Helldorado | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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HelldoradoHelldorado
BA SCORE
4.26/5
Outstanding
994 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:
#856
Reviews:
254
Ratings:
994
pDev:
7.51%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
158
Gots:
483
Trade:
72
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 994 |  Reviews: 254
Photo of AngEo
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of metter98
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is hazy amber yellow in color—too hazy to see if there is any visible carbonation. It poured with a short white head that quickly died down, leaving only a thin film of bubbles on the surface and a narrow collar around the edge of the glass. The head died down further, leaving only a narrow collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of coconut and oaky vanilla are present in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of rich caramel malts with notes of coconuts and finishes with lots of oaky vanilla.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a low amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is exceptionally easy to drink consider its strength as it hides any traces of alcohol from the taste; however the taste is very interesting and makes for this to be a beer to slowly sip and savor.

Note: 2017 vintage

Serving type: bottle

 864 characters

Photo of denver10
3.53/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of 1971bernat
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of NolaHopHead
4.26/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

Smooth with a sweet smell. Had the 2016 and it clocked in at 11.8%ABV. There was 4000 cases made, OG 24.5, FG 1.25, IBU 24 , yeast is a brutish ale, and SRM 11

 160 characters

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

Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.51/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, honey gold with a big, foamy white head.
Smell of caramel malt, oak bourbon, honey and vanilla.
The malts in this are wonderful. Caramel, honey, vanilla, plenty of oak and bourbon. Slight alcohol burn.
Great, smooth mouthfeel. Not overbearing.
Great complex beer.

 281 characters

Photo of g00ey
4.39/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of tp1962
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of hman43
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Look: It pours golden towards the dark side with a white head that has moderate head retention.

Smell: There are aromas of caramel, bread, and wood. There is a touch on honey in the nose with a bit of spice as well.

Taste: It has a strong sweet wood and caramel flavor with alcohol noticeable from the start. There is a bit of a black cherry flavor with moderate spice.

Feel: It is full bodied, but not chewy. There is strong alcohol warming that is a touch hot.

Overall, not as heavy in the body as I would expect from a beer this high in alcohol content and smooth even if it is a touch hot. A great taste from beginning to finish.

 641 characters

Photo of mattmarka1
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of AdmiralOzone
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2017 vintage. Pours a crystal clear honey gold with a thin ivory head that dissipates immediately leaving minimal lacing. Aroma is vanilla, honey, caramel and booze. Flavor is a beautiful blend of the flavors on the nose with the heat of the barrel minimal. The feel is smooth and lacks much carbonation, dry finish. Great beer overall, glad Firestone Walker is now being distributed here in Minnesota.

 402 characters

Photo of herman77
4.36/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bright golden honey color with a half finger of cream colored head. Vanilla cake, honey, a bit of toffee and wildflower on the nose. Strong sweet bready malts up front with honey, caramel and dried apricots. Very nice barrel characters of oak, vanilla and a bit of coconut that I get almost always from FW barrel aged beers. The barrel characteristics come on strong near the finish and linger for awhile. Smooth mouthfeel with lower carbonation. A very nice, somewhat different take on a barrel aged barleywine. It has those classic FW barrel characteristics.

 560 characters

Photo of TheCrowsEye
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kemoarps
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2015 vintage popped 5/6/18.
Seemed like an appropriate option to dig in for my 666th review.
I've never seen a blonde barleywine before. It's light. Like, I'd even say it's lighter than most DIPAs. It's honey coloured. There's a decent half finger of white head to start, but it's wet and settles back down and yields minimal lacing and a crescent moon of fuzz accumulating to the edges.

Nose brings it back to more familiar territory with sweet boozy raisins and vanilla and oak and toffee and leather and all those barleywine good flavours. As you get further into the glass there's a woodshop woodiness that's less oak barrel and almost kind of a cedar. Definitely into that

Much of the same notes come across here, with a twisting interplay between the various components. Sweet and oaky up front with a lot of honey and an almost sherry-like character. There's a middle thread of leather and golden raisins. Definitely still super boozy though.

Medium body that seems like it should be stickier than it is. Aggressive carbonation, and still very boozy even three years out. Tastes like even more than the 12.8 it actually carries.
I love FSW, and barleywines may well be my favourite style, so my expectations were pretty damn high here, and honestly, while I'm glad to have stashed one away (and finally cracked it open), I feel pretty okay with the fact that I don't have any more of them stored for later. It's aight. Good even, but I was hoping for great.

 1,469 characters

Photo of Avitra
4.44/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Easily one of the more complex beers I have tasted, this is truly a great.
What really hits you is this long finish which is mostly reminiscent of Pecan nuts and a nice vanilla caramel ice cream. No bitterness detected and very little booziness, this is extremely drinkable for a 12.8, which is really what I look for most of the time. The mouth has a very pleasant carbonation filled with that nutty flavor. Beautiful beer.

 426 characters

Photo of szmnnl99
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of YeastEnthusiast
4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of WOLFGANG
4.41/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2016 Vintage Apple-molasses, toffee, oak, coconut, vanilla and cashew. Definitely better with a little age.

107 characters

Photo of larryarms847
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly murky/hazy amber reddish brown.

Leather, spice, caramel, toffee, oak, and rich malt sweetness.

Caramel, bourbon, oak, toffee, and spicy hops.

Full-bodied, low carbonation, sweet, strong.

Overall, an interesting brew but nothing to write home about IMHO.

 274 characters

Photo of d3zine
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Justinprintz
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Helldorado from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.26 out of 5 with 994 ratings