Firestone 12 - Anniversary Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Firestone 12 - Anniversary AleFirestone 12 - Anniversary Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

301 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 301
Reviews: 190
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 9.59%
Wants: 359
Gots: 56 | FT: 4
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: barleywinefiend on 11-09-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (84) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 301 | Reviews: 190
Reviews by cfrances33:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Jeffo
4.27/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue XI:

Hell yeah, back again for another year. Twelve years, so 12-percent ABV makes sense, right? Black in color with small bubbles that roll around in a somewhat viscous liquid for a nice cap of head. Big aroma with a sharpness of wood, thick with vanilla beans and a slight boozy character, becomes a sweet, truffle-like nose. Thick body, slightly syrupy with a slick and smooth mouthfeel. The alcohol drops a hammer on the palate with a stinging warmth that fades quickly. There is an edge of fusel flavor that tries to dominate, but the maltiness is too big to jump over. Lots of wood flavor, a little tannin and vanilla. Maltiness lays down a coating of sweetness and toasted bread character, showing some balance. Roasted flavors hit middle to end with faint charcoal, unsweetened dark chocolate and a dark-roasted coffee. Finishes sweet with lingering vanilla, wood and roasted tones.

An epic beer; believe the hype. Firestone Walker has helped bring barrel-aged beer closer to the forefront. A sublime sipper.

Photo of tjthresh
3.88/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle shared with Josh and Jaquie. Pours dark brown with some some red highlights. Lots of bouron and vanilla goodness in the nose. Really nice and robust. Vanilla, oak, bourbon, some smoke, a bit of heat, and even kind of chocolaty. Very full bodied and a malty dry finish with a long boozy finish. This a real good beer, but its just like a glass of bourbon.

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to tpd975 for this brew obtained in a trade. Greg, in case you are reading this, I still will kick your ass come fantasy football season!

Dark amber in color. Almost no head. Nice lacing as you sip it. Smell is mostly bourbon & carmel. A hint of something sweeter is also there in the taste: maybe vanilla. Mouthfeel is smooth but you can feel the 12% ABV. A top notch brew worth seeking.

Cheers.

Photo of magictrokini
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Beverages 4 Less. Pours viscous, opaque brown with mahogany edges. Short and thick off-white head. Slight lacing. Rich, oaky bourbon aroma. Vanilla, tobacco, leather, and chocolate abound. Smooth, heavy mouthfeel with very little carbonation. Full bourbon taste with swirling chocolate, caramel malt, vanilla, and licorice. Drinks like a cognac. Very alcoholic, but no ethyl flavors. More porter-like flavors than stout, but both are present. Delicious. Easily one of the best of this year.

Photo of ehammond1
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle (2008)

Thanks for opening this with me, BdubleEdubleRUN!

(Aged for 3.5 years)

Nearly black throughout with a nicely sized dark brown head that leaves sticky lines of lacing down the glass. Gorgeous and decadent.

The aroma isn't particularly expressive, which is a big surprise after tasting this beer. There's some chocolate and barrel character, but nothing particularity expressive. What's here is still very nice.

The flavor is amazingly chocolate-forward without ever being too sweet, rich, or filling. The chocolate flavor comes in layers, rounded nicely by barrel, bourbon, brownie, vanilla, and coconut. This is simply sublime. All traces of alcohol are gone.

Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. A sipper though I motored through my glass it was so simply delicious.

Just fantastic. This doesn't seem as complex as Firestone 13 or 14, but it's just as delicious.

Photo of OStrungT
4.87/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours an inky black color, with a tan head that faded slowly, leaving a good lacing.

This beer has a strong vanilla aroma. I can detect some hints of oak. A nice mild bourbon aroma is present as well. Sweet caramel and toffee mix in. There is a plethora of aromas in this beer.

This beer tastes like it smells. Vanilla, oak, bourbon, caramel, toffee, figs. The beer has a lot of different flavors, but they go well toghether.

This beer is incredably well balanced. It is full bodied, with low carbonation, suiting the style. The alcohol is well hidden in very aspect of this drinking experience.

This beer is very smooth, making it somewhat easy todrink. It alcohol content is pretty high though.

Overall: This was a great beer. I have one more, and I will probaby age it for a few years. I wish I had more.

Photo of glid02
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle shared by a generous soul – much obliged!

Pours black with a tan head that leaves solid lacing.

Smells of lightly roasted malts, mild molasses, heavy vanilla, dark chocolate, and slight whiskey spiciness. As it warms the aroma sweetens with more vanilla.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Equal amounts of roasted malts and dark chocolate up front are quickly joined by sweet black molasses. Midway through, vanilla and whiskey smooth things out. Near the end hints of oak come into play, carrying through to a mildly bitter ending. Mouthfeel is very good, with grainy carbonation.

Overall this is my favorite of the series, taking a slight lead over the XI I had quite a while back. A superb beer and one that’s well worth a shot.

Photo of GilGarp
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Another incredible beer at one unbelieveable birthday party. If you were there, you know what I'm talking about.

Tasting served in a St. Bernardus goblet. It pous a very dark brown color with redish highlights. Very little head and no lacing but good clarity.

Aroma is really nice with a caramel toffee sweetness and subtle alcohol.

Flavor is fantastic with great dark fruits, caramel, toffee, and nuts. It has a lot of depth to it and something new comes forward with every warming sip. Flavor is fairly sweet but also nicely balanced with ample hop bitterness and a drying finish from the alcohol. Despite this, it never seems burning or fusel.

Mouthfeel is very full bodied with an almost syrupy feel and very low carbonation.

Overall a great beer that I would love to have in my cellar for a few years.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to a very patient barleywinefiend for this bottle.

Pours an impenetrable black color with a nice light tan head that retains fairly well leaving pretty good lacing.

nose is interesting. Not as roasty as I was expecting. Im getting a lot of oak and vanilla though, indicative of fairly significant barrel aging, as is the FW anny custom. Actually do get a tiny bit of a hop kiss in the nose as well.

Hmmm. Pretty tasty stuff. wow. Starts off less than impressive, but man o man, does this one get good. Out of the gate there is some slight roasted malt, and a bit of sugar. Then the flavor quickly quickly quickly jumps into vanilla, massive oakiness and thick chocolate notes. The finish approaches with slight bitterness. Man, this is the first beer I have had in a while that all of the best part of the flavor profile is after the finish. Major creamy vanilla and chocolate notes ride on an oak canoe through a stream of slight coffee notes. Sorry to get all Robert Frost on you. The aftertaste is nearly endless, with a compromising of all these flavors. Man, this one just keeps changing and changing, like an everlasting gobstopper all through each sip.

Mouthfeel is top notch as well. Good viscosity without being cloying. Carbonation is right where it should be for a beer of this kind.

Drinkability is pretty damn solid for the abv especially. Goes down nicely, not too terribly hot, and not cloying.

Overall, a very impressive beer from FW. I would love to put some age on this one. Crazy how much the flavor changes throughout each sip. Really takes you on a ride. A thoroughly enjoyable and interesing beer. The only gripe I have is the outrageous price. The FW anniversary series is definitely making a name for itself among the top series beers to follow in the country. Good stuff.

Photo of augustgarage
4.37/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled multiple small pours into a snifter as part of a vertical at the Firestone Anniversary party at Blue Palms. Matt, the brewmaster was standing over my shoulder for much of the time, answering my questions about barrel types, blending, etc.

Cordovan and burgandy body, with copper and carnelian highlights. Dark liquid, but good clarity. Small head that disappears rapidly, though there is a smattering of lacing. There seems to be an inverse relation between collar size and leg formation - the older the anniversary ale, the thinner the collar and more dense the legs.

12 is still pretty fresh, with juicier aromatics than 10 or 11 at this point. A little sweeter than previous blends, the nose is still packed full of bourbon elements: vanillin, toasted coconut, leather, and fine pipe tobacco. A touch of citrus, and some complexity from hops - though the herbal aromas are consumed by the overall vinuous and barrel scents.

As with all of the blends, bigger than the sum of the parts. Using Parabola as the base, 12 strikes me as sweeter, smoother, more quenching, and more robust than previous blends. Barrel notes are evident, but may bloom with more age. Dates, plums, figs, licorice, leather, and hops on the palate. Everything slowly evolves and grain dances in and out of the mix (oats, along with elements of a spicy wheat wine - Opal peeking out). The finish yields lots of tobacco, suggesting Pappy Van Winkle barrels were involved. Lovely.

Rich velvety texture, and very slightly tannic - excellent medium-bodied feel overall.

One of the best tasting of the anniversary ales, but the flavor profile keeps shifting beneath your feet - a frustrating delight.

Photo of AES
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Spencer's Fresh Markets, Atascadero 12-31-08

A: Pours nearly black with very dark reds when held up to a neutral color. A centered pour produced one-finger head after a few moments, which soon dissipated. Lacing is fair, sticky.

S: The smell is striking in its similarity to Walnut lumber, rather sweet. Esters come through late and stick.

T: Very complex, the initial impression was very sweet chocolate with some caramel and bitterness from the hops. Esters quickly came through; this tastes like a chocolate-covered banana. The finish is bourbon with malt bitterness and alcohol.

M: Mouthfeel is heavy and smooth. Silky comes to mind. The carbonation is initially noticeable but dissipates quickly. Leaves residual sugars on the tongue and lips.

D: After the first few sips, this brew is very impressive but not especially drinkable. It becomes more palatable as the sips go by and by now I'm wishing I had bought the other. The only real limiting factor is 12% alcohol.

Overall, this is an excellent brew and I can't wait to see what FW puts out next year. These anniversary ales are always interesting.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.37/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had at hoppymcgee's tasting 1/16. A 3oz. pour into an 8oz. pint glass. Sampled alongside FW13. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a .5 finger light cream colored coarse head with moderate retention. Beer is opaque black. Not quite like an RIS black (still a tiny bit of light penetration) but still... Lacing is stringy.

S: Boozy, chocolate, dark fruit, very hot and heavy. Also cocoa, possibly prunes, rainsins.

T: A strong roasted character is apparent here. Prunes, raisins, molasses, honey. Very hot going down, this one is a true sipper. Hops are present in the background at the beginning and end but their presence is very subtle, the imperial stout flavors dominate here.

M: Full bodied, very hot. Smooth and oily on the mouth, finish is surprisingly clean on this one. Leaves the palate sweet and sticky.

D: A very complex beer and artfully blended. What takes the rating down a bit for this one is how hot and boozy it still is after aging. A real sipper and quite enjoyable but I can't see myself having this over and over again. Perhaps the perfect beer for a 3oz. pour.

Photo of dirtylou
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, received kindly in a previous bif

appearance: snifter treatment - very dark body, mahogany hues, very light tan rim, relatively still

smell: bourbon, vanilla, dark chocolate, toffee, caramel. nicely layored but not overly complex

taste: complex and layered, smooth bourbon, dark chocolate, coffee roast, caramel, licorice, vanilla, oak, toffee and raisin, roasted nuts. sweet beer from firestone walker - very lucky to try this one

mouthfeel: medium body, lingering bourbon, creamy and velvety. really nice

drinkability: good, especially given the strength

Photo of mikeale
5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to a few BAs for this.

A. Poured in to my Portsmouth snifter. Poured like cola, minimal head, no lacing.

S. Heaven!! Toffey, vanilla, oak.

T. Oh yeah! Tobacco, bourbon, oak, caramel, vanilla, coffee.

M. Thick mouth coating, sticky sweet, warming alochol.

D. This is a wonderful beer, worth all the hype. I could drink this all the time.

Photo of prototypic
4.39/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to EinWeizenbitte for the bottle.

Firestone XII pours a very dark, ruddy brown color. It's nearly opaque and black looking. But, faint burgundy highlights emerge at the outermost edges. Unfortunately, no head developed. The few bubbles that collect on the surface appear to be tan, but it's tough to tell. No lacing developed. Not bad, but pretty disappointing, even in light of the 12% abv.

The nose is very sweet and malty. Lots of chocolate and caramel in this bad boy. The chocolate variety seems to lie somewhere between sweet milk chocolate and bittersweet dark chocolate. A little brown sugar and molasses are noted. They add quality depth. Coffee is here, but it isn't very strong in the mix. There's certainly a distinct bourbon aroma. It doesn't completely overwhelm the other characteristics, but it's definitely there. I like the restrained approach. It works well and lets it breathe.

The flavor profile is very good. Very well-rounded and flavorful. The caramel/chocolate malt base is sweet and sturdy. The taste even throughout. The chocolate flavor adds a nice bittersweet flavor. Brown sugar, vanilla, and, to a lesser extent, molasses complement the malt flavors very well. Coffee is subtle, but does add something positive to the overall flavor. That's especially true for a coffee fan...like me. The bourbon flavor is very well done. It's not too strong, but not too light either. It's just right. For a barrel-aged stout, it tastes very well balanced. The bourbon flavor complements the stout flavors extremely well. Alcohol comes through loud and clear. Somehow, it never feels hot. That's surprising. This is damn good stuff. If it weren't quite as sweet as it is, it would earn the next highest score.

Firestone XII has a medium body that grows thicker with warming. It's nice and smooth, but never feels creamy. Carbonation is light and restrained. Just a little more body would help. Drinkability is good. This stuff goes down smooth and easy. It is quite big at 12%. But, damn it's easy drinking. I'm sharing the bottle, but could easily take one for myself.

Firestone XII is damn good beer. Personally, I don't think it's quite as good as Firestone XI, but it's not far behind. The score here won't reflect quite how good it is. The 'look' score hurts it. But, it needs some work there. As far as flavor goes, it delivers. I don't know how many of these bottles are still floating around, but you should start looking for one while you have the chance.

Photo of MASPuros
4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark Burgandy with little tan head. slight glow when held to light

S: Bourbon, Oak and Vanilla
Picking up some biter chocolate and caramel. Seems well balanced and aging it has mellowed it a bit.

T: Wow, layers upon layers of bourbon, caramel, vanilla, oak, toffee and dark fruit. A bit Syrupy

M: Smooth and velvety. Stick to the roof of your mouth. Very pleasant aftertaste

D: Time has done wonders. This is a nice sipper but you can get in trouble with this one if you don't take it slow

Have 1 more bottle left =(

Photo of bradford
4.32/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I will preface this review by saying that I am a huge fan of Firestone Walker. I found Firestone when I moved to San Luis Obispo to go to college in 2004 and fell in love with the seemingly simple, yet incredibly complex and quaffable brews that FW consistently put out on the shelves and in their brewery tasting rooms. On to the XII.
22 oz bottle purchased for $17.99. I am a little disapointed that the price of these anniversary beers has steadily gone up with each successive release, but I can understand considering the progression of the beer industry and Firestone Walker especially.
Appearance-A medium dark brown with an incredibly smooth and lasting head that looks akin to a Guinness Draft poured from Nitrogen. It appears darker when poured into a wide mouth goblet.
Smell-Very strongly dominated by vanilla, wood, bourbon, and a rum-like sweetness.
Taste- Again, heavily leaning towards vanilla and wood. A very strong alcohol presence comes through as well, providing a warming sensation to the palate, throat, and stomach. As well as the head! Tastes a lot like a bourbon aged stout, but also has slight notes of a nuttier blend mixed in the lot.
Mouthfeel- Very smooth, which is pretty standard for the style of wood aged, malt driven beers like this. A good deal of residual sweetness and little to no hop bitterness. I do get bitterness from something else though, like a strong cup of coffee.
Drinkability- I was a bit unsure of this through the first few sips, but just like it's predecessors, this beer is a strong sipper to be enjoyed over a long period. Well done, Firestone

Photo of cjacobsen
4.32/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(A) Pours a rick dark brown that is lighter around the edges. Small tan head that leaves quickly and leaves lacing on the glass.

(S) Big aroma with chocolate, molasses, raisin, licorice, toffee, caramel, and dark fruits.

(T) You get a decent amount of chocolate and pale coffee. Almost a stout quality. There's a bit of vanilla in there somewhere, but not overly present. There's a solid bunch of a toasted malt with a bit of raisin and brown sugar. The end and aftertaste gives you more of a cocoa and raisin flavor.

(M) Medium to big body, closer to the medium spectrum. Pretty smooth and somewhat chewy.

(O) Great brew. The blend of this one really comes out well. The prior 14th that I had was well done and I think this was as great. Well developed and aged well, but I wonder how it was fresh.

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.59/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to dgb3 for sending this one in a trade.

Pours a beautiful very dark brown. Not a very good head or lacing though.

Smell is amazing. Smells of lots of bourbon and only what I can describe as a brew day. I smell unfermented wort. It smells very good though.

Taste is wonderful. Lots of bourbon and figs and chocolate. Some raisin caramel and espresso. Man I feel priveleged to be drinking this.

Mouthfeel has a slight weird aftertaste feel but is very good.

Overall I am glad I am sharing this with Pipmeister because it is a heavy beer that I don't think I could finish myself.

Photo of hooliganlife
4.07/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a dark black with lots of cola. very light cocoa head.

very rich up front. tons of vanilla and bourbon. lots of dark fruit. a bit of booze in the mix.

we were all in agreement that this had a massive oak presence. this more or less set the tone. the barrel aging really creates the flavor and is eventually backed up by the softer side. besides the oak, the vanilla was quite strong. bitter chocolate and sweet chocolate blended together. sweet dark fruit through out. boozy.

nice moderate carbonation, sweet and sticky feel, full body.

although this was delicious, the STRONG oak and booze knocked down the drinkability. i wouldnt seek this out again, but I would drink it if it was in front of me.

Photo of nickd717
4.4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 bottle shared with BeerAdvocate buddies at Rose & Crown. Kasim stocks some good stuff at R&C these days, even if it is a little pricey sometimes ($35 for this one, and it went up after that). But ohhh man this stuff was phenomenal. Served a little cold, but waiting for it to warm up really paid off.

A - Black in color with a nice creamy tan head and good lacing.

S - Bourbon, oak, caramel, coffee, roast, and vanilla.

T - Caramel malt, roasted malt, dark fruits, bourbon, earthiness, oak barrel, vanilla, hell you name it. Really complex, balanced, and good. EDIT: Subsequent times I've had this, has been a bit boozy sometimes, which detracts slightly. Bumping flavor score down from 5.0 to 4.5.

M - Nice full, syrupy, creamy palate with low carbonation, which is how it should be in a beer like this (but note to Lost Abbey: shouldn't be totally flat).

D - Really good for a beer this intense. I could drink this every day, but if I did I'd probably lose my job.

Photo of davod23
4.67/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

One of my very last bottles of this brew. I haven't opened one for close to a year. Let's see how it's doing. Poured from the bottle into a tulip.

Nice, rich brown color with beautiful ruby highlights. A thin tan head forms and valiantly tries to hold on, but retreats to thin wisps on the top of the beer. Very nice.

The smell - the last year has been pretty good to this beer. Not nearly as much heat as I remember. I'm pulling out dark chocolate, vanilla, toffee, caramel, oak, bourbon, alcohol, prune/raisin, a hint of butterscotch, and a note of nuttiness. I'm thinking almonds and hazelnuts. Seriously a ridiculous nose. Most excellent.

Taste is supermagnificent. The taste was designed for me. Strong notes of bourbon mix with an undertone of dark chocolate, vanilla highlights, some dark fruit, oak, and a surprisingly robust nuttiness. This was a small, subtle component of the nose, but the hazelnuts and almonds are quite prominent here. Phew, this is great, and much better than I remember it (though it was very good fresh as well).

Mouthfeel is superb. Full bodied, thick, slick, oily mouthfeel. It stops short of being massive, which is okay by me.

Drinkability is a tough one here. Honestly, I can't give great marks here. I think it's palate fatigue. The beer is so complex and interesting that it's wearing on me as the bottle goes down. A minor squabble... hell, not even a problem at all, really... just a further testament to the brilliance of the men at Firestone for this series of beers.

So find a friend or two and split this bottle. It will not disappoint.

Photo of likestoswallow
4.55/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

650 ml bottle.

A: Pours a dark brown-nearly opaque black color with a small tan head that has fair retention.

S: The aroma is strong and rich with whiskey, roasted malts, dates, plums and coffee.

T: The flavor shows a good balance of whiskey to ale blends. There is a distinct taste of roasted barley intermingled with bourbon, dates, plums, vanilla and black walnuts.

M: The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with good carbonation. The finish is long and glorious with lingering malts and Bourbon.

D: This is a beer that begs to be sipped and savored. As this is an over-hyped product I approached it with a great deal of skepticism. Much to my surprise it really is that good. Perhaps I'm just too easy to please (sometimes), but this is a great brew that exceeds its hype.

Photo of Solomon420
4.67/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Hmm, where to begin explaining how this intensely complex elixir tastes. I have to agree with most other reviewers in that this is just that much better than the previous projects Firstone put out. I will do my next tasting as a vertical to get more details as to why...

A: This beer pours beautiful and dark into my small no name snifter glass (I used a non-logo glass so I can see every ounce of its glory). I poured it rather slowly (decanting) so no much head was created. I let it sit on the table for about 5 minutes all the while I stared it in the face.

S: Wow, what a complex smelling beer, I picked up too many whiffs of flavours. Off hand, with a full snifter I can pick up some vanilla coffee maybe even caramel or butterscotch aromas. As I drank the work of art, I can smell more wood and dark chocolate. Now on to the tasting of it...

T: Dark chocolate, sweet vanilla, almost like a chocolate truffel. Then came the alcohol, just on the edge of being too aggressive. I think if it werent for the other wonderful flavours pulling the profile back in line, then it would be too much alcohol burn. But with some aging this one will do very nicely!

M: Creamy and easy to drink. Like the worlds best chocolate that melts in your mouth and leave a nice creamy mouthfeel. Can I get more please?

D: All I can say about its drinkability is that its very drinkable, but in the same breath it should improve with age. I cant imagine what this will taste like next year!

I think perhaps after a year in the cellar this masterful sculpture of a brew will easily score all 5s...and perhaps I "could" have rated it all 5s now, considering the category and its contendors like the Arrogant Bastard and the Double Bastard, which in my opinion cant hold a stick to this beer.

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Firestone 12 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 301 ratings.