Firestone 17 - Anniversary Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Firestone 17 - Anniversary AleFirestone 17 - Anniversary Ale

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

100 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 100
Hads: 1,320
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.43%
Wants: 193
Gots: 495 | FT: 63
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  13.30% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: dwagner003 on 10-30-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

30% Bravo Barrel-Aged Imperial Brown Ale
25% Stickee Monkey Barrel-Aged English Barley Wine
15% Velvet Merkin Barrel-Aged Oatmeal Stout
15% Parabola Barrel-Aged Imperial Russian Oatmeal Stout
8% Double Double Barrel Ale
4% Helldorado Barrel-Aged Blonde Barley Wine
3% Wookey Jack Black Rye India Pale Ale
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Reviews: 100 | Hads: 1,320
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.74/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear honey brown with a foamy khaki head that fades to nothing. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with vanilla, coconut, and wood flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of wood bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with great aromas and tasty flavors but this is not one of the better beers in this series in my opinion. (572 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.37/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this anniversary series from firestone has become one of the most anticipated in all of beer, and it is the pinnacle of barrel aging and blending in my opinion. this one is different from years past, less thick and syrupy in feel, i was surprised how easily this one slid down, remembering the last few years as almost gelatinous texturally. this has a dark brown color to it. with some blacker shadows and a thin off white head, almost milky looking, but short lived. the nose is heavy bourbon barrel, a fair bit of the roasty rye from wookey, and a sweet candy-like barleywine middle. vanilla is again a dominant flavor from all the barrel, but the dark chocolate malts of merkin and parabola are more abundant than in other anniversary blends. it comes across as a darker barleywine, being entirely malt and barrel driven, extremely mature for being recently released, and not as hotly alcoholic as it probably should be at this strength. all of the component parts are impossibly well integrated, and while i can taste subtleties from each base beer, the synergy here is profound. its less about trying to pick out each beer than it is appreciating them in this combination. thankful to hops and pie for having this one on tap. and to firestone for continuing to challenge preconceived notions about blending and barrel aging. this is a special brew, now i just need a bottle to age! (1,387 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.23/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours into an oversized wine glass a deep chesnut brown with a thinner lighter beige head atop.Aromas are on the lighter side wich was surprise but still pleasant,cocoa and some "meatiness" along with some alcohol sweetness,and dark fruit.Wow the complexity on the palate is just awesome,cocoa powder and buttery rum make for a rich taste and the feel goes hand in hand,it's sticky in a very good way,there is a noticable toasted pecan-like flavor as it warms as well.I admit at first I was dissapointed but once the first sip hit me I was hooked,just a great beer. (565 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On-tap 12/21/2013 at Track 84, in Warwick, RI served in a flight glass.

A: The beer is a medium brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains brown sugar, caramelized malts, dark fruit and some hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel, brown sugar and dark fruit. There’s a hearty malt character and no trace of the high ABV. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, strong kick, no style to represent here since this is a conglomeration of several beers but it’s a very good beer to sip on for a long time. (807 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
3.98/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Capone's

Dark brown pour, slightly translucent around the edges, small cap of creamy, off-white head that retained as a tiny ringlet, leaving just a few dots of lacing on the glass. Aromas of vanilla, burnt caramel, coconut, toasted nuts, bourbon. In the taste, the toasted nuts and bread of a brown ale mingled with the sweet and somewhat burnt sugary notes of a barleywine, flavors of coconut and bourbon-soaked wood. Mouthfeel was smooth, but not entirely fleshed out, body was about medium, but improved as the temperature rose; boozy, but not overly hot. Good overall. (595 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
2.33/5  rDev -46.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

BOTTLE 650ml. Comes packaged in a fancy cardboard box, probably to sell it as a luxury beer comparable to high-end scotch. The label isn't much to look at. Has a black foil-ed over branded pry-off cap.

Served cold into a pilsner glass and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Reviewed live as a "barrel-aged blend" per Firestone Walker's website.

13.3% ABV. 30 IBU.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: It has a nice radiant complexion, but it's a meagre half inch in width at most. Has nice creaminess and frothiness, with an even and adequately thick consistency. Leaves no lacing in its wake as it recedes. Could be darker, creamier, richer, and more enticing.

Retention is average - ~2 minutes.

BODY: It's an opaque dark brown-black. It's a generally murky presentation. It lacks the ink-black colour and expressive sheen of the best imperial stouts, but it's also too dark to really deliver on any other style. I see no yeast/sediment.

For a barrel aged blend, it's decent-looking. But it won't have anyone salivating looking at it, and it's neither lively nor inviting.

AROMA: Complex, sure. Raisins, figs, brown sugar, molasses, sugarcane, plum, marshmallow, vanilla from barrel aging, dark malts, creme brulee, faint cocoa dust, candied/caramelized fruit, caramelized sugars, and dark malts. But nothing about it is every expressive or evocative; it's a bit of a muted beer, with no notes shining. Suggests a sticky sweet mess of a brew, though I applaud how well it disguises its high ABV; I'd say the aroma implies a beer of 8-9% ABV. It's probably closest to a Belgian strong dark ale.

The barrel aging seems wasted on the beer based on the aromatics. There's no rich white oak, toastiness, bourbon, etc.

Coconut does stand out as inviting, but for the most part this is a reticent brew.

Aromatic intensity is shockingly low.

TASTE/TEXTURE: It's not as sticky and sweet a mess as I anticipated, but nevertheless it's a chaotic build with a saccharine edge. Not so much imbalanced as unbalanced, this build - which is anything but gestalt - suffers from rough-around-the-edges integration of disparate flavours and a concomitant lack of cohesion, a casualty of the blending process by which it was created.

Its core is a generally underwhelming (and overly sweet) caramelized sugar backbone, with supplementary notes of caramelized/candied fruit (especially dark fruit like figs, raisins, and plums), brown sugar, and molasses. There's a blip of cookie dough in the early second act - which is nice - but it disappears all too quickly. It's not a boozy beer inasmuch as its a syrupy viscous one, and its stickiness clings to the palate, fatiguing the drinker.

There's no harmony of barrel to base. In fact, the barrel aging is subpar, bringing no expressive notes. There's some artificial tasting vanillin, but no genuine bourbon-y vanilla bean. Nor is there any rich toasted white oak, interesting barrel sugar presence, et al. And the coconut from the aroma is barely present here, to its detriment.

The barrel notes may be poorly integrated, but the good news is the base isn't anything special to begin with. I find no expressive flourishes whatsoever, no nuance, no layers of intricacy, no subtlety...why brew this? (Or sorry, blend this). Shallow as can be, with no depth or expressiveness whatsoever. All surface, no substance.

It's full-bodied, with blatant overcarbonation - in spite of its flat, dull presence on the palate. Unrefreshing, of course - but that's to style. Thick for thickness' sake. Heavy and overbearing, lacking the depth of flavour to justify such weight and heft. Overall presence on the palate is poor. There is no harmony of texture to taste. This mouthfeel fails to elevate the beer, and fails to accentuate any specific notes.

The more I drink, the more I realize it's not merely muted - it's insipid.

OVERALL: It's a nice cash-grab blending already produced beers and marking them up. And that'd be fine if the resultant beer was incredible. But unfortunately, for all the marketing hullabaloo, the end product just isn't remarkable in any way, nor is it particularly good. This is difficult to drink given its syrupy sticky feel, general lack of quality, and high ABV - though I do applaud how relatively well the alcohol is disguised. Granted, in spite of the absence of the alcohol in the flavour profile, it does still heat the stomach. In any case, I continue to be confounded by the high regard for this series (and this brewery), and I can't see how any discerning drinker could claim this emperor has clothes.

In short, the whole is worse for having been a combination of its parts, and the result is a beer in which no note rings distinct and nothing guides; there is only a soulless mess of flavour. There is no music here, gentlemen - there is only noise.

D+ (2.33) (4,859 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.16/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass.

A faint light tan one finger head is made off the pour, nothing too large, but with some decent staying power that it sticks around for a bit. Body color is mahogany brown out of the bottle but fills with a big dark walnut brown/black body, and some see through character towards the collar.

Impressive nose. A nice interesting tinge of vanilla, but a large toasty and creamy coconut aroma all throughout the bouquet. Some faint hiding cherry fruit in the background as well, giving a black forest cake like sensation. Real unique sensation, if not much oak woody or even roast and malt like character showing up.

Controlled mouthfeel, with a hint of tight fizz and light bodied not very much coating the palate. Some more tannic wood like character, and mellow hop and roast comes through in the finish compared to what is hinted on the nose. Interesting mix of mellow roast with some minor piping warmth that doesn't quite get the coffee and chocolate angle coming out, but has some malt depth.

Overall it has a nose that just senses greatness but just comes out as a solid aged and blended beer instead, no complaints. (1,171 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Pours a dark amber color with pretty good clarity. The aroma has big caramelized malt notes, almost to the point of malt extract. Sherry, nutty toffee, bourbon. The taste is complex and goes from sweet and malty to woodsy and dry. Creamy malt body and dries out nicely. A blend of some massive beers, this is a big statement of everything malty, caramelized and aged in a barrel. Let this sit because it opens nicely. (423 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark chestnut brown color that appears pitch black and opaque in the glass with a two finger, frothy beige head that slowly settles into a thick, lasting ring. Very good retention for the style and ABV, taking a while to settle and leaving streaks of soapy lacing behind.

Very inviting aroma with a prominent barrel presence that's nicely integrated into the characteristics of the various base beers. There's a decent spirit presence, consisting mostly of sweet and spicy bourbon, but the oak and other barrel notes really stand out. Subtle charred oak but not too harsh or toothpick-like along with some silky vanilla bean, marshmallow and strong toasted coconut. As it warms the bourbon/whiskey stands out a bit more and the tropical coconut presence comes to the forefront. Underneath the barrel, there is a subtle citrus hop presence and a complex malt bill with a nice balance of earthiness, roast and sweetness. Slightly smokey with hints of coffee bean, oatmeal, dark chocolate and toast countered by leather, baker's chocolate, caramel, burnt sugar and toffee. The brown ale and barley wine elements are the majority of the blend and it shows in the aroma. Not overly roasted or burnt smelling with sweeter, dessert-like and leathery, earthy malts. Also, the Mexican turbinado sugar from the stickee monkey portion is prominent providing additional sweetness that counters the barrel, spirit and more robust malts. The nose of this beer is very complex and appealing with not one element being too strong or overpowering. I would have preferred a little more bourbon, especially since it's such a prominent part of the blend, but it's refreshing to come across a BA beer it's a complete booze bomb.

Viscous full body with a strong boozy barrel presence that is perfectly integrated into the complex flavors of the blend. There's some charred oak and boozy heat but the ABV is very well masked making this complex beer dangerously drinkable. I'm picking up a blend of different spirits but it's mostly dominated by bourbon and whiskey. Along with the bourbon and oak, there's a lot of toasted coconut and some sweet vanilla bean. Underneath the barrel flavors, there's a very nice balance of stout, brown ale, barley wine and black IPA characteristics. Bravo imperial brown ale is the strongest portion of the blend and it definitely shows. There's a prominent sweet, chocolate malt presence with subtle roast, caramel and toffee. Velvet Merkin and Parabola combine for 30% of the blend and together they provide more bourbon as well as roasted, robust malt and sweet dessert-like sweetness. Burnt toast, bittersweet dark cocoa, coffee bean and oatmeal followed by flourless chocolate cake, fudge and toffee. Stickee Monkee and Helldorado give the blend some more alcohol sweetness but surprisingly, there still isn't much heat. Just great bourbon/whiskey/brandy flavor. In addition, these barleywines provide subtle earthy hops and a decent amount of leathery malt and a touch of vinous fruit sweetness. Toward the back end of the palate, the earthy hop bitterness and the spicy rye presence from Wookey Jack stand out. The WJ is only 3% of the blend but the spicy rye, resinous hop and subtle citrus stand up to all of the barrel flavors, boozy sweetness and complex malt flavors.

Overall, I'm once again very impressed by the blend that FW came up with for this anniversary beer. Amazing barrel flavors that are perfectly integrated into the complex flavors of the base beers and the high ABV is nearly invisible. There is some heat and boozy sweetness but the drinkability is off the charts. I had to slow myself down before finishing the bomber to quickly. Another great beer from Firestone Walker. Highly recommended! (3,745 characters)

Photo of Zorro
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The gift that comes just once a year, the Firestone Walker Anniversary ale just in time for the holidays.

In the glass we have a clear dark brown colored beer with a small brown head that doesn't last long must be all the weight of all that alcohol in this one.

I don't have to get very close to the glass to smell it, it is a very aromatic ale. Strong scent of vanilla and whiskey with a nice scent of spruce. Scents of pepper and menthol with some toasted coconut and brown sugar.. Cedar chest and cinnamon with a hint of ginger but this has a strong evergreen tree scent to it. This has a distinct scent I can only call Christmas Tree.

Starts out malty with a strong whiskey flavor to it, alcohol seems to numb the mouth a bit. Whiskey and vanilla with a strong coconut flavor. Brown sugar and a bit of spice mostly cinnamon and cardamom. Little bit of spruce flavor.

Mouthfeel is thinner than usual must be all of the alcohol.

Overall not bad but I seem to remember last years version being more complex. (1,013 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.14/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Poured dark brown with a moderate sized light tannish/dirty white cap, the head retention was good but the lacing was almost obsolete.

S: Big coconuts, vanilla, caramel and toffee with a healthy dose of bourbon and nuts. I can tell the Bravo and Stickee Money are the big bases for this beer.

T: Initially toasted malts coconut and lots of nuts. Midtaste is a pronounced bourbon/booze sting with more toffee, caramel and a hint of chocolate. The barrel is still strong, very strong at this point. The finish is warming w/ caramel, toffee, a light candy stickiness, toasty witha subtle bitterness.

M: Wamrining, medium-full body, a little low carbonation, velvety, sticky and sweet. A big lingering warming alcohol on this beer, more so than previous FW Anny releases

O: Very good but not amongst my favorites. I thought the heat was pretty damn in your face with this beer, which is odd for FW who do a great job of masking and blending. However, I have a couple and won't kick them out of bed! (1,002 characters)

Photo of John_M
4.41/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Tried this along with the 14, 15 and 16 over at 16 tons the other day. This, along with the 14, seemed to be the best of the bunch (though none of them were exactly awful).

The beer pours a fairly dark brow color with fair head retentino and light lacing. The beer just looks viscuous in the glass, and once again, this is one of the beers that just looks as if it's seen some serious barrel aging. The nose is attractive as well, offering up considerable chocolate, vanilla, cherry and prune. The beer sounds as if it will be pretty rich and sweet, and on the palate, this is definitely one rich and creamy beer. The flavor profile replicates the nose, with the chocolate and vanialla dominating, but there's also something of a toffee and nougat flavor as well in this delicious beer. Mouthfeel is sheer decadence; this beer is very soft, full and creamy, but it doesn't come across as overly heavy or boozy either. The sweetness is a bit much (hard to imagine drinking a lot of this bad boy), but the alcohol is very well interwoven into the flavor profile, and so drinkability is really not all that bad.

Really just an altogether excellent beer. (1,153 characters)

Photo of Axnjxn
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

bomber into a snifter

dark amber color, nice head...though small. smell of roast, lots of chocolate, and a great amount of barrel. taste of vanilla, bourbon, barrel, lot of things going on. exceptionnally smooth. damn tasty. stout and barley wine mix...great! full bodied, mild carbonation.

overall terrific ..wow (316 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.14/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle to snifter.

A - Deep black with a thin layer of light brown head.

S - Charred oak, bourbon, caramel, vanilla, toffee, chocolate, nuttiness. A lot going on in the nose but extremely inviting and complex.

T - Chocolate, roast and a nutty flavour come through at first as the Bravo flavours come to the forefront. The mid-palate adds massive barrel qualities with bourbon, vanilla, charred oak and a hint of brandy coming though. They are followed by barley-wine flavours of caramel, toffee and raisin. A warming alcohol presence is noticeable throughout but is fairly tame for the ABV. Very complex.

M - Medium, just short of full body. Light to moderate carbonation.

O - This was an excellent beer but fell short of 15 & 16. (738 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.74/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a Reuben's Brew snifter. Pours a very dark, nearly opaque brown with a thin tan head that dissipates to a ring around the glass, with slippery light lacing. Aroma of whisky, dark fruit, vanilla, hints of nuts and chocolate, dominated by the whisky barrel elements. Flavor is wonderfully integrated dark dried and fresh fruit, vanilla, oak wood, bourbon, caramel, pale malt, and a hint of grassy hops. Finishes with bourbony caramel. Medium to heavy bodied, nearly syrupy. Complex but balanced, the flavors really do meld together as if several people spent a lot of time blending different components (which is the origin of this strong ale). The high ABV shows through even the dense flavor of this, but mostly as bourbon and toffee. Delicious. Really hard to say how this could be improved, except the pour is kind of one note dark brown with little excitement from carbonation (the carbonation is fine in the taste). (931 characters)

Photo of vfgccp
4.86/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A - True to tradition, it's a great looking brew. Crystal clear mahogany ruby body. Fine, dirty white head has nice retention but low lace.

S - Awesome nose. Milk chocolate, caramel, plum, oak, raisins, burnt toast, savory ancho pepper, and cardamon.

T - Wow, absolutely fantastic. Rich and silky smooth. Opens with almonds, coconut, and dark chocolate truffles. Molasses, leather, cherry cordial, and cognac erupt throughout the center, and ebb into a thick, seemingly everlasting pumpkin, oak, bourbon, vanilla, and pumpernickel finish.

M - Holy crap. A stunning combination of a full, smooth body that sits impossibly light on your palate.

O - Hands down, Firestone Walker is home of the best blending program in the US. Period. A tip-of-the-hat to another outstanding anniversary ale. (793 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is probably the most consistent series of anniversary beers out there - all similar in principle but varying in blend. For the 2nd straight year, leaning more to the barleywine territory than in the past. Spiced dark fruit, brandy barrel, bourbon barrel, citrus zest, sticky hop resin, pine, brandy soaked cherry. (318 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Mainbrew.

Pouring a very dark brown with a dense, brown head that falls off to a ring rapidly, leaving little lacing. The nose has a nice, big, barrel character. The American strong ale base is clear, with flavors or agave syrup, toffee, caramel and a clean, bready pale malt character. Along with this is the layered barrel character. Vanilla, bourbon, amaretto, a brandy pomace aroma, a little bit of coconut, some cinnamon.... This is complex. Clearly boozy, bit in a nice way, this is an enjoyable blend. The youth of the components is clear, with a rather snappy malt character, cereal-like in some ways. An oatmeal cookie note is also present. Intoxicating stuff.

The palate opens with a nice blend of brandy and bourbon flavors with fruit, vanilla, coconut and pomace. The base beer components come in next, with the roast from Parabola and oatmeal from Velvet Merkin blending nicely with flavors of agave syrup, buckwheat honey, light caramel, toffee and some sugar cookie dough. Fruit, With a blend of grape, pear, a little peach even, is present. A boozy sweetness lingers on into the finish, mildly spiced with, again, sugar. The clean malt character on the midpalate, present in so many young barleywines, especially of the American persuasion, is present. Tannins are low here, with just a little bit of oak. Medium in body with moderate carbonation, the balance in the blend of barrels - brandy, bourbon and whiskey- is excellent. The mild burn on the finish is wholly appropriate.

A very nice beer, a welcome return after the disappointing 16, though if I am to be honest, I'm more enjoying deconstructing the beer than drinking it. While these beers might be getting better (or not), the sheer number of big, barrel aged beers makes the likelihood of experiencing another epiphany like the 11 at 9 months unlikely. And I'm forced into drawing that comparison because the 11 like 17, had Bravo as a main component. Still, this is highly recommended. (1,984 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
3.58/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another year another barrel-aged treat from Firestone, 22oz bottle $22. I've been drinking these every year since the 10 was first released and I've only been disappointed by the sixteen. These are usually a surefire bet and worth the price tag, I never complain. This one has a lot of Bravo which made me hopeful because I really liked the 11 which was heavy on Bravo. Aroma is boozy, slight wood, sugar, barleywine? Flavor is pretty boozy, some tinges of wood and barrel, a bit of sugar, very easy to drink but a bit thin to be honest. Overall, better than sixteen but one of my least favorite of the series. (610 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3.4/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks thanks to the only non-digital chainsaw I know, analogchainsaw, for this bottle of my annual genuflection at the altar of Firestone Walker. 22 oz. bottle split with my wife.

Pour is a dark night with a bit of moonlight bouncing around, reddish blackish brownish brackish. Nose isn't especially strong, surprisingly, with vanilla & barrel coming out of the glass, but not much else.

Firestone Walker XVII is like a knee to the nads of expectations. Caramel toffee erupts from the brew, followed by a lighter strain of vanilla, sweet malts, barrel. All very very restrained & polite & I wish they were a bit more obnoxious.

I don't have much to say about this beer except that it's a huge letdown. The anniversary series has been one of the most intriguing, consistent bunch of beers out there, & this is the first beer since X that didn't make my toes curl. Pretty good, but I wish it were XVI. Or XI. Or XIV. Or XIII. Or XII. Or XI. Or X. Dammit. (959 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.9/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle split with my dad the weekend after Christmas. He claims it is the best beer he's ever tasted. Not bad for a guy who was primarily a Bud drinker a year ago!

Pours a medium-to-dark brown into two snifters. Small but nice looking head, not much lacing.

Smells great. Brown sugar, molasses, oak, vanilla, bourbon, caramel, toffee, all of that great stuff. Can't wait to put this in my belly.

Tastes very similar to the smell. Very strong brown sugar and oak. The bourbon flavors are strong, but well integrated, doesn't taste boozy at all, really. There's a bit of a nut flavor I'm getting in the taste that I didn't pick up in the smell.

Mouthfeel is full and wonderful. The beer warms you right up.

A must try. One of the best beers I've had this year. Worth the steep price. (786 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a Firestone Walker tasting glass.

A: Just barely translucent; very dark brown. Stark white lace clings only at the very edges.

S: Dark and roasty, but not overly intense or bitter. Lots of booze, but pleasant softer bourbon-y notes.

T/M: Mmm, soft-sweet-bourbony goodness immediately followed by loads of brown-sugar fuelled booze, all balanced by a sort of woody-nutty bitterness. Carbonated enough to be vaguely spritely but smooth and mouth-coating enough to be smackworthy. Dark chocolate laced with vanilla spirals through.

O: Really tasty! Perhaps a touch too strong for many, but I recommend it. MUCH better than 16. Recommended. (675 characters)

Photo of cbutova
4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Prefacing this with the fact that I had Stickee Monkee just six days ago. Opened the bottle last night and full notes taken at the time.

A- Split several ways for a tasting and pours with a dark brown body. The head forms to about two fingers with a very light tan hue. Head retention is pretty good as it falls to a foamy ring. Just a few spots of lacing.

S- The Stickee Monkey portion comes out huge with deep brown sugar and some Quad sweetness. Mellowed oak Bourbon barrels come in fairly big as well. Belgian yeast spice, caramel, slight roast, red fruits and vanilla.

T- Complexity is big as it has been with almost all of the FW Anni. brews I had (XIV had a TON of Parabola). Brown sugar, vanilla oak sweetness, bourbon, Belgian yeast spice, spiced raisin red fruits and a slight hop feel. Hints of roast, toasted nuts, figs, slight alcohol and peppery whiskey.

MF- Thick but not RIS thick body with a moderately high carbonation. Pretty much feels like the other Anni. brews completely. Texture is creamy and frothy with a heavy alcohol warming in the end.

Feels like a Quad mixed with a great Brown ale with a decent dose of Bourbon and vanilla oak. The complexity of these brews are astounding. I could probably list a ton more flavors but those are the main ones. (1,279 characters)

Photo of dar482
4.79/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The beer pours out of the bottle in a dark amber brown. In the glass, it is a very dark brown, leaning towards black.

The aroma hits of vanilla, tons of sweet bourbon and barrel character. Dark fruit of plums and raisins. Lots of sweet complexities from caramel to brown sugar to toffee candy, even a pure cane sugary syrup. Underlying that is a touch of roasted and toasted malt. A truly delectable nose.

On the flavor, up front is a smack of bourbon and a touch of brandy to open up the palate. However, it does not linger too long and is taken over by caramel and brown sugar sweetness, a touch of toasted malt, cacao and chocolate then onto some bitterness from the roasted malt of the stouts, but only so gently that it is barely noticeable without knowledge that they are integrated into the beer. Waves of vanilla, a touch of coconut candy come through, as the beer finishes with some spice, anise, tannic drying.

One of the best beers from Firestone next to XVIII and better than Parabola and Sucaba as an individual brew. (1,034 characters)

Photo of Bung
4.31/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz. Picked up while in Santa Barbara after the Rose Bowl.
Super dark brown pour, thin layer of cream colored head. Recedes to a ring, sticks to the glass only momentarily.

Aroma, Toasted malt, molasses, toffee. Some nice peat and woody bourbon barrel. This aspect opens up nicely as it warms.

Taste, Toffee, fudge brownie, roast malt. Brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, bourbon.
A leather and tobacco like element is the most interesting for me. It all lingers on very nicely.

About full body, slick mouthfeel with a just shy of creamy carbonation. It is a tad warm, but not overly so especially for the size.
Very interesting blend of styles. A cigar beer for sure. Others should start dabbling in this process. (714 characters)

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Firestone 17 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 100 ratings.