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Annularity - FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

18 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 18
Hads: 76
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 24.37%
Wants: 14
Gots: 17 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Beerandraiderfan on 05-23-2012

FiftyFifty’s Blonde Barleywine hopped with Calypso and El Dorado hops and aged in Rittenhouse Rye Barrels.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 18 | Hads: 76
Reviews by oline73:
Photo of oline73
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a tasting snifter. This was opened at a BA Barleywine tasting.

This one is lighter in color than most of the other barleywines. There is more of a citrus like bitterness in this beer than the other beers from the tasting. There is a sweet note, but the bitter is dominant. I would say this is a strong ale/double IPA before it's a barleywine. I would have liked the sweetness to be a bit more prevalent.

 432 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

Popping the cap releases spice, vanilla, bourbon and honey aromas. It pours hazy copper tinted amber under an off-white foam cap. This is a big, chewy beer with a big honey, bourbon, oak caramel palate. It is fruity and boozy but the alcohol is not particularly hot. It has a spicy bitter finish that suggests a mixed drink with a hint of tartness underneath and overall has a good balance between the malt, honey, alcohol and bitterness.

 438 characters

Photo of bpfrush
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of ehammond1
4.39/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2012)

Thanks for opening this with me, BdubleEdubleRUN!

Dark golden yellow with a thin near-white crown that leaves spots of lacing down the glass. Appropriate.

The aroma is an intoxicating combination of vanilla and earthy bourbon. The barrel has transformed the base beer, I'm sure. The vanilla is a lovely, complex note of earthy and sweet, while the barrel layers play together nicely. There's even a hint of bright citrus.

The flavor is also incredibly complex yet immediately delicious and drinkable. Big notes of vanilla, bourbon, earth, wood, and mild hops intermingle nicely. There's the slightest bit of alcohol, but complementary.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

I really enjoyed this one.

 723 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.48/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the tap, into a little plastic wide mouthed cup. Wouldn't describe this beer as blonde, it looks more like a hearty ipa. Has that current of orange running through it more than anything yellow or blonde. Smallish amount of offwhite head on the top.

Aroma, smells like the right amount of bourbon, nothing over the top, small tobacco like notes, even smaller rum sweetness, larger vanilla aroma.

Taste, wow, heaven, tons of flavor packed into a relatively light body here. Immediately brought Abacus into my realm of consciousness, the amount of coconut was big and awesome. Caramel all over it. Bourbon obvious, but not overpowering. A great creamy, smoothness to the mouthfeel, really an effortless 10% beer to drink. There's even more vanilla to it than in the aroma. The oak notes are real bright, you get the best of both worlds, it has a high oak quotient that seems almost like it would be virgin oak if not for the perfectly delicate bourbon (and seemingly rum) touches on this. Really didn't pick up any hop notes on this one, so I was hesitant to call it an American Barleywine, but there isn't a blonde barleywine, and the only other one I'm aware of (Behemoth) is an American creation, so I went with said classification v. British/English.

This beer was kind of an awakening to me. I really have never been a big fan of bourbon barrel barleywines. I've often said I don't think they have the body to handle bourbon, you need to use an imperial stout to manage such a thing. And since then, I've had some great ones like BB4D, Abacus, MOAS etc. . .

And then there's this beer, a blonde barleywine, with less body than any of those great examples, and it just nails it for me. Never felt like I was breathing fire like in some of the bigger barrel aged barleywines. I can't wait to share it again with friends.

EDIT: Had a bottle of this while koufax21 was out over the holidays, not as good as fresh. Bummer, but 4.68 was the rating on tap. We'll see how it shakes out averaged with the bottles.

 2,027 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.79/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Oak aging is subtle at most in the aroma, but it's obvious in tasting, where it mainly provides woody and (fainter) rye whisky flavors. Fruit and booze in the nose.
Nicely complex and soft for style but alcohol should be more hidden .

 236 characters

Photo of jh1982
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of leschkie
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of Beernoobie
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of PretzelCity
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of GRG1313
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Chebyshev
5/5  rDev +25.6%

Photo of LakerLeith
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of HaveUSeenMyCellar
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of mrcraft
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jegross2
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of indy351
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of Canada_Dan
3.81/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of wethorseblanket
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of usofar
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%

Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of wolf_switzer
3.84/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of maputnam25
4.94/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Among the best beers I've tasted recently. While tasting with my dad, I mused aloud: "You know how some barrel aged beers can get a little much towards the end, and you sort of have to force yourself to finish them? This is just the opposite...you want to keep drinking it!" FiftyFifty has ingeniously used the pure sweetness of honey to balance out the oak and bourbon flavors that accompany the barrel-aging process. Vanilla and buttery flavors ensue; complex sour fruity notes underlay this balance that I could only describe as rhubarb, of all things.

My only regret is that I didn't buy another bottle. A truly great beer.

 630 characters

Photo of sunrats
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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Annularity from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 18 ratings.