§ucaba - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,394 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,394
Reviews: 840
rAvg: 4.53
pDev: 8.39%
Wants: 1,227
Gots: 2,582 | FT: 249
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.
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Ratings: 4,394 | Reviews: 840
Photo of toronadotornado
4.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Congregation Ale House - Pasadena, CA - 8 oz. draft

Photo of mtomlins
4.39/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to UncleJazz for the Bottle!

Photo of James_Michaud91
4.9/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

My favorite barleywine overall. Love the hoppy bitterness to balance out the decadent malt sweetness when this beer is still fresh.

Photo of Fargrow
4.59/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2013, about 2.5 years old. Reviewed at cellar temp.

A: Very dark brown. Very light tan colored, frothy head that settles to a thin layer on the beer.
S: Musty, bourbon, cherry, vanilla, caramel, cola, leather. There's a lot going on here!
T: Decadent. Bourbon, cherry, cocoa, toffee, vanilla, caramel. All the desserts.
M: Thick, but also very drinkable.
O: This was a great experience, drank for a special occasion that made it even better. I haven't had it fresh, but the cherry (dark fruits) flavor that I love was helped along with age, I'm sure. I see why this beer is sought after. Very nice.

Photo of gatornation
4.74/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2014 Vintage pours a dark brown with a hint of amber,a fast receding head with a fresh cap when swirled in glass, smells of date fruit hops and dark fruit some oak and vanilla,caramel malts, taste follows the nose a superb BA is mixed with a delicious base BW each sip is perfectly balanced with the whiskey notes fruits and hops are perfect in this, mouth feel has lower carbonation but this is a sipper smooth mellow BA in each sip, this is a benchmark for BABW so delicious

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

Perfect English barleywine that exploded in your mouth.

Photo of iTunesUpdates
4.79/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

So freakin good. Been waiting to try this for a long time.

Photo of dank203
3.68/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

the beer is top rated however, I found it too boozy. well brewed though and I would say a bottle would age really really well, had this on draft

Photo of BuckeyeBeers
4.6/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried next to BCBBW and Behemoth... this one took the prize.

Photo of GregJ
4.4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Aged an additional year. 2014 vintage. Excellent oak and vanilla character, strong caramel and barley backbone, some whiskey flavor. Excellent.

Photo of Pourharddrinkslow
4.68/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look - Dark brown, very little head; no lacing.

Smell - Malt, caramel, toffee, oak... all blended together into a very pleasant nose. The only negative (barely) aspect is the slight booziness.

Taste - one of the top 2 tasting BA barleywine's I've had. The first thing I noticed was the excellent balance. super smooth with toffee, malt, and dark fruits upfront followed by a little bourbon and a minuscule hint of vanilla. Not much booze in the taste which in my opinion is the sign of a well done beer, especially of the BA variety.

Feel - Pretty thick for a barleywine, a little sticky, but quite smooth

Overall - This is a sublime beer. One of the 2 best of the style that I have ever had.

Photo of Pete_Simpson
3.5/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Too boozy. Need 3 more words to submit review.

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

Amazing, one of the best beers I've ever had.

L- dark Amber color, tan head that quickly dissipated

F - definitely has some body but not too much. Moderate carbonation

S - instantly I knew I would like it once I smelled it. Big vanilla and toffee.

T - similar to the nose. Pretty sweet with the same caramel, toffee vanilla flavors. Some booze but it perfectly balances the sweetness. Finishes with caramel corn, a slight butteriness.

O- I usually don't give out 5* ratings but this deserves it. For me, a perfect BA beer. Only question is what to do with the other 2 I have. My feeling is it will continue to get better, but don't hesitate to drink now.

Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
4.47/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Ruby-brown body, slight haze. Head and lace only appear as faint collars.

S: Oak, vanilla, caramel, tons of warming maltiness, some diacetyl, and even a bit of alcohol that is well-integrated.

T: The malt and butter is most prominent, a combo that usually results in a cloying and sickly rich beer, but this is amazingly balanced by the non-harsh oak, vanilla, and coconut notes. Alcohol is nowhere to be seen here- I wonder if just a glimpse of it would add or detract. Either way, it's already incredible.

M: Warm alcohol, full bodied.

O: Amazing balance, and for an arguably straight-forward and heavy style, this one presents its flavors with grace and even just a little restraint, where appropriate. This is my definition of a crafted beer.

Photo of RAlmeida77
4.42/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Not typically a fan of barleywines but this one is quite good!

Photo of BradfordStuckey
4.49/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the best barleywines out there. every sip delivers different oaked flavors. Swetness and sharp notes ranging from tobacco and burnt or smoked wood. All overtaken by the incredble carmel noted of a deep malt bill overshadowing all hop profiles. Happy to see that there is plenty of this great beer out there.

Photo of apasternak
4.1/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the few FW beers that gets better with age

Photo of Joey2timer
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

kinda harsh fresh, lots of booze, but i like it, need to try a vintage version now

Photo of drmeto
4.76/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2015 version

-pours a clear ruby with almost no,quickly dissipating head,beige in colour
-low-medium carbonation visible
vanilla,coconut,Bourbon,prunes,caramel,toffee,strawberry jam,brown sugar,dried orange peel,alcohol
-Full body,low carbonation
-alcohol quite present,naturally with 13% abv
A tad too sweet,otherwise a perfect Beer

Photo of StinkyFishBoys
4.89/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2012 Scuba - I wanted to pour this into my tank so I could swim in it. Got this at Fishmans in Chakango and enjoyed it with fellow whalemen. My nose grew another nose so I could get a better whiff. It's incredible, spend the $35 and go home with a few plates of fish. All fins up.

Photo of retry4z
4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Cork and Craft. Caramel and cherries on the nose, some locorice, and alcohol. Color is brownish-amber. Full bodied with moderate to high carbonation. Big malty body with taste or candi sugar and licorice, vanilla, and resin. Alcohol (13.5%) is evident. Comparable to Bourbon Country Barleywine, but has some interesting fruity complexities, and even a hint of sourness. Decent barrel-aged Barleywine, but would have to give it another try to make a better assessment.

Photo of blues_fever
4.96/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Have had this a couple of time and every time its better than the last.

Photo of KevChiTown
4.93/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best beers I've had in a really long time. Super smooth and complex. Tons of everything going on but in a balanced approachable way. Highly recommend

Photo of martinimike82
4.73/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of the best barley wines out there.

Photo of Sparty1224
4.56/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving: 22 oz. bomber poured into a Founder's CBS snifter. No bottling date, but it's likely just under 4 months old at this point.

A: Pours a deep, dark brown with a reddish hue. A faint 1/4-finger off-white head with an aggressive pour that dissipates quickly. Appears a bit thin.

S: Vanilla, molasses, brown sugar. Plum, chocolate-covered cherries, raisins. Also a bit of a cinnamon french toast quality here as well. Bourbon integrates well here, it's very smooth and has some fruity notes that complement it well. It's not an overwhelming or powerful aroma, but it's still very nice.

T: Lots of sweet molasses, brown sugar, dark fruits. Some maple syrup, vanilla, oak. The bourbon integrates so well with the natural flavors from the barleywine that you almost forget it's barrel-aged. They really play off each other nicely here.

M: This is where the beer falls from elite status for me. It's very, very thin. Almost has the consistency of water, and that's no good. Also, it is extremely boozy. 13.3% is high to start, but there's a way to work it in and it's been done before, but just not here. It's very hot on the finish, almost like a dry red wine.

O: So this is my 2nd review of a "boxed" beer from FW, and I've encountered the same problem twice now: poor, poor mouthfeel. This beer is way too thin and way too boozy. And that's a shame, because it takes away from an otherwise stellar beer. Great, great aroma here. Great flavors, with the bourbon complementing the rich sweetness and dark fruit flavors of the English-style BW. But the mouthfeel just prevents it from getting to that next level for me. I even let it sit for 4 months, and it still came out hot!

Recommendation: Don't let my review scare you, this is still a great beer. Definitely seek it out or trade for it, but maybe let it sit for 6+ months. Maybe at that point some of the heat has faded, making this beer much more drinkable.

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§ucaba from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 4,394 ratings.