Lil' Opal | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Lil' OpalLil' Opal
Very Good
478 Ratings
Lil' OpalLil' Opal

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

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

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 478 |  Reviews: 61
Photo of Spaz7
5/5  rDev +26.6%

Photo of ejhansen7
5/5  rDev +26.6%

Photo of Davihaw
5/5  rDev +26.6%

Photo of Yby1acb
4.96/5  rDev +25.6%

Photo of Pedalincircles
4.8/5  rDev +21.5%

Photo of iTunesUpdates
4.79/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Very great drink ability. Comes in around %6 2015 version.

This to me goes beyond what I have seen for farmhouse ales.

Wish I could drink this everyday. Will be trying to trade for this soon.

 193 characters

Photo of mrbubbler
4.75/5  rDev +20.3%

Photo of RyanCFriedrich
4.72/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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 Ferrari805
4.63/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ehammond1
4.56/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Hazy golden with a finger of creamy near-white head. Not great retention or stick, but this is a very low ABV beer. A pretty color. Looks inviting.

A cornucopia of bright, juicy fruit character: lots of peaches, apricots, and maybe even some mango. A tiny bit of wheat grain and mild grass with a bit of wood. Interesting, complementary, earthy and fruity yeast as well. This is a really wonderful beer.

A juicy, delicious, complex, but incredibly drinkable beer. Peach and apricot character combine nicely with mild funk and grass, a little bit of oak, and some citrus zest. Somewhat dry.

Thin to medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Fantastic creation. I really want to see this in bottles.

 752 characters

Photo of DaverCS
4.53/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a wine glass. The beer is akin in appearance to that of a sparkling wine. Little head that dissipates quickly. I tried this beer on tap at barrelworks, but this is a full review from the bottle.

Aroma is of citrus, lactic acid, oak, and some brett-like characteristics. Only a little bit of spice notes.

Taste is very similar to a funky sparkling wine. Great notes of funk, lemon, and grape. The oak does come through quite a bit. Vanilla and some Belgian spice are also prevalent. A bit grassy. Clean and crisp with moderate-to-high carbonation and a bone dry finish.

Overall, this could convert any white wine or champagne drinker. This beer is great. Previously at barrelworks I was comparing all world class sours, so I originally rated it a 83. I was wrong. It is definitely a 91. I see it pairing well well then higher end cuisine like pan seared halibut or scallops.

 888 characters

Photo of t2grogan
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of MicroBeerMan1980
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of Nick29
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of trubeernick
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of NRo
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

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

Photo of csmalley
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of jimmmmeeerrsssss
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of Flip4beers
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

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

Photo of Ssconberg
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of GeorgeCarroll
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

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

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Lil' Opal from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.95 out of 5 with 478 ratings