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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
98
world-class

378 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 378
Reviews: 224
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: 8.39%
Wants: 293
Gots: 127 | 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: 378 | Reviews: 224 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hrking
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this one last night with a couple buddies of mine at Savage's Ale House. This beer had high expectations going and and man did it ever deliver! The nose was just enough to lead you into the smooth creaminess that awaited your palette. Almost coming in as a desert that reminds me of eating smores. Vanilla, Caramel,nutty..You even get a marshmallow flavor from this beer it goes down so dangerously smooth. This is ready to drink now and I really can't see aging these doing them more justice but i've got a few to sit back just because it's such an awesome beer. I can't recommend this beer enough. This is one of those beers you want to hoard and break out on those extra special occasions! Awesome in every aspect and hats off to the blenders of this exceptional beer!

hrking, Jan 04, 2010
Photo of Viggo
4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle, boxed up nicely, huge thanks to MasterSki for another stellar brew brought to my place, much too kind! Good one for #2100.

Pours a clear very dark reddish brown, dark and delicious, medium sized but thick tan head forms, settles down to a solid ring, drops some lace spots and a touch of legs, great retention, head really lasts.

Smell is heaven, vanilla and alcohol, woody, roast, brown sugar, nougat, tons of caramel, bourbon, chocolate milk, raisins and assorted dark fruit, fantastic aroma.

Taste is amazing too, very nutty, toasted pecans, nougat, honey, liquid Toblerone, oak, lots of vanilla and caramel, chocolate, butterscotch, alcohol, nice bourbon finish, more vanilla, awesome.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, a little slick, low carbonation, warmth going down, ABV is hidden well. Another winner from FW anniversaries. They can do no wrong. This is great stuff, thanks again Alex!!

Viggo, Jan 04, 2010
Photo of obywan59
4.88/5  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.

obywan59, Jan 03, 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 srandycarter
4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours cola dar, no head, no lace.

S - Raisins, dark fruit, toasty malt.

T - Taste matches smell, but much richer than expected. Extract. YUM.

M - Carb less than wanted, but good balance and coating.

D - For what it is, would try to have more. Heavy stuff, though.

srandycarter, Jan 03, 2010
Photo of ritzkiss
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber in the box split courtesy of MasterSki - first time getting to try one of the Firewalker anniversary blends and I am indebted fine sir!

Pours an almost pure black, just the faintest hints of brown glints on the edges in the light, a thin rich mocha head builds up and then slowly dies.

Nose reveals a hint of smoke, a thick roast malt, vanilla and wood from the barrels, chocolate malt, balanced and inviting.

This is an incredibly complex beer which is to be expected from a blend that has so much thought gone into it. Vanilla and wood, cocoa powder, smoke, brown sugar and molasses, coconut, dark chocolate, nuttiness/pecans, earthy and dry, butterscotch. I could do without some of the butterscotch but other than that is a delicately balanced beer. Just a bit of booze in the finish.

A nice dry mouthfeel pulls this all together and gives it complexity without being overly thick or cloying. Pefect mouthfeel in the regards, rich yet dry. Insanely drinkable for the ABV.

This is an insanely delicious beer, I love to see a brewer putting in the time to craft something different, making sure they get what they want. Worth the price tag, would gladly get some more if I could.

ritzkiss, Jan 02, 2010
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 callmemickey
4.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared my bottle with a few fellow BAs.

Served in a tulip glass.

A: Deep brown/black body. Mahogany tones around the edges when held up to the light. Moderate khaki head. Short lived and spotty lacing.

S: Bourbon really stands out, but you do get hints of brandy, rye, grain and oak. Some chocolate and caramel here as well.

T: Profoundly sublime. The complexity of this blend is notable as you can easily discern the bourbon, brandy and rye barrel contributions (with bourbon being most prominent from the parabola component). You get a nice earthy-oak-vanilla notes throughout. Decadent chocolate... lightly warmed caramel... figs, raisins and some dark semi-sweet cherries. I also really noticed, and enjoyed, the grainy presence of wheat in the background (which I assume came from the wheat wine used in this blend, Opal). A really delightful blend.

M: Medium bodied. Nice levels of carbonation. Silky and smooth. Clean, refined finish. Not overwhelmingly boozy, which is key here.

D: This beer really delivered. It was in a tasting lineup with Black Tuesday, Blabaer, and a few other top notch brews and it more than held its own.

In hindsight, I might be underrating the aroma, but it just wasn't as complex as the taste and I am not sure if it quite deserves a 4.5... but its close.

callmemickey, Jan 01, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
4.45/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown to black with a tan head. The aroma is bourbon, roasted malts and some chocolate. The flavor is dark fruit, chocolate, some roasted malts and some oaky bourbon/vanilla notes. I also get something that reminds me of rum. A very complex beer. Low carbonation and very drinkable. Very good beer.

Mora2000, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of Lothore
4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a deep black hue with a one finger mahogany head.

S- Sweet malt, brown sugar, hints of oak.

T- Fig, hints of raisin, brown sugar ... an underlying quadrupel tone.

M- Medium carbonation and viscosity.

D- This was an excellent beer and the first of the run that has actually lived up to the hype for me.

Lothore, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of iD9
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in Stone RIS tasting glass (large beer tasting / cognac snifter style glass).

Enjoyed in Camas, Wa with the rest of the family after a successful Blazer's game.

Appearance: Very dark beer, has a vivid red looking hue on the outer edges. The head is a medium tan, very thin, dissipates quickly. Kinda disappointing head retention but the body of the actual beer is very pretty.

Smell: Strong boozy notes (bourbon), solid dark fruits, and dark roasted malts. You can smell the slight woody notes from the multiple barrels used to age the many beers.

Taste: Strong notes of bourbon, dark roasted malts make an appearance as well. Slight vanilla hints, likely from the combination of dark sugars and roasted barley. Very sweet throughout.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, a sugary and heavy. This beer quickly fatigues the pallet.

Drinkability: Always difficult to critique drinkability. This beer is exceedingly tasty (which is a positive boon) but also very heavy and requires a high level of endurance (of the pallet). To be frank, I'd rate the drinkability low on this beer, however I don't believe this at all effects how "good" it is. This beer is meant to be slowly sipped in small quantities and I will rate it as such.

iD9, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of Pullen
5/5  rDev +13.4%
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.

Pullen, Dec 28, 2009
Photo of mrandypandy
4.53/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle from Malt & Vine. Complete with fancy box and everything. This was my Christmas gift to me.

A- Pours a beautiful inky black with garnet/ruby highlights through the edges. Very clear and translucent. Minimal tan head on initial pour quickly recedes to almost nothing. Better head/head retention would have pushed this to a 5.
S- Wow. Bourbon, bourbon, and more bourbon. Some faint oak character but you can guess what stands prominent in the nose.
T- Hello! Heavy (yet tasteful) bourbon up front, that quickly leads to some faint roasted/chocolate notes. As the beer warms up a bit the barrels really come out and you can detect oak, vanilla, etc. Clean, yet complex. One of the best bourbon-barrel-aged beers I've had to date.
M - Yeah, it's cliche, but smooth, velvet, especially at warmer temps. Heavy to medium body, which is great for a beer of this magnitude. Not too thick, and nowhere near too thin.
D- Ok. On one hand I want cases and cases of this in my cellar. This is delicious. On the other hand, after one bottle I'm done for the night. This would be the perfect beer to share with one other person or would be the ideal nightcap.

Overall - Finally. A highly touted beer that more than lives up to its hype (especially after the sadness that was "TREAT" last night). Heavy on the bourbon yet tastefully done. Smooth, complex, and just plain delicious. The alcohol is perfectly hidden, and makes this a fantastic candidate for cellaring. If it were any less of a beer it would not be worth the pice tag paid for admission. Highly recommended. Maybe one day I'll have the fortune of trying the 12th, 11th, and/or 10th.

mrandypandy, Dec 25, 2009
Photo of clayrock81
4.28/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a blackish body with brown head and lace sticking to the glass. Has a complex smell of intertwining malts like bitter chocolate, molasses, toffee, vanilla, oak and some roasted malts along with hints of dark fruit like cherry or grape. The taste is a full bodied beer with an incredible blend of sweet malts like chocolate and vanilla (plus licorice?) along with a bouronesque barrel dryness that balances out and there are fruits like cherry and grape (maybe sour) that are picked up as well. Finish is dry but clean and complemented by high ABV. All this is tucked into a big, robust body that requires sipping and if it weren't for the price I'd stock up on these.

clayrock81, Dec 23, 2009
Photo of BarrelO
4/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a goblet.

A: Body is pretty much black. Reasonably thick white head that doesn't leave much lacing.

S: Vanilla, coconuts, wood, and alcohol.

T: Pretty much the same as the nose. Complex, but not necessarily good. The alcohol is well hidden, though.

M: Middle of the road in body and thickness.

D: A pretty decent sipper. It's not something I'd go out of my way for, though.

BarrelO, Dec 23, 2009
Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.53/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Another bottle popped open by PWoods.

Pours very dark brown, pretty much black in color. Nice frothy tan head on the pour. Only about a quarter inch of head.
Smell is roasty with some nice barrel notes of light bourbon and oak. Smell is quite nice.
There's a bit more bourbon notes in the flavor. Granted, this is still a somewhat fresh beer, so the heat from the alcohol is showing a little more. But that should die down a bit and meld with the rest of the beer better with time. There's a definite smoke flavor coming through in the finish.
This is an outstanding beer from an outstanding brewery. Top notch and well done.

FtownThrowDown, Dec 20, 2009
Photo of pwoods
4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to swnicholson for the bottle!

22oz. Brown bottle poues inti a chalice.

A: poured a deep brown, almost a loose black. Decent wispy head on the pour with a little bit of retention... Lots of barrel. Some lacing.

S: Soft but rich bourbon aroma with loads of deep barrel. A good healthy smokiness holds maybe a touch of smoky bacon and covers up some of the vanilla sweetness.

T/M: Great stout flavors with plenty of barrel flavors. The bourbon and brandy blends get a bit lost but still come through at times... More of just a bigger alcohol presence. More of the smokiness and light bacon, especially as it warms. Deep, rich sweetness, molasses. Body is medium full with some Belgian light carbonation.

D: Drinks incredibly well for 12%. Very tasty brew.

pwoods, Dec 20, 2009
Photo of billshmeinke
4.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle to snifter. I wonder if they cut down on all the packaging if they could sell this for a bit cheaper.

A: Black. Half finger tan head. Retreats to a very slight bubbly layer of foam on top and a foam collar around the edge of the glass.

S: Holy shit. Such a strong aroma. Bourbon, whiskey, brandy, tobacco, molasses, sweet chocolate malt, brown sugar, a bit of vanilla bean, maybe a touch of leather too, and some coconut. The bourbon, whiskey, brandy, molasses, chocolate and tobacco dominate. This beer smells like I want to smell when I'm retired.

T: Oak, bourbon, whiskey, brandy, molasses, brown sugar, coconut, and butter rum. Bitter dark chocolate and some vanilla bean. Alcohol spice comes in towards the end. A slight leafy hop bight at the end as well, but most of the hops have aged out. Very flavorful. Simply delicious.

M: Thick and chewy. Not quite syrupy. Thickness is just right. Medium carbonation, fairly creamy when swished around in your mouth. A bit warm going down to remind you of the abv. Just right.

D: Did you say 12% abv? Ok fine, maybe I believe you. The only reason you're gonna be sipping on this is because you don't want it to be gone too soon.

A truly decadent desert beer and a great winter beer. Seriously my favorite barrel aged beer that I have tried. Just awesome.

billshmeinke, Dec 16, 2009
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 Rochefort10nh
4.93/5  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.

Rochefort10nh, Dec 14, 2009
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 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 flexabull
4.63/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Congrats on 13 years Firestone Walker! Hopefully this beer will be just as fine as the 10th - 12th Anniversary ales were.

Here goes...

Pours a very dark brown color with a thin and still tan head.

Impressive nose. Vanilla, chocolate, and lots of creamy sweetness. There are also notes of nuts, oak, and booze. This really does smell wonderful.

Taste is surprisingly subtle, but with very nice melded flavors. Light cola, molasses, dark malts, cream, nuts, oak and booze all float along well together. The malt flavors here are great, and the general sweetness is cut well with the oak and easy booze notes. Finish has a light crispness, and that nice alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel is good, but I like a beer this big to have a really thick feel.

Drinkability?! Oh yeah!!! I really wonder if this beer will improve all that much, it seems pretty well dialed in right now. The subtle flavors match so well, and this beer drinks more like a 6% ABV brew. It kind of reminds me of wonderful full flavored brown ale. Well done Firestone Walker, thanks for another great and unique take on the barrel aging and blending process.

Side Note : I really cringed paying $25 for a bottle of this. While it is an excellent beer, I think this is right near my tipping point on price.

flexabull, Dec 13, 2009
Photo of alcstradamus
3.65/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Received earlier today, thanks Jeff. Couldn't wait to crack this one even though I'd rather let it age for a bit. Hope I made the right decision!

Black pour with a finger of head that drops down to a collar and leaves some webs of lacing. The smell is very smooth whiskey and toasted malts. Much more well integrated than even a year old 12th anniversary. Surprisingly subdued even. Hints of wood, toffee, and marshmallow in the background. A bit of agitation causes some boozy burn to rise. Pretty nice.

The taste is very big on burnt caramel maltiness. Vanilla on the mid palate, and an acrid coffee bean bitterness in the finish. Some hot booze rises up after the initial flavors pass. Notes of pine resin and some harsh oak. Not sure this one is quite ready yet, I would advise holding onto your bottles for at least 6 months or so. There is definitely some potential here though.

Mouthfeel is awesome. Heavy and rich with a tad bit of carbonation sting which is the only thing keeping this from being a 5 in this category.

One thing I have found with the 2 Firestone Anniversary beers that I have had the honor of drinking is they are unmistakably blends. I don't find that meshing of flavors that really makes a huge beer like this easy to drink, or even desirable really. I would drink this any time it was offered, but I would be hard pressed to purchase one if I saw it on a store shelf other than as a mere experiment to see how time changes it. This is definitely an above average beer, but in the world of gigantic barrel aging it is not on par with its peers.

alcstradamus, Dec 12, 2009
Photo of John_M
4.63/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Yet another gem sampled during the tasting event at Dyan's the other night. Yet another fine beer from the follks at Firestone Walker (maybe I can convince them to adopt me some day).

The beer pours a blackish brown color with very good head retention and lacing. On the nose I get a lovely blend of milk duds, coffee, chocolate, prunes and vanilla. On the palate this beer is just amazing. The flavors generally replicate the nose, and this beer is very rich and sweet, and ever so soft and creamy on the palate. Mouthfeel is excellent, and the beer is suprisingly light on its feet for the richness and abv. Sure, the alcohol is noticeable, but it doesn't intrude whatsoever. On the other hand, the sweetness, coupled with the fairly high abv., detracts just a bit from the beer's drinkability.

Yet another very exceptionally fine beer from Firestone brewing. Impressive.

John_M, Dec 12, 2009
Firestone 13 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
98 out of 100 based on 378 ratings.