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Firestone 17 - Anniversary Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
97
world-class
118 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
118
Ratings:
1,375
Avg:
4.42
pDev:
26.7%
 
 
Wants:
199
Gots:
524
For Trade:
66
Firestone 17 - Anniversary AleFirestone 17 - Anniversary Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.30%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by dwagner003 on 10-30-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 118 | Ratings: 1,375
Photo of TubaManJack
4.33/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On Tap. Rather thin mouthfeel detracted from a great barrel aged composite. There is a lot of sweet bourbon notes in the taste that don't appear in the nose. I would enjoy it fresh.

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Photo of uvachief
4.52/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

8oz draft pour on oddly enough, 1-26-15. Full 2 fingers of tan head that lingered. Nice lacing. Dark deep burgundy brown but I do see light. Caramel, dark fruit like raisins and cherries, little coffee and dark bitter chocolate aroma. Tastes are much the same with some hints of roasted malts, hops and bourbon. Extremely smooth for the high abv. Pleasant aftertaste.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.4/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of Sam-VW
4.71/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A - Pours Black with a thin tan coloured head which dissipates quickly. No lacing.

S - Big hit of Bourbon followed by some Toasty notes, Vanilla, Brown Sugar and Dark Fruits.

T - At first you get a big Bourbon flavour, followed by Toffee, Vanilla, Brown Sugar, Liquoriche and some subtle Red Wine notes. Very complex.

M - Very Thick body with a small amount of carbonation. Finishes quite sweet.

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Photo of Damian
4.11/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Drank from a 1 pint, 6 fluid ounces (650ml) bottle
Served in a snifter

Dark mahogany appearance. Oily but not super thick. The liquid was topped by a one-finger tall, creamy, bubbly, khaki colored crown that slowly dissipated to a thick ring of bubbles. Streaky lacing coated the glass.

The aroma was rather subtle initially but really opened up with time. Quite sweet with intense bourbon and brown sugar notes. Oaky and somewhat toasty. Dark fruits came through strong. Raisins were most noticeable.

Boozy, bourbony notes hit hard right off the bat in the flavor profile. Loads of dark fruits and brown sugar. Quite raisiny. Rich and robust. Slightly roasty. There was a strong caramel malt and toffee presence in the center. The beer finished noticeably hot with loads of oak/barrel. A touch of earthy hop bitterness came through as well. Dry, tannic notes lingered on the palate.

The beer was medium bodied for the style. Slick and smooth but lighter than anticipated. At 13+ percent ABV, it seemed that the barrel really thinned out the liquid.

I buy Firestone Walker's anniversary beer every year and am usually impressed by them. Although the overall flavor and aroma profiles seem to differ fairly little between vintages (which might be expected, seeing as each release uses a recipe consisting of pretty much the same beers but in different quantities), the alcohol presence has varied significantly. Even with a year-plus of age in my cellar, 17 was still very boozy and rough around the edges. I would love to see if this calms down in other year or two.

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Photo of Fcolle2
4.52/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep woody brown in color with a thin light tan head. Smell has incredible complexity. Nutty toffee malt, chocolate, caramel, vanilla, marshmallow, alcohol, and hints of cherry. Taste follows the nose with toffee, husky, caramel and chocolate malt with loads of vanilla, oak, and bourbon. Some mild hoppy bitterness blends nicely with light amounts of charred malt. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy in body with moderate carbonation and a good sweet sticky hoppy bitter balance.

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Photo of breadwinner
4.81/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of the best vintages of this series I've had, it bursts with incredible barrel notes, chocolate, caramel, and coconut, with perfect viscosity, and a nose to die for. Kudos, FW -- you've raised the bar again.

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Photo of abeeronthebeach
4.51/5  rDev +2%

A - Nice and dark, although a shade redder and browner than a stout.

S - Bittersweet chocolate and vanilla. Quite gentle on the nose.

T - Following the nose, milk chocolate, lots of vanilla and toffee. Pleasantly sweet, without being cloying. A little roasty and savoury at the same time. A hint of cinnamon, and coconut as it warms. Tobacco and leather. The interplay of sweet and savoury works really nicely. I definitely get the impression that this beer has mellowed and softened with an extra year of aging in the bottle.

M - Very smooth! My only criticism would be that it could be a little more viscous.

O - Reminds me a lot of Fremont's Bourbon Abominable, albeit sweeter, milder and less savoury. This is a really nice beer, although I think I would have got even more out of it fresh. It's so smooth that even at 13.3% I feel like I could drink this all day. In terms of my own personal FW hierarchy, this is right up there with Parabola, a rung above Stickee Monkee and Sucaba, and two above Velvet Merkin and Helldorado. The bourbon and oak influence do show up in the vanilla sweetness but have melted into the beer by this point, lending a wonderful integration of flavour to this beer.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter at the Union Brewhouse in Weymouth.

Appearance: A two finger mocha head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pitch black color with no vision of anything. Frothy lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Vanilla, bourbon, oak, milk chocolate, toffee, caramel, roasted coffee, nutty, and super cool warm boozy alcohol.

Taste: This beer is cool and orgasmic. As crazy as the blend looks, it all works together really well.

Mouthfeel: Silky, creamy, smooth, super nice bourbon barrel flavor, full bodied, warm alcohol, and low to medium carbonation.

Overall: All I can say is wow. This is one superb beer that gas been aged for a year. A beer like this only gets better with time.

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Photo of aleigator
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

# 250. Thank you very much for this, Jason!

Pours a small beige head, which soon begins to fade, leaving back a very thin lacing. The color of the brew is dark mahogany, almost black, but held against a light, it reveals inserted red spots .

Has enjoyable aromas of milk chocolate with lots of barrel character to it, with gentle bourbon notes being the most detectable. Alcohol burn is recognizable, but get easily balanced by a fiery spiciness and wooden malts, still leaving a gentle sting to the Bourbon. The nose implies sweet toffee, as well as hints of rum and coffe beans, which are almost hidden beneath the stronger aromas.

First impression of the taste gets mirrored by the aromas. Creamy, smooth milk chocolate blends into wooden, earthy malts, which convoke the most enjoyable bourbon flavors among a peppery spiciness. A short glance of slick acridity invites the tastebuds to the next stage, defined by an immense coffee bitterness. This bitterness gets enhanced by a sharp alcoholic bite, while a pronounced, earthy, oaken maltiness helps to maintain the balance of the beer. Barrel character appears to be very contradictionary, while the Bourbon gets accompanied by mousse-au-chocolate and burned coconut, Rum comes along with bitter coffee and charred malts - both working together very well. Full bodied, with a very smooth mouthfeel.

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Photo of brongladest
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

A: dark brown, caramel head with good lacing
S: bourbon, dark chocolate, fig, dark fruit, faint soy sauce, faint alcohol
T: same as smell, nice sweetness on the middle of a pull, some alcohol warmth
MF: big body, creamy, low carbonation, some heat
overall impression: amazing beer, hope quaff again next year. great sipper!

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Photo of BergBeer
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%

Look: Opaque black with a vanilla head.

Smell: Huge bourbon, chocolate, and vanilla notes explode from the bottle. Also getting toffee, coffee, vanilla ice cream, chocolate chip cookies, earthy hops, and more bourbon. Smells absolutely fantastic.

Taste: Huge vanilla hits the palate followed by chocolate chip cookies soaked in bourbon, a slight hint of cinnamon, mocha, Irish cream, Molasses, and a finish of vanilla ice cream with bourbon.

Mouthfeel: Rich and decadent. Big bodied and sticky. Wets the palate and goes down with a slight alcohol burn that warms the chest.

Overall: Outstanding! So rich and complex with all of these decadent flavors melding into one barrel lovers treat. ! I've said it a million times but this one deserves it again. There is magic in Firestone Walker barrel system and this beer is liquid proof.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4/5  rDev -9.5%

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.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

The beer pours a nice creamy brown tan head that takes a while to dissolve. The beer itself is a very dark brown that borders on black and is opaque. The beer smell has coconut notes, toffee, a bit of roasted malts, vanilla, and a bit of oak. The beer taste is more roasted than the smell. The beer taste has stronger dark chocolate and vanilla notes that are more dominate. A little alcohol note is present and makes the beer even sweeter. The notes found in the smell do not seem to be very present. The mouthfeel is heavy bodied and very smooth with some carbonation. The beer also has a little burn that lingers a bit in the back of the throat. Overall, a very good beer and worth seeking. If I find this again, I definitely plan on picking it up.

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

Dark leathery brown with a flat appearance. The khaki head is brief and leaves no trace behind.

Typical (in a good way) FW barrel smells. Toffee, toasted coconut, butterscotch. There's even a little piney hop whiff.

Layers of flavors that include the aromas listed. Add some wood, pecan, and tobacco spice.

Low carbonation, but that lends to the soft and smooth body. Definitely boozy and a little sticky.

Another winner from FW.

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Photo of Phenom
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

Nose: delicious. Not your typical bourbon barrel aged stout, it has enough different notes to stand out. Marzipan, currants, and vanilla
Taste and mouthfeel: enough carbo to feel like a beer and not a sipping whiskey. Just the right amount of booziness. Coats the mouth, has long delicious finish.

Overall: worth seeking out. Coming from a hophead, this is a great beer

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.37/5  rDev -1.1%
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!

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Photo of HopBomb515
4.33/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown almost black, sediment in the bottom, nearly no head, and almost no lacing. Big ok, vanilla, chocolate, smoke and slightly alcohol soaked nose. Taste follows with big oak, vanilla, coconut, powdered chocolate, and an earthy smoky presence. Medium body with light carbonation and a semi dry finish. Overall an interesting beer. Big alcohol, nicely blended flavor a, and barrel complexities make this an interesting brew.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.86/5  rDev +10%
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.

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Photo of cbutova
4.42/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of Chico1985
4.04/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Another shared by Cam I believe.

Appearance - Dark brown, some clarity there along with orange highlights. Beige head retains pretty well for a big barrel beer.

Smell - Good smell that opens up towards greatness with warmth. Bourbon and charred oak barrel lead the way followed by dusty chocolate, molasses, nuts and brown sugar.

Taste - Flavor complexity increases here, although alcohol heat does as well. Still lots of bourbon barrel/spice and brandy now very noticeable as well. Chocolate, caramel, toasted nuts, vanilla, some dark fruit and piny/resiny hoppage. Definitely pretty brown ale-reminiscent which is nice. Sweetness kept in check.

Mouthfeel - Somewhat thin, would've liked more a bit more heft here, carbonation is medium-low, hot booze detracts.

Overall - Definitely another FW barrel beer success, though the alcohol heat was a bit much. Nice complex flavors, nice to get a brown ale vibe the most out of it rather than a stout.

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Photo of corby112
4.43/5  rDev +0.2%
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!

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Photo of 01001111
4.58/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark chestnut brown with significant lacing.

S: Caramel, toffee, vanilla, hazelnuts, oak, faint bourbon and booze.

T: Caramel, bourbon, vanilla, alcohol. Aftertaste is bitter hops reminiscent of those found in English ales.

M: Very heavy and syrupy with a significant alcohol heat. The booze becomes stronger as it heats up.

O: A great sipper. Complex and enjoyable but not quite greater than the sum of its parts.

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Photo of John_M
4.41/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
4.62/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Playground in Downtown Santa Ana, CA.

Christmas in April and Raul is feelin' it like when Tupac was sprung out of County!

Dark fruits, dark like my baby mama soul, dark ecstasy...Raul is feelin' it!

Get all over it when you can, my children, get it good!

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Firestone 17 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 118 ratings.