Sour Opal | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

22 Reviews
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Sour OpalSour Opal

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

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

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Reviews: 22 | Ratings: 224
Photo of cosmicevan
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

not sure if this one came via trade or if this made it to my local distro as these seem to be doing here and there. batch 1.

you really can't miss with these barrel works brews...don't think I've had a bad one and this is no exception. delicate egginess in a golden sour. very approachable sour. very tasty

 308 characters

Photo of Treyliff
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375ml cork and cage bottle poured into a tulip
Bottles 2016

A- pours a clear golden color with a one-finger creamy white head that has great retention

S- woody and funky with notes of apricot, nutty oak, vanilla and citrus peel

T- citrus and tropical fruit up front, lemon peel, citrus, apricot. Nutty oak with a bit of funk at the mid-palate, the finish gives vanilla and coconut, with linger of lemon

M- medium-light body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a dry finish

O- just enough tartness with great citrus/tropical notes throughout

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at ABV.

A mildly hazy orange with a dense off white head with decent retention and lacing, this looks solid. The nose is bright, lemony, grainy, grist like, faintly acetic, mildly lactic and yogurt like. Mildly grassy, mild white wine character. Faint tannins. The palate opens tart, lemony and yogurt like. Very bright and refreshing, lightly grassy. Snappy and tart, though lightly watery, this beer finishes dry, mildly vinous and mineraly. Yummy.

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Photo of stevoj
4.11/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle share. Tart, sharp sour accents in aroma and taste. Not too fruity. Still relatively smooth and drinkable. Bone dry finish, lingering excellence.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle into snifter. Bottled 3/20/15.

A: Pours a clear golden color with a fuzzy finger of off-white head that quickly disappeared into nothingness.
S: Musty oak dominates the nose, light peppery spice, and a bright tartness.
T: Acidity is clean and more complex than similar sours that lack pedio. The finish has a hint of vanilla and stone fruit, and the aftertaste has green young quality that is hard to describe. Coconut lingers in the aftertaste. Light notes of dry pale grains throughout. Faint pear.
M: Medium-light body, clean mouthfeel with a mild yet bright tartness that has a nice earthy spiciness to it. Slightly water finish.
O: A very nice and flavorful sipper. Flavors are light yet complex and delicate. Drinks well.

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Photo of Phil-Fresh
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25


A: Slightly estery with a citrus, lemon like aroma, pretty funky with lasting sourness.

A: Bright yellow color, totally clear with a moderately thin white head. Moderate lacing evident in the glass.

T: Citrus, lemon, faintly tropical fruit, slightly sweet malt, moderately (Oak) woody, with a vinous sourness on the finish.

M: Light bodied with moderate carbonation. There is a light, pleasing acidity on the palette.

O: Complex; this beer came together quite nicely. One to savor and contemplate the various, interesting aromas and flavors.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Call it a poor man's temptation. Blond pour, white head, thin, under 1/3". Aroma was lemon and white wine. Plenty of acidic quality to this one taste wise, ample sourness, mild wood wafting.

Smallest amount of funk/earthiness to it. A good beer, one of the better in the 375ml format they make (I had this on tap), but ultimately, it still seems the best stuff from FW barrel program comes in the 22oz bottles.

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Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.52/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Aroma- very faint, sweet malt, light citrus, light aroma of wet red clay, moss, pleasant, but very very weak
Flavor- light pilsner sweetness, floral element suggestive of nobel hops, white grape, faint vanilla (oak derived?), hint of lavender, light, quick, during finish. Hint of watermelon, no vinegar or overt funk

MF- medium bodied, medium-high carbonation, medium acidity. Pretty good, but lacks the creaminess of the best.

APP - faintly hazy dull gold with low head that dissipates quickly

OVerAll- pretty beer, artful, lacks intensity and complexity, still way better than most US Lambic

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Photo of Chris912
4.62/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of the better, or dare I say best, sours I’ve had to date. It stands with the top tier American sours out there. Up front was the nice lacto punch a sour should have, and the finish was graceful without any off flavors. A great aroma of lemon zest and other citrus with a slight oaky smell from the barrel. Carbonation seems perfect – I cant find anything really about it to criticize. The epitome of American wild/sour, in my eyes. Had on tap at Fischmans Tavern in Chicago during Firestone Walker Tap Takeover.

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Photo of Hootie159
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Translucent gold. Half finger foamy head that dissipates but clings strong on edges. Oaky white wine scent. Sweet and acidic. Mild to medium on the sour. Getting sour grape and an earthy oak backbone. Heavy carbonation. Definitely feels like a gueuze.

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Photo of Moose90
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served On-Tap

A — Pours a really frothy and voluminous yellowish white hue into the glass. There is a big puffy white colored head that sits atop and slowly settles to a thin layer and leaves behind some really nice lacing, just takes forever to settle out.

S — Smells of well, sour Opal! Its for the signature lemony estery yeasty twang from Opal, uses all that as a base and adds on another big oak component as well. Really a great bit of aromas.

T — Tastes of lemon, white oak, tart and tannic. Little bit vinous and estery. Really quite light, but there is still a bunch going on.

M — Light in body, there is a creamy and almost thin carbonation level to this.

O — Very very nice overall, a major step-up from Opal, but it does hint at its roots. Nicely done.

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Photo of Celtics17
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just a perfect sour. It works well, and get's the flavor profile that many want. It leaves a nice sour kick to the cold air. Overall, you need space, but they try in he deeper end.

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Photo of raiderandbeerfan
4.14/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the source in Buellton. Pours out looking like a blonde wild ale. Kept a thin white head on it for a little bit of time. Aroma was lemony sour. Not super complex, but inviting.

Taste, hits the spot, pretty acidic without the vinegar notes. Mouthfeel still lingers acidic, citrus, enjoyable. A hint of mustiness, could use more. Just depends how clean you like your wild ales. I'd buy if the bottles were around $10, but over that, pass.

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

Don't know that this hits the upper end of the gueuze spectrum, from which it apparently derives its inspiration, but it's a really nice sour nonetheless. Great tangy nose, some almost lactic mustiness, giving it a richness, as in the thick damp air after a storm. Nice feel, bubbly and buzzy, which accompanies a palate with good, unafraid sourness. I don't quite get the depth of flavor as something like 3F Oude Geuze, but then again, who does other than 3F? A fine brew indeed here from FW, as though any less could be expected.

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Photo of mctizzz
4.66/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was surprisingly great. I had a small pout out of a 3L at the Krieky Liberation and thought is was good, but it blended into all the other sours I was drinking. Just split a bottle with a buddy and let it warm a bit and got to appreciate the suble funky flavors. Reminiscent of a gueze or Beat, but in it's own FW style. I'm consistently impressed with FW's sour program.

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Photo of emerge077
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Draft in a small tulip.
Hazy orange, wispy lace and bare skin across the surface. Initial finger of foam, subsides after a minute or two. Glassy surface after a bit.

Aroma has some acidity, nice oak, slight dill.
Taste has a citric lemony bite, very clean and dry oaky finish.
A hint of acetic acid, but again it disappears and finishes very clean.
Buttered biscuit in the aftertaste. Light feel, spritzy.
Hard to call this an American "gueuze", but I do like it.

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Photo of benzalman
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Really great tart sour. Picked up from Barrelworks in CA. This is on par with several of the other FW wild/sour releases and worth seeking out. Excellent beer.

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Photo of Samuel906
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

One of several unique Firestone brews I got from their Barrelworks brewery in Buellton, CA, reported as 6.8% ABV on the bottle. Pours a bright golden wheat color, transparent, effervescing with light head. Smell is excellent, lots of sour citrus notes, fruit funk, and earthy grains. Taste is fairly simple, full force sour, lemon and grapefruit and some vinegar. Feel is tart and astringent, but light with lively carbonation. Very refreshing on a hot summer night. Overall a great sour, nothing game changing but hits all the right notes. Good summer beer.

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Photo of HopHead84
2.88/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Heavy on acetic acid and vinegar flavor with some acetone. Pleasant brackish character throughout, but everything is brought down by the acetic notes.

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Photo of trippytbta
5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is an amazing beer. Just moved to the top of my favorite list.

Fantastic sour, fruity, aged cheese, earthy, high carb (american "gueuze" style ale).

Move over Cantillon ;-)

But seriously, this beer was done right. Any sour, lambic, gueuze fan will be lucky enough to go to the brewery and try this one.

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Photo of paulmarquez10
4.81/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap @ Barrelworks

This beer had great appearance, nice crisp yellow with rich white foamy head. Strong sour notes on the nose. Nice tart and sour mouthfeel, great carbination as the beer sits you get more funk. Very drinkable sour from Firestone!!

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Better Weather Fest at Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a murky dark orange with a foamy tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is sour, tart, and funky with some wood, vinegar, and acidic aromas. Taste is much the same with an acidic finish on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer that is super tasty and refreshing.

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Sour Opal from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.23 out of 5 based on 224 ratings.
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