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

Not Rated.
Opal - Proprietor's ReserveOpal - Proprietor's Reserve

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

1,074 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,074
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: 1,074 | Reviews: 157
Photo of DaverCS
4.65/5  rDev +18%

22oz bottle into Belgian glass.

Appears pale yellow with a soft orange hue.

Smell of lemons, hops, and yeast. More hop forward than a traditional saison.

Taste is excellent. It is a cross between an hoppy pale ale and a saision. Carbonation is above average as is normal with the style. Light mouthfeel. Immediate tastes give traditional Belgian flavors of spicy yeasty-lemony-ness. Then it hits at the end of the sip... an amazing livening burst of hop presence. Its not the traditional Belgian style hops, its more fruity and close to those American grapefruit flavors we all love. This makes the beer extremely sessionable even at 7.5% ABV. Its definitely livens up as it warms with a more hop-forward flavor. I highly recommend drinking this beer with a spicier meal!

This would be a great beer for the summer! Overall impression is that this is a well-balanced and interesting take on a classic. I would recommend it for just about anyone due to the great balance between hops, yeast, and spice. The only draw back is that it isn't as intense in flavor as it could be (or in comparison to others in the style). Additionally, I have only found it in the 750 mL bottle (I would like to see some 12 oz bottles) I would give this 93/100.

Photo of Vixie
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Pours a cloudy straw yellow color with a large white head. The head does stick around for some time, leaving some nice lacing as it reduces.

Smell is very citrus up front, mainly lemon. There's grass and floral notes as well, reminds me of a field of flowers, with some fresh mown grass scents mixed in.

Fruity up front, there's lemon and grapefruit. It is a bit funky, in a good way, from the yeast. Also some grass and floral, leaving a little bitterness at the finish.

Nice smooth feel, with just a little tingling on the tongue.

Overall, one of the better examples of the style I have tried. There's both citrus and citrus peel notes, a bit different, but nice. It puts me in the mood of outdoors, which is what I look for in this style. Nicely complex, I'd easily have more of this.

Photo of Duhast500
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Poured from a 1pt. 16oz. bomber into a oversized wine glass.

The color is a clear yellow with three fingers of foamy white head and some nice lacing left on the glass,

The smell is a slight straw aroma with a grassy hop that seems to slight into the nose and then introduce itself. A brightness that is somewhat fruity and touches of a sugary candy aroma as well.

The taste has a slight zing to it that Cotton candy like with a light hop flavor in the background. There is touches of banana and clove that really hold the bitterness in the back but gives it a pepper flavor that melds well with a light malt finish.

The feel of this beer is light and pleasant from start to finish. Like a light blanket for spring this beer just covers over the tongue with a soft flavorful pillow.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.05/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Served in a Trooper shaker pint glass.

I've looked at this at my local bar's cooler for a while, figured it was high time to pick it up whilst cat-sitting relatively far away. It pours a clear straw topped by a finger of dirty white foam. The nose comprises flowers, Brett-like lemon zest, and a vague spicy sweetness. The taste brings in more of the same, with the now overly-strong Brett-ish-ness coming through as a strange, puckering bitterness. Yowza. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, I just plain didn't like this stuff. It was all in that strange Brett-like character that ended up putting more pain on my tongue than a bite-sized Hitman Hart.

Photo of abrethanson
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Picked up a bottle at Whole Foods - been wanting to try for a while. Before trying, assume it will be a solid beer since FW makes all around good beer.

Appearance - pours massive white head that dissapates fairly quickly for how large it is. Probably the yeast, maybe bottled a little early. Leaves good lacing on glass. Color is slight hazing hay but fairly light looking.

Smell -

Taste - all over the place, very complex. Initially very impressed by this but after half the glass it is becoming almost too intense with the heavy spiciness and back end grapefruit rind bitterness. Tastes of light tart citrus, tropical fruit, grass, hay, and finishes strong with grapefruit rind. The end is a little more intense and has a long lasting flavor. Definitely a punch in the face Saison which is very unusual. Much fruitier than it looks. Also a little more heat on the back than I normally like.

Mouthfeel - well carbonated and leaves a fruitiness on the tongue after

Overall - surprising in many ways as I always think of Firestone beers as solid but underwhelming. This beer is definitely on the extreme side of what they make with regards to complexity and what they can do with a beer. "Probably" more extreme than what was originally brewed in Wallonia (session Saisons) especially with the alcohol content, but still one of the most complex/ favorite Saisons (my favorite style) I have ever had. Definitely an inspiring beer for someone who only brews Farmhouse style.

Photo of Antnego
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

I agree with Jack, this one is completely underrated. This is a complex beast of a beer, combining traditional ale characteristics with a "wild," brett-y side. The pour is a beautiful straw color with a thick, persistent head and impenetrable lacing. The nose is wet straw, honey, lemon zest, piney hops and booze. There's also a pronounced vinous character. Taste somewhat follows the nose, with tones of Pinot Grigio on the middle of the palate and a subdued hop presence. Definitely picking up strains of tannic oak at the finish. The mouthfeel is crisp, zesty and refreshing, with vigorous carbonation. If the regular version is this good, I can't wait to try the barrel-aged version, Lil' Opal.

Photo of Jack_Malts
5/5  rDev +26.9%

This is one of my favorite beers, and I have yet to review it. A beautiful hazy golden color with a fluffy white head that leaves behind a nice amount of lacing. Aromas of farmhouse funk mixed with amplified hoppy juiciness. Light pineapple and golden apple come to mind on the nose and palate. Dry but lasting finish.

Again, this is in my top 5. No way it deserves an 89. This beer is world class. Definitely recommend.

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 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 dasenebler
4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

10.25.14
Firestone Walker Opal
22oz, bottled 6.20.14

Hazy, straw yellow with a greenish tinge. Three-finger head is white, with excellent lacing. (4)

Aroma has notes of apricot, spice, Belgian funk, alcohol and acidity. Nice, but was expecting more from a dry-hopped Saison. (3.5)

Flavor is fantastic. Lots of tangy, fruity hop flavors pair with the earthy, phenolic elements of the yeast. There is also an interesting white wine character coming through. Lots of rustic wheat notes. The light acidity, restrained bitterness and dryness all work together to make a delicious and quenching Saison. ABV is very well hidden. Mouthfeel is dry and medium-thin, with effervescent carbonation. (5, 4.5)

This is a great Saison. As far as I’m concerned, Firestone Walker and Matt Brynildson can do no wrong. These are some baller beers coming out of Paso Robles. (4.5)

Photo of argock
3.94/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz brown bomber into a clear glass tulip. Bottled on 06/19/14 stamped on front label. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Crystal clear lemon yellow with 1.5 finger white head with average retention and a few scraps of lacing at the top of the glass. The second part ofthe pour is minimally hazy.

S: Aroma is lemon-lime citrus and vinous like white wine with some light phenolic yeast esters along with some light melon-berry yeast esters. Pilsner malt graininess is there but pretty light. Alcohol is well-hidden. Not much earthiness in he aroma profile.

T: Flavor is very hoppy but more phenolic in the flavor. Still very hop dominated with lemony-limey citrus, more grassy, herbal, honeysuckle with some resiney layers. The maltiness is a little crackery but mainly contributes body. The yeast qualities are more clovery and earthy and provide a nice counterpoint to the citrusy hopping. Bitterness is light-moderate.

M: Good dryness which is accentuated by the high carbonation and lemony acidic character. Body is medium ad for me the ABV is a little higher than it needs to be.

O: A really interesting saison that fits the mold but has a unique hop character. BIg in ABV soe look out but a very good beer from FW.

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 mac31
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Bomber to Chalice

Slight sweetness, clean maltiness/cracker like. Hops are floral, hint of citrus, white grape, Muscat-like, light fruity/berry, pineapple, earthy/grass. Yeast is soft spicy, but present. It's restrained, yet refined. Finish is of some straw, clean, soft bitterness, slightly grainy and dry.

Thin bodied w/ the appropriate (modest/moderate) amount of carbonation.

Glad this beer is year around and reasonably priced. I love saisons and this is no exception.

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 Darkmagus82
4.21/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a clear orange color with a huge head of fizzy looking white foam. The head fades very fast leaving a rather tiny bit of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell The aroma big of a wheat and citrus smell with the citrus being of a mix of tangerine, lemon, an a whole bunch of grapefruit hop. Along with these aromas comes some rather decently strong smells of grass and hay as well as a decent showing of some spice smells of coriander and clove. A little bit of a yeasty smell are there as well producing a rather nice citrus hop saison smell overall.

Taste – The taste on this one is rather interesting, but quite enjoyable. It starts out much sweeter then I would have anticipated from the nose with a rather strong showing of a lemonade like taste. Along with this flavor are a rather decent showing of a more wheaty and slightly spiced taste of coriander and clove. As the taste advances more and more grapefruit comes to the tongue as well as flavors of yeast and some lighter grassy flavors. While lighter initially the grassy flavors grow stronger to the end and are joined by some more hay-like taste to leave a rather crisp, sweet, and nicely citrus hopped flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the thinner to average side with a carbonation level that is rather average. The mix of lighter body and slightly higher carbonation are fantastic for the style and the sweeter flavors of the brew, making for a quite refreshing and enjoyable brew overall.

Overall – This was a farmhouse that was super easy drinking, very refreshing, and packed with flavor. This is a winner!! Try it if you can!!

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.69/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber pours a clear straw yellow color with a fluffy, merangue-esque white head. Decent retention and good lace.

Nose is a pleasant interplay of lemony hops and tart farmhouse yeast. Smells promising, light malts, plenty of hops and a nice yeasty base.

Taste leans a little more hoppy than yeasty, but at least the hops compliment the yeast - lemons, grass, herbs. Malt is one of the lightest I have ever encountered and the yeast is nice, but I wouldnt mind a little more assertiveness. Its pretty good, but I dont think I would see myself going back for more.

Photo of Flounder57
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle was poured into a large snifter.

Appearance: A nice two finger billowy head was poured that reduced to a puffy layer. It is a golden straw yellow with great clarity and vision of tiny bubbles coming up through the glass. Nice lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Pepper, spicy yeast, vanilla, pilsner malts, apple, floral, grassy, tropical, and grape.

Taste: Definitely get the tropical, citrus, and grape hop notes with the grassy, bready, slight sweet, apple, chewy, and tart notes in the rear.

Mouthfeel: A bit dry, crisp, refreshing, a bit tart, medium to high carbonation, a little chewy, and light to medium bodied.

Overall: I will have to admit that this saison stands atop all the ones I have had before. Bravo FW, bravo. I will be enjoying this one again in the future.

Photo of jlindros
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 6/06/14

Pours a white fizzy bubbly 1 finger head that fades fairly quickly, very little lacing, very clear golden lemon yellow color.

Nose brings nice farmhouse saison aromas, mild funk but enough, grainy toasty malts, straw, hay, little pilsner like straw but not much, toasty, nice lemony note, a little lemongrass even, mild grassy floral hop aromas as well, little cereal and general citrus.

Taste brings more toasty grainy malts, cereal grains with saison malt and a little toasty pilsner and straw. Mild saison farmhouse funk, not a lot of funk, but plenty of saison farmhouse grainy and lemony grassy flavors. Plenty of grassy flavors, lemongrass, straw, even a little hay, and strait grassy notes, even some grassy floral hops in there, a little earthy note as well, nice floral almost dandelion like floral hops and esters from the yeast. Nice bitterness to cut through it all, adds nicely to the lemon zest and floral slight earthy hop characters, as well as mild esters. Nice farmhouse open field like flowery characters and grainy malts lingering on the dry finish, bit more bitterness, little sticky too, faint estery booze note, floral characters too.

Mouth is med bod, plenty of effervescent carb.

Overall pretty nice, not quite as funky as I tend to enjoy in saisons, but still pretty nice for a farmhouse saison, nice yeast funk-like characters, great floral overones, nice grassy aromatics and earthy grassy characters in general, nice lemony zest, etc, pretty enjoyable.

Photo of Chiefy770
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

EYES
Pale gold body. Towering foamy white head. The head collapsed and left a island of bubbly foam in the middle. Good soapy lacing. Didn’t have to taste this one to know it was going to be well carbonated… bubbles circulated very well throughout.

NOSE
Big notes of citrus and pineapple juice. Sweeter fruity notes were also prominent… similar to sparkling grape juice. Notes of spice and yeast were also detected, yet fruit dominated this nose.

MOUTH
Mild citrus notes up front. Notes of pineapple made this taste somewhat tropical. Lemongrass. Spicy herbal notes in the yeast. Not much from the malts other than a light bready base. Finished dry. Tart notes of apple really kicked in. I hate to bring wine into this but there were definitely similarities between the finish of this brew and stronger Pinot Grigios. Moderate-high carbonation. Medium body.

OVERALL
First Saison for this young beer enthusiast. After drinking this brew I noticed it shared many characteristics with Tripel style beers. This was definitely a great introduction into the style!

Photo of delta490
4.29/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a pale gold with a big foamy white head. The head lasts throughout and leaves great soapy lacing. The aroma is great, with notes of tropical fruit esters and yeast. The taste is equally interesting, with the hops and the yeast/malt blending to provide a unique and flavorful quaff. The feel is dry and crisp and with the carbonation almost reminiscent of champagne. As mentioned before, unique and delicious.

Photo of Ryan82
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Smells of lemongrass and even a hint of green tea. Light in color. Leaves a pleasant taste in mouth, goes down smooth and dry. Seems it could even pass for a wine.
I will surely be buying again

Photo of Budinetz
4.65/5  rDev +18%

Poured from a 650 ml bottle into a teku glass. Date on the label reads 5/2/14

Pours a beautiful pale straw color with a nice frothy, white head that dissipates within a minute of pouring.

Smells of tropical fruit, fresh cut grass, unripe green apple, white wine. Amazing nose on this one. Not sure of the yeast being used but I detect a bit of Brett or Brett-like characteristics. The tropical fruit aroma is amazing!

Tastes a bit sweet initially on the tongue, but finishes dry like a Sauvignon blanc. First initial sip is outstanding! It really tastes like a dry white wine! Again, the tropical fruit is very present, along with some green apple.

Feels quite prickly on the tongue due to the high carbonation. Very drinkable despite the 7.5% abv. Drinks more like a 4.8% beer. Awesome mouthfeel.

Overall one of the best saison style beers I have ever had. Great tropical fruit/pineapple notes combined with a great aroma and awesome drinkability make for a new favorite of mine. Would definitely seek this out again.


Cheers!

Photo of cjgiant
3.98/5  rDev +1%

Bottle dated 6/6/2014:
Pours a light pale yellow, almost like a white ale, but more clear-to the point of being translucent. The head started a medium size soapy bubble froth, but reduced to almost nothingness within a few minutes, although a little agitation brings some back.

The nose is quite strong, pure farm/meadow, hay, grass, a little lemon, and even some herb (I get like a mint tea, but also another smell a recognize but yet can't identify). There is also a hint of yeasty tartness.

The first sip brings a strong carbonated feel, which adds a bite (peppery) feel to the earthy flavors. As the initial taste fade, I get the hay/grass tastes from the nose, but well balanced against a lemon-tinted earthy backbone. The end has an almost tart fruit feel added to the mix.

My first thoughts were this would by a dry, grass-bitter dominant beer. However, the flavors ended up more complex (while they couldn't match the nose) and not overpowering in any sense. The feel overall to me is still a bit dry, but this is definitely something I'd have again in a style I can generally take or leave.

Photo of themind
3.25/5  rDev -17.5%

Earthy, rustic and enjoyable. This is a decent Saison but I feel the carbonation level is too high. Would I buy again...maybe. All in all, it's a decent take on one of my favorite styles but falls short for me do to carbonation. This may simply be a personal preference.

Bottom Line: Glad I tried it.

Photo of JayQue
4/5  rDev +1.5%

A good Saison with some hoppy undertones that enhance rather than interfere with the Saison elements. Pours a slightly hazy gold color with a good size, long lasting head and good lacing on the pint glass.

All the Saison elements are there in the aroma: lemony aroma, Belgian yeast, some funky barnyard presence .

Taste is very good. All of the aroma elements shine plus there is a hoppy background presence that complements rather than interferes with the rest of the beer.

Mouthfeel is light, crisp and has a surprisingly well balanced bitterness. Alcohol absolutely masked. Drinks like a much lighter beer. A great summertime brew.


This is a great summer

Opal - Proprietor's Reserve from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,074 ratings.