Annularity | FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
88
very good
87 Ratings
THE BROS
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AnnularityAnnularity
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
California, United States
fiftyfiftybrewing.com

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

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

Added by Beerandraiderfan on 05-23-2012

BEER STATS
Ratings:
87
Reviews:
23
Avg:
4.03
pDev:
11.17%
 
 
Wants:
13
Gots:
17
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 87 |  Reviews: 23
Photo of Chebyshev
5/5  rDev +24.1%

Photo of PaulStoneAnchor
5/5  rDev +24.1%

Photo of brpendergast85
5/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Go grab this beer! Phenomenal barleywine.

41 characters

Photo of maputnam25
4.94/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Among the best beers I've tasted recently. While tasting with my dad, I mused aloud: "You know how some barrel aged beers can get a little much towards the end, and you sort of have to force yourself to finish them? This is just the opposite...you want to keep drinking it!" FiftyFifty has ingeniously used the pure sweetness of honey to balance out the oak and bourbon flavors that accompany the barrel-aging process. Vanilla and buttery flavors ensue; complex sour fruity notes underlay this balance that I could only describe as rhubarb, of all things.

My only regret is that I didn't buy another bottle. A truly great beer.

 630 characters

Photo of Taeryn
4.9/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of usofar
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of drewone
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of AlvinLin
4.65/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of rodbeermunch
4.54/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

With the look of an ipa comes the blonde barleywine, barrel aged. Orange and dark yellow in the color. 1/4" white head. Aroma was solid bourbon aroma that the brewery does so well. Sweeter than expected, lots of vanilla stands out against a non stout base I guess.

Smacks of Helldorado, lots of bourbon, light blonde barleywine body, sweet, vanilla, oak. Even some coconut. Caramel notes. Easy drinking mouthfeel for 10%. A little bit of hop bitterness. Went through a year or two of rough spots age wise, but its drinking great again. I've had it on tap a few times, a few bottles, so this score is an average of all of them, but wow, the first time on tap and the last time out of the bottle were top notch, if not almost 5 years apart.

 750 characters

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Popping the cap releases spice, vanilla, bourbon and honey aromas. It pours hazy copper tinted amber under an off-white foam cap. This is a big, chewy beer with a big honey, bourbon, oak caramel palate. It is fruity and boozy but the alcohol is not particularly hot. It has a spicy bitter finish that suggests a mixed drink with a hint of tartness underneath and overall has a good balance between the malt, honey, alcohol and bitterness.

 438 characters

Photo of MattSlem
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of sideshowe
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of zestar
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of Ungertaker
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of Williaar
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of BdubleEdubleRUN
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

 2,027 characters

Photo of Beernoobie
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ehammond1
4.39/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

 723 characters

Photo of Rudy
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of sunrats
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of PretzelCity
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

 557 characters

Photo of LakerLeith
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Sanderson
4.29/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

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Annularity from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
4.03 out of 5 based on 87 ratings.
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