifter and it pours an amber/burgundy colored ale with a cream colored head. Very sweet aroma with sticky-sweet candy, sugar, bubble gum and malt in the mix. Tangy and bitter on the initial tongue contact but then smooths out while in the mouth and blasts back with bitterness on the swallow. A lot going on here but it is all good and worth the ride. Full mouthfeel and the drinkability is very easy at "only" 9%. I am quickly becoming a fan of the FiftyFifty crew. Solid Barleywine.

kaseydad, May 02, 2010
Photo of MasterSki
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at FoBAB 2011. This version was aged 225 days in a combination of rye and brandy barrels. Served in a pint-shaped FoBAB taster.

A - A generous amount of tan foam settles to a near-complete cap and thicker collar. Transparent dark brown body, but minimal lacework.

S - Earthy rye whiskey, caramel, and only a hint of brandy - it's already quite sweet so I think additional brandy flavor might have been overkill. Reminds me a little of Heaven Hill Imperial Eclipse, but with more caramel and toffee presence and less in the way of chocolate.

T - Taste is quite heavy on the barleywine base, with the oaky vanilla and brandy flavors showing up late on the palate. Plenty of toffee, milk chocolate, and caramel, and only a kiss of whiskey in the finish.

M - Smooth, medium-full body, with moderate-to-low carbonation. Some alcohol warmth - I though this was a bit stronger than the listed 9.05%.

D - A very nice, and fairly unique, barrel-aged barleywine. I found it quite easy to drink, particularly when other offerings at the festival became fatiguing. I'd order this if Todd would bottle some up - I always appreciate that he manages to pack so much flavor into beers on the lower end of the expected ABV range.

MasterSki, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of CRJMellor
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

CRJMellor, Jul 09, 2013
Photo of MattSlem
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

MattSlem, Oct 15, 2014
Photo of jmdrpi
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

jmdrpi, Jun 24, 2013
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Old Conundrum from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 36 ratings.