Firestone 17 - Anniversary Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

1,219 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,219
Reviews: 89
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 7.61%
Wants: 178
Gots: 434 | 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:
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

(Beer added by: dwagner003 on 10-30-2013)
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Ratings: 1,219 | Reviews: 89 | Display Reviews Only:
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4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

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4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

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4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

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4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

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4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

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4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

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4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

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4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of LambicPentameter
4.2/5  rDev -6%
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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4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

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4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

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5/5  rDev +11.9%

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4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

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4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

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5/5  rDev +11.9%

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4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

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4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

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4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of hagbergl
4.96/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Rodman's in Friendship Heights, Washington, DC let it be known that they had about a case more of Firestone Walker's XVII, their 17th anniversary ale, an outrageous blend of some of their most difficult to find and complex beers (including Parabola, Double DBA). 22 oz. bomber, split between myself and my girlfriend.

Appearance (4.25): Pours pitch black with red-brown highlights and a very little light brown head.

Smell (5/5): Vanilla, oak, bourbon barrel, toasted coconut, a sweet booziness, cookie dough, and an ever so slight touch of chocolate. Amazing amount of barrel character on this beer.

Taste (5/5): All these scents are masterfully realized in the taste--even more oak barrel in the taste, some brown sugar and cinnamon spice (which does great work with the spicy-sweet alcohol flavor), and a lot of vanilla and toasted coconut. The alcohol is present throughout the taste (as you'd expect at 13.3% ABV) but it works well with overall flavor profile. Dark fruits work their way in, as well as a touch of dark chocolate. 17 could be described as a stout-barleywine hybrid. Sounds weird? Well, no matter, it's incredible, complex stuff.

Mouthfeel (5/5): Full bodied. Thick yet smooth as velvet going down, and not the least bit sticky. Very low carbonation, almost none. Warming sensation occurs upon taking the first swallow. It's by no means an easy drinker, but that's no matter. This is meant to be consumed over a long session.

Overall (5/5): This is one of Firestone Walker's most masterful creations. The level of craftsmanship and inspiration that went into the brewing and blending of it is truly astonishing (make sure to read the inserted paper to get the details on its creation). Allow this beer to warm up to the appropriate temperature, sip, and marvel at it.

Photo of alpenglocken
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

Firestone 17 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 1,219 ratings.