PNC Imperial Buckwheat Stout
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

PNC Imperial Buckwheat StoutPNC Imperial Buckwheat Stout
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States
American Imperial Stout
Ranked #74
Ranked #215
4.49 | pDev: 6.46%
Aug 22, 2022
Jun 11, 2013
PNC Imperial Buckwheat StoutPNC Imperial Buckwheat Stout
Notes: This bold and deliciously complex beer is an Imperial Buckwheat Stout aged in Tequila barrels for 13 months. Only a collection of pioneering, well seasoned, extensively traveled and passionate pub owners could come up with such a notion. A massive grain bill consisting of Pale, Munich and toasted Canadian Buckwheat was blended with pearled drum-kilned barley from Chile, a generous amount of Wisconsin toasted wheat and a slug of British crystal malts. A couple lumps of Mexican Turbinado sugar were added for good measure while we loaded the kettle with Styrian Golding hops. This carefully calculated collision of flavors, concocted over copious amounts of Orval well into the night, was laid down in fresh Tequila barrels wrangled over our southern border by the beautiful and gracious Meg Gill. We simply call this beer “PNC” in honor of its collaborative creators – the gothic symphony of flavors will speak for themselves.
View: More Beers
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Rated: 4.5 by Tmappin from Canada (NS)

Aug 22, 2022
Rated: 4.42 by SadMachine from New Jersey

Aug 19, 2022
Photo of brentk56
Reviewed by brentk56 from North Carolina

4.59/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Appearance: Arrives fudge colored with a beige head that settles in as a film but leaves plenty of lacing

Smell: The Tequila barrel aromatics dominate but there are lots of complementary aromatics of chocolate, spice cake, Bourbon and Brandy

Taste: Dark chocolate foward with hints of spice cake, brown sugar and vanilla; through the middle, the barrel tones emerge, with Tequila leading but the Bourbon and Brandy also in the mix; the finish brings all the flavors together with a slightly boozy edge

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

Overall: Firestone Walker's barrel program is unsurpassed and this is a great example of their creativity
Jul 19, 2022
Rated: 4.91 by admonster00 from Illinois

Jul 19, 2022
Rated: 4.5 by jensenmoon from California

Jun 26, 2022
Rated: 4.39 by BAsbill from California

May 09, 2022
Photo of Herbabee
Reviewed by Herbabee from Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Providentially just got a 4-pack shipped in....

Pardon my less-refined lack of nuance, but it this batch was just as welcomely-received as any 'Parabola' or its variants.

Wow, looks like quite the internationally-sourced list of ingredients and influences... (doubly longing/lounging to revisit Orval about now...)

Mighty hit of the flat, opaque, thick, boozy, malty, salty, sweet, complex, and wood-burnished. Got 2 left, for a real milestone should i live so long.

One to grab!
May 02, 2022
Photo of ImBeerNerdist
Reviewed by ImBeerNerdist from California

4.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
Alright, alright, alright! (Cue the Matthew Mcconaughey grin)

Best smoked beer I’ve ever had. Balanced but still gives you a nice kachow in the kisser with that smoke bomb. Drinkable af but notable and memorable.

Im not a huge smoke beer person and about 1/2 way through a pour I’m usually pawning it off on the nearest buddy…but I’ve ordered this a few times now and drank every bit.

Definitely worth the try, even if it’s prying you out of your safety zone. Not trying it if you’re able should make you reevaluate your life and wonder if you’re having a “Failure to Launch” (bud dum bum pshhh-Matt joke)
Apr 25, 2022
Rated: 4.46 by ElGallo from New Hampshire

Apr 14, 2022
Rated: 4.59 by jvillefan from California

Apr 11, 2022
Rated: 4.25 by not2quick from Missouri

Apr 09, 2022
Photo of Fireman_RK
Reviewed by Fireman_RK from North Carolina

4.52/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
L: Dark mocha pour with a thin sandy head and ample lacing
S: Smoky mezcal, cognac, and cacao nibs
T: Dark chocolate, hint of vanilla bean, toffee, baking spices, and a distinct agave syrup and black pepper underpinned by a gracious panela note
F: Medium mouthfeel with moderate carb
O: Very cool to finally try this one. The barrel aging is resplendent and evokes so many familiar, complex, and distinct flavors. FW performed a masterclass on this one as one of the best in the barrel aging game.
Mar 26, 2022
Rated: 5 by PC_Principal from Texas

Mar 15, 2022
Rated: 4.21 by DVMin98 from North Carolina

Mar 14, 2022
Photo of drdiesel9483
Reviewed by drdiesel9483 from Ohio

4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Look - really great thick blackness with a nice tan head and lacing
Smell - boozy chocolate whisky
Taste - boozy chocolate whisky possibly slight tequila brady and wood. Pretty complex
Feel - medium full w medium carb
Overall - pretty complex very different but really good stout
Feb 25, 2022
Rated: 5 by chitownfanatic21 from Wyoming

Feb 12, 2022
Photo of Pivopijak
Reviewed by Pivopijak from Washington

4.23/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
bottle into glass
The box label states that this is also aged in bourbon and brandy barrels, besides the tequila barrels.
Thin, light brown head. Darkest of chestnut color, with no sign of light through glass. A bit sweet, bourbonized toffee aroma, with a touch of spiced woodiness. Bold, sweetened, toasted wood and alcohol flavors to start, yielding to a slightly sharp caramel note. Finishes with the addition of dark roast and semi-sweet malted grain.
Feb 09, 2022
Rated: 4.25 by XmnwildX12 from Minnesota

Feb 05, 2022
Rated: 3.96 by aaronyoung01 from New Mexico

Feb 04, 2022
Rated: 4.4 by Cpmitchno1 from Virginia

Jan 30, 2022
Rated: 4.25 by Narthax from Texas

Jan 27, 2022
Rated: 4.25 by rodmanfor3 from Vermont

Jan 25, 2022
Photo of Beersnake1
Reviewed by Beersnake1 from California

4.35/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Poured at fridge temp, but allowed to warm over a while. Pours straight black with a little bit of tan head. No bubbles apparent.

On the nose, I immediately get the tequila barrel. Chocolate, brandy, toffee, a bit of black licorice, and a bit of roasted malts.

The taste is liquid gold. Lots of black licorice right away. Some charred wood on the back end. Some nice dark chocolate in the middle. Dark fruit coming through as well. Cherries and blackberries. Brown sugar and vanilla starts to come out as well. Some dark German bread. Really nice flavor.

Mouthfeel is pretty thick, but not syrupy. Overall, a lovely stout.
Jan 24, 2022
Photo of bret27
Rated by bret27 from California

4.04/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
2021 version.
Jan 22, 2022
Rated: 4.44 by Hefewiseman from Florida

Jan 22, 2022
Rated: 4.31 by Hopelessly0 from California

Jan 22, 2022
Rated: 4.16 by MrNate from Florida

Jan 21, 2022
Rated: 4.35 by fthegiants from California

Jan 21, 2022
Rated: 4.4 by Wisconsin_IPA_Lover from Wisconsin

Jan 18, 2022
Rated: 4.5 by shelby415 from Oregon

Jan 15, 2022
Rated: 4.5 by Desp59 from Pennsylvania

Jan 12, 2022
Rated: 4.48 by dnb128 from Pennsylvania

Jan 06, 2022
Photo of sjrider
Reviewed by sjrider from California

4.48/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Bottle pour 2021 version- dark as night with short lived khaki head leaving minimal lacing. Nose is a mix of boozy barrel wood and roasty malt deliciousness. Taste follows with a sweet mellow smoothness I was not expecting. Finish is creamy smooth with notes of barrel wood and a hint of tequila. Outstanding.
Jan 06, 2022
Rated: 4.54 by Duncian from Pennsylvania

Dec 31, 2021
Photo of Dicers
Reviewed by Dicers from California

4.81/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
From tasting notes in 2015

2013 Vintage

L- Jet black with small amount of head

S - Vanilla, roast, and tequila

T- This is a very unique beer, really enjoy the tequila backbone. A bit of sweetness but overall a very enjoyable beer

F - Thick mouthfeel

O - one of the most unique stouts I've had the pleasure of drinking
Dec 30, 2021
Rated: 4.75 by Dharms from Pennsylvania

Dec 30, 2021
Photo of IKR
Reviewed by IKR from California

4.48/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
2021 Vintage

Appearance: Black (only appears very dark brown at the edges if held up to a light) with a medium sized dark beige head which stuck around for a while.

Smell: Moderate Bourbon, brown sugar, mild vanilla and perhaps the faintest hint of tequila. A nice smelling IS.

Taste: Fairly prominent Bourbon, mild tequila notes, brown sugar, chocolate, and roast malt notes. The beer is mildly sweet, but the tequila notes and tannic oak notes help the beer finish fairly dry with just a hint of sweetness. Subdued alcohol presence for the ABV.

Mouth-feel: On the light side of medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation.

Overall: A good bal-aged beer from Firestone Walker. The tequila and bourbon bal-aging work well together in the flavor profile. This one is a keeper for sure.
Dec 28, 2021
Rated: 4.25 by TrojanRB from Texas

Dec 07, 2021
Rated: 4.03 by Ajlvt from Washington

Feb 17, 2019
Photo of rodbeermunch
Reviewed by rodbeermunch from Nevada

4.14/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
There's been a weird undercurrent the last few years that 'there aren't good tequila aged beers'. This, central waters and fiftyfifty often come to mind when I hear that aforementioned incorrect opinion. Had this at the very first Firestone Walker Invitational. Quite the nice find. Did they also bring it to the Bistro's barrel aged festival a few years ago? I dunno, you always remember the first and then after that its like "meh".

Anyways, pours black, had a very thin head on tap. Aroma gave off a nice mild tequila and wood presence, I thought it was cool. The taste took on a smooth, sweet tequila and low roast low bitterness kind of stout beers. A mix of different mild sweeteners, brown sugar, agave, vanilla = smoov just doin' his thang. Its a rather creamy beer that doesn't get bogged down in being oversweetened, fully hits the sweet spot but doesn't go beyond.

Its pretty good stuff and I could easily see dropping a nice penny to have this again. Its unique and very good.
Jan 01, 2019
PNC Imperial Buckwheat Stout from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 99 out of 100 with 525 ratings