Archive for the ‘Firestone Walker Brewing Co’ Category

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

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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

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

I only have about 6 hours or so before it is officially the weekend. Mine isn’t 3 days, but I definitely need the time away from work. I’m even considering leaving my laptop at work. Anyways, let’s get to the beer.

ej

ABV: 4.5%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Brewmaster Matt Brynildson went to the mountain and returned with a vision for a different kind of Session IPA, one that would be brewed and dry hopped with a globetrotting selection of new hop varieties from Europe, New Zealand and North America. He foresaw a beer that would deliver massive hop aromas, a signature malt balance and an empty glass before you knew what hit you. And so the newest member of our Jack IPA family was born.”

Random: That’s two Firestone Walker beers in a row.

This beer poured with a thick, three finger, pure-white head that dissipated slowly. It left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, golden-yellow color with seltzer-like carbonation. The nose was incredibly fragrant with tropical fruit notes. I picked up mango, pineapple and peach along with citrus. Grass was there for the ride. The taste also had a lot of tropical fruit. There was more peach than was in the nose. Mango came through as well, but I didn’t get much pineapple. Earthiness from the grassy hops came through along with sweet, caramel malt. The body was thin with high carbonation. It had a quick finish with tropical fruit and malt. For $2.25 a bottle, this broke down to $.19 per ounce. This is a well-priced, incredibly flavorful session beer. This will be making an appearance in my cooler for the Summer.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

After a 14 hour day, I definitely need a beer while I’m waiting for our pizza to heat up. This is one that Val picked up for me that I’ve wanted to try for a long time.

pivo

ABV: 5.3%

Style: German Pilsener

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Everything we love about classic German Pilsner with a hoppy Bohemian twist. Pils is a bright straw colored lager beer with playful carbonation topped with beautiful white foam lace. Delicate lightly toasted malt flavors underscore noble German hop character. Hallertau-grown Magnum hops deliver the lupulin foundation while generous amounts of Spalter Select hops bring floral aromatic and spicy herbal notes. As a twist on the traditional Pils, we dry hop with German Saphir for a touch of bergamot zest and lemongrass. A refreshing, light-bodied and hop-driven Pils.”

Random: The Salt-n-Pepa episode of “Lip Sync Battle” was very disappointing. It could be the worst episode by far.

This beer poured with a two and a half finger, pure white head. It dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. It also left a quarter-inch of crown on top of the clear, straw yellow body with heavy carbonation. The nose had floral hoppy notes with some clean malt. There was also a metallic note, which I’ve come to expect from the style. The taste was really clean with lemon hops, biscuit and pilsener malt. There was also grass present with floral notes. The metallic note wasn’t there, which I appreciated. The body was thin with lots of carbonation. It had a quick finish with grassy hops and light malt. This was $2.25 a bottle, which broke down to $.19 per ounce. Regardless of price, this was an outstanding beer and one of the best of the style that I’ve had. I’m not a fan of the style, but I could drink this beer all day long and would search it out. I’ll be having this one again.

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0

Sometimes when I’m out, I find beers that have been on my “Wanted” list for a few years. While the other half and I were in Philly, I came upon this gem at “The Corner Foodery.” Despite the high price tag, I had to take this one home with us. Let’s see how this one fared.

IMG_2092

ABV: 12%

Style: English Barleywine

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Our flagship beer brewed to double strength. Immense toffee, vanilla, coconut and caramel malt married with American oak aromas emerge. The first sip develops with sugary caramel, molasses and vanilla, finishing with English toffee and toasted coconut. A beer to be reckoned with and perfect for sharing.”

Random: BMW makes bobsleds?

This brew poured with a half a finger of pure white head that dissipated surprisingly quick and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy chestnut color with some limited carbonation visible. The nose was very heavy with significant oak and vanilla notes, some alcohol and tobacco. The taste was a bit less intense than the nose implied. I got oak and vanilla primarily. After the glass warmed a bit, I got some warm toffee sweetness that went into a bit of booze warming on the end of the sip, but not as much as expected from the high gravity beer. The body was thick with moderate carbonation, which made it a really nice sipper on a cold, winter night. The finish was long with oak and vanilla and some booze. As it seems to be with Firestone Walker beers, I loved this one, despite taking so long to find. I would definitely have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0

I’ve determined that there is rarely anything good in the news. Today’s news: “Building Collapse in Philadelphia Kills One.” Second headline: Syrian Regime Takes Key City.” Pretty much all depressing. I’m not so naïve that I don’t understand that this is the world we live in. I guess I just wished that it was a little happier and a little safer. My grandmother used to tell stories about how they would leave their doors unlocked at night. Could you imagine doing that now? I know where I live, it wouldn’t have a good result. What does this have to do with beer? Well, despite all of the unhappiness and violence in the world, beer makes me happy. I can just sit with a beer and daydream or laugh over a pint with friends. Beer is my happy place. Let’s see how happy this one made me.
IMG_1458

ABV: 12.5%

Style: American Strong Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “As a finished beer, XV is alive with amazing complexity and yet it is quite possibly the most integrated and seamless blend yet. Looking at a blend of 8 beers on paper at first looks chaotic and potentially disjointed; however, a closer look reveals and interesting theme: 76% Barley Wine style beers, 19% Stout and 5% Imperial IPA. XV introduces our new blonde barley wine Helldorado with flavors of lavender honey liqueur. The well established DDBA delivers its signature American toasted oak, English caramel toffee and light leather nuances. 2010 vintage Sticky Monkey folds in brown sugar, maple, cinnamon, ginger and ripe figs. Parabola brings the familiar flavors of roasted dark coco, and chocolate covered cherries. Velvet Merkin carries silky milk chocolate, toasted coconut and creamy textures. Good Foot and Bravo add assertive barley wine warmth and lush barrel derived vanilla bean notes. The game changer this year is the addition of Double Jack to the blend. At just 5% its massive dry hop character brings citrus zest, tangerine and mango aromas making this a completely new beer. The beer is unfiltered and unfined, so there will be a small amount of sediment in the bottom of the bottle. XV is best enjoyed poured carefully into a half-filled brandy snifter or wine glass. Allow it to warm to 55F to fully enjoy the pleasing and complex aromas. As the beer sits and breathes in the glass, a richer, orange zested, chocolate dusted, vanilla custard character is reveled, so take your time. If you wait to open your bottle later, store it in a cool dark place. I suspect that this beer will age well and change favorably for years to come. It was an absolute pleasure in the making and I truly hope you enjoy our Sixth oak-aged blend! Our journey continues and it’s just as fun and exciting now as it was back in 1996.”

Random: This brew has been aging since 12/10/11.

This beer poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated quickly. The body was a cloudy, dark brown color with moderate carbonation visible throughout. The nose was booze, cognac and some syrupy sweetness with a dash of tobacco. The taste was really smooth bourbon barrels with vanilla up front. I got some subtle cognac sweetness as well. But, the bourbon was really the star on this one. The alcohol was way more subdued on the taste than the nose. The body was medium thickness with a silky mouthfeel and low carbonation. The finish was quick with bourbon. I also expected more booze warming on the end of the sip, but was pleasantly surprised despite the ABV. I would definitely have this one again, although I doubt I could get my hands on it again.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0