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§ucaba - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,997 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,997
Reviews: 774
rAvg: 4.53
pDev: 8.39%
Wants: 1,103
Gots: 2,229 | FT: 208
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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,997 | Reviews: 774 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at City Beer Store. Good barleywine aromas, creamy mouthfeel, A tad of creamy off-white head on brown. Carbonation was a tad fizzy. Decent drinkability, I could have much more in a meal. A decent barleywine,British in character though not exceptional on this day.

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.84/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a dark crimson red/dark brown with a very, very small tan head that fades to nothing. The head came out very fizzy, much like a soda. No lacing whatsoever on the drink down. The smell coming off this beer is absolutely fantastic. Caramel, toffee, butterscotch, brown sugar, cherry, coconut, earthy woods all come out of the glass. I spent about 5 minutes just smelling this beer before I even took a sip. Not surprisingly the taste is out of this world. The first taste that I get is toasted coconut. This is followed by sweet caramel/toffee, candied cherries, and very subtle hints of chocolate. There is an aftertaste of some woody notes from the barrels. This beer has a good level of carbonation which I think helps it from being too thick and cloying. This is by far the best barleywine I have ever had. The 13% ABV is really not noticeable at all. The aromas and flavors mesh together amazingly well. I have 2 more of these in my cellar and I can't wait to see how these age. I am going to seek more of these out for sure.

Photo of djrn2
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of zestar
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -11.7%

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.7/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap as a guest draft at Dark Lord Day 2009.

A: Fairly dark--especially for the style. Some reddish highlights with a light, cream-colored head.

S: Oak, roasted malt, chocolate, and bits of vanilla. The oak definitely came through, as I had this not too longer after sampling the Oak Aged DL.

T: Fairly-roasted malt with some caramel/toffee taste as well as a certain earthiness to the underlying malt. On top of this lies some of the oak/wood flavors as well as characteristics of chocolate and hints of vanilla. A bit of bourbon in there, too.

M: Very chewy and quite heavy. Fairly low carbonation.

D: Quite drinkable, as the alcohol is hidden, but not too much.

Photo of GRG1313
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of kjkinsey
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of metter98
4.44/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is very dark reddish brown in color. It poured with a thin beige ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass and a small patch of bubbles in the center.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of bourbon, oak toffee and vanilla in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste is somewhat sweet and has complex flavors of bourbon, caramel, toffee and vanilla.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and smooth on the palate and has some hints of stickiness. There is a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a great beer to sip because it continually keeps your taste buds interested due to its complex flavors. It definitely tastes quite strong but the alcohol does not detract from the taste.

Photo of olradetbalder
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of brentk56
4.42/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: With a 13% ABV, it is a rare beer that will produce much of a head, so it is not surprise that this one fades quickly, leaving the caramel-colored liquid denuded

Smell: What it lacks in head, it makes up in aroma, with a rich combination of fruit (hints of fig, date and black cherry) and spice cake (brown sugar, toffee, cinnamon and vanilla), ensconced in the Bourbon barrel

Taste: Spice cake favors, up front, followed by the fruit and budding vanilla/brown sugar elements; earthy hops add some balance, at mid-palate, with the Bourbon barrel adding complexity to the finish

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied with low to moderate carbonation; some warmth in the gullet

Overall: This is a really nice English Barleywine that is brimming with complexity and hides the alcohol mysteriously well

Thanks, jodan, for the opportunity

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -22.7%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.62/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Extremely complex, powerful, and gentlemanly, this Barleywine carries a plethora of flavors but without the heavy body that's normally associated with the style. Warm body with amazing drinkability sets this one apart.

Deep garnet in color, the beer allows for only the most supple of light to announce it's ruby-like glow. Low carbonation, the beer forms a creamy light head that disipates early in the session- seemingly very port-like.

A potpouri of aromas erupt from the glass, with the shape of maple, toffee, chocolate, plumbs, grapes, figs, walnuts, oak, bourbon, sherry, vanilla, cherries, and currants- the independent notes seem endless.

Sweeter malty notes show in flavor first with the maple syrup, toffee, vanilla, and chocolate. Very savory and succulent before the alcohol ushers in the powerful flavors of bourbon, rum, cherries, berries, light coffee, mild toast, and oak. Late flavors of alcohol and fruit bring about the strong estery notes and balance of oak, walnut, and bitter alcohols.

Rich and sweet early, the low levels of carbonation allows the full weight of the beer to rest on the taste buds- seemingly heavy and chewy. But the beer's thinning alcohols lighten the brunt of malty character and give a warm and numbing effect on the mouthfeel. Powdery woods and mild tanins give balance late for impressive dryness and palatable weight.

A world class barleywine that makes a statement with intense alcohols and a remarkably dry finish and smooth variety of flavors. Where a mystery flavor seems to emerge with each sip, so does the intensity of alcohols that seem to distract from time to time. This the only reason to keep it from top scores.

Thanks given2flybrewing!

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.85/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a medium clear amber color ale with a small foamy head with good retention and light lacing. Aroma of bourbon and corn is very deep with some sweet caramelized malt notes. Taste is a very rich mix between some bourbon notes with light corn ester and some deep caramelize sugar. Bourbon is intense though not too much too ruin the balanced though vanilla notes are harder to distinguish. Residual sugar is also not too overwhelming and some attenuation remains to keep some kind of balance into this big beer. Well done and something I would have again.

Photo of jaydoc
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.54/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

had the pleasure of splitting this one with calton last night and what a great beer, poured into my pint glass and enjoyed on 5.24.11

great look here with a nice hazelnut brown color and a smooth and even head of light tan that really seemed to show quite nicely how well it would be.

aroma was to die for with rich vanilla tones, tons of barrel and just a huge oaky and caramel presence. this was a monster for sue. it seemed each sip became more complex then the one before and soon i was totally sucked into its workd and just beaten down. nice light feel , a bit different then what i would have thought but overall i think it was quite nice.

an outstanding ba barleywine for sure!

Photo of SocalKicks
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Knapp85
4.76/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Another big thanks to jzeilinger for cracking a bottle of this brew for us to try. This was one I've wanted to try for a while and I'm honored to say that I finally had it. The beer poured out as a deep amber color with some brown hues to it. The head was white and actually stuck around for a little while. There was a light lacing on the glass too. The smell of the beer is sweet and earthy, lots of caramel and toffee notes along with some hops too that I am a bit surprised to pick up. The barrel aging also comes in on the nose too. The taste of this beer is awesome. I can't even explain the kind of flavors I experienced here. There is some serious complexity here. The mouthfeel is very good too, it's super smooth with a nice subtle carbonation to it,. Overall this was great, There is no doubt that I will buy this for myself one day to have it again. I miss this beer already and it's only been a few hours since i had it. Very very good stuff.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev -6.2%

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

Huge thanks to LtDan (from RB) for a sample of this one.

A: The pour is a dark, rich amber color with a small off-white (perhaps beige) head.

S: The nose has an incredibly rich fruitiness to it which I really was not expecting. Plenty of sugar, caramel, bourbon, vanilla and oak in the nose as well.

T: The nose gave this one a lot to live up to, and I'm happy to say the flavors delivered! A lot of caramel and toffee sweetness, obviously, but also some really great barrel character as well. The bourbon, vanilla, oak, and even some hop bitterness really round this beer out.

M: The body is very full with a low level of carbonation that works well here.

D: Normally you don't associate barleywines with easy drinking, but this one is so smooth and delicious that it's easy to keep going back for more. I can't wait until this is bottled.

Photo of largadeer
4.42/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a tulip, 2011 batch. Clear ruddy brown in the pour, more foggy in the glass. Seems a shade or two lighter than batches of Abacus I've had on tap in the past, more of a traditional barleywine color than a near opaque dark brown. The off-white head doesn't last long, receding to a crown after a moment.

Smells good. Really good. Plenty of brown sugar and toasted coconut, with a leathery, earthy note of oxidation. Some alcohol is evident, but not much considering how fresh this is. There's a lot of barrel here, contributing the expected caramel-vanilla richness, and beneath that I pick up subtle dried fruit sweetness, somewhat date-like.

At this point, it tastes even better than it smells. Alcohol again is noticeable, but pushed aside by layers of caramel, coconut and and roasted nuts. Oxidation isn't as present on the tongue as it was on the nose, I only get a faint trace of cocoa and leather. It's a rich, sweet beer, but remarkably easy to drink - maybe because it isn't terribly syrupy or hot, but I find myself drinking this a lot faster than most barrel aged barleywines.

There is a slight heat to the finish, especially as it opens up, but it's nothing that a couple months of age won't solve. Toffee and tobacco linger in the finish, along with a slight woody/tannic note.

Overall, yeah, this is awesome. At $15 per bottle, there isn't much to complain about here. I wish it were easier to find, but that isn't the beer's fault. World class stuff.

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§ucaba from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 3,997 ratings.