Opal - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
OpalOpal

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BA SCORE
88
very good

206 Ratings
THE BROS
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Ratings: 206
Reviews: 23
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 9.44%
Wants: 4
Gots: 35 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TheEremite on 06-29-2008

Bringing down the Farmhouse! Our interpretation of the rustic Wallonian Saison style is a harmonious blend of rustic grains, spicy yeast and unique sauvignon blanc tones. Inviting lemon grass and gooseberry meet peppery spice and fresh grain aromas. Spicy Belgian yeast create a complex yet dry and refreshing canvas with splashes of citrus and stone fruit with a bright tropical white wine finish. Hop bitterness is assertive yet harmonious rounding out slightly tart and refreshing.
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Ratings: 206 | Reviews: 23
Photo of GarthDanielson
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bomber into a snifter, the beer is a bright, straw gold coloring, with carbonation bubbling in the body into a sparse, filmy, white head. Nose of toasted grains, a herbal blend, tangy sweet candy sugar, caramel, grassy and peppery hops, bubblegum, and hints of anise. Flavors are crisp and refreshing lemon and herbs forward, with a subtle booze kick, floral highlights, and a cracker backbone. Some solid clove, all spice, and grains of paradise in there, as well. Smooth and effervesced, with a sweet, tangy, and herbal aftertaste. The finish is light, smooth, and crisp, with a herbal linger. Very refreshing.

Photo of ARoman
3.51/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On tap, poured into a wide flute. The aroma is floral with notes of lemon, muffin, lime soda, clove, and pepper. The beer is clear and brilliant with a pale gold hue and white, light foam head that has a light retention and no lace. The taste is a medium high bitter and medium light sweet with a light sour. The thin texture is fuzzy with a medium light body and flavors of lemon with a coriander zest, some floral and herbaceous notes, a pepper zest, and some toast. The finish is pepper and lime with bread crust. It has a near burnt quality that leads to an aftertaste that’s cloying and lightly astringent with flavors of wood, spicy pepper (clove late), and muffin

Photo of Trombone69
4.63/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I had this a little while back. It immediately struck me with the sauvignon blanc flavors....which I LOVE. My beer drinking buddies were not familiar those flavors and were not as enthralled, although everybody loves a good saison.

A beauty.

Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottled on 11/14/14.Pours into a large tulip glass a slightly orange tinged lemon yellow with a large sticky white head atop.Tropical fruitiness stands out most in the nose with a bit of funk and phenols.A little sharpness in the mouth,slightly fizzy.Hay and light funk at the onset of the palate with some tropical fruits and yeasty phenols coming in the finish.The beer doesn't seem as big as it is,it's refreshing but the mouthfeel seems it bit off,other than that pretty darn good.

Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had this on tap last night at the Cloverleaf in Caldwell for the first time. While not like the other beers that I've had from Firestone Walker, this one was crafted well and true to form. It could have been a bit more spicy and cloudy but the taste was solid from start to finish and with the alcohol being recessed, this went down easier than some other examples of the style that I've had before.

Nice blonde pour to this with a radiant clarity and a soapy look to it, down to the head and the soft lacing that was left on the side of the glass this poured into. Light from front to back with a grassy undertone to everything and some lemon pepper and light spice, but this was not as complex as an Ommegang beer or anything imported from Europe. The wine taste had more to do with the dryness of the beer rather than the flavors themselves and I almost felt like I was having a wine spritzer or wine cooler when all was said and done.

Was this strong? Not to the taste and I didn't get much of a buzz when drinking this. It would have been easy to order another because of how smooth this was going down and the lack of heavy spice and funk to this. Not a lot of yeast, not a lot of heaviness, and not a lot of sourness led to an easygoing beer that would be great for someone new to this style. A great Saison/Farmhouse Ale to relax with!

Photo of J-Rye
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap at Cloverleaf in West Caldwell, NJ. A very nice dry finish. I later bought a 750mL.

Photo of ajm5108
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pretty watery mouthfeel, lots of lemony citrus and very much of the earthy yeast / hay you get from a lot of saisons. Good, but the mouthfeel was disappointing and the flavor is a mixed bag.

Photo of Krusse02
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Reminded me of a less carbonated Hennepin by Omegang

Photo of beerthulhu
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bot. 6/14/14. Consumed 2/27/15.

A: An explosive dense shower of effervesce within a pale, straw colored body that had a pristine clarity. A gentle 45 degree pour into a spiegelau ipa glass produced a monstrous cornsilk white head that consumed the vast majority of the vessel. A patient wait allowed the head to tamper off leaving sloppy patches of foam lace of good coverage on the vessel. Large cavenous soapy pockets along the glass walls while the carbonation maintains its constant rampage long after the pour. A finishing pour into the vessel yields some cloudy, yeasty nutrients.

S: Tart lemon and lightly musky barn scents, hard to get much attention beneath the monster head. Cobwebs, dried honey suckle, and warm pineapple slice.

T: Flavor was dried honey malt and wheat, honey suckle, and lemon grind. Sweet, musky fruit, soft barnwood tones, with hints of applesauce and cinnamon. Spicy belgian hops, grapes, sweet malt sugars, lightly dry tangerine, and peppery straw finish. Musky barnyard fade.

M: Razor sharp tongue dancing carbonation, nice milky malt texture and depth per style.

O: Overall great color, feverish sharp pitch of effervesce that provides crispness, monstrous lasting head with a very good flavor and a 7.5% abv that feels/drinks sessionable. Great drinkability factor, even when consumed 8 months past bottling date this is still as fresh and sharp as ever.

Photo of stephens101
4.34/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Growler fill from Craft & Growler Dallas.

An aggressive white froth climbs quickly out of this clear, yellow brew. A vent of bubbles streaks from the bottom of the glass. Has an expansive light fruit (pear, orange, grapefruit), peppery spice and brett must aroma. Tastes of grain and more light fruit goodness (pear, pineapple and orange). Has some funk in the middle with a touch of spice. Light and airy and barely there plus flavorful and unique makes for satisfaction on all fronts.

Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy yellow body with minimal head and almost no lace. Aroma is mostly dry, piney hops with some funky aspects and a little bit of woodiness. Beer is light, some dry hops add citric notes and crispness and there is some tropical fruit like sweetness as well. There is some oaky woodiness for smoothness and yeast adds to this smoothness, and everything balances with a touch of funkiness for that touch of sour punch. Smoother, hoppier saison than is norm but this is a must try.

Photo of jman42
3/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this back in October. Pale, crystal-clear gold color. More of a yeasty aroma and taste. Smooth, but not a favorite.

Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Hazy golden-yellow, awesome streams of lively carbonation rising like pillars to support the coarse deep white head. Seemingly gives off a glow of its own. 'Opal' is a very fitting name for this visage.

S: Lemon, tropical fruits. Pepper, cereal grains on the back end. Everything seems to get weaker the longer I sip, but the initial impressions was magnificent.

T: Similar to the nose. Lemon and orange, grass, corn, mint? More vibrant at the beginning, as I get to the end of the bottle everything has become muted and a chalky quality seems to overtake all those wonderful fruit notes from before. Dry, very dry.

M: Nicely thick, not syrupy, just more solid. Prickly but gentle carbonation.

O: Started off with a glorious entrance, and great aromas/flavors, but as I progressed through the bomber everything became more muted and wore on me. Definitely not a session beer for this reason, but great for a 10 oz pour.

Photo of TangTKE402
4.24/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured from a growler I got from Hops and Barley Market in Queensbury, NY. Fresh keg, so it doesn't seem to be as retired as this page might suggest... unless it's a different Firestone Walker Opal and they didn't specify. But I digress. Beautiful hazy straw in color with no floaties and a very faint effervescence. 1-finger white head that would best be described as airy. Minimal lacing.

S: Sweet, bright, spicy (but not too) and fruity. Notes of orange, banana, cloves, creme brulee, crystal malts, and a touch of grass clippings on the finish. Flavorful, inviting, and complex without overpowering in any one area. Very nice nose.

T: Crisp on the tongue in-mouth with sweetness dominating up-front and a savory swallow. Fresh fruit on the aftertaste. This has a lot: honey, wheat, fried plantains, a hint of whiskey sour, lemon, burnt caramel, and even some spices like cloves all round out the complex flavor bill. Less peppery than most Saisons I've had, and this I find to be a good thing. It's not overly sweet, and doesn't fall back on overwhelming spiciness either. It's a refreshing, well-balanced farmhouse ale that really does the name justice.

M: Light but well-bodied with a smooth and crisp feel. A bit seltzery on the swallow, which I find refreshing on a warm summer's day. It isn't terribly substantial, but I suppose that is what one would want from a lighter farmhouse ale.

O: For me this beer sets the bar for saisons. Above it, and you're world-class, below it and you have some work to do. I personally find the term "farmhouse ale" perfectly descriptive for this beer: straw colored with an ambiance that oozes old-world country beer.

Photo of Yby1acb
5/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

They put this in a bottle!! Shouts out to #craftylady24_7 for the hook up. She's on point. Haven't been brave enough to crack into the Ferel 1's.

Nice appearance clear orange-bright. First "dry-hopped saison" I've had; very interesting.
Subtle fruits and sweets all over.
Booziness seems to dissipate quickly.
Flavor definitely lingers a while. Hints of fruit/tropical and a bit sour/tart but easy to drink. Don't know about 14%. Bottle says 7.5% but still great.

For the moment, my new favorite beer period.

Great work once again FW/BW.

Photo of bifrostguard
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Note: I was told this is 13% on tap

A - A golden color, cloudy with a moderate off white head and minimal lacing.

S - Sugar, candied fruit, butterscotch, apricots, anything sweet.

T - Butterscotch was the best description I heard for this. Super sweet and wheat laced.

M - Thick and sticky.

D - I'm glad this has got a high ABV cause I'm not sure how many of these I could take. I can taste why they used this to blend in the 12. However, not as good standing alone.

Photo of abfraser
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Toronado's FW12 event on 11/12. Had another glass on 11/13 at City Beer Store's release

A: Nice hazy, reddish copper color. Poured with a nice white head

S: Awesome. Coconut and candi sugar. Toffee.

T/M: Same as the smell but even more intense. Coconut and sugary toffee dominate and are excellently balanced. A little viscous, full-bodied. Great stuff.

D: Super high abv makes what would otherwise be a beer I would love to drink a lot of not so possible.

This was up there with the FW 10 and 12. Consider them the pour man's version. This is just awesome.

Photo of largadeer
4.62/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Toronado during the Firestone Walker 12 release party. The writeup described this as an 11% wheatwine aged in bourbon barrels for 6 months. Blond in color, cloudy and nearly opaque, with half an inch of white foam that dissipates pretty quickly. The nose on this stuff is unbelievable - toasted coconut immediately comes to mind, with a dash of bourbon behind it. This is an absolute malt bomb of a beer, sweet and rich with overtones of tropical fruit (coconut, banana, mango) and vanilla. I get more coconut rum than bourbon from the barrel. The finish is semi-sweet, and this could certainly get cloying in large quantities, but I finished my 13 oz glass with no trouble. As someone else mentioned, despite the lack of hype this beer was every bit as good as 12.

Photo of waltonc
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Toronado last night. This was right up there with Firestone Ten and Twelve for me. Really nice looking beer - hazy, bright, golden color with white head. The first thing that jumps out at me on tasting is toasted coconut. Also toffee. Overall, a very sweet beer, so hop lovers will likely be disappointed. With such high ABV and having this after a few rounds of Ten and Twelve, I wasn't able to finish my glass. But I loved this one.

Photo of space
4.62/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this was my first wheatwine so i have nothing to compare it to...but of all the firestone beers i have tried this would have to be my favorite. you will definitely noticed the strong presence of toffee in the smell and taste, very yummy stuff i definitely recommend this one. its pretty obvious why they used this stuff in the blending of beers to make the 12th.

Photo of Floydster
4.52/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

6 ounce serving served in a huge wine glass for $7.50 at the Linkery in San Diego, I was told this was actually 14% ABV but that might vary by batch, reviewed from notes

A-Golden orange color with amber tint, big one inch creamy white head that lasted a long time, great retention, some lacing
S-Booze, cream, plums, cloves, bananas, blackberries, sweet malts, prunes, caramel, light citrus, wheat, toffee, oak, vanilla, cocoa, and numerous spices
T-Starts off with a big fruit character that is mostly dark, some caramel and toffee along with other sweet malty characteristics in the middle, finish is slightly boozy with some spice and more fruit, as it warms a little milk chocolate is present along with more variety of fruits, wheat causes some chewiness at times, this tastes very similar to a barleywine but with a much bigger fruit character, more grapes and berries and the wheat gives it some nice spice and a fuller mouthfeel, very enjoyable
M-Sweet, spicy, boozy, and fruity mouthfeel, medium to full bodied, nice level of carbonation that prevented this from being too thick, taste lingers a long time
D-Could have drank a few more servings of this size, alcohol is hidden pretty well for how strong it is, smooth and inviting, relatively light on the stomach, ABV is high though

I will start off by saying that I have never had a better wheat wine, hopefully we will see this beer as one of the major components in one of their anniversary blends in the future, stuff was flat out good and I wish I could have had more, cannot wait to drink again, highly recommended

Photo of Viggo
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Firestone brewery pub, served in a snifter. They were calling this one Big Opal, assuming its the same, just differentiating because of the Lil' Opal they brewed. This one was listed at 13%.

Pours a hazy golden orange, big and bubbly white head, drops a ton of lacing, great retention, looks pretty damn nice. Smell is insane, tons of toffee, sweet malt, oak, vanilla, some apricot, floral, light fruits, kind of flowery, rich biscuity malt, wheat, toast, a bit buttery. Taste is great too, huge buttery toffee/caramel maltiness, alcohol, oak, vanilla, biscuits, some light fruits, melon, floral, honey, nice balanced finish. To sum this up on flavour so you can relate, it kind of tastes like waffles with butter and corn syrup, very good stuff. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with medium carbonation, some warmth going down but the alcohol is well hidden. Firestone hits another grand slam, this stuff is great.

Photo of TheEremite
4.54/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What a great beer. It pours a bit cloudy but that's about the only negative with this beer. I don't know if it was barrel aged or not but it has a big vanilla and caramel nose. It tastes of honey sweetness and it mantains a crispness uncommon in beers this large. It remindes me of an english barleywine but it finishes dry and extremely drinkable. I highly recommend this beer and sincerely hope firestone adds it to the seasonals lineup.

Opal from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 206 ratings.