Firestone 13 - Anniversary Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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

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381 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 381
Reviews: 224
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: 8.39%
Wants: 294
Gots: 128 | 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)
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Ratings: 381 | Reviews: 224 | Display Reviews Only:
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4/5  rDev -9.3%

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4/5  rDev -9.3%

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4/5  rDev -9.3%

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4/5  rDev -9.3%

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4/5  rDev -9.3%

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4/5  rDev -9.3%

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4/5  rDev -9.3%

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4/5  rDev -9.3%

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4/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of oglmcdgl
4/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of Gfunk720
4.05/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shared with my buddy Johnny. Out of my SN XXX glass...

A- Pours pretty black in color, with a healthy khahki colored head. It looks a little thin to the eye, nice lacing though.

S- Smells beautiful, a sweet blend of bourbon and malt. Chocolate, oak, and dark fruit.

T- It's a nice subtle taste at first, which transitions to a oaky bourbon sweet flavor. More chocolate, and cream. There is a nice lingering hoppy aftertaste.

M- Carbonation level is excellent for the style. The mouthfeel is a little too light though. I just wish it was a bit thicker.

O- Well, it's pretty darn drinkable. The 12% alcohol is barely noticeable till you start to catch a buzz. The body is the only thing holding this back.

Good stuff, however I think I liked 14 a little bit better. A very complex and tasty beer, that I would gladly drink again.

Photo of waltonc
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.

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):

Photo of stephens101
4.05/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally decided to wake this one from its year long hibernation.

Thin tan and quickly fading head off a medium pour down the middle of my favorite snifter. Black in color with faint red hues when held to light. A few dotted lines of lace move up, down and around the glass.

Rich sweet malt and cherry aroma with a little vanilla and spice noticed on a second take. Complex and unique to the palate with sweet and smokey malts, milk chocolate, dried dark fruits, licorice, and subtle piny hops at the far edges.

Creamy all the way through with a medium to heavy body. Smooth and inviting. Alcohol is superbly blended and almost indiscernible.

Very distinct brew here. Has some Barleywine qualities which make for an interesting juxtaposition of tastes when you figure in the chocolate and vanilla notes.

Been looking forward to popping the cap on this one for a while, and have to say it was worth the wait. Damn fine brew despite, or maybe because of, its eccentricities.

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.

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.

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.

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

Thanks to foofaa for bringing this one to Stakem's Fish Fry.

A - Pours dark brown, bordering on black, with a nice one finger tall tan head leaving spotty streaks of lace down the glass.

S - Smells of coffee, brown sugar, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon and a bit of oak. There is still a bit of alcohol present but it doesn't get in the way. Still very nice.

T - Starts off with a big sugary kick - mostly chocolate, toffee, vanilla and brown sugar - but it fades quickly, leaving hints of coffee grounds, dark fruits and some drying oak. Finish is a mix of dark roast and a bit of sweetness. Once the carbonation died the flavors went with it. Still pretty good none the less.

M - Pretty smooth feel initially. The flavors work really well together but the carb goes a little flat toward the end of my sample.

O - I liked this one but I would say that I like the others I have had more than this one. It has some great flavors but was a little out of balance for my tastes.

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

Looks: pours a thick molasses-brown, with the faintest reddish-amber highlights. A small but persistent cappuccino-colored head rests atop the liquid for a short time, then dissipates to near-nothingness.

Smells: sweet. So many smells going on: vanilla, brandy, raisins, leather, faint cinnamon, a bit of orange. Like the best characters of red and white wine have been mixed together, I get the pungent aromas of deep red grapes and spices with the light citric pep of the nose of a chardonnay. Subtle notes of dark chocolate and fruity belgian yeast. This really is exquisite.

Tastes: Wooden and spicy. A not-so-subtle but perfectly in-check bourbon character imparts notes of alcohol-ridden vanilla and heavy oakiness. Sweet cola, dried plums, a slight roasted malt character. Spicy brandy flavors round out the back with cinnamon, orange peel and overripe red grapes. The finish is equally brandy-esque; the tangy and alcoholic flavors mingling and lingering near the back of the mouth. Vanilla ice cream with brandy-infused plum sauce.

Feels: like a present. The mouthfeel is an unexpectedly heavy; a creamy delight. Full-bodied and viscous, it encompasses the mouth without feeling oily or overpowering. The carbonation is light yet peppery, and the finish is surprisingly crisp. At 12 percent, some burn is expected, and it's definitely noticeable, but not scorchingly so.

Drinks: like blended bliss. The major component beers of 13 are all ones I enjoy, so it would make sense I like this guy a lot. It's a fruity, bourbony, roasty, spicy mix (in that order). Very well done.

Photo of bret27
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.

Photo of kirok1999
4.1/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a bit of off white to brown head. This little bit fades quickly.
Smell has lots of sweet milk chocolate, caramel, date and a bit of spice.
The taste doesn't quite match the smell. It tastes just a bit weak in comparison. Nice mild chocolate, rich fruit and a sweet yet dry finish. A very nice caramel note blends well with the hops. Feels nice and creamy with very little carbonation apparent. Delicious.

Photo of mikey711
4.13/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this bottle from Weibull during the White Whale BIF

A: Dark brown with some light able to shine through. Tan head that is a quarter inch thick and holds ok. Some lace.

S: Caramel, roastiness, smokiness, oak, vanilla, bourbon, wood. Very nice blend of flavors, all more towards the sweetside but some balance is provided by the smoke and roast. Also some chocolate

T: Nice caramel and butterscotch and chocolate notes to start, some toasted nuttiness and coconut. Mikd wood notes and some warming bourbon. There was a bit of a syrup quality to it as well.

M: Good body with not much heat, but there was almost a saplike or syrup like quality that gave it a weird chewy feel at times

D: I enjoyed this one over the course of a few hours and it was a very pleasurable experience. Probably best shared but if you have the time you can finish it on your own

Photo of FosterJM
4.13/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

554th Review on BA
Bottle to snifter

Thanks to George byway of Vince byway of Jazz for this one

App- As the beer flows from the bottle in the light it's very ruby red. As it settles in the glass with a nice 1 1/2 finger head it's a very sodaish brown with some decent cling after each sip that slowly fades.

Smell- If this makes sense, in my head it does. It's a very soft aromatic scent of heavy bourbon. Vanilla, oak and some Liquidy milk chocolate notes. Not what I was expecting at all.

Taste- Well very surprised by this beer. It's very balanced between the barrel characters and the liquid chocolate flavors. A little boozy if drank too fast. A well done sipping beer. The flavors are big and delicate however.

Mouth- The ABV stays with me for awhile as does the oak. It's medium bodied and very similarly carbonated as well.

Drink- A very tasty beer two years on. I am becoming quite fond of the barrel program at FW. I'd like this one again. Well crafted, not super boozy, smooth and very flavorful.

Photo of tmoneyba
4.13/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared at IBG 2010 Winterfest. Poured dark brown with a moderate to large frothy brown head that mostly lasted with excellent lacing. Heavy toasted malt, woody with a small bourbon alcohol aroma. Full body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation. Heavy bourbon woody and malt flavor with a heavy bourbon sweet finish of long duration. This is a standout beer.

Photo of smakawhat
4.15/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter at a tasting. Thanks to Russwbeck for the bottle!

Mahogany brown bottle, slightly silky coming out with a chestnut hue, and a faint tan collar. Looks slightly dead and lifeless with not much going on, almost kind of sludgy.

Real interesting nose. Still quite a good amount of heat on this thing, with some good bouquet of berried fruits. Hints of cherry, purple grapes, and the a kirsch brandy action a bit particularly.

Palate is real impressive. Good toffee thickness with a candy bar crispness. Real good wood action with an almost cigar box character, splintered sandal wood, but it's also very boozy and hot. Palate feel kind of stays neutral and simple, with not a lot of complexity or depth, and just lets the flavors do the basic talking. A good hint of hot alcohol, but many of the flavors are just struggling to get past it.

As impressive as this is, it feels like it's ready to jump overboard any second. Still very nice, but it seems much of the oomph has left the bottle. Still delivers nicely.

Firestone 13 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 381 ratings.