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Helldorado - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Helldorado
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BA SCORE
95
world-class

97 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 97
Reviews: 14
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 7.83%
Wants: 49
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  13.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

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

(Beer added by: wethorseblanket on 10-21-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 97 | Reviews: 14 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

t0rin0, Sep 27, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.19/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the 2013 Firestone Walker Invitational held at the Paso Robles Event Center in Paso Robles, CA.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy bone head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, honey, caramel, and toffee aromas. Taste is much the same with caramel and toffee flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of woody bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with some great aromas and flavors.

UCLABrewN84, Jun 03, 2013
Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

zestar, Aug 17, 2013
Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -7.8%

spycow, Mar 13, 2013
Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

nmann08, Oct 13, 2013
Photo of GRG1313
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

GRG1313, Mar 23, 2014
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -19.4%

westcoastbeerlvr, Jan 08, 2013
Photo of largadeer
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draft at Beer Rev. Pale blond body with a thin head that doesn't last long. Sweet butterscotch aroma, completely pale malt and barrel dominant. Big sugary caramel notes, stonefruit, little booziness. Smells great, though perhaps a bit one-dimensional. The palate is good, medium-light in body, rather rich and sweet. Body could use more heft, but it isn't overly thin. Big caramel and butterscotch notes meld with warming bourbon, though this doesn't taste 13%; very clean fermentation here. Finishes sweet with mild tannins, and a bit of lingering dried fruit. Pretty damn good, a little too easy to drink for the ABV.

largadeer, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

SocalKicks, Oct 06, 2014
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.41/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

the huge firestone walker beers in barrels is what makes them special. its not the everyday stuff or the wild ales or anything else, its beers exactly like this that keep them above so many other breweries, this stuff is pure magic. honey barleywine, with the honey being present in nose and taste, more than just sweet, its seasonal and earthy and floral and really pretty lightening to the whole thing. some grain weight to this, but no alcohol in the nose at all. the bourbon and the honey go so well together in the nose, with the vanilla picking up the honey sugars and carrying it through to that oaky mature space later on. the flavor follows a similar trajectory, but the beer itself has an english flare. i dont know if its the yeast or then malt, but it is more english than american and not just because there isnt much hops here. the bourbon barrel is dominant in the finish, really nice balance until then though. mouthfeel ranks it higher too, like some of the other huge firestone beers, its thick as jelly, spreadable almost, but slippery going down, as textured as any beer out there, and never getting alcoholically hot in the least. so woody, so much honey, so much bourbon, its a major statement beer. i wish this was packaged and released instead of draft only and stashed for blending. its a beauty to say the least.

StonedTrippin, Oct 10, 2014
Photo of XmnwildX12
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

XmnwildX12, Nov 28, 2013
Photo of drewone
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

drewone, Jun 04, 2013
Photo of Gonzoillini
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

Gonzoillini, Jun 13, 2014
Photo of DrBier
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

DrBier, Jul 26, 2014
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.

Beerandraiderfan, Jun 21, 2012
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.

HopHead84, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of GraduatedCashew
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

GraduatedCashew, Feb 21, 2014
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Hopheadjeffery, Jun 02, 2013
Photo of kscaldef
4/5  rDev -7.8%

kscaldef, Dec 11, 2013
Photo of popery
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

popery, Jan 28, 2013
Photo of FosterJM
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1539th Review on BA
Draft to 6oz Snifter

@Firestone Walker, Paso Robles, CA

App- A mixture of a couple different yellows and golds in the glass. When the server poured it, it looked a bit flat, but with a little bit of swirl some good bubble activity presented and made it look better. The cling was just slight. A bit clearer than I was thinking as well.

Smell- A large beer to say the least. Really a lot going on in the aromatic department. It started with the honey and with me being not the biggest fan of honey I was quite suprised to enjoy the melding of the honey, oak, vanilla, toffee and a slight bitter.

Taste- This is where its at. The ABV on this is very large as is most of the beers that go into the Anniversary blends from FW and this was deceptively smooth and rich. A bit creamy. Larger amounts of the oak shine through as well as the vanilla and a malty candy sweetness. A bit rich and smooth and more atune to a bourbon syrup flavor.

Mouth- A very large medium body with a semi medium carbonation that was a bit prickly. It was deceptively silky on the tounge and drank just amazingly. The residual flavors are the oak, the vanilla and a little dough.

Drink- I was flabbergasted when I saw this on the board. I had made the decision to go to FW on a whim because of the large detour. So glad I did. If you can ever get your hands on this I suggest you do. FW Please bottle this in a reserve series lineup!!!

FosterJM, Oct 03, 2012
Photo of Holland
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

Holland, Jun 14, 2014
Photo of akang
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

akang, Oct 11, 2014
Photo of ehammond1
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On Tap

Firestone Walker Brewing co.
Paso Robles, CA

Dark yellow and light gold with a small near-white head that leaves dots of lace down the glass. This looks a bit oily, though not at all thick or syrupy--an appropriately pretty blonde barleywine.

The aroma is quite lovely, with expressive amounts of vanilla, caramel, and toffee, along with mild citrus, freshly baked biscuit, and oak.

This is a decadent dessert disguised as a beer: this reminds me of freshly baked shortbread cookies topped with bourbon whipped cream, with just a hint of burning alcohol. There's expressive oak and mild citrus zest as well. Complete.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Fantastic. If they bottled this and called it Anniversary 16, I'd be happy.

ehammond1, Jun 13, 2012
Photo of Bung
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Bung, Oct 10, 2014
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Helldorado from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 97 ratings.