Firestone 15 - Anniversary Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 1,012 | Reviews: 298 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Pahn:
4.47/5 rDev +2.8%
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.
12-20-2011 00:01:35 | More by Pahn
More User Reviews:
4.48/5 rDev +3%
Had on tap at Cole's last night.Poured into a goblet a deep dark chocolate brown with a minimal head.Deep oaky and vanilla notes in the nose mixed with deep chocolate and alcohol,it's boozy but not in your face boozy.Mellow and thick in the mouth with chocolate and whiskey flavors dominating,some vanilla and sweet booze linger in the finish.A great sipping beer,complexand smooth.Great stuff!
10-02-2012 13:20:56 | More by oberon
4.93/5 rDev +13.3%
A - Pours a deep dark mahogany, slight head, decent lacing. A great looking beer.
S - Caramel, vanilla, oak and cherry. Mild bourbon.
T - Caramel, vanilla and bourbon just like the nose. Light oak notes. A nicely blended malt and hop character. Perfect balance.
M - Very smooth and with light creaminess. Barely any carbonation. Goes down quite smooth for the booziness in the nose.
O - Wow, I really enjoyed this beer. I can't see were all the negativity is coming from on this one. It is a little pricey but I think it's worth it. I can't wait to see this beer in a year. Should be an A+ then.
02-07-2012 19:37:25 | More by SkiBum22
3.05/5 rDev -29.9%
22 oz bottle. Pours brown with a medium creamy light tan head that goes to a thin film and leaves a little lacing.
The aroma is sweet dark fruits (plum, raisin) and vinous alcohol.
The flavor is sweet sugary dark fruits with some strong harsh alcohol in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and a little watery with low carbonation.
Overall, decent, but too sweet and boozy.
10-05-2012 05:24:04 | More by Beaver13
4.6/5 rDev +5.7%
22 oz bottle a bit above fridge temp poured into a snifter
Pours out nearly opaque black, maybe a super dark brown? About one fingers worth of light tan to yellow colored head off the pour that quickLy fades to a thick ring and patchy foam. Lacing is quick to fall back into the beer, but some really nice alcohol legs.
Lots of bourbon and barrel character in the aroma, vanilla. Maybe a bit of brandy as well. Quite warming. Lots of wood. Sweet caramel, and maybe even hints of some sort of grain, maybe rye? Or maybe this comes from the wood?
Very nice, flavors meld together so nicely. Bourbon at the forefront with some brandy as well, a nice barrel character, oaky vanilla, quite warming on the palate. Lots of sweetness, dark caramel, maybe a bit of burnt sugars. Some grainy wood.
Thick and sweet, but not overly so. Boozey and warming all over.
This beer really brings it with bourbon and brandy flavors and some amazing barrel characteristics. Warming for sure, but quite amazing how it can have some much bourbon flavor without being overly boozey. Quite possibly one of the best BA beers I've had.
09-22-2013 18:55:29 | More by dogfishandi
4.28/5 rDev -1.6%
Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA
A very dark ruby color, bordering on dark brown with a creamy, tight, small-bubbled off-white head that leaves the glass sticky with irregular lines of lace. This is a significantly lighter colored beer when compared to previous Firestone Walker Anniversary beers.
The aroma comes together quite nicely. It's rich in chocolate, coconut, a bit of dark fruit, and whipped cream sweetness. There's also a bright, almost citrus, hop component as well.
The flavor follows the aroma similarly, with the citrus hops actually making quite an impact. Along with the bright hops are flavors of coconut, chocolate, slight roast, and a bit of dark cherry.
Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.
A very nice blend and a distinct departure from previous Firestone Anniversary beers. I like this one, and am interested in how it will age, but it doesn't seem the prime candidate for cellaring where the previous iterations clearly were.
03-07-2012 19:22:14 | More by ehammond1
Firestone 15 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 1,012 ratings.