Helldorado | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

HelldoradoHelldorado
BA SCORE
4.27/5
868 Ratings
HelldoradoHelldorado
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Part of the adventure of aging beer in retired spirits barrels is the synergistic interaction of different malt flavors with the oak and spirit flavors from the barrel. Darker beers like stouts and darker barley wines have typically been the favored candidates for barrel-aging, due to their deeper caramel and roasted flavors. Helldorado breaks that mold with a deep golden color from being brewed solely with English and American pale malts. The bready, honeyed flavors of pale malts pull out rich wildflower honey, vanilla and coconut notes from the oak, creating an overall flavor evocative of bourbon-glazed graham crackers that stands as singularly unique in our Vintage lineup.

Added by wethorseblanket on 10-21-2011

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#758
Reviews:
210
Ratings:
868
pDev:
7.73%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
164
Gots:
466
Trade:
74
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 868 |  Reviews: 210
Photo of russpowell
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an effervescent honey color with a pinky of beige colored head. Zero head retention & lacing

S: Some Bourbon, pick up strenth as it warms

T: Lovely Bourbon smoothness, plus a touch of honey malt & oaky dryness up front. A touch of honey & Bourbon as this warms. Finishes oaky with sweet honey & a touch of vanilla

MF: Medium body, fairly firm carbonation, warming

Pretty good, was hoping for better, especially for the cost. Drinks pretty easy & was happy to get a chance to try it

 502 characters

Photo of Manfrombelmonty
4.46/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mitch3114
4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Drank fresh-delicious

21 characters

Photo of laketang
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

poured from a 12 ounce bottle 2017
beautiful clear copper with nice initial head
but no retention. notes of caramel and sweetness
boozy caramel and slight honey notes are pleasing

 179 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.31/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of sohearn
4.51/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of SebastianOwl
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jakea
4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Eric_T_07
4.04/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I was pretty disappointed with this one. I thought it lacked depth in flavor and the bourbon notes were overpowering at times. It got better as it warmed up, but I was expecting more based on their other barrel aged offerings.

 226 characters

Photo of JamieDuncan
4.71/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of _nickg_
4.06/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of timmy2b
4.14/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of thebooyakid
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

(12 oz bottle, 2017 vintage, left out of fridge for 1 hour, poured into a teku)

L: crystal-clear pale amber liquid, small amount of tiny flaked sediment floating about... the foam on the pour was falling apart immediately, leaves a spitty collar... nearly looks like a still Scotch whisky by the end

S: pretty typical familiar nose for these FW BA strong ales - caramel creme, vanilla latte, hints of charred oak, super-soft spicy booze

T: heavy base of cereal maltiness, firm overtone of nutty caramel, subtle hint of sultana perhaps; dry, softly toasty and honeyish finish... bit of the caramel and caramelized wood lingers, otherwise, rather dry... bitterness is moderate and its essence seems more wood-derived than via hops

F: quietly-dense oily thread through the middle of an otherwise taut, lean body... supremely mellow warmth, soft metallic twinge left across the tongue

O: good, simply and tightly constructed, though I feel intensity and familiar tone of the barrel aging snuffs out the narrow breadth of malt nuance a bit much, rendering this brew arguably nondescript... glad I had a chance to try it, but I hate to say I see no reason to have this again

 1,173 characters

Photo of Lucular
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a fantastic BBA barleywine. The aroma and flavor offer vanilla, oak, bourbon, graham cracker, and a touch of honey. Very well balanced and the 12.8% abv is well hidden.

 176 characters

Photo of bshefftz
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Kbrady10
5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of avalon07
4.24/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark, golden yellow color and a clear consistency. There was a half inch of foamy, somewhat long-lasting head. Pretty good lacing.

S: A very nice aroma of hops, malt, vanilla, caramel, and little coconut.

T: Tasted of a bit of roasted malt, a fair shot of hops (not too much), lots of caramel, some coconut (much more prevalent than in the aroma), vanilla, an oaky quality, and a light citrusy quality. A big, vibrant flavor that doesn't disappoint. It's quite complex, with a warming quality. Very tasty.

F: A good amount of carbonation with a slightly slick finish. Medium- to full-bodied.

O: This is a different kind of barleywine, but definitely worth trying. Drinkable.

 725 characters

Photo of TheWolf
3.89/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of MDDMD
4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of HipCzech
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving: 12 oz bottle (2017 vintage) poured into a 9 oz Libbey Embassy snifter.

Appearance: Beautiful, clear, deep and bright golden amber with a frothy head of white foam and sticky lace.

Smell: Sweet caramel corn, toasted malts, vanilla and wood barrel notes.

Taste: Rich, sweetly malty body with plenty of honey, coconut, caramel and vanilla. Earthy hops, slight leafy bitterness and just enough bourbon barrel.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium to full body with moderate carbonation.

Overall: Interestingly counterintuitively: big, boozy and malty in a clear, light package.

 576 characters

Photo of Gemini6
4.01/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Keeling
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Pray_For_Mojo
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served in a tulip

Appearance: a beautiful honey color with minimal head when poured. Soon thereafter no head remains, and the beer appears flat. Legs when swirled, which indicates that this beer will be full bodied.

Aroma: very prominent coconut – toasted coconut – then oak. No alcohol in the nose.

Flavor: as with the nose, very prominent coconut. The coconut transforms from toasted coconut to a sweet candy-like coconut in the finish. Wonderful coconut flavor late in the finish. Rarely have I tried a beer where the barrel contributes so much to the overall flavor of the beer - not the original booze stored in the barrel, but the actual wood. There is more coconut flavor in this beer than most coconut beers. No alcohol flavor or head despite the 12.8% abv. Few layers of flavor – really just a showcase of the barrel. Excellent nonetheless.

Mouthfeel: medium-medium. The body seems thinner than reality. Perhaps only being medium bodied at 12.8% abv.

Overall: this is a beer whose sum is greater than its parts. This barleywine is far from what I expected, but this was a pleasant surprise. Very good. An exclamation point to the success of FW’s barrel program. Because of this beer, I’ll try FW’s other barrel-aged beers.

 1,248 characters

Photo of Nrod
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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Helldorado from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.27 out of 5 with 868 ratings
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