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Opal - Proprietor's Reserve | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Opal - Proprietor's ReserveOpal - Proprietor's Reserve

Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our interpretation of the rustic Wallonian Saison style is a harmonious blend of rustic grains, spicy yeast and unique sauvignon blanc tones. Inviting lemon grass and gooseberry meet peppery spice and fresh grain aromas. Spicy Belgian yeast create a complex yet dry and refreshing canvas with splashes of citrus and stone fruit with a bright tropical white wine finish. Hop bitterness is assertive yet harmonious rounding out slightly tart and refreshing.

Added by Samuel906 on 03-05-2014

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Reviews: 177 | Ratings: 1,167
Photo of Jack_Malts
5/5  rDev +25.3%

This is one of my favorite beers, and I have yet to review it. A beautiful hazy golden color with a fluffy white head that leaves behind a nice amount of lacing. Aromas of farmhouse funk mixed with amplified hoppy juiciness. Light pineapple and golden apple come to mind on the nose and palate. Dry but lasting finish.

Again, this is in my top 5. No way it deserves an 89. This beer is world class. Definitely recommend.

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Photo of Jimmys
4.78/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

bottled 060614. bomber split into tulip.

A: couldn't be a paler shade of yellow. super light. bright white frothy head. good retention.

S: great spice and zest but even better fermentation characteristics. mild sulfur level. but really hoppy. earthy, bright citrus hops. smell European but also slightly citra-like. very inviting.

T: spicy, zest, slightly tart. a little bit of hop bitterness in the finish but it is fleeting. a little vinous as well. really getting some tasty white wine, green grape notes that I am thoroughly enjoying.

M: a step below champagne like carb but still manages to be smooth. medium bodied.

D: too drinkable IMO. really refreshing and tasty stuff. the perfect summer saison and another home run from FW.

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Photo of crob3888
4.75/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a beautifully clear light golden yellow tone with a decent sized bubbly white head that leaves lacing through the session. Aromas and flavors are of fresh grain, funk, sauvignon blanc, pear, some oak character, a hint of citrus, and a white-pepper finish. Effervescent mouthfeel, super drinkable. An underrated saison.

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Photo of DaverCS
4.65/5  rDev +16.5%

22oz bottle into Belgian glass.

Appears pale yellow with a soft orange hue.

Smell of lemons, hops, and yeast. More hop forward than a traditional saison.

Taste is excellent. It is a cross between an hoppy pale ale and a saision. Carbonation is above average as is normal with the style. Light mouthfeel. Immediate tastes give traditional Belgian flavors of spicy yeasty-lemony-ness. Then it hits at the end of the sip... an amazing livening burst of hop presence. Its not the traditional Belgian style hops, its more fruity and close to those American grapefruit flavors we all love. This makes the beer extremely sessionable even at 7.5% ABV. Its definitely livens up as it warms with a more hop-forward flavor. I highly recommend drinking this beer with a spicier meal!

This would be a great beer for the summer! Overall impression is that this is a well-balanced and interesting take on a classic. I would recommend it for just about anyone due to the great balance between hops, yeast, and spice. The only draw back is that it isn't as intense in flavor as it could be (or in comparison to others in the style). Additionally, I have only found it in the 750 mL bottle (I would like to see some 12 oz bottles) I would give this 93/100.

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Photo of Budinetz
4.65/5  rDev +16.5%

Poured from a 650 ml bottle into a teku glass. Date on the label reads 5/2/14

Pours a beautiful pale straw color with a nice frothy, white head that dissipates within a minute of pouring.

Smells of tropical fruit, fresh cut grass, unripe green apple, white wine. Amazing nose on this one. Not sure of the yeast being used but I detect a bit of Brett or Brett-like characteristics. The tropical fruit aroma is amazing!

Tastes a bit sweet initially on the tongue, but finishes dry like a Sauvignon blanc. First initial sip is outstanding! It really tastes like a dry white wine! Again, the tropical fruit is very present, along with some green apple.

Feels quite prickly on the tongue due to the high carbonation. Very drinkable despite the 7.5% abv. Drinks more like a 4.8% beer. Awesome mouthfeel.

Overall one of the best saison style beers I have ever had. Great tropical fruit/pineapple notes combined with a great aroma and awesome drinkability make for a new favorite of mine. Would definitely seek this out again.


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Photo of gr8ful
4.63/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

outstanding beer.
look: pours hazy straw color. decent head. no lace
smell...has that certain almost sour smell prevalent with saissons and farmhouse ales.
taste...this one has an almost sweet first impression, but settles into a sort of sour (not like a "sour" though). not hoppy but you can sense the hops somewhere in there. complex, i think is the word the "experts" use. this one is.
feel....almost like sparkling wine a first bit settled into a nice mellow "round" mouthfeel. can't figure out how to describe it any other way.
overall..fine, fine beer. whenever it shows up at Total Wine and Beer, I snatch up a few bottles.
poured from a big bottle into a sort of snifter glass.

this was a little too cold when i opened it..let it warm up a bit to really enjoy this complex ale.

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Photo of chanokokoro
4.59/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Firestone Walker Proprietor's Reserve Series short stemmed tulip/snifter

Pours a hazy, shimmering light golden topped by a billowing two finger bright white head. Excellent retention, plenty of thin lacing. Wonderful nose full of floral notes, light lemon and mixed citrus, and earthy farmhouse yeast. Opens with some hay and herbal accents, light lemon, mixed citrus and floral notes. Transitions to mild pleasant yeasty general earthiness, more mixed herbal accents; finishes dry and mildly tart with mild citrus rind. Lively carbonation, light to light medium body. Wonderfully smooth and silky. An absolutely wonderfully balanced brew that is incredibly drinkable. A very worthy addition to the Proprietor's Reserve Series.

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Photo of Jmc181
4.59/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I found this beer surprisingly outstanding! I love Firestone Walker IPAs, so I'm game to try everything they put out, and man I was glad to stumble across this one. It's tart and effervescent and completely refreshing. Very pale in the glass, with a tall head, it's a thirst-quenching delight!

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.54/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

what cant firestone walker do? this saison is proof to me that they can absolutely nail any style they chose to brew. definitely one of the more refreshing and easy drinking saisons on the market, and also the most impressive beer in the five to six dollar range i can remember ever drinking. super pale blonde yellow in color with some haze. almost a faint lime green tint to it in the right light, with a lasting but relaxed opaque white head. the nose is the dry hopping first. not sure the varietal or varietals here, but its something quite citrusy. hardly a lick of bitterness in it, but the hops are nevertheless extremely prominent. refreshing and zesty i would say. the saison yeast is faint, just farmy enough without crossing into the french saison wet animal realm, and maintaining a grassy summer vibe all the way through. malt is light, probably pilsener mixed in with the wheat here just based on its color and lightness of feel. carbonation is strong, and its necessary. the hops make the mouth water for more, and one would never ever know that this beer was over 7% abv, it drinks like 4% even. i hope this is available all the time, i could see my fridge full of basically nothing else all summer. this beer is pure genius. a must try this spring.

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Photo of Chiefy770
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Pale gold body. Towering foamy white head. The head collapsed and left a island of bubbly foam in the middle. Good soapy lacing. Didn’t have to taste this one to know it was going to be well carbonated… bubbles circulated very well throughout.

Big notes of citrus and pineapple juice. Sweeter fruity notes were also prominent… similar to sparkling grape juice. Notes of spice and yeast were also detected, yet fruit dominated this nose.

Mild citrus notes up front. Notes of pineapple made this taste somewhat tropical. Lemongrass. Spicy herbal notes in the yeast. Not much from the malts other than a light bready base. Finished dry. Tart notes of apple really kicked in. I hate to bring wine into this but there were definitely similarities between the finish of this brew and stronger Pinot Grigios. Moderate-high carbonation. Medium body.

First Saison for this young beer enthusiast. After drinking this brew I noticed it shared many characteristics with Tripel style beers. This was definitely a great introduction into the style!

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Photo of ISmith87
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - 4.5 - Pale Gold/yellow color. Nice white head that sticks forever. leaves nice lacing on the glass.
S - 4.5 - white wine, citrus fruits, sour/tartness, lemon/lime, grapes, very fresh smelling.
T - 4.5 - follows the nose, citrus fruits, lemon lime almost like sprite, white grapes, white wine, a little bit of a tart/sour taste, bready malts in the background, some farm/barnyard type flavor but it' in the background. Really dry.
M - 4.5 - light - medium mouthfeel. alc completely covered. aftertaste is barnyard, bready, biscuity malt.
O - 4.5 - One of the best saisons I've had. Ranks up there with Prairie Artisan Prairie Ale as far as I'm concerned.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.48/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

22oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Bright sunshine yellow in color. Great clarity. Creamy, fine-bubbled head retains very well. Chunks of lacing stick here and there.

S: Floral and herbal hops are playful in nature. Rustic, musty yeast aromas. Soft white pepper. Lemongrass. Enticing grainy malt. Excellent.

T: Grainy flavors are soon enveloped by a wave of musty, rustic yeast. Tangy fruits: white grape, pear, hints of lemon. Very much like a sauv blanc. Vague phenol flavors. Oily and grassy hops assert themselves toward the back and ride into the finish with musty yeast and tangy fruit.

M: Light in body. Modestly silky and creamy. Lively, spritzy carbonation. Moderate hop oils. Slight vinous alcohol warmth.

O: Wow. This is a seriously awesome saison. One of the best I've had in a long time actually. Very complex with that somewhat intangible, seamless 'flow' that sets the best apart from the rest. As drinkable as it gets, and perfectly suited to the warmer weather. This is one that white wine drinkers should love as well. A must-try, put it on your short list next time you're at the bottle shop. A real departure from what Firestone Walker normally brews, but they hit the nail on the head.

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Photo of Sanjaybh
4.46/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Not sure why BA has two entries for the same beer....oh well.... A highly under-rated saison IMHO. This is what I want from a saison. A perfect balance of earthy, funky, hoppy and dry. This is the type of beer I would always have on hand. Problem is, this one doesn't get sold and re-stocked with any frequency. The only bottles I can find on the shelves these days are one that are over 1 1/2 years old. And that is a sad shame.

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Photo of ricke49
4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Love the perfect earthy barnyard/fruity balance. Bottle I'm enjoying is 8 months old, or about 4 mos. past recommendation on label. Still fresh and tasty though. Firestone Walker has produced an enjoyable, interesting, and darn fun brew!

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Photo of russpowell
4.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 04/11/14

Pours an effervescent gold with a 3 inches of pearl white head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Pears, slightly earthy; grassyness & sweet breadyness/pineapple

Follows the nose, lemons & grapefruit as well up front, slight lemongrass zip to it as well, faint doughy sweetness as well. A little bit of funk surfaces as this warms, grapefruit peel & grassiness, plus some dryness. Finishes grapefruitty, with lemongrass & dryness

MF: Medium bodied, lively carbonation; great balance

Great drinkability; not quite as good as Tank 7, but right on its heels

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Photo of dasenebler
4.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Firestone Walker Opal
22oz, bottled 6.20.14

Hazy, straw yellow with a greenish tinge. Three-finger head is white, with excellent lacing. (4)

Aroma has notes of apricot, spice, Belgian funk, alcohol and acidity. Nice, but was expecting more from a dry-hopped Saison. (3.5)

Flavor is fantastic. Lots of tangy, fruity hop flavors pair with the earthy, phenolic elements of the yeast. There is also an interesting white wine character coming through. Lots of rustic wheat notes. The light acidity, restrained bitterness and dryness all work together to make a delicious and quenching Saison. ABV is very well hidden. Mouthfeel is dry and medium-thin, with effervescent carbonation. (5, 4.5)

This is a great Saison. As far as I’m concerned, Firestone Walker and Matt Brynildson can do no wrong. These are some baller beers coming out of Paso Robles. (4.5)

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Photo of MarcWP
4.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Barrelworks Teku.

Pours a brilliant light yellow with two finger white head that leaves nices frothy lacing as it subdues. Somewhat hazy.

Aroma is bountiful of hops and saison yeast. Soft citrus, pear, apple, star fruit, yellow nectarine, kumquat, yuzu, coriander, pepper, subtle earth, and Pilsner malt. Very nice nose and I like the approach from Firestone dry hopping this with the variants they used.

The palate brings a very rounded flavor profile between the malts, yeast esters, and dry hopping. From the nose I expected a hoppier presence in the taste. There definitely some hop bitterness but just enough to help balance out the other characteristics. Instead the hops play brilliantly off of the lemony, spicy, and floral yeast esters and sharp biscuity malts.

Mouthfeel is on the heavier side of light with a lively carbonation which helps the beer finish clean. Pretty dry throughout makes the beer super drinkable.

What can I say other than Firestone does it again. This beer isn't in your face, extravagant, or mind blowing. It's simply a greatly crafted brew with a brilliant interplay of hops to yeast strain flavor profiles. The malts support it all but it's that unique dry hopping an addition to the belgian yeast esters that make this beer special. An awesome summer drinker with an awesome price tag.

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Photo of KVNBGRY
4.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Ap - Really lively, gold, with a very slight haze. Loosely packed white head that leaves almost no lacing.

Ar - Lemongrass, spicy, grassy, floral hops. White grape must, like a white wine. It has an aroma for days!

T - The taste is very similar to the nose only with a sweet maltiness to balance everything out. This is really tasty!

M - Classic saison. Light, bubbly, crisp, with a slight peppery spice.

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Photo of joeseppy
4.41/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pale yellow watery appearance. Generous white head quickly ebbs to the rim.

Sour mash approach then trace banana, celery, yeast and lemon pepper zest and honey.

Yeast and hop envelop the tongue. Lemon peel aswirl and white pepper in the nose. I love the Sauvignon Blanc presence that in Opal has a bolder approach. It has a green and herbaceous presence. I pick up on celery and concur on the lemongrass. Since I'm digging this there is an underlying of peach and lime. Really a phenomenal quaff to spend time with and explore if you have the time.

Creamy texture with maybe too much carbonation that prickles the tongue. Finish is very dry. Hops add a fantastic dimension of bittering.

Overall I'm very pleased to have even obtained a scarce FW Opal of any kind. A saison that's fun with impeccable character that one should be proud to put out there. More to Chicago please. Good times indeed.

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Photo of Auraan
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a gorgeous clear golden with abundant bubbles, a two finger fluffy white head that receded to a ring of white that left ample lacing down the glass. Scents of apricot, some pear underneath, some orange-like aromas, some pineapple, a hint of lime, slight green apple, a bit of lavender, a faint, wild sour aroma and slight grain. A very fruit forward aroma profile, true to that side of the style, but lacking the phenols of clove and banana that are common. Still quite nice, and very enticing. Flavor follows the aroma, beginning with a light fruity sourness, with notes of green apple, lemon, and indistinct tropical fruit, moving into apricot and pineapple with some light white pepper spiciness, a lighter sour undertone and some light herbal hop bitterness. Finishes dry with white pepper spiciness, herbal hop bitterness and some lemon. Aftertaste is white pepper and herbal hops. A very nice, very true to style flavor, fruity, dry, with nice white pepper and modest bitter herbal hop flavors. Excellent example of the style. Mouthfeel is refreshing, light bodied, puckering, with a nice bubbly carbonation and a drying feel in the mouth. True to style and very easy to drink. Overall this is a very good example of a saison that hits many of aroma and flavor notes of the style and executes the mouthfeel nicely. The only complaint I can find is the lack of other spices and phenols in the aroma and flavor, but they are optional to the style so I cannot fault it much there. A very good saison.

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Photo of John_M
4.34/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Growler Guys (Eugene) the other day.

The beer pours a striking gold color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is all saison goodness, as I pick up considerable honey, light ranier cherry, coriandor (and lot's of it), pepper and dry citrus. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, but I really appreciate the amoutnt of hoppy bitterness on the finish, that completely dries out the modest sweetness in this beer. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a fairly long, clean, bitter finish. Alcohol is nearly undectable, and drinkability is very high (this is a very easy to drink beer).

Price is a bit on the high side for a domestic saison style beer, but that's really my only quibble otherwise. Would love to try this side by side the straight saison from Dupont, as at least for me, I found them to be fairly similar. Very nice effort from the folks at FW.

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Photo of unclekeith
4.34/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bomber into a Teku - bottled 3 months ago

L: Slighted hazy golden color, small off with head
S: Orange, citrus, a bit of barn yard,
T: Follows the nose, but saison yeast add a nice additional layer
M: Medium body, carb
O: A very nice surprise, no hit of the 7.5% abv, definitely will be picking this one up again.

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Photo of Preluderl
4.34/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Full disclosure, this bottle is almost exactly one year old. Bottled 5/2/2014 and consumed on 4/30/2015.

That being said, I thought it was delicious. A lot of the hop bitterness has likely faded, but I really, really enjoyed this. If I get another bottle, I'll let it sit for the same amount of time. Really hit a sweet spot for me.

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Photo of bnes09
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bright, lemon yellow color. Exceptional clarity with just to right amount of soft, yeasty haze. Sturdy, white head with average lacing.

Aroma is fresh, yeasty, citric, hoppy and leafy. Awesome.

Fresh citric, lemon grass flavor. Mild, spicy yeast. Hint of honey. Ginger spice. Finished dry and crisp with lingering hoppy goodness.

Light to medium bodied. High level of carbonation works well. Crisp feel that dries in the end.

Great saison. Very complex but most importantly, fresh.

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Photo of delta490
4.29/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a pale gold with a big foamy white head. The head lasts throughout and leaves great soapy lacing. The aroma is great, with notes of tropical fruit esters and yeast. The taste is equally interesting, with the hops and the yeast/malt blending to provide a unique and flavorful quaff. The feel is dry and crisp and with the carbonation almost reminiscent of champagne. As mentioned before, unique and delicious.

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Opal - Proprietor's Reserve from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
3.99 out of 5 based on 1,167 ratings.
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