Firestone 12 - Anniversary Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 289 | Reviews: 186 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by BuckeyeNation:
4.97/5 rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Chocolate-covered fig brown with rust orange and cherry red accents at the bottom of the glass. The outstanding looking crown is a thick slice of golden brown sugar colored cream that doesn't look like it will fade in this lifetime. That's a remarkable achievement considering the double-digit ABV. Gossamer-like sheets of currently unbroken lace are now decorating the glass as well.
The nose is akin to an especially black licorice-like Belgian stout. It's incredibly powerful and speaks of good (make that great) things to come on the palate. No alcohol is noted, which is yet another impressive feat. Warming opens things up even more, which didn't seem possible on first sniff.
Historically, the Firestone Walker Anniversary brews have been blends of four different ales. XII is no exception. Its components include Parabola (Russian Imperial stout), Opal (wheatwine), Bravo (Imperial brown ale), and Saucerful O' Secrets (Belgian quadrupel). Let's see what this potentially devastatingly delicious exilir has to say for itself.
Wow! This 2008 offering may the best in the series to date, and that's saying something. First of all, any concerns about aging and whether this was the right time to crack the crown should be laid to rest. This beer is drinking beautifully right now and should last for many more years to come. Yeah, it's still *very slightly* warm, but show me a 12.0% ale that isn't.
It's impossible to pick out the contributions from the component beers, so I won't try. In any case, the end result in an incredibly well-integrated concoction that delivers the best attributes of several different styles. This beer's depth is unfathomable and its complexity is mind-boggling.
Flavors include dark chocolate-dipped figs, dates and raisins soaked in Sambuca, coffee, bourbon whiskey and brandy. There are caramelized sugar, vanilla bean and toasted oak notes galore, which adds immeasurely to an already jaw droppingly delectable brew. Let's not forget the dark berry vinousness of a large shot of tawny port. My oh my... oh my!
The mouthfeel, once I wrest my attention away from the taste bud extravaganza, is out of this world. It's big beer thick and chewy and heavy creamy smooth and silky. We might have to invent new adjectives to describe what goes on in the mouth with each upending of the glass.
Both Firestone X and Firestone XI were great beers. Firestone XII is transcendent beer that makes me glad to be alive with functioning taste buds. This is easily numero uno for 2010... and I seriously doubt if it will be challenged for that spot over the next several months.
Serving type: bottle
09-22-2010 13:11:54 | More by BuckeyeNation
More User Reviews:
4.28/5 rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
Bomber from bring many moons ago. Thanks for the trade man!
From a bomber into a snifter
Drunk in comparison with FW 13th Anniversary
APPEARANCE: Exactly the same as the 13. Transparent black pour yields a medium sized, medium looking, light tan head with good retention. Black, transparent body with no carbonation evident. Head fades to light wisp and ring. A splotchy wisp and ring remain and leave dots of lacing down the glass.
SMELL: Big bourbon, oak, vanilla, coconut sweet cream and dark chocolate on the nose. Very aromatic. Light espresso as well. Really nice, bold, with lots of barrel and dark chocolate. Just like the 13 but a touch bigger.
TASTE: Big beer for sure. Bourbon and oak up front, with sweet cream and milk chocolate at the swallow. Bold and lingering finish with more barrel character, oak, vanilla, sweet cream and alcohol. Nice layers of bitter, pure chocolate, licorice and a touch of roasted grain offer a solid foundation. This is very similar to the 13 with the same stout-like base beer harmonizing really well with the barrel.
PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Creamy on the palate, smooth as well, goes down smooth and finishes slightly sticky. Some heat lingers on the palate. Identical to the 13.
OVERALL: A wonderful creation all around. I can only assume that this blend worked out so well that FW decided to do the same thing for their 13th Anniversary, as the two beers are virtually identical on the senses. A very robust, stout-like base beer lends a superb foundation for the bold and complex barrel components. Really enjoyed this and would love to drink it, or the 13 for that matter, over and over again. Thanks again for the beers bring. This was really good.
Serving type: bottle
01-06-2014 12:45:25 | More by Jeffo
4.78/5 rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
I tasted this as part of a flight at an epic bottle share. The review is from my notes, based on at least 1 ounce and at most 2 ounce pours. In most instances this would be an insignificant sample size but considering the fact that I could quite possibly never even see this beer again, well, I couldn’t pass it up. [This is my standard intro to my tasting notes from the series.]
This pours a stout-black with some foam. For the age it appears to have not suffered in the least. I found a great aroma on it with some coffee roast and dark chocolates, with a touch of vanilla buried underneath. Great flavor, with a dark chocolate and some coffee balanced by a hint of white oak, tobacco leaf and vanilla. A pinch of boozy heat reminds you of its strength. Tasty and no I’m not going to even try to rank them.
Serving type: bottle
12-29-2013 07:17:05 | More by elNopalero
4.36/5 rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
22oz brown bomber, bought upon release in November 2008, stored in decent conditions since then.
A: Mahogany hues, small off white head & bountiful tears on the glass.
S: Having a hard time detecting any distinct aromas, just booziness and a bit of plum.
T: A wonderful blend of plums, tobacco, coffee, chocolate...and wood.
M: The carbonation was minimal but still ample enough to help this elixir reach its potential. Definitely dry as it seeps down the gullet.
O: Meant to be consumed fresh perhaps, but holds up extremely well after five years of cellaring at 70F, including one somewhat climate controlled cross-country move from California to Texas in our backseat.
Consumed and reviewed after watching the Avery video on the pros & cons of cellaring. See this BA thread "Avery Brewing on Cellaring Beer, Do you agree or disagree?". I was curious to see how this held up after 5 years in my possession. Verdict: Still awesome.
Serving type: bottle
11-12-2013 02:07:45 | More by johnnieoz
Firestone 12 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 289 ratings.