Firestone 10 - Anniversary Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Firestone 10 - Anniversary AleFirestone 10 - Anniversary Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

148 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 148
Reviews: 103
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 13.74%
Wants: 226
Gots: 12 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: dblinkhorn on 10-14-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 148 | Reviews: 103
Photo of SpeedwayJim
2.62/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Thanks to Scalene for this one. By way of light whale BIF 2. 22oz. bomber poured into a Darkness snifter.

Pour generates a .5 finger dark cream colored head with poor retention. Beer is a cloudy, dark brown, almost mudyd. Lacing is spotty with little cling. Really fantastic legs though. Average for the style.

Nose is heavy on the abacus. Notes of caramel, brown sugar, and toffee along with a sap hoppiness. Some booziness peaks through also. Decent but not the most robust or deep flavors are present here.

The first sip is a harsh reminder that this beer is a shadow of its former self. Some roasted malt bitterness mixed with alcohol. Booziness is pervasive. Caramel and toffee are there but very muddle and exceedingly coarse. Some brown sugar sweetness pushed way in the back. End is boozy and sweet with a sap hop bitterness mixed with caramel aftertaste.

Light to medium bodied with low carbonation. Very, very thin in the mouth. Oily with some boozy harshness going down. Really a mess at this point. Finish is messy with a lingering aftertaste. Probably one of the worst bodies of the style I've had in a while though it does thicken up slightly as it warms.

Had this one about a year ago and it was already on the decline. At this point, its probably not even worth drinking. Very thin, flavors are muddled and the alcohol is becoming more and more prominent. If you have this, get rid of it now. Its fallen off significantly. Higher overall grade here just for what it once was.

Photo of ehammond1
2.93/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle (2006)

Thanks for sharing, mikedashg!

(Aged for 5 years)

Hazy dark brown and caramel in color with a very small brown head. Leaves dots of lacing down the glass.

The aroma nearly survived, but it's fallen off substantially from where it began, I'm sure. There's a bit of the wonderful coconut and oak notes I'm familiar with in other Firestone anniversary beers, but there's also strong sherry and alcohol notes throughout. The aroma doesn't seem particularly strong at all.

The flavor, I'm sure, is a shadow of it's former self. There's strong sherry and oxidation flavors along with quite a bit of harsh booze. There's some sweet malt and coconut character left, but overall, this one has been destroyed by Father Time.

Medium to thick bodied with low to moderate carbonation.

I really wish I had the opportunity to try this fresh, because as it stands now (at least this bottle), this isn't much of a beer.

If given the opportunity to try this beer again, I'll revisit this review.

Photo of sweemzander
3.03/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz. bottle poured into a tasting glass. Thanks go to either John or Jim for sharing this one with us!

(A)- Pours a dark brown with some tan bubbles.

(S)- Lots of raisin with some bits of molasses. Has a weird bread-like wood funk or something.

(T)- Very rich with some caramel, raisin, and molasses. A tad dry. Is beginning to show some hints of soy sauce.

(M)- A good carbonation level. Rich and malty, but showing signs of decline. Lots of boozy heat for sure, in fact, it might have been the booziest of the lot tonite.

(D)- This might have started to decline and past its peak, however, it was an honor to have tried it. I say drink this now if anyone is holding onto it yet.

Photo of craytonic
3.3/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this side-by-side with 11, 12 and 13

Apperance: Almost black with a bit of mahogany/brown to it; smallish off-white head

Smell: Raisins, brown sugar, molasses, old cardboard

Taste: Toffee, caramel, raisins, brown sugar, molasses and old cardboard. Not fully showing its age, but it is starting to. More boozy than it should be for being so old.

Mouthfeel: Full with somewhat light carbonation; leaves behind an alcohol taste despite its age

Drinkability: Four of us did not finish the bottle; resorted to creating a FW10-14 blend if that tells you anything. The sum was greater than the parts. I wasn't really impressed with this one, very ho-hum.

Photo of kbutler1
3.46/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Pours a dark brown reddish color with a slight tan head. Really smells like a barleywine to be honest with big malty notes. Some chocolate and vanilla notes as well. In the taste the alcohol is definitely present. Slightly oxidized with some wet cardboard like undertones. Alcohol gives a warming effect. Not the best beer. Dark fruit notes as well. Best to probably drink these now if you are holding on to them.

Photo of drabmuh
3.48/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Thorpe for organizing and hosting the vertical tasting of the Firestone walker beers. Another once in a lifetime tasting experience. Right off the bat I'm going to rank the 5 vintages we had in order of preference 13>14>12>11>>10 (the >> means much greater).

Beer is black / brown with a thin broken lacing free head and low carbonation. Looks like a big barrel aged something or other.

Aroma is sweet and dark with a mild papery aroma.

Beer is a little papery, thinner than expected, no real barrel / bourbon character, the malt is what is shining through for me here. It is a little sweet, sticky with a boring finish and a mild off flavor. If you have a bottle of this I'd trade it or drink it quick. Of course I don't know the providence of this particular bottle but I think it is time to open these.

Photo of atrocity
3.52/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Small signs of oxidation... still pretty tasty!

Photo of tonistruth
3.52/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- unfiltered, cloudy mahogany brew no real head but some tan foam

S- woody, hints of alcohol, toasted malts, american hop profile

T- woody at start and finish, sweet alcohol at finish, toasted malts with some caramel, lots of barrel flavors, pine hops, brownie and chocolate flavors linger

M- full, somewhat sticky with some alcoholic heat at finish

D- complex and tasty, enjoyable barrel flavors, i think its over hyped but its got a reputation so try it if you can get it

Photo of Crosling
3.53/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hmm, this is an interesting beer, particularly the blending of so many different beers. The thought that went into this beer is definately impressive. The brewers clearly spent so much time trying to create the perfect beer and I respect that. I find the barrel character to be very true, with hints of vanilla, toasted oak, a little coconut and only a small hint of bourbon. That being said, I have to wonder if the four individual beers used for blending we’re better on their own. I find the whole blending beers craze to be very strange. Yeah, it works for wine, but with beer? I’m not convinced, especially with totally different styles.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.55/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Well, well, our paths finally cross. Thanks to jcb890 for the introduction. Served as part of a 10-14 diagonal along with Abacus, Parabola, and the like. Served in a Three Floyds / Intelligentsia mini-snifter.

Pours near black with a very small tan head that went away very quickly without leaving behind any lacing or legs. Forgivable, for sure. The nose is a bit weak, carrying some roast and cofee and is actually quite boozy still. There's a bit of wood and slight spirit character, though not too much. The flavor has slight roast and some chocolate. Bit of coffee there as well atop the oak. Not very strong and still not all that integrated. This was one of the booziest of the bunch, which was quite odd.

Getting a 4.0 overall, as some of these areas were closer to 3.75, but didn't quite hit the 4.0 mark. Glad to have tried this, but it does indeed seem to be going downhill fast. The same is true of the 11, which was fantastic just over a year ago, but now isn't much better than the 10. I'm sure bottle variation plays a bit role here at this point, so make what you want of these thoughts.

Photo of Arbitrator
3.57/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle generously shared by Mike (colonelforbin) as part of a mutual arrangement. Thanks, Mike. My first time having this one.

A: Pours a dark, murky maroon body. Scattered bubbles on top of the brew, with a medium collar resulting from the collapse of a small beige head. Looks a little like Coca Cola.

S: Bourbon, oak, molasses, nuts, caramel, vanilla. It reminds me of a barrel aged brown ale on steroids. There's no oxidation; we kept seeing reports of this on the forums, but none of us picked it up. I guess storage conditions make a huge difference. You heard it here first, folks.

T: Bourbon, oak, molasses, brown sugar. Nuts, caramel, vanilla. A very light dark fruit presence (mostly grape) and some coconut. Again, no oxidation was picked up by anyone present. The age is reflected more in a lack of complexity, but maybe that's how the beer always was. It's hardly bad, but not worth the fuss (IMO); I feel that 11 was drinking better in November and 12 and 13 are drinking better right now.

M: It's not too viscous, but it has a full-bodied flavor. Surprisingly, it still has some heat to it.

D: Good stuff! I enjoyed my pour, but its [relatively] one dimensional flavor quenched my once-rabid desire to get more of this beer.

Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I certainly didn't think there would come a day when I would be typing this review, but here it is...

A: The pour is a darkish amber with just about no head and somewhat light carbonation.

S: The aromas certainly exhibit signs of this beer being incredibly oxidized and on the way down. Stale sugar, a slight cardboard, caramel, vanilla, and maybe even a bit of bourbon.

T: The flavor does not show the same intensity in terms of signs of "decay". A bit of booze (surprising after 4 years) along with vanilla, caramel, stale sugar, and a bit of chocolate.

M: The body is quite full with almost no carbonation and a touch on the thick side.

D: Certainly not what it might have been years ago, but still a decent beer and one that I've been hoping to taste for quite some time now.

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.6/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike!

Firestone Walker tasting, including FW 10-14, Abacus, Parabola, Walker's Reserve, Black Xantus.

Order of preference and notes: 13, 12, 11, 14, 10
Abacus and Parabola still shined. Along with FW 13, these were my three favorites of the lineup, with FW 12 not far behind.

FW 10 appears remarkably similar to the other FW anniversary ales, dark brown with a thin cap. The carbonation seems to have dropped off just a bit in the years since its release.

The aroma still brings a fair amount of booze, with some toffee and roast notes as well.

The flavor was lacking the balance, depth, and complexity I found so wonderful and present in FW 12 and 13. A surprising amount of heat throughout the flavor profile detracted from the overall presentation of the beer.

The finish brought an unpleasant harshness to the back of my throat. Some good flavors still lurk here, but are overshadowed by the heat.

Overall, the weakest of the anniversary series by a long shot. It was a treat to have tried this, and I am very grateful for the opportunity.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.65/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Finally cracked the lone bottle of this I had in my cellar. Pours a deep dark brown with a quarter inch of tan head that leaves spotty lacing. Head quickly falls. Aromas of dense caramel and roasted malts colliding with boozy bourbon and wood tannins. Lots of dark fruits moving around here with some vanilla in the background as well. Alcohol comes through slightly.

First sip brings sweet rich caramel and dark malts upfront moving into roasted flavors with molasses and dark fruits popping through. Bourbon flavors move in along with woody barrel accents and tannins. Flows down with a touch of aged hop bitterness and quite a bit of alcohol bite on the end. Somewhat harsh overall, it doesn't come together as nicely as I was expecting.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and slick, but thinner than I expected for this brew. Sharing the bomber with a friend was the right decision as this would have been tough to take on solo. Maybe it was the age on the bottle, but this one really didn't live up to the reputation that was out there for this beer for me personally. Glad I tried it, but also glad I didn't spend / trade an arm and a leg just to do so.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.67/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ditmier brought this little whale over tonight.. too cool for words. Thanks buddy.

Pours with a short lasting dark tan head.. no lacing... deep dark chestnut but not black... very clear.

Nose is very rich but slightly oxidized... good caramel and vanilla.. woody ..

Flavor is rich up front and drops off immediately.... "malty" but without any real discerning characteristics... just "malty"... the wood speaks of toasty oak and much lesser bourbon... a bit of cigar wrapper with warmth... but nothing gets better. a little cocoa and lite tannin... the palate seems pretty thin and definitely flimsy... a bit oxidized and definitely "old".

the body seemed about medium but ready to drop off too... hard to explain... just seems at the end of the rope.

Thanks Eric... thanks a bunch... but I think we are in agreement that this brew is on the steep downslope.

3.5/4/3.5/4/3.5

Photo of hoppymeal
3.68/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark cola-y brown to black in color with a 1-2 finger light tan head that recedes to a ring. Aroma is a nice deep roastiness, with a strong sweet smooth chocolate and some twangy boozy bourbon. Also a light sweet malty barleywine aroma as it warms, but definitely more on the roasted and chocolate notes. Taste shows a strong chocolate and roast presence as well with some dry woody oak that comes on in the backgound and maintains thru the taste. Some smokiness as well. The woody oak flavor is punctuated by a good sized level of bitterness that grinds on the palette and blends into a warming alcohol finish. Again, there are hints of sweet malty bw up front, but they are soft and quickly overtaken. Medium to heavy body is nicely cut by oakiness, bitter hoppiness and alcohol content. A very interesting beer. If there was a seperate category for style points this beer would be way up there. Here, I am just rating the liquid in the bottle, but have to say cheers to those at Firestone for their creativity. The letter and stat sheet included in the box are also a very nice touch for my inner geek. Overall I think there was a bit too much happening here, however I also have the impression that this beer could stand up to some good long aging, 3-5 years, and may let some flavors blend or some 'come to the top' and could turn out to be something extraordinary.

Photo of scottfrie
3.7/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours an extremely dark brownie colored brown with a raisin colored head.
S: Vanilla, bourbon, raisins, and some chocolate. Smells a bit old though.
T: Follows the nose with dominate barleywine-like flavors of vanilla, raisin, caramel, wood, leather and chocolate. The aftertaste is full of chocolate, but the flavor falls off in the finish.
M: Low carbonation, touch of warm alcohol, slick body and a pretty hefty mouthfeel.
O: Not super complex or flavorful anymore. Not that I’ve had this fresh, but I know there used to be more to this beer. Sadly very average and disappointing.

Photo of charlzm
3.71/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

Consumed on November 10th, 2010 at Blue Palms, Hollywood, CA.

Very deep brown color, almost black, though still clear and partially transparent. Surprisingly to me, there was still enough carbonation in the this 4 year old bottle to make a thin tan head in my glass.

The first smell I picked up was soapy - specifically, laundry detergent. Ack. This did dissipate over time, thankfully, allowing a lightly boozy brandy note to shine. Going to have to go with "average".

The flavor held up better than the aroma; reminds me of an English barleywine in overall flavor profile: raisin bread, candied sugar, a touch of white pepper and caramel. High alcohol content still a flavor component as well.

Mouthfeel was unremarkable: medium bodied with low carbonation.

Drinkability suffers somewhat due to the awful early aroma, but if you let this one breathe a little, everything will be all right.

Glad I had it, but certainly not the great white whale...

Photo of Mauerhan
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled in line with the rest of the firestone line up at the blue palms anniversary party. A big thanks to Brian for pulling these out of his stash.

Pours straight from the bottle with a flash of carbonation. Not much but as much to be expected in a 3 year old beer. A light lace skims the surface. Murky brown similar to tap water in the greater Los Angeles area. Has some nice legs on it. Good deal of sediment floating around my snifter. overall a pretty decent looking brew.

Smell is pretty reminiscent of Walkers Reserve. A good deal of sweetness. Some faint hints of ghosts of barrels past. A combo of soy and tabacco.

Taste is good. Some oxidation is present up front but still rather good. I get a hint of what once was a beautiful beer. Brown Sugar, Figs, Sweet Cherry, Cigar Paper/tabacco. Hints of vanilla and other barrel qualities are present. I would have loved to see how this was a year ago.

I enjoyed this beer quite a bit but I have a feeling this peaked a while back. Some very good qualities are still rather present but I feel if you have a bottle of this drink it or trade it away. This bad boy aint getting any better.

Photo of mdfb79
3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

HUGE thanks to Thorpe420 for providing this one at our Firestone Walker tasting. We did the 10-14 diagonal side by side with Abacus, Parabola, Black Xantus, and Walker's Reserve.

a - Pours a dark brown color with no real head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of booze, dark fruits, oak, chocolate, and roasted malts. I liked the nose, but was very surprised how much alcohol was still coming through; more so than any of the other Anniversary beers.

t - Tastes of alcohol, sweet dark fruits, molasses, sugar, oak, vanilla, and roasted malts. Also light chocolate. Again, I enjyoed it but the alcohol is way too strong.

m - Medium to thick full body with low carbonation evident.

o - Overall this is a good beer, but no where near the level of some of the other Anniversary beers. I was surprised that this one seemed to have the most alcohol to it considering it was the oldest one. Would have again but not worth what it would probably cost to trade for it. I think everyone there was in a consensus that this was the "worst" of the Anniversary beers.

My order went: 13, 12, 11, 10 tied with 14.

Photo of ReDave
3.81/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow!

Very Dark, pretty much as dark as Firestone's- Walker’s Reserve, which they call a porter. Surprisingly thick light colored head.

Aroma seemed lacking, some alcohol, and roasted malt, but it seemed it was sered too cold, or something....

Wow! BIG big flavors... Seems much stronger than 10%
surprisingly smooth, but lots of alcohol. [Served in a nice snifter]
I'd like to try this again, warmed up some.

Photo of Jmoore50
3.83/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

With the 14th Anniversary almost out, this is the first and only Anniversary beer I have had from Firestone Walker. I do believe this is on its way out, but it was still enjoyable.

It poured a very dark black, more accurately a darker brown color than black. It had some bubbles with the pour but really nothing that stuck around. It was very thick, leaving a oily leg on the side of my glass. No head, its disappointing but this beer is almost four years old and 12% ABV. What are you going to do?

The smell is muted, but what I pick up is nice. Lots of sweet molasses, caramelized sugars, chocolate brownies, and some booze.

The taste has lots of sweet flavors that are no doubtingly coming from aged Imperial Stout, Barley Wine, DIPA. Great chocolate truffles with a strong caramel flavor. Lots of booze, with some oxidized muted flavors that are my indication that this beer is losing it. Still enjoyable.

A very enjoyable beer that would of probably been enjoyed best when it was released.
J

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Attractive presentation bottle including an owner's manual with the 22'ozer in a box. 12 % ABV. What???!!!

Pours with a buh-lack brown hue allowing glimmers of light scoot in though the sides of the glass.

Nose conveys a wood oak and vanilla almost metallic flavor with a mixed style of porter and sherry. As ths warms, the awl-kee-hawl boozy aspect grows. This turns into a rummy booze bomb.

First swigs: Sweet syrup os maple syrup and some pancake malt to match. Powdery cocoa and a malt landslide. Sweet honeyish middle with a boozy coconut kick.

Last swigs: One of the most boozy noses ever! A bit of one trick pony.

Beer is good. Happy big barrel beering.

Photo of emerge077
3.94/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

FW vertical sampling at Luda's annual cellar clearance, thanks Ben for bringing this one!
Served in a mini-nonic, quick review from transcribed notes.

Tawny dark brown with lighter highlights, ring of frothy bubbles around the edges, a swirl of skim and some spotty lace after each sip. lc. Murky with suspended sediment.

Leathery aroma, autolysed yeast and some barrel notes.

Viscous and full bodied, rich. Chocolate, whiskey heat, whoppers. Lingering dry tannic bitterness. Very rich and best shared. Of the group this one seemed to show the most oxidation, corresponding to being the oldest bottle of the vertical.

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

A big thank you to Sean for generously sharing this rarity at our Firestone Walker vertical.

A - Dark brown beer with a tannish head that faded to a nice ring and partial cap. A few spots initially, but sides of the glass cleaned up pretty quickly.

S - There is some slight oxidation, but it has held up pretty well. It's mostly Abacus, so you'd expect this one to age nicely. Burnt sugars and caramel with some dark fruits, vanilla, and wood.

T - Taste is pretty much like the nose. Dark fruits and caramel a plenty, along with the barrel flavors. The oxidation is a little more noticable in the taste, but it is still a good beer.

M - Smooth, lighter carbonation, and full bodied.

O - Wish I could have had this a year or two ago, but it was still really nice. I'm excited for drinking some bottles of Abacus in a couple years, because I think this is a nice example of how it's going to age.

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Firestone 10 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 148 ratings.