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Opal | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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very good
46 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Bringing down the Farmhouse! Our interpretation of the rustic Wallonian Saison style is a harmonious blend of rustic grains, spicy yeast and unique sauvignon blanc tones. Inviting lemon grass and gooseberry meet peppery spice and fresh grain aromas. Spicy Belgian yeast create a complex yet dry and refreshing canvas with splashes of citrus and stone fruit with a bright tropical white wine finish. Hop bitterness is assertive yet harmonious rounding out slightly tart and refreshing.

Added by TheEremite on 06-29-2008

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Reviews: 46 | Ratings: 337
Photo of sjdevel
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks great. Pale gold in color. 2 finger head. Not the best retention. Foam ring remains. Smells spicy and very hoppy. Not much on the floral hops, but more of the pine side...like a heavy citra laden beer. Some Belgan yeast. Tastes a bit grassy like youd expect from a Saison at first, then it jumps into more of a Belgian IPA style beer. A bit citrusy. Not much in the bitter side, but exlposive hop flavor. Medium mouthfeel and it stays a bit fizzy. Overall it is a good beer, but not enough in the Saison category for me. Still gave it straight 4s.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.99/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a light golden amber with a half finger white head with good retention and light lacing. Aroma of grainy malt, lemon, saison yeast. Flavor follows, with smooth grainy malt, saison yeast, light brett, lemon citrus, light pepper, light grass hops. Medium bodied with light creaminess. Covers all the bases for a pleasant, mellow saison. A bit smooth and easy for a farmhouse style ale, but makes up for lack of rusticness with a nice integration of malt with light funk and citrus. Very easy to drink and ABV well covered. I'd go elsewhere for a truly traditional saison, but this tasted great.

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Photo of EnzymaticHops
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Deep straw yellow with a quickly dissipating head. Lovely aromas with esters then hops. One of the hoppiest saisons I have tasted. The hops kind of knock out the saison yeast. A tasty brew but a bit unbalanced for a proper saison. Nonetheless, it appeals to the hophead in me.

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Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle - again, I like the home winemaking seal, with the easy-rip opener - it beats the hell out of those impenetrable wax dealios.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, yet bright medium golden yellow colour, with a near-teeming tower of puffy, rocky, and chunky bone-white head, which leaves some randomly splattered snow rime lace around the glass as it lazily recedes - hello, gorgeous!

It smells of edgy and spicy yeast, musky florals, gritty and grainy wheat malt, some citrus, dried apple, and pear fruitiness, white pepper and clove, a free-range, if well-understated sugar syrup thing, and some tame leafy, weedy, and hay-like hoppiness. The taste is bready and crackery pale malt, an equal to the task zingy wheatiness, softened Belgian yeast, muddled earthy spice, some lemon/lime and pome fruitiness, ethereal notes of funk, more sassy leafy, floral, and grassy hop bitters, and a wee sense of metallic alcohol.

The carbonation is quite active in its probing and poking frothiness, the body a solid middleweight, and mostly smooth, as the yeast provides a small challenge to the success of that particular metric here. It finishes off-dry, but not by much, as the mixed malt sheds any sugary predilections it made have been holding onto.

Overall, this is one well-rendered version of the style, with the late addition of (presumably) West Coast hops adding a nice bittering and flavourful offset to the spice and yeast esters. Easy and enjoyable to drink, even with the generally undetectable booze and sort of aggressive bubbles. Good, good stuff.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle copped at Bonds Tavern. An excellent American rendition of a true Belgian Saison. This was easily drinkable. Notes of straw, coriander, and lemons really come through on this one. Sweet finish with clove-like presence.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

This is a wild looking brew. Crazy neon bright glowing banana yellow with exceptional clarity. Real classic roaring column of middle carbonation in the glass, reaching to a nice creamy two finger head. Settles to half a finger with little lacing, but tremendous staying power. Great looking brew.

Clean sensing Belgian sweetness of sugars, almost gets into a taffy like smell on the nose. Slightly floral, and muted funk notes. Quite nice but seems to hint more to classic pale ale than farmhouse.

Once again a real nice clean palate. Mild sensing sugar, but the brew goes for mild estery floral and a good deal of garden and herb softness and earthy qualities. Soft peppery sage notes, almost minty as well. Lots of sensing like green herbs, thyme, sage, marjoram… and an almost honey like mouthfeel particularly on the finish. Interesting bitterness that creeps out of nowhere after awhile, particularly touchy on the middle of the tongue, and with an almost novocaine sensation.

Interesting take on a saison. Decent brew.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a yellow color with 2 fingers of fluffy head that sticks around for a great while. Leaves some good lacing

S: Spicy yeast and some fruity phenolics up front, along with some wheat and graininess. Hops throw in a bit more spiciness and light citrus

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with Belgian yeast notes of fruit and spice, and then goes into some wheat and grainy malt notes. Grainy notes really take ahold mid-palate, followed by some spicy and very lightly citrusy hops. Finishes with more yeast notes

M: Medium bodied with fine carbonation

O: A solid farmhouse ale with a nice dry-hop addition that doesn't overwhelm the base. Very easy to drink and hides it's abv fantastically well

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Photo of q33jeff
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

CJ beer festival. Very bubbly. Sweet. Nice. Earthy, but light. Notes of ester, hops.
Bottle to pint glass. ratings from Festival are spot on, I'll just up the "look" from 2.5 to a 3.0. No reason to suggest it is below average with a nice big white frothy head and bright yellow color.
TASTE: has a bit of a lemon mixed in with the ester, touch of yeast.

It all goes down very smoothly as I made this 22oz disappear watching my kids swimming in the pool. A top notch Saison.

Firestone Walker is becoming a favorite (and I still haven't yet opened any of my Parabolas).

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Photo of drpimento
4.73/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Now here is where they took a traditional beer, kept the significant parts of it and improved on some others. An amazing combination of old and new. There are the old yeasty, slightly tart, pungent flavors and aromas that are upgraded with the hops that have not degraded in the least. Splendid! Incredibly drinkable. Wish I could get lots more.

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Photo of metter98
4.11/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On-tap at Firestone Walker Taproom, Paso Robles, CA

A: The beer is clear light yellow in color and only has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short white head that left a patch of bubbles in the center and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of Belgian yeast are present in the nose along with notes of peppery spices.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except that the peppery spice flavors are stronger and particularly stand out in the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and somewhat dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I liked the yeastiness and spiciness in the taste and the dryness in the finish of this saison.

Serving type: on-tap

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Photo of dd43
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is a great beer, and is one of the better American saisons that I've had. I love Firestone Walker hopping it up as only they can: with assertive grace. Pours with an attractive two finger head with decent retention, medium to small bubbles. Lacing in spotty patches all around the glass. Really nice yeast aroma, some phenolic spice notes in there. Light citrus greets the nostrils, with the grassy malts arriving later in the swallow. There is a white grape note as well, almost like grape must. White pepper flourish in the finish, which is appropriately dry and thirst quenching as dictated by the style. Really easy to put back, a four pack of this is well worth your hard earned dollars.

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Photo of lic217
4.16/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: Pale yellow, slightly hazy, long lasting head
Aroma: Citrus, peppery, and bready
Taste: Same as aroma
Feel: prickly carbonation
Overall: a nicely made beer that would be quite enjoyable with many foods.

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Photo of Tone
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, gold color. 3/2 inch head of a white color. Great retention and decent lacing. Smells of yeast, slight bacterial funk, slight wheat, slight sweet malt, strong citrus, slight floral hops, and pale malt. Fits the style of a Saison / Farmhouse Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong citrus hops, bacterial funk, floral hops, slight alcohol, slight pale malt, hint of wheat, hint of earthiness, and hint of sweet malt. Overall, good aroma, body, and blend.

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Photo of joe16siny
2.26/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22 oz bomber bottled on 6/6/14 purchased 3/31/16. Like an ass i didn't check the date. Color was a very pale yellow. There was a touch of lemon, some yeast and it poured with a lot of foam. Will remember to CHECK DATES and seek out a fresh one.

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Photo of BrownAleBollocks
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a brilliant clear straw color for the first three quarters, with a touch of yeast haze in the end, topped by a fluffy two finger white head. Aroma is yeast, earth, and grainy malt, with some of the characteristics of the classic saison. Taste follows with spicy/peppery yeast, bready/cracker yeast, earth, floral fruit tones, and a slight dry tartness. Mouthfeel is dry, snapping of carbonation, but also round and full with the fruit notes from the sauv blanc must. Overall, this is a very nice interpretation of a saison with a few twists and assertive hopping.

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Photo of Marius
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle shared at tasting. Pale yellow pour, high carbonation, thin white head.Smells of farmhouse funk and honey. Bitter and dry, with notes of citrus, honey, grapefruit and brett.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Clear golden color with white head. Aroma is really fresh and fruity, floral and citrusy. Taste is also fresh, citrusy floral with some rustic farmhouse notes. Body is light and effervescent. Really fresh and easy drinking.

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Photo of Salt-n-Beer
3.49/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Nothing too overly exciting. Hardly any head, mild farmhouse smell and not much of a mouthfeel to speak of. Not unpleasant by any means but for the price I was expecting something much more exciting.

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Photo of OmahaKF
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smell is white grape juice, straw, lemon - very much like a sparkling cider.

Taste is Belgian yeast, lemon citrus, with a clean and slightly bitter finish.

Overall, a really nice hoppy saison.

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Photo of SHODriver
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 10/16/14. Picked up fairly recently. Yay for pre aged beers

A: Poured into a Duvel tulip to a clear golden yellow with a dense two finger head that retains well and leaves some lacing
S: Smells of spicy yeast, a little lemony citrus, and some cracker like malt
T: Taste is spicy yeast, some slightly musty grain flavors, slight citrus, and some grape notes. Swallow is faint white grape juice, some fruity estery goodness and some lingering spice. Slight alcohol on the finish
M: Fairly light but not watery with soft and slightly prickly carbonation. this beer finishes on the dryer side.
O: Firestone Walker doesn't mess around and this beer is a very good representation of the style. I'm sure with some fresher hop notes this beer is killer. It can hold its own when aged a little as well though. If you like Saisons this is a good one to get your hands on

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Photo of Wasatch
4.16/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. Bomber
Copper Foil/Capped
Bottled On: 06/06/15

Poured into a chalice a clean/clear pale yellow color, very nice carbonation with a very nice one-finger foamy white head, which leave minimal sticky lacing. The nose is pretty nice, malty, yeasty, with some nice banana/coriander notes, spices, peppery, slight citrus. The taste is malty, with a very nice touch of yeast, pepper, spices. Medium body, with a slight bitter finish. Overall, a pretty tasty brew.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle dated 11/17/2014. Served at cellar temps in a tulip glass.

Appearance: pale gold with a bright and bubbly head that sank to a thin wisp of bubbles on the edges of the glass. Very clear and bright. Nice looking farmhouse ale.

Nose: Belgian candi sugar, Belgian saison yeast, bright citrus aroma with lemons, limes and a slight orange. The hops are still present even after a few months in the bottle.

Taste: citrus hops bomb! Round and full flavored, crisp and very refreshing. The Belgian yeast did its job and made this a very classic and enjoyable saison. Dry, crisp and slightly bitter finish.

Overall: outstanding farmhouse ale. The dry hopping is a great addition and makes for a very bright and wonderful beer. I found these for $6.99 with a buy one get one free offer at a local shop in Buffalo, NY. What a steal at $3,50 for a bomber of fantastic saison.

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Photo of Neorebel
4.78/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

With a shade of straw evoking the serene, Opal is not only a rare beauty for the eyes... A creamy, funky aroma begins the experience of the other senses, followed by a unique partnership of grains, a wine-like, white grape quality, and a crisp bitterness in the finish that is no doubt thanks to the dry-hopping. Clean and balanced, with just enough mystery overall. A rare treat I'm grateful to have enjoyed.

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Photo of captaincoffee
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Nice yeast and citrus on the nose, but was hoping for more. Flavor was as expected...refreshing with some very light spice and citrus, but not much. Overall, a good beer, but maybe I was hoping for too much. Lacked complexity of a great saison.

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Photo of TH28
3.74/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750ml. 210 days old (Bottled on 6/6/14). Appearance: crystal clear pale yellow with a quickly dissipating white head. Looks like a glass of champagne. Aroma: Peppery Belgian saison yeast dominates. A hint of herbal/ earthy hop notes, that are very faint given the age of this beer. Also a bit of lemongrass apparent. Taste: Light malt sweetness giving way to flavors of lemon, pepper, and tart orange peel, with a sharp bitterness that has some herbal tones. Mouthfeel: Very light and dry on the palate, with high carbonation. Finish: Dry with a bit of lemony citrus and lingering bitterness. Overall: Good but not great saison, but that is likely due to this beer being well past it’s optimal condition. I picks up none of the dry hop characteristics I’d expect from the description, and some of the typical saison characteristics such as pepper were fairly restrained. I’ll try to pick up a fresher version next time for comparison.

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Opal from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.03 out of 5 based on 337 ratings.
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