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Lil' Opal - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Lil' OpalLil' Opal

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

40 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 40
Hads: 373
Avg: 3.94
pDev: 29.7%
Wants: 36
Gots: 61 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  4.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-25-2008

A low alcohol Belgian-style Saison session beer aged for 17 months in lightly-used medium-plus toasted American oak barrels.
View: Beers (83) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 40 | Hads: 373
Reviews by notchucknorris:
Photo of notchucknorris
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a hazed gold color with prickly carb racing up the sides of the glass. Forms a 1/2 finger bone white head before settling down.

S: A great lactic tartness, almost yogurt-like, smooth oak notes, lemon and vanilla. Smells absolutely fantastic.

T: This never gets as tart as the smell promises, but I don't really think it needs to to taste fantastic. Has a kind of grinding tartness that never gets too sharp, lemon pith, a touch of oak, brett and some sour green grapes. Refreshingly crisp mouthfeel. A fantastic saison.

 530 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of t2grogan
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of abeerdude
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of warnerry
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of aquazr1
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of Juan611
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of chossboss
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of standardcherry
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of MicroBeerMan1980
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of ehammond1
4.56/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Hazy golden with a finger of creamy near-white head. Not great retention or stick, but this is a very low ABV beer. A pretty color. Looks inviting.

A cornucopia of bright, juicy fruit character: lots of peaches, apricots, and maybe even some mango. A tiny bit of wheat grain and mild grass with a bit of wood. Interesting, complementary, earthy and fruity yeast as well. This is a really wonderful beer.

A juicy, delicious, complex, but incredibly drinkable beer. Peach and apricot character combine nicely with mild funk and grass, a little bit of oak, and some citrus zest. Somewhat dry.

Thin to medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Fantastic creation. I really want to see this in bottles.

 752 characters

Photo of ajchocholousek
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into teku:

A vigorous pour leaves a small, weak, soapy, quickly-dissipating bright white head that has medium-large bubbles. The beer is quite effervescent overall. A beautifully vivid, moderately hazy, golden orange hue paints the body.

The nose is a luscious combination of peach, tangerine, lemon peel, and an earthy breadiness that shows a hint of vinegary acidity (the faintest) surprisingly intermingled with a luscious orange-peach marmalade sweetness.

Everything else comes along with no surprises (except a surprising amount of carb), following the previously mentioned attributes, but with perhaps with a touch of wood, and a surprisingly firm level of sourness. It's complex, it's delicate, yet intense. Notes of peach, lemon, apple, and a touch of a honey-like sweetness, yield near the end to a smoky, oaky, barrel-driven funk that finishes dry, but more woody than one might expect.

Overall, an exquisite beer. Complexity is the name of the game here. I appreciate this, considering my recent string of quite one-dimensional sours. I think this is an underrated brew.

 1,095 characters

Photo of sourdog
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of Cynic-ale
3.64/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of jtladner
3/5  rDev -23.9%

Photo of 01001111
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep, clear, golden yellow with no head.

S: Flowers, brett funk, and a faint tartness.

T: Rich light malts, a quick wash faint tartness, then a very funky finish. Aftertaste is of strong wood flavors.

M: Medium body, light carbonation.

O: Interesting but not my favorite saison.

 285 characters

Photo of Beer21
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of ste5venla
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of Reappropriated
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of mdaschaf
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Nick29
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of Velunas
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of AlexChillton
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of augustgarage
3.37/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a generic tulip.

Pour is a golden amber with a magnolia head. Lacing seems good at first, but doesn't stick around. I detected a slight haze at first, but the beer actually has a surprising (atypical) clarity for the style.

Aroma is unusual. Many have pegged it as wheat, but I also detect hops, and an herbaceous savory character, almost like tarragon. There is a slight funk, but it reminds me of hops more than yeast. I wouldn't mistake this for a Belgian brew...

That said, there is no bitterness in the taste, just a continuation and emphasis of the flavors suggested by the nose. Finish is not particularly distinctive, but simply follows the lead of funky wheat smell on the palate.

Mouthfeel is relatively thin, though the carbonation is sufficient. ABV isn't too high (3-5%?). Quite drinkable, but not particularly exciting. A unique, if simplistic take on a farmhouse ale.

 899 characters

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Lil' Opal from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 40 ratings.