Lil' Opal
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Lil' OpalLil' Opal
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Farmhouse Ale - Saison
Ranked #489
ABV:
4.3%
Score:
89
Ranked #8,950
Avg:
3.98 | pDev: 9.3%
Reviews:
73
Ratings:
507
From:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
 
California, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  36
Gots
  79
SCORE
89
Very Good
Lil' OpalLil' Opal
Notes: A low alcohol Belgian-style Saison session beer aged for 17 months in lightly-used medium-plus toasted American oak barrels.
View: Beers
Reviews: 73 | Ratings: 507 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by mhksuccess:
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mhksuccess from California

4/5  rDev +0.5%

Sep 19, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429 from Illinois

4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours clean blonde color with a good white head and a ring or two of lacing on the way down. The nose carries some oak and light acidity plus a bit of white wine. Fairly strong sourness comes around along with a bit of funk. The flavor is fairly-funky and brings some white-wine acidity as well as a bit of lemon. Oak comes in as well. Mouthfeel is really nice with the acidity pairing well with a bit of a tannic presence. Really tasty and another solid experiment into the wild category from Firestone. I really hope this becomes a bigger program in the future.

May 31, 2011
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

just when i thought normal opal was the best saison going, i go and have a glass of this one, wow is it delicious. refreshing light wheat malt base with copious brett and oak characteristics, and just enough tartness to be both citrusy and refreshing. maybe a little less dramatically hopped than regular opal, which i loved for its hoppy finish. this replaces hops with funk, and its a great tradeoff. so much sweet oak in the middle, it almost feels more substantial than its low alcohol really is. plush fuller body for a lighter beer too, with brett moving from almost grassy up front to all the way funked out as it finishes. super dry, just a little oak left on the tongue after i swallow. a joyous beer that i really need about a pony keg of to enjoy to the fullest. this is all day drinking wild ale, it would make a great sixes for firestone walker, although i bet we never see that. it would really do well i think, i would be a regular on it in that format! great accompaniment to almost any cuisine, versatile and delicious wild ale all around. maybe not the most complex or distinct, but its flawlessly put together.

Jul 21, 2014
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Damian from Massachusetts

4.65/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

Jan 21, 2018
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StoutSnob40 from California

4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Jul 06, 2014
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ArrogantB from Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375ml bottle of batch 002. Bright yellow-orange, great clarity, looks fantastic. Aroma is very nice, brett, lemon, classy. Flavor is top notch, delicate, not really sour but brettanomyces, lemons, mild oak, just really good. Impressive.

Jan 02, 2017
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CTJman from Connecticut

4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Jul 22, 2014
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Georgiabeer from Georgia

4.29/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Toronado San Francisco. Poured a yellow/gold with no head but good carbonation. Smells slightly fruity like a wit with lemon, coriander, and apple. The taste is similar with nice clean, vibrant flavors of lemon, coriander, clove, and slightly sweet apple as well as some herbal flavors with a spicy finish. Very nice. The mouthfeel is crisp, clean, and smooth. Super refreshing, very tasty and a nice summer drink.

Sep 09, 2008
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Tyrus from California

4/5  rDev +0.5%

Jun 05, 2014
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metter98 from New York

3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
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

Sep 02, 2017
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IndyDad from New York

3.25/5  rDev -18.3%

Apr 02, 2014
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mendvicdog from Maryland

3.25/5  rDev -18.3%

May 07, 2014
Photo of MastaShonuf
MastaShonuf from California

3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Jun 01, 2014
Photo of drewone
drewone from California

3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Jun 04, 2013
Photo of straightlambic
straightlambic from California

4.1/5  rDev +3%

Dec 14, 2014
Photo of davegray
davegray from California

4/5  rDev +0.5%

Aug 12, 2013
Photo of Fern13
Fern13 from California

4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apr 02, 2015
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largadeer from California

3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Apr 06, 2013
Photo of Cubatobaco
Cubatobaco from Virginia

4.14/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Jun 01, 2015
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smekermann from Canada (BC)

4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Feb 11, 2015
Photo of TheQuest300
TheQuest300 from California

4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Aug 18, 2014
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove from South Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on tap from notes

light golden amber quickly filled up the glass with tons of bubbling white foam. Crowning the top and hanging on for what seems like an eternity thick, coating lace is dropped all over the glass.

The aroma was thick with peppery spice, grassy notes, lots of herbal, earthy, and grainy hops. A touch of light peach or pear in here as well. Really just a nice well rounded aroma. Taste rolls through with loads of pepper, coriander, touches of grain. A gritty, earthy taste and feel to it as it was light in body but I felt as though I was chewing it. Light finish, light tartness, dry, very dry with a touch of a peppery spray

Aug 27, 2011
Photo of Eziel
Eziel from Ohio

4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jun 19, 2017
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RaulMondesi from California

3.82/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not bad. Not good. Kind of like George Cloony and his career: Lil' Opal pours gorgeously, and it has good traits, but it's also kind of 'meh.'

Beautiful orange glow, while the aroma is inviting like a Betacaratin sorority party. But once inside... a bit flat, a bit, "yeah, I'm ok with being here, but I could be doing something better."

It's ok, but it's just a Lil' (see what Raul did there?) of a letdown from the powerhouse that is Firestone Walker.

Jul 13, 2014
Photo of kvgomps
kvgomps from New Jersey

4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nov 07, 2016
Lil' Opal from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 507 ratings