PNC Imperial Buckwheat Stout - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
PNC Imperial Buckwheat StoutPNC Imperial Buckwheat Stout

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

409 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 409
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 7.57%
Wants: 277
Gots: 70 | FT: 13
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  13.70% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Rifugium on 06-11-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (83) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 409 | Reviews: 39
Reviews by notchucknorris:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.26/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Well to start out, I am surprised to see this classified as an American double stout. I would have guessed it was gonna be classified as a wheatwine, but whaddo I know.

For a double stout, it sure is light and 'not black' looking. It was a reddish brown from where I was standing, but hey, I was a few beers in already at the time I savored this at the FW Invitational. The head was thin and beige.

Aroma was similar to the Melange 3/Bruery Anniversary beers in that it was full of a toffee and barrel sweetness like an alcoholic box of Cracker Jacks. I liked the aroma of Mikkeller's Tequila barrel black hole, and this one is no different. Throw in some coconut and vanilla in the aroma to round it out. Complex.

Taste drinks frighteningly smooth and is easy to drink for something so strong. Tasted nowhere near that type of abv. Oak is pleasant. Mild cocao contribution to the smoothness and just enough sweetness to counteract any bitterness. A mellow ride, man.

Photo of dirtylou
4.35/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

on-tap x2; Burgundian

I was out of town when this limited-release bottle whale blew through Bottleworks and I was beginning to think I was never going to have an opportunity to try it until Burgundian put it on tap for their uber-casual 2nd anniversary. Dark bodied and sporting a full mocha head - this beast is heavy on the chocolate, toffee and vanilla. The tequila barrel imparts boozy and wooden notes, but no discernible tequila flavors for me

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.97/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black body. A little transparent at the edges. Medium khaki collar.

Smell - Bourbon. Chocolate. Boozy. Vanilla. Some oak.

Taste - Chocolate. Vanilla and bourbon. A little bit of nuttiness. The finish has what must be that tequila barrel flavor, although I wouldn't call it directly tequila. Definitely something that I'm not sure I love. Very oaky finish.

Mouthfeel - Hefty body. Boozy. Sharp oak. Medium carbonation.

Overall - The tequila barrel throws me off, but the rest of this beer is fantastic.

Photo of ricknelson
4.85/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Can not believe how far down the Top 250 BA beer list this beer is ranked. A group of four of us had this Firestone Walker PNC Imperial Buckwheat Stout at Falling Rock Pub in Denver. It was sold only as a drink it on premise bootle. It came in a nice Firestone Walker box with a sheet of paper inside which explained how the beer came about. How a group of beer bar owners from across the U.S., that gets together from time to time at a brewery and make a special beer. The PNC was their 3rd effort and was only available at Falling Rock Pub in 22 ounce bottles for consumption there.
A guy was watching the four of us drink this beer at Falling Rock. So I waved him over to our table. It turned out to be Chris Black owner of the Falling Rock Pub and one of PNC's recipe originators. I got Chris to autograph the box for me before we left. All four of us totally loved this beer. I have a chance to get another one from a friend here in Vermont, and I sincerely hope it works out.

Photo of Treyliff
4.24/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Batch 1, consumed at Monk's Cafe, Philly
Poured into a snifter

A- pours pitch black with a small fizzy light tan head that reduces quickly, leaving no lace and some short alcohol legs

S- dark chocolate with some toasty and smoky malt, the tequila is definitely noticeable with an agave-like aroma mixing with vanilla and oak barrel, dark prunes

T- chocolate and smoky malt mesh with a big barrel presence with the tequila popping through. It's not a lot different than bourbon barrel aged beers, but definitely a noticeable difference with the agave sweetness popping through. Notes of dried fig with a hint of coffee kick in, leading to sweet caramel and more dark fruit on the finish

M- medium-viscous body with moderate carbonation lead to a foamy mouthfeel and a warming finish

O- my first tequila barrel aged beer, and it was welcomed. It wasn't a huge difference in flavor compared to a BBA beer, but a nice change. Another great beer from Firestone

Photo of Rutager
4.27/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at bottleworks. A little heat overall but well integrated and delicious.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.44/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ Toronado in SF

A - Pitch black with a thin layer of light brown head.

S - Oak, light tequila, chocolate, roast. Lots of barrel but not an intense tequila aroma.

T - Big barrel notes come to the forefront immediately: Oak, char, and light tequila. Chocolate, roast and molasses are all present as well.

M - Full body. Smooth. Light carbonation.

Photo of Kuhuh
4.95/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was the first of the set of 3 someone had given me as a present. The perfect smoothness of a great tequila blended with the dark and rich flavors of an imperial stout. My mouth divulged the oaky flavors and it was a tad bit dry. You will want to have a little water near by in my opinion. This beer will always be in my top due to the fact I never knew you could blend such amazing flavors.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.08/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Curran last night.

Pours a dark, oily deep black, with a half inch head, and a good amount of lacing.

Smells a bit boozy and tequila forward, but I am not a huge fan of tequila, so I probably pick it up a bit stronger than most people, who seem to say the tequila is milder. Beyond that, I get a good amount of oak and chocolate.

I wouldn't classify this one as the best of the FW boxed series, but it's still pretty tasty. The tequila feels pretty strong to me, with lots of oak, some coconut, vanilla, and a lot of fudgy chocolate. It feels fairly bitter, due to the booze, oak, and possibly the buckwheat?

This is pretty thick bodied, with a creamy, fudgy, and pretty boozy mouthfeel. The booze lingers on the palate a little bit after each sip.

This is a pretty unique stout, but my slight to strong aversion to tequila makes it hard for me to love this. As it is, it's well made and tasty, but a little boozy.

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.56/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an Elysian snifter. Pours pitch black with very little carbonation, with only a tiny ring of brown foam around the edge of the glass. Awesome aroma of whisky, dark toasted malt and yes, tequila, possibly a hint of vanilla, but all lighter essences are dominated by the barrel aromas. Flavor is amazing, dark toasted malt, dark dried fruit, coffee, chocolate and vanilla in a high quality liquor base. Tastes very much like a liqueur. Finishes with sweet dark fruit, tequila and chocolate. Medium to full bodied. This is very rich and very nicely balanced. I am floored that the flavor covers the alcohol in this monster, but although there was some in the nose, there is virtually none in the taste. An amazing blended stout. Firestone Walker once again proves to be a master of the barrel.

Photo of rlee1390
4.28/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Black in the glass with a one finger brown head that left some lacing, but more clear around the edges.

S-Some spirit flavor, not much of tequila, but maybe I haven't had enough good tequila. Oak, some char. Sugar, molasses and chocolate as well.

T-Once again it starts with the spirit flavors, more spicy that say a bourbon. Oak and char as well. Then rounded out with molasses and some chocolate.

M-Medium bodied, not much carbonation.

O-I was iffy on the tequila barrels, but they gave off a nice flavor and produced a really good beer.

Photo of TommyLiam
4.54/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A joy to drink but a bit steep on price. Cellar for at least six months to lose some of the heat.

A -- Black, translucent brown on the edges. Thin, light brown head with little retention and almost zero lacing.

S -- Lots of vanilla, some tequila and a base of wet quality coffee grounds.

T -- The tequila is bordering the dominant upfront vanilla and sweet roast malts. Amaretto Cherries with cocoa transitions to a finish of very sweet wood.

M -- heavy and structured. Light carb disapates quickly.

A great one off from a favorite of mine. It will no doubt be too sweet for many fans of the Imperial Stout style.

Photo of cbutova
4.44/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed from notes taken at Toronado, San Diego.

A- Pitch black oil thick brew from the taps into a small flute. Dark mocha colored head forms on top of it. A nice size and good retention. Nice ring remains as well as some islands and lace is patchy.

S- Rich chocolate and roast malts lead the way like Parabola but there is a distinct difference with the barrel feel, semi-tequila hint.

T -Super rich roast chocolate malts with some vanilla and tequila character, that hard to describe flavor in only tequila, just a hint of it. Oak vanilla, pepper, spice and some fruit feel. Barrel feel is quite nice.

MF- Super thick and chewy with smooth, moderately high carbonation. Finishes with a substantial but nice warmth.

Reminds me a lot of Parabola in the base beer but the barrel feel is substantially different enough to make this have its own character. Would love to try again but don't see that happening.

Photo of bnelson997
4.84/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the brewery the morning after the FW Invitational cause I missed the pour there. You could definitely smell the tequila barrel in this. What an interesting taste too, as one wouldn't necessarily think that tequila would match well with an imperial stout. The flavor had that distinct bite of agave that was smoothed over by the warmth of the alcohol and roasted espresso flavor. The people who get to try this in bottle at the publican places where it was eventually be distributed will not be disappointed!

Photo of rand
4.51/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle imbibed at Toronado SD. Poured into a small goblet.

A bit of a surprise, I wasn't aware they were brewing this until recently. Nice of Ian at Toronado to give us the heads-up. This is an amazing brew, not unlike Parabola's flavor profile, with touches of warming, astringent tequila around the edges.

A: Jet black in color, highly viscous in appearance, which seems to dampen any chance of a head.

S: Big notes of vanilla and oak, joined by a hints of chocolate and coffee. Cherries and esters are also noted. The sweet aspects are checked by notes of tequila and booze. Really boozy, especially as it warms.

T: Malt-forward as expected...big notes of vanilla and hazelnut and sugar-sweetness. Some might find the profile too sweet, but these aspects are quickly balanced by warming booze and vinous, pithy tequila. Cherry, oak, toasty grain are all distinct mid-sip. The brew warms significantly as it finishes long and sweet and boozy.

M: About as oily and chewy and viscous as you'd expect...bordering on syrup.

Photo of Rifugium
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

First had: on tap at Monk's, Philly, PA

Served in a tulip, black, with tinges of brown around the edges, and topped with a thin tan head that receded to a meager ringlet. In the nose, dark chocolate, dark fruits, booze, and lighter notes of coffee and vanilla. Rich, full taste, chocolate, figs, tequila very obvious and actually well-balanced, with a stiff oakiness from the barrel, dark malty sweetness, toffee, and a touch of toasted coconut. This was a big beer. BCBS-ish in nature (only with tequila). Slick, oily mouthfeel, full body, definitely boozy though, so it makes for a good sipper. Very good overall.

Photo of jdhowe
4.35/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Batch 001, enjoyed 7 March 2013 at Falling Rock Taproom in Denver, CO.

A: Pours an opaque black with brown-tinged light visible through the edges. 1/2 finger of mocha colored head quickly dissipates to a thin ring. No lacing.

S: Strong aromas up front of tequila/agave, coffee, caramel, alcohol, molasses, and mild cocoa powder. Chocolate emerges more as it warms, and tequila becomes quite strong.

T/M: Wow, this is a huge beer. Strong roasty and chocolatey flavors are accompanied by a strong tequila presence. Huge smooth tequila character is present throughout the beer, leading into a coffee roasty finish. The alcohol in the beer is highly evident and it imparts a coolness to drinking from the volatility. Tequila and chocolate open up with warming, and a mild coconut emerges. Mouthfeel is thick, coating, with low to moderate carbonation. Lightly astringent and very sweet.

O: This is a really enjoyable beer with a very prominent tequila flavor. While tequila is not really my thing, I really enjoyed this beer.

Photo of FosterJM
4.2/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

1792nd Review on BA
Bottle to Stemmed Tulip
22oz

Batch 1
Purchased at Toronado SD for my birthday 5/16

App- A standard appearing stout from FW on this one for. A good solid dark color, a nice soft khaki brown head, a slight cling and no light penetration.

Smell- I am going with a 4 because it was just a little hard to pick anything out on this one really. I let warm for about 10 mins and tried to get the Tequila and had minimal chocolate aromas. Maybe a touch of lime to go along.

Taste- I enjoyed this one. It was quite different and brought a lot to the table. Many flavors competing on this one and then they all kind of got lost in the shuffle. The oak is really what dominates.

Mouth- A big solid medium body with a medium carbonation level. Delectable creamy and quite a bit smooth. The tequila is there when it warmed to almost room temp.

Drink- I don't quite think this was worth the price I paid for it, wish I would've had it at retail price. Don't we all have those moments though.

Photo of dar482
4.85/5  rDev +8%

The beer comes in a dark black color.

The aroma offers a touch of spicy spirit, sweet caramel, roasted malt.

The flavor follows of roasted malt and chocolate, surrounded by tequila. The beer is slightly light in mouthfeel for its ABV, but it makes up for it with a beautiful dance of spicy spirit of tequila and medium roasted malt of the base beer.

A very interesting brew that ends being executed very well.

Photo of robwestcott
4.64/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Cold and black from the tap at Monks in Philadelphia, to a 10oz fluted goblet with a 2 finger long lasting mocha head with a full sheet of lace.

Big aroma of smoky chocolate and bourbon. A big beer.

Barrel forward, smoky, cocoa, bourbon, dark cherries, creamy smooth. Medium carbonation, big bodied.

Great beer.

Photo of DefenCorps
4.46/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

SEP 26, 2014
Bottle, batch 1. Bottled 17 May 2013, consumed 26 Sept 2014. Thanks, Chris! Pours jet black with a dense, creamy, dark brown head with excellent retention and lacing. The nose is awesome. Rich, dense and layered, there’s dark chocolate, dark wheat bread, buckwheat honey, and a beautiful tequila note, rich with its agave character. Booze is shockingly well hidden. Toasted bread, toasted agave, brown sugar, mild toffee, some earth, a touch of cinnamon. Really good. The palate opens big, full and with a blend of booze and sweetness. Dark brown sugar, toffee, dark chocolate, flavors of German fitness bread and a mild Kahlua note are present. The mid palate is where the tequila character really comes out. Toasted agave, mild vanilla, plenty of tequila flavor. A long, mildly biker, moderately roasty finish with a blend of tequila, caramel, buckwheat honey and dark chocolate are present. Immaculate palate. Exceptional stuff.

Photo of Auracom
4.08/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Sent to me and then shared at DLD 2014. 4 oz. in multiple pours in a glencairn.

A - Typical, deep cocoa with a frothy dark khaki head. Looks a lot like Parabola.

S - The tequila spirit only hints in the aroma. Char/ash, dark chocolate, lime, pitted dark fruit.

T - More presence now. Spirity, oak, lots of espresso, obvious alcohol solvency, sultana.

M - Plentiful warming, smooth moderate body, semi-short bitter finish.

D - This is really unique and on-par with the best FW has to offer. Would have no hesitation to try again. Can only really knock the hefty alcohol presence and wondering if it's tougher to keep a tequila barrel in check vs. the usual whiskey treatment.

Photo of draheim
4.57/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz (batch 001, bottled 5/17/2013) into a tulip. Pours an oily black w/ almost no head, just a thin wispy film remains after a minute or so.

Aroma is huge chocolate, molasses, vanilla, roasty malt, and sticky caramel. This glass is oozing with dense, drippy aromas.

Taste is likewise bittersweet, roasty, chocolatey, and boozy-hot. Lots of nice oaky char. I get a sense of some kind of spirits but if I didn't know better, I would probably assume it was bourbon. But then I am no tequila connoisseur either. I might just like this even better than Parabola.

Mouthfeel is sticky and chewy, heavy, thick, coating. Silky smooth.

Overall a huge barrel-aged beer from Firestone Walker. Tons of flavor, empty calories, and booze. Drinking this beer is like slipping into a velvet smoking jacket and retreating to the game room.

Photo of artoolemomo
4.31/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- I received this beer with a minimal amount of head which appeared to have been a very light and creamy beige. Minimal retention. The body is a murky and opaque, dark chocolate brown. Good lacing is left behind.

Nose- This is delicious and exactly what you expect from a barrel aged Firestone Walker. Slight coconut. Loaded with caramel, vanilla, and toffee. But what's the star of the show? Butterscotch. Butterscotch which is very warm and glowing. This is very promising.

Taste- Coconut and coconut and more coconut. Another good offering from Firestone Walker. The heat is pretty high that is to be expected from a tequila barrel. Also, this shows pretty much all of the notes of the nose. Caramel, vanilla, and toffee. The butterscotch, however, is not as prominent as on the the nose. The tequila qualities are slight. Lots of chocolate and coffee. Not quite as good as a Parabola or an Abacus but definitely better than DDBA or Velvet Merkin. I was apprehensive about this beer since it was aged in tequila barrels but the slight contribution of the tequila is a nice touch. Very complex malt bill with rich but restrained sweetness. The tequila flirts around the edges.

Mouthfeel- Just below heavy bodied with healthy carbonation. Some grittiness.

Drinkability- Deceptive and thus dangerous. The heat mellows as you go and this is great at 6 bucks for a 6 oz pour given its very limited release.

Overall- Really good, almost great. Wouldn't rank it as high as the mean but still a really good offering from Firestone Walker.

Photo of stakem
4.13/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Many thanks to anotherjoe for surprising me with a bottle of this. Pours black in color with a rich brown cap. The aroma contains cocoa and lots of barrel with slight mineral feel. Plenty of oak and solvent alcohol blend to almost something like raisons. The solvent alcohol feel carries over from nose to flavor with plenty of roasty char appeal as well as fruity chocolate covered raisons. The barrel aging imparts oak and vanilla with some herbal hops being the last things noted. This is a very full and creamy feeling body with moderate carbonation. I cannot think of a tequilla barrel aged beer that I have enjoyed more than this. Well done.

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PNC Imperial Buckwheat Stout from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 409 ratings.