Beer Review: Fifty Fifty Brewing Co. Annularity
Wood aged blond barleywine brewed with honey: ABV 12.5%. No bottled on date. Consumed on 11/28/15. IBU ??? Color ??? Meant to be aged, no recommended to drink by date.
Appearance: Burnt-orange with ruby and pink hues resembling the fruit of a pink grapefruit. This is called a blonde barleywine, but it’s not a light colored beer. The only blonde I can see this being is a dirty, or strawberry-blond as there are pink, rose and amber hues when held to the light. Standard, easy pour yields a fluffy, off-white head that soon dissipates to a powder-like lacing on the surface of the beer. The liquid is very cloudy; a ton of sediment is floating around in this beer.
Nose: Sweet aromas of candied nuts; pecans, almonds. Baked treats; white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, hazelnut cookies, pecan pie, strawberry shortcake. Butterscotch, toffee, brown sugar and brandy. The woody notes of oak, maple and bourbon emerge as the beer warms.
Palate: The oak presence is there right off the bat. The honey sweetness quickly kicks in to balance the earthy, bitter spice of the oak, but then the biting, pine like character of the oak swoops back in for a nice punch in the finish. Full-bodied, smooth and silky. Flavors are nutty; peanut, almond, macadamia, hazelnut. Desserts; cinnamon rolls with icing, crème brulee, caramel covered ice cream, toffee, butterscotch topped ice cream. Brandy, wood and more wood.
Overall: The aroma of this beer was very complex, but the palate didn’t quite live up to all the great nuances the nose expressed. However, this was a satisfying beer that I enjoyed and the palate was still quite solid. I would classify this as a dessert beer. This would be a good one to pair with a blondie (white brownie) with ice cream, or any other creamy, vanilla flavored dessert. It would be interesting to see how this one pairs with a chocolate dessert. Final Score: 8