Lil' Opal | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Lil' OpalLil' Opal
BA SCORE
3.95/5
Very Good
479 Ratings
Lil' OpalLil' Opal
BEER INFO

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

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A low alcohol Belgian-style Saison session beer aged for 17 months in lightly-used medium-plus toasted American oak barrels.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-25-2008

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#6,320
Reviews:
61
Ratings:
479
pDev:
9.11%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
34
Gots:
73
Trade:
7
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 479 |  Reviews: 61
Photo of Beerbom
3.94/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Jamison85
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of kell50
4.16/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ummswimmin
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Damian
4.65/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Drank from a 12.7 fl.oz.[375ml] corked and caged bottle purchased at Craft Beer Cellar, Belmont, MA
Batch: No.002
Bottled: 05/09/16
Served in a tulip

Pale gold and nearly crystal clear in appearance. The body was capped by a tight, frothy, finger-tall, bright white crown that dropped to a barely-there film. Minimal streaky lacing stuck along the glass.

The aroma was fantastic. Really crisp and bright with big, tart lemon notes. Fairly wheaty. There was a dry, powdery yeastiness that subsided as head receded. Good amount of Brett and funk as well. Touch of grassy hops. Some oakiness was also noticeable. Overall, surprisingly complex and very well balanced.

The flavor profile was similar to the nose but perhaps even punchier. Super bright and lemony. Quite sour, but the sourness was nicely offset by a crackery malt base and a subtle candy-like sweetness. This reminded me somewhat of Lemonheads. Big dry, oaky notes appeared as the beer moved along the palate. The beer finished with an intense, tart lemony kick and some lingering oaky tannins.

Outstanding soft, frothy mouthfeel. Medium bodied for the style. The liquid contained a super fine, zippy, fairly aggressive effervescence that turned light and fluffy on the palate.

Lil’ Opal is an outstanding saison/wild ale hybrid from one of my favorite domestic sour beer producers. The fact that this rested in American oak barrels for seventeen months prior to bottling is pretty insane and definitely reflected in the beer. I love that nearly all the beers in Firestone Walker’s barrel program are super oaky and complex but not overly tart or acidic. That said, they are also surprisingly affordable.

 1,674 characters

Photo of patre_tim
4.24/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Golden amber with some carbonation, and 3 fingers of fluffy off white head.

Smells of Brett, sour funk, vinegar, lemons, overall very much like a lambic.

Sour, lemon juice and funk mix with dusty oak, a light sweetness, and unripe plums.

Medium body, with medium to low carbonation. Quite dry and slightly puckering.

Got this tonight in Syracuse, NY, where I am drinking it at a hotel. New Years Eve in a New York State hotel, this is Dec 31st, 2017. Excellent wild and funky brew, more of a wild beer than a saison in my opinion, but and excellent brew regardless.

 576 characters

Photo of dcmchew
3.94/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of TylerJ
3.97/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of farrago
3.79/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Light dusting of loose bright white foam across the surface, not longlasting, as you’d expect not much lacing either. Bright amber orange hued liquid, clean with a very healthy amount of widely dispersed bubbles. The nose displays the oak right away but it is crisp and not particularly dominant, lots of space left for yeasty notes, green apple to pear fruit scents, something like coriander spice, tangerine to lemon citrus, finishes with some unprocessed grains. In the mouth it’s lighter bodied and just as clean and crisp here, the oak keeping it as angular as adding amplitude. Lavender, tangerine citrus, more peppery here but still has a savory herb edge as well. Here you get some pineapple to mango along with apricot, pear fruit but overall it’s so dry that it is difficult to call the fruit tropical. Floral finish without much funkiness. Borderline demure in character, about as food friendly as you can get with the oak barrel treatment.

 957 characters

Photo of deg
2.76/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of YalovaIA
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of dsshuck
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of metter98
3.91/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is crystal clear dark golden yellow in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short white head that quickly settled down, leaving a narrow collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to medium aromas of toasted oak are present in the nose along with faint hints of Brett.
T: The taste is mostly dominated by the toasted oak and associated hints of vanilla. There are also hints of Belgian yeast and Brett.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and slightly tart on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a bit of dryness.
O: I found the oak barrel aging in this beer to be rather interesting as it helped to balance out the yeasty flavors and normally dominate a saison.

Serving type: bottle

 758 characters

Photo of kitch
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Firestone Walker The Propagator, Venice. A 3oz taster pour into a mini snifter.

Appearance: A mostly clear golden colour with a two finger white head that had good retention and left nice lacing.

Aroma: Tart, tangy, citrus orange, tropical peach and apricot.

Taste: Taste is similar to the aroma with tart, tangy, citrus and tropical fruit and a hint of funk.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, light bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall: Refreshing and crisp. Very easy to drink.

 483 characters

Photo of cd34
4.29/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of seedyone
4.26/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From bottle at home. Very pricey. Not big on sours in general but a big Firestone-Walker fan, so I figured I'd take a leap. Hazy & golden. Dishwater head. Big fizz on the tongue. Lots of sour but little fruit. Tang is the word that feels right. Lemony comes in second, but none of the above take the reins.

Gauging with my proclivity for bigger, bolder stouts & barrel aged ales, this, although interesting, is on my one & done list. Been there...but still not sure why 'there' is even on the map.

As it warms the whole experience rounded out. The taste centers shifted farther back on the tongue. Became bigger, fuller. The sharp of the tang matured to one closer to a cheese tang. Sharp, but not acidic.

Now I'm imagining this with food. Apple pie & cheddar seems about right. Unfortunately at $17 per 12 Fl oz, I'll stick with a very dry cider.

 852 characters

Photo of ajdemma
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Phineasco
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of csmrx7
3.77/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Eziel
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mrcraft
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of WickedBeer
3.48/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of andyjeigh
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Ciocanelu
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sample at Mikkeller Beer Celebration Copenhagen 2017, yellow session. Aroma has light funk, brett and barnyard notes. Taste is tart, dry with a light funk, hay and grass notes. Light body, high carbonation.

 206 characters

Photo of Erik-P
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Lil' Opal from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.95 out of 5 with 479 ratings