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Over Labor Day weekend, we visited the Firestone Walker tasting room in Buellton, CA. We tried several things—mostly winners, but a few odd ducks.

I always enjoy the annual Parabola Imperial Stout release, which was there for immediate tasting and still selling in bottles to go. On tap, they had a super-rich, even more intense, coffee-infused Paraba Java that is highly recommended. We also grabbed a bottle of the Sucaba, which is a barrel-aged barley wine—a type I don’t usually enjoy. Although sweet, it was more malty than treacly, and also available on tap.


For some reason, barley wines were prevalent on the menu, and surprisingly, I enjoyed all of the ones we tried. The Helldorado was flavorful, and the Stickee Monkee was the most intense, one of those tiny-sips kind of beers that, while really tasty, one can only have so much of at one time. Two of us shared a 6 oz. pour, and even then, it was a beast.


I also enjoyed a glass of this sour-but-not-overly-so Flemish Red called Agrestic Teku, which came with a branded glass to take home.


Other folks in my party liked the Lil Opal saison, and no one liked the Mikkeller-collaboration Lil’ Mikkel, which was surprisingly bland. The Oaktoberfest didn’t fare well, either. But overall, the visit was a success.

The road home was golden and sparse, beautiful in that oakey, central-California way. It can be hard to capture, especially from a moving vehicle. But I tried.







From → Food, Travel

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