Firestone 10 - Anniversary Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 144 | Reviews: 102 | Display Reviews Only:
4.6/5 rDev +8.7%
I lost my note of whom I traded with, what a find. This beer is everything, a yummy drinkable barkeywine, with an exceptional complexity of bourbon, whisky, vanilla, and wood. A strong ale, this is an evening 12% and it is drinkable yet deserves sipping, after several minutes of aroma.. All kinds of hops, spearmint, peppermint.
05-13-2007 02:44:17 | More by Sammy
4.2/5 rDev -0.7%
Poured from a growler brought to Blue Palms by the brewers last Friday night.
Poured a dark brown/red color, but thats only in the light. Black otherwise. Murky. Not much head, decent lace. I gave it extra points because I like the color but otherwise it would be a 2.5.
Aroma is barleywine-ish but with a touch of roast and chocolate. Some booze present in addition to the oak, whiskey, sweet malt, and slight fruitiness. Fairly complex and very interesting.
Flavor is half barleywine and half brown ale with a touch of roast. Sweet, bitter, roasty, and quite boozy. The aftertaste is the sweet barleywine finish with more booze. I shouldn't give this a 4.5 in flavor because of the crazy amount of alcohol that makes itself known but I enjoyed it quite a bit.
Body is heavy, carbonation is slightly less than medium. I really wanted this to be the best beer I ever had and that is affecting my memory of the event but looking at my notes reminds me that this, while a very good beer, is another hyped up beer. Thats not to say that I would mind having a few bottles of this.
11-20-2008 05:04:55 | More by t0rin0
3.55/5 rDev -16.1%
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.
05-25-2011 01:15:05 | More by Thorpe429
4.55/5 rDev +7.6%
Charred chestnut that crowds the edges of the snifter so completely that no more than the skinniest sliver of scarlet is visible. Given the ABV, the persistence of the crown is a minor miracle. The foam is peanut shell in color, looks great and is more than capable when it comes to the laying down of lace.
Ten (10) is literally a mixture of an English barleywine, an Imperial oatmeal stout, a DIPA and an Imperial brown ale. That's an interesting concept that should have led to a more interesting aroma. The boozy dark fruit of the barleywine and the roasted malt of the stout come through the loudest. Edit: bourbon-soaked oak dominates once the beer reaches room temperature, forcing a score bump.
Maybe it's nothing more than the difference in acuity between my nose and palate, but this big brew has much more depth and complexity than the aroma suggested. It looks like almost two years has helped fuse the various flavors and has given the alcohol a chance to mellow a little. Drinking it barely cool is good idea as well.
It also tastes like a combination barleywine-Imperial stout. The pale malt of the DIPA isn't able to stand up to the more assertive flavors and the brown malt is dominated by the roasted malt of the stout. This is a luscious beer that is full-to-bursting with complexity.
The flavor profile includes bittersweet chocolate fudge, dark brown sugar, black currants and plums soaked in bourbon, candied cherries, orange peel and vanilla. The remarkable combination of aggressiveness and harmoniousness is brewing alchemy of the highest order. The time that it took to settle on the ultimate proportions of the component ales was definitely time well spent.
An ABV of 12.0% is akin to playing with fire for most brewers. The fact that Ten isn't the least bit hot is a testment to the skill of the folks at FWBC. What alcohol is appreciated warms the tongue, the esophagus, and the stomach like a well-aged bourbon whiskey. Like everything else about this outstanding beer, the bourbon barrels were utilized in expert fashion.
Rule of beer reviewing #6: whenever I can't come up with a single suggestion to improve the mouthfeel, a perfect mouthfeel score is in order. This one hits the exact center of the bull's eye. It's full without being heavy and is impressively silky and smooth-edged. Calling it outstanding seems inadequate, but my brain is too fuzzy at this point to come up with something better.
Firestone Walker Ten is a remarkable achievement and is this brewery's finest creation (at least until Eleven is bottled). It was probably damn good beer fresh, it's damn good beer now, and it will almost certainly be damn good beer for years to come. My advice is to snap up every bomber that you can lay your hands on.
06-18-2008 21:28:16 | More by BuckeyeNation
4.2/5 rDev -0.7%
This is the beer that takes me to Afficianado status!
Appearance: Pours a coffee brown color with a modest head (high abv, remember) that splotches the chalice; the head retains as a swirl of foam and can be stirred up at will to provide a fresh head
Smell: Bourbon, oak, vanilla and a leathery aspect infuse the aroma
Taste: Up front with a rich flavor combination of dark fruit and coffee that is joined by oak, vanilla, bourbon; fruity flavors (citrus, now) emerge by mid-palate; after the swallow, the woody flavors and the bourbon jump to the fore and are joined by some milk chocolate, vanilla and coconut through the finish, which is still a bit hot
Mouthfeel: Full bodied and moderately carbonated; considerable warming on the finish
Drinkability: Here's where I struggle with this beer; there is a ton going but I don't find myself enthralled; I just feel it is going to take a while for all of this to come together; wish I had another bottle to set aside for a few years because this could become something really special.
Almost sorry I drank it so soon; thanks again to my trading buddy, Boolshot
04-17-2007 00:49:02 | More by brentk56
4.25/5 rDev +0.5%
dark brown, near black with a light head of tan that comes up and caps the top of the glass nicely. Aroma is dominated by aromas of oak and vanilla, which meld seemlessly into the chocolate notes that become ever more present as time goes on. First sip is wonderful, more carbonated then I typically see with barrel aged beers, with a nicely lively presence and rich, velvet like carbonation. First sip is loaded down with oak notes, hints of bourbon and vanilla start to come out as I dive further into it. Suble at first but then it starts to build. Nice backbone of chocolate coming through as well as a light touch of smoke. Nicely put together I have to admit. Smooth, with the alcohol all but absent from the profile making it for a smooth, sublte, and wonderfully complex nightcap.
08-24-2011 03:42:12 | More by mikesgroove
3.58/5 rDev -15.4%
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.
04-21-2010 04:42:36 | More by womencantsail
3.95/5 rDev -6.6%
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.
07-28-2013 15:10:43 | More by emerge077
4.83/5 rDev +14.2%
On tap at Toronado during the Firestone Walker 12 release party, a pleasant surprise needless to say. It's been over a year since I last tried 10, and I'm pleased to say that it has held up incredibly well. Nearly black in appearance, there's a hint of transparency around the edges. Carbonation is low, leaving a small sheet of tan foam on top. The aroma is toffee, fig and vanilla with an earthy, tobacco-like undertone. The blend of barleywine and imperial stout is unique, and this beer really does taste like an even mix of the two. The sometimes cloying sweetness found in barleywines is balanced by the bitterness of the stout, while the acrid/acidic quality of the stout is tamed by the barleywine; it's a beautiful mix. Barrel aging has added a lot of nuance, notes of vanilla, bourbon and light tannins. While the oak isn't subtle, it's thankfully not completely dominant either and allows the complexity of the beer to shine through. Simply masterful stuff overall, absolutely worth tracking down.
11-13-2008 19:02:50 | More by largadeer
4.63/5 rDev +9.5%
Was saving this bottle for a special occasion and figured my birthday/wife's fundraiser concert was worthwhile. Multiple pours in my FOBAB taster glass.
A - One finger of tan foam that dissipates fairly quickly and leaves a tiny bit of lace and some "legs". The residual ring and bubbles are quite attractive. Translucent dark brown with red highlights - kind of surprising that it looks so clear, considering the gaggle of beers blending together.
S - Tons of oak barrel, vanilla, bourbon, vinous grape, raisins, dark fruits, sherry, brandy, and more - it really just starts to defy description and I end up with seemingly impossible and contradictory flavors. I can really smell the Abacus in here - not so much the Parabola though (which makes sense considering the proportions).
T - The taste is a little less complex, but still pretty amazing. There are additional notes of rumcake and coconut to go along with the bourbon, raisins, dark fruits (plums, raisins, figs, dates), vanilla, and hints of cocoa. Age doesn't seem to have mellowed the barrel flavor at all (or this was the most barrel-flavored beer ever brewed when it was fresh).
M - Perfect barleywine mouthfeel. Full-bodied, light (but existant!) carbonation, super residual stickiness, smooth, with only a slightest hint of alcohol warmth.
D - This beer is 12%?! That's a shocker. This is the most drinkable barrel-aged high gravity beer I've ever had. In some ways it's even less hot than Pliny the Younger, which is a little mind-boggling. I probably ended up drinking half the bomber when I was only expecting 6-8oz, and it didn't bother me in the slightest.
I was sad to see this bottle go - hopefully the XI and XII are just as awesome. Perhaps I'll be able to blend some Parabola and Abacus together one day and reminisce...
06-06-2009 04:40:33 | More by MasterSki
3.48/5 rDev -17.7%
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.
05-26-2011 17:15:18 | More by drabmuh
3.78/5 rDev -10.6%
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.
05-26-2011 03:17:09 | More by mdfb79
4.13/5 rDev -2.4%
Sampled March 2007
This produces a very thick head that starts out at about four-fingers in height. The head is a light brownish to dark tan color and the beer is quite dark. It sits an almost black color in my glass, but showed, a clear, dark chocolate color as I poured it. The aroma is definitely influenced by the barrel character, but by barrel aged beer standards it is fairly subdued. At least it is not so big that it is obnoxious, which so many barrel aged beers can be. Spicy oak notes, soft butterscotch, vanillin and some whisky-like notes mix together to form the most noticeable aromatics. Underneath this is a nice malt character; leaning towards the dark side of the spectrum notes of toasted grain, browned soda crackers and even some notes of chocolate are noticeable if you dig for them.
Served lightly chilled, this beer is definitely rich and chewy. It has a palate coating mouth feel to it without quite being syrup-like. Again the flavor profile is most noticeably influenced by the barrel character, but again it is fairly well kept in check. It is interesting that a beer that so heavily relies on barrel aging for its flavor profile is so easy drinking. Prior to this I would have said that a beer that predominantly relies on the barrel for its flavors would be undrinkable by me, yet this one is quite drinkable and even enjoyable. Somehow the barrel character seems subtle here, despite being the most noticeable thing about this beer. Don't get me wrong though, the flavor of this beer has a lot of other things going on besides pure barrel character. First off the barrel does contribute spicy oak notes, a touch of butter-like character, some whisky or bourbon flavors and a definite tannic edge. The tannic note in the finish intermingles with a solid hop bitterness, both of which linger on the tongue after the beer has left my mouth. This beer is quite hoppy all the way through; fresh hop character up front (notes of pine, menthol and even lots of big, yet subtle because of the wood influence citrus character) as well as a herbaceous note that moves to a lightly astringent bitterness in the finish. The malt is what coats the mouth up front; it is sweet, yet not sticky, with notes of chocolate, toasted malt and even touches of medium roast coffee.
This beer is certainly multi-layered; notes of leather, tobacco, cherry, and even something like coconut (I would not have expected that here) compliment the other noted flavors as well as all sorts of facets that I can't quite describe. This beer is a great example of why you should blend; nothing is too strong or unbalanced about this beer, yet it seems to be missing that certain something that would make this mind-blowingly good. It will just have to settle for being great, but I certainly hope that more brewers get into this multi-brew blending, because this is a great start to that. The blend of flavors here is just so interesting and there is such a depth here. The more you dig, the more you find; quite an interesting brew, I will certainly enjoy seeing how this beer ages. My biggest question though is if this thing is bottle conditioned. It does not seem so, and I fear that this would have much better aging potential if it was. Still, it is 12% so it should hold up for some time.
04-14-2007 21:27:52 | More by Gueuzedude
4.75/5 rDev +12.3%
Thanks to Marvz for this bottle. I've been struggling to hold off on opening it. I poured it into a small snifter, so I can say that I had 4 glasses of it.
A: The ale is a study in contrasts, with a cola-colored brown body sitting under an eggshell white head. No lacing from this high gravity ale. The cola color renders the ale opaque, nearly black.
S: Thick treacly malts, oaken port, vanilla, bourbon, brown sugar, and coconut all make appearances. The nose is intense and intoxicating, a very mellow ale that throws quite a bit at you. The only drawback is that alcohol stands out with its strength.
T: This is a heavy ale. Dark malts lead the way with coffee, chocolate and molasses. Booze is present from the first sip, mixing with bourbon and oaken flavors. The carbonation is strong, scalding the tongue on each sip. Despite that, I love how the flavors swirl together. The barrels have added vanilla, brown sugar, bourbon and booze. Small sips are a treat, allowing them to warm in my mouth before swallowing. One of the components leaves a full chocolate flavor on the palate, but not before a beautiful oaken bourbon flavor calms the palate.
M: I don't know what to say. This ale is awesome, leaving so many flavors on the palate, that it is difficult to pick out a favorite. I am partial to bourbon, so the vanilla is a stand out. Other than the booziness, I struggle to find a negative. As complex an ale as I've ever come across.
D: At 12%, this is a sipper. I've been enjoying my time with this ale, an intense, complex blend that is near perfection. I'd love to be a fly on the wall when the FW crew dreams these beers up.
08-22-2009 19:26:40 | More by akorsak
Firestone 10 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 144 ratings.