§ucaba (Abacus) - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 2,738 | Reviews: 689 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by hopsbreath:
3.4/5 rDev -24.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
Thanks again to Arbitrator for yet another bottle. The signature Bay Area wax job let's me know it's genuine.
A: Unchanged. 5/5
S: Easy enough to smell, but the vanilla notes are gone. Still there is the bourbon and wood. Not sure it's really setting itself apart anymore. 3.5/5
T: Bourbon barrel forward still with a bunch of stone fruit right behind it. Sweet malts lingering but the overwhelming complexity is definitely diminished. 3/5
M: Unchanged. 4/5
O: I still enjoyed this beer, but it's not quite as distinctive now as it was fresher. More middle of the pack and forgettable albeit non-offensive. 3.5/5
Big thanks goes out to Arbitrator for sending one of these up my way. I'm still hoping to buy one off the shelf when (if) it hits Portland but at least now I can get a taste. Bomber split with TulipSnifter. I used a Captain Lawrence snifter and she used a Mad Elf snifter.
A: Very dark garnet bordering on black at the thickest part of the glass. Other brewery's might try to call this a "black barleywine". Firestone Walker simply calls it "barleywine ale", like that's the way the style should be. A good two fingers of cappuccino like head forms on top with a vigorous pour. No lacing, but it has legs. Looks to be nice and syrupy. You drink with the eyes before the taste buds and my eyes like what they see. 5/5
S: The same -bal notes I find in Parabola are definitely here. Spice, vanilla, sharp wood, and some beautiful chocolate covered coconut sweetness promise quite a bit. My one complaint is that the aroma, while complex, isn't as strong as I would like. 4.5/5
T: Tongue numbing bourbon bites right off the bat. Sweet artisanal chocolate candies represent the malt base very well. Cherry cordials are one of those candies. Nice vanilla notes, sugary caramel, and some toast are other flavors I can pick well. I'm having a hard time not giving the perfect score here. Are there any faults? Do I wish something was better? I'm going to say it might be a touch hot right now. The bourbon is great but in 3-6 months I can see the directness of the heat smoothing out a little bit and really tying this thing up. 4.5/5
M: Thick and viscous with low carbonation. The finish is sticky but no more than expected for a 13% barleywine. I'm okay with a good rating here. 4/5
O: Quite the enjoyable beer. Big, boozy, sweet... Some of my most enjoyable characteristics of beers that get it right. FW delivers yet another winner. If these bottles ever get up to Portland, I'll be buying some more. I'd recommend anybody who see's these to buy, buy,buy. 4.5/5
Serving type: bottle
10-28-2011 04:25:18 | More by hopsbreath
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 2,738 ratings.