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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 chodinheaven:
Photo of chodinheaven
4.68/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As it says on the label, it pours a dark ruby color, beautiful and deep, almost opaque until you look at it through a light, which gives it that dark ruby glow. Tight and silky khaki head on top that dissapates to a thin sheet leaving spotty lacing. Comes in a cool collectible box so that suckered the appearance up to a 5 for me. Deep and bourbanesque nose with some toasty booze-soaked oak aromas coming up through the grainish caramelly malts. Lighter hints of raisins and vanilla come through, as well as a hint of earthy hops, rounding out a very nice nose. The vanilla and booze come out more as it warms.

Lots of complex flavors going on in this one, all of which are very tasty. A lot of the aromas translate very well to the taste, with the barrel aging playing a big part in imparting some whiskey-like flavors and a toasty oaky vanilla flavor that is addicting. That combined with hints of raisins and figs that are not quite juicy, but definitely not dry either, create a satisfying mouthfeel that complements the amazing flavors. Caramelly malts are there in the background, giving a great backbone to this monster of a barleywine. These malts are definitely noteworthy, but outshined by the sheer boozy weight of this beer. This booziness is very close to fantastic in short. It's not cloying at all, and although it's remeniscent of mid-grade whiskey, it doesn't leave very much to be desired. Granted, not nearly as boozy as a straight shot of whiskey, but it does add a certain satisfying burn to the feel, followed by a breath of the booze as well. The only reason the taste isn't a 5 for me is because the aftertaste/afterfeel is that of a cheaper whiskey. If I could give the taste a 4.7, I would because it is so well-rounded for what it is. The hops in this one are almost outshined by the fruit and whiskey qualities, but should not be counted out because they are about as present as the sweetness of the malts and hints of vanilla and raisins. They add that last touch of earthiness to the beer to bring the alcohol down to a well-balanced, albeit very present, state. The mouthfeel is surprisingly smooth despite the prickle of the alcohol and slight burn that it brings.

This beer is pretty amazing and complex, all things considered. Smooth but prickly, sweet and yet dry, boozy and yet balanced in its own way. Even a touch fruity. This is the kind of beer that makes me want to brew a barleywine and barrel age it. This beer is huge and not for all, but if you appreciate a good whiskey, bourbon or even scotch, then give this a shot. Its definitely one of the best barleywines I've had. I wish I had bought at least two bottles, leaving one to age and see what it would be like in a year or two. But I couldn't imagine it being much better than it is now. Great beer, pick at least two bottles up if you see it!

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.