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Firestone 13 - Anniversary Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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

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

374 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 374
Reviews: 224
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: 8.39%
Wants: 291
Gots: 126 | 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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Todd on 11-02-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 374 | Reviews: 224 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.28/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Gift to Radek, and to us. Initial impression, an imperial stout. What it is is lots of chocolate, mouthfeel on dark brown with lacey, off-wehite head, thick mouthfeel. A very smooth drinker without sharp edges. Masterful, there is coconut, chocolate, bourbon. Nothing overwhelms.

Sammy, Jan 14, 2010
Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -15%

t0rin0, Sep 27, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.08/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to wethorseblanket for sharing this one at the Firestone Walker night at Steingarten LA in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots and streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is quite complex and is of roasted malt, brown sugar, cocoa, cookie dough, vanilla, slight toasted coconut, wood, and bourbon/alcohol aromas. Taste is very much the same with a woody aftertaste and quite a boozy finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer but I prefer the smell over the taste. This one might be falling off a little bit flavor wise but I never tried it fresh so I won't know.

UCLABrewN84, Jun 30, 2012
Photo of djrn2
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

djrn2, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of zestar
4.5/5  rDev +2%

zestar, Jan 18, 2014
Photo of spycow
4.5/5  rDev +2%

spycow, Apr 15, 2013
Photo of Thorpe429
4.53/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed on 01.01.2010 in celebration of the New Year.

A: Poured a fairly dark brown with a nice, tight tan head that receded fairly quickly and left a bit of lacing in its wake.

S: The initial prevailing scents were of chocolate and oak. As the beer warmed toward the proper drinking temperature, I also picked out notes of brown sugar, coffee, and bits of vanilla.

T: The taste leans heavily in the direction of an American Imperial Stout, meaning that Parabola itself must live up to the hype, because I'm loving the biggest component of this beer. The taste also has some of the brown sugar/molasses character, as well as bits of coffee, vanilla, and a bit of roasted malt dryness.

M: Quite creamy without too much heat for a beer this young and an ABV this high. Very nice and chewy with the perfect level of carbonation.

D: Very drinkable. Delicious and complex--FW doesn't disappoint, as I thoroughly enjoyed my first glass of a FW Anniversary beer.

Thorpe429, Jan 02, 2010
Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -15%

acurtis, Jan 20, 2013
Photo of BEERchitect
4.58/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An outstanding beer that follows traditions of Olde English Ales, catagorized as an American Strong Ale because the beer hasn't been given proper age yet.

The pour delivers a dark brown beer, opaque, and stately. a dainty, tan-brown head holds for half the session before faltering to the alcohol. A quick swirl of the glass brings moderate legging and lacing.

Malty rich and complex to the nose. Molassas and plumbs reach out first and with a lasting impression of licorice, vanilla, and rum. Extremely inviting and succulent from a mere sniff.

Flavors follow suit with the molassas, toffee, and burnt caramels. Light coffee, bitter chocolates, and burt toast gives a lot of complexity to off set the malt sweeteness. Aged fruit character of plumbs, dates, figs, grapes, and licorice holds the strength to rival the malt flavors. Black currants and blackberries give an extra twang to the esters. Hop bitterness aids the toasty/roasty flavors in the balance to the sweet without giving much hop flavor.

Very full, round, and robust; this beer has a big malty body that is held in check by the thinning alcohols and heat. Still, milky and smooth, the beer has a wonderful velvety tone that shields the higher nail polish remover-type alcohols. The bitterness lingers deep into the throat, creating a bitey impact on the mouthfeel.

Otherwise, the beer has a long lingering impression of complex maltiness and fruit. Sherry and soy notes are already developing and will surely increase and improve for years to come. I gotta get my hands on a few more of these vintages.

Thanks Mikesgrove!

BEERchitect, Mar 03, 2010
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.48/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a deep black color ale with a nice thick foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of vanilla and bourbon with some black chocolate notes and some sweet notes. Taste is a complex mix of vanilla notes with some bourbon and some black chocolates with some caramelized malt. Body is full with nice creamy texture and good carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Very well assembled mix of different beers makes for a very tasteful beer at the end of the day.

Phyl21ca, Apr 02, 2012
Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -15%

GRG1313, May 26, 2014
Photo of mikesgroove
4.65/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

So thrilled to be able to sample this one. I was lucky enough to be around a bottle when it was opened and a get a nice full pour of this one, well it helps when there are only two of us splitting it (Thanks Alex). Served in a snifter and consumed on 12/12/2009.

The pour was wonderful rich dark brown in color, nearly black and opaque. A nice dark brown head coalesces on the top of the glass, about an inch thick, but with tremendous staying power, really masterfully done I have to say. Rich, thick, enormous aroma now coming up to the forefront. Vanilla, nuts, oakey notes, lots of boozy aromas bouncing around and hints of chocolate malts. Freaking fantastic I have to say. As I take the first sip the warm booziness washes across the tongue with a silky smooth feel that is second to none. So many big beers lately have no carbonation to them, this was simply sublime. Rich vanilla and chocolate flavors hit me first, melt away though into a bourbony and oak filled smooth flavor. Each sip seemingly more complex then the one before it. Really just tremedous.

Overall this was fantastic. I was blown away by how complex and smooth it was being so fresh. Not nearly as hot as I remember 12 being. Just really well done.

mikesgroove, Dec 13, 2009
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -20.6%

ygtbsm94, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of womencantsail
4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle split with crazeguy and t0rin0 tonight.

A: The pour is just about black with a thin layer of dark brown colored foam.

S: The smell is quite similar to Parabola. A lot of smooth bourbon, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and a bit of oak. There is also a bit of alcohol, but not very much at all considering the blend and the ABV.

T: The flavors are quite similar to the nose. The initial sips seem a bit boozy, but this quickly dies down. The dominant flavors are chocolate, vanilla, coffee, and roasted malt. There is a bit of alcohol and oak, but surprisingly balanced for its (young) age.

M: The body is quite full and the carbonation is moderate but quite proper for the beer.

D: I thought this would be a bit hot and tough to drink at its young age, but it is quite an exceptional beer. This one will surely get better with age, but it will be tough to keep my hands off of.

womencantsail, Dec 14, 2009
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours out a near black body, though with ruby-hued hints at the edges and capped with a medium-sized, frothy, beige head.

Smell: Well-integrated, blended nose displays a vast array of malt and barrel-imparted notes that carry over fully into the flavor.

Taste: Starts quite sweet with a full range of rich, delectable flavors: chocolate ganache, creamy oats, smoked vanilla beans, spicy wood, caramel candy, macerated dark fruits, flaked coconut, aromatic tobacco, chilled coffee, and dark molasses. Some slight bitterness coming through. Warming, peppery alcohol tones begin drying out the taste. Chocolate squares washed with fine bourbon on the warming, semi-dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium-low carbonation. Exceptionally smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Recommended! While it may possibly benefit from some aging, I thought it was a true treat already at this early stage. Wonderfully complex, yet still keenly drinkable. Fine work, Firestone Walker!

ChainGangGuy, Jan 17, 2010
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev -9.3%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of JAHMUR
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

JAHMUR, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of largadeer
4.8/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

largadeer, Nov 20, 2009
Photo of emerge077
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Dave for sharing this one!
Review from analog (written) notes.

Pours into a small snifter with a bit of khaki foam. A cirrus cloud skim swirls across the surface, it's a mahogany color with some lighter garnet touches around the edges.

Aroma is mellow but well integrated, primary notes of caramel, dark fruit, and oak, with some sweet vanilla from the bourbon barrel.

Fig, raisin, very well defined oak, light brown sugar sweetness, tobacco, bourbon, and dark chocolate. Sticky. The woody oak tannins linger into the drying finish, mellow and rich feel overall. Extremely smooth and mellow, any booziness has been smoothed out. Though it was relatively easy to drink, it was best shared. Thanks again Dave for the opportunity to try this!

emerge077, Feb 13, 2011
Photo of zeff80
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, yet very dark brow color with a small, tan head of thick, bubbly foam. The head lingered awhile before receding into some soapy lace.

S - It smelled of maple, bourbon, vanilla and toffee. There were mild notes of dark fruits.

T - It really brought a bourbon punch with some sweet maple syrup flavors. Its got some raisin and plum tastes with a touch of vanilla.

M - It was crisp and smooth with a strong alcohol warmth. A full-bodied ale that finishes fairly dry despite its high ABV.

D - This is a really amazing brew. It's a great brew to share because of its strength and potency.

zeff80, May 09, 2010
Photo of Kegatron
4.72/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Roughly 6 oz or so of this poured from a bottle @ The Stone Brewing Bistro & World Gardens on 11/13/09 during their Firestone Walker 13th on the 13th event. Served in a snifter.

Pours a black, black, and even more black, in the glass, with a thin covering of reddish and burnt tan head. This stays creamy on the edges, with a nice full flareup that leaves back thickish lace that hangs in spotty clumps on the sides. The aroma is smoky, sweet, tannic, and is just LOADED with thick and aggressive (and in no particular order) notes of chocolate, fruit, spice, brown sugar, vanilla, molasses, smooth smelling oats, and some burnt wood. Whew! There's initially a pretty sharp pang of heat here from the ABV but this does smooth out some the deeper I get into it.

The taste pretty much matches the nose to a tee, with a chewy mix of chocolate, vanilla, candied sugar, oats, fruity cherry, smoked meat, char, wet tobacco, and sticky molasses. The barrel notes, as usual, are just great here, making up a big chunk of the flavor but still allowing the character from the actual beers to be felt as well. The mouthfeel is full bodied but has an extremely mellow feel to the carbonation, which works well with the sweeter aspects of this. As does the slick and oaky feel that this possesses, helping keep all of these monstrous flavors flowing. There is a bit of heat and rawness to this but it never is quite enough to hold the flavors back and in fact, seems to be a bit more subdued than it was in some of the previous releases.

Another year, another awesome Firestone Walker anniversary blend. It's always amazing to me how magnificently complex, yet still smooth and approachable these are. I'm really looking forward to more of this down the road.

Kegatron, Dec 16, 2009
Photo of Slatetank
4.65/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks so much to abru17 for bringing this to share as tribute to the arrival of my firstborn- cheers Alex!
poured chilled into a snifter and allowed to warm gently.

The color is a deep toasted brown w/ a slight translucent opacity and slight cap of beige crowns the ale which settles to a ring, the lace clings to the glass as 'legs'. A strong vanilla scent from the oak barrel is melded w/ toffee and slight cocoa aromas. The nose has a slight pepper and fig element w/ a mild sweetened coffee and light vinous tinge. I really enjoy the aromatic nature of this brew -mellow plum mixed with caramel and raisin with a gentle nutty aroma.

The feel is where this beer really shines -smooth as silk w/ a mild toasted and subtle alcohol impact. The light sweetness combines with subtle spice and a very light roasted texture w/ a gentle bitter compliment adding balance to the fullness, yet not a heavy beer in mouthfeel at all.

The flavor has subtle toasted oak and mild bourbon w/ a cocoa and sweet dried fig flavor in the front w/ slight plum and vanilla character. The toasted cookie crumb w/ mild pepper is a great juxtoposition with the wood displaying a depth that is a real tribute to the effort of the blenders. The taste of not quite burnt caramel and light coconut with very subtle alcohol carries over into the finish with lots of toffee smoothness.

I was very pleased - a fabulous blend of beers and barrels working in unison to prove a masterful use of the barrels and the synergy in the flavor w/ toffee + wood and each barrel contributing something to the final ale blend. The taste does what you hope a blend of 7 barrel aged beers will and the slight age of the bottle sampled adds to the marriage of flavor and texture. I consider it a majestic display of craftsmanship -Kudos Firestone Walker!

Slatetank, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of MasterSki
4.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Sinha tulip. Second time I've had this - my own bottle this time.

A - Dark, dark, brown, that would reveal transparency in lighter conditions. A half-finger of tan foam that fizzles quickly to a ring and some haziness. Nice reddish glow comes out when held up to the light.

S - Butterscotch, coconut, marzipan/almond, some oak barrel, caramel, burnt sugar, chocolate, light roastiness, and a touch of boozy heat. Not as reminiscent of Parabola as I anticipated - more of a blend between stout and barleywine.

T - The taste steps things up by hiding the hint of booziness in the nose. Drinks like liquid candy - butterscotch, almonds, bread, caramel, milk chocolate, brown sugar. Not overly oaky or tannic, except in the finish, where it's quite delicate and subtle.

M - Smooth, low carbonation, viscous, soft. Dry and light tannic finish, and surprisingly unsticky. A touch of heat.

D - I'm really glad I have another bottle of this one - almost as enjoyable as Abacus, the beer that is my kryptonite. Unfortunately the 12% eventually shows up...

MasterSki, Jan 03, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
4.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received in a recent trade. Very awesome. Beer was sampled late in the day, not quite what I was expecting, but the only thing I knew about it was the classification of "Strong Ale" which I suppose means nothing.

Beer served in a snifter. Beer is black and slightly brown at the corners. Forms a thin off white head of small bubbles, head breaks quickly, the clumps gravitating toward the walls of the glass. Leaves a little but not much lacing on the glass. Looks like a big stout so far.

Strong liquor almost bourbon aroma in the nose here. Some roast as well. Very imperial stout like. Some tannic notes but mostly overshadowed by the liquor component of the beer. At this point, I transition to stout criteria.

Beer is medium body, minimal carbonation in the mouth, pretty sweet. Finishes pretty dry. Some roasted malt flavors in the back of the palate. Its pretty strong overall in flavor. I may have been hallucinating the tannic quality, there is no detectable woodsey or graininess in the mouthfeel of this beer. Not resiny at all. For as big as it is and for the powerful aroma and strong flavors, its surprisingly easy to drink. A good beer overall, but not what I expected.

drabmuh, Jun 03, 2010
Photo of oline73
3.75/5  rDev -15%

oline73, May 27, 2014
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Firestone 13 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 374 ratings.