Helldorado | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
795 Ratings
THE BROS
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HelldoradoHelldorado
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.80%

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. Helldorado may be lighter in color but it is a full-bodied and densely concentrated sipper.

Added by wethorseblanket on 10-21-2011

BEER STATS
Ratings:
795
Reviews:
187
Avg:
4.24
pDev:
7.78%
 
 
Wants:
162
Gots:
440
For Trade:
69
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 795 |  Reviews: 187
Photo of Tspesak
4.71/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2016 Vintage Batch No. 002

Look: golden blonde, thin white head that dissipated quickly.

Smell: heavy oak and vanilla up front, followed by sweet malts, kinda graham cracker smells, definitely raw honeycomb weaving in and out. Definitely caught my interest to taste....

Taste: so much magic happening. Oaky and whiskey booze to start followed by great vanilla and honey sweetness to round it out before definitely getting some butterscoth candy in there; and am I crazy or do I get some floral notes in the background?

Feel: perfect carbonation for everything that's happening; medium body subtle carbonation. Great beer to wind down the stress of the day.

Overall: almost perfection. Poured at 42° and at first the whiskey booze was a little much, as the beer warmed closer to 50°-52° it got better with every sip; the heavy boozy feel wasn't too forward but definitely still present. Picked this up because I was intrigued by a barrel aged blonde. Will definitely be returning to stock pile my beer fridge.

 1,019 characters

Photo of Zuidman
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Gatch
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 06/10/16, 2016 Vintage, Release No. 002.

This is the FW beer that I've been waiting more than a decade to drink! Don't know why. Ever since I saw the blend beers they put into the Anniversary beers, Helldorado has stood out as the one to try. Sadly it didn't blow my mind as I expected. And not as good as Bravo Brown that I drank last night.

Gorgeous look. Hoppy, boozy, woody nose. The barrel character isn't up to par. Hoppier and sweeter than I expected for its age. Really gotta let it war up. A tasty barley wine and definitely delicious but not outstanding. Worth the $18 for the bomber? Probably. This was for a special occasion. The last beer I'll be drinking for a long time.

 695 characters

Photo of AlexFreudenberg
4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of brentk56
4.09/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours amber colored with a slight haze; the head builds to one finger but fades quickly, leaving clumps and dots of lacing

Smell: The malts dominate, bringing honey, graham and butterscotch tones; underneath, there is an herbal, somewhat lemony aspect; wafts of Bourbon intermingle

Taste: Unlike the aroma, the herbal, lemony tone asserts at the outset, with the sweeter malt flavors building in intensity through the middle; honey, butterscotch, coconut, vanilla and graham cracker round out the malty sweetness; after the swallow, the Bourbon takes a bow, bringing a rather boozy finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; warmth in the gullet

Overall: I get what they are going for but I can't get excited about it; well-constructed, like all Firestone Walker barrel aged beers, but I prefer their other offerings to this one

 865 characters

Photo of Duff27
3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of MonkeyBread
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Patches826
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Rammed96
3.2/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of J_Mueller
4.24/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of SonictheBeerhog
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jonbonfondle
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Prost76
3.92/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of XicanoBeerRun
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of beergoot
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2015 Vintage, 13.2% ABV

Honey colored body; thin head. Heavy caramel aroma; oak. Flavor strongly follows the aroma; nutty; vanilla; tempered booziness with some hop bitterness far in the background. Heavy body; residual sugars galore; warm.

This beer delivers the big malt and heavy alcohol qualities of a hardcore barley wine. Like many high ABV beers, the head is sorely lacking in quality, but overall, it's a very satisfying.

 431 characters

Photo of HopSavant
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of SaisonRichBiere
4.26/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Furlinator
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2016.
Pours translucent honey gold. A thin, fizzy khaki head forms and quickly disappears completely. No lace. The smell is of carmel malt, vanilla, oak and alcohol. The taste follows with sweet caramel malt, vanilla, oak, mild hop presence and warming booze. Medium texture with low carbonation.

 304 characters

Photo of cjohns73
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Warren2621
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of TrojanRB
4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of shigg85
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of coz
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of zeff80
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured out a clear, golden yellow color with a small, off-white head of foam. It smelled very sweet and boozy. It had a strong sweetness up front with an alcoholic burn. Just enough bitterness for balance.

 205 characters

Photo of Ristaccia
4.26/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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Helldorado from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.24 out of 5 based on 795 ratings.
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