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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

161 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 161
Hads: 1,114
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 25.13%
Wants: 36
Gots: 193 | 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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Reviews: 161 | Hads: 1,114
Photo of Budinetz
4.65/5  rDev +16.8%

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.


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Photo of cjgiant
3.98/5  rDev 0%

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.

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Photo of themind
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%

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.

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Photo of JayQue
4/5  rDev +0.5%

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

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Photo of champ103
4.1/5  rDev +3%

A: Pours a clear straw yellow color. A large, pillowing, fluffy white head rises to over two fingers. Plenty of lace is left behind.
S: Citrus, lemon, lightly tart. Phenolic and spicy in the good way, certainly not overly plasticy that can be a downfall to many American Saisons. White pepper and grapes in the finish. I assume from the wine.
T: Light tart and refreshing fruits up front. Citrus, lemony, and grapes. Crackers, and a light grainy flavor. Spicy white pepper and earthy yeast that gives this a rustic feel. A mix of lightly vinous wine notes and dry grassy hops finish everything off.
M/D: A light body that is perfectly crisp. Refreshing and finishes dry. Really enjoyable and easy to drink.

This is delicate and subtle, but deceptively complex. I am enjoying this more and more as I work my way through the bottle. Very moreish, and highly recommended. This is one style I did not think FW could pull off, but really well done. It reminds me of a less tart version of one of the Prairie saisons. Which is a good thing.

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Photo of Dope
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%

Bottled 6/6/14

A: A lightly hazy straw pour with a very large and very fluffy white head. Head fizzes out at a decent pace, leaving just little smidges of lacing behind. Good retention, however.

S: Nice sweet pear aroma. Immediately follows is a white wine. I don't see any indication that this is wine barrel aged but it certainly smells it. Little hints of grass and pears in there too.

T: Taste is very similar. Pears and maybe apples, followed by a sort of generic white wine flavor that I can't quite place (I'm not a wine guy, sorry). Lots of it, especially through the middle. Get crackery malt and a little earthy spiciness, perhaps some black pepper? Finish is grassy, mildly bitter and drying.

M: Medium bodied, crisp, dry and spicy.

O: Interesting saison. Not sure what it's dry-hopped with. Lots of wine and pears/apples in this one. It's better up front than the finish, which ends up a little bit too spicy and dry. Not bad, fairly solid.

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Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +0.5%

From a bottle, pours a pale straw yellow with a thin wispy head.

Nose is very bright, citrus and floral hops, some spice and peppercorn, grass. Flavor is more herbal, hay, straw, floral hops, moderately sweet on the finish. This is a very balanced and even beer. Very solid and drinkable.

I would drink this again.

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Photo of AaronDz
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Aroma is citrus, grain, pear, and Belgian yeast. Appearance is bright golden with a huge, frothy white head. Great lacing. Taste is peppery spice, citrus, grassy hops, grape, and some earthiness on the finish. Light body with moderately high carbonation. Finishes nice and dry. Overall a nice refreshing but complex beer.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%

The beer is pale yellow with a thick white head that quickly fades to a thin collar. The aroma offers lemons, wheat, herbal and floral notes. Lots of tart citrus. The flavor is dominated by dry hop bitterness, followed by tart citrus, particularly orange and lemon. Medium bodied with crisp, somewhat aggressive carbonation. Decent.

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Photo of beerbully
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Poured into cuvee glass

A-pours a bright light yellow with big frothy 1 inch+ head. very thick lacing that clings to the glass. Good looking beer. (4.5)

S-Aroma is faint. some bready aspect with some citrus fruits (lemon) a bit sour in nature........some spicy notes (3.5)

T-light and crisp........good for a Sunday brunch..........Lemon drops, some floral notes, spices, cloves, cinnamon, (3.5)

M-highly carbonated with a good fizz to it. has a somewhat bitter finish. Nice easy drinking refreshing brew that is fitting for a summer day

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Photo of HuskyHawk
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

This isn't a beer style I appreciate, but will try to do it justice.
A: pours golden and sparking, with a bright white frothy head. Quite a pretty beer really.
S: bready/yeasty, like a bread dough rising, with some lemongrass and a little sourness, stronger than in sourdough bread.
T: the base flavor is malty "beer" in a generic sense. There is a bit of lemon peel, and a grassy flavor, a bit like Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, but with less subtlety and no mineral flavors. There's the same light sour characteristic that keeps this from being crisp.
M: highly carbonated, medium body. Not noteworthy.
O: better than some Saisons I have tried, not as good as others. I wouldn't seek it out again, but it was certainly well crafted.

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Photo of crankdatank
4/5  rDev +0.5%

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.

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Photo of rand
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%

From 22 oz bomber to tulip

A refreshing and drinkable saison, crisp and clean, light-bodied and bouncy on the palate. The official description (posted under the BA summary) covers the flavor profile well, although I think any tropical aspect is a stretch. Plenty of lemongrass and citrus rind, and here is the brew's weakness - the dry-hopping makes this taste somewhere between a Belgian-IPA and a Belgian strong pale; I expect a little funk in my farmhouse ales, and there isn't any here.

But categorical-purity aside, the brew is highly drinkable. Drink cold - not many Belgians should be served below the mid-40 degree range, but this can be drank below 40. Also, it pairs really well with something salty...I inadvertently was eating some cheese-flavored popcorn from Trader Joes and the contrasts were incredible.

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Photo of alexbutler
4.09/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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Photo of cvm4
3.79/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled May 2, 2014

A - Looks really clean and crisp. Has a golden hue body, slightly opaque and a two finger eggshell head.

S - Grass/hay, lemon zest, citrus and white pepper.

T - Big notes of straw, lemon and yeast. Mild tartness lingers with hops on the floral side and light bite to them.

M - Almost medium bodied, but still light and high carbonation. So crisp and easy to drink.

O - A nice saison that fits the bill for the summertime.

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Photo of seedyone
2.9/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

04/05/14 From bottle at home. Not a fav.

Flavors got better & filled out as it warmed to room temp, but never got where I needed it to go.

Grassiness superseded any hints of the claimed Belgian Yeast, which is what attracted me in the first place. It wasn't terrible, by any means, but I've been spoiled by all the other super brews from Firestone Walker I've tried. Simply put, it just not to my taste.

I'm finding that of all the types of brew I've tried, I'm fickle about Saison/ Farmhouse/ Sours, but I remain curious.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz. bottle served in a tulip. Pours a translucent straw gold with a sudsy, barely present head that quickly dissipates towards the shoulders. Copious tiny bubbles are present effervescing in solution. Nose is very subdued - citrus and coriander with the lightest trace of herbal hoppiness towards the back. Taste consistent with nose -fortunately a bit more present; however, there are also some mild bubblegum notes intermingled in the flavor profile. Finish is lightly bittered; however, some herbal notes also come out as the beer warms in the mouth. Mouthfeel is light in body with a bright, lively carbonation and a hint of acidity. All and all, an interesting take on the style. Alcohol is well-hidden and the overall impression is very clean; however, the dry-hopping adds a nice dimension.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Bottled on 3/7/14. Twenty-two ounce foil capped bottle.

A: Pours a clear pale yellow with 2-finger thick white head which fades slowly and leaves semi-rings and spots of lace.

N: Saison yeast, estery, grassy/hay, herbal, bright lemony citrus, cracked peppery spices.

T: Fairly straight forward Saison with citrusy hops and slightly vinous.

M: Moderate body and medium carbonation. Finishes dry, yeasty farmhouse and fruity.

O: Very nice white grape and citrusy balance. Pairs very well with food. Easy drinking.

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Photo of reebtaerG
4.09/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had sample at SN Beer Camp Philly

A-Blond pour with a tall, foamy white head. Nice lacing.

S-Strong yeast and earthy notes with grass, straw, funky notes, dried fruit, grains, spice and toasted bread.

T-Taste is big spice, yeast, grassy notes, straw, cut hay, dried flowers, fruit, funky notes, toasted bread, floral hops and dried malt.

M-Mouthfeel gives a light-medium body with a great bubbly carbonation and light lingering hop bitterness.

Overall-A pretty good saison very easy drinking

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Photo of arizcards
4.01/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber at BevMo in late April for $5.99. Bottled on 3/7/14.

Beer poured golden with a beautiful white head in the classic Belgian style.

Nose is grainy, apple, white wine like.

Taste is grainy, peppery, some apple and grapes.

Mouthfeel is heavier than expected for the style but nice and lively.

Overall this is a tasty brew and a nice representation of the style.

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Photo of Goalcam
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Really nice saison-style ale. Really good flavor and not too much bite at the end. It goes down well and is great for any everyday beer. It also packs a nice little punch as you can't really feel the alcohol but it's certainly there. This one is great for a summer bbq.

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Photo of rdickey
3.82/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: The beer pours a very pale gold into my tulip. It’s quite lively, and a fluffy white head perches on top at first, but then drops away pretty quickly, leaving little lacing.

Smell: The first things that I get is a big nose full of hops, followed by a healthy and somewhat surprising dose of citrus. More familiar Belgian spice and grassy notes round it out. Intriguing, to be sure.

Taste: The hops and citrus continue to play a big role, although they reverse their positions in the nose and let the lemon zest take the lead. Big Belgian spices also figure prominently, and a mild tartness plays around the edges. Somewhat surprisingly, there’s also a vinous, white wine-like acidity, which adds to the overall crispness.

Mouthfeel: Medium to high carbonation makes this one pretty lively in the mouth, and the hops and tartness combine for a clean, crisp finish.

Drinkability: High – perfect for a summer day.

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Photo of Jimmys
4.78/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

bottled 060614. bomber split into tulip.

A: couldn't be a paler shade of yellow. super light. bright white frothy head. good retention.

S: great spice and zest but even better fermentation characteristics. mild sulfur level. but really hoppy. earthy, bright citrus hops. smell European but also slightly citra-like. very inviting.

T: spicy, zest, slightly tart. a little bit of hop bitterness in the finish but it is fleeting. a little vinous as well. really getting some tasty white wine, green grape notes that I am thoroughly enjoying.

M: a step below champagne like carb but still manages to be smooth. medium bodied.

D: too drinkable IMO. really refreshing and tasty stuff. the perfect summer saison and another home run from FW.

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Photo of gr0g
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy, straw-colored in appearance. Head retention is weak for the style, fading all too quickly. Lacing is minimal. The usual phenolic yeast aromas are present. Some nice citrus notes - I'm even getting some pineapple (American hop contribution maybe? Hmmm... Looks like there's some Amarillo in there). Dry white wine character with a slight acidic quality. Not bad.

Dry and fruity flavor with some tartness thrown in. A definite vinous character. Dry white grape, pear, and lemongrass are coming through. Mouthfeel is initially a bit harsh but calms down in short order. No alcohol intrudes into the flavor.

Not among the top saisons, but still a solid offering from Firestone Walker. The tartness is an interesting element and adds to the depth of flavor. Worth a try, at least.

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Photo of TheCondor
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Side poured from the 750mL bottle into a pint glass. Excited about this one, love the Firestone Walker Brewing Company and love Saisons, so this should be good.

Appearance - Pours a nice straw yellow color with an ample two finger soapy head that dissipates relatively quickly but leaves behind a nice, sticky lacing on parts of the glass. Packaging is standard FWBC. Beautiful presentation.

Smell - A little floral notes, spices, coriander, and some hay in there. Complex nose, very good smelling brew. Has some citrus and lemon notes as well.\

Taste - An excellent fruity zest right up front which dissipates throughout the drink. A little bit of the saison funk, which is to be expected, as well as some very light hop notes. Very well balanced.

Mouthfeel - Very effervescent, well carbonated, finishes clean and smooth. Very good texture and feel to this brew.

Overall - This is an excellent saison that I would recommend to any fan of the style. FWBC did not disappoint with this offering. Very well balanced, nothing about it overwhelms. Condor recommended and approved.

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Opal - Proprietor's Reserve from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 161 ratings.