1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,042 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,042
Reviews: 299
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 11.01%
Wants: 159
Gots: 745 | 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)
View: Beers (79) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 1,042 | Reviews: 299 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of alesaram
1/5  rDev -77.1%

Photo of SteveRod
1/5  rDev -77.1%

Photo of searcy
1/5  rDev -77.1%

Photo of baseball1976
1.27/5  rDev -70.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

I had this on tap at Papago Brewing in Phoenix. It was recommended by one of the workers. I was put off by the price, but when others around me said that it was quite good, I gave in and got one. Let me say, I wish I had passed.

It came in a snifter, so I knew it was going to be strong. Here is what I thought:

A - looks great. I love a dark beer, and dark this is.

S - I was put off by this. The first warning sign. It did not smell appealing at all. It was almost as the beer was spoiled. It just had a unique smell.

T - Not good. All I could taste was bitterness and alcohol...and lots of the alcohol. The aftertaste was better, almost sweet, but the alcohol lingered and was not enjoyable.

MF - well, if I did not enjoy the taste, there is not much sense to go into any further detail here.

Overall - a let down. I was expecting the holy grail of beer and what I got was something loaded with the taste of alcohol. Chaulk it up as a loss.

Sadly, I think I am the only person who did not like this.

Photo of Deivos
2/5  rDev -54.1%

Photo of caskstrength
2.2/5  rDev -49.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

2nd bottle I've had. I wish I had only bought one. (or none)

Pours a cola brown, adequate carbonation. Looks sort of thin.

Smells are dr. pepper with some cheap bourbon (or Southern Comfort) thrown in. Some esters come through (didn't like those in Abacus either). No richness or deep dark smells.

Tastes are, not surprisingly, dr. pepper with some cheap brown spirits thrown in. A warm mixed drink sitting on the table you tried a few hours later after the party, just for shits and giggles. Simple brown sugar sweetness with some poorly matched alcohol is not what I was expecting here.

Thinner than it should be, but it matches the thin flavors, so at least it's consistent.

Poured it out. This beer is a failure. I didn't have Abacus fresh, but whatever went wrong with that beer over time went wrong here in spades.
I guess I'm not a Firestone Walker barrel guy, so more for all you.

Photo of podunkparte
2.2/5  rDev -49.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I love FW 14. I realize every Anniversary beer is different altogether, but I had high hopes for 15.

Poured into a 12oz New Belgium snifter.

A: Deep dark red when held to the light. About a 1/2 finger light tan head that disappeared quickly. Barely any lacing at all. Meh.

S: Dry, unsweetened toasted coconut. That's all I get

T: Hint of an initial sweetness to begin that never delivers. Gives way to that trademark coconut flavor that was delicious in the 14 (accompanied by great sweet and roasty flavors) but is sadly revealed to not stand on its own here. Once you swallow that coconut flavor is gone and you have no aftertaste but a bit of strange dryness with a lingering alcohol essence. I compare it to tasting a very high alcohol vodka. Very disappointing. I find myself not looking forward to the next sip and that's sad.

M: Thin and dry. Nothing to really say here.

O: Sorry, but this is not a good beer. There's no depth, no character that I found in Parabola, Abacus, and FW14. Too dry, to thin, too uni-flavored.

Photo of funkel81
2.5/5  rDev -42.7%

Photo of crusian
2.53/5  rDev -42%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

All these positive reviews... I had to chime in.
Bottle from awesome girlfriend from Boston.
Going to skip all the pleasantries.
Nose is nice, I can actually pick out ipa, barley wine, oak. Nice.
Taste is not good. It is boozy and messy. A huge disappointment. I loved 13 and 14. This one is not good. I do taste the oak, vanilla, and it is nice. After you get through that, it is a mess. Tastes like a really hot oak aged barley wine. I am having a hard time drinking it. It will be good in a few years, absolutely. I feel that this is getting rated higher due to price and that it is a firestone anniversary beer. Huge let down.

Photo of Omer4176
2.75/5  rDev -36.9%

Photo of rudy0908
2.75/5  rDev -36.9%

Photo of rwilde
3/5  rDev -31.2%

Photo of jmadrigal2
3/5  rDev -31.2%

Photo of alalvarez75
3/5  rDev -31.2%

Photo of 11millsown113
3/5  rDev -31.2%

Photo of mcgwire756
3/5  rDev -31.2%

Photo of KiMiRaiK
3/5  rDev -31.2%

Photo of Beaver13
3.05/5  rDev -30%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of Arbitrator
3.1/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Chilled bottle into a glass, courtesy of Nanoslug. Thanks!

A: Pours a dark maroon body with good clarity. A half-finger of tan head develops upon the pour, but it doesn't retain or leave lace.

S: A dark fruit-dominated beer, giving off a bouquet of figs, plums, dates. Bourbon barrels are prominent, as well as a treacly port note. Brown sugar, caramel, molasses. Some orange zest. This reminds me heavily of Firestone XIV on the nose. It's pretty hot, with a noticeable singe.

T: The taste is more muddled than the nose. Dark fruits meld together, blending into washes of bourbon, brandy, and caramelized sugar. I miss the coconut and bold vanilla character that define some of the best Firestone blends. Plenty of alcohol with a brash, nose-singing spicy burn. I'm concerned about how this will age. In my experience, sharp, bold flavors with a lot of heat are the best criteria for aging candidates. This has a lot of heat, but the flavors themselves are mellow and flow together. I suspect it will only become dull with time.

M: Medium-bodied; it's a bit thin, but it coats the tongue and leaves slick flavors. Unfortunately, the blending hasn't served to make the flavors distinct and layered, the way I would expect from a refined and well-blended beer. This one tastes slightly harsh and unpolished. It's young.

O: I am glad to have tried this. If it's around in a year and is receiving strong recommendations, I might buy a bottle. But as I said above, I don't think this beer will be a good candidate for aging. And it's not particularly impressive right now. Too bad.

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.13/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From 22oz bottle to CBS snifter on 1/26/12
*From notes

-- Thanks, John --

A: It looks a bit like a minimally filtered apple cider. A good pour yields a .25 finger head that dissolves a bit quicker then I'd like. Not a whole lot of lacing, though the collar is solid.

S: A decent amount of hops hit the nose first. As I dig a bit deeper, I get some candy sugar and earthy malt, though there isn't a lot of barrel presence on this.

T: Brown sugar up front. The mid is a bit bitter from the hops, though the malt stunts it's longevity. The finish is muted, as the woody character isn't quite up to snuff.

M: Undercarbed and underwhelmingly thin.

O: A rare dissapointment from Firestone. Considering this is a $20+ bottle, I'm thrilled to have ticked it rather then purchased. Here's to hoping this is like new Coke: a mere aberration.

Photo of dougofthefuture
3.18/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed as part of Blind Bif #6:

A. Deep amber, with little head. It is clearly syrupy, but still maintains a clean, filtered look. 3.5

S. Hops surprisingly, are the dominating component here. Definitely pine. With that is a medicinally alcohol-sweetness that is mildly offensive, but not too bad. 3

T&M. This is definitely a barleywine or a strong ale, packing a boozy punch. It also does not seem thin, even at colder temps. Still, it stays fairly dry from start to finish thanks to a strong piney hop character. I think there is a touch of bourbon playing out in the finish, but there definitely is some drying oak character. As it warms, a nice burnt toasted malt flavor and a subtle complementing vanilla come out. It seems to hit a sweet spot at cool temps, but then things get weird. Booze comes on strong, throwing everything out of balance. It is thick enough for the style, but not enough to support the ABV. 3/3.5

O. Certainly a lot of depth and complexity, I'd probably try this one from time to time if it were a local. 22 ounces was too much for me though. 3A. Deep amber, with little head. It is clearly syrupy, but still maintains a clean, filtered look. 3.5

S. Hops surprisingly, are the dominating component here. Definitely pine. With that is a medicinally alcohol-sweetness that is mildly offensive, but not too bad. 3

T&M. This is definitely a barleywine or a strong ale, packing a boozy punch. It also does not seem thin, even at colder temps. Still, it stays fairly dry from start to finish thanks to a strong piney hop character. I think there is a touch of bourbon playing out in the finish, but there definitely is some drying oak character. As it warms, a nice burnt toasted malt flavor and a subtle complementing vanilla come out. It seems to hit a sweet spot at cool temps, but then things get weird. Booze comes on strong, throwing everything out of balance. It is thick enough for the style, but not enough to support the ABV. 3/3.5

O. Certainly a lot of depth and complexity, I'd probably try this one from time to time if it were a local. 22 ounces was too much for me though. 3

Photo of chippo33
3.25/5  rDev -25.5%

Photo of bum732
3.3/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

S: Bourbon and oak up front, dark brandied figs, brown sugar, liquorice. Pumpernickle as it warms.

L: Dark brown, not much head or retention.

T: Bourbon up front with some bready sweetness. Lots of vanilla with toasted pecans. Medium low neutral bitterness with touch of alcohol. Finishes with additional bourbon notes.

M: Medium full body, medium carbonation.

Ok, not as good as 14. Not as complex, kind of a one-noted barleywine, which is too bad since i usually love blends.

Photo of BARFLYB
3.33/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On Tap at Blue Monkey

Firestone fifteen is dark shoe polish brown with dark red tints in color with a centimeter or two of dark coffee brown foam. Leaves minor sticks and has pretty nice retention. It does look rather inviting. Smell takes at least 15 minutes to come out off the tap. Toasted oak, wet wood, bourbon scent, vanilla, almonds and some citrus zest from the double jack. It smells like 14 with DJ basically. Letting this sit for a while, I get citrus from the DJ up front backed by what im guessing is the blong barleywine. Oak plays a big part with faint wood mixing in with the bourbon. Faint coconut and almonds in the taste with a nice roasty taste from the malts, velvet? More citrus seems to round this one out.Im not all that thrilled about it. A nice firm body approaching full. A slight syrupy vibe on certain sips and I find the carb to be a bit lacking. The body is a step down in strength from fourteen. A longish aftertaste. I had a bottle of this and find the tap improves it slightly in texture and taste, but all together I think Im done with this beer.

Photo of Brewermeister
3.35/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours dark brown with a slight head that dissipates quickly leaving little lacing. Smells like booze. Mouthfeel is a bit watery.
Tastes very alcoholic; bourbon and tabacco present at first. As it warms up other flavors become noticable like vanilla and dark fruits. I was very dissapointed because 14 was one of my favorite beers and 15 falls very short.

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Firestone 15 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 1,042 ratings.