BART - Rittenhouse Rye
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

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Strong Ale - American
4.22 | pDev: 6.87%
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Reviews: 15 | Ratings: 30 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of rodbeermunch
rodbeermunch from Nevada

4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Decent brown color, ruddy to cluttered, mild beige head, thin, doesnt give any lace. Aroma is really decadent. Caramel, toffee, bourbon, vanilla, oak, without the heat.

Drinks pretty nice for a barleywine, not bitter, hides alcohol well. Everything in the mouthfeel is there that was in the aroma, even some chocolate and toffee come in.

Eclipse may get all the press and attention, but the BART series is just as good.

Dec 09, 2015
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ngeunit1 from Massachusetts

4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown-black with a finger of frothy khaki-chocolate colored head, Fades down fairly slowly.

S - Chocolate and caramel malts, oak, Bourbon, vanilla, rye, some citrus and pine hops, dark fruits, and some booze.

T - Caramel and chocolate malts, vanilla, oak, Bourbon, spicy rye, citrus and pine hops, resiny hop bitterness, dark fruits, molasses, black licorice, coffee, and some booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and a touch thick with a sweet and warming finish.

D - Great barrel aged strong ale. Good balance and smoothness.

Apr 23, 2013
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Beerandraiderfan from Nevada

4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A mostly dark brown appearance, a little murkey, thin tan head on the top of it, doesn't do much for lacing and whatnot.

Aroma is beautiful, rich bourbon, vanilla, oak, coconut, caramel and toffee compliment the no surprises, no frills malt addition.

The oak and bourbon seem to be the biggest contributors in terms of flavor profile. Caramel and toffee come up after that. Coconut and vanilla are simply role players, small parts in this play, as they should be. A little bit of chocolate joins the band in the mouthfeel. Well integrated, and evolves with each warming sip. Alcohol is there, but still easy to drink. Bitterness is nowhere to be found. Earthiness is all about it and the dryness. Smallest smoke addition. The rye? Can't really distinguish it from the caramel sweetness (which i guess is what distinguishes it).

Mar 15, 2013
Photo of jethrodium
jethrodium from California

4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650 ml bottle. Pours dark cola brown with a small tan head that sticks around for a while and leaves a lot of small spots of lacing on the glass. The aroma is lots of bourbon, some vanilla, coffee, caramel, light coconut, light marshmallow, and some oak. The taste is sweet with bourbon and vanilla, some chocolate, caramel, coffee, and some light coconut. The finish has a bit of coffee as well as some alcohol. Medium body. Low carbonation.

Jan 03, 2013
Photo of maximum12
maximum12 from Minnesota

4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great thanks to totoropanda, whose screen name shall surely be revealed at some point in the future, when cars & pigs fly. 22 oz. bottle with a cool dog on it, shared with my wife...been anticipating this one for a while.

Pour is a distinct lack of color, carbonation report is low. Nose is lovely, strong whiskey, vanilla, cocoa. Nice.

BART certainly lights up the pucker meter. This might be the driest beer this side of a sour that's ever hit my tonsils. Oak leaves the mouth dust-bowl dry; wonderful. The rye whiskey hits hard afterwards, leaving my palate littered with vanilla & booze & wine-like tannins. The beer underneath is hard to detect under the goodness, but it involves caramel, roast, chocolate all on the bayonet of the oak/whiskey. A bit blah cold, BART sheds it's prom dress as it warms. I could drink this every night.

I love the Eclipse line, & this beer didn't disappoint. Wicked oak, great barrel, good base - what's not to love? FiftyFifty is on my short-list of must-visit tap-rooms, & this just adds to the list of excellent beers I've had from them.

Sep 29, 2012
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DavoleBomb from Pennsylvania

3.43/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a perfect pint.

4.0 A: Clear deep amber brown color. Two finger of frothy tan head. Retention is average and about a finger sized ring of lacing is left.

3.5 S: As the norm for 50/50, the barrel aging is done quite well. Wonderful barrel aromas. Leather, some spiciness, apple, a good bit of vanilla, and melon. No evidence of any tannins. Very light booziness. Chocolate and a light roast underneath. Not much else from the base beer though

3.5 T: Like the Eclipses, this beer just seems like a venue to taste the barrel it was aged in. The barrel flavors shine, but the base sits idle. Leather, spicy, lots of vanilla, chocolate, caramel, melon, faint tannins, and oak. Plum and light roast from the base.

2.5 M: The mouthfeel is weak, which is also the norm for 50/50. Light to lighter medium body. Faint creaminess. Good moderate carbonation. I really wish they'd mash there beers above 130F.

3.5 D: Despite the weak ass mouthfeel, this is a tasty beer. I can't imagine how nuts I'd go for their barreled beers if they put some body on their beers since the barrel aging is done so well.

Sep 11, 2012
Photo of claspada
claspada from New Jersey

4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared with mrand01.

Pouring a translucent dark dark brown color with reddish brown hues along the edges of the glass. There is a small light brown head of foam that leaves some decent lacing as it recedes.

The aromas are extremely vanilla forward initially with emerging caramel, toasted bread and oak. As it warms I get some unsweetened cocoa with a further emerging spicy rye whiskey presence.

The tastes follow the nose for the most part with solid vanilla, caramel, lightly roasted maltiness and a creamy sweetness. The spicy rye whiskey barrel oaky flavors emerge more and more as it warms and help to balance the initial vanilla and malt sweetness.

The mouthfeel is full bodied with soft, gentle carbonation. The finish is intially sweet but then the spicy rye balances and drys it out on your palate.

Overall I was very pleased with this beer. I was not expecting much but I really enjoyed the combo of spicy rye and sweet vanilla. Very drinkable for such a big barrel aged beer for sure, maybe even more so than the sought after Eclipse beers from the same brewery.

Aug 23, 2012
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Treebs from Illinois

3.89/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle served in a Deschutes tulip. Big thanks to Kevin (khumbard) for the share.

A: Pours a murky lack color with clearer brown edges where the light hits. Thin tan head forms on the recedes quickly to a thin ring and leaves some minor splotches of lace.

S: The nose is great. Rye whiskey spice up front, some star anise, and dark fruits comprise each initial sniff. As the beer warms I get some chocolate with some roasted malt notes and some burnt sugar.

T: More oaky notes are present here and the rye whiskey takes a backseat. Toasted grains with some roasted malts comprise a lot of the flavor with some semi-sweet chocolate taking over on the finish as the beer warms.

M: Medium bodied with a little bit of stick to it. The carbonation was medium to low, but it definitely worked here and didn't deter from the drinkability.

O: The nose was unfortunately worlds ahead of the taste, but this was still a nice blended beer. I got nice vibrant qualities from each one. Would recommend.

Aug 08, 2012
Photo of brokensail
brokensail from California

3.78/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing, Shane.

Dark brown in color with a thin tan head. An interesting nose. Lots of cocoa powder, vanilla, roasted malt, whiskey, and oak. A touch of coffee and a light chalkiness to it. The flavor has a good roasted malt, dark fruit, chocolate, and whiskey character, but the chalkiness is still there. Good, but not great.

Aug 04, 2012
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki from Canada (ON)

4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Sean for sharing this. Served in a 3 Floyds tasting snifter.

A - Thin white foam settles to a thin collar, wisps, and a few tiny specks of lace. Dark brown body with some lighter glints at the edges of the glass.

S - Lots of whiskey here - spicy rye and dry oak. It's a tad too woody and harsh for my tastes. Mild chocolate and caramel in the periphery.

T - The taste is significantly better, as it's got more sweetness and balance to it. Nice notes of caramel, chocolate, vanilla, and less overt wood and rye whiskey.

M - Low carbonation, medium-full body, lightly tannic, and dry in the finish. Minimal alcohol, and quite mellow. Really easy to drink for this style of beer.

D - I enjoyed this quite a bit, and aside from the somewhat harsh barrel notes in the aroma this was supremely enjoyable. Perhaps a bit more time in bottles will cut some of that edge and result in a smell that matches the balance and integration of the taste. Thanks Sean!

Jul 17, 2012
Photo of claaark13
claaark13 from Indiana

4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I changed the location of this review after finding out that there was only one bottled version of this beer. Poured closer to room temp. Thanks turd. From some brief notes.

A - Dark brown, light tan head that is thick and creamy. Decent legs, good retention. Possibly the best looking 50/50 I've seen.

S - Dark fruits, notes of oak.

T - Oak, coffee, caramel malts, dryness that is held off with a little sweetness. Coffee and oak on the finish, a little bit of heat is there as well.

M - Lighter side of medium, although it is silky.

O - Actually a pretty good beer. I'm really glad I had the chance to try this.

Jun 19, 2012
Photo of DefenCorps
DefenCorps from Oregon

4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2012 Solar Eclipse release. Thanks, Chris!

Pouring a clear dark brown/ black with reddish brown highlights, this beer is capped with a dense, light brown head with good retention and nice lacing. The nose has a lot of barrel character, with vanilla and bourbon, but there's also a surprisingly strong hop character here, an earthy and leafy, green English hop nose. Moderately milky and creamy with some unsweetened cocoa. A definite rye whiskey character is present as well. Underneath it all, there's caramel and a nice toasted bread character. Very nice.

The palate opens quite big with a nice blend of barrel and base beer flavors. The hoppiness I picked up on the nose is strangely less noticeable, with little bitterness but some flavor, again, mostly green and English hop-like. Spicy whiskey, moderate vanilla, some caramel, roasted malt, and creamy notes are all present. The barrel and the alcohol lend a bite, tart even, with a nice blend of booze, tannins, oak and vanilla. Full in body (bigger than Eclipse) and with soft, gentle carbonation, this beer feels really good on the palate. The rye character is clear on the finish too, lending a spiciness to go with caramel. Very nice stuff, highly recommended, though I will say that if you did not like Eclipse, you might not like this either.

Jun 03, 2012
Photo of largadeer
largadeer from California

4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle, Rittenhouse rye whiskey barrel aged. The only bottled version of BART so far.

Appearance: Chestnut hued with caramel edges. Pours with a finger of dense foam that retains well for the style.

Smell: A lot of caramel and cocoa, with spicy oak emerging more as it warms. Rye barrel aging lends an earthy note and a touch of vanilla. There's a hint of marshmallow. Alcohol is subdued but noticeable.

Palate: Sweet caramel and spicy, earthy rye barrel up front. Cocoa, vanilla and roasted malt follow. Alcohol is warming but not harsh. This is reminiscent of rye Eclipse, but with more caramel sweetness, less roasted malt and a bigger body. The finish expertly balances tannic, spicy oak and sweet caramel.

Overall: Another great BART variation. I prefer the Elijah Craig bourbon version I had last year, but this is almost as excellent.

May 22, 2012
Photo of ehammond1

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap

Hamilton's Tavern
San Diego, CA

A very dark brown bordering on black with a very small light brown head. This doesn't leave much left on the glass, but that can be expected.

Rich, earthy aroma of oak, whiskey, vanilla, chocolate, and dark fruits. Complex and evolving.

The flavor is incredibly well integrated, and perhaps even better than the aroma. The layers of sweet malts interplay nicely with the barrel. There's lots of rich toffee and caramel notes, accompanying vanilla, oak, and earth. Moderate bitterness. Very little alcohol presence.

Medium bodied with low carbonation. I always wish FiftyFifty's barrel-treated beers were thicker and fuller in the mouth.


May 04, 2012
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84 from California

4.37/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Review #1900


On tap at Hamilton's FiftyFifty night.

A: Near black with a small light brown head.

S: Butterscotch, dark toffee, and caramel with pronounced whiskey notes and evident oak. The nose is boozy but not overly so. Dark fruits maintain a light presence, reminiscent of plum and grape. Dark chocolate is pervasive and I get a little date with accompanying vanilla and nuttiness. There's a lot going on.

T: Rich caramel and toffee meld with vanilla and soft whiskey notes. Oak is drying. Plum meets grape and date. Roasted grains meld with light licorice notes. Dark chocolate guides everything through the finish. The lightly tannic finish marks an increase in the whiskey with more caramel and chocolate.

M: Full body with very low carbonation, almost none at this point after a few swirls of the glass. The mouthfeel is silky and sticky with lots of warming on the palate. 

Overall: A really good beer. 

May 04, 2012
BART - Rittenhouse Rye from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 30 ratings