§ucaba | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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§ucaba§ucaba
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
2011 Reserve Series Bottle Notes:
O.G. 27 Plato
F.G. 4.7 Plato
I.B.U. 42 units
Yeast: British Ale (House)
Cases: 1500 produced
Color: 36SRM (Dark Ruby)

2014 Bottle Notes
O.G. 27 Plato
F.G. 4.7 Plato
I.B.U. 42 units
Yeast: British Ale (House)
Cases: 3500 produced
Color: 36SRM (Dark Ruby)

Matured for 1 year in a blend of Heaven Hill, 4 Roses, and Old Fitzgerald barrels.

Added by SacoDeToro on 02-21-2008

BEER STATS
Reviews:
861
Ratings:
4,866
Avg:
4.46
pDev:
8.52%
 
 
Wants:
1,334
Gots:
2,896
For Trade:
285
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 861 | Ratings: 4,866
Reviews by Slipmthgoose:
Photo of Slipmthgoose
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

More User Reviews:
Photo of neurobot01
4.27/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage, bomber into a snifter at cellar temp. Still a fair amount of alcohol heat, but the big surprise was the relative dominance of bitter flavors over sweet. All the standard FW flavors are there, though oak and toffee are at the fore. Very nice mouthfeel. Doesn't strike me as obviously better than fresh, though the barrel influence may have mellowed a bit.

 368 characters

Photo of Marius
4.72/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 vintage, 13.3% ABV.
Very dark ruby-brown pour with a modest head that gives way to a thin tan head. Smells of bourbon, caramel and a bit of barrel sourness., followed by more delicate notes of chocolate, raisins and cocoa. The taste is dominated by bourbon and caramel and well balanced by hop bitterness. The alcohol is quite present in the taste, but in a pleasant way. Hot aftertaste due to the alcohol. Soft mouthfeel, medium body. It would have been a bit better if it were thicker.

 492 characters

Photo of PSU_Mike
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm generally against rating beers as 5s. I don't think there is such a thing as a perfect beer. But I'll be damned if I could find a fault in this one. It has a beautiful clear ruby red pour with a nice white head that lingers for a while. Hints of bourbon, vanilla, brown sugar, molasses, and wood explode from the nose and explode on your taste buds. The bourbon is present but not overpowering like other BBA beers I've had. It still allows the other flavors of the beer to shine. It's incredibly smooth and full bodied with the alcohol incredibly well hidden.

While I am not a huge barleywine fan, I do enjoy them from time to time and I can appreciate the style. This one is head and shoulders above the rest. Hell, it's head and shoulders above anything I've had.

 772 characters

Photo of SomethingClever
3.81/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

2015 bottle poured into snifter

A: ruby red in color very dark amber with pretty good clarity almost no head just a little lace around the rim

S:lots of soft Bourbon, toffee, vanilla, a little butterscotch some alcohol smells light bits of hops

T: Light bourbon a little vanilla and toffee a touch of oak and a lot of alcohol very boozy on the tongue getting some banana bread taste too

M: very thin and a little watery the beer doesn't even coat the tongue its just watery

O: I have had this beer before the 2013 version and this beer tastes like it has been watered way down and has an odd banana bread taste I don't remember in the prior version. While Firestone can rarely do wrong when it comes to Barrel aging this 2015 is not what Sucaba should taste like. Although the 2013 version was an absolute pleasure to drink.

 832 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Very balanced and extremely drinkable for a barleywine. Alcohol is present only in the aftertaste giving a warming sensation as it goes down. The barrel is very present, along with a lot of caramel and even some hops on the finish. Syrupy body, very easy to drink.

 264 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.51/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a tulip.

Appearance - Dark ruby body. At first glance, it looks like a light stout. With some light, you can see the flecks of red in the body. Not a great head and no lacing. It's 13%, so that's expected.

Smell - Bourbon up front, followed by dark fruits. Plums and figs. The bulk of the aroma is caramel and brown sugar. Wonderful aroma. The best barleywine I've ever stuck my nose in.

Taste - Perhaps the slightest bit less interesting than the smell. Bourbon burn right at the front. A lot of caramel and brown sugar in the body. I get hints of dark fruits, but not as much as the smell. The finish has a hop bitterness and is boozy with a strong bourbon finish. Very nice.

Mouthfeel - Thick and syrupy at first, but it goes away at the end. It has a strong alcohol burn, which is really the only complaint.

Overall - The best barleywine I've had. Bourbon is the bacon of beer. It makes everything better.

 940 characters

Photo of apasternak
4.1/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the few FW beers that gets better with age

49 characters

Photo of stortore
4.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 vintage, 22 ounce bottle into a snifter.

Have not had this before. As soon as you pop the hood, you know this is something special. Smells awesome- malty, coconut, pineapple. a little licorice when it warms. Tastes truly incredible. Sweet, malty, caramel, still getting the coconut. A little boozier as it warms. Nicely carbonated. Coats the tongue, but still feels somewhat light.

This is just a great beer- no surpise really, coming from FW. Hope I'm lucky enough to get the 2015. Hope you are too.

 516 characters

Photo of BeerStud187
4.94/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Simply put, this is the best beer I have ever had and what I believe to be the best beer ever made. If you have not had this beer, you have not lived and have nothing to judge beers against.

What does it taste like? Butter. Now I know that sounds strange and weird for a beer, but it's true and legit. While this might not sound like what you want in a beer, you are wrong. It's this warm, thick, caramelly, buttery goodness that warms your soul and your dick. I tried this is a flight with several other high quality barrel aged beers and this made them look like Ghetto Black and Tan made out of Colt 45 and Boone's Farm.

If you've over had improperly barrel aged beers and don't understand the hype, try this. If you've ever had awful barley wines that taste like rubbing alcohol and want to discount the whole category, try this. If you are a human and have a tongue, try this.

Like most other reviews will say, this is a super heavy, thick, buttery, rich, complex, smooth, experience. But overall it is this, an experience. This beer changed my life. I don't want to do anything else in life other than drink this beer. If Lexi Belle wants to hang out with me, I hope that she has a bottle of Sucaba with her, because otherwise my attention span may wonder, that's how good this is.

Head is small but thick. Color is fairly light and does not foretell the quality inside. Do not let this ruin your future life changing experience.

 1,453 characters

Photo of hopsputin
4.49/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 Batch. Drank 3/6/15

a: a murky dark brown color with some deep purple and ruby red notes. no real head, just some off-white bubbles hovering around the side of the glass - probably being kept there by the etching at the bottom of the glass

s: a very rich and luxurious aroma. vanilla, oak, tannins up front. baking chocolate. plums, fig, raisins. dark rich sticky caramel. dark sweet cherries, a very small hint of licorice. ends with the mellow barrel character

t: oak and vanilla tickle the front of the tongue. dark cherries, fig, prunes, raisins. sweet caramel, some of that bitter baking chocolate. there is a tingle of alcohol on the tongue, and it is there on the back end of the flavor along with the (bourbon?) barrel - but it isn't harsh, which is amazing given that this is coming in at 13.3%. very well crafted beer. if left to sit, and the the alcohol mellowed this would be taken to a whole different level

m: surprising light. its medium with a lot more carbonation than i expected. no head, but definitely a bit fizzy in the mouth

o: my impression is that drinking this fresh (as i am) i can tell this beer is extremely well-made, and on its own its really good. very nice base flavors in here that are harmonized well. also the fact that this is 13.3% and drinks as well is it does is super-impressive. well done. i would definitely recommend getting one and sitting on it for at least 1 year. if allowed to blend in the bottle further, this will be something extremely special

 1,522 characters

Photo of Pete_Simpson
3.5/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Too boozy. Need 3 more words to submit review.

46 characters

Photo of MonkeyBread
4.77/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of my most sought after beers. Love barley wines. 2013 vintage from the bottle into tulip glass.

Look: box says dark ruby red and that's accurate. Reddish brown, some murkiness, minimal head or lacing. Darker coloring than your typical barley wine.

Smell: amazing! Vanilla, sweet caramel, toffee, coconut, bourbon, tobacco smokiness, leather, can notice a boozy note as well. Very sweet, smells like an incredible dessert laced with liquor.

Taste: burnt sugar, molasses, tobacco, toffee, vanilla, smoke, ripe dark fruits like dates, figs, cherries, bourbon, whiskey, oak. Of the barrel influences the bourbon is most pronounced on the nose while in taste whiskey and oak shines through more. The malt is almost like a scotch whiskey. Most surprising note to me is the smoky, peat-like tobacco flavor, was not expecting that. Really contrasts with the sweetness of the caramel and toffee.

Feel: tad more carbonated than expected. Nice chewy, thick mouth feel. Almost grainy. Pleasant and doesn't get in the way of the many contrasting bold flavors on display in taste and smell.

Overall: the bar was set extremely high here with the top ratings and being a staple of FW's barrel aging program. I think it met those expectations. Perhaps the most complex beer I've had. There's a significant amount of barrel influence in the nose and taste from bourbon, whiskey and oak. And there's a lot of sweetness along with a smoky tobacco flavor that I assume comes from the barrel aging. They all mesh together excellently. This is the top barley wine I've had. FW continues to astound with their skill.

 1,607 characters

Photo of Celtics17
4.05/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

-Big boosy flavor. Huge character, with little hop character. You get your normal barrel character from this beer. This is my least favorite from Firestone's barrel collection, but overall it's good.

 199 characters

Photo of StJamesGate
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Tan crust over glowing garnet. 4
Golden raisin, brandy, and hot buttered rum. 4.5
Demerara sugar, butterscotch, rum, wood, orange essence, a hint of coffee, Seville orange rind and a vague hint of citrus hops. 4.5
Honey-herb cough lozenge end and sweet cappuccino cream end.
Medium, round, a bit hot. 4

Deep liquor nose and no darkness - all clean, bright golden notes, like sweet sherry. Vanilla, cakey loveliness. The model for aged barleywine and the perfect pairing for Christmas pudding with brandy butter.

Ambrosia. 4.75

 530 characters

Photo of guityler83
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

2012

A: One finger of head formed when poured from the bomber into a snifter glass and fell in under a minute leaving behind a small ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. The foam is tan in color and made of medium sized bubbles mostly. Nice alcohol legs are kicked up on the edge of the glass when swirled, but very little foam. The beer is a deep mahogany color and that color only comes through with a back lite.

S: Sweet bourbon dominates the nose with oak and vanilla right behind it, medium levels. Raisins and prunes with sweet plums come next at mild levels. A light spicy hop character. Candy raisins and toffee notes also present. Alcohol is mellow and mostly in the form of bourbon. Nicely developed after the 2 years it was cellared.

T: Wow, beautiful bourbon barrel character. Smooth and tobacco tasting bourbon with vanilla, caramel oak flavor - very developed and up front. Sweetness is kept to a minimum and seems to be reduced by the bourbon. Bitterness is medium with a more neutral hop character. Malty flavors come through as the beer warms up with prunes and plums consistent with the aroma. Some milk chocolate notes come out as well.

M: A big tingly tongue sensation from the bourbon that leads to a nice warming sensation from the alcohol. Carbonation is on the lower side and very complimentary with the style. The tannins from the wood provide a slight drying sensation on the mouth and the body of the beer is in the medium range.

O: Fantastic BA Barley Wine, The barrel is up front with tons of character from the bourbon left over. The alcohol is there, but not offensive or difficult to drink. This beer aged perfectly. I would like to try a fresh version to compare, but as it stands this was superb.

 1,745 characters

Photo of lochraneg
4.18/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Not my favorite Firestone Walker, but their vintage series never ceases to impress. If you are into Barley wines than definitely pick this up. I aged mine for roughly a year. Had another almost immediately after purchasing. The older one was much better

 257 characters

Photo of DanGeo
4.19/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of tectactoe
4/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of DavyJones
3/5  rDev -32.7%

Photo of t2grogan
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of OhioBobcat
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of CavemanRamblin
4.46/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Runs4Beer
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of jono0101
5/5  rDev +12.1%

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§ucaba from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 861 ratings.
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