BMOTM III: March 2017: Firestone. Walker. vs. Glendronach: American Oaks. 4.89/5 (14)

Boiler Maker of the Month III: March 2017 

– Firestone Walker Pale 31 vs. Glendronach 14 Year Old Virgin Oak Cask Finish

Firestone Walker Brewing Company (United States/CA) – Pale 31 California Pale Ale [4.9%]

‘Pale 31 is brewed to exemplify the classic California pale ale style, hence the name honoring the Golden State as the 31st state to be admitted to the Union. Beautiful floral and citrus hop aromas greet the nose with undertones of lightly toasted malt.  Crisp pale and crystal malts offer a hint of sweetness. Subtle hop bitterness offers a refreshing finish. Perfect for a sunny day at the beach or barbecue with friends, Pale 31 represents the bold yet approachable spirit that embodies our state.’ 

– Hops: Cascade (US)‘, Centennial‘, Chinook‘, and Fuggles (US)‘.

– Malts: 2-Row Pale, Maris Otter Pale, Munich and Crystal Malts.

[ ABV: 4.9% IBU: 38 SRM: 7 ] 

– Available: Year Round, Tap/Draft, 12oz/355ml Bottles, 6 Pack.

– Firestone Walker Pale 31 California Pale Ale – 

 – Look: [ Bright Gold, with a light Yellow Haze. ] 

– Head: [ 1 Centimeter of Dense, Creamy White Head. ] 

– Aroma: [ Breads, White Peach, Floral-Citrus, Apricot, Honey, and hints of Straw. ] 

– Taste: [ Biscuit, Tropical Fruits, Lemon Rind, Toasted Malt, Grass, and Grapefruit. ] 

– Mouth-Feel: [ Creamy and Malty, but still Gentle and Refreshing. Biscuit, Bread, Honey and Citrus Rind, with hints of Resin and Pine Needles. ] 

– Mid Palate: [ Peach, Lemon Rind, Grapefruit, Malt, and Sourdough. Earthen Citrus, Apricot, Pine Needles and subtle notes of Passionfruit. ] 

– Finish: [ Floral, Tropical Fruits, Resin, Tangerine, Bread, and Honey Melons. Slightly Chewy with Straw, Pine, Grapefruit, and Pineapple Lingering in the Finish. ]

– Overall: [ Simple, Clean, and Classic. Peach, Mango, Citrus and Floral Aromatics, with Bread, Toasted Malts, Melons and Pine Needles on the Palate. Well Textured and Balanced, with a Creamy Body and Gentle Carbonation. Subtle hints of Oak, Grass, Spice, and Honey add depth, with notes of Pine, Melon, Tangerine, and Straw lingering in the Finish. A fine example of an American West Coast Pale Ale.

– Overall: [ 92.25/100 ]  – Style: [ 93.5/100 ]

– Taste: [ 93.75/100 ]  Aroma: [ 94.25/100 ] 

– Would We Buy It Again?: [ Yes. ] 

– Affordable?: [ Depending on the Distributor. 355ml 6 Pack: $40-48.00 Dollars AUD. ] 

– Feedback/Tips: [ Please organise a reliable Distributor for us Aussies. ] 

– Day Or Night?: [ Ready when you are. ]

– Pale 31: 1 Word Review: [ Classic. ] 

– Our Favourite Part of Pale 31: [ The Aroma. Juicy, Floral and Citrusy. ] 

The Glendronach Distillery (Highlands/Scotland) – Glendronach Wood Finishes: Virgin Oak Finished Aged 14 Years [46.0%] 

 ‘July 2010 saw the release of 4 new GlenDronach Wood Finishes – the first of their kind to ever be released by the distillery in its 180 year history. The GlenDronach Virgin Oak Wood Finish expression was initially matured in European oak and thereafter finished its maturation in a very small batch of Virgin Oak, which have given the whisky its own unique flavours and aromas.’



The GlenDronach 14 Years Old Virgin Oak Wood Finish


Light gold. Freshly harvest straw.

– NOSE –

Toasted oak elements which are so intense that smoky attributes emerge. Sweet and lush tropical fruits rise with prominence. Banana and cacao, with roasted coconut.


Spiced ginger and cinnamon cake with a beautiful smoky twist. Creamed desicated coconut and fresh buttered toast with a handful of hazelnuts on the side.


A glorious nut feast with superb depth.

– Cask Type: European Oak and American Virgin Oak Cask 

[ Aged in European Oak and finished in American Virgin Oak Casks ] 

– Alcohol By Volume: 46.0%

– Batch Number:

– Glendronach Wood Finishes: Virgin Oak Finish Aged 14 Years – 

– Aroma: [ 89.25/100 ] 

[ Toasted Coconut, Vanilla Bean, Ceder, with mellow hints of Spice. Complex Tropical Fruits, Roasted Almond, Nutmeg, White Pepper, and Oak. ] 

– Palate: [ 92.5/100 ]  

[ Charred Oak, Vanilla, Custard, Butterscotch, Peaches, Ginger, and Cardamon. Lesser notes of Coconut, Apricot, Biscuits, Toffee, and Green Apples. ] 

– Finish: [ 91.75/100 ] 

[ Chewy Malts, Spice, Rich Oak, Butterscotch and Toasted Coconut. Viscous on the Palate, with Toffee Apples, Cinnamon, Pear, White Pepper and Lemongrass lingering in the Finish. ] 

– Glendronach Virgin Oak Finish 14 Year Old –

– Our Score: [ 92/100 ]

– Firestone Walker Brewing (United States/CA) – 1400 Ramada Dr. Paso Robles, CA 93446 –

Funny How Brothers…

…settle things the old fashioned way. Try brothers-in law. Who own a brewery together. Adam, AKA The Bear, and David, AKA The Lion, may battle, epically at times, but at least neither ever forgets it’s for the epic love of beer.


– David Walker –

The Lion

‘British expatriate and Adam’s brother-in-law who brought a European twist to the proceedings. Together, they soon dreamed of building an unparalleled regional brewery, one that combined the authenticity of Old World craft with the innovative spirit of California.’



   – Adam Firestone –

The Bear

‘Growing up on the Central Coast surrounded by vineyards and winemaking, Adam’s gravitation towards brewing started at an early age.  The brewing ideas all launched in converted wine making equipment – mostly with mixed results.  But the hook was set when the first recipe for Double Barrel Ale was attempted.  All that was needed to take this idea beyond a pipe dream was a partner.  Many were approached with the idea but none were interested. That is until he persuaded one lone Englishman who happened to be married to his sister.’ 

– Matt Brynildson –

The Brewmaster

‘Matt is excited about advancing the company’s celebrated commitment to quality and innovation. “Our brewery is a cutting-edge facility, right down to the bottling line,” he says. “This is enabling me to take Firestone Walker beers to the next level.”’

– Visit Firestone Walker Brewing:

– The Glendronach Distillery – Forgue By Huntly AB54 6DB, UK –

GlenDronach, the sleeping giant, has awoken and is once again an independent distillery.

‘Independent ownership gives us the freedom to rekindle the reputation of GlenDronach as the distiller of richly sherried single malt whiskies of inimitable and individual character. It’s a reputation that has travelled worldwide – to those in the know, it’s a well kept secret. The team at GlenDronach have set out on a journey to bring GlenDronach back to life. In April 2009 the famous 12, 15 and 18 year-olds were re-launched, creating the GlenDronach Core Range. Since then, we have developed our portfolio with some interesting wood finishes, excellent single cask bottlings and fantastic additions to the core range.’

– The BenRiach Distillery Co. Ltd –

‘In 2004, the BenRiach Distillery Company Ltd was established with the acquisition of the BenRiach distillery by an independent consortium led by Billy Walker. In 2008, the company purchased the iconic GlenDronach Distillery, located in Forgue by Huntly in Aberdeenshire. In 2013, the BenRiach Distillery Company Ltd acquired Glenglassaugh distillery, which lies on the Moray Firth coast, near Portsoy. Glenglassaugh is a coastal Highland malt with a fruity character and stocks dating back to 1963. Today our distilleries are once again producing single malt whiskies as independent distilleries and a bright and exciting future lies ahead for all.’ 

To find out more about The BenRiach, please visit:

To find out more about Glenglassaugh, please visit:

– Visit The Glendronach Distillery:

– Hoposphere – Boiler Maker of the Month: III – March 2017 – 

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