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§ucaba - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,759 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,759
Reviews: 755
rAvg: 4.53
pDev: 8.61%
Wants: 1,016
Gots: 2,104 | FT: 183
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: 3,759 | Reviews: 755 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of 1noa
5/5  rDev +10.4%

1noa, Nov 14, 2011
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5/5  rDev +10.4%

kirbsicles, Nov 14, 2011
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5/5  rDev +10.4%

heyta, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of hu5om
5/5  rDev +10.4%

hu5om, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of bpfrush
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

bpfrush, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of inflatablechair
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

inflatablechair, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of richbrew
4/5  rDev -11.7%

richbrew, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Miamilice
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Miamilice, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of jh1982
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

jh1982, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of slentz
5/5  rDev +10.4%

slentz, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of TurdFurgison
4/5  rDev -11.7%

TurdFurgison, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of bsuedekum
4/5  rDev -11.7%

bsuedekum, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Jspriest
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Jspriest, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Bobbydigi
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Bobbydigi, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of bombadil
5/5  rDev +10.4%

bombadil, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Aberration
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Aberration, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of adnielsen
4.88/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle @ home, courtesy of foppa78 into my new Cigar City snifter, courtesy of markwise. Thanks guys! 2011 vintage. Very deep brown/ruby appearance with a tiny tin head that dissipates in no time. Really a nice, smooth, tobacco, fig, plum, caramel-toffee malty, somewhat sweet aroma that’s exquisite. Tobacco, date, plum, fig, dark fruity, moderate toffee, lighter caramel, fairly malty, bourbon, somewhat woody flavor. Dark fruity, cherry, plum, toffee aftertaste. No hint of the 13% booze- are you kidding me??? In a way, it kind of reminds me of HOTD Matt in its complexity. Simply unbelievable.

adnielsen, Nov 11, 2011
Photo of mulder1010
3.43/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

bomber poured into a tulip

Thanks to Nicks 6217 for the beer

A-- Poured and settled a dark cola color. Shows lots of carbonation and a quick sprouting and fading light brown head, otherwise a light brown ring around the sides. Lots of ruby showing when held to the light. Not a lot of head retention to this at all.

S-- Carmel, lots of carmel. Undertones of bourbon, vanilla, and coconut. had a bottle in May and the vanilla and coconut nose was much bigger and the Carmel was a bit softer. Still a good nose though. Alcohol is quite well hidden.

T-- Syrupy butterscotch, bourbon, touches of oak, vanilla and noticeable alcohol. Gums got numb on first few sips of the beer.

M-- Thick, syrupy and slightly jam like. Get some notes of strawberry jam in the mouth. Bourbon and the barrel are really apparent in the mouth as well. Bourbon alcohol finish to this with touches of jam like qualities. I think starting to turn into a malt bomb. Medium full body and slightly more carbonation than it needed. A bit prickly at times.

O-- Thought much better fresher when I first had it. The barrel notes far more obvious in the nose then. Just starting to develop the jam like qualities that barlewines have. Careful cellaring might be really good for the beer, though I preferred the fresher version much more. Odd balance of strawberry and bourbon now than not sure I really like.

mulder1010, Nov 07, 2011
Photo of YaKnowBrady
4.88/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Gueuzehead for the hook up.

Really excited to drink this guy. I've had it before, but am glad to be reviewing it this time.

Poured into a Magic Chouffe Tulip.

Pours a dark brown, like a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Light, smooth head, that gives way quickly. Hazy clarity, but not from being too cold, or yeast residue. This was from the first half of the bottle, and was poured carefully.

Aroma shows lots of vanilla, bourbon, tannin and caramel. The alcohol is masked in the overall, which is surprising for 13%.

The flavor is much like the smell, delivering on those promises made to my olfactories. So mellow, so smooth. The Frank Sinatra of beverages. An easy drinker, continuing to hide the high ABV. Absolutely delicious.

Second half of the bottle goes into a large snifter, and is swirled to blend leftovers. Still remains slightly hazy, but not chunky. Taste continues to be phenomenally balanced and smooth.

I'm glad I have some more of this. A top 5 brew for me, in my book.

YaKnowBrady, Nov 01, 2011
Photo of srandycarter
4.22/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


A - Murky prune brown. No head to speak of. Small ring. Not much lace.

S - Leather, tobacco, cooked dark pitted fruits, booze, ripe fruit.

T - HUGE flavors. Many of the smell attributes but bumped up, mostly in booze, cooked fruits and leather.

M - Hard to balance this thing, but pretty good job. Medium to heavy body, carbonation there just enought.

D - Check please!

srandycarter, Oct 31, 2011
Photo of SFLpunk
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz brown glass pry-top bottle. 2011.

Pours a deep, dark, opaque brown with very little head. Nose is like butterscotch (not faulted), sweet vanilla, boozy whiskey, sticky caramel, etc. Palate is wide and thick, choc-ful-o-flavor. Lots of the same characteristics from the nose but less butterscotch. Viscous but not cloying. The alcohol is warming and pleasant. Lots of bourbon flavor but it's well integrated.

Notes: Usually I detest bourbon barreled barleywines, but this one is stellar. The integration, the marriage of wood and beer, is just perfect. I think this is better than Parabola (shhh....) Well done FW.

SFLpunk, Oct 29, 2011
Photo of ColForbinBC
4.43/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a snifter

Thanks to ShanePB for the trade.

Pours a garnet/ruby color with a minimal tan head. No lacing, no retention, but that is somewhat expected for the style and abv (13%).

This is a treat. Oak, vanilla and toffee greet the nostrils with a firm layer of fusel alcohol underneath. Amazingly complex. Dark cherries and ripe plums lend a fruity sweetness that works in concert with the barrel flavors and some raisins/figs.

On the palate, this guy is far from bashful. Fusel alcohol throughout; really no shame in letting it rip. Toffee is prominent, with oak, vanilla, cherries, plums and figs rounding it all out.

Medium to full body, smooth, with a bit of expected roughness from the booze. The finish is sugary and boozey. As boozey as this is, you don't get the warming/heat down the throat to get in the way of all this flavor.

This is an elite english style barleywine, my preferred style of barleywine. Large toffee notes with loads of sweetness and some nice dryness from the oak.

ColForbinBC, Oct 29, 2011
Photo of hopsbreath
3.4/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Re-review 10-27-11
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

hopsbreath, Oct 28, 2011
Photo of Centennial
4.45/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared and poured into snifter.

A.Reddish Burgandy layered over darker tan body, amazing legs on side of snifter when swirled, looks very sticky.

S. Bourbon, oak, vanilla, marachino cherries.

T. Caramel coated plums with Vanilla beans floating in Bourbon, oak resinyness and alcohol with mild bitter/spicy finish.

M. Slick, syrupy but very drinkable and finish lingers making you crave for more.

O. Excellent, #1 or #2 Barrel aged Barley wine in my book, can't get enough of it and have plenty of this in the cellar.

Centennial, Oct 28, 2011
Photo of Simmy7000
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into Founder's Snifter glass

A- Pours a dark brown with a thin tan head that disappears as quickly as it arrived. When held up to light it shines a beautiful dark ruby color. A large amount of floaties are present throughout the beer. No lacing is present as drinking commences.

S- Large oak/bourbon along with dark fruit notes take center stage with some toffee, coffee, and vanilla hiding in the background. Hints of booze to remind you this is a monster of a beer.

T- Extremely complex blend of sweet caramel, chocolate, dark fruits, and coffee all sprinkled over a very large oak/bourbon backbone. A smooth, creamy vanilla is faintly evident throughout each taste. Everything is in harmony with no single component distracting from the others. A great warming presence from the alcohol, leading to a faint burn as the glass makes its way to room temperature.

M- Pretty heavy body but a decent amount of carbonation gives this beer a creamy, smooth mouthfeel. The heavy body and building alcohol warmth/burn as this beer warms make this a great sipper.

O- What a treat it is to drink this beer. A skillfully crafted beer this is very complex and a pleasure to sip on throughout the night. Glad I have a few more to try for the long Chicago winter ahead of me.

Simmy7000, Oct 26, 2011
§ucaba from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 3,759 ratings.