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§ucaba - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,911 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,911
Reviews: 757
rAvg: 4.53
pDev: 8.39%
Wants: 1,045
Gots: 2,128 | FT: 195
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  12.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
2011 Reserve Series Bottle Notes:
O.G. 27 Plato
F.G. 4.7 Plato
I.B.U. 42 units
Yeast: British Ale (House)
Cases: 1500 produced
Color: 36SRM (Dark Ruby)

2014 Bottle Notes
O.G. 27 Plato
F.G. 4.7 Plato
I.B.U. 42 units
Yeast: British Ale (House)
Cases: 3500 produced
Color: 36SRM (Dark Ruby)

(Beer added by: SacoDeToro on 02-21-2008)
View: Beers (79) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,911 | Reviews: 757 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by BedetheVenerable:
Photo of BedetheVenerable
4.39/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 22oz brown pop-top bottle, nicely boxed. Classy labelling and presentation. 2012 vintage, purchased from HyVee last year for around $15.00. Split with my wife into two Chimay chalices to commemorate a bittersweet day today. Sampled between cellar and room temperature.

Appearance: Beautiful burnished English walnut hued beer with a light beige cap which soon falls to a thick ring and patchy lacing. Lots of small sediment in suspension, but that's not particularly surprising. Beautiful burnt orange highlights when held up to the light, and tiny bubbles of streaming carbonation.

Smell: Incredibly rich and powerful. Very sweet notes of dark or slightly burnt caramel with dark fruity notes and a subtle kick of alcoholic heat as well. Rich, warm malt tones and no hop aromas to get in the way; the aromas are so thick and intense you can practically see them.

Taste: More complex on the palate than the aromas (as good as they are) suggest. Dark caramel, English pale malt, a dark spiciness reminiscent of Fisherman's Friend throat lozenges (menthol, eucalyptus oil, licorice), a bit of fruity alcohol, and a subdued, fruity English-hop bitterness. Ends on the light side of medium bitter and this, in combination with the alcohol, prevents this from becoming at all cloying.

Mouthfeel: Big and soft, though not quite as heavy as some big bruiser imperial stouts or the like...the mouthfeel works well for this beer.

Overall: Opened this today to celebrate the fact that after several years of looking forward to it, I finally had a paper accepted at the 2013 International Medieval Congress in Kalamazoo, MI, AFTER I had decided to leave my PhD program and academia behind me. Everything happens for a reason though and, even if it sucks, the wife and I thought we'd split this tonight to celebrate. It really is a fantastic beer, second only to King Henry in terms of an American-made English-style barleywine. This is the second time I've had it aged now (had the 2011 in 2012) and can honestly say that I don't understand any of the people who like this fresh over aged. I had the 2012 fresh and it tasted thin and almost hot to me, with very little depth of flavor. This, however, is another story. I picked up 2 of the 2013s, and I'll definitely be hanging onto them for awhile. Paired with some good English Red Leicester, this is fantastic, and a good value for the money.

Overall: 93-94 = A

More User Reviews:
Photo of guityler83
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%


A: One finger of head formed when poured from the bomber into a snifter glass and fell in under a minute leaving behind a small ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. The foam is tan in color and made of medium sized bubbles mostly. Nice alcohol legs are kicked up on the edge of the glass when swirled, but very little foam. The beer is a deep mahogany color and that color only comes through with a back lite.

S: Sweet bourbon dominates the nose with oak and vanilla right behind it, medium levels. Raisins and prunes with sweet plums come next at mild levels. A light spicy hop character. Candy raisins and toffee notes also present. Alcohol is mellow and mostly in the form of bourbon. Nicely developed after the 2 years it was cellared.

T: Wow, beautiful bourbon barrel character. Smooth and tobacco tasting bourbon with vanilla, caramel oak flavor - very developed and up front. Sweetness is kept to a minimum and seems to be reduced by the bourbon. Bitterness is medium with a more neutral hop character. Malty flavors come through as the beer warms up with prunes and plums consistent with the aroma. Some milk chocolate notes come out as well.

M: A big tingly tongue sensation from the bourbon that leads to a nice warming sensation from the alcohol. Carbonation is on the lower side and very complimentary with the style. The tannins from the wood provide a slight drying sensation on the mouth and the body of the beer is in the medium range.

O: Fantastic BA Barley Wine, The barrel is up front with tons of character from the bourbon left over. The alcohol is there, but not offensive or difficult to drink. This beer aged perfectly. I would like to try a fresh version to compare, but as it stands this was superb.

Photo of DanGeo
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of tectactoe
4/5  rDev -11.7%

Photo of DavyJones
3/5  rDev -33.8%

Photo of t2grogan
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of OhioBobcat
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Runs4Beer
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of jono0101
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of brownbeer
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of abeerdude
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Schlais
4/5  rDev -11.7%

Photo of cjn40277
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of SanFranJake
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of delaced21
4.25/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of SkiBum22
4.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a rich, red-tinged black with a small white head. Minor lacing and retention.

S - Nice scent bringing lot of barley wine and barrel elements with other notes of goodness. Dark fruits come through the most, along with caramel, chocolate, bourbon, oak, light tobacco and alcohol.

T - Tons of maple and vanilla, a bit nutty, very similar to smell, some sips had some alcohol in the back of the nose

M - Surprisingly smooth. Packs a punch but in all the right ways.

O - An amazing barleywine and another amazing beer from Firestone. This to me is the second best barleywine behind King Henry right now. Glad I have a few extra bottles.

Photo of steelerguy
3.98/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark walnut brown, can only see a bit of light around the edges. Small head that fades quickly and ends up looking like flat cola after a few mins.

S - Lots of vanilla, chocolate, dark fruit, hop aroma absent. Can smell that this has spent some time in oak.

T - The smell translates to the taste very well. Very complex, again you can tell this has been aged in bourbon barrels, the vanilla flavor really comes through. Lots of chocolate malt and a bit of dark fruit, almost reminds me of a port. Again, lacking in hop character and bitterness which should be present in an American barleywine.

M - Nice, smooth, and warming. A little alcohol bite at the end. Wish it had a little more body to help balance the 13% ABV.

O - This is a good barleywine, would be even better if judged as an English style, but it is a bit lacking as an American style in the hop category. Definitely a barelywine to be tried by all loves of the strong style.

Photo of Ben7773
4.25/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of newk340
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of dimitrov
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of oddlandf
3.75/5  rDev -17.2%

Photo of danthehopslamman
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of NWer
4.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2011 reserve series in a brandy snifter.
Alcohol notes overwhelm the senses from the get-go. Like a fine brandy only better.
This is why I now prefer beer to other alcohol choices.
Mouthfeel and aftertaste leave a very pleasant taste and feel that makes each sip a joy to behold.
Life is good when one of these are at hand.

Photo of thetommo
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of DaftPatrick
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

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§ucaba from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 3,911 ratings.