Rouge Baril Baltique - FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

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Rouge Baril BaltiqueRouge Baril Baltique

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60 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 60
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 17.74%
Wants: 17
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: dubinsky on 05-06-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Baltic Porter aged 8 months in French oak Cabernet Sauvignon barrels.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 60 | Reviews: 30
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

  None found.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.64/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A very dark brown with little to no head on the top of it, doesn't look like anything impressive or special, it just is, and it is pretty lowly carbonated. Aroma was lots of oak, wine barrel, dark fruit, smidge of alcohol with chocolate, probably the best smelling baltic porter I've ever come across, which isn't saying much, but its saying something.

Taste, like many fiftyfifty iterations, this one actually hides the alcohol decently. Not a fan of the dark fruit and wine flavors though, just really brings this one away from tasting like a beer, although for most big baltic porters, this one tames the rubbing alcohol like tendencies. Roasting comes out more in the mouthfeel, thankfully taking a little more away from the wine and raisin aspects. You can probably find some licorice/anise in there somewhere, there's something going on similar to that.

A nice beer to have, but ultimately, with Eclipse/BART/Annularity being incredible, and this merely being "very good for its class" this won't be one I search out.

Photo of nickd717
4.35/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at City Beer’s 5th Anniversary.

Dark brown in color with a one finger lasting tan head.

Great aroma, roasty and chocolatey, Eclipse-like, with big oak presence and some vinous notes.

On the flavor, the barrel and red wine comes out more as it warms. Dark chocolate and roast with some vanilla.

The body is a little thin but that adds to the drinkability.

Pretty solid beer, well done once again, Todd.

Photo of thagr81us
4.17/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to funkydelic for sharing this one with myself, beeruser, and mikesgroove at one of our weekly tastings. Served from bottle into a Mikkeller flute. Poured a massively dark brown with a minimal cream colored head. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, dark fruit, wood, grapes, and slight sour. The flavor was of sweet malt, dark chocolate, earth, wood, grapes, and dark fruit. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. This one was quite complex for a Baltic Porter. Not sure where the slight sour note on the nose came from, but it seemed to blend nicely with the rest of the notes in the nose rather than seeming out of place. This one was really easy to drink and quite enjoyable. The flavor was also quite complex and enjoyable. Definitely worth trying for sure.

Photo of trappistlover
3.74/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(Bottle shared by Mike!) Pours a dark brown color with a red hue. The tan head is thin. Aroma has wine, chocolate and berries. Sweet with berry/wine notes most prominent. The roasty bitterness from the porter is still detectable. Thin bodied with a slick/oily texture. Dry, winey finish. This was a nice unique beer. Not my favorite of the bunch, but it went over well with everyone.

Photo of hobojon
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks mrfootstones

22oz bottle in a Bruery snifter

Aroma- sweet red wine with lots of berry. chocolate. oak and coconut. subtle vanilla.

App- deep brown. light tan foam with some retention.

Taste- bittersweet chocolate. slight astringent dark malt. ripe sweet berry and jammy wine flavors. tart dark fruit (cherry, blueberry, date). good balance between the vinous and porter flavors.

Mouth- med carb. slightly thin mouthfeel. dry with some tannins.

Overall- unique and good -bal character, but the base beer is a little thin for a -bal. the wine character is very good. this is a very good beer overall, but I prefer -bal aged beers being bigger in body and flavor to match the -bal character.

Photo of emerge077
4.42/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft serving into a tulip, review from notes.

Black body, some lighter brown mahogany edges where the light gets through. Creamy tan foam that forms a thin layer, receding to a wispy swirl of skim later on. Some spotty irregular lacing.

Fruity sweet nose, figs and plum mainly, hard to tell if the fruit notes are yeast esters or derived from the wine barrel. Leaning towards esters... Flavor is fruit forward too, plums and cherry skin, a mild natural fruit tartness melding with some mild roasty bakers chocolate from the malts in the base porter. A pretty seamless blend here. Light bodied with soft carbonation. Dry aftertaste with some woody oak traces. Had two glasses of this, it was very drinkable with plenty of complexity and wine barrel nuance. Thanks for sending this one to Chicago!

Photo of nataku00
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at City Beer Store during the release, poured into a tulip glass. Dark brown with some lighter tints of red and brown at the edge of the glass when held up to the light coming through the windows. A thin tan haze of a head on the surface of the beer from a gentle pour, though some swirling creates a little bit more of a bubbly collar that sticks around. Some light lacing that slowly slides back into the beer. Not much is visible through the dark beer so I can't tell if there's carbonation from sight alone.

The beer was poured a little cold initially, and the aroma was muted for a bit, but there's more to it as it came up to a decent serving temperature. Good baltic porter base of roasted malts, milk chocolate, dark baked bread, but the most surprising was how much of the wine barrel comes through the base. Plenty of the cabernet sauvignon is present in the nose, red fruit sweetness, grape skin astringency, and a good oak richness.

Per the nose, the barrels are strong influence on the taste, at times overcoming the porter qualities. Slight tartness from a red wine vinegar and tart cherry flavor, and astringency from the wine barrel, and a pronounced young oak flavor, playing against the roasted malts, a more bitter chocolate, and dark caramel. The barrel might be a little too much at this point, and I think a little more time for the flavors to integrate would be of great benefit.

Medium bodied beer with a good amount of light carbonation that softly graces your tongue to prevent too much of the beer from sticking to the tongue. Finish is long in its cabernet flavors, grape skin astringency, oak, and just a touch of roasted malt. If the malts could come out to play some more, this will be a much more enjoyable beer. Looking forward to opening a bottle in the future and seeing if there's improvement.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thrilled to see this one come up this past friday, i have been wanting to get these tracked down and it was wonderful to cross this one off the list, poured into a new belgium snifter.

the pour was a massive dark brown with a huge head that settled down gently and left some nice lacing up and down the sides of the glass. the aroma is dark chocolate, roasted malts, hints of muscat grapes and touches of oak that all seem to come together brilliantly. lots of vanilla, coffee and light vanilla notes seem to come out the warmer it gets. finishing clean with a nice and light balance to it the flavor of light grapes is left on the palate.

overall this is a fantastic beer, totally out of left field and just amazing!

Photo of largadeer
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at City Beer's 5th anniversary party.

Appearance: Dark brown with a slim tan head. Carbonation is at a lower-moderate level.

Smell: Really awesome aroma. Lot of toasted sweet coconut and chocolate. Very mild, integrated barrel character. A dash of oak, little in the way of wine beyond a subtle vinous note.

Taste/mouthfeel: Less impressive than the aroma, but still good. Toasted coconut and chocolate at the forefront. Mildly vinous and licoricey, but light on the roast. Moderately sweet, not too rich, but bigger than I was expecting for a lower alcohol beer. Little oak and dark fruit in the finish. Quite good, much better than I was expecting. I'm typically not impressed with dark beers like this aged in wine barrels, but this one pulls it off.

Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Black with red rings on the bottom and top no head

Smell: Oak caramel chocolate and it has a interesting medicinal sweetness to it

Taste: Oak and maple syrup up front. Finishes with traces of berries and chocolate really nice flavor

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with a low carbonation level

Overall: Really good beer that I highly recommend. FiftyFifty brewery is a small brewery that just keeps putting out exceptional beers

Photo of KevSal
4.47/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had it several times on tap at City Beer store and at their party

i really like this beer.

A- looks like a killer baltic porter! deep dark red color when held up to the light. small half inch head.

s- smells killer! classic 50/50 here. very reminiscent to the eclipse brew(and thats a very good thing!). as it warms the cab barrel starts to come thru. tops

t- very close to the nose, no surprises here, this guy is delicious! roasted malts and some chocolate and raisin. as it warms the cab barrels really come through in spades, which adds a very good element to the beer.

m- mouthfeel is pretty good. i was hoping for a thicker baltic porter feel, but it gets it done. it allows the wine textures to come through very well.

0- very good beer, and a great addition to the cbs 5 line up. how the hell did they pull this off, every beer is a winner and honestly the care really comes through. definitely worth a glass!

Photo of Thorpe429
3.28/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a SAVOR snifter. Pours a very dark brown with a tan head and a bit of lacing. The nose has some roast and a touch of chocolate. Very, very mild oak and wine character, though I honestly can’t say I would have picked it out if I didn’t know. A bit more of that in the flavor. Roasty with touch of chocolate and light oak and wine. Body is medium with good carbonation. Pretty good with no flaws, but not something I’d seek out again.

Photo of charlzm
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Consumed at Blue Palms 3rd Anniversary event in Hollywood, CA.

Extremely dark brown (not quite black) with nearly no head.

Aroma of mild coffee, chocolate and woodiness.

Flavor is restrained chocolate, vanilla; barrel aging is only apparent as moderate wood bitterness on the finish.

Well carbonated on the tongue as evidenced by a nice little tingle. Slightly thin, as appropriate for a porter.

Easy drinking but not as bold as this beer's description would lead one to believe. Didn't get any wine flavors at all. Kind of a boring porter, honestly, particularly for a Baltic.

Photo of womencantsail
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks for sharing this one, Bobby.

A: The pour is dark brown in color with a small, light tan head.

S: Smells like what you would expect. There is quite a bit of roasted malt aroma to it and some dark chocolate and cocoa powder. The red wine is quite strong with lots of red fruits and oak notes.

T: There's a nice bit of vanilla to the flavor along with the chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts. Lots of red wine flavor to the beer giving plenty of red berries, grapes, and oak.

M: Medium in body with a somewhat low carbonation.

O: Better than I had expected, if you don't mind back-handed compliments. Pretty good, certainly better than Open Container.

Photo of MrFootstones
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours opaque black with a very short lived mocha head. Clear brown edges apparent when held to the light.

Brown sugar, grapes, burnt toast and roast barley in the nose.

Taste is very vinous. Concord grapes, and toasty/burnt dark malt. Hint of vanilla and tartness from the barrel. Finish is very dry and slightly oaky. Very much a Canvas for the barrel character.

Light carbonation, medium body, drying wine barrel tannins.

Not bad at all. A nice enjoyable beer, but not particularly complex or outstanding.

Photo of scottfrie
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at 50/50. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a very dark brown near black with a thin, short lived, off-white head.
S: Apple cider, touch of chocolate and vinous alcohol. Wine notes are strong.
T: Apples, milk chocolate, white wine, pear, and a bit of tobacco in the finish. Interesting for a porter.
M: Thinnish mouth, medium body, low carbonation. Alcohol is noticeable but light.
O: Sweet, vinous and fruity. Not very Baltic porter-like. This tasted more like a cider. I liked it but I can see how this isn’t for everyone.

Photo of HopHead84
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


Thanks to Jason for opening this.

A: Dark brown with a subtle maroon tinge. Light brown head.

S: Prominent Cabernet grape presence with a general berry essence. Chocolate and a little roast. Strong lactic note in the aroma. Faint booze.

T: Lightly roasted malt with chocolate, grape, oak, and that berry character I got in the nose. Lightly sour in a lactic way, clean. Finishes with chocolate covered grapes and drying oak with a lingering lactic presence.

M: Upper medium in body with moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is smooth, sticky, and creamy.

Overall: A nice beer. Recommended.

Photo of PaulStoneAnchor
4.65/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was lucky enough to have this come from the personal 50/50 stash at the 4th anniversary party. This was shared with Abellcal98, Loki83, Porkinator, and myself. This beer pours a rich deep black with a mahogany hue. The nose had a lot of wine qualities to it, like a dark grape with some fruity notes. Along with that, some dark fruits came through with a bit of sugary sweetness. The taste was amazing, it rolled over my tongue with some sweet cabernet oak qualities along with some toffee, fig, and a bit of mocha. The mouthfeel was felt a bit thin, but that was due to the low carbonation and barrel aging. Overall this beer was amazing! Everything was blended amazing well, I wish we were able to have some more bottles to take with us because this is one of those beers that would aging amazingly well. I think with some age the cabernet qualities it has will blend nicely with the fig and mocha. This beer has become one of my personal favorites, it is now on par with the Eclipse series.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle pour sampled at mrbubbler's tasting.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a tan head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark malt and some slight tart aromas. Taste is pretty much the same with some mild roast flavors. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but it's somewhat basic.

Photo of illidurit
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle shared at the January 2012 Santa Cruz tasting at Sante Adairius. Pours a nice ruby brown color with a swirly cocoa head. Aroma is robust with zesty fresh coffee at the fore. A piney note comes through, just the slightest bit solventy. Big roasted flavor with tart coffee beans and a well-balanced red wine influence that contributes just enough fruitiness, sharpness and barrel character to make things interesting without taking over.

Photo of Arbitrator
2.23/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Chilled bottle into a glass.

A: Pours a dark brown with mild clarity, especially apparent at the edges where a ruby hue shines against the light. Short-lived beige head.

S: Oak, vanilla, red wine are immediately apparent. The base porter contributes flavors of roasted malt, milk chocolate (with a light lactic note).

T: Very subtle flavors here: an array of roasted malt, milk chocolate, red wine grapes. The oak and vanilla on the nose are hard to detect here. I was hoping the barrels would stand out against the base beer, but the dark grape and berry elements seem to have fallen in line with the baltic porter, and at times they're undetectable.

M: On the thin side. I generally like that in Eclipse, but here the beer falls a bit flat for it, mainly because the flavor isn't as chewy and complex as Eclipse is. Carbonation is good.

O: I was a little hesitant to buy this one, as I was unimpressed by the tap version at City Beer, but I figured the bottles might be better. Unfortunately, this has the same drawbacks as the Brandy Eclipse, to my palate: I feel that grape-spirit-based barrels don't impart anything impressive to a stout or porter. This beer doesn't change that impression. We wound up not finishing the bottle, sadly.

Photo of dubinsky
4.29/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at City Beer. This is one of the 5 5th anniversary beers.

This is a Baltic Porter thats been aged in recycled chardonnay barrels. From City Beer, they say that only 14 cases are being sold.

A - It was hard to see in the dark store, but as far as i could tell, this was mostly black with a slight reddish tinge. The beer was poured into a tulip that was presented with no head, but a slight off-white ring of head on the edges of the glass. Not much lacing to speak of.

S - This is a really cool and unusual aroma for the style. It has that distinctive Fifty Fifty dark roast malt aroma, but with a huge twist. The wine barrel aroma is really prominent here and very pleasant. I also picked up some sour notes as it warmed up, probably again from the grapes used in the barrels.

T - The taste follows the smell. The beer was served too cold in my opinion and really needed some time to come to room temperature. As it came to the right temp, i began to taste less of the porter flavors and more of the wine barrel. The barrels gave this beer a really unique slightly sour taste that really left me thinking i was drinking a dark wine at times. The flavors that were porter like were also excellent but a tad young in my opinion. I think with some age the roasted dark malts will develop some more sweetness to counter the tartness of the wine barrels.

M - Body is fairly light for a Baltic Porter, with excellent carbonation. The fairly low ABV at 6.8 is considerably lower than many Baltic porters i've had before and that made it incredibly easy to drink since there was not heat from the alcohol.

O - I really enjoyed this beer and think it will only get better with some age. Its great to see a store i frequent and appreciate do something like this with a brewery that is as awesome as Fifty Fifty. Great job to both and Congrats on 5 awesome years CBS!

Photo of Sean9689
4.38/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Map Room and served in a tulip.

A - Pours dark brownish/black, light tan head, spotty lacing, thick collar, and thin cap.

S - Chocolate, roast, slight oak, red wine tannins, expresso, toffee, slight sweetness. The oak and red wine notes are the most prominent and the sweetness adds another level. Very rich and complex.

T - Lots of oak and red wine/cabernet notes, chocolate, apples, slight roast, and touch of bitterness. Like the nose, very complex and enjoyable.

M - Medium to full body, light carbonation, creamy, smooth and rich.

O - The oak and cab compliment the sweetness of the porter. Very enjoyable. I had two more after this one and at 7%, it's nice to be able to have a few of these without getting destroyed. Looking forward to trying this out of the bottle!

Photo of ccrida
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber at City Beer for the bargin basement price of $40. Dark brown, thin collar, no lace.

Smell is vinous, whoa.

Taste is loads of wine barrel, the cab is dominating a basic base porter. Acidic.

Mouthfeel slippery and really tannic. Medium bodied.

Drinkability isn't too high. Lots of wine and oak. Not to mention the cost and rarity. Glad to have tried, but it made me feel like a ticker...

Photo of jethrodium
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the City Beer Store 5th Anniversary Party. Pours black (cola brown at the edges where the light comes through) with a small light chocolate head the settles into a ring at the edge of the glass. Light lacing left on the glass. The aroma is big dark chocolate with some light coffee notes, a light roastiness, and big red wine and oak. The red wine and oak become more prominent as it warms up. The taste follows the nose quite closely. Dark chocolate on the initial taste going into some coffee, oak, and red wine with a decent roastiness present throughout. The flavors are balanced quite nicely with the the wine coming through more as it warms up. A light bitterness on the finish. Full bodied. Low carbonation, perhaps a little bit too low. Overall, a great beer from FiftyFifty. Not quite in the class of some of the better Eclipses, but still very good. I would have guessed it was higher in alcohol based on how full the body is and how flavorful it is. No detectable alcohol in the aroma or taste.

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Rouge Baril Baltique from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
84 out of 100 based on 60 ratings.