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Firestone 12 - Anniversary Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Firestone 12 - Anniversary AleFirestone 12 - Anniversary Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

279 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 279
Reviews: 186
rAvg: 4.4
pDev: 8.64%


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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: barleywinefiend on 11-09-2008)
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Ratings: 279 | Reviews: 186 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.33/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pour courtesy of wethorseblanket at Woodshop 7 held at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, vanilla, wood, bourbon, and brown sugar. Taste is much the same with a woody finish on the aftertaste. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer that is really tasty and highly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2012 01:55:06 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.97/5  rDev +13%
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
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.75/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have to say first, Thank you soo much to Jim and Joan for bringing me this bottle all the way from the Pac NW. Thank you soo much. I took this one home and chilled it down and enjoyed it thoroughly. Served in a large wine glass and consumed on 12/27/2008.

The pour was very nice. Rich, dark brown in color with no light shining through this one at all. Very dark and menacing looking I have to say. Small tan head rose up quickly and faded down almost as quickly, leaving a semi bare top to it.

The aroma was wonderful. Rich with whiskey and vanilla tones that were so absurdly dominant I did not even know what to do with myself. Lots of sweetness in the malt here as well. The flavor was just rediculous. Tons of oak in here, but the vanilla is some of the most dominant and overpowering I have ever come across. Really just superb. Smooth, easy drinking and an exceptional sipper, this offered not a dull moment and for that reason, was a perfect night long sipper.

Overall does it live up to the hype, yes, indeed it does. This is an entirely different animal then last year, but at the same time, simply wonderful. I am very fortunate I was able to try this.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2008 21:28:36 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

4.38/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A deep, dark mahogany color with a minimal amount of off white foam on top.

S: A really intense nose of caramel, bourbon, vanilla, and even a touch of roast. Everything seems to compliment the other components quite nicely.

T: Although there is still a fair amount of booze, the bourbon flavors really work nicely with the rest of the beer. Dark fruits make an appearance here along with the sweet caramel malts, vanilla, oak, and just a hit of chocolate.

M: Very full bodied with a low carbonation and some alcohol warmth. To the brink of syrupy, but not quite there.

D: Still a bit warm which is somewhat surprising, but nice flavors and aromas. I would be happy to try this one again and see how it is progressing.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2010 17:00:57 | More by womencantsail
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brentk56

North Carolina

4.47/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: With a hard pour, the coffee colored liquid generates a small, beige head that fritters to a ringlet rather quickly and leaves more legs than lace

Smell: Caramel and graham cracker, with coconut, fig and a bit of vanilla bourbon underneath

Taste: Graham cracker malt, up front, with a burgeoning fig flavor that is joined, mid-palate, by the vanilla, bourbon and coconut flavors; rather boozy, both before and after the swallow, when the flavors coalesce into a long-lasting and balanced finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderately low carbonation; plenty of warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: A year or so of aging has helped settle this one down, though I can tell it has quite a few years ahead of it for those who are patient

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2010 02:39:58 | More by brentk56
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Tasted side-by-side with the 11 and 13.

Pours a dark brown color with a thin head and a bit of retention. A few bubbles here and there as it goes down. The nose is roast, bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel, toffee, and a tad bit of chocolate. The taste combines everything quite nicely with a bit of vanilla and chocolate coming through atop the oak. Feel has gotten a bit thin and actually has a moderate amount of booze still. Not quite as good as the 11, but still quite tasty.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2010 12:09:58 | More by Thorpe429
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MasterSki

Illinois

4.38/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Chris (spycow) for contributing this one to the FW "vertical" - much appreciated. I've had this beer a number of times over the past few years, and I always felt it was quite hot out of the gate. Let's seem what 2.5 years has done. Served in a Hill Farmstead tulip glass.

A - A finger of tan foam settles to a thin ring of bubbles, with a wisp on top. The body is a dark brown color with a hint of transparency when held to the light.

S - Chocolate, roasted grains, burnt sugars, oak, vanilla, anise, light oxidation, and hints of smoke, charred woods, and dark fruits.

T - Taste has mellowed quite a bit since it was first bottled. Very stout-like in some respects with chocolate and vanilla flavors, but with some malted wheat and sherry-esque oxidation, as well as hints of dark fruits and brown sugar. Not much oak, spirit character, or alcohol at this stage.

M - Smooth medium-full body, lower carbonation, sticky finish and residual feel. Some mild warming after a few ounces, but nothing out of character for a 12% barrel-aged blend.

D - This has settled down quite nicely, and IMHO at this stage in time is on par with the 10 (although a touch behind the 13). I'd say this is probably at or just past its prime. It's getting a bit sweet for me to drink large quantities but I still found it quite enjoyable to sip on. A very good barrel-aged strong ale from the boys at FW that never quite reached the highs of some of the other offerings but seems to be aging quite gracefully. Drink 'em while you got 'em.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2011 19:31:31 | More by MasterSki
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Review from notes, thanks Jay for the sample...

Black with woody brown edges, a tan skim of latte foam leaves a persistent ring around the edge. Aromas of bourbon, cookie dough, and dark chocolate. Wham! Rich chocolate and vanilla, coconut, brown sugar, and light oak flavors. Superior quality barrel showcased here. A long finish with notes of bitter chocolate and earthy hops. Full bodied, fudgy, a dry bourbon finish without the spicy burn. A very tasty sipper that's probably best shared.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2009 01:45:45 | More by emerge077
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.15/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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 to brown with a thin tan head of small bubbles that breaks and pulls to the walls of the cup. some lacing left behind but almost no carbonation.

Aroma is ethanol and roast. Whoa.

This beer is the hottest of all of them for some reason. The lead off is a thin but biting liquor that gives way to some sweet malt and a fuller bodied finish. The finish is mildly bitter with some roast. This was aggressive and in my face but I enjoyed it.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2011 17:30:13 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.78/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled January 2009
A vigorous pour sneaks up on my and creates a bit of a foam over in my 25cl tulip glass. The head starts out a fat-three-fingers in height with a nicely browned, dark tan color. The beer is quite dark, but more of a concentrated brown than black color, when held up to the light the beer shows flashes of a brilliantly clear, ruby color. The aroma has a nice mix toasted coconut, a light barrel spiciness, lots of vanillin, butterscotch and a finish that has a touch of bourbon like warming to it. The aroma is incredibly smooth for showing so much barrel influence and is actually not quite as powerful as I was expecting. Notes of toffee, hints of dark fruit and some toasted grain notes provide a touch of character underneath the other more dominant notes.

This starts out on the cool side (high 40s to low 50s), but I plan on slowly consuming this over the course of the evening. Thick, viscous and heavy as it first hits my tongue, there is a solid prickle of carbonation as the bubbles struggle to release from the beer. The beer is sweet tasting, but this is balanced a lot by spicy bourbon notes, a lingering woody bite in the finish, a middle that has notes of toasted coconut as well as a roasted malt contribution that is sprinkled throughout. The finish also has a touch of cherry like fruitiness to it, though this quickly succumbs to a more dominant, spicy, bourbon heat (which can be a little too much at times). The sweetened coconut flavors are heightened by barrel influenced notes of vanillin and butterscotch.

As the beer warms up it looses a bit of the sweetness but remains quite rich. This is most definitely a sipping beer. While I was grilling some chicken I was noticing a bit more fruit in the flavor as it seemed to bring out notes of figs and raisins. Dark caramel notes, some solid toffee and some salty caramel start to become noticeable after my third pour of this beer. The flavor has some nice things going on, but it just gets too hot, almost phenolic in the finish because of the barrel spiciness and higher alcohols.

Perhaps not quite as much toasted coconut as the XI, but this certainly has quite a bit of it too. I really like this in strong, barrel aged beers, and it makes me wonder what are they doing / using that most other brewers are not. For some reason I am not quite enjoying this near as much as the 10 or 11, it is not bad, but just doesn't achieve the finesse of either of those brews.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2009 01:56:20 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.48/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My. This has held up quite nicely after aging for a few years. The fragrance and flavor carry a full vanilla and bourbon character, but it's nice and smooth and at a level that couldn't really be improved upon. I was a bit skeptical about this one, but it turned out to be very nice.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2012 16:19:44 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

4.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber, procured at the BevMo in Cypress, CA,

A: Pours a very dark brown, with a firm, milky tan head with good retention and lacing. Definitely a lot more initial carbonation than the 11 had.

S: Nice bourbon notes, vanilla, oak character, though it doesn't have the pungency I thought it would have, especially comparing it to the GI BCS. Not bad at all, just wish there was a little more.

T: Parabola. That's what I thought on the first sip. The abundance of that brew in the blend really carries it initially, strong oak and roasted malt components along with a big alcohol character. The beer continues to evolve giving a full vanilla which I love, resinous wood, dark chocolate, sweet caramel and a hint of solvent which finishes the brew. Well done again. OK, as it warms up to room temperature and I finish it, it is starting to get really good, the vanilla and caramel are really opening up, with a background of the roasted malt flavours. Giving it a 5, though I still think the 11 is slightly better.

M: Full-bodied and very smooth. The carbonation is kept minimal which I like in barrel aged beers as it keeps it very drinkable, and allows the fullness of the flavours to come out.

D: Of course I'm going to compare it to the 11, which is arguably the best tasting beer I've ever had. I don't think it's as good as the 11 yet, but a couple years of aging could change that, it still is a little boozy. Nevertheless, it is another excellent barrel aged product from Firestone, glad I got to try it, outstanding, they know what they're doing. Sign me up for the next 20 Anniversary releases.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2008 02:25:40 | More by Halcyondays
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barleywinefiend

Washington

4.47/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After having this on cask at the release and my bottle last night I can say this brew varied alot in my opinion.
Poured a deep, deep brown almost black with a nice tan head, pretty good carbonation. Nose was vanilla, oak, bourbon, coffee and some cocoa. Taste was more bourbon forward from the bottle than on cask. In fact I noticed the bourbon and vanilla were way more prominent from the bottle. It tasted boozier as well. Mouthfeel was nice, full, complex and creamy. Excellent! This is an exceptional brew and better then 11 in my book. I thought the cask was much more enjoyable of course and little more mellow, it seemed more put together and balanced.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2008 19:45:45 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

4.47/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 03/25/11 notes. Huge thanks to nimbleprop for busting this one out; thanks Mac. Poured into a tulip.

a - Pours a mahogany brown color with one inch of tan head and light carbonation evident. No lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of caramel malts, bourbon, oak, vanilla, sweet chocolate, and rich chocolate. Smell is really good.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate, roasted malts, and light fruit.

m - Medium to full body and low to moderate carbonation, smooth, thick, and creamy body Light alcohol warmth keeping it from perfect, but a very good mouthfeel.

o - Overall this is a great beer. I had heard this was starting to go downhill but I really didn't see any signs of that. I was lucky enough to try FW 13 at NOTB last month and to me, this was very similiar. Both flavors seemed to have a lot of Parabola going, which is great in my opinion. Would love to have again.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2011 01:14:11 | More by mdfb79
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's about time to dig into this 650 mL bottle. From a mini Duvel tulip.

A: Popped open, the ale didn't generate much carbonation. Even now, a few minutes after opening, a wispy band is all that remains. Underneath that underwhelming head, a stout dark ale sits contentedly. Nothing more to say, black is black.

S: Nuttiness, vanilla and wood, barleywine and stout. Plenty going around in my glass. Coconut joins the vanilla as the most instriguing aroma, the strongest by a hair. Well-roasted malts, deep and chocolatey and stoutlike, along with thick barleywine, is a strong pairing with the barrel.

T: More barleywine in the first sip, big malts concentrated to the nth degree. The barrel aging adds the requisite vanilla flavors and wooden depth. The barrels don't dominate though, instead sharing the stage. Boozy heat runs alongside the ale, adding a sweet complexity. Larger sips, when allowed to sit on my palate, evoke more bourbon. The finish is a little thin at times but generally provides enough thick maltiness and bourbon goodness. Sweet vanilla as a swansong.

M: I relish my annual afternoon along with Firestone's Anniversary Ale. This is no exception. It was, for those keeping score, the lowest of my Anniversary Ales to date.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2011 19:19:16 | More by akorsak
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

4.28/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Once again Firestone releases this years Anniversary ale, the 12th one hence the name.

A black colored beer and no light passes through the glass, perfectly sized light brown colored head forms. Not sure what they could do to make it look any better in the glass.

The smell is strongly of vanilla no doubt from both the oak barrels and the Bourbon barrels used; one of the barrel types was a Brandy barrel.
As you would guess there is a strong Bourbon scent to this beer and some fruit mainly currants and grape. As it warms the fruity scents intensify as the alcohol becomes more airborne and you can really smell the Brandy elements. Chocolate, coconut, molasses and almond appear also. Reading the back of the box it says "nuances of Tobacco, leather, spice and molasses" I only smell the tobacco and molasses.

The taste starts out strongly of vanilla and the bourbon with a bit of an alcohol edge to it; HEY it is a 12% beer. Mildly sweet there is a lot of dark fruit flavor here mostly raisin. Strong warming of the stomach and throat by the alcohol, this is a great winter cold day beer. It gets sweet as you sip it and it warms, quite a lot like bourbon actually. There is an unexpected pineapple aftertaste to this one, must be much higher Hopped that it appears to be right now. Also getting leather and chocolate in the aftertaste. Complex ale going to be lots of different interpretations of this one.

Mouthfeel is creamy.

Drinkability is not going to be real high for a beer this strong and this one is way up there. Definitely a sipper you aren't drinking two bottles of this a night unless you regularly chug whiskey. Might still be a bit young, give it a year and see if it is a bit less boozy to the mouth.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2008 21:33:30 | More by Zorro
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Wasatch

Utah

4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very nice dark brown color, very nice carbonation, nice little brownish head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some whiskey, vanilla. The taste is sweet, malty, with some whiskey/vanilla notes. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is one very tasty brew.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2008 06:56:00 | More by Wasatch
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

4.22/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle obtained in trade with unclejedi. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/8" tan head over the barely translucent dark brown brew. Head is quickly down to a swirly skim, with more legs, not much lace. Aroma is deeply of sweet grains and alcohol. Taste is rich and sweet, with ample vanilla and barrel character, dark fruits, and a boozy warming close. Mouthfeel is smooth, could use a bit more carbonation, and drinkability is very good, although one may be sorry in the morning. Another worthy anniversary brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2009 00:47:47 | More by ppoitras
Photo of weeare138
weeare138

Pennsylvania

4.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Josh for opening this one...
Appears a dark brown, nearing black with auburn edges when held to the light. A decent sized, tan head slowly fades out into a floating cap of sea foam. Scattered remnants of the lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of rum, bourbon, cocoa, caraamel, ripe fruit, raisins, and pecan pie.
Taste is of the mentioned complexities with more of caramel and nuts coming through.
Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, oaky, bourbon laden, with cocoa clinging to the palate.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2009 02:34:45 | More by weeare138
Photo of johnmichaelsen
johnmichaelsen

Oregon

4.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

With some help from my friends, I was able to drink most of a bottle of this elixir at Stone today.

The beer pours an impressive dark brown color with minimal head retention, but OK lacing. The beer doesn't look super impressive, but then I stuck my nose in the glass.

On the nose, one gets a huge aroma of chocolate, molasses, prunes and vanilla. As good as this beer is on the nose, on the palate it's other worldly. The beer has the consistency of liquid butter on the palate, with flavors of chocolate, vanilla, more molasses and honey. There is also some lovely underlying hoppy bitterness, which keeps the beer from tasting too heavy or cloying. The beer has a huge soft creamy mouthfeel, especially after it warmed up a bit. (this beer really should be served close to room temperature, IMO). The beer is very, very boozy, but that's expected and appreciated in this beer. The flavor profile keeps the alcohol in check, though there's no denying that a little bit of this goes a long way.

A very, very impressive beer from FireStone. Just very good stuff...

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2008 01:26:51 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.33/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Dave for hooking us up with this treasure! Grub and I drank this one to celebrate finishing the first brewday of the year.

Pours a deep and dark brown/red, almost black, quite opaque and cloudy with some chunks floating around, thin light brown head forms, quickly drops to a thin ring, lots of lacing patterns stick to the glass. Smell is awesome, very rich, whiskey and caramel jump out, big vanilla, oak, brown sugar, chocolate, sweet fruit, rum raisins, stawberries and blackberries, bourbon, some alcohol, very complex and delicious. Taste is great as well, creme brulee, bourbon and whiskey, lots of vanilla, alcohol, dark fruit, rum, very intense and well integrated, light roast and chocolate, very oaky and vanilla finish. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation, some heat from the alcohol but very well integrated. Another insanely good beer from FW, I still think I prefer 10 and 11, but we'll see how well this one ages. Thanks Dave!!

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2009 00:44:11 | More by Viggo
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

4.58/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2011 22:57:17 | More by glid02
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.43/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by bmanning. Thanks Ben!

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.

The beer is dark brown, with a thin, beige head that leaves some decent lacing behind.

The aroma brings, roasted malt, toffee, alcohol, oak, and light chocolate.

Nice flavor here. This is my second favorite of the FW anniversary series. Well balanced and forward. The beer packs a punch, but does it gracefully.

The feel is much smoother than FW 10 or 11, but still brings some heat, most notably in the finish.

Delicious beer. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2011 20:15:45 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of mothman
mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

4.1/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a layer of light tan head. Good retention with some lace. Color is a dark mahogany brown.

Aroma: Rich and malty with some heat showing. I get a nice dose of bourbon and oak. I also get some vanilla. Some nice caramel sweetness with some roast and chocolate. Very nice aroma.

Taste: A bit more roasted and chocolate comes out here. Big bourbon and oak. Caramel and vanilla sweetness. It is warming. It has a bit of toffee as well. A bit hot, but good.

Mouthfeel: Warming and smooth. Full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends with a lot of booze showing.

Overall, this is a great beer, but it is still hot. I have had it multiple times and I always say it can still use some time. How much time does it need? I like it, but it needs to lose some heat.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2010 00:52:46 | More by mothman
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

4.55/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black, with a huge, thick creamy, light brown head and moderate lacing. The aroma is superb. Chocolate is very strong, as is vanilla. There is some bourbon and caramel in the nose, and the faintest hint of coffee. I'm very glad to see coffee take a back seat to the other wonderful aromas that XII has to offer. The initial taste is of bittersweet chocolate. Delicious. Sweet caramel, butterscotch, vanilla, and some bourbon and oak. The alcohol taste is very minimal, considering the high abv of 12%. The mouthfeel is creamy and the carbonation is substantial.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2008 07:28:37 | More by HopHead84
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Firestone 12 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 279 ratings.