§ucaba | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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§ucaba§ucaba
BA SCORE
4.52/5
World-Class
5,170 Ratings
§ucaba§ucaba
BEER INFO

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

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Also known as Abacus

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
Ranking:
#89
Reviews:
926
Ratings:
5,170
pDev:
8.19%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
1,351
Gots:
2,934
Trade:
272
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,170 |  Reviews: 926
Photo of sokol_1993
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sweet, malty, but also quite herbal. A little boozy at the end.

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Photo of mrbelvebeer1
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Couldn't find a 2015-specific entry on here, but this is a review of 2015 §ucaba.

Pale red, just like a good barleywine should be. Sweet and fruity on the nose with, perhaps, a bit of biscuit and caramel. A great smelling barleywine. I imagine this was much boozier 3 years ago, but there's no burn from the bourbon. Per usual, this tastes like it smells: amazing. It has a nice smooth mouthfeel and has the perfect viscosity for a barleywine. Solid, solid beer.

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Photo of morimech
3.84/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

On-tap. Licorice and booze bomb. Was not impressed and not enjoyable enough to give an excellent rating.

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Photo of Joebooh2
4.05/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.24/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Firestone Walker Brewing Co. "§ucaba"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, Vintage 2018, coded "01/13/2018 04:50" and sampled on 04/19/2018
$8.99 @ Cherry Hill Wine, Liquor & Beer (Wegmans), Cherry Hill, NJ

Notes via stream of consciousness: So I've had this beer before while it was still called Abacus, on tap, and perhaps even more interestingly, while talking with David Walker himself which is why I didn't review it. Firstly that would be a little weird, probably uncomfortable for both of us, maybe more so for me than him as he seems very laid back, but also just because he's a very interesting guy to talk with and I didn't want to lose his ear. And forget about beer, you could probably talk to him for hours about all kinds of things as he's a very intelligent and well traveled guy, but I digress... it's poured a very dark brown that's not quite "black" in the glass beneath a creamy head of tan. It appears fairly clear when held to the light, and much more ruby in color. The aroma is malty with notes of Bourbon - is that right?... the label doesn't list anything other than "BARREL-AGED" so it really could be any kind of whiskey I'm smelling - and caramel. It's not clearly Bourbon, and in my mind could easily be rye. On to the flavor... hmmm, exactly as the nose suggests with some added brown sugar, almost burnt sugar, somewhat non-descript dark fruit, a stiff bitterness, hint of coconut, alcohol, and oak. I remember it being sweeter but no more complex, and to be honest, I think I prefer it drier. It's nicely balanced, and the alcohol remains in check even at 12.5% abv. There's some herbal character backing it which I can only imagine is from hops, and the fruitiness is coming forward more as it warms with notes of raisin, fig, plum, and apricot. It has a dry finish with that same herbal character lingering amidst some earthiness, bitterness, and alcoholic spiciness. There's even a little bit of a licorice note to it. Not only is it less sweet than I'd recalled, it's also lighter in body than I remember it. I'd call it medium to medium-light but with a slight dextrinous side. Unlike many barley wines with more body, this one is certainly not medium-full or full. It's fairly smooth though, the carbonation is fine-bubble and moderate leaving it gently crisp and then smooth. It's interesting because it's English in nature, but American in strength, and I can't recall ever having had a barley wine quite like it. Looking back the head dropped fairly quickly, in just maybe two or three minutes, but that's to be expected in strong beers, although it did leave some nice spotty lacing as it went so there's that. What have I missed? ... ... ... hmm, I think I've covered it. It's very nice. An easy sipper. Full flavored and complex. A great beer to relax with at the end of a very hard day. And for those who age beers I think a year or two in the cellar might do it some good, taking an edge off of the bitterness.
Review# 5,950 4/4.25/4.25/4.25/4.25 = 4.24

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Photo of Scott17Taylor
4.45/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours brown with a ruby red hue and a nice pillowy khaki colored head that has great retention for the style.
The aroma is oak, carmel malts, booze and a pronounced piney hop.
The flavor is excellent, super well balance barleywine. The base beer is largely carried by a sweet caramel malt, but is really well balanced with the piney hop. The barrel is there, carrying a little bit of vanilla and a slight dryness, but doesn't overshadow the base beer like many BA beers do.
The mouthfeel is a little thin, but nothing I'd complain about.
Overall, it's excellent, and it's not that hard to get. I'd make the effort to chase it down.

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Photo of Kbrady10
4.94/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Johng19751
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Eric_T_07
4.44/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of bgramels
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of gbiello
4.43/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L - Dark brown with a touch of ruby redness. Half a finger of frothy head that disapates a little to quickly.
S - Toasted biscuit and malty, alcohol notes prominent notes.
T - Boozy with hints of dark fruit. Oak barrel on the back end.
F - Medium weight. Just right for the style.
O - Very good example of the style. This one is a sipper!

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Photo of David_Porter
4.53/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Brew-Knows
4.42/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Spoild
4.42/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Wenzl
4.44/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Burghman
4.35/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of darktronica
4.48/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I've had this beer so many times that I was shocked that I hadn't rated it yet. In any case, this score is based on the 2018 release, enjoyed on draft.

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Photo of silverblaze540
4.74/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - Dark brown with almost no head; active bubbles and mostly opaque.

S - Sweet and malty, with prunes, cherries, and chocolate. Very boozy with oak and bourbon notes.

T - Boozy and malty. Hints of vanilla and prunes, with an oak barrel aftertaste.

F - Medium heavy, and medium viscousness with some burn.

O - Powerful taste and smell. Great for slow sipping.

.

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Photo of cvandette
4.85/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Ozzylizard
4.4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

$ 8.47 (Including tax)/12oz bottle ($ 0.706/oz) from State Line Liquors, Elkton, MD.
Unable to find any dating on bottle or box other than 2018 vintage. Stored at 42 degrees and served at 55 degrees in a hand-washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Appearance – 4.25.
Body – Very deep garnet when held to light, clear.
Head – Large (Maximum 4.3 cm, controlled center pour), tan, medium density, short-lived, diminishing to a three mm ring and a thin, mostly complete, layer with a few rocks.
Lacing – None. As expected from a 12.5% ABV BBA brew.
First pour – Medium amber, clear.
Aroma – 4.25 - Sweet and malty, with some caramel and diacetyl.
Flavor – 4.5 – Begins with a malty sweetness but not cloying. The middle produces some caramel, toffee, and some diacetyl. A trace of diacetyl is a good thing in this brew and works well with the toffee and caramel, enriching the flavor. It ends with a mild but generic whiskey taste and a backwash of alcohol through the nasal passages before the transitory flare of gastric alcohol.
Palate – 4.25 – Full, slightly syrupy, soft carbonation.
Impression and summation – 4.5 – A brew where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. All aspects of this brew work well together to produce a synergistic whole that is well-worth tracking down. Buy or trade whatever is necessary to get this brew. Cheap at twice the price.

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Photo of JoeK89
4.04/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of grapeshops
4.48/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Claude-Irishman
4.65/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2018 vintage. Poured into a Spieglau wheat beer glass,looks like cherry cola with similar head retention.Smells like candied apple. stone fruits, molasses,raisins, big boozer. Tastes is very well refined,smooth, delicious. Feels like a lower A.B.V. lager in the sense that it is uber crisp,snappy,apple like,almost vinous. Overall this Vintage series from Firestone Walker is the epitome of "world class"

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Photo of KShophead
4.59/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of hozersr
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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§ucaba from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.52 out of 5 with 5,170 ratings