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Helldorado - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Helldorado
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BA SCORE
96
world-class

98 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 98
Reviews: 14
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 7.83%
Wants: 59
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  13.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Honey infused Imperial Blonde Ale aged in Heaven Hill barrels.

(Beer added by: wethorseblanket on 10-21-2011)
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Ratings: 98 | Reviews: 14 | Display Reviews Only:
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Photo of Emberwake
4.71/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

I've had the privilege of enjoying this rare concoction twice now: once at a tap takeover at Harry's Hoffbrau in San Jose, and again at the 2013 Firestone Walker Invitational. While the experience was consistent, I'll base my review on the recent 2013 invitational.

Served in a 6oz tasting snifter (filled to the 3oz mark)

A - Pours a deep, cloudy, gold color with a small, fine head that quickly dissipated leaving tight lacing.

S - Sweet, slightly fruity, and boozy. Very slight oak barrel.

T - Rich, sweet, slightly buttery booze in balance. The hop character is so mellow it can be difficult to pick out at first. No burn despite the 13% abv, and no aftertaste to speak of.

M - Medium-heavy mouthfeel. Very little carbonation. Clean finish.

D - Simply the best barleywine I've ever encountered, and a shining example of barrel aged american ale. Its a shame FW doesn't bottle this. If you ever have the opportunity to try Helldorado, do not hesitate.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.6/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the FW tasting room the day before the FW fest. Came with high expectations, one of the dudes from largadeer's crew was like "better than annularity" which, annularity blew my flippin' socks off.

Pours really light, this is definitely a blonde barleywine, equal parts yellow and orange. Thin ring of head on it. Aroma was nice, mild citrus, oak, caramel, toffee. No hops.

Taste is where its at. Exquisite. Honey, caramel, vanilla, coconut. It is indeed, one of those great barleywines, somewhere between annularity and abacus. Mild hop presence shows itself, maybe aged hops, but whatever they did, it works, as the beer is so far from bitter, but tastes so good and relatively complex without throwing a bunch of shit for the sake of doing it. Sweet aspect delivers just the right amount.

I should probably point out how amazingly easy to drink this is given the massive amount of alcohol to it. Just a phenomenal beer to sip, but if you wanted to drink it a little faster, it wouldn't be much of a challenge (now standing and maintaining balance, that might be a challenge). Carbonation was right where it needs to be, a little less than your average beer, but just right for this one. Pretty light body for the amount of flavor going on in this one.

Another stunning beer. Summer 2012 has definitely been the season of the blonde barleywine. This beer makes a trip to Paso Robles worth it in and of itself.

Photo of HopHead84
4.6/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

1/14/2012

On tap at Hamilton's.

A: Yellow with nice transparency and a white frothy head.

S: Big floral notes with pronounced lavender honey. Malt is rich and complex, reminiscent of toffee, caramel, and bread. Vanilla wafts from the glass with each swirl. Bourbon is light.

T: Caramel accompanies toffee and a firm earthy bitterness. Honey is pronounced. The beer is lightly sweet with hints of vanilla. I get a little bourbon and oak, but I read nothing about this beer being barrel aged.

M: Lower medium body with upper medium carbonation.

Overall: Very impressive. They should barrel age this and release it as their next anniversary beer, forgoing the blend. This is dangerous shit for 12%. It goes down like water.

Photo of Sumdeus
4.51/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap, a flight with Bourbon County Barleywine, Big Worster and Mirror Mirror.

A: a hazy golden pour with some light cream head. It looks like an unfiltered wheat beer but with less head. Some minor lacing.

S: smells awesome!!! Best smelling of the 4 by far. Great sweet fruity and malty aromas. One of the best beers aromas out there.

T: fantastic smooth citrusy sweetness. Can't taste the booze at all.

M: moderate thickness, low carbonation and smooth and clean finish.

O: fantastic beer, I early wish I could get bottles of this.

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Helldorado from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 98 ratings.