Sour Opal | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Sour OpalSour Opal
BA SCORE
4.29/5
Outstanding
284 Ratings
Sour OpalSour Opal
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by UCLABrewN84 on 09-23-2012

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#947
Reviews:
44
Ratings:
284
pDev:
7.69%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
45
Gots:
47
Trade:
3
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 284 |  Reviews: 44
Photo of rudzud
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle of this at Julio's last year. Batch #005, May 2017 vintage.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip nice crystal clear golden hue with a thin quarter inch white blanket that faded to leave a thin creamy blanket and thick halo. Nice lacing.

S - Aromas of light tartness, green apple skins, grassy notes, hay, slightly metallic. The brett funk is rather soft and subtle.

T - Taste is quite tart, loads of green apple, lemons, sweet tarts, under ripe pineapple. Not much in the way for hops, the brett completely takes over here in a good way. Nice slight french oak flavour going on. As funky tart as this is the finish is soft and supple, no acidic harshness at all.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, finish is pleasant and not flemmy.

O - Overall this was a very tasty batch of Sour Opal. The brett is shining wonderfully right now. Wish I had more than just this single bottle!

Serving Type: Bottle

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Photo of Zythophile
4.34/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle Date: 9/27/16
Palate Contaminants: none

The look isn't partiularly fizzy. Nice opaque, gold glow. It scatters light nicely.

Main scent is lightly funky apple cider. Traces of fresh cilantro. Wheaty malt in the background.

There's a little of that cider to start with, but that's just overpowered by a floral taste. It's like drinking apple blossoms. It doesn't strike me as overly sweet at first, but it builds. The wheat really increases with warmth. Citrus acidity is kind of unobtrusively hanging around. There's also a mineral quality that a lot of folks like in chardonnays (i.e., flint).

It's nice and heavy. Carbonation is fine, but prickly. Lots of sugar residue. Alliterative astringent apples are around afterwards.

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Photo of Dankacheese
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Vidblain
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I picked up a Sour Opal when last I was in Chicago - for FoBAB, I believe - and it has been sitting on my little sour shelf area in the cellar ever since (what - six or seven months now?). Much as I never think of Firestone Walker's sours when I consider their line-up, they always seem to be quite solid.

Sour Opal pours a light orange, tangerine color. The nose is quite fruity - lots of apricot. That translates very nicely to the taste. It's almost tropical, sweet, and startlingly sour and tart - also, quite acidic. I made the error of drinking two FSW sours in one evening and had to run for my Tums pretty quickly.

Crisply carbonated and refreshing - for a shelfie, I'd happily drink this beer weekly. I am hopeful that it (and the other Firestone sours) will begin showing up in Minnesota now. Fingers crossed! Sour Opal is quite decent.

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

Batch No 005, 5/2017

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Photo of mrn1ceguy
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Haybeerman
3.98/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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

Photo of tykechandler
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of connecticutpoet
4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance – Deep yellow, slightly hazy body with a half finger head.

Aroma – Sour, funky, acidic, light stone fruit. Wow.

Taste – Sour, funky and acidic like the aroma. Very good.

Mouthfeel – Smooth and well carbonated.

Overall – This was a well-made beer and I would have it again, if it were less expensive.

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Photo of SpdKilz
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of weareallfalafel
4.59/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of KAP1356
4.31/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of JakerLou
4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of Damian
5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank from a 12.7 fl.oz.[375ml] corked and caged bottle purchased at Craft Beer Cellar, Belmont, MA
Batch: No.003
Bottled: 05/08/17
Served in a tulip

Gorgeous appearance. The crystal clear, light amber body was topped by a tight, fluffy, two-finger tall, cream colored crown. Outstanding retention. The head slowly dropped to a thick collar. Dense, craggily streaks of lacing stuck all along the glass.

The aroma was fantastic. Super funky and tart. Loads of oak and tannins. There was a intense crisp, dry, powdery yeastiness. Citrus notes were also apparent. Lemon came through strongest. Touch of pale malt sweetness.

The flavor profile was perhaps even more interesting and complex than the nose. Really crisp, tart and bright. Lemon notes dominated. Loads of oaky barrel. Good dose of musty funk and barnyard character. Bit of pale malt sweetness. More sourness and acidity on the back end and the finish. Hint of grassy hoppiness. Huge oaky tannins and big sweet-tart lemony notes lingered after the swallow.

Outstanding mouthfeel. Lighter bodied but super soft and smooth. The liquid contained a fine yet relatively intense carbonation that fluffed up beautifully on the palate.

I said it before and I will say it again: Firestone Walker have one of the best (if not the best) sour program this side of the Atlantic. Sour Opal is a truly spectacular beer that drinks like some of the best gueuzes in the world. This is an underrated gem that somehow flies under the radar.

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Photo of stortore
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375 ml bottle into a flute glass. Bottled 5/18/17, had 12/3/17.

Pours a bright, clear, golden color, with a one and a half inch foamy head with good retention and a good amount of foamy lacing. Active carbonation. Smells tart, sour and funky. Aromas of oak, straw, white grapes, yeast, some apple and vanilla, light malt, light mint. The taste is tart, lightly sour, vanilla, oak, lemon, white grapes, funk, yeast, wine, light malt. Smooth, a solid lighter body, well carbonated.

Very enjoyable. Really good and well balanced flavors, but fairly straightforward overall. Certainly worth a purchase as a beer, it’s very good. But it does have a pretty high price point.

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Photo of Vivs85
4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of rgk3
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Straw-colored with thin white head that stuck around as it continued to effervesce, bubbles rising up for the longest time as it sat in the glass. Funky, earthy, and sweet smelling. Champagne-y mouthfeel was pleasant. Tart, sour, oaky, green apple and white grape flavors are wonderful. A very nice sour.

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Photo of TheBrewsky
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is batch number 5. Bottles on 05/08/17. Poured into 20oz snifter glass.

Look: Pours dark amber in color, like a rust, burnt orange. No head formation, with minimal traces of lacing.

Smell: Earthy tones, with abundant of sour notes. Slight sweetness coming through, as well as malts. Also get whiffs of acidity, as you get when smelling wine. The oak barrel is pronounced, which adds to a fantastic oaky smell.

Taste: Follows the nose. More tart than sour. Fruity flavor that is tart, and earthy floral undertones. Acidic on the taste as well. Again, oak barrel is really pronounced.

Feel: medium bodied, with low carbonation. Really smooth drinking.

Overall: This is a good sour and one that is worthy of a try. I really enjoy the pronounced oak barrel, which is something I enjoy in certain wines. This is a must try for sour lovers. Cheers!

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Photo of Dweedlebug
4.34/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of ArrogantB
4.06/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle $12.99. Bright orange color, good lacing, decent bit of head after it died down. Earthy, fruity, and an enticing brettanomyces aroma followed by a sugary sweetness. Mildly sour, super juicy wild ale. Extremely easy to drink, Firestone Walker makes quality wild ales.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.48/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12.7 oz bottle, batch 3 bottled 5/8/17. Pours clear straw gold with a smallish bubbly creamy white head that retains well and leaves some lacing.

The aroma is sweet funky malts with some acidic and tart fruits and a little bandaid.

The flavor is sweet tart and sour acidic fruit over a washed out Belgian base. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, a decent sour.

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Sour Opal from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.29 out of 5 with 284 ratings