Firestone 15 - Anniversary Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 993 | Reviews: 296 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Pahn:
4.47/5 rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
22oz bottle into Duvel tulip.
Appearance: Free pour yields a half inch offwhite head that dissipates quickly leaving a couple spots of lacing. Pours a clear but dark red brown, and leaves occasional spots of lacing.
Smell: From the bottle: caramel-y bourbon and piny hops. In the glass: more hops, citrusy and a bit dank. Coconut-y oak and bourbon influence present as a background that grows to dominance in short order. Spicy bourbon notes beyond just creamy oak type aromas. More caramel. Dark fruit somewhere between grape and cherry comes out as a welcome mainstay in the aroma as well.
Taste: First sip: surprisingly and impressively smooth and integrated. Somehow slightly herbal and citrusy hops swim around in caramel and vanilla oak and bourbon. Next sip has a more chocolaty bite.
Early on, my thoughts are: this beer is great. It's got deep, "decadent" flavors, but it comes across as more refreshing than decadent, due to the healthy carbonation plus vibrancy and lightness from the hop flavors. It's not a dessert beer, but it highlights many of the flavors that epitomize dessert beers. Interesting (and good!) stuff.
Lots going on in each sip. Sugary fresh American-made English barleywine hard candy flavors (like in Brooklyn Monster Ale or Founders Curmudgeon), the grape/cherry from the nose, caramel, some fresh bread dipped in chocolate, occasional oily and citrusy hop flavors that don't come across as dissonant. Finish is long and very reminiscent of drinking actual bourbon (it's hot, but active and spicy). Every so often has elements from a sugary, east coast DIPA, but they're tamed and highlighted by oak and bourbon.
This year's Firestone Walker Anniversary beer is a great blend. I like it better than last year's.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. High side of moderate carbonation. Smooth, approaching creamy. Decent bitterness.
Overall: This beer is a success; a one of a kind, deep, enjoyable barrel aged beer formed out of blending several great beers. Looking back, I had trouble justifying the $25~ I spent on FW14, but I have no qualms with the $20~ I spent on FW15. It's worth paying premium for a beer like this. I'll greatly enjoy killing the rest of this bottle over the next hour or two.
Serving type: bottle
12-20-2011 00:01:35 | More by Pahn
More User Reviews:
Firestone 15 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 993 ratings.