Opal | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
89
very good
221 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
OpalOpal
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
221
Ratings:
1,449
Avg:
3.99
pDev:
9.52%
 
 
Wants:
55
Gots:
297
For Trade:
6
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 221 | Ratings: 1,449
Photo of ARoman
3.51/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On tap, poured into a wide flute. The aroma is floral with notes of lemon, muffin, lime soda, clove, and pepper. The beer is clear and brilliant with a pale gold hue and white, light foam head that has a light retention and no lace. The taste is a medium high bitter and medium light sweet with a light sour. The thin texture is fuzzy with a medium light body and flavors of lemon with a coriander zest, some floral and herbaceous notes, a pepper zest, and some toast. The finish is pepper and lime with bread crust. It has a near burnt quality that leads to an aftertaste that’s cloying and lightly astringent with flavors of wood, spicy pepper (clove late), and muffin

 672 characters

Photo of Trombone69
4.63/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I had this a little while back. It immediately struck me with the sauvignon blanc flavors....which I LOVE. My beer drinking buddies were not familiar those flavors and were not as enthralled, although everybody loves a good saison.

A beauty.

 244 characters

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

This is a saison I could drink all day..except that's is on the stronger side. I love the additional citrus which must be from the dry hopping. Golden straw yellow. Minimal head. Less spicy than a traditional saison more hoppy..which ends up being very refreshing.

Session dry hopped saison's anyone?

 301 characters

Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottled on 11/14/14.Pours into a large tulip glass a slightly orange tinged lemon yellow with a large sticky white head atop.Tropical fruitiness stands out most in the nose with a bit of funk and phenols.A little sharpness in the mouth,slightly fizzy.Hay and light funk at the onset of the palate with some tropical fruits and yeasty phenols coming in the finish.The beer doesn't seem as big as it is,it's refreshing but the mouthfeel seems it bit off,other than that pretty darn good.

 485 characters

Photo of mick303
4.06/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From bottle into tulip. Clear crisp light gold, with good initial head and lacing.

S - aromas of spicy yeast with some pepper and coriander, creamy custard notes, banana toffee and white grapes. Florals, nice note aromas spring up with a great freshness and spring floral tones.

T - light grassy start, some nice acidic fruit notes, quite similar to sauvignon blanc notes. Pear and grape notes, rich malt flavour as well, slightly bready and crisp, rich, with some of the silky florals coming in and then it gets rich and fruity toward the finish with really pleasant drying fruity/spice. Just enough sweetness, and a creamy textured mouthfeel.

M - good effervescence, and a robust body but not overly assertive, it is very refreshing and the alcohol is not very detectable, it certainly has a satisfying nature to it.

Lovely saison, full of wonderful florals aromas, great flavour with a bright and slightly acidic palate, lots of crisp floral and fruit notes with a rustic maltiness. Very satisfying, yeast notes are well balanced.

 1,038 characters

Photo of ClavisAurea
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle dated 11/17/2014. Served at cellar temps in a tulip glass.

Appearance: pale gold with a bright and bubbly head that sank to a thin wisp of bubbles on the edges of the glass. Very clear and bright. Nice looking farmhouse ale.

Nose: Belgian candi sugar, Belgian saison yeast, bright citrus aroma with lemons, limes and a slight orange. The hops are still present even after a few months in the bottle.

Taste: citrus hops bomb! Round and full flavored, crisp and very refreshing. The Belgian yeast did its job and made this a very classic and enjoyable saison. Dry, crisp and slightly bitter finish.

Overall: outstanding farmhouse ale. The dry hopping is a great addition and makes for a very bright and wonderful beer. I found these for $6.99 with a buy one get one free offer at a local shop in Buffalo, NY. What a steal at $3,50 for a bomber of fantastic saison.

 873 characters

Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.77/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had this on tap last night at the Cloverleaf in Caldwell for the first time. While not like the other beers that I've had from Firestone Walker, this one was crafted well and true to form. It could have been a bit more spicy and cloudy but the taste was solid from start to finish and with the alcohol being recessed, this went down easier than some other examples of the style that I've had before.

Nice blonde pour to this with a radiant clarity and a soapy look to it, down to the head and the soft lacing that was left on the side of the glass this poured into. Light from front to back with a grassy undertone to everything and some lemon pepper and light spice, but this was not as complex as an Ommegang beer or anything imported from Europe. The wine taste had more to do with the dryness of the beer rather than the flavors themselves and I almost felt like I was having a wine spritzer or wine cooler when all was said and done.

Was this strong? Not to the taste and I didn't get much of a buzz when drinking this. It would have been easy to order another because of how smooth this was going down and the lack of heavy spice and funk to this. Not a lot of yeast, not a lot of heaviness, and not a lot of sourness led to an easygoing beer that would be great for someone new to this style. A great Saison/Farmhouse Ale to relax with!

 1,345 characters

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.

 334 characters

Photo of Sandalwood
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright clear yellow color with a huge five finger frothy white head. There is a ton if carbonation and good lacing. The odor citrus lemon, clean, refreshing, pear, apple, spicy, clove, grapes, white wine, slightly bread like. The taste is refreshing, wine like, spicy, clove, slightly bitter, dry on the finish.

 322 characters

Photo of ajm5108
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pretty watery mouthfeel, lots of lemony citrus and very much of the earthy yeast / hay you get from a lot of saisons. Good, but the mouthfeel was disappointing and the flavor is a mixed bag.

 191 characters

Photo of BoldRulerVT
3.79/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the 22 oz bottle into a snifter.
Pours a barely hazy medium golden straw color with one inch of frothy head.
Aromas are light but are slightly hoppy with good yeastiness present.
Taste is light, not quite as hoppy as possible, but clean and quenching.
Mouthfeel was very nice finished a touch dry.
Overall this is a quenching and slightly delicate saison. Could use more hops based on the label.

 407 characters

Photo of oldn00b
3.86/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a really nice but saison, but it's very mild or timid. I feel like the typical spice and banana flavors are there, but are incredibly subtle. This drinks more like a session beer - the carbonation is light and fizzy but goes down very smoothly.

 254 characters

Photo of MissSmisje
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

L: pretty dark lemon color with two finger head initially that does not fully dissipate. S: Saison yeast, hops, fresh cut grass and wet hay. T: Saison yeast, grass, wet hay, watermelon rind, hard to place citrus - Komquot maybe? Malt and hops in the finish. F: light and effervescent.

 287 characters

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!

 296 characters

Photo of ElJacobian
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

The head dissipates very quickly and the color is almost as light asa macro lager. The smell is overpowered by white wine in my opinion. If I was a fan of white wine I think I'd like this beer a lot more. There is definitely a yeasty smell and taste, but the beer is pretty thin compared to what I'm used to from Firestone Walker. The best part about this beer is definitely the feel- very light, smooth and refreshing; almost effervescent. Overall, though, I'd go with a different Firestone Walker selection if given the choice.

 529 characters

Photo of JAFoley
3.84/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - White bubbly head over crystal clear pale blonde body. not the best retention or any lacing.

S - tangy citrus fruits and caramel

T - like the aroma, nice tiny citrus fruits with yeasty dough and bananas.

M - medium light body with moderate carbonation. Slick and very drinkable.

O - this was great nice and fresh and clean.

 332 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bot. 6/14/14. Consumed 2/27/15.

A: An explosive dense shower of effervesce within a pale, straw colored body that had a pristine clarity. A gentle 45 degree pour into a spiegelau ipa glass produced a monstrous cornsilk white head that consumed the vast majority of the vessel. A patient wait allowed the head to tamper off leaving sloppy patches of foam lace of good coverage on the vessel. Large cavenous soapy pockets along the glass walls while the carbonation maintains its constant rampage long after the pour. A finishing pour into the vessel yields some cloudy, yeasty nutrients.

S: Tart lemon and lightly musky barn scents, hard to get much attention beneath the monster head. Cobwebs, dried honey suckle, and warm pineapple slice.

T: Flavor was dried honey malt and wheat, honey suckle, and lemon grind. Sweet, musky fruit, soft barnwood tones, with hints of applesauce and cinnamon. Spicy belgian hops, grapes, sweet malt sugars, lightly dry tangerine, and peppery straw finish. Musky barnyard fade.

M: Razor sharp tongue dancing carbonation, nice milky malt texture and depth per style.

O: Overall great color, feverish sharp pitch of effervesce that provides crispness, monstrous lasting head with a very good flavor and a 7.5% abv that feels/drinks sessionable. Great drinkability factor, even when consumed 8 months past bottling date this is still as fresh and sharp as ever.

 1,401 characters

Photo of T100Mark
4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 22 ounce bomber poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance - Looks like hazy apple cider. Moderate head that disappears quickly. Minimal lacing.

Smell - Lemon scent. Grassy.

Taste - Mild lemon flavor. Grassy. Peppercorn. Belgian sour yeast finish.

Mouth - Zesty. Good carbonation.

Overall - Imagine a pale ale with a moderate hop hit and a nice Belgian sour kick. Very tasty. This beer is very chugable but buyer beware (7.5% abv).

 442 characters

Photo of salcedo
4.21/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass.
L: Pale yellow. Slightly cloudy. When first poured I had two inches of white, merengue like head. It dissipated fairly quickly, and I poured more to fill the glass.
S: Strong smell of lemons. This actually smells like several of the light ales I've made recently.
T: Crisp with a sweet lemonade flavor.
Very refreshing. Aftertaste is a nice toasty cereal flavor.
F: Body is on the thin side of medium.
Highly carbonated which enhances the crispness.
O: This is a thirst quenching a beer that you could drink by the pool or on the porch on a hot summer day.

 600 characters

Photo of stephens101
4.34/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Growler fill from Craft & Growler Dallas.

An aggressive white froth climbs quickly out of this clear, yellow brew. A vent of bubbles streaks from the bottom of the glass. Has an expansive light fruit (pear, orange, grapefruit), peppery spice and brett must aroma. Tastes of grain and more light fruit goodness (pear, pineapple and orange). Has some funk in the middle with a touch of spice. Light and airy and barely there plus flavorful and unique makes for satisfaction on all fronts.

 494 characters

Photo of elNopalero
4.24/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This pours a straw-gold in color with a billowy cap of foam. There’s a light aroma of wet hay and a floral note. It's crisp with some wet hay and a floral note in the finish, at once pleasantly floral and lightly, delightfully funky, with a medicinal finish. I’ve tried it fresh (within a week of bottling) and ‘aged’ (six month bottle—not intentionally), and enjoyed it both times.

 392 characters

Photo of breadwinner
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Man, this is an interesting spin on a saison, and I find the brewer's description right on -- similarities to white wine notes, spicy dry hop notes, and a palatable bitterness. Way different than your standard Hennepin or something like that. It kinda grew on me the more I drank it, and I find myself craving it sometimes. You've gotta be in the mood for a saison like this, as it's kind of a niche take on the style, but I think it works well overall.

 453 characters

Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy yellow body with minimal head and almost no lace. Aroma is mostly dry, piney hops with some funky aspects and a little bit of woodiness. Beer is light, some dry hops add citric notes and crispness and there is some tropical fruit like sweetness as well. There is some oaky woodiness for smoothness and yeast adds to this smoothness, and everything balances with a touch of funkiness for that touch of sour punch. Smoother, hoppier saison than is norm but this is a must try.

 494 characters

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

Look: Pours a pale straw color with a short white head

Smell: Hay, lemon, orange peel, light malt, and hops

Taste: Citrusy, farmhouse funk, light malts, hops, pepper

Mouthfeel: Light body, full carbonation, slightly dry finish

Overall: A good effort at an American Saison, but not a home run for me. Would gladly get again, but it isn't something I will seek out.

 368 characters

Photo of daBoLTman
3.49/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Medium straw hazy color. Smells of grass, with papaya tropical fruit flavors. Tasted bitter up front, with fruit flavors coming through, finishing up with the hop body, and light carbonation to feel like it cleanses your mouth for the next sip.

 244 characters

Opal from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
3.99 out of 5 based on 1,449 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.

    Subscribe