Opal - Proprietor's Reserve - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Opal - Proprietor's ReserveOpal - Proprietor's Reserve

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,076 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,076
Reviews: 157
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 9.64%
Wants: 36
Gots: 178 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Samuel906 on 03-05-2014

Our interpretation of the rustic Wallonian Saison style is a harmonious blend of rustic grains, spicy yeast and unique sauvignon blanc tones. Inviting lemon grass and gooseberry meet peppery spice and fresh grain aromas. Spicy Belgian yeast create a complex yet dry and refreshing canvas with splashes of citrus and stone fruit with a bright tropical white wine finish. Hop bitterness is assertive yet harmonious rounding out slightly tart and refreshing.
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Ratings: 1,076 | Reviews: 157
Reviews by HipHopsHooray:
More User Reviews:
Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.32/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Bottle purchased at Nathaniel Square Corner Store in Rochester, NY.

Pours a golden light yellow, with a small, half inch head, and not a whole lot of lacing.

Smells like slightly skunky yeast, white pepper, light citrusy hops.

There's something off about this to me. The yeast is quite dominant, and hops and malt can't quite overcome that. The yeast feels skunky in a way, slightly estery. It's a pretty hoppy bitter beer, but it's a vague hoppiness, and a finish that's too astringent. I really thought I'd like this, but I can't say that I do.

This is light bodied, with a crisp mouthfeel, and a moderate level of carbonation.

This just didn't quite work for me. It wasn't bad, per se, it just seemed a bit off to my palate.

Photo of Billolick
3.99/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle w/ a 3-7-14 bottling date

Pours lightly hazed darker golden. Off white head, that leaves decent bits and irregular bars of lace.

Pleasant tropical fruit nose

More tropical fruits, including melon on the palate with light pepper.

Nicely done, highly enjoyable and well crafted. Helped wash down some BBQ in a palate cleansing and fat cutting manner.

Go get some.

Photo of tigg924
4.14/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: 1/3 inch head, high carbonation, gold in color, clear

Smell: golden apples and hay

Taste: golden apples, Sauvignon Blanc grapes, Belgian spices, pepper and hay

Mouthfeel: sweet start with a dry bitter finish, light bodied and high carbonation

Overall: I really enjoyed Opal and its complexity. A nice and crisp saison and another great beer from Firestone Walker. I will get this again if I can find it.

Photo of Franziskaner
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Straw to light gold in color with a fingernail of white head covering the majority of the top. Hazy complexion. Light Brussels lacing. Aroma of tropical fruit with pineapple and mango notes. The flavor is strong with tropical hop notes in the forefront. There are some light sourdough bread notes in the mix. It seems so hop forward that it seems like more of an IPA. The mouth is moderately carbonated,dry, crisp,and refreshing.

Photo of PSU_Mike
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a tulip

It pours a light hazy yellow with a white 1 finger head. Very active carbonation. Honestly, if it was a touch clearer, it could pass as Miller Lite.

The smell is very lemony. There is a definite spice to it. Maybe a little hint of funk.

First sip is slightly tart lemons. White pepper and fruity yeast esters dominate mid-palate. The finish is super dry and clean. The active carb dances on the tongue.

Final thoughts...this is a very drinkable beer. If this was in 12oz 6pks, I'd be able to crush a 6pk or 2 with no sweat. Very enjoyable.

Photo of timontheroad
3.94/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Hazy straw yellow color with a bit three finger billowy head. Aroma is a bit of that funky barnyard yeast, some tropical fruit, some piney, grassy hops and a bit of spicy peppery notes. The taste is a bit of lemon, some spicy pepper and some yeasty estery flavors. Mouthfeel is exactly what I would expect from a farmhouse style, fairly thin on the palate, but lingering quite nicely and semi-dry. This is a really good saison, one of my favorites.

Photo of Auraan
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a gorgeous clear golden with abundant bubbles, a two finger fluffy white head that receded to a ring of white that left ample lacing down the glass. Scents of apricot, some pear underneath, some orange-like aromas, some pineapple, a hint of lime, slight green apple, a bit of lavender, a faint, wild sour aroma and slight grain. A very fruit forward aroma profile, true to that side of the style, but lacking the phenols of clove and banana that are common. Still quite nice, and very enticing. Flavor follows the aroma, beginning with a light fruity sourness, with notes of green apple, lemon, and indistinct tropical fruit, moving into apricot and pineapple with some light white pepper spiciness, a lighter sour undertone and some light herbal hop bitterness. Finishes dry with white pepper spiciness, herbal hop bitterness and some lemon. Aftertaste is white pepper and herbal hops. A very nice, very true to style flavor, fruity, dry, with nice white pepper and modest bitter herbal hop flavors. Excellent example of the style. Mouthfeel is refreshing, light bodied, puckering, with a nice bubbly carbonation and a drying feel in the mouth. True to style and very easy to drink. Overall this is a very good example of a saison that hits many of aroma and flavor notes of the style and executes the mouthfeel nicely. The only complaint I can find is the lack of other spices and phenols in the aroma and flavor, but they are optional to the style so I cannot fault it much there. A very good saison.

Photo of joeseppy
4.41/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pale yellow watery appearance. Generous white head quickly ebbs to the rim.

Sour mash approach then trace banana, celery, yeast and lemon pepper zest and honey.

Yeast and hop envelop the tongue. Lemon peel aswirl and white pepper in the nose. I love the Sauvignon Blanc presence that in Opal has a bolder approach. It has a green and herbaceous presence. I pick up on celery and concur on the lemongrass. Since I'm digging this there is an underlying of peach and lime. Really a phenomenal quaff to spend time with and explore if you have the time.

Creamy texture with maybe too much carbonation that prickles the tongue. Finish is very dry. Hops add a fantastic dimension of bittering.

Overall I'm very pleased to have even obtained a scarce FW Opal of any kind. A saison that's fun with impeccable character that one should be proud to put out there. More to Chicago please. Good times indeed.

Photo of TheSixthRing
4.21/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours crystal clear and pale yellow in color with a white 2-finger head. Great retention, resulting in a thin layer of suds across the surface.

Smell - Light saison funkiness. Banana and clove. Light citrus. Pear and apple.

Taste - Delicate, but strong and consistent flavors, hitting on fruity esters and fair lemony citrus character upfront. Mild green apple tartness. Green, unripened banana notes. Clove spiciness kicks in about mid-taste, then a faint orange rind and light pine bitterness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium with lively carbonation. Smooth, dry finish.

Overall - Light at first, but gets better as it warms, and the flavor strengthens in a snowball effect. Approachable. Interesting take on a saison that shows a wide array of character; from the delicate touch of a white wine through to the bitter citrus hop punch of an IPA. This is a hell of a unique brew, even for a saison, and one smokin' bargain! I can't believe it's taken me this long to revisit!

Photo of GilGarp
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bomber bottled on 5/2/14.

Opal is a very pale straw yellow color with good clarity and thick white head.

Aroma is as expected for a hoppy saison - grassy, peppery, and slightly funky.

Flavor is much the same with added lemon zest, coriander, and Belgian yeast.

Mouthfeel is medium-light with ample carbonation, good balance, and a dry finish.

Overall a good saison and plenty hoppy but lacking that certain something (house yeast, open fermentation?) that makes the authentic versions a little more special.

Photo of salcedo
4.21/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass.
L: Pale yellow. Slightly cloudy. When first poured I had two inches of white, merengue like head. It dissipated fairly quickly, and I poured more to fill the glass.
S: Strong smell of lemons. This actually smells like several of the light ales I've made recently.
T: Crisp with a sweet lemonade flavor.
Very refreshing. Aftertaste is a nice toasty cereal flavor.
F: Body is on the thin side of medium.
Highly carbonated which enhances the crispness.
O: This is a thirst quenching a beer that you could drink by the pool or on the porch on a hot summer day.

Photo of j_rod22
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving type: Bottle

A- pours hazy golden yellow with an off white head, high amounts of carbonation, with tons off bubbles rising to the top of the glass.

S- floral fruity citrus with a hint lemon. Peppery notes on the nose with a pleasant hops at the end

T- front of the tongue, mild bitterness light piney notes large amounts of carbonation and again with the floral notes at the end. Leaves a spicy peppery aftertaste

Overall- pleasant refreshing beer. Defnitely everything i expected from this saison, more impressed for the dry hopped flavors. Awesome stuff

Photo of alexbutler
4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very airy white head sits on a light, almost translucent body. The head doesn't last, at least in a pint glass, and you're left with a sunny, golden ale.

S - Gotta lean in to catch the aroma of sweet apricots... it's almost smoky. Certainly a very intriguing allure to this beer - definitely doesn't smell like it looks.

T - As the aroma might indicate, the light and plain appearance of this beer is misleading. There's a strong hopped backbone to this ale, very nicely done. Light carbonation matched with fruit overtones give this ale a lot of substance. Ends with a kick of citrus, lemony.

M - Solid medium mouthfeel here, nothing what I expected. This hearty farmhouse ale leaves your mouth crisp, with hardly any lingering aftertaste.

O - Picked this up on a whim, but I was pleasantly surprised. A bit more fruity/lemony than I'm used to in a beer, but the strong hop aroma kept calling me back. Well done.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.42/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Pale yellow body. Clear with a nice white head. Big bubbles in a thick collar.

Smell - Herbal hop aroma. Pale malts. A bit of lemon.

Taste - Mimics the smell. Lemony flavor up front. Quickly becomes very herbal. Bitter and grassy.

Mouthfeel - Bitter. High carbonation. Aggressively hopped.

Overall - At first I really liked it, but it wore on me. The herbal flavors got tiresome.

Photo of russpowell
4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 04/11/14

Pours an effervescent gold with a 3 inches of pearl white head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Pears, slightly earthy; grassyness & sweet breadyness/pineapple

Follows the nose, lemons & grapefruit as well up front, slight lemongrass zip to it as well, faint doughy sweetness as well. A little bit of funk surfaces as this warms, grapefruit peel & grassiness, plus some dryness. Finishes grapefruitty, with lemongrass & dryness

MF: Medium bodied, lively carbonation; great balance

Great drinkability; not quite as good as Tank 7, but right on its heels

Photo of Gmann
3.91/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a very pale straw color with a short wispy white head that quickly settles into a light ring. Very bud light in appearance.

Nice hay and farmyard aromas. Sugary lemon and apple mixes with clovey phenols from the yeast nicely. Subtle pepper and grassy hop presence. Almost has an oak like presence.

The taste is of hay, grass and stuff that might be laying around a barn. Light apple presence, though not very tart, slight lemon. Perhaps some white grapes. The flavors are soft so nothing stands out. Not much from the malt, though not very dry.

Insanely drinkable. The soft flavors lead to a highly quaffable brew. Slightly sweet on the palate but has a slight grassy finish.

The flavor is nice but needs a bit more pop. Other than that, pretty good saison.

Photo of kellyej
4/5  rDev +1.5%

A- Opal pours a light yellow/pear/gold color that puts me in the mind of champagne. It comes with a giant, pillowy head full of big, round bubbles. Very pretty.

S- Really complex nose with the typical saison notes of anise, pepper, and grains of paradise along with the hops that bring in elements of green/unripened fruit and flowers. The whole smell has an underlying farmy aroma.

M- Nice, light body and dry finish.

T- The taste notes largely mirror the smell and is a bit like white wine. The beginning is full of those saison spices (anise, black pepper), the middle brings the hop bitterness, and the finish is nice and dry. Opal also has grassy notes and a lemon acidity that reminds me of a witbier.

Photo of Treyliff
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 03/07/14, poured into a tulip

A- pours crystal clear bright yellow-golden straw color with a big foamy and sudsy white head that retains long after the pout, as carbonation bubbles continue to shoot up the glass, some short lasting lace left behind as it settles

S- peppery spice is immediately noticed from the yeast with aromas of lemon-grass and fresh grain. Stone fruit and other fruity tones kick in, before ending with earthy, musty and earthy aromas

T- fruity and peppery up front with notes of cellar must and yeast. The addition of dry hopping adds just enough bitter hops to provide a complimentary balance, slight tangy note on the back end that actually gives a vinous character, finishes dry with citrus peel, grain and lemon grass

M- medium body with moderate spritzy carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a crisp-yet-dry finish, just a hint of alcohol lingers

O- another winner from FW, super-refreshing saison that hides the abv quite well. The dry finish leaves you wanting more

Photo of crankdatank
4/5  rDev +1.5%

22 into a tulip glass. Hazy off yellow with large bubbled white head that dissipates quickly. Aroma is lots of citrus and tropical with some hay, mint and pepper. Taste is bright and refrshing, slight tart with hoppy finish. Not as funky as I would like but very drinkable and tasty. Dry hops are subtle but add a nice level of complexity.

Photo of puboflyons
3.76/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From the 750 ml. bottle that is fairly fresh with a bottling date of 05/02/14. Sampled on June 17, 2014.

The color of the pour is mainly pale yellow with a little olive oil color if looked at just right and a big, fizzy white head the dissipates quickly.

The aroma has a touch of toasted biscuit and Belgian yeast but what I really pick up is an overripe or rotting fruit sensation. Some hop bite.

Medium body.

The taste comes across as more tart that sour but it still has a decent Belgian yeast and Belgian malt character in the flavor. Ends crisp and clean with a little pepper.

Photo of mikeburd1128
3.99/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

650 ml bottle dated 6/20/14 poured into a Kane Brewing snifter.

A - Pours a nearly transparent pale straw with a finger of airy white head that dissipates quickly. Settles to a ring around the glass that sticks around for a while.

S - Wonderfully dense floral, herbal, grassy, piney nose. Some lemon and a dash of pepper too. Really really wonderful.

T - Much of the same as the nose. A bit more subdued though. Belgian yeast really shines through with a lot of herbs. Juicy throughout but finishes with a grassy, earthy dryness.

M - Medium body with medium to light carbonation. Very nice feel to it.

O - Very solid. A lot of saisons tend to be overcarbed to the point where they're abrasive. Opal is nice and smooth yet still dry. Nose is amazing. Taste could be improved on a bit, but its simplicity is almost where it shines. Pretty good beer. Would buy all day long in 4 packs.

Photo of emerge077
4.01/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to Thomas for sharing, quick review from notes.

Extremely bright pale gold, racing carbonation, creamily textured foam, sudsy on the surface, leaving arcs of drippy lacing in its wake. Lasting surface coverage.

Aroma is grassy and grainy with a odd note of sulfur or something similar.

Taste is slightly floral with earthy hop elements and a toasted popcorn kernel malt character. Didn't get any advertised fruit, but wish I did, oh well. Brisk and dry across the palate. It quenches and keeps you coming back for more. Thankfully not overly phenolic as many American saisons can be.

Photo of TruePerception
3.27/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Firestone's Opal, dry hopped saison. 7.5% ABV. I don't have much experience with saisons, and I'm fairly certain the ones I had were far from indicative of style. So, we'll see. To be fair, I'm pretty sure dry-hopping is not standard of the style, either...

A: A very nice, very bright, yet hazy, slightly-green tinged yellow. Hazy, slightly-grey white in the dimple. Just the tiniest bit of head. No lacing.

S: Grassy and daisy notes up front. Citrus, falling between grapefruit and lime.

T/MF: Happily, the bitterness is fairly mild. Maybe, light pale ale levels. Unfortunately, there is not a lot going on, flavor-wise. There's a little bit of acidity, but it's not at all tart tasting. More grassy and floral notes.

Not bad, but nothing special.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

Photo of ocelot2500
3.74/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear golden yellow color with a fizzy white head that fades quickly leaving little to no lacing.

Smells of grass and grain notes mostly with some bright fruits.

Tastes of the bright fruits with some spicy notes to round it out. Fruity malts lead off with apple, pear, and white grapes leading into some grainy sweetness. Yeast notes come through next with a touch of spice. Grassy hops come through next along with some citrus notes. Finishes slightly tart and peppery.

Mouthfeel is medium-light with a crisp amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a nice saison, but I would prefer a bit of funk tossed in.

Photo of Greywulfken
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: clear pale yellow gold ale with some bubbles slowly slipping up through the body; crystalline white head pours high then recedes into a flimsy collar and cap

S: dry grains with hints of pale wood and washed out citric hops and flowers

T: dry and woody, some white pepper and a faint, almost chewy spiciness; very light and dry; mild and vague lemon pith; pale grains and champagne yeastiness

M: light and crisp, dry and tight, slight yeasty tartness, tingle of fizz

O: a decent saison, but perhaps not on par with other Firestone products I've had. Belgian-esque with some dry white wine characteristics. Reasonably priced, though, and certainly worth a try - fans of pale ales and saisons should give it a visit.

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Opal - Proprietor's Reserve from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,076 ratings.