Opal | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

very good
222 Reviews
no score
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Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Bringing down the Farmhouse! 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 TheEremite on 06-29-2008

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Reviews: 222 | Ratings: 1,456
Photo of Viaduck
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A lovely amber color, clear as day with a constant steam of tiny bubbles rising to a modest white head. Aromas of grain, spices & yeast. Salt & pepper up front, some fruitiness but not sweet, slightly spicy, with a bitter & grain finish. Spiced & carbonation make for nice mouthfeel. Very good farmhouse ale.

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Photo of atr2605
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-pours a slightly hazy yellow straw color with a white foamy head with good retention
S-lemon, grassy, floral, spicy, honey
T-grassy, herbal, cracked peppercorn, nice malt balance
M-medium-light bodied with above average carbonation
O-nice interpretation of the style, bright flavors and excellent balance

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Photo of avalon07
4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a bright yellow color and a somewhat cloudy texture. There was an inch of foamy head that lasted an average amount of time. Pretty good lacing.

S: A solid aroma of light fruit, citrus, Belgian-style yeast, spices and a malty quality.

T: Tasted of a fair amount of Belgian yeast (less than other saisons), a good amount of citrus (lemon, in particular), some nice vinous tones, a bit of pepper and other spices, and a bit of the typical barnyard saison funk. A slightly different take on a saison flavor that seems to work. Light and interesting.

S: A good amount of carbonation with a slightly slick finish. Light- to medium-bodied.

O: Opal is a somewhat unusual take on the saison style, but it manages to satisfy. Drinkable.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden yellow pour, average amount of haze to it, good 3/4" white head, although it dissipates. Good bready, farmhouse humid hay aroma going on.

Taste, some lemon, wheat, that farmhouse humidity again, high carbonation. Way more than average amount of citrus stuff going on here, and it doesn't appear to be hop derived because this doesn't taste hoppy. Similar to Goose Island's Sofie. Mild pepper presence boosted by the carbonation levels. A good summer beer around the pool.

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Photo of sjdevel
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks great. Pale gold in color. 2 finger head. Not the best retention. Foam ring remains. Smells spicy and very hoppy. Not much on the floral hops, but more of the pine side...like a heavy citra laden beer. Some Belgan yeast. Tastes a bit grassy like youd expect from a Saison at first, then it jumps into more of a Belgian IPA style beer. A bit citrusy. Not much in the bitter side, but exlposive hop flavor. Medium mouthfeel and it stays a bit fizzy. Overall it is a good beer, but not enough in the Saison category for me. Still gave it straight 4s.

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Photo of leaddog
3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a warm apricot/gold with three fingers of foamy white head. Quite effervescent.

Smell - Belgian yeast, spicy hops, bready malts, lemon, orange, coriander, black pepper.

Taste - Surprisingly on the malty scale of flavours, followed along by the spicy hops. Yeast/fruity ester flavours are present, just not as much as I would expect.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate-to-high carbonation. Finishes dry with a lingering light bitterness.

Overall - A saison that utilizes the dry-hopping technique very well. I was expecting the traditional saison yeast flavours to play more of a role, as I found the upfront malt flavour a little surprising, but the hop flavour was spot on.

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Photo of jrsqc7
3.69/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Beautiful golden colour with moderate head leaving

Tastes wonderful. Lightly bitter from the hops with yeast flavor with light maltiness. Refreshing. Feels surprisingly light for the alcohol content.

Quite good.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a light golden amber with a half finger white head with good retention and light lacing. Aroma of grainy malt, lemon, saison yeast. Flavor follows, with smooth grainy malt, saison yeast, light brett, lemon citrus, light pepper, light grass hops. Medium bodied with light creaminess. Covers all the bases for a pleasant, mellow saison. A bit smooth and easy for a farmhouse style ale, but makes up for lack of rusticness with a nice integration of malt with light funk and citrus. Very easy to drink and ABV well covered. I'd go elsewhere for a truly traditional saison, but this tasted great.

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Photo of EnzymaticHops
3.65/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Deep straw yellow with a quickly dissipating head. Lovely aromas with esters then hops. One of the hoppiest saisons I have tasted. The hops kind of knock out the saison yeast. A tasty brew but a bit unbalanced for a proper saison. Nonetheless, it appeals to the hophead in me.

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Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle - again, I like the home winemaking seal, with the easy-rip opener - it beats the hell out of those impenetrable wax dealios.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, yet bright medium golden yellow colour, with a near-teeming tower of puffy, rocky, and chunky bone-white head, which leaves some randomly splattered snow rime lace around the glass as it lazily recedes - hello, gorgeous!

It smells of edgy and spicy yeast, musky florals, gritty and grainy wheat malt, some citrus, dried apple, and pear fruitiness, white pepper and clove, a free-range, if well-understated sugar syrup thing, and some tame leafy, weedy, and hay-like hoppiness. The taste is bready and crackery pale malt, an equal to the task zingy wheatiness, softened Belgian yeast, muddled earthy spice, some lemon/lime and pome fruitiness, ethereal notes of funk, more sassy leafy, floral, and grassy hop bitters, and a wee sense of metallic alcohol.

The carbonation is quite active in its probing and poking frothiness, the body a solid middleweight, and mostly smooth, as the yeast provides a small challenge to the success of that particular metric here. It finishes off-dry, but not by much, as the mixed malt sheds any sugary predilections it may have been holding onto.

Overall, this is one well-rendered version of the style, with the late addition of (presumably) West Coast hops adding a nice bittering and flavourful offset to the spice and yeast esters. Easy and enjoyable to drink, even with the generally undetectable booze and sort of aggressive bubbles. Good, good stuff.

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Photo of HattedClassic
3.91/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The beer pours a nice white foamy head that dissipates slightly and enough of the foam stays for quite a while. The beer itself is decent looking and borders on good. The beer is a clear pale gold that borders on medium. There are better looking saisons but it does the job.

The smell is good. It has as pretty nice rustic smell that well complemented by the hop notes. The beer has a nice lemon note with a light orange note. There is also a slight grain note as well.

The taste is good. The taste has a nice light tart note through the entire thing. The other notes consist of a nice lemon rind and orange note with a nice rustic spice note complementing it. The yeast also gives a nice spice to it.

The feel is decent. It's light bodied but it borders on medium, which detracts a little bit from the experience. The beer has some light carbonation that gives it a nice refreshing feel

Overall, a decent saison with some good notes.. It isn't the greatest but it's still fairly good and worth it. Go for it.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.24/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle copped at Bonds Tavern. An excellent American rendition of a true Belgian Saison. This was easily drinkable. Notes of straw, coriander, and lemons really come through on this one. Sweet finish with clove-like presence.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

This is a wild looking brew. Crazy neon bright glowing banana yellow with exceptional clarity. Real classic roaring column of middle carbonation in the glass, reaching to a nice creamy two finger head. Settles to half a finger with little lacing, but tremendous staying power. Great looking brew.

Clean sensing Belgian sweetness of sugars, almost gets into a taffy like smell on the nose. Slightly floral, and muted funk notes. Quite nice but seems to hint more to classic pale ale than farmhouse.

Once again a real nice clean palate. Mild sensing sugar, but the brew goes for mild estery floral and a good deal of garden and herb softness and earthy qualities. Soft peppery sage notes, almost minty as well. Lots of sensing like green herbs, thyme, sage, marjoram… and an almost honey like mouthfeel particularly on the finish. Interesting bitterness that creeps out of nowhere after awhile, particularly touchy on the middle of the tongue, and with an almost novocaine sensation.

Interesting take on a saison. Decent brew.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a yellow color with 2 fingers of fluffy head that sticks around for a great while. Leaves some good lacing

S: Spicy yeast and some fruity phenolics up front, along with some wheat and graininess. Hops throw in a bit more spiciness and light citrus

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with Belgian yeast notes of fruit and spice, and then goes into some wheat and grainy malt notes. Grainy notes really take ahold mid-palate, followed by some spicy and very lightly citrusy hops. Finishes with more yeast notes

M: Medium bodied with fine carbonation

O: A solid farmhouse ale with a nice dry-hop addition that doesn't overwhelm the base. Very easy to drink and hides it's abv fantastically well

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Photo of q33jeff
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

CJ beer festival. Very bubbly. Sweet. Nice. Earthy, but light. Notes of ester, hops.
Bottle to pint glass. ratings from Festival are spot on, I'll just up the "look" from 2.5 to a 3.0. No reason to suggest it is below average with a nice big white frothy head and bright yellow color.
TASTE: has a bit of a lemon mixed in with the ester, touch of yeast.

It all goes down very smoothly as I made this 22oz disappear watching my kids swimming in the pool. A top notch Saison.

Firestone Walker is becoming a favorite (and I still haven't yet opened any of my Parabolas).

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Photo of the_awesometeer
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer is hazy straw yellow, with a thick white, soap-like head. The head does fizz down but continues to lace the glass. At first I got a whiff of mild hops but it was quickly followed by the citrus scents of orange and lemon. It had almost a sour smell to it as well. The beer tasted similar to the nose but with a stronger taste a wheat/grass flavor in it. I wish I got more of the sour and citrus flavors but oh well. Very drinkable beer, short flavor nice carbonation. Overall a great beer.

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Photo of drpimento
4.73/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Now here is where they took a traditional beer, kept the significant parts of it and improved on some others. An amazing combination of old and new. There are the old yeasty, slightly tart, pungent flavors and aromas that are upgraded with the hops that have not degraded in the least. Splendid! Incredibly drinkable. Wish I could get lots more.

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Photo of dd43
4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is a great beer, and is one of the better American saisons that I've had. I love Firestone Walker hopping it up as only they can: with assertive grace. Pours with an attractive two finger head with decent retention, medium to small bubbles. Lacing in spotty patches all around the glass. Really nice yeast aroma, some phenolic spice notes in there. Light citrus greets the nostrils, with the grassy malts arriving later in the swallow. There is a white grape note as well, almost like grape must. White pepper flourish in the finish, which is appropriately dry and thirst quenching as dictated by the style. Really easy to put back, a four pack of this is well worth your hard earned dollars.

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Photo of lic217
4.16/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: Pale yellow, slightly hazy, long lasting head
Aroma: Citrus, peppery, and bready
Taste: Same as aroma
Feel: prickly carbonation
Overall: a nicely made beer that would be quite enjoyable with many foods.

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Photo of SmashAdams
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pale yellow in color. The smell is slightly yeasty and earthy wih a touch of white wine. The taste is clean and smooth with slight yeast and a tart white wine aftertaste. Very refreshing and drinkable. nb

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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 Tone
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, gold color. 3/2 inch head of a white color. Great retention and decent lacing. Smells of yeast, slight bacterial funk, slight wheat, slight sweet malt, strong citrus, slight floral hops, and pale malt. Fits the style of a Saison / Farmhouse Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong citrus hops, bacterial funk, floral hops, slight alcohol, slight pale malt, hint of wheat, hint of earthiness, and hint of sweet malt. Overall, good aroma, body, and blend.

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Photo of cmurkar
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cloudy straw yellow with a thin white head. Good retention. Smell is fresh citrus, a mix of orange and lemon, with apple and yeast present as well. Taste is a refreshing sweet orange with an earthy, bitter finish. Light mouth feel, with a spicy lingering on the tongue. Absolutely delicious saison.

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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 joe16siny
2.26/5  rDev -43.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22 oz bomber bottled on 6/6/14 purchased 3/31/16. Like an ass i didn't check the date. Color was a very pale yellow. There was a touch of lemon, some yeast and it poured with a lot of foam. Will remember to CHECK DATES and seek out a fresh one.

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Opal from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
3.99 out of 5 based on 1,456 ratings.
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