Firestone Walker Dark & Stormy

I found this beer sitting on a shelf, gathering dust at the local Buy Rite. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 11.1%

Style: American Strong Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “From the jungles of Jamaica to the barrel room at Firestone Walker Brewing Company comes Dark & Stormy—an exotic mashup of Helldorado and Velvet Merkin aged in rum barrels with a touch of hand-zested lime and ginger. Like its namesake cocktail, Dark & Stormy combines a rich sunset color with spicy rum goodness. Helldorado (blonde barleywine, 80%) sets the tone with its signature honey-coconut character, while Velvet Merkin (oatmeal stout, 20%) rounds out the blend with a hint of rich roastiness. Both beers were aged in barrels sourced from a leading Jamaican rum producer, imbuing Dark & Stormy with delectable rum qualities unlike anything Firestone Walker has offered before.”

Random: This was released on Black Friday in 2017.

This beer poured with a one finger, tan head. It dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy, dark brown with some carbonation visible. The nose started with a lot of ginger and lime zest. It had a sweet molasses and rum note as well. The taste was intense. It started with the sweet molasses and rum with a touch of smoke. It then went into the ginger and lime notes. It also had a caramel note as well. The body was on the thicker side with a lot of carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with rum. I picked this bottle up for $10.99, which came to $.92 per ounce. This was definitely an expensive bottle, but an interesting interpretation of a cocktail. I would have this again.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

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Firestone Walker Lager

Today is my father’s birthday. My father is into wine much more than he is beer. At a family party, he’ll bring out a 1970 Chateau Latour. I’ve tried to get him into beer and he humors me, but he’s definitely a wine guy. He also served 1982 and 1983 Chateau Margaux at my wedding. But, this is a beer I think he could get down with.

ABV: 4.5%

Style: Munich Helles Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “They said I was before my time—maybe I still am. I’m a lover, not a hater. I’m this and I’m that. Craft to the core, but open to ideas. Hard to make, but easy to drink. Partial to unicorns, puns and good, clean beer. Born in 2000, born again in 2018.”

Random: This beer comes in at 17 IBUs.

The beer poured with a one finger, white head. It dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, straw-yellow color. There was a lot of carbonation visible. The nose had some malt sweetness and a touch of honey as well. There was some grass and yeast. The taste was crisp and unoffensive. There was yeast along with toasted malt and mineral water. It had a slight hint of banana. The body was really light with a lot of carbonation. It had a quick finish with yeast and toasted malt. I picked up the can for $1.83, which broke down to $.15 per ounce. The beer didn’t have amazing flavors, but it was well-done and I wouldn’t refuse this at a party. I would have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Firestone Walker Leo V. Ursus: Adversus

This was a beer that I was very excited to give a try and had again after the review during our honeymoon. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 8.2%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “From the crucible of conflict come beers of great intention. The sparring Lion and Bear not only speak to the unorthodox rapport between founders Adam Firestone and David Walker—they also hearken to the heart of our brewery culture, which for 20 years has been forged by often opposing forces in pursuit of the perfect beer. These forces now culminate in Leo v. Ursus, a chronology of beers that shift stylistically with each limited quarterly release. These are bold creations, often hoppy and intense, but always with a native sense of balance. Many also address ‘wish lists’ expressed to us by loyal fans.”

Random: This was on tap at a decent amount of bars in Hawaii.

The beer poured with a three finger, ecru colored head. It took awhile to go away and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was slightly cloudy and bright yellow in color. There was a lot of carbonation visible. The nose was filled with tropical scents, which reminded me of Hawaii. I picked up pineapple, papaya and grapefruit. The taste was much of the same. It had more pineapple than the nose along with passion fruit, papaya, mango and grapefruit. There was a touch of malt at the end of the sip. The body was on the lighter side for the style with lots of carbonation. It also had a touch of booze. The finish was quick with tropical fruit. A pounder can was $3.50, which came to $.22 per ounce. This was another solid beer from Firestone Walker.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Firestone Walker Krieky Bones

One Sunday afternoon, Val and I headed to the local bar and it was a day after their sour event. This was still on tap, so I gave it a shot.

ABV: 5.7%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “What began as a birthday gift, took on a life of its own. Proprietor David Walker cornered us one day and requested a sour cherry fermented beer for his 50th birthday. Done. A handful were sold at a Liberation, after which our loyal patrons demanded more. Voilà, Krieky Bones Batch #2! This beer begins its life as a Flanders Red style beer aged 24 months in a 2200 gallon French oak foeder. Sour Montmorency cherries are added and allowed a secondary fermentation. The aroma is of cherry pie complete with flavors of pie crust and spicy notes. Vienna malt notes give way to an assertive acidity, and a bright carbonation. A santé!”

Random: This is aged on 100% French oak.

This beer poured with a quarter of a finger of white head. It dissipated instantly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a reddish-brown color with a moderate amount of carbonation. The nose was filled with oak and sour cherries. It had some yeast as well. The taste also had a lot of oak and vanilla and sour cherries. Yeast was present along with some white vinegar. The body was medium thick with moderate carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with tartness and cherries. I enjoyed this beer, but I thought it would have a lot more depth.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Firestone Walker Helldorado

After I landed, Val and I headed out to our local bar for a late lunch. They have a decent tap list and I hadn’t tried this one yet. Let’s see how it was.

helldorado

ABV: 13.2%

Style: American Barleywine

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “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 at 11.8% ABV.”

Random: I’d be curious to give this one a shot with a few years on it.

The beer poured with a quarter finger of white head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a golden-orange with lots of carbonation visible. The nose was really sweet with candi sugar, honey and vanilla with some toasted oak. The taste was also sweet, but complemented with toasted oak. The booze was present, but not overwhelming. The body was thick with a decent amount of carbonation. It had a lengthy and sticky finish with sugar. I enjoyed this beer a lot, although given the ABV, I wouldn’t have more than one.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Firestone Walker Oaktoberfest

Val is knocked out on the couch while I get through some of this backlog on the blog. Tonight’s beer is one that I was excited to try since I love Firestone Walker beers.

oaktoberfest

ABV: 5%

Style: Marzen/Oktoberfest

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Inspired by our home town of Paso Robles (Pass of the Oaks). A proper German Märzen bier. Traditional imported malts offer subtle honey-like aromas with hints of Noble hop spice. The stars of this brew are the imported Pilsner and Vienna malts that offer malty sweetness that carry through to the end. German Hallertau hops add rich Noble hop character to balance this exceptional Marzen. True to Oktoberfest custom, this beer only makes its debut in September and October to celebrate the age-old German tradition.”

Random: My knee is really sore. Anytime it rains, it gets creaky.

The beer poured with a two finger, off white head. It went away quickly, but still left some lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, bright orange with medium carbonation visible. The nose has warm notes of caramel and toasted mixed nuts. It had a bread crust note as well. The taste had a metal note up front, but it quickly went away. It also had burnt caramel. Bread crust came through next along with a touch of toasted oak. The nuttiness was there as well. It had a light body with high carbonation. It had a quick finish with nuts and oak. A pounder of this was $2.50, which came to $.16 per ounce. This beer was really drinkable and had nice flavor. I would have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Firestone Walker Velvet Merlin

I am incredibly sad that “Downton Abbey” is over. I need to find another period drama to replace it. Val said that there is another series on Netflix that is by the same creator as “Downton” and should be good, so I assume we will start it soon. Anyways, beer time.

velvetmerlin

ABV: 5.5%

Style: Oatmeal Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Originally called Velvet Merkin until we got a case of cold feet, this beer was renamed Velvet Merlin in honor of Bremaster Matt ‘Merlin’ Brynildson, who earned the nickname because of his magical ability to rack up top honors at prestigious beer competitions. Velvet Merlin is a decadent oatmeal stout that will warm your innards on a cold winter night. It offers robust cocoa and espresso aromas with subtle American hop nuances. Rich dark chocolate and roasted coffee flavors accentuate a creamy mouthfeel and dry finish to create perfect balance in this full-bodied stout. ”

Random: This is a Winter seasonal.

This beer poured with a one finger, cream-colored head. It dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown, almost black with lots of carbonation visible, despite the color. The nose was filled with milk chocolate and oatmeal. It had some bitterness, but it was also incredibly balanced. There was also some vanilla. The taste was even better. There was milk chocolate and smoke and oatmeal. The vanilla was present as well with toasted almonds. Despite the low ABV, it had an incredibly thick body with moderate carbonation. The finish was lengthy with milk chocolate and oatmeal. A bottle of this was $1.83, which broke down to $.15 per ounce. I really enjoyed this beer and would definitely have it again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0