Firestone's special ales -- aka the «Proprietor's Vintage Series» -- is a weird and wonderful world, one filled with classic releases like Parabola, the anniversary series, and, of course, Sucaba (stylized as «§ucaba», but I don't have it in me to type that out).
Except… I've gone a bit sour on the series, or at least the two recent back-to-back releases. It's probably just me, and not them (or you), but XVII and Sucaba? Things are seeming oddly similar here.
And I mean that in more ways than one: the should-be-patented velvet smooth mouthfeel, the deep caramel flavors, a gentle smolder of alcohol. It is all there.
Was I to do a side by side tasting, I am sure I would note the nuances, but going a month or two between each beer… I have a hard time differentiating between XVII and Sucaba.
So, what's the big deal? They're similar, but they're both good -- technically excellent -- and as they're not on the market at the same time, is there really any need to complain?
Well, possibly not. But with prices ranging from $15 to north of $20, I guess I just expect… Not necessarily something more, but something different.
Both are, of course, brewed to be aged, but I'd assume those who pick both up would try one bottle of each before cellaring the rest. One bottle, and that's quite a few dollars you're downing.
Now, if you space tastings out, all of this might not matter. It might not matter if you don't space them out either, and good on you if that's the case. You'll be drinking some costly bombers, but, like previously mentioned, the beers are obviously expertly brewed.
I might be a man with first world problems, but it is what it is… Expecting something different is my prerogative, and I'm OK with that. I'm sure the world disagrees with me, but I'm not about to let the man keep me down.
Either way, I'm sure you will give the Sucaba a try, just like I did. All I'm saying is, don't expect much of a difference from the XVII. If you can live with that, awesome. If not, welcome to my world.
Vote for Firestone Walker Sucaba (2014): It’s your civic duty!