With my new job, I have had less and less time to type up these blogs let alone drink good craft beer on my free time. However with it being the end of American Craft Beer Week, I thought I would make an exception for the cause. With a lot of breweries offering up new session IPA’s for the masses, it is nice to know that some well-established breweries are taking it back to release beers other than the styles that are most hyped. Even though Firestone Walker did give into the hype of creating a session IPA, the Easy Jack, they also released a Saison not too long ago known as the Opal. Now if you have read my blogs in the past, I am not much for Saisons, but will always go out and try a new beer for the purposes of SCIENCE! So let’s see what this Saison from Firestone Walker Brewing has to offer.
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. – Opal
Opal pours a very clean and clear golden yellow color into my glass leaving behind a very fizzy two inch head that retains for a minute before it fizz’s away to practically nothing. Definitely a grassy hay like aroma is present in this Saison as expected with subtle estery fruit like character giving off gentle tropical likes notes of guava and apricot aromatics as well. A bit of spice is present throughout this beer as well but very soft and belgian yeast characteristics rounding out this beer. Essences of pepper are prominent on the palate followed behind with this grassy barnyard hay like flavors. Though you can pick up on the belgian yeast heavily on the aroma, it is not as strong on the palate as you would expect. Usually when i drink a Saison it is thick with that spicy belgian yeast characteristic. Though this Saison is quite spiced it isn’t nearly as thick with funk that one would expect from a typical farmhouse style, I thoroughly enjoy this. A nice crisp carbonation is held from beginning to end of this beer, and the more you allow this Saison to warm up the spicier it gets. Also, as the beer warms up you actually begin to taste the hoop character that you couldn’t really pick up earlier on. The back end of this Saison finishes bitter, the hops in the end pull through giving this a nice complexity.
This is definitely one of those beers that exhibit big differences in characteristics between allowing to warm up and drinking it cold. I wasn’t going to pick up this bottle due to my natural dislike for Saisons, but I am glad that I did. This beer didn’t have that big funky mouthfeel and flavor that I dislike in Saisons and for that simple reason this beer was actually enjoyable for me. Now this was still a slow sipper because it was still a Saison and Saisons are still toward the bottom of my list of enjoyable beers, but this was tasty. Firestone Walker is definitely one of my favorite breweries in California, this year is also the first time I will be attending the Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Festival as well, so I hope to see a lot of you there! And remember, take a moment and make sure you enjoy a great American made Craft Beer before the week’s end!
Should YOU Buy This Beer? This is definitely one of those must have beers, especially if you are a Saison fan. Like I mentioned above, this particular Saison is super spicy giving it great flavor and characteristic. Even if you are not a Saison fan like myself, I do feel that this beer is worth trying out. Firestone Walker consistently knocks it out of the park with their beers, so really there is no reason why you shouldn’t give this a good shot, or really any of their beers. I don’t remember this beer being too expensive, so if you enjoy a good Saison, make sure you make the effort to try this one out, it really is worth it.
Is there a beer out there and easily accessible for me to obtain in the Southern California Region? Let me know and ill do my best to obtain it and share my thoughts with you! Just leave a comment or contact me at ZeBeerGuy@Gmail.com
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