One of the things about brewing that I ove is being able to freestyle and create whatever it is you want to drink. As homebrewers, we can add weird ingredients, blend styles, and hope the results are as good as we imagined, but usually we settle for them being drinkable. When you brew 5 gallons at a time, you have the luxury of being able to toss out a batch if need be, even if it does suck. When you’re brewing large batches for sale and your livelihood, as well as those of others, is riding on it, experimenting isn’t always a good idea. At Firestone Walker, they brewed a dark ale that leaves leaves the comfort of traditional styles and created something truly amazing.
For the uninitiated, Firestone Walker Reserve is a dark ale aged in wood, bottle conditioned and brewed only in small batches. It pours a dark brown, a little cloudy, and appears to be a slightly watery stout. The aroma is of roasted malts and subtle hops.
At first taste, there is a sweetness to the flavor that finishes with on a not of coffee and chocolate. As the bottle tells you, this beer straddles the line of porter and stout. To sweet, light and drinkabe to be considered a stout, but still very robust. I think of this beer as a 195 pound fighter, the guy can fight, is quick enough but too big for the light heavy’s but couldn’t handle the bulk of the heavyweights.
I had this beer over dinner with a nice, well seasoned burger, and it complimented the meal perfectly. I’d imagine a fine steak would be even better. Either way, when I bought this beer I envisioned it going down with a nice dinner.
As of last week, they still had these on sale at BevMo, so run down and pickup a bottle for yourself while the price is right.