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PNC Imperial Buckwheat Stout - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
PNC Imperial Buckwheat StoutPNC Imperial Buckwheat Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

42 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 42
Hads: 434
Avg: 4.44
pDev: 24.55%
Wants: 289
Gots: 71 | 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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 42 | Hads: 434
Photo of Kevinpitts
4.55/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opened with about 2 1/2 years age on it (bottled April 2013). Initial smell said it all. Tequila from barrel came through with a rich stouty smell. All incorporated together well. Taste was same... tequila bitterness with a complex buckwheat stout flavor. So much going on, but all characteristics well blended into a truly great flavor. Unique and great!

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.61/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

thanks to fthomasl for sharing this one with me. Pours black with a bubbly brown head. Fair retention and not much lace.

Sweet chocolate with caramel. Alcohol, blackberries, wood. I would have guessed some sort of barrel treatment, but never would have thought tequila.

Definitely sweet - more of a sugary sweetness than chocolate. Zing from the alcohol and barrel treatment, I think I can pick out a little agave flavor. If pressed, I probably would have guessed Rum as opposed to tequila after a few sips. Some husky aspect from the buckwheat. Definitely of of FW's finest right here, amazing brew.

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Photo of jakecattleco
4.56/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Draft at Craft Beer Summit from FW tent. REALLY like this offering, all the flavors are subtle enough to pick them out individually. A great beer, that hides a very potent punch well.

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Photo of brewmastercat
5/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

By far the best barrel aged stout I've ever had.
It's rough, yet smooth. Spicy, yet sweet. Fruity, yet bitter. So many contrasting and complimentary flavors...a great wood character with a hint of a very fine agave.
Fruity, spicy, sweet, smooth, rough edges, chocolate, booze, delicious.

It's like Clint Eastwood in a suit.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
4.63/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This smells awesome. Huge dark chocolate fudge right away. Toasted coconut after it warms. Getting a bit of fruity, sweetness on the very back end. Super dry on the finish. Medium thickness. Tiny amount of alcohol heat. Divine.

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

On tap at the Falling Rock for their Imperial Stout mini-fest. Almost no head on this one and completely black. Aroma is odd, boozy, must be the tequila. Flavor is a nice maltiness backed up by that punch of alcohol. Overall, pretty good but I bet bourbon barrels would be better.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.08/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.29/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into an Altamont glass. Vintage 2013. Batch 001.

A: Nice off-white head fades fast and leaves nice lacing.

S: It smells...fine? Reminiscent of something. Cereal grain? Maybe that's the buckwheat. Slightly oxidised?

T/M: Huge vanillins right up front and they just last and last. A really rich, sweet, beautiful beer. I get barely (if any) tequila at all. Maybe barrel-aging? My tequila-hating friend Adam swears he can taste it right at the end, and I do suppose there's a tang right at the end. It's mostly just a big sweet stout. I don't taste the booze but my buddy,

O: Man, this is good. Skepticism aside, FW knows what's up. Incredibly delicious, highly recommended, very nice stout, Sweet, but balanced.

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Photo of stakem
4.13/5  rDev -7%
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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Photo of dar482
4.85/5  rDev +9.2%

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.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.46/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of Mikeypnh
4.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip glass. No noticeable head, very black, some nice tan swirls on top with bubbles clinging to the side.

Smells really sweet. Some chocolate, oak, some small amount of tequila.

Taste is pretty sweet. Very dry finish. Chocolate and brown sugar is very dominant, tequila is there, nice oak notes. Something bitter that lingers at the end, too. Very sweet, happy to be splitting a bottle. Pretty interesting taste here. The alcohol shows up but it's not overpowering.

Pretty thick mouthfeel, coats the whole mouth and leaves that dry finish. Very warming and sticky. Probably it's best feature.

It's a decent beer, was hoping to pick up some more of the tequila barrels, they are mixed in with the base beer. Overall it's good, and happy I got to try it.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.2/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

1792nd Review on BA
Bottle to Stemmed Tulip

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.

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Photo of Auracom
4.08/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

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Photo of MusicaleMike
4.24/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Sampled this at Falling Rock Taphouse in Denver. Served chilled in a balloon glass.

I was very excited to sample this beer, having heard amazing things about it. The pour is dark...black in the glass with a creamy tan head consisting of small bubbles. The head retention is good, not much in the way of lacing.

The smell of this beer is simply an intense oak aroma, almost completely dominated. There are dark roast malts and subtle tequila, but really this is an oak bomb. It is certainly enticing, and smells wonderful really, but is it too one dimensional?

The signature Firestone Walker smoothness! The velvety smooth body is contrasted with a slight heat on tongue, and notes of tequila in the finish. Simply perfect carbonation level here, with very fine bubbles that helps to contribute to the smooth body. Flavors of roasted malt, coffee, berries, agave, and corn syrup all mingle together. There was more to appreciate in the flavor than was hinted at in the aroma. The tequila is extremely subtle....very understated. I think that is a positive thing here.

Firestone Walker's PNC is incredible. Extremely flavorful, and despite the heat, not harsh but so so smooth, and I wish that I could drink this again. I will say that the brewer I was hanging out with just said "I fucking hate Firestone Walker." And he meant that in the nicest of ways...like "How the hell do they do it?"

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Photo of ricknelson
4.85/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.24/5  rDev -4.5%
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

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Photo of jdhowe
4.35/5  rDev -2%
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.

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Photo of draheim
4.57/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.28/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

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Photo of Kuhuh
4.95/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.97/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.35/5  rDev -2%
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

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Photo of Stevedore
4.34/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

8oz pour on draft at Falling Rock in Denver, CO. Poured into an unlabeled goblet today, 11/18/2014.

Looks positively black. Dark opaque and black body with a lovely one finger width head with great retention that finally drops into a thick mocha film. Not much lacing.

Smells damn sweet. Lots of oak and a delicious, chocolately sweetness with a nice sharp rye-like flavor to cut the sweetness. Very good, not quite decadent but more than enjoyable.

Similar to the nose- lots of chocolate dark malt sweetness cut by a nice sharpness and plenty of barrel oak. Very interesting combination with the touch of tequila but not über complex. Very tasty nonetheless.

Phenomenal. Thick bodied, creamy and fluffy on the palate. Leaves a nice heat on the back end similar to doing tequila.

Great mouthfeel, unique sharpness and sweet chocolates accompanied to the excellent oak barrel presence as expected of Firestone. I suspect it's higher rated because of the limited bottle production and I wouldn't give up what people ask for bottles. At the same time I'm glad to have tried this thanks to the folks at Falling Rock.

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Photo of SaltySizzle
4.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had this via On-Tap at Toro SD and also via bottle. Not much variance between the two. Enjoyed this thoroughly. Deep black, with a silky mouthfeel. Hints of caramel and oak, and a sweet finish. With a bit more age, this score would go up higher. Usually hate tequila, but this had notes of it and did it well. Excited to try this again if a certain friend decides to crack his bottle! ;)

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PNC Imperial Buckwheat Stout from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.