BART | FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

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Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
"Blend of American barleywine and oatmeal stout aged six months in a Jack Daniels barrel."

Added by hopdog on 12-09-2008

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Reviews: 35 | Ratings: 180
Photo of corby112
2.95/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2012 vintage on draft at Devil's Den in Philadelphia, PA.

Pours a dark chocolate brown color with a half finger light beige head that quickly fades into a lasting ring.  Minimal spotty lacing left behind.

Sweet boozy aroma with a very strong barrel presence that slightly overpowers the sweet and dark malts notes.  Toasted oak, and alcohol followed by spicy rye, coffee, dark chocolate and vinous fruit notes.  It takes a while for these other notes to open up, but they're there underneath all of the booze and oak.

Medium bodied with a really strong boozy barrel presence that dominates the flavor, almost completely obliterating and trace of a base beer.  Lots of toasted oak, vanilla, spicy rye and scorching hot booze assaulting the palate.   After it warms up considerably, there is some subtle hops, leathery malt and dark fruit but the boozy barrel character is way too strong.  This brewery usually makes really good barrel aged beers but this turned out to be extremely hot and one dimensional.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.11/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bomber of this stuff from ScottO recently. Cheers!

From a bomber into a snifter
Ale with honey in oak barrels

APPEARANCE: Clear brown pour yields a two finger, medium looking, fluffy light head with very good retention. Bistre brown, clear, with no real carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a full creamy wisp with lots of sheets of lacing down the glass. A faint wisp and ring remain leaving some decent lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Oak, some vanilla, milk chocolate, caramel and sweet cream on the nose. Relatively mild, unfortunately.

TASTE: Oak, vanilla and some caramel up front. More flavors at the swallow with oak, toffee, caramel, sweet cream and vanilla, milk chocolate and lightly burnt flavors lingering on the palate. A bit of perfume in there as well. Lots of oak in there, with the vanilla and caramel that comes with it.

PALATE: Medium body and carbonation. Creamy enough on the palate, goes down okay and finishes with a bit of a burn and finishes a bit sticky. Some heat lingers.

OVERALL: This is alright, but certainly nothing special. The oak is a touch perfume-like, which becomes tiring as the bottle empties. An okay beer from a brewery that makes some rather good stuff. Happy to try things from 50/50, but this is not a repeat. Thanks again ScottO!

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Photo of alexhahn82
3.51/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

B.A.R.T. (Barrel Aged Really Tasty)

This batch is a Heaven Hill barrel aged mixture of Donner Party Porter + Old Conundrum Barley Wine. 60 IBU's and 10% ABV.
(Only available in 8oz Pours @ Fifty Fifty on tap)

A - Dark, almost red win like color, 1 finger head with lacing.

S - Barley wine. And thats about it.

T/M - Taste is of bourbon up front with immediate and evenly blended flavors of porter with a medium but stern finish of Barley wine.

O - Amazing. Seek and Destroy, Seek and Destroy (Do it twice!)

PP (Price Point) $7.95 for an 8oz pour. Great deal, do it all day! A dollar an ounce for an insanely good barrel aged product!

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.53/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

a - dark as night. head like a dessert coffee. body was deep dark purple.
s - timid. some roast. nutmeg...dark fruits.
t - there is a lot going on in this one. kind of strong ale, it IS a strong ale...i had thought this was a stout going into it, but upon checking, tis a strong ale. decent for the style, a bit heavy on the booze and roastiness.
m - big and boozy. medium bodied.
o - overall decent strong ale, probably not worth what you'd have to give up to get it.

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Photo of Sean9689
3.53/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a darker brown color, light tan head, thin collar. Nose is smooth booze, oak, caramel, some dark fruit. Flavor is oak, burnt sugars, oak, vanilla, toasted malts. Medium body, good carbonation, creamy sweet finish.

Not my favorite beer from FiftyFifty, but nothing really mind-blowing here. I'm looking forward to see how this ages in the next year or so, as I have one bottle left. Decent, but not sure I'd seek out again.

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Photo of stakem
3.82/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber into an eclipse snifter. The brew appears black in color with a khaki head a finger strong that slowly fades leaving a full wall of lacing effect on the glass. When held to the light, there is some cola clarity around the edges.

The smell includes fruity to floral hops mingled with an accenting fruity alcohol component. Some roast blends into herbal and dare I say catty to citrus aspects. It gets raisony as it warms up with a hint of minerals and solvent/neutral booze.

The taste includes roast initially that blends to a raisony alcohol character. Some citrus and herbal hops fade/blend into lots of fruity and floral notes. Only in the aftertaste, long after each sip is a bit of roast present tasting of stale coffee and a bit of must and earth.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. This brew is quite perplexing. At times, it kinda has a mellow black ipa kinda feel to it. It looks like a stout but smells/tastes strong of american barleywine. It makes sense after reading the blend description but it is strange how the stout aspect is all in the looks and the barleywine dominates every other aspect of the brew except the aftertaste hints towards stout. This is worth trying but not getting crazy over. Unless you are a fan of boozy black ipas, then it is worth flipping your shit over.

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Photo of cvm4
3.83/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a dark cola body with a caramel hue to it. Has a light brown head.

S - The barrel aging is really front and center on the nose. Some charred characteristics, caramel and vanilla.

T - To me, the taste really mirrors the smell. The sweetness of the honey does peak through and thankfully it's not cloying.

M - Medium bodied and light to medium carbonation. There's some heat to it, but it's really smooth.

O - It's worth a try, but not sure I agree with the overall rating. There's some aspects of it that are muddled and need to be pulled together.

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Photo of kdahnke123
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter at room temperature.
A - Pours a deep brown color with a single finger of tan head. The head quickly dissipates, leaving a long lasting lacing.
S - A deep hop smell with a background of dried fruits and carmel.
T - Coffee, bourbon, toffee and hint of honey.
M - Very mouth coating. Smooth and moderately carbonated.
O - My first FiftyFifty. Pretty good. Not as well rounded as some barrel aged beers I've tasted but worth a try.

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.94/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A- Pours black with a thick and creamy tan head. Monster lace after each sip.

S- Slightly hot whiskey aroma with some cola, chocolate, spicy rye, honey and some raisin.

T- Chocolate and lots of whiskey right away, chocolate covered raisin, light char and a lot of honey sweetness. Flavored get a touch disjointed as the beer warms, but pretty good.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%

A-Black in the glass, one finger tan/off white head that leaves some lacing.

S-Dark fruits, honey, some roasted malt and bourbon.

T-What I presume to be honey, Mild bourbon, Dark fruits and slightly roasted malt.

M-Medium bodied, some carbonation and a tad watery.

O-Honey in beers just does not do it for me.

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Photo of hopdog
3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap. This is a blend of their Barley Wine and Oatmeal Stout aged in a JD Barrel for 160 days. Interesting sounding to say the least.

Poured a dark brown color with red edges and a small sized off white head. Aromas of wood, oaky, bourbon, citrus, and fruity. Tastes of lighter wood, bourbon, fruity, and citrus. Some coffee and oats in the tastes too.

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Photo of Phelps
3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bart is a blend of brews that changes up each year. This particular iteration is a blend of Totality imperial stout, Donner Party porter and Summit barleywine aged in bourbon barrels for 180 days. Poured into a tulip.

Thin yet completely black look. The half-inch head of light, sandy tan head fizzles away nearly completely after a few seconds.

Interesting nose, with a noticeable blend of roast and barleywine notes. From the stout and porter: bitter toast and roast, a hint of coffee, some oats. From the barleywine: caramel and oranges. Not much barrel from any of it, though.

In the flavor, the barrels aren’t very noticeable save some clean oak. Bitter black malt and dark coffee blend with orange zest, caramel, oats and vanilla.

Smooth, soft medium body. Mild massaging carbonation breaks into soft fizz as it moves. Alcohol isn’t very noticeable, but dark malt bitterness builds.

Bart’s decent, but I could use more barrel or bourbon. Interesting blend, though. Really tasty yes; barrel-aged no.

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Photo of BergBeer
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Look: Deep opaque black with an aggressive white head. Beer is quite active for a barrel aged beer with lots of legs keeping the head high

Smell: Big dark chocolate, lots of oak, dark pitted fruits, vanilla, raisins, bourbon, dark cherries, more dark chocolate, and lots more oak

Taste: Huge dark chocolate at the front, prominent coffee, oak dominates throughout, surprising little bitter hop notes, vanilla, bourbon, tobacco, and dark pitted fruit covered in honey. Big and complex

Mouthfeel: Rich and creamy at first then bodies up and sits heavy on the tongue like a thick stout. The bitter notes come through on the finish and mild alcohol heat. Oak dominates once again.

Overall: One really tasty brew. This is one deep complex brew that makes it's presence known and rules over your taste buds. I really enjoyed how well the oak shines through while all the other notes duke it out on your tongue

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours a clear dark reddish-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, citrus zest, caramel, toffee, bourbon, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, caramel, toffee, bourbon, and wood flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of wood bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with nice barrel aged qualities all around.

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Photo of spacebear09
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Appearance- Pitch black beer with a very small head but good retention and lacing

Smell- Very boozy, molasses and chocolate

Taste- Surprisingly smooth and not boozy at all despite the big bourbon notes and 12% ABV. Tastes like a really strange chocolate pudding? Sweet and complex, with some hints of caramel, tobacco spice, and leather. Inoffensive and very easy to drink for a bourbon barrel aged beer.

Mouthfeel- Silky, very low carbonation

Overall- This is a good beer but an absolutely terrible purchase at $25 a bomber. Really not sure what I was thinking, but it's rare and I had never tried it before. This brew is solid but I wouldn't buy it again unless I saw it on sale for half off.

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.09/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured more like a stout, black, some brown edges, tanned head. Aroma was sweet, with a sugary fruity note, medium barrel wood and bourbon, hint of char, molasses, plums, chocolate and roasted malts. Taste had a nice vanilla and wood note, subtle but well noticeable bourbon note, chocolate, figs, hints of citrus hots and a very mild bitterness. Feel was more on the medium body side of things, carbonation felt good.

This had a reminiscence of Eclipse, but not the full on stout experience. Pretty nice, quite enjoyable.

Thanks David!

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Photo of srandycarter
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Very dark.Brown, but near black. Tiny light mocha head, mostly rim. Some cling.

S - Hershey syrup, light soy.

T - Malty, smell attributes in taste.

M - Creamy, a little to the sweet side. Only slightly cloying. Good carb.

D - One is enough, obviously. Half of one is probably enough. Good to try.

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Photo of Floydster
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at the 2008 Strong Ale Festival, was excited to see this in the lineup after hearing all the hype from the Bistro Barrel Aged Fest, consumed 12/5/08, reviewed from notes, color was a medium brown with some dark orange mixed in, creamy 1/2 inch off white head that had some retention, small amount of lacing also, aroma was filled with whiskey, roasted malts, oak, dark fruit, and both types of chocolate, flavor was a little dry at first with some hops carrying over from the barleywine component, beer gets sweet as it warms with the fruit and malt, oaky characteristics keep it dry enough to keep things in check, bourbon finish is smooth but a little funky at times, there is also a bit of earthiness lingering in the background, mouthfeel is sweet and fairly smooth, body is on the thicker side even after barrel aging for four months, could drink a few glasses of this, especially nice in the winter time, not too filling, I did not know a barleywine and oatmeal stout could blend so well, probably would have been better without the Jack barrel but still quite enjoyable, recommended

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Photo of MattSlem
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L: Slightly opaque, dark, dark brown, short lived khaki head with dreamy lacing
S: Milk chocolate rootbeer float meets cream soda meets oaky bourbon vanilla
T: Taste follows the nose with some slight floral honey notes, extremely easy to drink
F: I was expecting this one to be quite a bit sweeter at 12%, medium bodied.
O: Fantastic offering, I have had quite a few 50/50 barrel aged beers, this one is right up there with the rest of the pack.

Other notes:
I absolutely love the vanilla in this blend, it's soft and slow to develop.

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Photo of SHODriver
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: poured into a snifter to a nice shade of black with a finger and a half of dense tan head that fades quickly and leaves minimal lacing
S: smells of caramel, vanilla, toasted malts, dark fruits and some nice barrel notes
T: taste is caramel, vanilla, whiskey barrel, some dark fruits and slight roasted and toasted malts. swallow is chocolate, caramel, vanilla, slight roasted malt and more barrel.
M: surprisingly thin for the ABV but still smooth with soft carbonation and a dry finish.
O: Fantastic complexity and flavors from this beer. It has a lot going on and each sip is a true pleasure. Buy it if you can find it. The beer has a lot of good whiskey flavors going on but the components are also shining brightly. A little more heft in the mouth would have been nice though.

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Photo of Furlinator
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

My 800th beer check in on Beer Advocate.

Not sure what vintage this bottle is but, it's ABV is listed as 12%. Smells of cocoa, coffee and bourbon. The taste follows, with cocoa, coffee, bourbon and honey sweetness that becomes more dominant as the beer warms. Very good.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.29/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle into snifter.

A: Pours black with a finger of thick light khaki colored head that lasted for quite some time. Wispy spotty lace was left down the glass.
S: Caramel, brown sugar and molasses are sweet over boozy and roasted notes of toasted malt and raisins.
T: Sweet, buttery and smooth but powerful flavors of raisin, caramel, toffee, fig, molasses, brown sugar, dark chocolate, whiskey, and earthy spice. Solid hoppy bitterness from the barleywine lingers alongside slight vanilla, more whiskey booze, and lightly bitter chocolate.
M: Thick, slick, soft and sweet. Very smooth and integrated flavors, but still bitter and boozy although not hot. Low carbonation; drinks very well.
O: I really enjoyed this. After having it on tap a few times I’m glad I got to sit down in a controlled environment and really enjoy a bottle. An excellent blend.

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Photo of Jmoore50
4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This was one of my favorite beers from the 2010 release party. I am almost sure that it was barrel aged in Heaven Hills barrels. I like barrel aged Barleywines, I like barrel aged Imperial Stouts, so this one pretty much started as a great idea.

The beer has a darker amber center that gradients out to a burnt gold color. It is a medium bodied beer that when poured produces almost no head. Legs, this beer has them.

Lots of chocolate liquor with a noticeable sweet kick. I got more dark fruits out of this one paired with the chocolate and booze. I could also specifically pin down the oak from the barrel in this.

A lighter mouthfeel and with loads of flavor make this a dangerous beer to drink. It is loaded with caramel and toffee flavors with chocolate and Heaven Hills being noticeable as well. Again, I can taste the oak and it results in a sweet vanilla flavor.

A thinner body and mouthfeel result in few different things. The flavors are still present but so is a lot of the barrel. Not necessarily a bad thing I just found that the flavors were not meshing as well as I would of liked. Don't get me wrong, this was an amazing beer and a welcome change to the different beers on tap.

Cannot wait for more of this to start making its rounds.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.39/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

No matter what the age on this, I find a reason to like it. Same with barrel variation.

Anyhoo, pours lighter than Eclipse, this is a blend of barleywine and stout. Imperial stout. Thin off white/beige head, 1/3". Aroma of chocolate, cocoa, wood, hops, caramel.

Taste, wow, enjoyable sipper, not boozy at all. Vanilla, rye like sweetness, char. Still some chocolate malt, even some light orange citrus notes. Just as good as most of the Eclipse series. Packs a lot of complexity into a drinkable beer. Cheaper than Eclipse too. I should be buying more of this and less Eclipse.

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Photo of largadeer
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at FiftyFifty, 2010 edition aged in bourbon barrels of some sort.

A beer has never been more aptly named, for this is indeed a barrel aged rare tick.

It's a dark caramel hue, nicely carbonated, topped by a small but retaining off-white head.

There's a ton of caramel on the nose, both from whiskey barrels and the barleywine component of the beer. The whiskey character seems slightly more one-dimensional to me compared to Eclipse, but it's excellent all the same. Totality contributes a bit of chocolate that blends harmoniously with the fruitiness of Old Conundrum. Alcohol is hardly noticed.

The palate is only semi-sweet. Big caramel and bourbon flavors are balanced by light alcohol and tannic oak. The mid-palate brings out notes of stone fruit preserves, vanilla and milk chocolate. Medium in body, a little thinner than I'd like, with a little astringency showing up in the otherwise mellow finish.

This was quite good. Not on the same level as Eclipse, but with a bit more work it has the potential to be. Glad that this is going to be bottled next year.

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BART from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
4.13 out of 5 based on 180 ratings.
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