§ucaba | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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5,216 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:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,216 |  Reviews: 936
Photo of danieelol
4.25/5  rDev -6%

Photo of Mark000
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Photo of Cory-WC
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Photo of Cloaked_Phantom
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of Braseltonage
4.8/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

22oz. bottle, poured into a Prairie Teku.
2013 Vintage.

A: Pours a murky, deep mahogany. Some ruby highlights, but reads as super dark, opaque brown. Cloudy, nearly zero light penetration. Thin and quickly fleeting marshmallow head. Fairly sticky lacing remains.
S: HUGE dose of bourbon. Picked it up at arms length with the pour. Rich, bourbon, oak, sweet toffee aromas. Loads of vanilla but surprisingly some cocoa mixed in. Great set up here.
T: Smacks in with sweet, boozy fruit. Almost like a moist bite of a vanilla/cinnamon bread pudding with bourbon soaked cherries. Some of the oak tannin from the barrel cut the sweetness to a slight degree. Flavors are layered really nicely. Just a great blend of winter's night flavors. Not a more typical wave of this vs. that followed by a wallop of the other thing. Just a smooth, complex monster of the a beer.
M: Low carbonation. Nice, easy drink for such a strong and sweet beer. Full bodied, but not syrupy. Well done.
O: Just fabulous. Such a nice mix of flavors. Been holding out of this one for a while and have a 2012 in reserve. Sets a tremendous bar. Great, great beer.

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

On-tap at Boulders on Broadway in Tempe, AZ.

A: Deep brown, thick liquid. No head, no lace, no retention. Looks like port or any other dessert wine. Big legs on the glass.

S: Leathery molasses. Chocolate covered cherries. Booze becomes stronger as the beer warms.

T: Malty, syrupy, sugary goodness. Molasses, caramelized sugar, brown sugar, dark chocolate. Booze soaked fruits. Heavy malt, heavy sugar, heavy booze. But the alcohol doesn't take anything away from the beer. There is a lot going on. Very complex. The amount of layers reminds of the their 15th Anniv.

M: Mild carbonation but smooth as can be. Malty and boozy. Viscous.

O: Gotta be the epitome of the style. This is the bar for English barleywines. When you read about the style, this hits every mark and exceeds it. Fantastic beer.

Update: had to bump up this score! Snagged a bottle of the 2012 and sat on it for a while. (still have a 2013 in the "cellar") Wish it had a bottling date. Don't even remember when I picked this up. Maybe the fall or winter of 2012?

Beautiful liquid...deep brown with red and amber hues. Burnt sienna for the last few sips as the glass empties. A very light brown head that bubbles up quickly and fizzy while also fading quickly. Nice lacing and a ring of head retention throughout. Serious aromas of vinegar, booze, bourbon, wood, and even a bit of funk and sour as it warms up. Flavor is a bit more subdued, with flavors of heavily roasted and charred malt, delicious booze, vanilla, caramelized and brown sugar, molasses with alcohol, and sweet, dark fruits. Wow. So complex. Mellowed out from what I remember but not as much as I expected. Either it needs more time or it's just a big beer that will always be in-your-face. Which I like. Since the barrels and bourbon were such an emphasis, they should always stand out. Which they do. Heavy on the buttery, earthy bourbon as well as the wood, malt, and booze. A huge beer for serious beer drinkers. Not for the faint of heart, as shown with my brother who I gave a small glass of this to sample and it was too much for him. A fantastic sipper with massive flavor and drinkability. If I had the entire bottle, though, this NYE wouldn't be much to remember. I'm excited to try the 2013!

2013 bottle drunk on 2/21/14. Bottled on 1/10/2013. Amazing stuff. Lots of delicious bourbon character while retaining all the great qualities of an English BW.

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Photo of nesarebad
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of jrand2621
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Photo of rjp217
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

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

Picked this up in a great trade with Mike! Beautifyul clear mahogany pour with an off-white two finger head with decent retention and great lacing. Boozy, woody nose with hints of dark fruit, butterscotch, oak, vanilla, caramel, and subtle bourbon. The taste is also dominated by booze and wood along with hints of toffee, dark fruits, caramel, vanilla, oak, butterscotch, maple, bourbon, and some subtle chocolate. The mouthfeel is initially a bit on the hot and boozy side, but as it warmed it became quite smooth and creamy. Overall, this is another world class offering from Firestone Walker. I have a couple in the cellar and can't wait to try them.

 654 characters

Photo of davegray
4.25/5  rDev -6%

Photo of LKFH
4.25/5  rDev -6%

Photo of mtrog313
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Photo of pcarney8
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of jhartley
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Photo of dcp27
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Photo of RobDB
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Photo of CaptainPancakes
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Photo of mmulebarn
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of seangibbs60
4.74/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of nuckbuc
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of Dolfan907
4.25/5  rDev -6%

Photo of Eweber
4.25/5  rDev -6%

Photo of Lochnessmonster
4.69/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of WTKeene
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

§ucaba from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.52 out of 5 with 5,216 ratings