1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Annularity - FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

Annularity
No picture uploaded.
Have one? Upload it now.
BA SCORE
88
very good

34 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 34
Reviews: 11
rAvg: 4
pDev: 14.25%


Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
FiftyFifty’s Blonde Barleywine hopped with Calypso and El Dorado hops and aged in Rittenhouse Rye Barrels.

(Beer added by: Beerandraiderfan on 05-23-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
Ratings: 34 | Reviews: 11 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Arbitrator
Arbitrator

California

2.78/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks!

A: Pours a honey-golden body with a pinky finger of off-white head.

S: Very tannic, with a modest, slightly buttery rye whiskey nose. Mild dark fruit with some vanilla.

T: I was warned this would be boozy, but it wasn't; apparently it was hotter and hoppier when fresh, but that has faded considerably. The front end is malty and relatively mellow, imparting a vanilla-whiskey breadiness, leading into honey in the mid-taste, and closing with a fairly bitter, tannic back end.

M: Medium-bodied. No heat, but it is more astringent than it needs to be; that probably worked a lot better when the beer was fresh (and hoppier). I didn't get a chance to try it then. Wish I had.

O: I'm glad I tried it, but this isn't in the range of Eclipse. In our tasting discussion, opinions ranged from 3.2 to 3.8, with the median around 3.4 and me on the lower end (natch). I just wasn't all that impressed when comparing against other barrel-aged barleywines in recent memory: Sucaba, King Henry, Sebago BA Barleywine, BA Old Ruffian, etc...

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2012 22:36:58 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of xnicknj
xnicknj

Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at monks

Pours a light golden color with some darker orange hues. Thin patch of white head dissolves into a few spots of lacing on the glass.

An interesting mix of punchy, citrusy, somewhat sweet hops and bourbon in the nose. Vanilla with bitterness, followed by caramel and bread crust. Boozy and sweet at the same time.

Hoppy and bright up front with a nice cuvee of citrus fruits. A little sweet towards the middle with a dash of vanilla infused bourbon and a suggestion of passion fruit. Decent malt backbone with caramel and light bread crust. Smooth and warm in the finish with another dash of hops.

Fuller medium body, decent carbonation, sticky and lingering on the tongue with a round creaminess. This was interesting, although I found it a little sweet at times - still highly drinkable though, considering the ABV.

Serving type: on-tap

07-07-2012 18:18:01 | More by xnicknj
Photo of jethrodium
jethrodium

California

3.73/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650 ml bottle. Pours a hazy golden amber with a small white head that has good retention and leaves a lot of small spots of lacing of lacing on the glass. The aroma is oak, caramel, and is quite fruity with pineapple, plum, and fig. There is also some bourbon and a bit of alcohol. The taste is sweet with caramel and oak. There is also some pineapple and tropical fruit as well as a bit off bourbon. The finish has a bit of alcohol, some bitterness, and a light astringency. Medium body. Medium-low carbonation. Not bad. Not great. The tropical fruit notes remind me a bit of Gratitude.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2012 06:24:05 | More by jethrodium
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

3.74/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2013 05:27:52 | More by oline73
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to mrbubbler for sharing this one at Retsinis' tasting.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy orange-tan head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Thin streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, honey, fruit, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with brown sugar, caramel, honey, and wood flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of wood bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a barrel aged presence that is only giving off wood qualities at this point in time.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2014 21:19:15 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks, Shane!

Pours sort of an orange color with a small white head. Nose is heavily woody, but not all that much in the way of the whiskey. Quite a lot of piney hop character with a definite citrus bite to it as well. Sweet malt and bread are also present. The flavor is a bit too bitter initially but seems to mellow out as it warms. The citrus and fruity hop flavors really come through, as does the sweetness of the beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2012 04:01:43 | More by womencantsail
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

6/16/2012

Thanks!

A: Yellow gold with a big white head.

S: Restrained whiskey presence initially with light oxidation. There's a touch of date and a nice vanilla profile. Lightly bready with notes of caramel as well as citrus and a dash of pine. The beer really opens up after a few minutes and the vanilla and whiskey become more apparent.

T: Boozy with big whiskey and vanilla notes. Lower moderate bitterness meets citrus and well hidden alcohol. Lightly tannic with evident oak. Nice rich caramel presence.

M: Medium body with medium carbonation. Lots of alcohol warming.

Overall: A very nice beer. It improved when allowed to open up for a few minutes. I think a little time in the cellar (3-6 months) might be good for this. And by cellar I mean an actual temperature controlled area, not a hot closet.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2012 00:03:43 | More by HopHead84
Photo of cosmicevan
cosmicevan

New York

4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes taken from a bottleshare at the Phoenix Sun in NYC. Thanks kindly to Alex for sharing.

a - soft orange with no head. opaque.
s - smells like oranges.
t - soft barleywine. oranges and tangerines with some booziness glazed over the top.
m - a bit boozy but soft enough. bit of a sting.
o - overall fairly nice blonde barleywine. boozy, but enjoyable with great tangerine and orange notes.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2012 20:19:31 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of ngeunit1
ngeunit1

California

4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazy red-orange with a thin finger of slightly off-white head. Fades fairly quickly.

S - Sweet caramel malts, caramelized sugars, citrus, pine, and grapefruit hops, Bourbon, oak, vanilla, rye, brown sugar, some booze.

T - Sweet caramel malts, brown sugar, caramelized malts, citrus, grapefruit, and pine hops, some nice lightly resiny bitterness, Bourbon, oak, vanilla, spicy rye, some booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with a warming, sweet, and bitter finish.

D - Fantastic barrel aged barleywine. Great malt and hop flavor.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2013 04:20:11 | More by ngeunit1
Photo of ehammond1
ehammond1


4.4/5  rDev +10%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2012 15:57:07 | More by ehammond1
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

4.51/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-23-2012 00:47:11 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Annularity from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 34 ratings.