§ucaba (Abacus) - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 2,757 | Reviews: 689 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by 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!
Serving type: bottle
04-02-2012 04:24:10 | More by chodinheaven
More User Reviews:
4.81/5 rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5
Nice color with a slight lacing.
Smell is oak and alcohol might be the weakest link here.
Taste oak is there, blending in very nicely with the high abv. Vanilla with light fruity taste.
Overall : English Barleywine where ya been all my life?
My first English Barleywine won't be my last. What difference does it matter what I say it is a limited production run so if you get your hands on a bottle do yourself a favor.
Overall a great beer I would put this on par with some of the finest Scotch Whiskys.
Very complex there is a whole lot going on in this bottle.
Serving type: bottle
03-08-2014 20:36:14 | More by Buannaich
§ucaba (Abacus) from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 2,757 ratings.