Firestone Walker has a $600 cellarmaster society that you can join and this is the first member exclusive beer. Duvel exhaled and set forth this perfectly adequate beer, years too late.
This beer is 11.6% abv, watch out. But it is not bigger than my head. Impossible standard, I realize. Brewmaster Matt Brynildson noted “this is the closest thing to a pastry stout Firestone Walker has made,” and that statement is saying more than they realize. Firestone is part of the old guard, decades established, rabid casual fanbase, who excel at classic beer and riffs on English styles. A pastry stout simply doesn’t align with their history or skillset to embrace the entitlement and excess of the modern F5’ing degenerate.
This beer, like the Cellarmaster society, should have come out a decade ago in the nascent whipped batter period of pastry pubescence. The body is a halfway house between Parabola and Velvet Merkin, which when VM came out in 2014 was deemed way too thin, let alone in the modern 19 plato Finishing Gravity Weldwerks era. The beer feels reluctant and compelled.
There’s much hemming and hawing with coconut, vanilla, cocoa nibs. Like it was a Court order for stout community service that isn’t performed with zeal for the roadside cleanup. It’s extremely well made, flawless carb and retention, subtle balance of tootsie roll, Kit Kat bar, Nougat with the coconut in more of a lipid support role. It’s pretty okay. Globally, to all stouts, it fails the task successfully. The Kirkland “BA STOUT” that excels in nebulous quality
FW sells 75% within the state of CA, which makes for some of the worst entry tier enthusiasts ever. Costco ballers don’t know any better. They will absolutely love this and talk about it at their Rotary meetings. When one of their friend’s kids gets into an exclusive Montessori school, this is what they pop. Opening the restaurant bill and saying WHAT’S THE DAMAGE. That type of consumer believes that FW makes the absolute best saisons and relative to their world, yes, this is the best pastry stout they’ve ever had. It is as delicious as it needs to be, concise, clinical, perfunctory it feels like deep down Firestone didn’t really want to make this