§ucaba (Abacus) - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 2,763 | Reviews: 691 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by BrownNut:
4.38/5 rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
2013 vintage drunk 8 months old at room temp in a tulip.
A - 4.5 - Beautiful crystal clear ruby brown when held up to light. Away from the light it looks like root beer and you can't see through it. Beautiful, rich, even, creamy, thick, light tan head.
S - 4.25 - Malty like wet Raisin Bran cereal (both for the bran flakes and the raisins), and sweet like when I used to drizzle honey over my Raisin Bran. Those flavors are potent and saturated, with a lesser hint of booze and a slighter hint of mystery fruit.
T - 4.5 - Sherry, and lots of it. Malty with a fruit tinge. A hybrid of honey and caramel sweetness initially, which later in the bottle accumulates and concentrates into a Raisinets malty/raisiny/chocolate-ness. A decent bitterness is left behind on the palate to remember it by, which is at least in part a bitterness like oxidized apple peels.
M - 4.25 - Creamy, smooth, soft, and barely viscous. Short of medium bodied surprisingly. Leaves a faint sting on the tongue, which turns into mild hop abrasion.
O - 4.25 - It's good. Given its reputation, I had for some reason expected a bolder complexity in terms of layering. But like some other English-style barleywines I've had, and like a lot of English and English-style beers in general, its subtlety makes its complexity something you have to work for, in this case at least beyond the sherry notes, which are themselves pretty bold and nice to have. There in the center is a mildness where I want something more. Style considerations aside, if I could magically alter it for the better, I'd put a puff of spice in it for that extra sense of layering and altitude, give it a buttery viscosity to play against the bitter/dry ending, and add something unmistakeably earthy to give it some additional depth and counterpoint to the sweet elements. Take me down low. It's still a very nice beer and well made. The potency of the alcohol in it leaves you dreamy warm and relaxed. To me it's an ideal slow, no-hurry, contemplative sipper for when the weather cools. Great brewery.
Serving type: bottle
10-07-2013 01:21:43 | More by BrownNut
More User Reviews:
4.74/5 rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
The beer pours some off-white head that dissipates very quickly but still leaves a ring around the inside of the glass. The beer itself is an opaque dark plum color. The beer has notes of very dark purple with black that strongly resemble plum. The smell is fairly complex with chocolate and caramel notes. Dark fruit smell that resembles plums with a bit of oak and a very concealed note of alcohol with a bit of barely smell. The strong notes are definitely the dark fruits. The taste is similar to the smell. Caramel and plum notes dominate the taste. The alcohol and oak make an appearance and compliment the stronger notes very well and end up creating a nice caramel taste in some places. Notes of vanilla from the barrel also appear. The beer is heavy bodied but very smooth to the point where it feels silky. Overall, a fantastic barleywine and one that I'll go looking for each year.
Serving type: bottle
03-15-2014 00:50:19 | More by HattedClassic
4.9/5 rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
A: Dull, dark red in color. Looks nice but isn't amazing. Not like it matters that much though because this is one beast of an ale.
S: Wow. Chocolate, plums, figs, oak, some alcohol.
T: This thing tastes incredible. A lot of plums and figs with some chocolate, coconut and oak. The alcohol is covered up so unbelievably well, it's almost dangerous.
M: Medium mouthfeel with pretty low carbonation. There is absolutely no sting or bite from the alcohol whatsoever.
O: I had my doubts that this beer would live up to the hype, but it definitely did and then some. If it weren't for the price and availability I would be drinking this every day.
Serving type: bottle
03-15-2014 00:13:23 | More by MisSigsFan
§ucaba (Abacus) from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 2,763 ratings.