Opal | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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1,465 Ratings

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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Ratings: 1,465 |  Reviews: 228
Photo of detrockcitey
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of wolf_switzer
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of chanokokoro
4.59/5  rDev +16.5%
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 aquazr1
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of WillCarrera
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of Samuel906
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very bright, light, transparent yellow. Vibrant color, with a very, very thin white head that quickly dissipates. Some malts, lemon zest, and pineapple on the nose, but it is fairly subtle. Taste is similar with lots of citrus, yeast, banana, and chardonnay grapes with a touch of black pepper spice. Some mild hoppy bitterness at the tail. Mildly sweet and tart. No booze whatsoever. Feel is fairly light with moderate carbonation, crisp and refreshing. Overall, not one of the more complex saisons I've had, but a smooth, and light mix of all the right notes. Great intro beer for someone looking to get into saisons.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.56/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap for the Feral One release party at Firestone Walker Barrelworks in Buellton, CA.

Pours a clear light yellow with a foamy bone head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, yeast, spice, and fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with grain, yeast, and spice flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a fairly mild set of aromas and flavors.

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Photo of Lordsloth
5/5  rDev +26.9%

Photo of bifrostguard
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Note: I was told this is 13% on tap

A - A golden color, cloudy with a moderate off white head and minimal lacing.

S - Sugar, candied fruit, butterscotch, apricots, anything sweet.

T - Butterscotch was the best description I heard for this. Super sweet and wheat laced.

M - Thick and sticky.

D - I'm glad this has got a high ABV cause I'm not sure how many of these I could take. I can taste why they used this to blend in the 12. However, not as good standing alone.

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Photo of abfraser
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Toronado's FW12 event on 11/12. Had another glass on 11/13 at City Beer Store's release

A: Nice hazy, reddish copper color. Poured with a nice white head

S: Awesome. Coconut and candi sugar. Toffee.

T/M: Same as the smell but even more intense. Coconut and sugary toffee dominate and are excellently balanced. A little viscous, full-bodied. Great stuff.

D: Super high abv makes what would otherwise be a beer I would love to drink a lot of not so possible.

This was up there with the FW 10 and 12. Consider them the pour man's version. This is just awesome.

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Photo of waltonc
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Toronado last night. This was right up there with Firestone Ten and Twelve for me. Really nice looking beer - hazy, bright, golden color with white head. The first thing that jumps out at me on tasting is toasted coconut. Also toffee. Overall, a very sweet beer, so hop lovers will likely be disappointed. With such high ABV and having this after a few rounds of Ten and Twelve, I wasn't able to finish my glass. But I loved this one.

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Photo of space
4.62/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this was my first wheatwine so i have nothing to compare it to...but of all the firestone beers i have tried this would have to be my favorite. you will definitely noticed the strong presence of toffee in the smell and taste, very yummy stuff i definitely recommend this one. its pretty obvious why they used this stuff in the blending of beers to make the 12th.

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Photo of Floydster
4.52/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

6 ounce serving served in a huge wine glass for $7.50 at the Linkery in San Diego, I was told this was actually 14% ABV but that might vary by batch, reviewed from notes

A-Golden orange color with amber tint, big one inch creamy white head that lasted a long time, great retention, some lacing
S-Booze, cream, plums, cloves, bananas, blackberries, sweet malts, prunes, caramel, light citrus, wheat, toffee, oak, vanilla, cocoa, and numerous spices
T-Starts off with a big fruit character that is mostly dark, some caramel and toffee along with other sweet malty characteristics in the middle, finish is slightly boozy with some spice and more fruit, as it warms a little milk chocolate is present along with more variety of fruits, wheat causes some chewiness at times, this tastes very similar to a barleywine but with a much bigger fruit character, more grapes and berries and the wheat gives it some nice spice and a fuller mouthfeel, very enjoyable
M-Sweet, spicy, boozy, and fruity mouthfeel, medium to full bodied, nice level of carbonation that prevented this from being too thick, taste lingers a long time
D-Could have drank a few more servings of this size, alcohol is hidden pretty well for how strong it is, smooth and inviting, relatively light on the stomach, ABV is high though

I will start off by saying that I have never had a better wheat wine, hopefully we will see this beer as one of the major components in one of their anniversary blends in the future, stuff was flat out good and I wish I could have had more, cannot wait to drink again, highly recommended

 1,582 characters

Photo of Viggo
4.4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Firestone brewery pub, served in a snifter. They were calling this one Big Opal, assuming its the same, just differentiating because of the Lil' Opal they brewed. This one was listed at 13%.

Pours a hazy golden orange, big and bubbly white head, drops a ton of lacing, great retention, looks pretty damn nice. Smell is insane, tons of toffee, sweet malt, oak, vanilla, some apricot, floral, light fruits, kind of flowery, rich biscuity malt, wheat, toast, a bit buttery. Taste is great too, huge buttery toffee/caramel maltiness, alcohol, oak, vanilla, biscuits, some light fruits, melon, floral, honey, nice balanced finish. To sum this up on flavour so you can relate, it kind of tastes like waffles with butter and corn syrup, very good stuff. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with medium carbonation, some warmth going down but the alcohol is well hidden. Firestone hits another grand slam, this stuff is great.

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Photo of TheEremite
4.54/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What a great beer. It pours a bit cloudy but that's about the only negative with this beer. I don't know if it was barrel aged or not but it has a big vanilla and caramel nose. It tastes of honey sweetness and it mantains a crispness uncommon in beers this large. It remindes me of an english barleywine but it finishes dry and extremely drinkable. I highly recommend this beer and sincerely hope firestone adds it to the seasonals lineup.

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Opal from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 1,465 ratings