PASO ROBLES, CA—Firestone Walker Brewing Company is set to release its first Proprietor’s Vintage Series beer of 2014 with the return of Sucaba, a barrel-aged English barley wine that remains confoundingly unpronounceable yet eminently drinkable.
Sucaba was one of the first components created as part of Firestone Walker’s annual barrel-aged Anniversary Ale blend starting in 2006. It is now a mainstay in the brewery’s Proprietor’s Vintage Series, which is reserved for limited-production vintage beers aged in oak barrels for a year or more.
Longtime fans know Sucaba by its original name, which was undone by a legal challenge. It has been several years since Firestone Walker reversed course and changed the name to §ucaba, but who’s counting?
2014 Sucaba Lowdown
Release Date: January 6, 2014
ABV: 13.5% IBU: 42 Color: 36 (Dark Ruby)
Malts: Munton’s Pale, Crisp Maris Otter Pale, Munich, Dark & Light Crystal, Chocolate
Hops: Bravo (bittering), East Kent Golding (late kettle)
Aging: Barrel-aged for one year on average in retired Bourbon barrels
Production: 3,500 cases (22-ounce bottles)
Retail: $16.99 (22-ounce bottle). Available while supplies last in CA, NV, OR, WA, AZ, CO, MO, Chicago, TX, MA, NJ, NY, VA, PA, DC, and MD.
Big, boozy bourbon and American oak aromas combine with soft chocolate malty undertones. Complex malt flavors are framed in oak with hints of dark chocolate, vanilla, tobacco, coconut and just a touch of dark cherry. A sipping beer that is best served in a brandy snifter, Sucaba pairs well with dark chocolate and sturdy cheeses.
Sucaba is built to last and will reward careful cellaring (ideal aging temperature: 45F) for years to come. We recommend counting the years with an abacus.