§ucaba | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

5,022 Ratings
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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

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Ratings: 5,022 |  Reviews: 883
Photo of WolfsbaneBloom
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 bottle

Appearance: Pours a deep, rich brown (almost black) with ruby highlights. Not a lot of foam on this one. Less than a finger of tan head.

Smell: Where to start?! An intoxicating aroma of bourbon, charred oak, vanilla, black licorice, light tobacco, and subtle hints of Montmorency cherries, red wine, coconut, and raisins. A heavenly experience for the olfactory lobes.

Taste: Follows the nose fairly closely. If I were to sum up the flavor with just three words, they would be "bourbon", "oak", and "vanilla". But there's also a little bit of baking chocolate and some caramel as well as fleeting hints of the aromas mentioned above. At 12.5% its not surprising that there's a good deal of alcohol heat, making this a slow sipper.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy bodied with fairly low carbonation. Goes down smooth with a little kick in the finish.

Overall, this was a stunning and wonderfully complex barrel-aged English-style barleywine. I've had quality beer from Firestone Walker in the past but this is on a whole other level of greatness.

 1,057 characters

Photo of coffygrinder
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of DiscLizard
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of Immortale25
4.57/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Due South Brewing Co. snifter. Box says 2013.

A- Pours a semi-opaque dark brown color with a 1/2 inch tan head that retains slightly before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a small streak of surface foam. Slippery lacing leaves a broken ring behind on the glass.

S- Chocolate, caramel and cookie dough dominate the nose very pleasantly. Booze is present but distant except when deep sniffs are taken.

T- Malt is teetering between toasty and roasty with a firm but non-intrusive alcohol flavor. The hops provide just enough bitterness to balance the caramel-like sweetness of the malt. Quite smooth for the ABV. There's a slight smoke flavor but it commingles with the sweetness enough to make for a hickory/honey/maple barbecue sauce note. Hard to pin down but enjoyable. Man, is this complex. Becomes more boozy as it warms.

M- Not as full as expected given the color but that's not a bad thing. The alcohol brings a bit of a sting but is subdued enough to be overlooked. Medium-low carbonation.

O- Not the first FW beer to leave me pretty much speechless and I'm sure it won't be the last.

 1,132 characters

Photo of Ranz
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.51/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage served to me with a deep ruby body and a ring of bubbly off-white/khaki head.

The nose is full of rich caramel, toffee, vanilla, wood, and bourbon.

This tastes exquisite. Caramel ,toffee, vanilla, coconut, bourbon/alcohol peeks through a bit as well as a touch of chocolate and cherry fruitiness. Damn.

Subtle bubbly carbonation with a nice smooth medium bodied mouthfeel.

Easily the best barleywine I have had.

 428 characters

Photo of vissai
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of Saviorself
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of dbc5
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of JSBILK
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of Beeranator
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of herman77
4.56/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

2013 bottle

A: Very dark amber/brown with a moderate light khaki head.

S: Tons of carmel, bourbon, brown sugar, french vanilla, toffee. Some wood/oak and a bit of wine/tannins. Some leather, a bit of tobacco, dates and figs as well. Really malty, bourbony and complex.

T: Tons of rich toffee, carmel and big malty notes up front with a good hit of really nice bourbon. Some tannins coming through from the wine barrels adds a really nice touch. Its got that great firestone walker barrel flavor near the finish, a nice woody/bourbon and toasted coconut taste. Lots of vanilla, oak and bourbon in the finish as the palate slowly dries. The bourbon is very present and frontal, but its never boozy or overpowering.

M: On the upper side of medium/lower side of full. Softer carbonation. Fairly smooth.

O: Drinks a lot less than 12.5%. A sipper, but only because its really complex and you want to savor it. Best barrel aged beer I've had that hasn't been a Imperial Stout.

 974 characters

Photo of acbe
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Danobold
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of nbanyard87
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of badboy7113
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of korene84
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of RD1163
4.35/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A - golden dark brown, very little very light brown head

S- caramel, sugary candy, light coconut, nutty smell

T- Barley wine! Definite tawny port taste. slight bitterness and acidity. long lingering after-taste on the front of the tongue. slight alcohol taste. nice mid sweetness.

M-Long, lingering, tip of the tongue tingling, full mouth coating, mid-heavy bodied feel.

O- Very good Barley wine that was very easy to drink and satisfied the pallet for long periods between sips.

 483 characters

Photo of MNishCT77
4.84/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

22 oz. bottle purchased in the greater Washington D.C. area, 2013 vintage, poured into a 3Fs Teku long-stemmed glass, drank 4/5/13 over two hours.

A: 4.5 - black cherry coloration, minimal clarity (can't see or read through), yellow-brown one finger head dissipates into subtle glass lacing, moderate-to-large alcohol legs

S: 4.75 - lots of barrel and booze notes...Shiraz tannins (maybe aged in wine barrels), roasted coconut, French vanilla, toffee, caramel

T: 5 - on the front of the tongue, it's what you'd expect from the aroma with minimal hop presence and no bitterness but lots of candy sugar sweetness, milk chocolate and coffee; as it settles in, some of those barrel-aged qualities reappear with burnt candy, caramel, toffee, vanilla beans and bourbon; to my taste buds, this is a damn near perfect tasting barrel-aged British barleywine

M: 4.75 - full-bodied, boozy and sticky; mild-to-moderate carbonation

O: 4.75 - definitely one of the best if not the best barrel-aged English barleywines that I have ever tasted; there is so much (almost too much!) going on in the nose and mouth; it definitely lives up to the hype and is worth trading for and aging to try in a vertical tasting; my only complaint is that it can be expensive ($15.99-$21.99 in the greater D.C. area)

 1,288 characters

Photo of DaltonK
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of stephenjmoore
4.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Darkish body, close to a mahogany color. Body is just light enough to show through slightly when held up to light. A bubbly tan head leaves quickly, but leaves a thin layer of bubbles on top.

S- Sweet, boozy bourbon, vanilla, oak, hints of toast, maybe even a hint of toasted coconut.

T- Slightly sweet at first with some boozy, malty flavors giving way to sweet delicious flavors. Candied sugar, vanilla, hints of oak, still that tiny hint of toasted coconut, maybe even some dried fruit.

M- Full bodied, medium carbonation, some booziness to it, but overall smooth and drinkable.

O- An excellent beer, no doubt about it. The maltiness plays off the sweet barrel flavors very nicely. Lots of complexity and great depth.

 727 characters

Photo of br3wmeister
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of phirleh
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of Jordantb313
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of auhwfm
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

§ucaba from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.46 out of 5 based on 5,022 ratings.
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