Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...
Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

§ucaba | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
5,060 Ratings

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

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

Bros Score:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 5,060 |  Reviews: 890
Photo of Bedrocker
4.92/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2014 vintage poured from a 22 oz bomber into a snifter.

A: Pours a burgundy color and leaves a very thin head. Very little lacing.

S: Wow. Bourbon up front, with notes of vanilla, chocolate, and dark cherries. Some other smells in there too, can't quite put my finger on them though.

T: Bourbon notes dominate the palate on this one, but not overly so. Balances perfectly with notes of vanilla, chocolate, toffee, caramel, cherries, and other dark fruits. Some barrel-aged beers are too heavy on the oak notes, but this one is just perfect in my opinion.

M: Despite being highly alcoholic, this beer is extremely smooth. Full-bodied with just a slight bit of alcohol heat. Very drinkable.

O: Fantastic. The smell and flavor of this beer are still fresh in my mind after a week. I drank two bottles this year and am aging another two. I'm excited to see how a bit of age affects this masterpiece. I wasn't too interested in barleywines before I tried this, but they have my attention now. Thank you, Firestone Walker, for another amazing offering.

 1,052 characters

Photo of SuperbikeShaun
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Photo of King_KongDCO93
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of Swaino
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of Kevincredible
4.25/5  rDev -6%

Photo of kbrown
4.25/5  rDev -6%

Photo of masterofsparks
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Photo of BingCrosby7
4.27/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A This is lighter than I had anticipated--a beautiful burgundy color around the edges, with a deep brown heart. Very interesting color variance with this beer.
S Bourbon barrel is strong on the nose, followed by a caramel almost syrupy aroma. Lightly spiced with stone fruit (plum and cherry) on the backend. Lightly boozy.
T The taste follows the smell--bourbon barrel on the front end with booze following. There's a slight sting, though not in a bad way. Caramelly notes linger in the aftertaste, with a big barley warmth across the palate throughout the entire sip. The booze washes away some of the nuances, which is unfortunately because there are some big notes here. Toffee begins to enter the equation the further into the bottle you get. The cherry notes linger in the end and persevere through the alcohol wash. Much like Parabola, the beer becomes more and more complex the more and more you get into the bottle.
M I'm pleased with the mouthfeel--not too sticky or oily. It is a bit slippery, though the carbonation level is pretty nice and rounds out that aspect of the beer.
O Barleywine is not my go to style; however, this is yet another outstanding offering by Firestone Walker. I love the deep complexity of this beer in that it is not overwhelming or "in your face." It is a subtle, enjoyable drink.

 1,320 characters

Photo of planbee
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of Mikeluzzjr
3.25/5  rDev -28.1%

Photo of kidzord
4.25/5  rDev -6%

Photo of greenspointexas
4.25/5  rDev -6%

Photo of mbeerdino21
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of fehrminator
4.25/5  rDev -6%

Photo of bigbeerfan
4.89/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 220z bomber into an oversized wine glass.

Appearance - Dark mahogany with amber edges. Thin khaki head.

Smell - Sickly sweet vanilla, fig and bourbon.

Taste - Booze. Booze. Booze. Dark fruits and vanilla.

Mouthfeel - Medium to medium heavy with low carbonation.

Overall - This is possibly the best barley wine I've ever had. Definitely a sipper at 13.5%. If you find it... Buy two!

 401 characters

Photo of nh_hawkeye
4.25/5  rDev -6%

Photo of JesseLara
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of Acropora
4.25/5  rDev -6%

Photo of mtbdonn
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Photo of oldmankoch
4.41/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I was simply going to rate the beer but thought it was worth a review after reading a couple others.

I'm not going to go through the review motions and simply wanted to point out that this beer is definitely worth purchasing if it is ever available to you.

I was fortunate to get my hands on this year's 2014 release as my local bottle-shop that I frequent had 5 on hand. (wish they also got parabola which is what I initially asked about) but this is certainly better than nothing!

So the appearance is good but not spectacular. No head and no lacing for me due to very high alcohol.

Smell is killer. Deep caramel, brown sugar, malt, dark cherry, booze, butter, faint bourbon/ oak background.

Tase follows nose excellently.

Mouthfeel is nice thick and chewy with low carbonation.

Overall awesome beer that I really enjoyed and found worth the purchase ($18 at my shop)

I did want to say that as amazing as it is a beer less expensive still retains the top spot for me for English Barleywines. Our Finest Regards by Pretty Things Brewing while not barrel aged represents the top of this style for me to date.

 1,118 characters

Photo of kdahnke123
4.36/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2014 Bottling - 004 In Series - 13.5% abv
Poured into a snifter at cellar temperature.
A - Pours a very dark carmel color with almost no head. Very thick, coating the glass well on tipping.
S - A very rich carmel smell, toasted oak, vanilla and a little marshmallow.
T - Boozy! Less sweet than the nose. Carmel, rich medium roast malt and a bite of hops and alcohol at the end.
M - Medium viscous with a moderate amount of carbonation. More so then the pour would indicate.
O - A very good barley wine. A tongue numbing amount of alcohol but very pleasant. Don't plan on doing much after polishing off 22oz of this!

 618 characters

Photo of Jeffh84
4/5  rDev -11.5%

Photo of BigGingDrinker
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Photo of Hophead717
4.22/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bomber, poured into a CBS snifter.

A: Dark, shows ruby when held to the light. No head, thin lacing along the edges of the glass.

S: Sweet, raisin, significant bourbon, nice.

T: Bourbon upfront, with raisins and dark fruits mid-sip. The finish is a lingering of bourbony-alcohol and raisin.

M: Medium bodied, with moderate carbonation.

O: Not very complex, but what's there is quite tasty.

 395 characters

Photo of Jaxbrew
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

§ucaba from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.52 out of 5 with 5,060 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.