Opal | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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1,463 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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,463 |  Reviews: 227
Photo of jrsqc7
3.69/5  rDev -6.3%
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 leprechaunandfatman
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of StanleysCup
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Nmgreen
3.66/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.99/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

 632 characters

Photo of EnzymaticHops
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

 276 characters

Photo of OtisCampbell007
4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Lance_Hathorn
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

 1,568 characters

Photo of JCummings
4.68/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Tivlavrie
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of a77cj7
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of DoubleMalt
4.04/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mrcraft
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of TheHopsman
4.04/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of HattedClassic
3.91/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

 1,014 characters

Photo of EdwardAbbey
4.19/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of dsa7783
4.24/5  rDev +7.6%
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 Rammed96
3.49/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of geodonnokepyo
3.86/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of imbibehour
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

 1,084 characters

Photo of Stillyman11
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

3.27/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of gshak
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of reizorc
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opal from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 1,463 ratings