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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

361 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 361
Reviews: 220
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: 8.39%
Wants: 290
Gots: 127 | FT: 3
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)
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Ratings: 361 | Reviews: 220 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of billshmeinke
billshmeinke

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2009 23:04:09 | More by billshmeinke
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2009 21:10:07 | More by Kegatron
Photo of Rochefort10nh
Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2009 22:14:18 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2009 06:10:42 | More by womencantsail
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2009 14:09:17 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of flexabull
flexabull

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2009 06:38:40 | More by flexabull
Photo of alcstradamus
alcstradamus

Washington

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2009 04:13:01 | More by alcstradamus
Photo of John_M
John_M

Oregon

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2009 00:00:35 | More by John_M
Photo of brdc
brdc

Wisconsin

4.72/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Large capped bottle, tremendous courtesy of jhenry04.

Poured into a snifter, it is nearly pitch black with a golden brown edge; one finger tan head dissipates rather quickly.
The aroma is wonderful as all other Firestone Anniversary brews I was lucky to try; it reminds me why barrel aging can be beautiful, and it also exposes the multiple abuses of indiscriminate barrel aging out there. Oak, lots of vanilla, chocolate and roasted malts more than previous years, at times even like a stout; and a faint hint of bourbon - it smells like great beer, not like bourbon.
Body is a bit thinner than It would be perfect, but still velvety and nice, quite close to full body.
I have to disagree with some reviews that mention ashy, acrid, hot notes; I did not notice anything off here; there is minimal noticeable alcohol, and all roasted notes are quite nice and well balanced with hints of coffee, chocolate, dark fruits, lots of vanilla, some oak.
Great beer, again. I have grown more and more suspicious of barrel aging, as in my modest opinion, most beers do not gain anything, frequently lose from barrel aging. Firestone anniversary is another story, even though there is no version not barrel aged for the proper comparison.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2009 01:35:29 | More by brdc
Photo of slayer3604
slayer3604

California

4.15/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pitch black body, with ruby amber rim light. Darker tan head, fades to a slight ring.
s-bourbon, alcohol, vanilla, coffee bean, and nilla wafers.
t-up front vanilla, graham crackers, bourbon, oak and heat. lots of alcohol aparent in this beer. Finishes with dark fruit, heat and a lasting vanilla spice.
M-solid, chewey, and warming.
D-I can imagine that in a couple years this beast will be PERFECT but right now, theres way too much heat!

Serving type: on-tap

12-09-2009 23:24:38 | More by slayer3604
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

3.95/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a medium dark brown with a soft light tan head. Nice spots of lace.

S: Light initially, but ended up getting some enticing butterscotch, molasses, and coffee.

T: Dark chocolate dominated with notes of coffee and licorice. Oak is prevalant, giving interesting wood notes, but more terpene like/actual wood flavour than vanilla-type flavours. Strong character in the taste I liked it a lot.

M: Not as thick or robust as I'd like, but solid overall, compared to the 12 though it's a bit of a lightweight right now.

D: This is clearly good beer. Maybe I'm expecting too much out of the Anniversary series right now, I'm expecting to be blown away out of the gate like I was with 11 and 12 which were exceptional upon release. This one is still really good, though I think it needs some time to achieve greatness.

Serving type: on-tap

12-09-2009 17:31:40 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of MASPuros
MASPuros

California

4.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark Brown with a little light head

Smell: Oak and Vanilla ... some faint smoke in the background

Taste: lots of malt, Vanilla, slight smoke and oak. All smells come through in taste. Its a bit hot but with some time should mellow out.

Mouthfeel: not as thick as 12, but flavor is there. Was expecting a bit more thickness to coat the mouth better. This is the only area a bit dissapointing.

Drinkability: The thin body does make it drinkable. It has a pleasant heat as it goes down but smooth. I enjoy the alcohol in this one.

This will evolve very nicely. Can't wait to revisit in 6 months

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2009 16:12:22 | More by MASPuros
Photo of illidurit
illidurit

California

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

Bottle courtesy Diomede. Pours a brilliant, clear ruddy brown with copper highlights and a fading light-brown head. Aroma is, right off the bat, smokier than expected, with light bourbon and wood coming next. Deeper whiffs reveal caramel, chocolate, vanilla, and a touch of acetone, which could just be a bourbon sharpness. Flavor is far more subtle than 12 or 11, but at the same time smoother and very well-integrated. I guess the much-publicized exactness of the blending process was a worthwhile endeavor. I get smokey molasses, brown sugar, deep chocolate, light coconut, vanilla, a faint fruitiness, and a mildly roasted finish with a whisper of alcohol. It almost seems too seamless and smooth, sterile even. Nonetheless this is fantastic and a great accomplishment by the FW folks.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2009 03:03:27 | More by illidurit
Photo of bulletrain76
bulletrain76

California

4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle shared by Diomede. Almost black in appearance, with a small tan head. Smooth aroma that has less spirit influence than 12. There is a surprising smokey and burnt wood quality, chocolate, oak, wine, caramel, and burnt sugars. A little bourbon is evident, but is far from making a dominant impression. The flavor is very smooth already, with nice chocolate malt sweetness, lighter bourbon and whiskey, dried fruit, oak, and some vinous tannic and fruity touches. Full bodied and smooth with almost no alcohol bite at all. I had been saving a bottle of 12 to do a side by side, and the comparison is really making me want to lower my score of 12 because this is so much better. It has at the same time a more pronounced dark chocolate flavor, and more vinous and oaky nuances, without the hot alcohol and bourbon flavors that are more dominant in 12. Out of the last three blends, this is definitely my favorite, and they really took it to another level this time.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2009 02:50:53 | More by bulletrain76
Photo of rudylaw
rudylaw

Illinois

4.53/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very dark pour... not all light-absorbing, but dark enough. A thin, dark, brown head that recedes into a thin rim.

Lots of vanilla, heat, dark malty goodness in the sniffer.

Taste is the same but I'm getting some dark fruits as well. Figs too, perhaps? Coconut, caramel and chocolate cake flavors are also coming out as this warms.

There is a ton of booze, to be expected, present. This doesn't actually hurt the drinkability all that much though as I'm taking near full gulps. It has a thin mouthfeel with decent carbonation.

This should age like a champ!

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2009 22:07:58 | More by rudylaw
Photo of bret27
bret27

California

4.1/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle courtesy of Diomede

S: Vanilla, malt, smoke, oak

A: Very dark brown, dark brn head

T: Vanilla, malt, oakey, little more heat than 12

M: Little thinner body than 12, but still good

D: Pretty good for abv, but thin body and alcohol presence makes it a little tough. This is a fresh bottle however.

Overall: Very nice, but maybe not epic.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2009 04:18:31 | More by bret27
Photo of rayjay
rayjay

Hawaii

4.28/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Just scored a bottle, it's party time.

Always impresses me when I pour these FW anniversaries...they are so thin looking and have plenty of carbonation...guess I expect barrel aged beer to be thick looking. It's black with see-through edges. Nice white foam and some lacing, although it seems to fade away. Very proper looking, like it was made for judging.

Aroma is all about sweet bourbon and wood. Not overpowering, but certainly dominant. A little bit of the associated aromas like vanilla. Alcohol smell is there but is faint and smells delicious. Smells like a lot of work and craftsmanship went into this brew.

Potent bourbon and brandy are dominant in the flavor, too. There isn't much heat to speak of, but notable alcoholic boozyness is there. A bit "green" tasting, as in young, however it's refined and mellow enough to drink right now. Certainly could be great with a few years of cellaring. Beneath it all is some serious carmel malt, and a variety of other complex specialty malts that sort of loose their identity amongst all the other stuff going on.

A bit too spritzy and carbonated for me, brings it down a notch. A bit like drinking a Beam and Coke. The mouthfeel of the actual liquid is nice; not too sticky and not too thick, but both come out to greet you.

Lets call the drinkability a 4 and see if it goes up with a year or 2 on it. Delicious but I would go so far as to say I'm clamoring for the next sip. Very good, with great potential in time.

Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2009 03:21:08 | More by rayjay
Photo of MrFootstones
MrFootstones

California

4.53/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a snifter, a small tan head forms but quickly disappears. Appears black but when held to the light cedar edges and ruby highlights appear.

S: Not too apparent when the snifter was full and the beer was cold. As it warms and the glass becomes half full the gorgeous aroma comes out. With a swirl of the snifter notes of sweet, rich amaretto, booze, vanilla, and bourbon blossom forth. As it warms further a touch of roast, and then of toasted almonds become apparent.

T: This beer is very delicious. Coconut, vanilla, booze, light bourbon, warm, fresh cake. The aromas of amaretto and toasted nuts come back to show themselves in flavor form.

M: Nicely carbonated, perhaps even a bit much. Creamy and rich texture. Good for the style, mostly.

D: Give this one some time for the booze to mellow and it'll be just about perfect. Very good initially though. No problem finishing my half of the bomber. I enjoyed every sip.

Overall: The most interesting thing I found is that this was much better in a bottle than on tap. More of the complexity and interesting flavors came out for me. This was damn good, and I am glad I have plenty of it to see how it ages.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2009 18:24:58 | More by MrFootstones
Photo of mjl21
mjl21

California

4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle poured into a snifter. Comes in at 12%. Nice to see FW included the piece of paper describing the blend since they skipped it for XII.

A-Pours a dark brown and has a minimal sandy head that quickly breaks into a few small bubbly patches around the rim of the glass. There is lots of spotted lacing left in between sips.

S-Lots of vanilla in the nose throughout the entire time it is in the glass. Also get bourbon and oak. Roast dark malts stand out more as it warms and I get occasional notes of coffee. The nose is very nice, but subtle when compared to a lot of -bal aged beers that I have tried recently. I kept sticking my nose in the snifter because it was perfectly balanced.

T-Lot of vanilla, sweet chocolate, and molassess start it out. It has a big chocolate backbone that is not as evident in the aroma. Lots of oak and caramel hit midsip. The oak is also strong on the finish. Bourbon flavors also pop out as it goes down. There is a touch of booze, but it is not distracting. Every few sips I get some roasted malt flavor.

M-It is not as thick as I expected. It is extremely silky and smooth with a perfect level of soft carbonation.

D-Like they mention in the paper description, this one is all about the subtleties and quiet tones. The booze is not very strong. It is still a little oaky and some age should help mellow that out.

Another great FW beer. Well worth trying one fresh and then cellaring a few to think out the oak.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2009 22:26:05 | More by mjl21
Photo of Bankhead
Bankhead

California

4.97/5  rDev +12.7%
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

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2009 00:22:15 | More by Bankhead
Photo of hoppymeal
hoppymeal

Michigan

4.38/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a small dark tan head that quickly fades to a ring. Aroma is a blend of cocoa, sweet caramel and vanilla, some woody tannic notes,sweet black licorice, boozy bourbon, and some roasted malts. Taste follows with a good dose of the sweet vanilla and caramel riding over the roasty malts and some cola, then falling back, allowing the roasty notes to come thru as well as the black licorice, and some nice bourbony flavor that lingers in the finish before a slightly drying oaky aftertaste. Mouthfeel is very nice, soft and creamy, light, yet full, a bite at the back of the throat from the alcohol, towards the finish, slight dryness in the finish melds well with some of the sweet notes from the barrel ageing. Overall a delicious beer, I admit I lean more towards the 10 & 11 because of their old ale / bwine characteristics, whereas this blend is much more stout heavy, but even so, a great beer, that seems like it will mellow and improve with a year or two.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2009 22:23:52 | More by hoppymeal
Photo of vacax
vacax

California

4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with dark brown edges, a thin head but the retention is high and loads of tiny bubbles entrance the eye every time the glass is moved. Smells of toasted oak, maple, bourbon, brown sugar, and leather. Tastes of maple and brown sugar with lots of oak and vanilla on the midpalate. Finish has roast, treacle, herbal hops, and piles on the oak. Feels full, silky, chewy, low but proper carbonation. Very tasty brew, though too oaky at the moment, this is an excellent candidate for cellaring, expect improved flavors in the future.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2009 00:54:32 | More by vacax
Photo of waltonc
waltonc

Colorado

4.05/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown with tan head. Smells amazing, as all FW anniversary beers do - vanilla, coconut, toffee, a little caramel. Taste is more of the same. I kept getting some cinnamon in the taste too. Not sure if my tongue was just playing tricks on me. Lots of alcoholic heat that I imagine will settle down over time. I didn't notice all the vinous qualities some reviewers are writing about. Body is thick with spot on carbonation. Delicious stuff that I'm sure will only improve with age as the FW anniversary brews always do. Can't wait to open another bottle.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2009 19:14:40 | More by waltonc
Photo of kbm
kbm

Arizona

4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown almost black with a ruby hue. No head but a ring of fine bubbles with moderate lacing. I was getting carefully poured 5 oz pours so I'm going to give it the benefit of the doubt that there's normally a head with a more vigorous and generous pour.

Smell: Vanilla, pices, cinnamon, ton of molasses brown sugar, booze, bourbon, black licorice. Not an overly heavy nose and is a great sniffer.

Taste: Molasses, vanilla, oak, brown sugar, bourbon, coconut and coffee in the end. Not overly sweet like the 12. Fits the beer perfectly.

Mouthfeel: Couldn't be better. Low carbonation and low viscosity.

Drinkabillity: For a barrel aged beer it's drinkable but not off the charts. I had about 15 ozs and maybe could have finished off a bottle but I don't think I would have enjoyed the last glass nearly as much as the first few.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2009 03:38:12 | More by kbm
Photo of Vixie
Vixie

Illinois

4.38/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Zorro for giving me a bottle of this.

Pours very dark, pretty much pitch black. A bit of a dark tan head forms, which dissipates after a few minutes.

First smell that hit me was of chocolate. I can also detect the alcohol, and a few sweet smells I can't quite identify.

Definitely a chocolate beer, with a hint of smoke. There is a lot going on here, I don't have a sophisticated enough palate to be able to pick out everything, I'm guessing a lot is the bourbon. There is sweetness there, a touch of fruit, and alcohol in the end. One of the more complex beers I've had.

Very solid beer, exactly what I expected from how it looks.

For the strength, this is very drinkable. Like the best high alcohol beers I've had, the alcohol is well hidden, and would be easy to drink a lot of this and not realize it's effect on you. I have had Firestone 12, and I must say I like this one much better. One of the best beers I've had, I'm thankful to get a chance to try this.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2009 01:04:00 | More by Vixie
Firestone 13 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 361 ratings.