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Firestone 13 - Anniversary Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Firestone 13 - Anniversary AleFirestone 13 - Anniversary Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

346 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 346
Reviews: 219
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: 8.16%

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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Photo of TJBurgess


3.9/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip from 22 oz bottle.

Appearance is black. Pitch black. Small caramel colored head leaves quickly. 4.0
Smell is sweet with a tart / sour note in the front and a sugary molasses touch. Slight bourbon and vanilla in there too. 4.0
Taste is right behind the smell. Some heat and molasses right in the forefront with bourbon, sweet barleywine-ish vanilla notes on the finish. 4.0
Mouthfeel and drinkability are good. Creamy thickness in the mouth with a nice balance of carbonation. 4.0. Drinkability is hurt by the heat and sweetness that just don't quite balance each other out. Not sure if time will help this, but I have 1 bottle left to find out! 3.5

Overall nice to try, but it was tough finishing this bottle even over a few hours.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2011 14:27:44 | More by TJBurgess
Photo of chumba526


4.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer appears black, black as night. It has a small brownish tan head that dissipates quite quickly. A few bubbles rise from the bottom of the glass as I pour the beer.

This ale smells of ripe tart cherries, juicy grapes, dry pure liquorices', molasses. A nice mild citrusy lemon like flavor is also present. A mellow clean smelling caramel and a chocolate smell are also noticeable. There is a pleasant fruity smell. There is a vanilla and oaky smell noticeable as well. There are many complex flavors mingling together in this beer. I have been smelling this beer for five minutes and am still noticing new complexities.

It tastes initially of vanilla, oaky, coconut bourbon. There is a nice cherry like taste as well. I get a bit of a nutty malt taste. There is a solid caramel and toffee like. I get a bit of a coffee flavor, a grassy and herbal hoppy flavor and a mild hoppy bitterness. There is a bit of a red wine oaky flavor to this beer as well. This blend of barrel age beer is excellent. All the flavors blend with each other perfectly. There is a great blend of bitterness, dryness and sweetness. I though this beer would be good but not this good.

The mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy. The carbonation is moderate low.

This is a high alcohol beer and a heavy and rich beer so the drinkability is limited; however the beer goes down very smooth.

This is a great barrel aged blended beer. I like barrel age beers but this one is very impressive and one of the best examples that I have had. I have not had this beer when it was fresh but I think it is in its prime now. If you can find it I suggest you buy it. Now if I can only find firestone 14!

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2011 04:15:11 | More by chumba526
Photo of portia99


3.9/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle courtesy of a trade with hoppymcgee. Thanks Greg! Poured into a New Belgium globe. Immediately sampled this following FW11.

A - Dark, dark brown in color...looks to have good clarity when held to a light (for what I can see). A finger of off-white head dies quickly to a foamy collar with a bit of lacing left clinging to the glass.

S - Boozy, bourbon, alcohol, caramel...lacing a bit in complexity.

T - Vanilla, roasted malt, coffee, bourbon, booze, caramel, molasses, dark chocolate, hoppy - earthy and fruity...a bit of heat...

M - Warm, boozy, smoothed out a little bit by the vanilla aspects. Creamy medium body with a foamy lite carbonation.

D - This might have been more impressive if it wasn't for the FW11 had before it. Seemed a bit rough and harsh by comparison. Boozy, bourbony warmth...still very good and enjoyable. Would love to get another one of these and let it sit a couple of years to see what happens to it.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2011 19:49:30 | More by portia99
Photo of thetomG


3.78/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown color with a decent layer of tan head.

Aroma is roasty & has a nutty aspect to it as well. Flavor has some nuttiness as well, but also has a bitter element to it with underlying sweeetness. Medium mouthfeel - surprisingly bubbly though.

This one is tasting good now, but I think it could use even a little more time to age and improve.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2011 17:38:19 | More by thetomG
Photo of wagenvolks


4.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to mikeyv35 for the trade. Shared with trep over the holidays.

Pours into the tulip glass with a porter-brown body and a deep coffee center. The head is molasses-colored and almost wispy in its appearance. With each sniff, I get big notes of chocolate chip cookie dough, vanilla bean, a soft booziness, and toasted dark malts. Very nice so far...

The flavor is a dream. Rich, chocolate fudge brownies combine with fig, raisin, and an earthy hop bitterness on the finish that lingers with drying notes of coffee and subtle smoke. The full body is creamy and luscious, with a smooth, boozy finish. Overall, a phenomenal beer. No surprise that I enjoyed this one so much, as Parabola is in my top 5, and FW13 is nearly 40% Parabola. *Sigh* I need more...

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2010 19:56:21 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of pdoran10


4.75/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours out jet black into a snifter with very little tan head that fades quick and leaves some nice lacing.

Smell is big vanilla mellow bourbon, with a slight chocolate note.

taste is hmm, where to start?...tons going on here, slight red wine acidity up front blends to chocolate notes and some moderate hop bitterness finishes with vanilla barrel aging flavor. smooth blend exceptional taste.

Mouthfeel is thick with low carbonation. Pretty standard as barrel aged stouts go.

Wonderfully drinkable for all the complexity and alcohol. Incredible beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2010 05:06:12 | More by pdoran10
Photo of Damian


3.78/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from a 1 pint, 6 fluid ounces/650ml bottle
Acquired in a trade with oregonskibum
Served in a snifter

The dark chestnut brown liquid was topped by a thin film of khaki colored bubbles. Within seconds, the head dissipated to a clingy ring of froth.

The nose was sweet and smooth. Raisins and prunes were immediately noticeable. Molasses and brown sugar notes came through as well. Moderately boozy. A touch of vanilla was also detectible. Some leathery notes appeared as the beer warmed, along with a bit of smoke.

The flavor profile was malt dominant and much more roasty than I anticipated. Black coffee came through strong up front. Some vanilla notes too. Dark fruits appeared in the center, along with indications of brown sugar. Nutty. Notes of char and piney hops were detectible in the dry, tannic, oaky finish. Bourbon was present but it did not play as big a part as I would have liked.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied with a fine, moderate effervescence. Creamy, smooth and slick on the palate.

This beer drank incredibly well for its alcohol prowess. I definitely would not have guessed it to be 12% ABV.

After trying Firestone Walker's 11th, 12th and 13th anniversary beers, I can definitely say that this was my least favorite release to date. Perhaps if they cut back on the roastiness, the flavor profile would have been more balanced.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2010 04:16:38 | More by Damian
Photo of LilBeerDoctor

New York

3.85/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 3/5/2010. Bottle thanks to mkade8883. Pours black with a small ring of white head. Aroma of roasted malt, bourbon, graham cracker, alcohol. Flavor of vanilla, sweet roasted malt, alcohol, bourbon, bitter chocolate. Full-bodied and quite tasty. Very enjoyable!

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2010 19:37:48 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of Murchmac


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

Review #500 for me.

Waited a year to crack this puppy, glad I did. Pours a dark black with some creamy head and lacing.

Smells of vanilla, bourbon, licorice dance through my head.

Excellent taste swirl of vanilla, bourbon, chocolate, sweet chocolate lingering.

A little bit of boozieness still but as always an excellent anniversary beer. Much better than 12. Still holding up.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2010 22:20:03 | More by Murchmac
Photo of Arbitrator


3.53/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Re-review. I opened a bottle to celebrate the completion of a major manuscript. Yes kiddies, Arbitrator actually gets work done. Surprising!

I've had this beer multiple times, mostly bottles I opened because I keep missing all the *@^%ing tastings where this gets shared. But I'm not bitter.

Anyway, at release, it started out at a 4.7, moved up to a 5.0 in a few months when the small booziness faded, and since then it has been dropping. To MY palate it peaked about 6-8 months after release. Now the subtleties are fading and it's tasting more like Parabola. Weirdly enough, it's also getting hotter and harsher in the process. The finish is astringent. It's not a very enjoyable beer anymore. I'm glad I drank most of my bottles early on, but I regret holding on to the last two (well, now one).


Original review:

Chilled 22oz bottle into a glass. Shared twice by largadeer (thanks Chris), but I didn't feel confident in reviewing it then, so here's my own bottle to judge from.

A: Probably the weakest part of this beer, but that's not saying much. The body is a pitch black-brown that appears totally opaque in my snifter. The head is a light tan color that retains well for a 12%er. Agitation produces milky swirls on top of the brew.

S: Immediately upon cracking the bottle, I'm greeted with a puff of vanilla, coconut, and chocolate. Mmm. The poured beer also presents those aromas most strongly. The rest is a nuanced, subtle blend of caramel, oak, bourbon, oats (!), apricots (!), and tobacco. Wow. This is superlative.

T: The taste is up there, as well. Like the nose, it leads with vanilla and coconut. Chocolate is more subdued than expected, pairing nicely with earth, tobacco, and bourbon in the mid-taste. Oats and caramel sweetness emerge at times, along with dark fruits (I'm tempted to say raisin or even port), coffee, even some butterscotch. The finish brings out tannins and tobacco once more, along with a surprising presence of stone fruits. Apricots or peaches, I guess. A lightly lingering peppery / earthy / tobacco bitterness that cleans up the residual sugars.

M: Medium-full bodied, with low carbonation. It's nearly velvety on the tongue; very smooth, delivering lots of flavor. There is also some light heat at the end that reveals the ABV on this bad boy, but it doesn't ruin the experience.

D: What an amazing beer. What an AMAZING beer. I can put down a bomber myself without problems; at $23 it's (IMO) reasonably priced. I want to have Firestone 13's babies.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2010 10:15:29 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of JohnQVegas


4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle into The Bruery tulip, split between my wife and I.

Pours pitch black, thin (half-finger) brown head that settles out quickly into a rim of small bubbles. Some very delicate lacing, but no real retention to speak of.

Nose is rich - the barrels speak loud and clear. Notes of oak and bourbon, brandy peeking through also. Coconut and dark chocolate are there, as are hints at candied licorice. Beautifully decadent, balanced despite the massive richness.

Taste follows up the nose perfectly - chocolate fudge cake, candied dark fruit and hints of licorice pair up with coconut and vanilla notes from the barrel aging. Caramel notes add sweetness as well, with the perfect amount of a burnt sugar note. Alcohol adds a bit of spicy booziness that lingers alongside a hefty yet perfectly placed oak note on the palate, balancing the sweetness perfectly.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, lightly carbonated but just enough to prop this one up. Oaky notes linger long on the palate with a some very light tannins that balance the dert-like richness spectacularly.

Drinkability is fantastic as well - alcohol never gets in the way, only adding to the flavor profile, and there's no denying thi sis a delicious, fantastic beer. Reminscent of Bourbon County only in that I find myself taking another sip before I realize my hand is moving towards the glass, and when it's about half empty I'm already a little sad. Excellent beer, worthy of its ranking.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2010 02:27:31 | More by JohnQVegas
Photo of craytonic

District of Columbia

3.3/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Tried alongside 10, 11, 12 and 13

Pour: Coffee/mahogany brown/black, smallish head

Smell: Bourbon/booze, molasses, raisins, caramel, and toffee

Taste: Raisins, molasses, bourbon, toffee, caramel, chocolate. A bit hot and bitter

Mouthfeel: This but a bit hot

Drinkability: After fighting our way through 10-12 we poured half this bottle out to move onto other beers. This one tasted a bit young.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2010 23:32:24 | More by craytonic
Photo of jminsc76


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

Courtesy of alexd3891 to complement a vertical with Firestone 14. (note: we had this several months ago with chocolate cake at alexd3891's birthday party) [yum], but he was quick to point out during this tasting that the strength of the aromas and flavors have died down considerably since then)

Into a wide-rimmed, non-stem wine glass pours a cocoa-colored head atop a black body. Reemerges quickly upon agitation, only to die down just as quickly.

Aromas include slight quantities of coconut, graham crackers, and some roasts. Despite the loss of intensity, I still *whiff* away because what is there is decent.

Flavors are still fairly rich, with an excellent amount of chocolate and roasts on the finish. The issue noticed among those of whom I am sharing this with is not that it lacks complexity, but impact (i.e., oomph!). A shame considering the ABV level.

Mouthfeel is soft and silky; a bit thinner than I prefer, though not unsurprising.

Overall, I may have enjoyed this more had Alex said nothing, but he's right. It is blunted, sadly only a shadow of its former self oh so not long ago. It tastes good (pairing extremely well with the blue cheese and chocolate/peanut butter cookies present) rather than great. That being the case, and considering how awesome a previous bottle was, I will be kind with my rating.

Here, enjoy some eye-candy (from bikebusbeer via flikr; yes, that is me in the background with pen and notebook in hand):


Serving type: bottle

12-14-2010 21:33:28 | More by jminsc76
Photo of JAXSON


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

2009 rate from a couple bottles.

Pours a deep espresso with a mocha head. Intoxicating nose filled with black licorice, peppermint, fine dark chocolate, dark fruits, and pine wood. Flavor is a testament to barrel aging and blending. Dates, prunes, figs, deeper malt complexity, and a fantastic peppermint and black licorice quality. Reminiscent of the best, older bottles of World Wide Stout and batch 1 Mephistopheles. A more viscous mouthfeel would improve this slightly. Extremely good.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2010 02:43:16 | More by JAXSON
Photo of ManuelHerrera


4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Coming into the holiday season I've been needing a robust stout...and Firestone's 13th anniversary is hitting the spot quite well.

Pouring midnight black with little head in an oversize wine glass - the robustness of this beer is visible. Smoked and malty aroma with notes of currant, coco and raisin.

The front end of this beer is massive and intense. This alcohol is prevalent throughout which leads to some distraction, but fortunately for this brew it's complex enough to work through it. The maltiness keeps the flavors in the balance, but the heavy barleywine and port wine flavors are the most prominent. The beer is chewy on the front end and finishes with sugary, tobacco flavor that lingers on the palate.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2010 08:20:37 | More by ManuelHerrera
Photo of JustinA1


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

Shared with ThreeWiseMen on 11/17/10. Poured into a Brandy Snifter.

A - Black. Sexy Black. Red tint on the rim with a milk and coffee colored head. Retains well for a one year old beer. Light foam on over a midnight black liquid. The contrast is gorgeous.

S - Aggressive nose. Chocolate, bourbon, Caramel, Toffee, Coffee, Vanilla, Oak. Hints of dark fruits, almost red wine, but not quite. Reminds me of Wine Country. Fresh, crisp, transcendent. Dark chocolate provides the chorus to a bourbon lullaby.

T - Strangely, I'm immediately confronted with a spicy and earthy flavors, almost herbal or pine. Turns into coffee and dark chocolate and with finishes with a subtle yet unmistakable bourbon flavor.

M - Full body that coats the mouth well with a fantastic condition. Serves the beer very well, Not as smooth as I recall from previous tastings but still pretty fantastic.

D - Great beer, hides the alcohol well but I wouldn't forget it's there. Better than 14 for sure (tried side by side). I would gladly drink more of this.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2010 05:51:23 | More by JustinA1
Photo of ThreeWiseMen


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

Split a bottle of Firestone 13 with my roommate, JustinA1, last night. We each reviewed the beer simultaneously, jotting down notes without saying a word, and then compared our thoughts afterward. This followed a silent review of Firestone 14. Onto the review:

Poured into a Cigar City snifter.

Appearance: Poured thick and jet black with a short, light brown layer of foam. Head quickly settled to a thin ring and stayed that way for the remainder of the session. When swirled, orange-gold foam emerged from the depths. Spotty lacing.

Smell: Bourbon, dark fruits (notably cherries and figs), chocolate syrup, faint oats, vanilla, and bread crust. The bourbon, dark fruit, and chocolate contributions seem to outweigh everything else; I'm unable to pick out much besides them. Bourbon and flowery esters take control as the beer warms, though the dark fruit aromas still prevail.

Taste: Chocolate mousse, vanilla, chocolate cake, sweet bread, and undeniable bourbon. Very, very similar to the recent release of Parabola, but with a mildly lighter flavor profile. Thought-provoking and nostalgic. Beautiful.

Mouthfeel: Amazingly smooth for such a high ABV beer (blows FW14 out of the water in that regard, and FW14 actually had a pretty nice feel to it, too). Full, malty, lightly carbonated, chewy, and a touch syrupy. Drinks much like an imperial stout. One year of age has mellowed this one out A LOT! Burn and dryness are very subdued. Alcohol is detectable, but nowhere close to offensive.

Drinkability: The initial complexity has faded, but damn was this easy to drink! Exceptionally smooth and ... the word that comes to mind is "elegant." Dangerous at 12% ABV.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2010 22:16:01 | More by ThreeWiseMen
Photo of youradhere


4.08/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tasted in a 12, 13, 14 vertical.

Bottle opened with no pop, poured dark, deep mahogany, with less red tint than the 12. Slightly more carbonation than the 12 as well. Smells like bourbon, oak, cocoa,with vinous notes. Taste is sweet and hot, lots of cocoa, more roast character and definitely more tannins than the 12; thinner mouthfeel lets this drink alright, but I prefer something chewier. Still the best out of all of them IMHO.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2010 14:49:12 | More by youradhere
Photo of younger35


3.93/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received this beer last year and for the life of me can't remember who sent it to me. I've had FW10 & 11 and they were both very solid. Excited to try this one. Drank from my Ithaca Excelsior tulip.

Appearance- Pours a pitch ass black with a nice half finger creamy dark tan head. A super thin collar is all that remains after a few min and zero lacing is left behind.
Smell- Despite how dark it is it still has a fairly familiar Barleywine smell. A light malty sweetness upfront that's full of caramel and butterscotch. A buttery sort of woodiness from the barrels that adds just a touch of vanilla. Not sure if this is aged in bourbon barrels but there is a light spirit like influence in the nose. Fairly simple, upfront nose that I don't get any hops or that usual candy like aspect. Not really roasted either despite how dark it is.
Taste- Starts with a light bit sweetness upfront with a fair amount of rich caramel and a touch of milk chocolate. No roast is really noticeable but there is that sort of astringent bitterness that you get from dark malts. A bit of vanilla from the barrels bleeds in and adds a majority of the flavor of the beer. The finish is lightly sweet with a touch of candied malt. Not an ounce of alcohol is detectable.
Mouthfeel- A touch on the thin side for a Barleywine but not a deal breaker. A light touch of carbonation that could be ratcheted up a notch.
Drinkability- Overall a pretty tasty beer but not really the Barleywine I was hoping for. I feel like the flavor could use another 'layer' as it's pretty basic (all in all I suppose). It's different in the Barleywine sense but I did enjoy it. Thanks whoever sent this!!

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2010 02:21:51 | More by younger35
Photo of charlzm


3.38/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Consumed October 10th 2010 at Blue Palms, Hollywood, CA.

Beer is essentially black with a thin tan head made of extremely fine and uniform bubbles to start. It disappears fast, but leaves plenty of sheeting on the glass.

Subdued aroma consists mainly of some chocolate and red grape.

Compared to the other Firestone Anniversary beers, this one has a smaller flavor. Somewhat porter-like in malt character: dark and roasted but not to the point of a stout. Also detected oatmeal and a slight raisin trace. Low bitterness. Not a whole lot going on, really.

Somewhat thin in the mouth.

The smallest of the big Firestones, this one is somewhat lacking in the flavor department. A large glass of this would be overkill.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2010 21:49:33 | More by charlzm
Photo of Duhast500

Rhode Island

4.85/5  rDev +10%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2010 04:08:52 | More by Duhast500
Photo of sweemzander


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

Bottle poured into a tasting glass. Thanks go out to Jim or John for sharing this one!

(A)- Pours almost a black, but brown color. Some tan froth shows up.

(S)- Dry, w/ just a touch of heat. Some caramel rich raisin and molasses. Subtle hints at vanilla. More stout-like than the others were with some roasted components.

(T)- Very rich molasses with a touch of raisin and caramel. Again, has more forward roasted components than the others did.

(M)- A good carbonation level. Has some boozy warmth, but not overwhelming. Has a nice sweetness; minimal bitterness.

(D)- Shows promise for aging. I think a year tops and this one could be as good as the 11 was

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2010 17:42:41 | More by sweemzander
Photo of fear025


3.88/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Aroma:Dark Malt, a little boozy, raisins and other dark fruit.

Appearance:Black and opaque. Very little head.

Taste:Dark bitter chocolate, slight sour cherry taste.

Mouthfeel:Medium body, some hot alcohol burn, good carbonation.

Drinkability:This beer has some harsh edges, and could definitely be improved by some age.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2010 18:35:48 | More by fear025
Photo of Stigs


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

22oz bottle split with BA'er thebouch01 - my portion poured into a Stone Levitation glass

A - the beer is slightly hazy, deep brown/ruby in color much like Dr. Pepper. only a short lived fawny tan foam and small ring sit atop. just a few speckled spots of lacing throughout the drink.

S - opens up wonderfully with notes of bourbon, brown sugar, molasses, and cola. more sweetness abounds with some vanilla bean, off-set and balanced wonderfully by some alcohol. warm and inviting.

T - begins with a big taste assult of bourbon, oak barrels, and vanilla sweetness. accented towwards the middle is some creamy milk chocolate, malted milk balls, and tobacco as it warms.

M - medium body with nice present and amplifying carbonation. very dry in the mouth and a bit sticky. finishes with lingering dark fruity sweetness, and warming alcohol.

D - we have a good one here. excellent example of blending beers, especially keeping barrel flavors in check and balance yet still showing them off. complex and delicious.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2010 14:40:37 | More by Stigs
Photo of prototypic


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

Firestone 13 pours a dark mahogany or chocolate fudge color. It's very dark, but not opaque. Light bleeds through at the edges revealing crimson highlights. A modest tan head covers it. It's only a finger or so tall (if that lucky), and dissipates quickly. I suspect the high abv murdered this one. Lacing was sticky, but light.

The nose is good, but isn't a stunner. It kicks off with a healthy mix of chocolate and caramel malts. The chocolate scent smells like a mix of sweet milk chocolate and bittersweet dark chocolate. I like that. Barrel aging imparted subtle notes of bourbon, vanilla, and oak. They're not all that strong though. Secondary scents are very subtle. There is a little coffee and residual earthiness. Perhaps it was somewhat hoppy fresh? Alcohol is noted, but doesn't suggest 12%. Goo d stuff.

The flavor definitely kicks it up a notch. The base is definitely a blend of chocolate and caramel malts. The chocolate variety seems stronger and includes flavors of sweet milk chocolate, cocoa, bittersweet dark chocolate. It's nothing short of delicious. I like the subtleness of the bourbon flavor. It's very flavorful, but doesn't overwhelm the other flavors at all. Oak and vanilla are also noted and complement the malt flavors nicely. There is some roasted coffee, light molasses, and pepper at the secondary level. There's a hint of hop remnants, but I'm not sure how hoppy this was initially. Alcohol is noticeable, but has apparently blended well. It's not hot, and doesn't seem like 12% at all. Finishes malty with a touch of bourbon and oak.

Firestone 13 has a medium body that definitely leans thick with warming. Feels very nice and smooth. I like it more and more with each passing degree. Drinkability is good. There's no question that this is a big, bold stout. But, it goes down easy for such a big beer. I'm mindful of the 12%, but will finish off the bomber with ease. One's enough though.

Firestone 13 is impressive. If memory serves correct, I prefer Firestone 11, but this is about on-par with Firestone 12. I can't say that it has any material shortcomings. The nose could use a little more strength, but that's about it. Once again, Firestone Walker has crafted an excellent anniversary release. Find a bottle if you can.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2010 02:16:07 | More by prototypic
Firestone 13 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 346 ratings.