§ucaba - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 3,590 | Reviews: 746 | Display Reviews Only:
4.3/5 rDev -5.1%
Another brew compliments of BA nomasnomore. Poured into 8oz jelly jar (for reals yo!). The beer poured a lovely deep, dark brown with just a bit of translucence and a hint of red at the edges.
The aroma was very rich and had notes of raisin and chocolate alongside the traditional grain and malt scents. On the tongue, all those aspects were present, just amplified. The flavors were all well developed and very rich and full.
The body was pleasantly full, as you'd expect for the style, but managed to not be heavy or sticky. Drinkability was dangerously good, this the rare barleywine I could drink all night. Overall, an excellent example of the style. A must try if you see it and worth some effort to get.
02-18-2012 20:49:43 | More by beertunes
4.43/5 rDev -2.2%
Thanks to the nice guy who shared this one with me after I had 14 & 15 on tap and Younger earlier, what a day.
Pours a dark ruby red edging towards brown, with a finger of fluffy off white head that leaves decent oily lacing.
Bourbon & vanilla jump out at first, followed by spicy & earthy hops with a bit of citrus, tobacco, leather, wood. Alcohol is readily apparent but a bit distracting.
First taste gives impression of more hops than expected, spicy, earthy pine and a bit of dankness. The malt imparts strong caramel, dark bread & chocolate tones that mixes with vanilla, toffee, tobacco, leather, figs. Bourbon & oak character take the malt sweetness down a bit, and it finishes with Firestone's characteristic coconut barrel aging. Alcohol is definitely there but not as apparent as expected.
Medium-heavy body supports the flavors well, finishes a bit sweet and sticky but not cloying with good slickness. Definitely a bit hot but it compliments the bourbon well and keeps things from getting too sweet.
Easily the best bourbon barrel aged barleywine I've had thus far, but just a touch hotter than I remember the original Abacus being. Also quite a bit hoppier than most English barleywines, but FW once again shows their prowess at mixing classic English brewing with American creativity and flavors. I really want to try my bottle in a year or so with a good cigar, a great beer to celebrate with or just enjoy a cold night.
02-18-2012 17:11:20 | More by afrokaze
4.2/5 rDev -7.3%
It pours a dark brown color that reminds me of rootbeer, a thin cream/off-white colored head the leaves a little lacing. A lot of bourbon in the nose followed by wisps of vanilla, oak, caramel, and smoke. Just like in the nose bourbon is up front on the taste and with the bourbon flavor is a little alcohol heat not terrible but maybe with some aging the heat will subside a little. There is also a good caramel flavor with vanilla, and some sweet dark fruits. The mouthfeel is very thick and a coats my entire mouth and it seems to stay on my tongue after each drink. Overall I feel that is is a good beer one that I would like to revisit some time in the future.
02-17-2012 19:37:17 | More by phisigben
3.48/5 rDev -23.2%
Tuesdays with Doopie turned into the Beer-In-A-Box showdown. FW Abacus vs. Parabola 002. Let the best boxed beer win!
From a boxed bomber into a snifter.
Brewers Reserve 2011
Note: Drinking an $ucaba no.002 right now and making a few comparison notes as I go. Got a couple of these from SliverX and Stupac. Thanks gents! Scores are still for the 2011 Abacus.
APPEARANCE: Pours a small, super fizzy, thinner looking, light bronze colored head with horrible retention. Head quickly fizzes down to a ring only. I think this is fizzier than Coke. Transparent dark ruby body with no carbonation evident. A ring remains until the end but leaves no lacing down the glass. Fizzy and fizzy. By comparison, the 002 has a more normal head and isn't at all fizzy. Much nicer to look at.
SMELL: Big nose on this one, with lots of barrel. Bourbon, oak, vanilla from the barrel aging, with some caramel and toffee in there from the barelywine. A hint of raisins as well. The barrel is more present but doesn’t dominate the base beer. Good nose. The 002 was slightly more mild but had all the same elements.
TASTE: Still quite hot. Bourbon barrel with oak and vanilla up front, then lots of caramel and toffee sweetness through the middle into the finish. A big dose of alcohol at the finish as well. Bold but relatively dry aftertaste of sweet caramel and toffee, bourbon, vanilla, a touch of mik chocolate, and plenty of alcohol linger mildly. Despite the boozy barrel, the base beer still shows through. Nicely done, though a bit too hot for my liking. The 002 followed suit exactly here.
PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. A little lighter on the palate than hoped, but creamy enough. Goes down fine with a scratch and burn at the swallow, and finishes somewhat sticky. Plenty of heat lingers. The 002 was perhaps even lighter on the palate here, amazingly enough.
OVERALL: Good thing this one came in a box. An enjoyable beer, and the base beer was still able to play a role in the flavor profile despite the big barrel presence. However, this one is till too hot to be top class in my books, being much hotter than the Parabola 002 we drank immediately afterwards. Moreover, the head on this one was just atrocious, reminding me of Rice Krispies doused in Coke. Noisy and obnoxious stuff. While this was an enjoyable beer I’d drink again if it were convenient, for me, Parabola 002 was the superiorly crafted beer in a box. Thanks again for sharing Doops. Good times! As far as the $ucuba 002 goes, it's a solid brew, but nothing worth going nuts over. I would probably still score it the same, though the scores for look and feel would be reversed. Cheers!
02-15-2012 14:27:05 | More by Jeffo
4.35/5 rDev -4%
Abacus 2011. Shared with tasting group.
Appearance: Mahogany Brown with no head.
Smell: Straight up boozy.
Taste: Sweet Caramel/Toffee with a good balance smoothness courtesy of barrel aging. Way too easy to mask the 13%
Mouthfeel: This one's a super smooth drinker. Again the alcohol is well hidden for the 13%!
Overall: A very good BA Barleywine. No longer in my Top 5 with newer BA Barleywines like King Henry, BA Naked Evil and MOAS 2011. But still a very solid beer I'd happily come back to enjoy.
02-14-2012 23:36:37 | More by TATURBO
§ucaba from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 3,590 ratings.