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Firestone 15 - Anniversary Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Firestone 15 - Anniversary AleFirestone 15 - Anniversary Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

987 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 987
Reviews: 296
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 11.49%
Wants: 157
Gots: 733 | FT: 35
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  12.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

18% Helldorado (11.7% ABV) Blonde Barley Wine.
17% Sticky Monkey (12.5% ABV) English Barley Wine.
17% Bravo (13.5% ABV) Imperial Brown Ale.
13% Double Double Barrel Ale (11.5% ABV) Double Strength English Pale Ale.
11% Good Foot (14.3 ABV) American Barley Wine.
10% Velvet Merkin (8.6% ABV) Traditional Oatmeal Stout.
9% Parabola (13% ABV) Russian Imperial Oatmeal Stout.
5% Double Jack (9.5% ABV) Double India Pale Ale.

(Beer added by: brew3crew on 11-08-2011)
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Ratings: 987 | Reviews: 296 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cfrances33


4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 10/07/11, enjoyed on 8/14/12. Poured into a FW snifter.

Pour: Deep dark brown that seems clear, but is so dark you can't tell for sure. Mahogany edges. Finger and a half khaki head that leaves a little lacing at first. Definitely some legs on this one too.

Smell: Bourbon banilla, oak, some dark fruits, and a little bit of tobacco.

Taste: Bourbon vanilla, oak, chocolate, sweet figs, caramel, some tannins, and a nice tobacco smokey/sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Lighter body than I expected, with a smooth low heat bourbon taste. Points off for a weird coating I get in my throat.

Overall: Pretty nice, but I definitely prefer Parabola and Sucaba.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2012 18:23:53 | More by cfrances33
Photo of infi

New York

4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber, shared with BAs brun and r0nyn.

Poured into a brandy snifter.

Brown, cola-colored body with blood red hues. Off-white head that leaves speckled lacing upon glass.

Immensely packed with vanilla tannin, barreled oak, sharp boozy heat, caramel and burnt sugars. Incredibly complex and mellow smelling, especially considering the amount of beers in the final blend. Very potent once warmed to room temperature.

Tastes, just like style implies– very strong. Like a brandy to be sipped. Tannins, brown sugary sweetness, molasses and vanilla. Very barleywine like. Smooth, but particularly hot on the palate. Would probably be mellower after six months or more. Definitely one for the cold weather.

Medium body with low carbonation. Silky texture. Worth the buy– consider splitting the costs with someone else.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2011 20:01:38 | More by infi
Photo of Tschnab

New York

4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A ruby red pour almost mahogany with a half inch of khaki head and alcohol legs, spotty lace, little retention.

The aroma is a bourbony oaky vanilla with dark fruits and alcohol heat. The taste has these characters as well as well as a subtle chocolate and a big molasses sweetness, with candy sugar and cherries and alcohol on the finish.

Very enjoyable blend of beer here. I hoped the double jack would lend a hoppiness but I didn't detect that. I did pick up, though, a great example of barrel aging. Awesome stuff.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2012 18:31:51 | More by Tschnab
Photo of smakawhat


4.18/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into my Dogfish Head snifter glass.

A faint tan head and coffee brown is made, that doesn't stick around much, leaves a whispy top and thin collar. Body color is a nice reddish brown dark brick color, with some nice orange highlights for the light to escape.

Nose is faint milk chocolate and toffee, fairly hot and noticeable alcohol heat. Seems like a malty barleywine. Salt caramel action comes out quite noticeably. Like this caramel action, but this nose doesn't feel very complex or varied.

Taste brings some real noticeable chewy caramel, and taffy sugars. Finish is quite stinging and numbing, quite dry also. Some noticeable tight fizzy mouthfeel and carbonation. Palate gets a little richer as it warms up a bit, slightly.

Overall not too shabby but not really feeling the love or wow factor on this one. Certainly wasn't worth the price I paid for it. This is really missing the "wow" factor.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2012 22:29:17 | More by smakawhat
Photo of ReelBigwigFish

New Jersey

4.18/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Stella Chalice, this ale has an opaque dark brown color that gets to a dark amber around the edges. There is a minimal amount of light tan head that falls to loose bubbles on the edges of the glass. The aroma is of strong alcohol, coconuts, licorice, coffee, and vanilla. It sort of smells like a blend of coconut rum and bourbon.

The flavor is strong and overwhelmingly intense. Sweet boozy vanilla and coconut start it off while it blends together with dark fruit, candied sugar, and licorice. Getting towards the finish there is a dryer roasted malt espresso flavor mixing nicely with charred oak bourbon. In the end it finishes very smooth with lingering alcohol sweetness.

15th Anniversary Ale is definitely an experience, and I'm glad I had a chance to try this one. With that in mind, as delicious and complex as this beer is, I think it would be very difficult to finish it by yourself, at 12.5%abv in a 650ml bottle, this is a real sipper.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2012 20:39:17 | More by ReelBigwigFish
Photo of areich6


4.18/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoying with my good friend pschul4

A: Takes on a very dark, dark, brown color, kind of like a quad. Very little head.

S: I can detect fruit such as mangos, peaches, and black cherries all mixed with some bourbon. Quite inviting.

T: The bourbon alcohol flavor is very apparent and I cannot pick out a lot of the fruitiness that the smell so generously promised. However, as far an American Strong Ale at 12.50% goes, this is a pretty good brew.

M: Slight carbonation, pretty smooth, quite drinkable. Pretty nice.

O: Pretty good, a little less than I was expecting, but quite good.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2012 04:31:08 | More by areich6
Photo of GregSVT


4.18/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a tulip

A: Pours a light brown but darker in the bottle with a nice light tan head that fades to a ring and leaves some lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is weak at first. All I'm really getting is toasted oak, a bit of vanilla, some molasses, and some toffee. As it warms I get some brandy, red apple, and dark fruits.

T: The taste starts with brandy, apple, and bit of molasses with a touch of vanilla in the background. As it warms I get more vanilla, a bit of chocolate, and some cherry as well. The finish is closer to a belgian beer than a Strong Ale which makes this very interesting. Lots of complex flavors that are hard to pick out.

M: The feel is a tad thin but it's nothing horrible. I'd love to see a bit more thickness and creaminess.

O: I actually like this a bit more than 14 but it started out smelling exactly the same. I wish they would add more Parabola to the mix like 13 which would also bump up the mouthfeel a bit more. Not sure how this one will age given the fruit aromas and flavors from the brandy so I'd drink 'em now or within the first few years.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2012 05:07:49 | More by GregSVT
Photo of JamesShoemaker


4.16/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into two snifters. This bottle was the subject of some controversy in a recent thread, from which I learned much about being a better BA. Thanks to all the vets who provided useful criticism/advice. The bottle must be at least fifteen months old, but I imagine that it was cellared properly, considering the temperature control and the encasement.

A - based on the blend notes, it's actually darker than I expected it to be. Just under 40% barleywine, it pours more like a strong ale, dark, dark brown, lightening on the periphery. Very little head on the forced pour, no lacing. Nothing remarkable.

S - very sweet, very malty, just like you'd expect from an EBW. There's a little booze on the nose, but it's not overwhelming. Definitely the most pleasant aspect of this brew. Lingering chocolate, some butterscotch.

T - sweet, sweet, sweet. Caramel, lots of syrupy malt and barley, almost like some honey was integrated into the brewing process. It finishes sweet and pleasant. Nothing bitter. I think this bottle has benefited from its age.

M - as with most BBBWs, there's a stinging bitterness right on the end, but it's velvety, smooth, and finishes sweet on the cheeks. A burst of sweetness makes it a smooth finish. The alcohol doesn't dominate at all. Again, I think this beer has really benefited from its year+ on the shelf.

O - if it lingers, I may get another one. FW's BA program continues to impress. I've got a bottle of 16 waiting for the Elite Eight.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2013 02:48:06 | More by JamesShoemaker
Photo of clayrock81


4.16/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a brownish red with good head that left minor lace ring on top of an almost vinous aroma, at least at first. The oaky, bourbon/whiskey barrel smell, along with alcohol, is potent, as well as good chunks of sweet/spicy (caramel and roasted are my generic go to words) malts and touches of fruity citric hops. A heavy body that still goes down smooth and gives off a strong alkie bite at the end that is damn enjoyable. Beer has a pleasant mix of roasted bready malts that tag team with the bourbon barrel aging along with some spices and sweetness of caramel, molasses toffee. These beer are in cohesion with hops that come across as not only citric but dark fruit/grapefruit esque and it seems the oak/oatmeal stout elements really smooth it out so it's not too harsh/syrupy/watery. For the high ABV and different blends of malts and hops this beer really pulls it off and is dangerously sessionable.

Serving type: on-tap

01-21-2013 18:48:20 | More by clayrock81
Photo of Docer


4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: (4.0)
- Nice rich dark and mostly clear brown. Big slowly forming off-white to beige colored head. Bubbly like a barrel aged brew should look. Settles with lace all about and a thin pillow riding on top. Nice looking!

Smell: (4.5)
- Great sweet malts and holiday dessert notes. Brown sugar, molasses, vanilla from the barrels.. earthy sweet caramel.. light grassy and herbal hop spice.. little roasty tobacco, and light alcohol. Almost a touch of licorice going on. Very good.

Taste: (4.0)
- Oh my. Where to start? Rich caramel and grainy molasses sweetness. Vanilla and oak character really shines through, and blends perfectly with the bready grain, and esters from the grain. Some fig, raisin, tobacco, earthy grassy hops with a slight citrus and spicy zest. Little alcohol, but very well hidden. Really good bourbon notes. May be a bit much on the bourbon side for some, guessing this will age perfectly.

Mouth Feel: (4.5)
- Super nice medium to heavy body with the perfect carbonation. Though a very sweet beer, it isn't too overly syrupy or sticky. Quite chewy and cloying really, and dries the mouth just a touch. This is a smooth winner.

Overall: (4.0)
- A very well made and carefully blended beer. I love barleywines, and I love bourbon barrel barleywines. This turned out very good and is very well balanced. A lot of good beers went into this, and simply created a fantastic beer. Worth picking up a few.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2011 01:24:30 | More by Docer
Photo of DocJitsu


4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours into my Samuel Smith tulip glass a dark amber with a coffe foam head. The head attenuates quickly to a thin cap with no lacing on the glass. Bountiful aromas of bourbon, chocolate, and coconut with a an alcohol tinge that begins to appear the longer it is inhaled into the olfactory. Despite an uncharacteristic fizziness as the beer is poured, the mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy. The aroma of this beer creates an expectation that, frankly, gets frustrated by the first pull into the mouth. A bourbon/chocolate liqueur cocktail, perhaps. It finishes with a nuttiness that competes with the alcohol warmth. Not FW's best effort. I was really excited about this beer, given my affection for 14. Perhaps it's been to soon since my last Abacus (a FW barleywine) to give this beer an objective appraisal. To be fair, it is a quality brew, just not what I expected.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2012 02:48:02 | More by DocJitsu
Photo of SpdKilz


4.13/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – Pours a dark brown mahogany color into a tulip. About a half finger of tan head is achieved with a slight pour.

Smell – Heavy caramel and bourbon. Slight hops and citrus. A wonderful vanilla and toffee comes through at the end.

Taste – Bourbon, dark fruits such as figs and prunes, vanilla, toffee. Comes across as a barleywine first but then changes to a definite strong ale with the heavy bittersweet chocolate and caramel malt. An interesting beer versus

Mouthfeel – Thicker bodied, creamy, lower carbonation.

Overall – I had the 14 many times (both draft and bottle) and to be honest liked that more than this as of now. This is a very good beer, no doubt (and there is zero alcohol taste/warmth). Curious to see how this will age.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2011 04:34:54 | More by SpdKilz
Photo of lacqueredmouse


4.11/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz boxed bottle purchased from Belmont Station in Portland, OR, approximately 18 months ago, when it was already a little on the agèd side. Brought back to Sydney, where I sat on it for a while and then shared it with Rich and Sam.

Pours a pleasant deep umber brown colour, with a pale beige head that seemed to form swiftly, but in the end turned only into a mass of large bubbles around the edge of the glass. Body is thick, and it holds what minor straggling carbonation it has very firmly. Looks thick and old. That's good.

Nose is oaky and a little flat, perhaps with a tad of oxidation coming through, giving a slightly buttery note. Stacks of sweetness, but more oak. Slight vinous notes, a little roast and a hint of balsamic. I do think that it has a fair amount of oxidation and age on it, but there's still plenty to enjoy here.

Taste is very smooth and very pleasant. Here, the oxidation has been kinder, leaving a pleasant smoothness to complement the intrinsic oak notes. There's some roast and a richness on the back of the palate, suggesting sultanas and baked rye bread. Some estery notes still come through, more of those raisin notes and a touch of sweet overripe banana. It's very pleasant.

Feel is good, but has lost a bit of carbonation: just a fine tingling would help it a lot, but I fear that's something that has come and gone.

Overall, this is still great stuff, but I feel as though it's showing its age. As much as I feel as though you should be able to cellar these beers, the ones I've had in the past have been much superior to this one, and I had them sooner after their release. The next time, I'll choose to drink my FW anniversary ale earlier.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2013 07:29:07 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of Etan


4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a snifter.

A: Pours a deep reddish brown - dark and barleywine-like. Small egg-shell head.

S: Smooth bourbon and oak, marshmallow, vanilla tannins, malty body within. Dried apricot, raisin, fig, sweet brown sugar and squash. Hint of sticky hop. Great aroma.

T: Marshmallow, bitterish oak and bourbon, maple, lots of vanilla and dark fruits, molasses, slight chocolate. Tannic with some hop bitterness in the finish.

M: Medium carbonation, thick body, that usual boozy sting you get with most FW barrel-aged beers.

O: Once again, nice barrel character, but the astringent tannins and booze are a bit much. Seems like the hoppiness from the Double Jack didn't help things either, as the bitterness just seemed to bolster the elements upsetting the smoothness of the beer. Excellent, but could be better.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2012 18:22:00 | More by Etan
Photo of davey101


4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber into an over sized wine glass at cellar temperature.

A - Aggressive pour yields a frothy 3 finger head. This eventually dies down and after a while all traces of foam are gone. Decent lacing, but amazing alcohol legs. Clear dark brown body with great red tint. Sits in the glass like a hard liquor.

S - Loads of boozy bourbon and oak notes. Vanilla, toffee, candied dark fruits and caramel malts. Hops are not noticeable.

T - Bourbon, vanilla, and oak are the dominant tastes here. In the background is raisins, toffee, caramel and just a hint of citrus. The alcohol is present but in the best way possible. Very pleasant warming sensation.

M - The best part of this beer for me. It just drinks so smooth. The alcohol is present but its not harsh at all. The body isn't quite medium, but it just works. This is like drinking a nice malty flavored bourbon.

O - The aromas and flavors aren't earth shattering, but the smoothness of this beer makes it a really great sipper. A really enjoyable barrel aged beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2012 04:29:09 | More by davey101
Photo of Phelps


4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet.

Burgundy, dark yet partially clear when brewed from above. Amber highlights. Half a finger of cream-colored, frothy head descends to a thin ring after a while.

So much toffee in the nose, and it’s all buttery, sweet and rich. Deeper inspection reveals toasted bread covered with dark cherry marmalade, toasted coconut, cocoa nibs, and maybe even some orange juice.

The flavor is bright and fruity. Lots of citrus peel, dark cherry and brandy or sherry. The barrels impart notes of burnt oak, dark chocolate and a fairly heavy, boozy bourbon flavor. Some toasted coconut emerges as well. Compared to the tap version of this beer, this iteration of 15 is more like a barleywine, with less sweet toffee and more citrus. Fairly acrid, bitter finish.

I’d place the body right under medium-light, and it’s nice and smooth with light, tingly carbonation. Alcohol is tongue-numbing and actually a bit high.

I hate to be one of those guys, but Firestone 15 is just better from the tap. Whereas the glass I tasted before was sweeter and more like a barrel-aged old ale, the bottle gives me flavors that scream bitter barleywine. Less toffee-laden, more bitter and less smooth all around.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2011 18:57:22 | More by Phelps
Photo of Jwale73

Rhode Island

4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle served in my Captain Lawrence tulip. Pours a dark mahogany hue with a loose, quarter inch off-white head. Not much off the nose that is distinguishable - I get substantial malt aromas, as well as a suggestion of bourbon and burnt turbinado sugar and prunes. Taste reveals dark toasted malts, vanilla, a trace of butter and a pleasant, but not overpowering bourbon character. There is also a pleasant hops bite the expresses itself at the onset. Mouthfeel is medium-light with an assertive carbonation and a slightly creamy texture. Overall, a very good beer. Not something I would age, as I don't think it will stand the test of time; however, it's really quite good. That said, I had the opportunity to taste this beer on tap and I thought it was fantastic. Definitely worth trying if you have the opportunity; however, if you can try it on draft, don't pass it up.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2011 01:09:50 | More by Jwale73
Photo of kawilliams81


4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a 16 oz. snifter.

A- Pours a dark brown with some amber. Dark cream head with good lacing that resides after 30 seconds or so.

S- Chocolate, tobacco, leather, bourbon, vanilla, oak

T- Roasted and amber malts, caramel, some bourbon, chocolate, fairly large pine hop flavors.

M- Full body, but heavy are super thick. Some hottness is present. Low/medium carbonation with a dry finish.

O- Another awesome beer from FW. Had 14 a year old and thought is was better than this beer is fresh, but will like to see what a year of aging will do to this beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2011 02:06:07 | More by kawilliams81
Photo of argock


4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz brown bomber into a clear glass snifter. Shared with my wife on my recent birthday. Reviewed from notes.

A: Dusky lightish brown with short-lived and slightly foamy beige head which leaves no lacing.

S: Caramel notes with some light herbal and citrus hopping. Some bourbon and vanilla character. Alcohol is surprisingly fairly tame in the aroma. Very lush and sumptuous aroma.

T: Falls on the sweet barleywine side of the equation, although there are plenty of dark malt flavors, light roast, some dark chocolate, and also a good dose of citrus and herbal hops despite this being 1+ years old. The barleywine components dominate with a range of caramel malt flavors accentuated by the wonderful, nicely balanced barrel character with light bourbon and a pretty hefty vanilla note. Bitterness is low-medium. Alcohol character brings a little sweetness but is not obtrusive at all.

M: This seemed way too thin for the style. The carbonation was fairly low but not too surprising for a big beer. The body was medium at most and left a little bit of a watery impression in the finish.

O: A really nice beer although not as good as previous FW Anniversary beers I have had previously, mainly due to the mouthfeel and that this falls on the sweet side.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2013 00:57:05 | More by argock
Photo of ArrogantB


4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle $22.99. This may be the freshest Firestone anniversary I've had yet, poured into two stemless snifters. Dark brown, looks red when I hold it up to the light, brief head. Smells good, coconut, alcohol, pretty good. Flavor is nice, chocolate, booze, well done. This is pretty much on par with all the previous iterations of Firestone Anniversary with the exception of 11 which was sublime. Still, I can;t help but think that Abacus and Parabola are just as good if not better than the anniversary blends and much cheaper.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2011 04:22:03 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of Jeffo


4.08/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to Doodler for sending this beer over the pond and while back. Doopie, Pasqual and myself lined up the latest three FW anniversary beers a couple weeks back. Good fun guys. Bonjour 18 ans...

From a bomber into a snifter

APPERANCE: Pours a small, medium looking, off-white head with lousy retention. Color is a slightly hazy ruby red and no carbonation is evident. Head quickly fades to only a ring, which remains until the end but leaves no lacing down the glass. Nothing special.

SMELL: Heavy bourbon barrel smell for sure. Bourbon, oak, vanilla all over the nose, with some caramel and toffee aromas from the base beer probably. Bold, enticing, and demands attention.

TASTE: Follows the nose, but with an added push of caramel and toffee sweetness up front. Lots of the sweet malts, with an impressive bourbon barrel added to the mix. Bourbon, oak, and vanilla of course, with and strong barrel dominated aftertaste lingering on the palate. Some sweet caramel lingers alongside the barrel flavors as well.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Not overly creamy on the palate, but goes down fine and finishes slightly sticky. Carbonation is actually a touch prickly perhaps. Some heat lingers on the palate.

OVERALL: Really tasty stuff. A little too much heat and a bigger, creamier palate would have helped, but as far as bourbon barrel dominant beers are concerned, this is one of the better ones out there. Really glad to get a shot at this one, and it was fun to line up three years of the anniversary series at once. Thanks again for the bottle Doodler. This one comes highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2012 20:36:42 | More by Jeffo
Photo of yamar68


4.06/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Swampy tobacco brown body with little activity. A half finger of off-white head retains rather well before sinking down to a tight collar which laces quite well.

Rich toffee and caramel covered with sweet bourbon, molasses and brown sugar. Sweet dark malts, intense plum and fig. Even with a pronounced bourbon presence, the alcohol is pretty tame. Some leathery port type aromas... smooth stuff.

Sweet cola and red fruits dominate the palate. Some dirty brown ale flavors with some mellow bourbon and vanilla oak. Again, the alcohol is rather subdued which I can definitely appreciate. Butterscotch and toffee, pretty cloying at the finish (hi Bryan).

Very grateful to have had the opportunity to try this one. Thanks Tom!

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2013 02:54:46 | More by yamar68
Photo of hooliganlife


4.05/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pour was a deep yet clear brown, very dark. light creamy head that gave way quickly. little to no lacing.

smooth bourbon. slightly sweet. very faint hint of alcohol.

sweet and smooth. light bourbon and really smooth vanilla. some darker brown ale flavors with some dark sweet fruit. some heat on the finish.

moderate carbonation with a slightly smooth.

pretty awesome for being so fresh, but seems more one dimensional than previous vintages.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2012 22:21:09 | More by hooliganlife


4.05/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

10oz draft served in a chalice for $5.50. Sampled today, 1/21/12.

A: Not much of a looker. Just after being poured, the beer arrives with no head, and only a whispy off-white crescent shaped collar remains. The body is dark brown with amber showing through on the edges - and even part way into the glass. Mostly opaque. No lacing.

S: Caramel is by far the dominant feature of the nose, coming across with homemade-like decadency. Toffee moves in with a light whiff of butterscotch further in the background. Bourbon notes are gentle, bringing in pure vanilla and a sweet nuttiness - something like almond extract. Toasted marshmallow, coconut and maple syrup are a possibility. Alcohol is most definitely there, but it's pretty well concealed on the nose.

T: Long lasting, syruppy sweet flavor and even sweeter than the nose suggested. This is more appropriately a dessert beer than 14 is or ever was. More toasted and less roasted for that matter. Bourbon and toffee infused rum come through judiciously, warming on the back end and exhale. Caramel remains prominent.

M: Mouthcoating but never cloying. Perfect level of carbonation throughout. Finishes just dry enough to prepare for the next sip. Great once again.

O: A small step back from 14 but does not disappoint. Firestone Walker is on another planet with their blending ability.

Serving type: on-tap

01-21-2012 21:11:05 | More by FeDUBBELFIST
Photo of Tone


4.05/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a black color. 1/3 inch head of an off-tan color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of alcohol, oak, yeast, sweet malt, slight roasted malt, and hops. Fits the style of an American Strong Ale. It is a blend of a Barleywine, IPA, and RIS!. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of alcohol, oak, sweet malt, slight roasted malt, hops, and slight yeast. Overall, very strong, but not overpoweringly liquor-centric. Good appearance, aroma, feel, blend, and body.

Serving type: on-tap

08-12-2012 13:37:11 | More by Tone
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