Firestone 13 - Anniversary Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Firestone 13 - Anniversary AleFirestone 13 - Anniversary Ale

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

390 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 390
Reviews: 226
rAvg: 4.4
pDev: 8.41%
Wants: 298
Gots: 134 | FT: 8
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: Todd on 11-02-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 390 | Reviews: 226
Photo of Pullen
5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Purchased at Beverages4Less.

A - Dark as night.. No different than a stout.. Minimal tan head.. That dissipates rather quickly.

S - Bourbon and Vanilla with faint hints of oak . If you enjoy a nicely age bourbon, you're gonna LOVE the smell.

Taste - Bourbon, Vanilla, a hint of liquorice and oak undertones.THIS IS SO FREAKING GOOD!. The alcohol is well hidden, but you can definitely feel it.

Mouthfeel - This is a medium bodied beer. Just right for this blend.

Drinkability - This is a beer to be shared. Drink an entire bottle alone and call it a night. I'm midway through my first pint and I'm feeling rather lovely.

This is a beer that was definitely worth the cost. This beer meets my expectations by supplying me with flavors that I would not expect yet giving me flavors that are enjoyable. This is the definition of craft beer.

Photo of Shumista
4.97/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bomber split 4 ways and poured into assorted glassware.

Pour is cola like. Dark brown, light brown head. The aroma is absolutely amazing. I enjoy smelling this stuff almost as much as I do drinking it. The aroma consists of bourbon, wood, dried fruits, oak, molasses and maybe a hint of booze. It's difficult to say what exactly sets this aroma apart from other similar barrel aged beers but it certainly is better. Maybe the balance.

The taste is as wonderful and comforting as the aroma suggested. Soft and round. Bourbon, oak, coffee, chocolate, dried cherries, buttery molasses, vanilla. Reminds me of pancakes with butter and maple syrup, maybe with an irish coffee on the side. Mouthfeel is warming and medium to thick bodied, a touch syrupy.

Drinkability is great, I could drink a whole bottle by myself very easily. While I love sharing beers with my friends I do wish I had more of this one for myself.

Overall, this is about as close to perfect as it gets I think.

Photo of Bankhead
4.97/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

i said it at blue palms the night where we tasted all four anniversaries and i'll say it again

this one's what i wanted twelve to be and probably my favorite especially fresh

a dynamite marriage of bravo and parabola

and they've got this great daughter named velvet merkin and she lives in paris and writes poetry and shit

and she's pregnant with oats

they get together for a dinner party with bravo and parabola's other kids running around the apartment and everyone drinks bourbon and brandy and runs swords through whole coconuts and lets that aroma and taste punctuate their palates

and in the morning when they're hung over tis all about the oatmeal with vanilla beans cooked up on the stove and wafting through the house

thanks go to ian mcewan and syd the wine enthusiast from thanksgiving who scoffed at his pour of beatification but let this little number change his mind about beer entirely

Photo of DRGinLBC
4.94/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance
4/5
Dark, completely opaque. Dark amber brown if put in front of the light.

Swirling reveals thousands of micro bubbles on the glass. Beautiful.

Smell
5/5
Sweet, brown sugar, bourbon, molasses, vanilla, a little wood/oak, a little spice. Yeasty/bready smell.

Taste
5/5
Raisan, sweet/sugary, sweeter brandy... a little bourbon... barley wine. The bitterness shows up in the aftertaste. The bitterness is hidden but completes the balance. Conclusion: FUCKING DELICIOUS

MF
5/5
Smoooth on the palate, I see the bubbles but don't feel them. Tastes a lot like Black Tuesday.... But better.

DRINKABILITY
5/5
When you open a 13th, you are usually sharing it with a group of beer geeks. I could drink a large quantity of this particular ale. This is a sipping beer. The flavor is so rich, like drinking a dessert. You can't have a lot of dessert in one sitting. I give this a 5 because it overwhelmed my palate and I wanted sip after sip. Make sure you seek out the 14th.

Thank you Preston and Derrick for enjoying this fantastic brew with me.

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.92/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A big thanks goes to jhenry04 for this one.

Let me preface this review by stating that prior FW Anniversary beers are some of my favorite examples of barrel aged ales in the world and this outstanding potable is no exception.

FW13 pours a deep russet color with minimal head even with a heavy-handed pour. Its viscosity is apparent with each sip taken as jagged, slowly descending legs form on the inside of my snifter as I draw the glass away from my mouth and revel in its glory.

A gorgeous nose features caramel, dark Belgian chocolate, Madagascar vanilla, notes of LBV port and a subtle hint of pecan.

The taste is so well layered with no hint of the slight alcoholic harshness of prior incarnations - gourmet English toffee, vanilla bean, Madera, a kiss of Belgian yeast spiciness and an ever-so-slight lingering taste of Mocha Java coffee.

The mouthfeel is lush with a little less carbonation than 11 or 12. This, and the disappearing alcohol, lead to a smoothness not found in many other high-gravity beers. This also leads to an uncommon drinkability which makes the bomber effortlessly disappear and a sense of deep longing set in. Needless to say I'm glad I've got two more of these to look forward to.

Photo of obywan59
4.87/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle in a box.

Next to black in my pint glass with red highlights only at the very top and bottom. After reading the reviews saying there was virtually no head, I tryed a very hard cascading pour and was rewarded with a 2 finger head the color of coffee w/ cream. Some light lacing. On the second fully cascading pour I managed 3 1/4 fingers with more substantial lacing.

Aroma of incredibly rich chocolaty, malty sweetness with rum.(perhaps influenced by my recent consumption of Appleton Estates Extra 12 year old Jamaican, and coke) This ranks right up there with Dogzilla as the best smelling brew I've reviewed. Not much in the way of hops in this instance, however.

First taste seemed almost like a mixed drink, but drier. Later I decided it was more like a liqueur. It's the closest think to Irish Cream I've ever tasted in a beer. Creamy milk chocolate and vanilla with almond. More like bourbon, than rum or whiskey. But then, when the alcohol hits the throat, I'm reminded of my rum and coke again. This is unlike others of this style I've tried (Stone Arrogant Bastard and Double Bastard), with the minimal hop presence, but the malt is definitely in your face. Wonderful, long-lasting sweetness. Alcohol is very warming, which is welcome, as it is now 4 degrees above zero outside.

Creamy and syrupy, but not cloying. Contributes to long lasting flavor. Very pleasant.

Wow, everything about this beer says "Drink me, Drink me!" Long lasting flavor: even after the swallow it seems you can still taste it from deep in the throat on each exhale.

Overall, this is probably my new favorite beer. It's thicker than my previous favorites, but that's a plus, considering the high ABV. It makes it more of a sipper. I can't believe I paid $20 for a single beer, but now I'm sorely tempted to buy another to hold for awhile.

Photo of Dlish
4.87/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This pours out an awesome blackness with a light tan foam head that remains on the edges. The smell is really amazing very similar to parabola. Cherry, oak, vanilla, amazing bourbon flavor is also there. The taste is amazing and similar flavors to the smell, still its surprisingly not as chewy as or raw as I was expecting from the smell. The malt profile is good but actually just a bit light, making it a bit more drink able. Really amazing there is a dark black coco taste at the end, I get a prune flavor that blends with the alcohol.
There is amazing amount of small minor flavors that I could go on about, and being I'm half way through this beer I won't. I'm glad I was able to pick up two of these bottles almost a year after there release!

Photo of Duhast500
4.85/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My 500th Review.

Poured from a 650ml bottle into a Dogfish Head snifter.

The color is a complete dark black with a tiny maroon highlight on the bottom with a finger and half of foamy brownish head and a little lacing left of the glass.

The smell is has a raisin like flavor with a touch here and there of bourbon flavor. Some black road tar comes out in the third and fourth smell. There is some hints black licorice as well a little Jagermeister.

The taste is sweet then expected, some sweet malt flavor comes right out and slides over the tongue with a raisin and currant flavor that is pleasing. The bourbon comes out toward the end of the sip and announces the alcohol flavor but not before hints of toffee and peanut butter are let out.

The body is robust and seems to be massively complex. Since this is a blended beer there seems to be layer upon layer of beer going through your pallet and down your throat. It is a drinkable beer for one with a high ABV. It goes down with little effort and then makes wonder what the next experience will be like. Fantastic.

Photo of BarrytheBear
4.85/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle courtesy of photomike....thank you Mike.

Bomber split with steepH2O during the All Star game. I predicted Matt Thornton would be crucial to the game...sadly, I was proven correct.

Deep brown pour with ruby highlights

Coconut, semi sweet chocolate, traces of vanilla and marachino cherry, and the woodsiness of the barrel are all evident on the nose. Everything is somewhat muted, or balanced, and work well together while nothing particular stands out.

Quite simply, this beer is stunning. Again, everything is so well integrated. All the scents are evident but absolutely everything is blended to perfection. As my friend said, this just tastes professional. So many nuances and subtlties with each of the above flavors making an appearance with each gracefully sharing the stage with each other.

The mouthfeel is silky smooth and I spent a large portion of the game simply engagaed in the drinking of this beer. Never overpowering and always in check, this beer is a gem.

Photo of corby112
4.84/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark brown almost black and pretty much completely opaque with only the slightest hint of lighter colored edged when held to a light source and a finger and a half light mocha coffee colored head that slowly fades into a lasting ring that leaves sporadic chunks of lacing behind.

Amazing earthy oak aroma with lots of wood character that produces a lot of vanilla hints in the aroma. Dark roasted chocolate malts with hints of vanilla, toffee, caramel, and chocolate malt. Slightly roasty with hints of burnt toast but complimented by a burst of vanilla oaky bourbon that isn't overbearing. This beer smells amazingly complex and it's a nice change of pace that the bourbon isn't the only characteristic. Subtle dark fruit, mostly raisin, date, fig and prune.

Chewy medium body with a very prominent earthy oak flavor that gives off a lot of oak and bourbon. There is a lot of silky chocolate malt underneath with hints of dark fruit and sweet alcohol, providing excellent balance. Slight sweet alcohol and bourbon blending with dark fruit, especially plum, raisin and fig. This beer is immensely complex with a perfect balance of oak, vanilla, subtle bourbon, dark fruit and roasted malt and although the ABV is pretty high, the alcohol is decently masked making this beer dangerously drinkable. Highly recommended!

Photo of tang3nt
4.82/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle
Received this bottle as part of a gift from my lady. Poured a Thick black color with a nice brown head.
Stong aromas of chocolate, toffee, and even some dark fruits. Extremely inviting.
Strong coconut vanilla character up front, with chocolate and caramel overtones. A bit of bourbon flavor with some dark fruits and oatmeal creeping out. All kinds of flavors here, and it's delicious.
Kind of all over the place on the palate. Very complex, but blended well - seems to hit all the right spots for me. Very tasty, you barely taste any of the alcohol in this and is hard to imagine it's 12%. Overall a very delicious and well done blend of barrel aged beers. For a barrel aged freak like me, it doesn't get much better.

Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.82/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Popping this to start the Fantasy Football Draft.

A- Very dark jet black, pours very thick with a dark tan head.

S- Chocolate, dark fruits, raisins stand out, vanilla, bourbon and something sort of buttery.

T- Man this is good. Great chocolate and roasted malt taste. I like the dark fruits that mix in well. This is just a solid beer and very very well done. The alcohol brings a nice warming heat, but isn't overwhelming. I'm loving this.

M- Solid and nice body for a beer like this. Any thinner it would be bad.

D- Very easy to drink, too bad this isn't coming in kegs at my house.

Photo of Reagan1984
4.82/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well, it's time to review #13. I've had 3 bottles previous to this one, but now is the time for the official review. This series is one of my favorites and I love the base beer as well. (Parabola)

The balance between flavor, mouth feel and aroma here is just fantastic. Maybe I'm a sucker for the entire process here, but I don't care, I just love it. 12 remains the answer to the question, "what's the most special beer you've ever had.

This one pours with a light tan head that fades rather quickly to a thin film. The beer is a deep dull brown color with no light getting through at any point. In the reflection of light coming through the beer there are some burgundy colors.

Aroma is fantastic. Vanilla, wood, molasses, dark caramel, deep fruits.

There is a ton of stuff happening in the flavor here. You can spend quite a bit of time on the glass here. The complexity is what makes this special. Everything noted in the aroma makes an appearance, plus some additional flavor components. Vanilla, Wood, some fruit and a touch of cocoa. Also some coconut as well. A tiny sense of the abv here, but so well hidden. It's just a warming glow.

One of the best characteristics here is the velvety smooth mouth feel. Just like silk on your tongue. I think the 12 was a little more rounded, but this is still fantastic. You just let this lay on your tongue and enjoy the ride. The carbonation is the slightest prickle on the end of your tongue.

Drinkability is just wonderful. You get lost in the glass (& bottle!!) A true classic. Can not get enough of this series!!!

Photo of DefenCorps
4.8/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This has been a good week. I meant to drink this in celebration of my parent's 30th wedding anniversary but had to work that night instead. And 20 minutes back, I got news that one of my best friends successfully summited Mt. Everest yesterday and is safe on his way back. Mom, Dad, Sandhosh - cheers!

The pour is gorgeous. Almost black, this is a very dark brown, there's a dense, brown head with excellent retention and some patchy lace. Exceptional for a 12% beer.

The nose is quite sublime. Beautifully integrated, there's chocolate, booze, bourbon, vanilla all pretty noticeable up front, with a noticeable coconut character. There's some fruitiness as well, with plums and some light fruit. There's a roasty backbone as well, providing a firm bitterness to hold it all together. Luscious oak, this is quite magnificent.

The palate is just as fantastic, arguably better. There's a robust boozy heat up front, reminding us that this beer has seen -bals. A rich complexity with brandy (grape skins?), cocoa, toffee, nuts, there's also coconut, dark chocolate, some brown sugar. I have to admit, to my palate, it seems to have faded a touch, with that wonderful brandy character having faded a touch, forcing the mostly bourbon heat up front. The rye character is noticeable, with the characteristic spiciness I've come to expect. Caramel and brown sugar sweetness lingers on the finish, along with a robust boozy bite. Brilliant flavors on the finish, there's a touch of cocoa as well. Medium-full in body, this beer has a moderate carbonation and a fantastic, supple feel. Very drinkable, I do wish I'd drunk this sooner, though. I get the sense that it's faded just a touch. However, this is still an exceptional beer in every possible way, the complexity and balance is outstanding, and while I think it tastes better, it smells a touch poorer than fresh.

**Original review dated 12-11-2009 **

I cracked this open last night with some friends. What a beauty. Thanks, Damian!

Dark brown pour with a dense, dark brown head with excellent retention and some lacing. The nose is just sublime. Great caramel, brandy, toffee, vanilla and coconut. Mildly boozy, the heat character is low. Mild chocolate and cocoa, this beer is exceptionally well balanced. The palate opens up with vanilla, chocolate, a little coffee. Bourbon character is low, there is a milky sweet chocolate character, along with some mellow coconut. Rich malt character with brown sugar and toffee, the sweetness is on the lower side and far from cloying. Medium in body with a medium level of carbonation, the finish is excellent, long lasting with a mellow heat. Creamy, if this beer had a little bigger body, it would be out of this world. Outrageous, I could drink this all day!
Original scores: 4.5/5/4.5/4.5/5

Like some other reviewers have noted, this just might be the best FW anniversary beer this fresh. The 12 that we followed this with was definitely not as good, and the 11 this fresh was a little too hot for my liking.

**Edit 05 May 2012**
Drinking what will be my last bottle of the FW13, thanks to Chris and Damian for the long ago trades that yielded multiple bottles.

Looking as good as ever, the nose has fallen off, though. Milk chocolate, milk duds, an ashy, oaky tannin character with a nice vanilla note but no boozy glory that this beer once had. Some maple sugar, some brandy, some roast, chocolate and bitterness (but not as nicely done as in Parabola). The complexity has been lost.

The palate opens fairly sweet with boozy milk chocolate with vanilla. Brandy, a little bit of a juicy, fruity (hop?) character is also present, though the mid-palate has fallen off to a point where it feels thin. Some coconut is present, and the alcohol is mostly noticeable as a bitterness, rather than a pleasant booziness (if that makes any sense). Medium in body, and thinning, this beer is moderately carbonated and is decent. Fallen off quite a bit IMO. S/T/M/O=3.5/3.5/3.5/3.5

Photo of largadeer
4.79/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft at Toronado during the 13 release party.

Dark brown, near-black appearance with no head, just a ring of light tan foam around the rim.

The aroma is sweet and dessert-like, reminding me of milk chocolate and rum cake, malt balls, bourbon and caramel candies. Vanilla comes out more as it warms, along with a bit of brown sugar.

On the palate it opens with big -bal flavors of bourbon, rum, vanilla, toasted coconut and toffee. It's plenty hot, but pleasantly so. Age will likely mellow this out, but I like the booziness of it. The body is on the full side of medium, while carbonation is fairly low. The balance is exceptional here, it's right in between 11 and 12 flavor-wise, coming across as a barleywine-imperial stout hybrid. The finish dries up a bit, revealing some light roasty bitterness and a touch of boozy astringency.

No disappointments here, this is another great blend from Firestone. I'm not sure that it's quite as earth-shattering as 10 and 11 were, but I'm liking it more than 12.

Edit: After trying it a few more times, I think this is their finest blend yet. Awesome beer.

Photo of elNopalero
4.79/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

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 poured a solid black with a cocoa-colored layer on top. I get a lot of dark chocolates and an Italian roast/espresso aroma. There’s a pronounced flavor of bitter chocolate, a lot of roast, some bourbon on it, maybe a hint of a maple sweetness. There’s still a touch of heat to this but overall the flavors have blended quite well. So delicious.

Photo of popery
4.79/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Birthday beer #2. Bottle, home. Why you gotta be so good, Firestone Walker 13? If I spill this beer, I'm going to lick it off the floor. It's big, luxurious and delicious. It reminds me of Port's Older Viscosity, one of my favorite beers, for its velvety feel and lush, barrel-aged pleasure. It pours black with a small dissipating head. The aroma is brandy, rich malt, cocoa, vanilla bean, espresso and brown sugar. The flavor is relatively sweet, but it works very well with the flavor. There's a lot of oak and wood throughout the beer. It's just a really nice blend. This is a treat and a nice slow sipper. Great beer.

Photo of afausser
4.77/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Firestone Walker 13, courtesy of Bankhead.

A: Pours a deep brown--very dark coffee--with a barely-there hint of red, creating mahogany tones, with a thin ring of head and a ring of very tiny, fine toffee bubbles around the edge of the glass. Wisps of mocha float on the top throughout the life of this beer. Very pretty, and looks by appearance alone like it should be paired with dessert.

S: Smells like dessert, too--a coconut-topped cherry chocolate cake. Very heavy coconut and banana notes, as well as heavy chocolate, caramel, molasses, toffee, butterscotch, and an ever so slight hint of vanilla. There's even something nutty in the nose. Definitely some alcohol-soaked fruits--raisins, prunes, and apricots. There's also a bit of a bourbon heat in the noes. There is so much to get out of the nose in this one--as it warms slightly, I'm smelling french toast with syrup and heavy powdered sugar. Very complex and nice.

T : Heavy cream, vanilla, butterscotch, toffee, and spicy anise. Smoky, oaky, and earthy. There's a hint of chocolate syrup but also some very heavy notes of bittersweet chocolate. RUm, bourbon, and dark fruits are again present. So complex, with nice alcohol and barrel flavor blending with the fruit and candy tastes.

M: The carbonation in this one doesn't particularly jump out at me at first, and seems to be very small, but the mouthfeel doesn't suffer due to this. On second taste, the carbonation is very very fine and is more than sufficient to lift the complex taste up. Smooth, creamy, and very nice--also very consistent and doesn't lose hardly anything as it warms. I can't think of how this could be improved.

D: Definitely one to sip, but is extremely creamy, goes down quickly, and is so excellent that if it weren't prohibitively expensive (well, at least for someone on student loans) I'd try to get it all the time. Would be a delicious after dinner beer--I would say dessert beer, but this one could be dessert by itself.

Photo of cavedave
4.77/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to boltz7555 for this fantastic beer. Consumed 6/13/10

Pours darkest brown, opaque, no head, beige skim, with a thick look to it.

Full aroma of dark cherry, bourbon, brandy, light yeat tart, slight alc. warmth, hints of fig and fruit, caramel, light floral hop. Superb.

This beer has a very full flavor of crazy complexity, and is astoundingly delicious. As it warms it features a changing lineup of spectacular flavors in varying balances that always seem to be perfect. Bourbon, brandy, caramel, dark cherry, vanilla, fig, unidentifiable fruitiness, bitter chocolate, slight coffee roastiness, tobacco, and a perfect finish of floral and bitter hoppiness that is a finish of legend. Absolutely no taste of the 12% ABV. Mind bogglingly yummy.

Very low carb., super clean, highly viscous yet rolls off the tongue, and a finish that is one of the best of any beer I've been privileged to enjoy.

Drinkability is as good as a big beer gets. I wish I could rate it higher than a 5.

Impression: This is one of the finest beers in the world. Get it if you can.

Photo of francisweizen
4.77/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

FIRESTONE, FIRESTONE

oh firestone, my firestone

here we are again
another epic beer
for another epic year

the liquids you regale me with
are top notch and so grand
I really love all this great beer
that we get in NorCal land

oh firestone, my firestone

you're 13th blend is killer
the liquid dark and heavy
the aroma of booze and toffee
is that a hint of sherry?

I don't know how you do it
I just know that I'm glad you do
this is the 4th in a row kid
here's looking at you.

oh firestone, oh firestone

the taste is barrel-tastic
the sweet malts and slight hops
I gotta give it up boys
this really is the tops!

The drinkability, is one of the best their is
I wish I had more of this stuff
but oh well, viz a viz

FIRESTONE FIRESTONE

Photo of gford217
4.75/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Richie for the bottle.

Pours almost completely black with only the slightly hints of mahogany showing through the edges underneath a small but thick tan head. Some lacing and a small cap linger.

The aroma is big and complex with the stout coming out at first with dark roasted malts, bakers chocolate and some toasted nuts. There is also an underlying sugary molasses aroma throughout. But there is more than a hint of bourbon barrel, with sweet vanilla and spicy oak.

The taste is hefty with some sweet chocolate malts, vanilla, licorice and lots of wood character, almost spicy. Then, when you think you've got it all, there is some booze-soaked raisins and plums...then a bit of earthy hops...then some tobacco...then some molasses...damn. There is a definite bourbon burn as it goes down as well.

The mouthfeel is full bodied and unbelievably smooth with a soft carbonation that perfectly complements the heft of the body.

Probably one of the most complex beers I've ever tasted. So much going one that comes together in a perfectly balanced package. I'm not exactly sure how they can get better with next year's blend...can't wait to see. As it is, this year's blend is absolutely world class.

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.74/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a very dark brown with hints of red. Half finger medium brown head dissipates to a thin film, but leaves lacing. Powerful aroma of bourbon, dark and caramel malt. Delicious chocolate, dark fruit, vanilla and wood, all integrated beautifully. Finishes with a great bourbon finish. This is a superb ale. Loses a 1/2 point because of a bit of stark alcohol on the finish, but up to that point a solid 10.

Photo of xhuskr
4.73/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Cracked this one with some friends...to make sure my aged beers were holding up..this one..yep!
A: black beer gold with a bit o'lace
S: complex as you'd expect from a blend...not one dominating aroma...just a mixture as you'd get from standing in a pasture on a Spring blooming day...ahhh
T: licorice, choc..all the usual suspects were present and accounted fo
MF: carb was spot on...smooth on the palate begging for moe
O: Wish I had more

this hit the spot and bummed I only have one left...next up..a FW12 or FW14

Photo of nickd717
4.72/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by largadeer on BA, who is a good guy to live near as far as beer is concerned. Great packaging, although I would have appreciated it more if they had skipped the shiny silver box and knocked a couple bucks off the price of this beer. I was lucky enough to pick a few bottles up at Whole Foods Los Altos for $20 apiece, and after tasting this, I'm glad I shelled out the cash for those.

Pours black in color with a one finger tan head and some lacing.

Aroma is lots of caramel, toffee, roast, chocolate, and vanilla. Barrel notes also evident. A lot going on there.

Flavor is complex and awesome with roasted, caramel, and chocolate malts all apparent, rich chocolate, molasses, sweet toffee, syrup, brown sugar, spices, vanilla, oak, and even some dark fruits. Yeah it's all here. This beer exceeded the high expectations I had for it.

Palate is incredibly smooth and creamy with fairly full body, with only a little booze despite the young age, hiding the 12% ABV very well.

Drinkability is very high for an intense 12-percenter like this. Overall this is an amazing beer. Even stood up to Black Tuesday fairly well, and that's saying something.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.72/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Lunch. Thanks Paul!

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.

A: FW 13 appears a near black color. There's a pretty nice looking head resting atop the blackness and some decent lacing left behind.

S: The nose is all different kinds of wonderful goodness. Toffee, oak, booze, malt, chocolate and more.

T: This tastes fantastic. Seriously. I'm so glad I got to try this, let alone half a bottle. This beer is insanely complex. Parabola seems to emerge more so than any of the other beers used to blend this anniversary ale (that is not a bad thing). Although the beer is so profound and possesses so many characteristics, they are woven together masterfully.

M: Nice, thick feel. Alcohol is there, but I wouldn't say that this beer is hot. Nice warming finish. Superb feel.

D: Highly recommended. By far the best of the Firestone anniversary lineup.

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Firestone 13 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 390 ratings.