Firestone Walker Unveils Molé Merkin Barrel-aged Milk Stout

FirestoneWalkerLogoBlackFirestone Walker Brewing Company (Paso Robles, California) has officially announced that Molé Merkin, the fourth out of five Proprietor’s Vintage releases slated for 2019, is available now for a limited time.

Inspired heavily by “family recipes inherited from [Barrel Program Manager Eric Ponce’s] grandmothers,” Molé Merkin is a Milk Stout aged in “bourbon barrels with additions of Puya chile peppers, cocoa nibs and cinnamon to capture the essence of the traditional Mexican sauce known as molé.” This treatment gives the beer “a hint of sweet spice” from the added cinnamon, “while the cocoa nibs bring luscious balance to the medium lingering heat of the peppers.”  Clocking in at 7.8% ABV, Molé Merkin “is a smooth, chocolaty stout with its own distinctive kick.”

“Fall is a perfect time of year to enjoy Molé Merkin. It offers these warming spices that really go with the cooling weather and vibes of autumn.

 

This beer has a lot of personal meaning behind it. Every time I taste it, it brings back childhood memories of family dinners and gatherings, where molé dishes were a staple. It’s that sense of joy and flavor that I wanted to convey with Molé Merkin.”

 

– Eric Ponce, Barrel Program Manager at Firestone Walker Brewing Company

Molé Merkin is rolling out now and will be available only as long as supplies last.  You can expect to find this Limited Release offering available in individually boxed 12 oz. bottles and on draft at select craft beer-friendly establishments located in North Carolina, Texas, California and throughout the rest of Firestone Walker’s distribution network. Prost!

Vital Information for Molé Merkin from Firestone Walker Brewing Company

Release – Limited/Proprietor’s Vintage; late September/early October 2019
Style – Milk Stout
ABV – 7.8%
Treatment – Aged in bourbon barrels with additions of Puya chile peppers, cocoa nibs & cinnamon
Fun Fact – “Ponce chose Velvet Merkin as the base beer because it was the perfect foil for the style he envisioned: ‘As a milk stout, it has this creaminess that evokes the creamy texture of molé. It also has chocolate notes that play really well with the cocoa nibs and cinnamon.'”
Availability – Individually boxed 12 oz. bottles & draft
Beer Finder – https://www.firestonebeer.com/find/

 

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Firestone Walker Enters Falls with the Release of Coconut Merlin Milk Stout

FirestoneWalkerLogoBlackFirestone Walker Brewing Company (Paso Robles, California) has officially announced that it will introduce Coconut Merlin Milk Stout as its newest Seasonal Release in late September 2019.

Conjured up to serve as the latest variant of Firestone Walker’s Merlin Milk Stout, Coconut Merlin takes that signature Milk Stout base and doses it with freshly shredded and toasted coconut after fermentation.  With milk sugar adding “dimension to the mouthfeel,” Coconut Merlin (5.5% ABV) comes together to be a smooth-sipping, cold weather brew that showcases “the best flavors from the coconut.”

“Coconut and Merlin milk stout go together like peanut butter and chocolate.  Toasted coconut really complements the roasty, nutty character of this beer. It’s a perfect sipper for the fall season.”

 

– Matt “Merlin” Brynildson, Brewmaster at Firestone Walker Brewing Company

Coconut Merlin is rolling out now and is scheduled to last into the months of winter.  You can expect to find this new Seasonal offering available in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft at select craft beer-friendly establishments located in North Carolina, Texas, California and throughout the rest of Firestone Walker’s distribution network.  Prost!

Vital Information for Coconut Merlin from Firestone Walker Brewing Company

Release – Seasonal; launching late September 2019
Style – Milk Stout
ABV – 5.5%
Added Ingredients – Toasted coconut & lactose
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft
Beer Finder – https://www.firestonebeer.com/find/

FWCoconutMerlinLabel

 

Firestone Walker Brewing Company Introduces Cocktail-Inspired Old Man Hattan

FirestoneWalkerLogoFirestone Walker Brewing Company (Paso Robles, California) has officially announced that it will begin the Limited Release of Old Man Hattan – “an eccentric barrel-aged mashup of two classic cocktails: the Old Fashioned and the Manhattan” – in mid-July.

Originally introduced “last year as a brewery-only Black Friday limited release”, Old Man Hattan has now returned to act as one of only six Proprietor’s Vintage releases from Firestone Walker in 2019.  Meant to mimic the character of both an Old Fashioned and a Manhattan, Old Man Hattan starts with a base beer consisting of “a blend of signature Firestone Walker component beers, including Velvet Merkin, Bravo and Stickee Monkee aged in whiskey barrels.” Things then take an interesting turn when that base beer is introduced to “select lots of Parabola and Helldorado that were aged in barrels previously used to mature cherry, orange and aromatic bitters.”  Weighing in at smooth but warming 10.5% ABV, Old Man Hattan comes together to be a “barnstorming beer that exhibits pronounced whiskey notes while artfully expressing essences of both the Old Fashioned and the Manhattan cocktails.”

“Old Man Hattan is really true to its dual influences,” said Eric Ponce, Firestone Walker’s barrel program manager. “On the nose, you get hints of cherry, orange and clove spice. It’s extremely smooth and drinkable, with traditional whiskey characters of tobacco and bitter chocolate.”

 

He added, “If you’re a fan of the Old Fashioned, Manhattan or other whiskey-based cocktails, you’re going to love this beer.”

Old Man Hattan is scheduled to roll out in mid-July and plans to hang around only as long as supplies last.  You can expect to find this Limited Release offering available in individually boxed 12-ounce bottles at select craft beer-focused establishments located in North Carolina, Texas, California and throughout the rest of Firestone Walker’s expansive distribution territory. Prost!

Vital Information for Old Man Hattan from Firestone Walker Brewing Company

Release – Limited/Proprietor’s Vintage; mid-July 2019
Style – Strong Ale (blended)
ABV – 10.5%
IBUs – 30
Treatment – A carefully blended ale that unites a base beer consisting of a blend of signature Firestone Walker component beers – including Velvet Merkin, Bravo and Stickee Monkee aged in whiskey barrels – with select lots of Parabola and Helldorado that were aged in barrels previously used to mature cherry, orange and aromatic bitters
Availability – 12 oz. bottles (individually boxed)
Beer Finder – https://www.firestonebeer.com/find/

FirestoneOldManHattan2

 

Firestone Walker Begins Limited Release of Napa Parabola Russian Imperial Stout

FirestoneWalkerNapaParabolaLabelFirestone Walker Brewing Company (Paso Robles, California) has officially announced that Napa Parabola, a wine barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout, will begin hitting shelves throughout its distribution territory in early May 2019.

Arriving as the “first [Parabola] variant to reach all Firestone Walker markets as a limited vintage release”, Napa Parabola is a Russian Imperial Stout that has been “matured in French oak wine barrels from one of Napa Valley’s most prestigious cult wineries.”  This beautifully complex union results in “a singular beer that marries the French oak qualities of premium Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot barrels with Parabola’s own signature notes of dark fruit, tobacco and chewy roasted malts. The oak contributes a satiny texture with notes of spice and toasted coconut, while the residual wine character layers in flavors of cedar, clove, mocha, ripe berry and dried chili pepper.”  Meant to be sipped and savored, Napa Parabola weighs in at 11.3% ABV.

“Being an avid wine drinker, I always thought that Parabola would lend itself well to red wine barrels. It was something that was always in the back of my mind, so when these rare wine barrels became available, I jumped at the opportunity. The winery didn’t want to be named—all I can say is that these barrels held some of the finest wines you’ll find in Napa Valley.

 

While boozy bourbon notes are predominant in our regular Parabola, Napa Parabola offers an entirely different dimension of French oak character, and the wine spices and berry flavors marry perfectly with the beer’s roasted malts and chocolaty aromatics.”

 

– Eric Ponce, Firestone Walker’s barrel program manager

Napa Parabola is rolling out now and will only be available as long as supplies last.  You can expect to find this Limited Release offering available in 12 oz. bottles at select craft beer-focused establishments located in North Carolina, Texas, California and throughout the rest of Firestone Walker’s expansive distribution territory.  Prost!

Vital Information for Napa Parabola (2019) from Firestone Walker Brewing Company

Release – Limited, May 2019
Style – Russian Imperial Stout
ABV – 11.3%
IBUs – 61
Treatment – “Matured in French oak wine barrels from one of Napa Valley’s most prestigious cult wineries”
Fun Fact – On the history of Parabola: “Parabola is Firestone Walker’s most notorious bourbon barrel-aged beer, with a lineage that dates back to 2006. With a rich, roasty intensity that can stand up to a variety of complementary flavors, Parabola lends itself to variant iterations. Earlier small-batch variants have included Coconut Rye Parabola and Parabajava—but Napa Parabola is the first variant to reach all Firestone Walker markets as a limited vintage release.”
Availability – 12 oz. bottles
Beer Finder – https://www.firestonebeer.com/find/

Firestone Walker Brewing Announces Plans to Discontinue Current Proprietor’s Reserve Series

fswbottlesFirestone Walker Brewing Company (Paso Robles, California) has officially confirmed that the three beers within their Proprietor’s Reserve Series – Double Jack Double IPA, Opal Farmhouse Ale and Wookey Jack Black Rye IPA – will be retired by the end of 2016.

Created as a series dedicated to smaller-batch standout beers, Firestone Walker’s Proprietor’s Reserve has been represented incredibly well by Double Jack Double IPA, Opal Farmhouse Ale and Wookey Jack Black Rye IPA over the last several years. These brewery favorites have acted as the perfect offerings to bridge the gap between the accessible year-round and seasonal brews within the Lion & Bear Series and the limited release, barrel-aged beers of the Proprietor’s Vintage Series.  Sadly, times have changed and the current craft beer landscape calls for breweries to now constantly awe fans with newly created, innovative offerings.  Since the Proprietor’s Reserve Series was created for these very reasons, it only seems fitting that it falls victim to its initial intention.

If you happen to be unfamiliar with the beers of the Proprietor’s Reserve, here are the full brewery descriptions of all three:

 

  • fswdjDouble Jack Double IPA – “With Double Jack, we amped up our signature Union Jack IPA to create an aggressively hopped, flawlessly balanced and dangerously drinkable imperial IPA. Double Jack opens up with bright grapefruit and tangerine American hop aromas, courtesy of liberal dry hopping with Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial and Simcoe. Undertones of stone fruit are revealed upon first sip, followed by the essence of blue basil and pine. A sturdy pale and crystal malt backbone brings balance to high hop intensity.” ABV – 9.5%  IBUs – 85
  • fswopalOpal Farmhouse Ale – “Opal is an unfiltered interpretation of the classic saisons that originated from the 18th century farmhouses of southern Belgium’s Wallonia region. In true agrarian beer fashion, Opal is loaded with rustic grains and spicy Belgian yeastiness, with a hazy namesake opalescence in the glass. Into this mix comes a dimension of dry-­‐hopped brightness, layering in notes of fragrant citrus and tropical fruit. The result is a rootsy, rustic saison that brings down the farmhouse, merging Belgian tradition with West Coast style.”  ABV – 7.5%  IBUs – 35
  • fswwjWookey Jack Black Rye IPA – “A riff on the familiar Black IPA style, Wookey Jack is gnarly on the outside yet refined on the inside. Malted Rye and a dash of Cara Rye impart a spicy grain quality to the palate, while double dry-­‐hopping with Citra and Amarillo hops brings a citrusy dimension to the aroma profile. The brewing team also claims to have incorporated a bit of “Wookey Dust” into the recipe. The beer is black in color, but if you close your eyes and taste it, you’ll say it’s a true IPA. Wookey Jack is unfined and unfiltered to retain its woolly natural texture and character.”  ABV – 8.3%  IBUs – 80

“It’s a bittersweet occasion,” said David Walker. “Each of these beers was forward-thinking and representative of some of our best brewing efforts, but they are now stepping aside to make room for the next generation.”

Added Adam Firestone, “This was a hard decision made for the sake of innovation. These beers were born of that ideal, and now they are yielding to it.”

The elimination of the current Proprietor’s Reserve Series supplies the brewers at Firestone Walker with a “brand new canvas” where they can express themselves with the creation of some exciting new beers.  Details on this new direction and these new beers have yet to be announced, and the brewery is being quite hush-hush on the matter at this time.  As soon as we have those details, we will be sure to update you with them.

Although they enter retirement, this is not exactly the end for Double Jack, Opal and Wookey Jack.  Fans of these fantastic beers can take solace in knowing that Brewmaster Matt Brynildson has said these offerings will most assuredly return at some point in the future as “curtain call” limited releases or as “reimagined” takes on these now classic recipes.  As for now, all we can do is enjoy them while we have them.  Those who are fond of Double Jack, Opal and Wookey Jack should get their fill while they can, and those who wish to try them for the first time need to secure their bottles before they disappear by the end of the year.  Prost!