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Firestone 17 - Anniversary Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Firestone 17 - Anniversary AleFirestone 17 - Anniversary Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

105 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 105
Hads: 1,338
Avg: 4.41
pDev: 28.34%
Wants: 197
Gots: 503 | 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
View: Beers (88) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 105 | Hads: 1,338
Photo of HattedClassic
4.5/5  rDev +2%

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 +2%

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 +2%

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 -0.9%
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 -1.8%
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 +10.2%
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 +0.2%
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 -8.4%
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 +0.5%
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 +3.9%
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%
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 +4.8%
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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Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.31/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out brown but looks really dark in a snifter. Lots of red in the light. A soft cloud of lightly tanned head develops and sinks down slowly for a big barrel beer eventually leaving nothing but a thin ring around the outside.

Love these crazy concoctions FW throws together. So much complexity going on. Vanilla and wood from the barrels. Not as much coconut as I would expect from FW. Heat from the residual spirits. Toffee and caramel hit biggest with some sizeable cherry going on as well. Seems a little nutty from the big brown ale inclusion.

The taste seems a tad more enjoyable than the aroma indicated. Rich toffee barleywine/DDBA flavor. Toasty coconut and vanilla barrel. Some definite heat comes at the end and fills the chest. Fairly sweet from all these big malty beers with some brown sugar. Cherry and nuts with some lesser chocolate and coffee stout character.

Big smooth drinking body with soft carbonation. Makes it way too easy to enjoy this beast of a beer.

Fairly warm 5 months in from bottling. Don't really pick up on the hoppy beer in this anymore. I could see this aging well. Drinks incredible right now though.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.5/5  rDev +2%
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

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Photo of kdahnke123
4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter at cellar temperature.
A - Pours a dark brown with a single finger of tan head. The head dissipates quickly leaving a fine lacing that lasts. Tipping the glass leaves a long lasting coating with legs.
S - Very malty, with bourbon, chocolate, booze and a slight amount of hops on the finish.
T - Sweet and malty with bourbon, vanilla and a slight amount of marshmallow.
M - Thick. Coats the mouth well with almost no carbonation. Enough alcohol to numb the tongue a little.
O - Outstanding. A very nice blend of ales by an outstanding brewery. Highly recommended.

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Photo of larryi86
4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thanks bstyle for sending me this!
22 oz bottle poured into a teku

A- Black with a small tan head. 4.25

S- Chocolate, bourbon, dark fruits, oak, some roasted coffee. 4.25

T- Dark fruits, some cherries, bourbon, oak, vanilla, toffee, some roasted coffee, some chocolate, taste a lot like a barelywine. 4.75

M- Smooth, full body. 4.25

O- Very enjoyable, nice blend of beers and good balance. Wish I had a bottle age. 4.5

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Photo of evanforbeer
4.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a scrappy black with small off white head

Aroma- dark fruits, fig newtons, coconut, vanilla, oak, bourbon

Taste- follows nose with fig newton, caramel, oak barrel, molasses, bourbon, vanilla. Like a roastier barleywine

Feel- seems a big thin for this big of a beer, rich, sweet

Pretty awesome, not like a lot o beers or there

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Photo of FosterJM
4.18/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1774th Review on BA
Bottle to Firestone Walker Snifter

App- When out of the bottle, this had all the indicators that it was a stout. Color was missing and it was a dark brown, black mix of color. A little red sprinkled in for good measure as well. The light tan foam cap was only about 1/2" and faded quickly. A nice bit of stick to it.

Smell- You can always tell a FW BA beer IMO. The character of all the beers comes wafting up at you and you get hit in the nose and you tend to stick around a bit and try to decipher all the aromas coming up. This had hints of oak, bourbon, vanilla, spice and a booze. A bit stringy vs smooth for me.

Taste- I had heard the rumblings that this wasnt as good as the other vintages because of the new blends and the direction FW took this one. I say pish posh. This was a tasty beer. Sadly I wish that price point was a bit lower to get a few more. The opening was a bit more brown ale than I was expecting even after reading the blend list. It was smooth and flavorful. Melded well with all the ingredients.

Mouth- A solid medium body BA ale that even for me bordered on being a stout. A big feel behind it with a solid carbonation level. Smooth and velvety. The residual flavors were a blend of the beer and left you wanting another sip.

Drink- I will say that it was good. It was a solid beer and that FW always does a good job. It wasnt the best of the Anny series I have had, but thats only because I like stouts better than strong ale blends. Wonder how this one will age.

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Photo of BingCrosby7
4.44/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A This beer is very dark with minimal variance around the edges, which is surpassing considering the alcohol content. There is minimal to no lacing or head retention to this beer. That said, the color is beautiful in the light--a ruby underneath the obsidian body.
S Very boozy--the barrels come through with this one. There's a maltiness that comes through the caramel and the toffee and the vanilla, and cherries serve as a nice bookend to the smelling experience
T Very complex--first off, there is a bourbon richness with some burn to it, followed by cherry and savory notes of vanilla and caramel, maly third wave finished off with another hit of bourbon and sugary sweetness.
M This is my least favorite aspect of this beer--very watery and slippery. Not a whole lot of body
O I prefer this to the Sucaba, but I would prefer a parabola over the XVII and the Sucaba. Complex as hell, but still lacks some key qualities (this still stands tall over many many beers). Overall, a wonderful brew.

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Photo of ricknelson
3.79/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Firestone's 17th Anniversary Ale came in 7th in my recent beer tasting of Firestone Walker's top beers. Out of the seven BA guys we had at the tasting, 17th Anniversary got an average review score of just 3.88. It scored lower than the 15th and 16th Anniversary Ales that it went up against in a side by side tasting of the three years, having less smell, less taste, and less appearance.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of Chaney
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It's so easy to put this one up on a pedestal based on it's base beer profile alone.

Served in a Boulevard tulip.

A: Poured about a shade lighter than Parabola with only some red poking through if you're wearing Special Operations goggles. Slight head…… more than I was expecting. Beautiful!

S: Not a bourbon bomb, but the bourbon was still present. Doesn't smell like a 13.3% brew. What gives? Subtle roast, with cocoa notes to the forefront.

T: Holy crap this was smooth. I got Parabola in there even before it barely even hit the palate. Even the booze had a candy-coated quality to it. Cocoa, roast, slight bourbon, and tons of vanilla.

M: Thick, chewy, and so, so good. The sweetness was there, but this makes no aspersions to be nothing more than a dessert beer.

O: My highest recommendation. My top so far in 2014.

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Photo of hops202
4.56/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into Stone Snifter.

Pours a deep dark brown color, not quite black. Aroma is insanely complex - there is almost too much going on, but it smells declicious. Sugary barley wine aroma comes through along with vanilla, bourbon, coconut, caramel and some cookie dough mixed with candied cherries and dates. Taste is similar to the nose with a hint of more chocolate and is incredible! I am sincerely impressed with this release and look forward to cracking open the other bottle that will be aging for awhile.

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Photo of reebtaerG
4.99/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on tap on 2/28/14 at Victoria's GP in a 12oz snifter

A-Pours a dark maroon color. Small off white head. The head dissipates leaves and ring has great lacing.

S-Nose is bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate, and biscuit.

T-Flavor is like a bourbon chocolate shake, with vanilla and slight coffee and smoke notes.

M-Nice mouthfeel, medium balance with light carbonation

O-This beer is awesome get your hands on it. Let the beer warm up it gets even better!

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Photo of LambicPentameter
4.23/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Received this bottle from BA SammyJaxxx after trading away my only bottle to another fellow BA for a beer I wanted a tad more. I was so excited to see it return, so to speak. Obviously, this is the 2013 vintage, and I poured it into a large 22 oz snifter glass.

Appearance - An aggressive pour yields a frothy, soap-like head about a finger thick (slightly less) with a mix of large and small bubbles the color of taupe or khaki. The head lingers for a bit before returning to it's home in the rich walnut-bark brown, almost black liquid that sits beneath the foam. Eventually settles to an archipelago of bubble islands mottling the surface and a rim of foam along the edge of the glass. No lacing to speak of until I begin drinking, leaving a bits of spotty lace here and there along the glass. As I drink it down, some deep, rich burgundy tones become more present, as the liquid is less thick to block out the light. Very enchanting.

Smell - With a blend of so many different beers, I'm not sure what to expect--whether it will be muddled and hard to decipher or a symphony of various profiles blending. Thankfully, it is more the latter than the former. Notes of graham cracker and caramelized sugar interplay with some lighter notes of cocoa powder and just the faintest touch of molasses. Some tannins from the various barrels come through, but not aggressively in the slightest. Honestly, there could be a bit more wood here for my personal liking.

Taste - Disappointingly, the fear of muddling that I had going into the smell has come to fruition a little bit on the taste. It would be unfair to call it unpleasant, because it is anything but. That being said, it's harder to pick out the individual flavor characteristics than it was in the aroma. If I had to sum it up into one impression, it would be that of a homemade dark chocolate caramel, with a blend of slightly bitter and richly sweet. Good in many ways, but my personal preference is to beers that seem to change and evolve, coming to the forefront with different emphasis with each subsequent sip. This one is a bit muddier and more simplistic, considering the complexity that went into its composition.

Mouthfeel - Slightly viscous and somewhat velvety, if a little thin considering the rich and powerful blend of aromas and flavors. I would prefer a tiny bit more body. Carbonation is very low, but enough to get the job done in the face of the more viscous feel.

Overall, a really great beer. It's the first I've sampled in the FW anniversary series, and I must admit that it didn't quite rise to the pedestal level it occupied in my mind before opening. That being said, I'd gladly drink it again and I was very pleased with how easily it drank for a rich, 13% abv beer. At the very least, it has me curious to try the next installment in the series, when Firestone Walker becomes legal...

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Firestone 17 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.