Lil' Opal | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
89
very good
460 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
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
Ratings:
460
Reviews:
55
Avg:
3.98
pDev:
9.05%
 
 
Wants:
34
Gots:
77
For Trade:
7
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 460 |  Reviews: 55
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of sheenisgod
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ivegot3Dvision
4.34/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Its_Dipset_Eyy
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of AlexFields
3.72/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Photo of 7Sport
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of gcamparone
4.49/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz corked bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a slightly hazy golden orange body with a small white head that leaves little lacing or retention.

Aromas of tart lactic, lemony citrus, farmhouse funk, light oak, white wine. Really nice and inviting.

Taste is moderately tart with citrus, lactic tartness, wheat, peppery, light oak, finishes crisp and dry with medium low carbonation and a light easy drinking body.

Overall a very nice representation of the style, one of the better farmhouse ales I've had. Super balanced and really easy drinking.

 563 characters

Photo of mrn1ceguy
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jrob21
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of corby112
4.04/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy dark golden yellow color with ripe banana/straw colored edges and a two finger frothy white head that quickly settles into a thick, lasting ring. Decent retention with streaks of soapy lacing left behind.

Slightly earthy aroma with a nice balance of barnyard funk, musty bugs, sourdough bread, toasted oak and light fruit esters. Wild yeast dominates the nose with prominent barnyard funk. Subtle cheesiness, peppery spice, vanilla bean charred oak, hay and light fruit. Hints of apple and strawberry and cream but the lactic character gets stronger as it warms.

Fuller end of medium body with crisp acidity but not overwhelmingly sour. Decent amount of citric acid along with musty brett effervescence and lactic funk. Nice balance of acid and funk without overpowering the earthy farmhouse yeast and light fruit esters. Slight creamy texture with wild yeast, lemon spritz, hay and zesty citrus peel. Fruit isn't as strong as in the nose but this beer remains tart, refreshing and very easy to drink. Not quite as complex as the aroma suggests but still pretty interesting .

 1,101 characters

Photo of BecauseWhalezbro
3.59/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

Photo of ajchocholousek
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into teku:

A vigorous pour leaves a small, weak, soapy, quickly-dissipating bright white head that has medium-large bubbles. The beer is quite effervescent overall. A beautifully vivid, moderately hazy, golden orange hue paints the body.

The nose is a luscious combination of peach, tangerine, lemon peel, and an earthy breadiness that shows a hint of vinegary acidity (the faintest) surprisingly intermingled with a luscious orange-peach marmalade sweetness.

Everything else comes along with no surprises (except a surprising amount of carb), following the previously mentioned attributes, but with perhaps with a touch of wood, and a surprisingly firm level of sourness. It's complex, it's delicate, yet intense. Notes of peach, lemon, apple, and a touch of a honey-like sweetness, yield near the end to a smoky, oaky, barrel-driven funk that finishes dry, but more woody than one might expect.

Overall, an exquisite beer. Complexity is the name of the game here. I appreciate this, considering my recent string of quite one-dimensional sours. I think this is an underrated brew.

 1,095 characters

Photo of RyanCFriedrich
4.72/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.59/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of needMIbeer
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of stephenjmoore
4.11/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of DrBier
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of GreenMind
3.89/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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

Photo of StoneTSR
4.34/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

APPEARANCE: Light orange-yellow in color with a very fizzy head with big, unstable bubbles exploding quickly. The head rises to about a half-inch, but comes and goes within 15-20 seconds. There will be no lacing to speak of on this one as there is not a single bubble the sticks around for more than 20 seconds. A small stream rises from the etching on the bottom of the glass, but that’s about it. Color is gorgeous.

SMELL: Tart, sour, green apple and a backbone of funk are the primary aromas. The apple seems to get stronger with each sip and slightly overpowers the pleasant barrel smells that may have faded a touch.

TASTE: The oak comes through much stronger on the palate than it did on the nose. Vanilla and a touch of oak start the sip out, giving way to a slightly vinegary, spicy, and fruity middle; lemon, orange and a hint of grass. The end is where the tart, green apple hits along with some unexpected hop flavors. Complex and very tasty.

MOUTHFEEL: Surprisingly carbonated, given the lack of bubbles in the glass, but a little agitation and Lil’ Opal comes to life in a big way. A nice pucker brings the palate from slightly sweet fruit flavors to a dry, tart, crisp, clean finish. Light body, extremely refreshing.

OVERALL: I’m really glad I didn’t hold out on this one until the cooler months because on this warm, end-of-summer day it really hit the spot. I truly wish this was available more often (and in Colorado) on a regular basis.

 1,484 characters

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

Lil' Opal from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
3.98 out of 5 based on 460 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.