Old Conundrum On Wood
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

Old Conundrum On WoodOld Conundrum On Wood
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FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
California, United States
American Barleywine
Ranked #66
Ranked #5,319
4.17 | pDev: 8.15%
Aug 18, 2022
Oct 08, 2014
No description / notes.
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Photo of brentk56
Reviewed by brentk56 from North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Appearance: Pours a clear caramel color with a film that fades; spotty

Smell: Oak and caramel with some molasses; hints of Bourbon and vanilla

Taste: Caramel and molasses forward with a piney aspect emerging; boozy with some Bourbon and vanilla, after the swallow; the finish is sweet and resinous

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low carbonation; warmth in the gullet

Overall: I was expecting a lot more from this bottle; I think it is a 2017 bottling so that may have something to do with it
Aug 18, 2022
Rated: 4.34 by AllOfTheCats from Wisconsin

Sep 26, 2020
Photo of Treyliff
Reviewed by Treyliff from West Virginia

4.21/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
2014 Vintage
22oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours a murky dark brown color with a one-finger foamy off-white head that has good retention long after the pour

S- fruity and floral nose with aromas of cherries, figs, raisins, cranberries & roses. Caramel and toffee malty aromas, along with tobacco, leather and brown sugar. Peppery oak, vanilla and bourbon close it out

T- sweet and malty notes up front give flavors of caramel, toffee and burnt brown sugars. Dark fruit notes of figs and black cherries, along with pipe tobacco. The finish brings out the bourbon barrel, adding a sharp oaky note, as well as barrel juice. Lingers of faded fruity hops, sugary sweet malt and oak

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a slightly warming finish

O- this one has aged well, sweeter than expected but well rounded overall, making for a nice sipper
Nov 22, 2019
Rated: 3.98 by Hop_God from California

Dec 04, 2018
Photo of rodbeermunch
Reviewed by rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.99/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Kind of amazed I haven't reviewed any of these yet. Pours a brown color with a lighter brown or beige head in a 1/4" depth. Aroma was big on the toffee. Booze was next but it was right up against a hearty hop dosage. Its a weird thing with 5050, they are so erratic on their ipas, one time great, another meh, but their dark beers are always heavily hopped consistently.

Taste is less boozy than the aroma, takes on more of a bourbon instead of booze feel to it, expected it to be hotter off the aroma. A little bit of sweetness, brown sugar, caramel feel throughout. I guess there are some "wood" notes, but it just seems the same level as Eclipse has. Throw in some vanilla to round it out.

I don't think its as a good as BART but that is a high standard to meet.
Apr 25, 2018
Photo of gshak
Reviewed by gshak from Texas

4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Very vibrant and lively on the palate. Such a beautiful medley of vanilla, toffee, brown sugar, and traces of toasted grains leading to a chalky finish, but is not a distraction at all. Lip smacking goodness!
Apr 24, 2018
Rated: 4.31 by Thirstygoat from Illinois

Jan 21, 2018
Rated: 4 by pkalix from California

Oct 28, 2017
Photo of bshefftz
Reviewed by bshefftz from California

4.75/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Pours a muddy, cloudy, orange-tinted brown. Bursting with complex flavors, sticky mouthfeel, bourbon sweetness with mild alcohol heat. Hint of hop bitterness but I’d argue that this taste profile is closer to an English Barleywine (Arctic Devil, Mother of All Storms) than an American Barleywine that’s more hops-forward like BA Bigfoot. As another reviewer mentioned, this is right up there with Arctic Devil and MOAS in all-time, kick-ass barleywines.
Apr 18, 2017
Rated: 4.25 by AlvinLin from New York

Dec 20, 2016
Photo of SHODriver
Reviewed by SHODriver from North Carolina

4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
A: Poured into a snifter to a deep brown that's red around the edges of the glass topped by a finger of dense tan head that fades to a collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing
S: Smells of piney and citrusy hops with caramel, vanilla and wood in the background. Hops are still very present on this one.
T: Taste is that pine and citrus with some brown sugar, vanilla and oak. Hops are much more subdued on the taste than the nose leads on. Slight toasted malt quality as well at times. Swallow is a little roasted malt, brown sugar, pine and citrus with some lingering caramel and vanilla with a bit of wood. the roasted malt really lingers along with some oily hops.
M: Fairly full in body but not chewy with soft yet adequate carbonation and a slightly drying finish.
O: This is a pretty good beer. Great complexity with a good hop presence that isn't abrasive. Flavors are on par with what I'd expect from an American Barleywine as well. Definitely on the sweeter side of things though.
May 09, 2016
Rated: 3.76 by harsley from Massachusetts

Dec 29, 2015
Photo of maximum12
Reviewed by maximum12 from Minnesota

4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4
I only saw two bottles of FiftyFifty on the shelf in California; both are now in my house. Typical 22 oz. FiftyFifty brown bottle with minimalist screen printing split with my wife.

The pour - hey, it’s not black! That might be a first. Pours like mostly liquefied clay, I’m going to strain this through my teeth for the last few ounces. Quiet. The nose, too, is quite restrained. Wood, sweetness. Minimal.

Old Conundrum on Wood is like a dragon that smells like a kobold. Blast of alcohol that belies the sub-10% ABV greets the palate & acts like Novocain on the roof of the mouth; I should have swilled this before my next dentist appointment. It would have made the whole experience a thousand times better. Post-shot, there’s a full bale of sugar, vanilla that hog piles on more sweetness, woody with minimal bourbon. Caramel comes out of the woodwork on the finish. Rich, thick, boozy. But so easy to sip.

A boozy, sweet, under attenuated mess that’s absolutely delicious. I had a Grape Sprite earlier that was dry & tart by comparison but damn, who cares? Excellent, & I’d expect nothing less from FiftyFifty.
Nov 10, 2015
Rated: 3.59 by mendvicdog from Maryland

Nov 04, 2015
Rated: 3.91 by TheCuriograph from New York

Sep 15, 2015
Photo of sweemzander
Reviewed by sweemzander from Illinois

4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
22oz bottle poured into a snifter
(A)- Pours a dark burnt sienna brown color. Minimal off-white froth
(S)- Brown sugar meets some vanilla and oak. Very sugary smelling, but inviting
(T)- Quite rich. Brown sugar and caramel meets subtle oaky vanilla
(M)- Quite rich for a 9.8% ABV. It has some seriously rich and sweet characters behind it.
(O)- Good but VERY rich and sweet, even for a barleywine. Thankfully, not overly hopped
Sep 03, 2015
Photo of GRG1313
Reviewed by GRG1313 from California

3.75/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
Pours medium clear brown with a fast fading medium khaki head. Nose is very oak and port. Sweet dark red wine tones in the nose. Little boozy, sweet, fruity. Mouth feel is medium thick and rich. Flavor is rich sherry, smoke,burnt coffee, light charcoal and strong maple. Finish is a bitter maple; bitter smoke and almost an English bitter tone. Lots of whiskey tones throughout.
Sep 02, 2015
Rated: 4.25 by MickeyHops from California

Jul 04, 2015
Photo of QuakeAttack
Reviewed by QuakeAttack from California

4.59/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
FiftyFifty is one of the few breweries which can compete with FW for barrel aged beers. This beer is just as good as FW DDBA and Sucuba. One o f the best barrleywine beers that I have tasted. The BA is in the background and just adds to a very smooth beer. This is definitely a sipping beer. Brown sugar, fruit, malt...As my youngest says "Try it!".
Jun 22, 2015
Rated: 4.5 by beermeplz from California

Jun 02, 2015
Old Conundrum On Wood from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 47 ratings