Violet Underground
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Violet UndergroundViolet Underground
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Wild Ale
Ranked #202
Ranked #2,528
4.28 | pDev: 5.37%
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States
Violet UndergroundViolet Underground
Notes: Collaboration with The Wild Beer Co

The Rainbow Project paired seven UK and US breweries with one of seven colors of the rainbow, creating the theme of the brew. We drew violet. What followed was left to the imaginative and creative spirt among the collaborators. Violet Underground represents a partnership between The Wild Beer Co. and Firestone Walker Brewing Co. A cuvée was born from Somerset Wild, a newly minted Golden and Sunrise Raspberry ale, and Barrelwork’s blending warhouse, Cowbell. Proprietary yeast from both sides of the Atlantic, fresh local California fruit and French candied violet petals went into the cauldron. The resulting potion is bursting with ripe fresh fruit, a hint of violet petals and anchored by a funky yeast foundation. A quenching acidity and lively carbonation rounds out the collaboration. A santé!
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Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 80 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of brentk56
brentk56 from North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a fairly clear honey color with a one finger head; squiggles and dots

Smell: A lot of oak in the aroma, with the raspberry and candied violet both coming through; very floral

Taste: Tart but candied flavors forward, with the violet pronounced and the raspberry building; very oaky and somewhat vinous, through the middle, with the finish bringing both tartness on the side of the tongue and the sweetness at the tip

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate to high carbonation; somewhat puckery

Overall: Quite impressive and distinctive

Nov 14, 2020
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Thomas_Wikman from Texas

4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: dark golden with an inch thick white head.

Aroma: raspberry, orange, lemon, perhaps violets

Flavor: tart raspberry, orange, lemon, perhaps floral notes and oak.

Body/Overall: light to medium body. It is a very good Wild ale.

Nov 04, 2020
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IKR from California

4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 02-15-2019
375 ml bottle

Appearance: Slightly straw yellow color. The beer has a generous-sized white head that slowly faded with nice good lacing. Nice looking wild ale.

Smell: Grassy/hay notes, moderate fruit notes, grapes, and mild barnyard funk notes.

Taste: Floral notes, tart berries, mild barnyard funk, and moderate citrus notes. While I wouldn't have been able to specifically point to candied violet petals as the source of the floral notes they are definitely noticeable and provide a nice contrast to the berry notes resulting in a nice level of complexity in the taste profile. The beer has a mildly dry finish.

Mouth-feel: On the light side of medium-bodied with a generous level of carbonation. The body has a nice level of heft to it for a wild ale.

Overall: A very tasty wild ale. The use of the candied violet petals provided a unique flavor profile. The beer is tasty with a unique flavor profile. Definitely worth picking up for those into sours.

Sep 28, 2020
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Beginner2 from Illinois

4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared with appetizers. Struck me as more saison-like after the first few sips.
Bought two bottles from Tavour. The second entered on UnTappd.

Because of their huge variety, I'm still unsure what the average Wild Looks like... but this one is fine; lively from the corked and caged bottle. Smells are like this potpourri from the flowers and petals and barrel and bret and almost whatever else the mind can reasonably imagine. Such diversity also comes together in the Taste as part of a mild approach for the main show of grapes and lemons leading this fruit medley. Present throughout, the tart finally pushes to prominence and finishes semi-dry. Lots of bubbles, cleansing for more appetizers. The hit of the first part of the meal.

I'm a big fan of FW and how the Duvel group lets FW create. I'd like to be a big fan of Wild Beer Company, but alas have only found three. Putting these two masters together in a collaboration has made my day. Cheers !

Aug 31, 2020
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KRug from Massachusetts

4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 2/15/19

I finally caved. My first Firestone Walker beer. I’ve heard amazing things, but the prices are always off putting. Let’s see if this was worth a $10 bottle

Pours a cloudy light orange with a finger of white head that reduces to a ring quickly

Damn that wine comes through heavy in the aroma, tons of sweet and sour grape. Not really sure what to look for in the violet petals, but there’s definitely a floral note, but I can’t tell if it’s that or the brett. Mild funk and jammy raspberries in the nose too

This one is very acidic when held in the mouth for a bit. On the front end I get tons of tart, underripe raspberry, very raw from the barrel. On the back end this comes through with more funk and grape, still quite tart, and a mild mint note, probably from the violet petals

This is light medium bodied and has moderate spritzy carbonation, which leads this to drink stupid easy. Finishes mostly dry with a wonderful tartness

Goddamn, this is incredible. Incredibly expensive, but a wonderful treat. Think I need more from these guys!

Jun 26, 2020
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REVZEB from Illinois

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

Crystal clear, somewhat effervescent, bronze pour with a faint bubble ring and surfacing. Smell lets that oak fly, with white wine, raspberry, slight plum, grape, and the bright floral and sweet candied violet rounding it off in a unique way. Perfume like. Taste is superb, really brings great depth to the oak, violet, and tart fruits, white wine accents in a rewarding fashion, yet really clean. Feel stays light, delicate with a strong tartness, vinous underpinnings, and a general wild feel from the yeasts. A really pleasant wild ale that is highly drinkable.

Apr 07, 2020
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zeff80 from Missouri

4.34/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap. Poured out a clear, golden amber color with a small, white head of foam. It smelled of of berries, caramel and sour lemon. Nice raspberry taste with some funkiness and sweet caramel.

Feb 12, 2020
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russpowell from Arkansas

4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pour an effervescent gold with a thin layer of ivory colored head. Below averag head retention & lacing

S: Berries, a little wet hay, citrus

T: Follows the nose, plenty of tartness up front. Acidic berry, some orange tartness as this warms. Finishes tart, dry with orange and raspberry

MF: Medium body, delicate carbonation, some enamel peeling stickyness

Pretty solid offering, well worth picking up if you like these types of ales

Nov 27, 2019
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Tap and Mallet in Rochester, NY.

This one pours a golden yellowish/orange color, with a small head, and not much lacing.

This one smells like floral and sweet funk, berries, white wine, citrus, oak, and herbs.

The violet petals add a cool floral/sweet dimension to the beer, giving it a unique and herbal funk. There's some berry type flavor, and a bit of citrus, and a lot of oak. I don't get a lot of specific raspberry flavor, which was to be expected given the color of the beer. There's some nice wine barrel, too.

This is light bodied, crisp, and clean, with an acidity that doesn't linger for a while on the tongue. It's very drinkable.

This is super unique, and I really enjoyed it. It all came together very well.

Nov 04, 2019
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puck1225 from Texas

4.31/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A very fragrant and tasty beer!

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Hazy golden yellow color with a nice white head and good lacing. Very pleasant floral and fruit smell and taste. Slightly sour cherries with sweet dark berries flavors. Enjoyed it this cool evening.

Nov 04, 2019
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Lucular from Maryland

4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Lures Bar & Grille. Pours a slightly cloudy straw yellow, not really pink or purplish at all. Aroma is tart and wild/brett with wheat and white wine. Taste is similar and VERY sour. I love sour beers, but the sourness takes over the beer more than I would prefer. I wish I could taste the other flavors more as this is clearly a complex brew.

Sep 27, 2019
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Claude-Irishman from New Jersey

4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque, tangerine color with a very fast receding head,notice some sediment. Smell is reminiscent of berries, mild funk, tastes like a sweet tart,( would not know a candied violet flower if it is here), apple cider vinegar,tastes vinous-Feels acidic and sharp, thin bodied but very dank/dense in taste. Overall this beer seems far out. "French candied violet petals" , extreme bitterness and sharpness. Seems like a higher ABV because of taste- Not my thing really.

Sep 16, 2019
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MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle. Label has bottled on date as '2/15/19'.
Cloudy, apricot colored body. Little bit of white head sticks around as a partial cap and ring. Leaves behind some strings and spots of lacing.
Aroma of sweet floral, un-sweet raspberries, oak, and yeast funk.
Taste is lemon tart, with the sweet floral from the petals, sourness from the unsweetened raspberries, oak from the barrel, and a slight earthy funk. The funk and the flower petals are a worthy addition.
Medium mouth feel, with lots of sparkly carbonation in the mouth.
Good planning must have gone into the concoction of this brew because it has such a flavorful balance and mouth feel. One moment it's sweet, one moment it's tart, and then the sour and funk mix in. Light effect overall, but with an abundance of flavors. Well done.

Sep 09, 2019
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

this is astoundingly good, a beer of the year candidate for me, and just an absolute treasure. not sure i have seen violet petals in a beer before, let alone candied ones, such a thing has never even occurred to me, or apparently any other brewers, but its such a cool flavor in this. pours real lively from the tap, but isnt purple, not sure why i thought it would be. i get an immediate wash of grape candy, tart lemon and under ripe raspberries, a definite rose floral thing, like potpourri, but appealing in here, and a whole lot of well developed bretty funk, very mature base beer with some wood on it, very complex, a bit tart, and plenty mouthwatering. the flavor is impossibly dynamic and unique, the the violet petals really adding a lot, its no mystery what they do in here, and its like nothing i have ever tasted in a beer before. its sweeter than i thought, obvious but delicate, with grape and elderflower notes, some blackberry and raspberry character in behind it, a slight confection sort of sweetness through it, and just brilliant set with this puckery wild beer, more funky than acidic, and very dry at the end, just amazingly complex. woody and tannic, hints of vanilla and currant, farmy and rustic too on the yeast side. it sings on the palate, effervescent carbonation and a real lightness of being. this is world class beer, as good as it gets and with the violet just so original. never had a beer quite like this. dont miss this while its around. brilliant collaboration, life changing even. i will not soon forget this, what a gem!

Aug 26, 2019
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avalon07 from South Carolina

4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Had this beer on-tap at Capital Ale House - Innsbrook, poured into a snifter glass. Had a bright, golden yellow color and a surprisingly clear consistency. There was a half inch of creamy, fairly long-lasting head. Excellent lacing.

S: A solid aroma of yeast, citrus fruit, a floral quality, wood, and berries.

T: Tasted of a good amount of the floral quality (the titular violets), some raspberry notes (quite tart), a lot of yeast (present throughout), a tinge of oak, and some citrus notes (lemon). An interesting and somewhat subtle flavor. The inclusion of the violets gives it a light and sweet quality. Pretty tasty.

F: A well-carbonated beer with a soft, smooth finish. Light-bodied.

O: A well done, easy to drink wild ale. Worth a look.

Aug 24, 2019
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 2/15/19; drank 8/17/19 @ the Yarchives.

Cloudy yellow/orange appearance.

A rough pour yielded a small bright white head; strong, frothy tree-rung lace.

Tart raspberry, apricot & faint floral notes in the nose.

Medium thin mouthfeel.

Very tart raspberry & apricot flavors up front; mild wheat notes on the finish.

Too sour for me, but flavorful. Not one I'll return to.

Aug 18, 2019
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metter98 from New York

4.14/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is hazy yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high white head that gradually died down, leaving a layer of bubbles covering the surface, a narrow collar around the edge, and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of sour raspberries are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell, having sour flavors of raspberries, notes of oak, and possibly some hints of funk. The sourness lingers into the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and very tart on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I really enjoyed the balance of flavors in the taste of this beer. It was a pleasant sour to sip and savor.

Note: Batch No. 002, Bottled 2/15/19

Serving type: bottle

Aug 16, 2019
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neurobot01 from California

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

Look: very pale orange, with a smattering of white foam.

Smell: sour and fruit.

Taste: tart, but not overwhelmingly so. Same with the sweet. Like an elixir of Smarties and SweeTarts, but a lot more complicated.

Feel: medium, creamy.

Overall: quite possibly my favorite Barrelworks beer.

Jan 30, 2016
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Beer_Line from California

4.94/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours golden in color and white head

Smells of funk and tiniest bit of raspberry

Taste: phenomenal beer. Tart funky fruity. Very well balanced.

Mouthfeel: crisp and light, good carb

Overall: a stand out at the liberation event

Nov 08, 2015
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mdagnew from Northern Ireland

4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

375ml bottle bought from Lighthouse Wines, Jordanstown

Poured a golden yellow colour with a slight haze. White head poured pretty loose and frothy then faded quickly to patchy covering with thick edging... no carbonation... some light lacing...

Aroma - Lots of lambic like sourness, bready yeast, sharp spicy fruits (light grapefruits, lemons, sour apples), musty barnyard / wet hay aromas, floral (lavender ?) notes, light vinegary notes, freshly cut wood, very light pale malts...

Taste - Lots of sour limes, lemons and grapefruits, salty, light vinegar hints, cooking apples, yeasty, faint sweet after notes, grapes, light vanilla, floral, grassy, talcum powder, some woody notes, musty, strong champagne like hints...

Feel - Very sharp and dry... light body... pretty drinkable considering the tartness...

Overall - An excellent wild ale and a fine collaboration between Wild Beer Co and Firestone... recommended...

Oct 21, 2015
Violet Underground from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 80 ratings