Rouge Baril Baltique | FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

very good
31 Reviews
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Rouge Baril BaltiqueRouge Baril Baltique

Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Baltic Porter aged 8 months in French oak Cabernet Sauvignon barrels.

Added by dubinsky on 05-06-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 31 | Ratings: 61
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.56/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Brown pour, almost no head, looks kinda just barely clinging to life. Aroma was lots of wine barrel, booze, oak, dark fruit, alcohol. Frankly was nicer than most baltic porters that are like overripe prunes.

Taste, absorbs the alcohol and bitterness well, lots of red wine oak tannins, raisin, dark cherry, American size roasting of the dark malts, a weird beer, but well done.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.28/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

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Photo of ccrida
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
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...

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.64/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Thopre, this completes my City Beer store collection. Beer served in a snifter. Beer is dark brown with a tan head of small bubbles, some spotty lacing, moderate retention, low carbonation.

Aroma is oaky, and roasty with some chocoloate.

Beer is light to medium in body with a little carbnoation, tannic bitterness at the back, oaky beer with some vinous chocolate character, decent not a repeat though.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike.

The beer is dark brown with a half inch of beige head that leaves random traces of lacing on the snifter. The aroma brings a heavy barrel presence. Oak, wine, roast, chocolate. A bit tannic in the finish. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. A solid beer.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.09/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark brown-black with a hint of red with a touch of head and very little lace.

S - Roasted chocolate malt with lots of red wine and a bit of oak and a touch of sourness.

T - Roasted chocolate malts with a bit of sweetness red wine grapes. Through the middle, some oak comes through with a bit more chocolate and a touch of tartness and sourness. The finish is a mix of red wine, touch of vanilla, and chocolate.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a slightly dry and oakey finish.

D - Very drinkable. More subdued than expected but the barrel flavors and the base beer balance nicely together.

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Photo of illidurit
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.62/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

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Photo of Arbitrator
2.23/5  rDev -41.9%
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.

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Photo of charlzm
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

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Photo of hobojon
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

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Photo of MrFootstones
4/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
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

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Photo of trappistlover
3.74/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.33/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Map Room during craft beer week...Dark brown with a light tan head, not much lace... Very sweet nose, lots of banana, a bit of oak and red wine on the back, too estery too me... Taste is chocolate covered banana marshmellow, a bit of a roasty finish, a bit of oak, wish the wine barrels showed off more... Can’t put my finger on it, but just not a fan

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
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!

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Photo of thagr81us
4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of largadeer
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
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!

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Photo of PaulStoneAnchor
4.65/5  rDev +21.1%
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.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Map Room for the Brewers of Chicago's Past event. Served in a tulip glass for the extremely reasonable price of $5.

A - Served with a finger of tan foam that settles to wispy patches and a thick collar, leaving behind splotchy lacing. Near black body with reddish glints at the fringes.

S - Chocolate covered bananas, very estery yeast at work here - is this a true baltic porter? Oak and vinous notes are present, with a mild acetic note. Even thought this was aged in wine barrels, the oak character is similar to the 300-day Evan Williams Imperial Eclipse I had - sharp and intense and characteristic of this brewery's output.

T - Chocolate, marshmallows, some of the fruity estery banana along with Cabernet-esque dark fruit and berry notes. Oaky vanilla and light smoke are present in the periphery, but the vinous and lightly sour notes disappear from the mix.

M - Smooth milk chocolate texture with lower carbonation. I initially thought it was a bit thin, but after seeing the lower ABV it made more sense. Light tannins in the finish.

D - This was quite easy to drink. I considered ordering another, but there were some other great beers calling my name and I need to ration my liver for the remainder of Chicago Craft Beer Week. A very unique and unusual take on the Baltic Porter style, if it actually is one at all. Worth trying, but probably not at the price it will command on the trade market.

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Rouge Baril Baltique from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
3.84 out of 5 based on 61 ratings.
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