Leo V. Ursus: Inferos
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Rye Beer
4.14 | pDev: 6.04%
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: Imperial Rye IPA.
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Reviews: 75 | Ratings: 228 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of tone77
tone77 from Pennsylvania

3.72/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A thanks to the commander of the canquest, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from a 16 oz, can. Has a hazy bronze color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of citrus, rye. Taste is of pepper, sharp rye, light fruits, a touch of alcohol. Feels medium/full bodied in the mouth and overall is an enjoyable beer.

Jan 13, 2020
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elNopalero from Texas

4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This pours a glowing auburn brown, with a fantastic cap of foam. Big aroma, with lots of bready rye spice and earthy hops. DIPA in strength but drinkable like an IPA. Delicious. Fantastically so.

Feb 02, 2019
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MaltsOfGlory from Oregon

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

16oz can

Pours just over a finger of off white head into my tulip. Somewhat pillowy, looks ok, though I can hear it slowly fizzing. The body is a deep red, almost brown. Visibility is extremely low. Pretty interesting color, overall it looks fine so far.

The nose is quite nice. Hops are somewhat piney and forest like, but they also have a jam-like fruitiness as well, pretty different aromas colliding, it's impressive. Perhaps a tiny bit of spicy rye, but it's not very noticeable. The malt aromas are certainly on the sweeter side, but not over the top. Somewhat of a rich sweetness on the nose, but like the hops - it works. Overall this isn't a huge nose, but it's pretty complex, and it smells good.

The flavor is very similar to the smell, only more pronounced, which is definitely a good thing. The hops are pretty assertive, and definitely bring some piney flavors. The malts are rich, but extremely smooth, and not too sweet. Jam-like fruits are just barely there, not much of an impact on taste from that initial smell, but that's ok. Not a lot of rye either, it's more of a hop twang I get, not a rye one. Still, this is a great beer. While the flavor is not as complex as the nose was, it's extremely well balanced, and flavorful.

The mouthfeel is very nice here. The sugars don't linger, stick, or dry out your mouth. While the hops are assertive, they do not linger. The carbonation is on the higher end, and the body is pretty hearty. A very very nice mouthfeel.

The drinkability is very high. It's balanced perfectly, and it goes down without any hesitation or burn. Not too shabby for 8.2 percent.

Overall this is just a great beer. For having such full flavors, and a sturdy body on it, it remains refreshing and sprite on the tongue. I could go on and on, this is a superb beer.

The appearance turned out mediocre. The lacing was only really evident around the top of the glass. The body was unique though. And the head, while having shotty retention, was fine. Overall it looked ok. This wont affect the rating much, or at all, the beer was very good overall.

Oct 29, 2018
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siskiyoucellar from Oregon

4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Another fine IPA as the summer wanes, another excellent offering from FW - these guys never disappoint me. I usually think of rye IPAs as cold weather versions of the style, a little heavier than I prefer in the summer, but this one breaks that rule. It does have some serious backbone and spice from the rye, but the hop profile puts it solidly into the fresh and juicy end of things. Deep dried apricot color, a touch hazy. The aroma is impressively rich and nicely advertises the rye tones that flower fully in the taste. It hits every note a rye IPA should have, particularly the spicy, peppery notes that I so enjoy and then the hops shift it into that wonderful bitter mango and citrus territory that suits summer so well. Feel is solid with rich fuzzy carbonation and a touch of viscosity that is appropriate for a DIPA (so this really a DRIPA!). Well done again, bear and lion!

Aug 30, 2018
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love that The CANQuest (tm) is making headway & eradicating the backlog! Each day, I bring forth new CANs to be sacrificed at the Altar of Aluminum Cylinders & the godess is CANtented with my efforts so that I may slumber in peace, rather than pieces.

From the CAN: "Leo v. Ursus Chronology: Inferos Imerial Rye India Pale Ale"; "Beer Before Glory"; Art by: "Todd Francis".

I beCAN by Crack!ing open the vent & CANmencing a slow, gentle Glug. I don't know about you, but when CANfronted by both a lion & a bear, both rampant with their maws open, I tread VERY lightly! Shhh. The liquid inside did not show the same ferocity & formed a finger's cap of dense, foamy, rocky. light-tan head with great retention, simply refusing to abate. Color was Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had the beautiful peppery spiciness of rye & I was sent. This is a Rye Beer! It was heavenly, with a peppery spiciness and a cool mintiness that could not be mistaken. I am hereby reviewing it as a rye & submitting a Change Request. Mouthfeel was dense, thick, full & creamy! OMFG. I was not expecting that. The taste was so well executed that I wanted to cry.

In late-1990, we became the first ship to be homeported in NYC (Staten Island) since WWII at the long-defunct Brooklyn Naval Shipyard. I was a Storekeeper (repair parts supply as opposed to retail sales) & as such, I was one of the few allowed off of the ship. There was a bodega just outside the gate from the Supply Shed & I would routinely score CANtraband like newspapers, favorite CANdies, particular brands of pop, anything that my shipmates wanted, plus stogies for me & fresh rye loaves for the cooks. That rye bread was what nearly got me busted as I would secret everything in a pallet to be craned onboard & offloaded. The XO happened to be downwind as the crane swung & immediately ordered me aboard for an impromptu XOI! 8=( Fortunately, between the BM crane signalers, my SKs, the SHs and some looky-loos, the entire pallet was offloaded while the XO chewed a royal chunk outta my already-thin ass. Man, did I chow good that night! I was the ship's hero, but we became a tad more discreet after that one.

Okay, if a beer CAN jog that kind of memory, how CAN it go wrong? By being misidentified as an AIPA! Oops. Either someone else beat me to it or it is like Emily Litella: "Never mind!" It was so clearly a Rye Beer as to make me weep. I long eschewed hard liquor until the return of Rye Whisky. One sip was all that it took. Peppery, minty, spicy, bready: all apply to both the liquor & this beer. Pennsylvania's Whiskey Rebellion was fought over Rye Whiskey & so it speaks to me on a(n) historical level. I would bet that if they distilled this recipe, it could rival Anchor Old Potrero! This was so good & such a surprise that I CANnot wait to share the news.

All "5"s? Well, it has to be rare & it has to meet all aspects of the style. It looked liked the shade of an old flame's hair with bright clarity. It was instantly identifiable as Rye from the nose. The taste evoked a distant memory, The mouthfeel was unexpectedly pleasurable. There was nothing wrong with it, overall, except that at 8.2% ABV, it would lay me out pretty quickly in quantity. Wanna try a Rye Beer? Put this in yer maw & get back to me.

F**k! I'm hype to go toe-to-toe with the lion & the bear with me as the monkey inna middle.

Jul 19, 2018
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avalon07 from South Carolina

4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Poured from a tallboy can to a pint glass. Had a deep, dark amber color and a thick, cloudy consistency. There was a half inch of foamy, off white, long-lasting head. Excellent lacing.

S: A very nice aroma of rye, hops, malt, pine, and citrus.

T: Tasted of a mild amount of pine resin, some malt (present throughout), lots of rye (not too much), a bit of hops, citrus fruit (orange), spices (pepper), and tropical fruit (pineapple). A very solid, focused flavor. The addition of citrus and tropical fruits makes for an interesting combination with the rye. Subtle and tasty.

F: A well-carbonated beer with a vibrant finish. Medium-bodied.

O: A well-made, easy to drink rye. Definitely worth checking out.

Jun 19, 2018
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VelvetExtract from Massachusetts

3.52/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap. Wasn't a big fan of this one. I usually really enjoy Firestone Walker's brews. The rye was really prominent. A little too hot. Didn't love the hop medley either. Unfortunately I was a little let down.

Mar 30, 2018
Photo of stortore
stortore from Illinois

4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

16 ounce can into a tulip snifter. Canned 9/11/17, had 12/11/17.

Pours a fairly hazy medium amber, with a one and a half inch foamy head and lots of creamy lacing. Aromas of grapefruit, pineapple, rye, caramel, some mango, light orange, light malt, a little pine as it warms. The taste leads with the rye, then grapefruit, malt, pineapple, caramel, a little pine. A good amount of bitterness throughout, especially on the finish. Smooth, well carbonated, a good medium body, but oddly felt a touch watery and thin on some swallows.

Really good, the strong citrus hops and just as strong rye are a winning combination.

Mar 22, 2018
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Gobearswalter34 from Illinois

4.48/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a wonderful, hazy burnt orange with a big, foamy, off-white head that dissipates fairly quickly leaving big lace.
Awesome smell of big, dank citrus hop with lots of malt. Spice, pine and spiced wood.
Wonderful dank, juicy citrus mangoe, and melon along with pine resin. The massive malt kicks in with the finish of a big rye bite. Lots of resin hangs around well after gone. Little tobacco. Awesome taste.
Medium to full body that enjoys slapping your toung and mouth around with big bitterness that is assisted by the malt.
I need more Rye IPA's. Might be the best I have had!

Mar 20, 2018
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puboflyons from New Hampshire

3.99/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the 16 oz can dated 10/13/17. Sampled on March 10, 2018 so nearly six months old.

The appearance is nice with a bronze-amber color and a large, lingering cream colored head. Lacing.

The aroma emits sensations of tobacco, herbs, pine, and rye grain. The hops have faded some but I still get an inkling.

The body fell into the upper medium range but the texture was smooth.

I pick up more tobacco and herbal notes in the flavor with a sweet, grainy characteristic and a mildly bitter finale.

Mar 10, 2018
Photo of Zorro
Zorro from California

4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chill hazed copper colored ale with a massive tan colored head. Pour slow to not overflow your glass.

Intensely aromatic, getting cedar and rye from a distance of several feet before even trying to sniff. Smells intensely of rye and cedar board. Other scents of pine needles and that spicy sour scent rye has.

Starts out mildly sweet with a strong wood and rye flavor. Tastes woody with that Spicy Rye twang. Strong funky hops is mostly what I get from this beer. Strong not very subtle. INTENSE sums up the flavor in one word.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall a super strong rye ale. NOT lightly flavored in the slightest.

Feb 17, 2018
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sokol_1993 from California

4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Look: blood orange like, with ample head and lacing that last around forever. Very lively.
Smell: the traditional IPA smell: hoppy, piney, earthy.
Taste: The huge hoppiness comes at the beginning. Very piney and earthy. Yet, the sweetness comes afterward. Biscuity, malty. Bright citrusy fruits too. Also, some herbalness, which I had expected to be stronger.
Feel: Full body. Actually not that dry: a massive malt back ensures the sweetness! A little bit boozy at the end. The best thing about the feel is that the residual taste on your tastebud is that of orange peel: a bit zesty, tingling, bitter, yet sour and fruity. It keeps playing with your mouth!

Just an excellent brew. Firestone Walker keeps amaze me with each additional offering with Leo v. Ursus! I look forward to the newest member of the family Wookus!

Feb 07, 2018
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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4.19/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Firestone Walker Brewing Co. "Leo V. Ursus: Inferos
1 Pint can, "CANNED ON 10/13/17 10:03"
$4.49 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Notes via stream of consciousness: Well these guys have me totally lost on the names now. Inferos? I never even took Latin in school, it was no longer a requirement the year that I started, but maybe I should have taken it as an elective as it was supposedly an easy course. Meh, I took Spanish instead and that was easy enough. Anyway... it's got a great head on it, foamy, not big bubbled but big enough - also small enough - and off-white. It seems to be holding "forever" and where it has dropped there's a solid wall of lacing. The body beneath is a hazy deep-amber/copper. In the nose it's malty with a mild bit of medium caramel, a light spiciness, and some mild citrusy and softly piney hops. For some reason I thought it would be hoppier but that's OK, this is a rye beer and sometimes rye and hops can get too mixed up and spicy. Let's see how the flavor is... nice, lightly sweetish but also lightly spicy with rye, and thinned by a light thread of soft citrus. What is it? I'm not sure, I'm guessing orange. It's not like grapefruit. Maybe it's just "generic" citrus, although it's certainly not lemony. There are some very nice thick rings of lace left behind on the glass marking where each sip I took was. Nice. Back to the flavor, it's not that bitter, at least not for an "Imperial Rye India Pale Ale" of 8.2% ABV. It's nicely balanced though, and mostly dry in the finish with just a little bit of residual malt lingering. Firestone Walker is really good at bringing out the best of their malts, not unlike Anderson Valley, and both of those breweries have a distinct characteristic in that. And I'm glad they didn't overdo the hops here, that would have been too much with the rye, or it would have overshadowed the rye. This is very balanced and rounded as it is - nothing sticks out too much further than anything else. As to mouthfeel, I'd call it medium bodied although it does have a bit of a dextrinous character to it. Still, it's medium bodied. And gently crisp - another good call by the brewers as too much carbonation, well really the carbonic bite, adds to the spiciness of the rye, and this is nice and smooth. I wasn't sure what to think of this before trying it, as in terms of how it would fit in with the other beers in the series, but it's a nice change, and really well done. So who's beer is this? Leo or ursus? Tough call. It's very English in a way because it's balanced and smooth, but at the same time it's a little aggressive and somewhat different, and very Californian in that way. So what have I missed? Look, nope. Smell? Nope. Taste, nope, but maybe I could have gone a little deeper - or not, it's not really that complex. I could have noted that there's a little bit of tastiness to it, and caramel, or did I already say that? And there's also some low level yeasty fruitiness. Overall, very clean; more about the malts and hops than it is about yeast and fermentation. Feel, yep, I covered that. So I guess it's down to my opinion of how it stacks up overall. Well I like it a lot, and it's got me excited for their next release, Wookus, which is a darker but less strong rye IPA. I'll still enjoy this though. Superb.

Jan 27, 2018
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hreb from Washington

3.99/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Leo V. Ursus chronology release #3: Inferos is an imperial rye IPA. It comes in a tall 16oz wide-mouth can and is a pale amber color -- fairly dark for an IPA. Tons of head. Green fresh hop aroma and lots of rye in the nose. Flavor is surprisingly malty, with a spicy rye grain flavor and plenty of body, almost like a strong rye ale rather than an IPA. But then the hop bitterness kicks in for a dry, crisp ale finish. Remarkably drinkable for 8.2%, too. BA classifies this as a rye beer rather than a D/IIPA, which is not an obvious distinction in this case. I find this enters the lips as a rye beer and finishes on the palate as a (single) american IPA, with a gravity profile greater than both. Quite enjoyable, though.

Canned 10/11/17.

Jan 23, 2018
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laketang from Illinois

3.99/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16 oz can
The cloudy dark orange color was not what i expected, but i dodnt really know what color to look for in an imperial rye ipa. Citrusy notes and some pine as well. Sides on hop bitterness with a nice grapefruit flavor. The swallow is pretty clean. A good offering imo.

Jan 20, 2018
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arizcards from Arizona

3.96/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single from the Craft Beer Hop Stop cooler on 11-11-17 for $3.75. Canned on 9-11-17 and stored in the beer fridge since purchase.

Beer poured amber with a nice white head that is leaving lacing behind. Good hang time.

Nose is herbal with some hints of citrus.

Taste is tropical and herbal with some citrus. Finish is mildly vegetal which is a turn off.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and refreshing.

Overall this is a solid beer but i am not a huge fan of the southern hemisphere hops (nelson excluded).

Jan 14, 2018
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mike22ne from Massachusetts

4.37/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap.
Nice look, a bright clear dark amber, with a good off-white head.
Smell and taste are great, plenty of citrus/pine and earthy hops with a dark spicy malt character. Solid bitterness and hop flavor, with a grainy caramel malt flavor and a strong base to round out the rye flavors.
Good feel, smooth and medium full body with a nice finish.

Overall, very well done rye IPA. Glad I could find some!

Jan 10, 2018
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BeerTastesGood from California

4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Had two cans. The first tasted like a generic pale ale. The second, since I paid more attention, was very good. Not as bitter as West Coast IPAs, more herbal. Great mouthfeel.

Jan 08, 2018
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ajm5108 from Pennsylvania

3.96/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a copper gold, moderate head. Aroma has lots of rye spice with just underpinnings of some oily hop. Taste is good, the rye is a little more timid but is still the highlight, hops are slick with some alpha acid bitterness going on, pretty balanced and drinkable on a cold night

Jan 07, 2018
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SirFolmarv from Idaho

4.59/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

As others have said it's a looker. Nice dark golden brown with that nitro smooth head. Extra points for being an IPA with a tiny bit of head retention. Deep fruity and citrusy flavors. One of the more complex IPAs I've had for sure. Just edges out fresh squeezed as my a favorite current IPA. Another winner from Firestone Walker.

Jan 04, 2018
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HattedClassic from Virginia

4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice creamy and off-white head that dissipates moderately but leaves a bit of residue on the surface. The beer itself is a beauty. It has a somewhat and lightly hazy appearance with a delicious brown color with an orange hue to it.

The smell has a delicious smell to it with the mixture of hops and rye with it. The hops have a nice, floral orange note that mixes well with the slight peppery and spicy rye note. Neither note dominates the other but complement each other and strongly resembles a potpourri.

The taste is good. It has the same floral orange note with the same peppery and spice notes from the rye. It's good but the combination seems to work better with the smell.

The feel is good. It has a slight dry note to it and some biting carbonation. It's a medium bodied beer but has a little heft to it.

Overall, this was a pretty good beer and worth getting. The rye notes were done very well and definitely lives up to brewery's reputation.

Jan 02, 2018
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GratefulBeerGuy from New Hampshire

4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pint can poured into a Duvel glass. Canned on 10/13/17 opened on 12/31/7

This one sure is a looker! Bright, reddish toned amber liquid just shines. A full, clumpy, sea foamy froth cap recedes very slow, lots of thick clumps left over and lots of nice lace.

A seriously earthy and herbal rye malt aroma pops out first, coupled with sharply scented fruity hop burst. Grainy earth, pineapple, slight citrus, cherries and floral notes also from the hops make for a very nice and heady nose.

The flavor is very intense, a rush of very fruity and juicy hops come on fast. Citrus and tropical blend style hop taste has both sweet and high toned earthy effects. A rather light to medium body feel, juicy, not at all heavy concidering it has an abv % of 8.2. Incredibly easy going for it's complexity level. The rye grain malt flavor is outstanding, equally as impressive as the multi layered hop effect.

Seriously impressed with this. A bit surprised the amount of rye that went into this didnt make it very earthy-dry. The hops and malt make for a rather light bodied approach but still delivers excellent complexity of flavor.

Dec 31, 2017
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argock from Virginia

4.19/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 16 oz tallboy can into a clear glass tulip. Canned on 10/11/17.

A: Slightly murky light amber with 2-finger beige frothy head with good retention and lacing.

S: Herbal and grapefruit hopping with light caramel malt. Herbal may be rye.

T: Excellent cohesive flavor profile with soft light caramel coupled with herbal, spicy, and grapefruit/orange hop contribution with a slightly leafy edge. Moderately bitter.

M: Creamy with medium carbonation at most.

O: Another excellent Leo v. Ursus offering from FW.

Dec 31, 2017
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dsa7783 from New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Morris Tap and Grill. Pours a ruddy amber hue with moderate frothing. Mellow aroma replete with hints of citrus and grapefruit. Similar overall flavor profile.

Dec 27, 2017
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TheSixthRing from California

4.34/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Canned date of 10/11/17

Appearance - Pours murky and copper in color with a sandstone, finger width head. Good retention before dissipating to a thin, broken layer of suds. Lacing consists of some broken lines and some spotting.

Smell - Citrus, tropical fruit aromas, caramel and some definite rye spice.

Taste - Follows the nose. Citrus notes of orange and grapefruit while some caramel malt rides beneath. Spicy rye bite follows shortly after. Touch of pineapple can be found after the spice bite dies down. Pithy, slightly piney finish with a fading caramel providing a bit of balance.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with moderate, bitey carbonation.

Overall - Tasty brew, and I'm glad FW took this one in a different direction after Adversus was more or less a re-tread of Fortem. I'll be looking forward to the next release for sure.

Dec 17, 2017
Leo V. Ursus: Inferos from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 228 ratings