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§ucaba - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
§ucaba§ucaba

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

4,189 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,189
Reviews: 808
rAvg: 4.53
pDev: 8.39%
Wants: 1,174
Gots: 2,433 | FT: 241
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  12.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: SacoDeToro on 02-21-2008

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)

Matured for 1 year in a blend of Heaven Hill, 4 Roses, and Old Fitzgerald barrels.
View: Beers (77) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,189 | Reviews: 808
Reviews by MattSweatshirt:
Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.51/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage served to me with a deep ruby body and a ring of bubbly off-white/khaki head.

The nose is full of rich caramel, toffee, vanilla, wood, and bourbon.

This tastes exquisite. Caramel ,toffee, vanilla, coconut, bourbon/alcohol peeks through a bit as well as a touch of chocolate and cherry fruitiness. Damn.

Subtle bubbly carbonation with a nice smooth medium bodied mouthfeel.

Easily the best barleywine I have had.

More User Reviews:
Photo of neurobot01
4.27/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage, bomber into a snifter at cellar temp. Still a fair amount of alcohol heat, but the big surprise was the relative dominance of bitter flavors over sweet. All the standard FW flavors are there, though oak and toffee are at the fore. Very nice mouthfeel. Doesn't strike me as obviously better than fresh, though the barrel influence may have mellowed a bit.

Photo of PSU_Mike
5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm generally against rating beers as 5s. I don't think there is such a thing as a perfect beer. But I'll be damned if I could find a fault in this one. It has a beautiful clear ruby red pour with a nice white head that lingers for a while. Hints of bourbon, vanilla, brown sugar, molasses, and wood explode from the nose and explode on your taste buds. The bourbon is present but not overpowering like other BBA beers I've had. It still allows the other flavors of the beer to shine. It's incredibly smooth and full bodied with the alcohol incredibly well hidden.

While I am not a huge barleywine fan, I do enjoy them from time to time and I can appreciate the style. This one is head and shoulders above the rest. Hell, it's head and shoulders above anything I've had.

Photo of stortore
4.65/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 vintage, 22 ounce bottle into a snifter.

Have not had this before. As soon as you pop the hood, you know this is something special. Smells awesome- malty, coconut, pineapple. a little licorice when it warms. Tastes truly incredible. Sweet, malty, caramel, still getting the coconut. A little boozier as it warms. Nicely carbonated. Coats the tongue, but still feels somewhat light.

This is just a great beer- no surpise really, coming from FW. Hope I'm lucky enough to get the 2015. Hope you are too.

Photo of hopsputin
4.49/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 Batch. Drank 3/6/15

a: a murky dark brown color with some deep purple and ruby red notes. no real head, just some off-white bubbles hovering around the side of the glass - probably being kept there by the etching at the bottom of the glass

s: a very rich and luxurious aroma. vanilla, oak, tannins up front. baking chocolate. plums, fig, raisins. dark rich sticky caramel. dark sweet cherries, a very small hint of licorice. ends with the mellow barrel character

t: oak and vanilla tickle the front of the tongue. dark cherries, fig, prunes, raisins. sweet caramel, some of that bitter baking chocolate. there is a tingle of alcohol on the tongue, and it is there on the back end of the flavor along with the (bourbon?) barrel - but it isn't harsh, which is amazing given that this is coming in at 13.3%. very well crafted beer. if left to sit, and the the alcohol mellowed this would be taken to a whole different level

m: surprising light. its medium with a lot more carbonation than i expected. no head, but definitely a bit fizzy in the mouth

o: my impression is that drinking this fresh (as i am) i can tell this beer is extremely well-made, and on its own its really good. very nice base flavors in here that are harmonized well. also the fact that this is 13.3% and drinks as well is it does is super-impressive. well done. i would definitely recommend getting one and sitting on it for at least 1 year. if allowed to blend in the bottle further, this will be something extremely special

Photo of MonkeyBread
4.77/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of my most sought after beers. Love barley wines. 2013 vintage from the bottle into tulip glass.

Look: box says dark ruby red and that's accurate. Reddish brown, some murkiness, minimal head or lacing. Darker coloring than your typical barley wine.

Smell: amazing! Vanilla, sweet caramel, toffee, coconut, bourbon, tobacco smokiness, leather, can notice a boozy note as well. Very sweet, smells like an incredible dessert laced with liquor.

Taste: burnt sugar, molasses, tobacco, toffee, vanilla, smoke, ripe dark fruits like dates, figs, cherries, bourbon, whiskey, oak. Of the barrel influences the bourbon is most pronounced on the nose while in taste whiskey and oak shines through more. The malt is almost like a scotch whiskey. Most surprising note to me is the smoky, peat-like tobacco flavor, was not expecting that. Really contrasts with the sweetness of the caramel and toffee.

Feel: tad more carbonated than expected. Nice chewy, thick mouth feel. Almost grainy. Pleasant and doesn't get in the way of the many contrasting bold flavors on display in taste and smell.

Overall: the bar was set extremely high here with the top ratings and being a staple of FW's barrel aging program. I think it met those expectations. Perhaps the most complex beer I've had. There's a significant amount of barrel influence in the nose and taste from bourbon, whiskey and oak. And there's a lot of sweetness along with a smoky tobacco flavor that I assume comes from the barrel aging. They all mesh together excellently. This is the top barley wine I've had. FW continues to astound with their skill.

Photo of guityler83
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

2012

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
4.19/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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
3.97/5  rDev -12.4%
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%

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§ucaba from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 4,189 ratings.