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§ucaba - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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3,568 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,568
Reviews: 744
rAvg: 4.53
pDev: 8.39%
Wants: 982
Gots: 2,059 | FT: 179
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,568 | Reviews: 744 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of C13


4.98/5  rDev +9.9%

This beer blew my mind! It is definitely one of the best beers I've had the pleasure of sharing with a friend.

A: Very deep brown with hints of red. Virtually no head.

S: After my first sniff, I knew this beer was going to be great. I smelled a lot of vanilla and oak up front and the malts came through nicely. There was also a hit of fruit. The kick of bourbon gave my nose a tingle...of excitement.

T: AMAZING! It was "hot", but I really enjoyed that sensation on my first sip when I got the blast of bourbon. It had a sweet, fruity, vanilla flavor with some chocolaty malts. Did I mention bourbon?

M: Smooth...incredibly smooth even without age. Great finish.

O: Hands down the best barley wine I've had. I loved it and I would be surprised if you don't. I have one sleeping in the box, in my basement, taking a long nap until I wake her up in a year or so. I cannot wait to see how she develops.

04-04-2012 00:42:19 | More by C13
Photo of PopeXXIII

District of Columbia

4.7/5  rDev +3.8%

A: Poured a dark brown, almost port color.

S: Had a very classic barleywine nose, sweet, malty.

T: Sweet, with a little alcohol warmth. Not overpowering. Nice and balanced.

M: Smooth

Overall one of the best barleywines I've tasted. It's easy for this style to get out of control, but this was a very drinkable beer.

04-03-2012 19:50:17 | More by PopeXXIII
Photo of curly31989


4.25/5  rDev -6.2%

04-03-2012 03:29:28 | More by curly31989
Photo of areich6


4.68/5  rDev +3.3%

Enjoying with my good friend pschul4

A: Dark, dark red. With a small amount of bubbly head.

S: Smells like delicious sweet bourbon with vanilla notes in addition to some dark fruits like blach cherries.

T: Fantastic flavor. Extremely sweet vanilla/ bourbon flavors. Some fruity sweetness is definitely present along with a hint of caramel malts. The alcohol is barely detectable.

M: Very light and smooth. Extremely drinkable. Very little bit from the alcohol.

O: This is a fantastic barleywine.

04-03-2012 02:59:00 | More by areich6
Photo of pschul4


4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

Big Bottle shared with areich6
Had Abacus never had Sucaba before O.o

A- Pours a burgendy brown with off white head that falls back rather quickly

S- So much bourbon! Amazing bourbon with some dark fruits in the background

T- Hey...hey...hi... This is awesome. I'm at a loss for words. Amazing smooth bourbon and background barleywine knocks my socks off too. Can't say enough about this flavor, this is better than Parabola IMO

M- Insanely smooth, perfect mouthfeel

O- This is the second best BA Barleywine I've ever had (thanks to King Henry). I love this beer a lot, you should too

04-03-2012 02:55:25 | More by pschul4
Photo of vic21234


4.78/5  rDev +5.5%

2012 bottle poured into a snifter. This one was a surprise at my local bottle shop the other day. Looking forward to it.

A- Pours a dark reddish color, almost brown. Hints of reddish purple can be seen through the edges of the glasses. Pours with a small amount of white head that quickly fades. Lots of lacing along the side of the glass.

S- Smells boozey more than anything to me. Getting some hints of dark fruits as well.

T- Wow, really unlike any barleywine I've had. First off is the caramel and dark fruit notes. Then comes the slight notes of hop character. The barrel-aging really shines in the taste, with great oak notes. This drinks very hot fresh, with an overly boozey presence which I like.

M- A great sipper. Definitely boozey, each sip leaves a warming alcohol feeling, especially as the beer comes closer to room temperature.

Awesome stuff, always impressed with FW beers. I'm glad I got to try this, and would be interested to get my hands on a bottle to see what some age does to this one.

04-03-2012 02:46:08 | More by vic21234
Photo of uvm2003


4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

04-03-2012 01:07:15 | More by uvm2003
Photo of bcostner1


4.6/5  rDev +1.5%

A: Pours a rich, deep, ruby/garnet reddish brown. Sticky yet thin tannish-white accumulates and quickly dissipates leaving just a hint around the edges of the glass. Love the label on this one--Classic and clean.

S: Vanilla, oak, some EtOH, toffee. A nice melange of these and more.

T: Sublime and superb. Like the nose, vanilla and oak are present for sure. Hefty doses of rich toffee and caramel as well. Rich malt present. Some brown sugar present too. Dark fruits/dates/raisins come through as well. Flavors meld together seamlessly as the beer warms. I am loving this for sure. The only knock against it for me is that the alcohol is still just a little bit too evident in the finish for my personal liking.

M: Silky and smooth....dangerously so. A little on the sticky side too (if that is possible given the previous 2 elements described?) I divided my bomber up into 1/3'rds so that I could sip it and truly appreciate it. The 12.5% is deceptive to a degree but, as I said before, can still be detected in the finish (a little too much so for me)

Overall, I love this beer. Definitely amongst my personal elite. I am discovering that I have a penchant for English Barleywines and this one absolutely lives up to the hype. I hope to be able to get more and will do so as often as I possibly can. I want to see what some age will do to/for the alcohol component in the other bottle that I have aging presently. Highly recommended.

NOTE 6/13/13: I aged a 2012 for a year and it's much less hot and boozy now. The aging did wonders for it. Awesome!

04-02-2012 23:39:32 | More by bcostner1
Photo of Dan25D


3/5  rDev -33.8%

04-02-2012 21:25:20 | More by Dan25D
Photo of jacewg

District of Columbia

4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

04-02-2012 16:44:43 | More by jacewg
Photo of denimdemon


4.25/5  rDev -6.2%

04-02-2012 15:06:09 | More by denimdemon
Photo of chodinheaven


4.68/5  rDev +3.3%

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!

04-02-2012 04:24:10 | More by chodinheaven
Photo of Jhatwig

5/5  rDev +10.4%

04-02-2012 02:25:51 | More by Jhatwig
Photo of cgrz


5/5  rDev +10.4%

04-01-2012 20:15:37 | More by cgrz
Photo of CoryR


4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

04-01-2012 19:26:52 | More by CoryR
Photo of Evan


4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

04-01-2012 14:47:01 | More by Evan
Photo of paslaugh


4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

04-01-2012 05:37:41 | More by paslaugh
Photo of zeledonia


4.73/5  rDev +4.4%

2011 vintage (the last one called Abacus). Poured into a tulip.

Pours very deep amber. Looks like a typical barleywine on its way out of the bottle, but becomes nearly opaque in the glass. With light behind it, that same rusty amber re-appears. Half a finger of cream-colored head, gone fast, little lacing.

Has that amazing richness, warmth, and sweetness that good barrel-aged barleywines have, but there's something more here. The higher, sharper notes of the bourbon blend smoothly into the big fruity malt base. Plums, cherries, and other dark fruits abound. Vanilla oak notes float above it. Divine. One of those beers that made me say "wow" at first sniff.

Taste is much like the smell, only with some slightly sharper edges. Loads of dark fruits, dates more prominent here. Again it's quite oaky, with an impressively smooth bourbon twist throughout. Delicious, and amazingly mellow for such a big strong beer.

Mouthfeel is excellent. Heavy and sticky, but with more carbonation than I often find in barleywines. That fizz keeps the flavors moving, allowing me to savor them even more.

To date, the best barleywine I've had. Looking forward to drinking a few other bottles I have on deck to compare to it (King Henry, Mother of All Storms), but if they're better than this, I will be thoroughly impressed. I don't generally like barrel-aged beers, but I could drink this stuff for days (if it weren't 13%... is it really 13%? I get no alcohol burn at all). I need to get myself some more of this.

04-01-2012 03:01:58 | More by zeledonia
Photo of Jaycase


4.8/5  rDev +6%

a: dark mahagony. small tan head which goes away quickly.

s: strong bourbon presence. some vanilla, malts and plum/raisin

t: so much going on here. and impressively at that. bourbon is not as intense as one would think given the aroma presence. starts with the bourbon and vanilla. then a sweetness comes in midway and then finishes with a bit of a malt taste with dark fruits

m: very smooth, low carbonation.

o: fantastic. delicious. incredibly drinkable. so well balanced - it doesn't drink hot at all, which given the aroma is impressive. two thumbs up.

04-01-2012 02:41:19 | More by Jaycase
Photo of PEIhop


4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

04-01-2012 01:37:24 | More by PEIhop
Photo of TheBishopco


4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

04-01-2012 00:23:40 | More by TheBishopco
Photo of Massbmx


4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

03-31-2012 23:44:03 | More by Massbmx
Photo of DelicateDelirium


4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

03-31-2012 17:21:55 | More by DelicateDelirium
Photo of brureview


4.83/5  rDev +6.6%

I enjoy smelling a beer with cap or cork off,
A powerful plum-bourbon smell arose from the bottle.

Poured in a tulip, the color was a light-brown with hops noticeable on the top. The mouth feel was mild- suitable for a strong alcohol presence, which at 13% is a bit overwhelming.

The finish was a marvelous blend of alcohol, plum, and a fusing of bourbon from the casks. The plum-bourbon finish improves with warming.

I was looking forward to drinking this great beer.
Drink this beer warm- it's the only way to fully experience its subtle intertwining of flavors.

03-31-2012 16:05:00 | More by brureview
Photo of Elfastball7

New Jersey

5/5  rDev +10.4%

03-31-2012 03:56:38 | More by Elfastball7
§ucaba from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 3,568 ratings.