Solace - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
SolaceSolace

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

155 Reviews
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 155
Hads: 509
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 7.46%
Wants: 42
Gots: 25 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Wheat Ale |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ThreeWiseMen on 04-01-2010

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 155 | Hads: 509
Photo of GilGarp
4.05/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle stamped with bottled on date of 7/12/11.

Served cold into a pint glass, Solace is a hazy straw yellow color with about a 1/2" of short-lived head. No lacing so a pretty common looking wheat ale. Nothing wrong with that.

Aroma is nice with elements of German and American wheat ale yeasts. A little banana and clove mixed with some spicy hops.

Flavor is good and clean, dry and crisp. It has ample hopping without turning into an extra pale wheat or something like Lagunitas would make. Good sweetness from the malt goes a long way to balance it out. At 6%, it's one of the stronger pale wheat beers out there, bridging the gap between hefe and saison or weizenbock.

Mouthfeel is smooth and balanced, an easy-drinking summer wheat ale.

Overall, this is definately a good version of the style. I'm not sure why the other reviewers don't see it that way. Maybe if they used wild yeasts, barrel aged it, and made it 12% ABV it would score higher. (960 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.54/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Solace is a wonderful thing, but it's an ugly looking beer that apparently takes the colour and form of pineapple juice. It looks thick as an oatmeal gruel. The complexion is dulled and turbid, muffing both highlights and clarity. Its head is missing a few key pieces and is suspiciously shoddy were wheat is concerned. (Usually that makes for better retention.)

The aroma indeed smells like an unfiltered, unpasteurized wheat beer - it has a field-like scent of fresh cut grain (and a bit of hay-like must too). Fruity esters are stirring and notes of rotting apple and other assorted, over-ripened tree fruits register (whether from the alcohol or yeast or shelf-life, who can be sure?). Surprisingly, banana is noted as well.

I suppose the trace of pungent hop flavour and extra notch of alcohol technically qualify this as American wheat beer - not to mention, the fact that it's actually brewed in the United States! - but the notable presence of banana flavour, the almost creamy wheat flavour, the herbal qualities and the slight bubblegum taste all point to a German hefeweizen.

And a mellow, but faintly zesty acidity settles it. Drinking this I see black, red and yellow, not stars and stripes. I'm not exactly swept away to Bavaria, however, as this would pair unfavorably against most commercial German examples. It's a little too heavy, with a spiciness that is somewhat of a nuisance, and it's in need of a few more bubbles.

I don't know that Firestone Walker could release any brand of ordinary-style beer that would come anywhere close to matching the ratings of their limited, higher gravity offerings. Still, Solace is a terribly disappointing offering from a brewery capable of not only complex blended beers, but great conventional brands like Union Jack and Double Barrel as well. (1,809 characters)

Photo of azdback
3.26/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Sam Adams Boston Lager glass. Bright, but cloudy orange color. Lots and lots of tiny carbonation bubbles lead to a strong two finger head, that is creamy and bright white. Lace sticks in a nice ring pattern.

Smell is very soggy bread. Lots of yeast smells an not much more.

The taste is pretty much on the same lines as the nose. Lots of belgium yeast flavors. Tons of earth and lemongrass, maybe even hay notes, and very sweet. Not my cup of beer!!

Mouth is fairly fresh and refreshing (if you can ignore the flavor). I think if this was my style I might enjoy many of these on a warm day.

Overall I did not like this. I generally don't like wheats or Hefe's. So for me to not like this is pretty on par. For the style I must say it stayed musty and earthy. This was a bit sweet though. (806 characters)

Photo of dcook11
4.23/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a two finger white head into the pint glass that dissapears within 20 secounds. High carbonation. No lacing. The color of the beer is dark yellow or very light orange. Pale and hazy because of the yeast.

S- Over ripe bananas, clove, spice, cotton candy, and a touch of hops.

T- Over ripe bananas spice, and a touch of hops.

M- Light to medium bodied.

O- Great summer beer! Refreshing! (397 characters)

Photo of ifnkovhg
4.35/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was a pleasant surprise. Cloudy, orange color. Not much head upon pouring, but it lasts. The label didn't give any indication, but I was expecting an APWA based on its "craftily unfiltered" tag.

I'm not nearly as learned as most, I'd bet, but this reminded me more of a saison ala Great Divide's Colette. Somewhere between juicy and semi-dry, this is beer has a smooth, semi-full mouthfeel, with spicy and fruity notes. I'm getting a flashback from my cider days in Edinburgh.There's also yeast, of course. Carbonation is assertive. Definitely worth a try! (567 characters)

Photo of unseenbyyou
3.45/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had to get a six pack for $8 at Trader Joe's. Had this last year and was unimpressed, but perhaps it is going to be better. (Nah...but still better than BMC)

Appearance: some head, limited carbonation, a nice opaque yellow, with minimal lacing

Smell: bananas, wheat, some sweet spices

Taste: a tad spicy at the end, wheaty, some citrus, but not tangy (might be improved with a piece of orange!)

mouthfeel: eh...the weakest part of the beer...leaves an average impression on the tongue...not impressed

Firestone Walker does so much great...but maybe they need to revamp the recipe for Solace to really drive sales on this one. (630 characters)

Photo of dgilks
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy, pale gold colour with a small, shortlasted white head. Fine.

Clear, orangey, witbier yeast. Nice balance. Soft. Slightly frainy.

A touch sweet. Wheaty. Mld fruitiness. A decent witbeir but not as good as the aroma.

Meidum body with moderate carbonation. Decent.

A solid if unexceptional witbier. Fine. (311 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
3.24/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into DFH shaped pint glass.

A: Pours a slightly hazy glowing honey color with a very thin short lived white head that disappeared into a faint collar that didn’t leave any lacing.
S: Sweet notes of overly ripened banana and a hint of wheat.
T: Not as sweet as the nose but the flavor is still overwhelmed by creamy bananas. There is a good dose of spices in the mix too, and the aftertaste has a dash of lemon and orange zest mixed in.
M: Medium body, fizzy carbonation and a tingly, almost sharp, mouthfeel.
O: The flavor was decent enough but the carbonation was distracting. I would drink this again if it were there but I don’t think I’d spend any money on it. (687 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rather dark appearance, almost orange for a wheat beer, cool. Definitely unfiltered. Aroma was largely summer-esque, i.e. wheat and lemon.

Good dry mouthfeel, wheat % definitely noticeable, almost rye like quality as well. Solid hop bitterness is present. Not up to the level of Sumpin or Gumballhead, but its in the next tier for sure. A little bit of that spice and yeast leans a little to Belgo for me. Not overpowering clove and banana, but more than desireable. Stays light bodied throughout without sacrificing full flavor.

Good, wouldn't turn it down, but there are more interesting summer offerings. (611 characters)

Photo of bbb099
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Slightly cloudy pale golden color. Bubbly and a fair amount of head. Very appealing on a hot summer day.

S - Mellow citrus, coriander, and malt aroma.

T - Banana, lime, yeast and other spices. Flavors aren't strong, but they're there. Tasted a lot better when it was ice cold. Left a medicine-like aftertaste when it warmed up a bit.

M - Bubbly and light, which is to be expected.

O - Very drinkable and a decent summer beer overall. Probably would not go well with food. (506 characters)

Photo of cb462
3.33/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy goldenrod, with a 1/2" fluffy white head. Decent lacing.

S: Clove and coriander, banana, and just a tad of lemon peel.

T: Sweet banana and clove again, almost saison-ish without the Belgian yeast characteristic. A little too sweet.

M: Light and crisp, fairly refreshing. Carbonation is high.

O: Overall, a decent beer. It kind of reminds me of a Belgian farmhouse ale, but not completely there. It is a little sweet for my liking, and the taste just makes me want to have a nice saison. (499 characters)

Photo of Phelps
2.94/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Enjoyed from the tap into a small tasting glass.

Cloudy sunflower yellow, hazy enough to obscure most everything behind — which makes sense, since this stuff is “craftily unfiltered.” A frothy, sticky, glorious one-inch head of egg shell diminishes slowly, leaving lines of sticky lace gripping the walls. Lots of beautiful spatter.

Wheat, hints of lemon peel and coriander in the nose are nice, but they’re all behind a soapy character that's hard to get away from.

The flavor has rid itself of soap, thankfully. Here we have oodles of wheat, a bit of pear, orange peel, coriander spice and a hint of banana. I’d rank this somewhere between a Belgian wit and an American pale wheat ale.

Light, massaging bubbles amidst a velvety medium body with nice, soft smoothness. It’s a little heavy for the style, but the finish is drying and clean.

I’m not finding solace in Solace. The flavors aren't bad, but there are better, more refreshing wheats out there. (977 characters)

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 5/17/11
*From notes

A BIG thanks goes out to pastradul for including this as an extra in our recent trade. Cheers, Paul!

A: It's cloudy straw yellow, with a splash of graham cracker crumble to it. A good pour creates a two finger head and reasonable lacing.

S: Citrusy hops, a drop of liquid smoke and Bananas Foster.

T: Nila Wafers and hints of charcoal smoke. The banana essence barrels through, and with a touch of drizzled caramel, finsihes this one off.

M: A bit too fluffy and bubbly, it feels much lighter then I'd want for a Wheat. Considering this is a summer seasonal, I can understand why it drinks as it does; you don't want anything too cloying on a 99 degree day.

O: Though I'm not a fan of the style, Firestone's Solace is a nice little beer. The ability to showcase more then the banana profile really made this one worth returning to sip after sip. Yet another drinkable brew from Firestone-Walker. (964 characters)

Photo of illidurit
3.38/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy gold pour with a wispy white head. Aroma is sweet and fruit-salady, mainly banana with a candied citrus note. Smooth wheaty palate with a refreshing citric twang and the odd watermelon seed note. Drinkable and quenching, maybe a bit on the watery side. A nice warm-weather beer. (285 characters)

Photo of benclimbs
3.22/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours very light with zero head and a slight bit of lacing...

smell is nice, all yeasty and wheaty with some spice and fruit...pleasant for the style

taste is ok, a little yeasty...some spice, some bananas and some wierd sweet skunk...very sweet in fact.

feel is a bit on the light side

overall this is a nice beer, very drinkable but a bit too sweet (356 characters)

Photo of notchucknorris
2.85/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Looks good. Very hazy orange/brown color that seems to glow in the glass. Reminded me of Sanctification a bit looks-wise.

S: Characteristic hef yeast, banana, some sort of melon which I eventually thought was cantaloupe and some honey.

T: And here's where it goes wrong for me. Starts with wheaty/hef taste and then goes to a creamy finish with some orange, honey and spice. The problem is that it's way over-carbonated. The flavors are subtle and it feels like this beer would have a lot to offer if the carbonation didn't blast all the flavor off your tongue. So much potential but not that great in the end. (616 characters)

Photo of dbmernin83
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In the upper echelon of wheat beers with Sierra Nevada Kellerweisse and Bell's Oberon. A spicy, yeasty brew with soft complimenting fruitiness and slight hops for balance. Thank you Firestone for showing the public that wheat beers can be interesting. I will definitely return to this during the hotter months. (310 characters)

Photo of veinless
3.93/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear tan yellow/gold with a decent amount of white foamy head that dissipated quickly and left a little bit of lacing.

Smells of tropical fruit, namely jackfruit, wheaty malt, and a light aroma of banana.

Taste has a lot of banana and tropical fruity flavors, though not jackfruit in the taste. Very rich tasting beer, full bodied and creamy in texture, which is delicious. Hops and citrus help keep this beer from being too creamy. The clove and other spices are evident as the beer is swallowed.

Carbonation produces a light tingle when first sipped, but isn't really present otherwise. Highly drinkable beer, as the finish is crisped by the hops that are there. Well balanced, tasty wheat beer. (717 characters)

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.17/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #40 (May 2010):

Rather taking a well-traveled path, Firestone Walker is paving a new one by overlapping beer styles. Part German Wheat and part Saison, which is great as standard summer Wheats are aplenty these days. Typical hazed orange color with good head retention, check. The aroma beats expectations with well-rounded malt, floral hops and a mild, yeasty nutti- ness. Very smooth, with a fluffy, moderate-size body. Lots of malt to go around; toasty and malty with a quick kiss of sweetness. Hops lay down a balancing bitterness while the yeast and acidulated malt provide a refreshing twang in the drying finish.

Why just a summer seasonal? The brewer surely knows this rivals many of the well- known Wheat Ales. Firestone raises the bar for Wheat Ales everywhere. (814 characters)

Photo of 1759Girl
3.44/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 1 | overall: 3

Appearance> Looks pretty average. Pours golden yellow with a nice frothy white head. However, it is more lively than others and the bubbles are very big, like a softdrink. Slight lacing. Not much head retention.

Smell>Smells great. Wet hops and farm scents.

Taste>Nice. Well balanced. Goes between hops and berries and some maltiness in the finish. Really enjoy the taste. Shame the mouf is killing my enjoyment.

Mouf> Far too carbonated. Instead of frolicking around my tongue, I feel like it is attacking it. It's like a bad date.

Drink>Probably couldn't have much of this. Sad face. (604 characters)

Photo of flexabull
3.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes.

Pours a bright gold color with a faint white head.

Nose has a pretty strong honey presence. There are also some cream, and hard candies in there as well.

Taste is creamy, sweet, with that hard candy aspect also there in flavors. The beer has a definite thick feel, honey like, with a citrus lemon like zing on the finish.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. Nice and thick, smooth too.

Drinkability is good. A nice refreshing beverage. Strikes me as being a good gateway to craft beer. (492 characters)

Photo of largadeer
3.12/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz stubby bottled on 06/08/10.

Cloudy, yeasty blond in my glass. An inch of head forms initially, but it settles away to nothing more than a thin crown.

The nose is citrusy, tropical, wheaty, rather sweet with a honey-like presence and a touch of banana.

The flavors closely resemble the aroma; yeasty spice, citrus and wheat malt are prominent. There's a bit of grainy astringency and a light peppery kick, but not much in the way of bitterness. The finish leaves some lingering banana and spice on the tongue, along with an odd astringent harshness that becomes wearying after half a bottle.

Pretty boring beer overall. Not necessarily bad, but decidedly mediocre. (673 characters)

Photo of Gobzilla
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a murky golden orange with yellow highlights that had a thin head and left a little lacing sticking to the glass. The aroma really had a big wheat character with banana, clove spice, slight citrus and bready malty notes. Upfront on the palate the maltiness stike first that did mesh quite well with the banana and clove spice flavors but also had slight citrus accents. The brew was medium in body with a fair amount of carbonation which had a sweet slight citric but bready grainy malt finish. It drank alright but not great and was pretty tasty. I could probably drink 2 12oz but that's it. Good offering from firestone;good job. (638 characters)

Photo of industrialswill
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've got nothing bad to say...it's all good.
Appearance is as you would expect of an unfiltered ale.
The head, [which I could not care less about] sits as it should at the top of the glass. I will wait for it to turn back into beer so I can enjoy it. Another reason for drinking straight from the bottle.
Aroma is very, very, very, much like that of beer! WoooHooo!!
Actually, the aroma is fairly intense.
I love the flavor, could not care less what the officionados think about it, this is very good beer. Let's not make false pretense with a bunch of over analytic Bull Shit...it's a good beer. (596 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.46/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a orange-golden color that is somewhat murky. Pours an inch of white head that leaves quickly annd high carbonation evident.

s - Smells of grain, bready malts, and wheat. Also has some musty, earthy malts to it.

t - Tastes of fruity malts, bananas and tropical fruit, hint of citrus, cloves, and wheat.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty easy to drink.

d - A pretty easy drinking pale ale. I would have liked more fruit in the smell and less musty/earthy tones, but the taste made up for it. Could definitely drink a few of these. Would give another shot. (626 characters)

Solace from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 155 ratings.