Brewer- Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Style- English Barleywine
Description – §ucaba pours a dark brownish burgundy color with creamy tan head with very little lacing left behind, but standard for a beer with high ABV such as this one. The aroma is simply magnificent with vanilla coming through on top and underneath notes of coconut, chocolate, caramel, brown sugar, cherries, and figs all swimming together, it smells as good as it sounds! The taste backs up the nose and brings even more flavors forwards. The notes from the bourbon barrels come through up front, lots of vanilla, coconut, and hints of Bourbon as well, back with dark chocolate, raisins, and lots of dark fruit flavors. The 12.5% ABV is fairly well hidden with very little alcohol heat, but the presence of the bourbon notes does give way to the higher ABV. The low carbonation and full body are just what is expected from a beer such as this and provides an extremely smooth beer that is meant for sipping. A perfect beer to enjoy for hours on end!
Food Pairing – This powerhouse beer can make its home with very rich and fatty dishes as well as thick and creamy desserts. Try pairing with roasted duck, the sweetness of the malt will highlight the delicious caramelization in the meat and provide enough heft to melt into the fattiness of the duck. Also try pairing with lamb or wild boar for a similar mouthwatering experience. However, if you have more of a sweet tooth than try pairing this with a lovely crème brûlée, the rich caramelized characteristics and rich cream are perfect for this beer as the dish will highlight a variety of flavors in the beer and the beer will highlight many flavors in the dish making for a truly fantastic pairing! If you are looking for a simpler pairing try going with some vanilla bean ice cream, the richness of the cream will create an even smoother mouthfeel for the beer and the vanilla flavors only enhance one another!
The Final Word – The reputation of Firestone Walker exceeds anything that can be put into simple words and for those who have tried there beers they know this to be true as well. However, even with a statement as bold as that, §ucaba exceeds any possible expectations and truly is a world class beer. The subtle nuances and deep rich aromas and flavors create a beer that is meant to be enjoyed until the last drop, which sadly does come sooner than one would want! §ucaba is a beer that is brewed by beer lovers for beer lovers and is certainly a talking point for many. Also, this is the 2014 §ucaba being discussing, do not forget that this is a beer that can age very well. If you have the ability to get this beer simply put, buy it, you will not regret it!
Where can I get it? – §ucaba is a somewhat limited release, however it is possible to find nationwide, try searching here to find a bottle, or 2, near you!