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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.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

990 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 990
Reviews: 296
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 11.49%
Wants: 158
Gots: 737 | FT: 36
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: 990 | Reviews: 296 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of VelvetExtract
VelvetExtract

Massachusetts

4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours an attractive brown with ruby highlights. Head is frothy, bubbly and sandy in color. Head is standard in size and it leaves consistent yet unconnected lacing speckles.

S-Sweet molasses and burnt sugar that is brilliantly intertwined with oak via the barrel. This beer definitely has its own unique aroma. Has a 'hard-to-describe' component to the aroma. I tend to think that the mixture of the surprising hop scent mixed with the oak creates the uniqueness. Nutty (specifically cashews) and at some points fruity (banana yogurt) as well. Smells in bunches here. Every sniff brings a new component.

T-Wow. This beer is uncannily smooth and complex. Oak is a perfect highlight to the dozens of potential flavors here. Whiskey cake, nuts, banana bread, silky chocolate. This beer also boasts the most noticeable and lasting tobacco flavor I have ever come across. Brown sugar and molasses. Even the hops come out to play here. Staggeringly complex.

M-Heavy body. Booze is noticeable but hidden very, very well. Carbonation is quite mellow but I enjoy its rather low level of intensity. Lack of noticeable carbonation really accentuates the smooth, creamy, slick feel. Feel is rich, to say the least.

O/D-This beer blew me away. I did not really know what to expect. This beer has so many levels of flavor. Absolutely love the stressed tobacco flavor. A big beer that needs to be tried. Sip slowly, not only because its a strong drink, but also because you may miss the depth of this one if it goes down too quick.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2011 03:04:25 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of gbbass16
gbbass16

Missouri

4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

12-24-2011 23:32:40 | More by gbbass16
Photo of homebrew311
homebrew311

Illinois

4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours mahogany with auburn highlight, very little in the head department, nice lacing.

S: nose is chock full of toasted coconut and vanilla, notes of honey, some leather and grapeskin

T: flavors are very well melded, decadant coconut and marshmallow, vanilla is there as well, some hints at hops. Great balance.

Mf: medium body, low carbonation

O: this is any expertly blended brew, I can't really pick out the individual base beers due to the exceptional blend.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2011 07:18:00 | More by homebrew311
Photo of mikereaser
mikereaser

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

12-24-2011 03:51:22 | More by mikereaser
Photo of Ineedabeerhere
Ineedabeerhere

Rhode Island

3.5/5  rDev -19.5%

12-23-2011 17:54:01 | More by Ineedabeerhere
Photo of crbooher
crbooher

California

4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

12-23-2011 04:29:07 | More by crbooher
Photo of weeare138
weeare138

Pennsylvania

4.6/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appears a dense mahogany with a beige head that slowly fades into a mild cap and collar. Scattered spots of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of oak, rum, bourbon, cocoa, vanilla, caramel, molasses, and brown sugar.
Taste is of the aromas with a huge chunk of nougat and vanilla with caramel and cocoa.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, chewy, ballet, with some heat in the background.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2011 02:36:45 | More by weeare138
Photo of jophish17
jophish17

Georgia

4/5  rDev -8%

12-23-2011 00:24:25 | More by jophish17
Photo of trxxpaxxs
trxxpaxxs

New York

4.65/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: When held to the light, this beer shows that it is an amazingly deep shade of red. There is only a small amount of white head that settles nicely along the top of the beer. There is minimal lacing as it drinks.

S: This beer smells amazing. It's big on the bourbon and brandy. There are layers of vanilla, oak, molasses, and candied stone fruits. There is a sweetness in there that is perfectly balanced with the large boozy hotness.

T: This beer does not fool around. Everything in the nose comes through in the taste. The alcohol is extremely noticeable, but it's never overwhelming. The vanilla/oak shine throughout as well. It's absolutely fantastic.

M: Full bodied beer. This beer is mega smooth. There is a wonderful sweetness mingling with high alcohol. The lasting remnants remind me a bit of campfires.

O: I'm super impressed with this beer. I think it is outstanding. I'd love to see what this is like in a few years, but I feel it might lose some of it's balance once the booze begins to mellow. I'm glad I have an extra bottle to find out.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2011 00:24:11 | More by trxxpaxxs
Photo of MinorThreat
MinorThreat

Nebraska

4.97/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served from a 22oz Bomber Poured into Duvel Tulip

A- Deep and dark with a subtle ruby/mahogany hint when held to light.

S- While a bit colder (+/- 50) Oak was the predominant scent with underlying molasses, chocolate orange and vanilla. As it warmed up the sweet chocolate and citrus really became more noticeable.

T-So much going on in this one. Tons of bourbon like qualities such as vanilla and slight spice. The oak is somehow weaved through the great flavors of chocolate, coffee, vanilla, molasses and slight sherry without being too over the top. Very well integrated with the slightest hint of booziness (in a great way)

M-Rich and viscous

O-Exceptional, simply put. I will be aging a few bottles for a year or two but am very happy I was unable to resist the urge to get into one early.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2011 18:59:15 | More by MinorThreat
Photo of Jakers90
Jakers90

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

12-22-2011 01:12:33 | More by Jakers90
Photo of Pellinore1
Pellinore1

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

12-21-2011 13:33:44 | More by Pellinore1
Photo of sdhomebrewer
sdhomebrewer

California

4/5  rDev -8%

12-21-2011 00:25:02 | More by sdhomebrewer
Photo of whahoppened
whahoppened

California

4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a blend of eight beers, each of which surely has at least three fruits, nuts, herbs, pastries, etc. listed in its tasting notes somewhere. So does this mean I need to drop at least twenty-four names to properly review XV? If so, pre-emptive surrender.

FW builds its brand on barrels, and takes wine-envy a step further by presenting this scarce potion as a clinic in blending. A starting lineup of Central Coast winemakers led by Wine Spectator cover boy Justin Smith are behind the Barleywine/Brown Ale/IPA mashup here, and those of us who haven't tasted all eight component beers can only imagine how they have integrated into this incestuously malty Brady Bunch.

The first pour out of the bomber stank of bourbon, a ragged vanilla/dill that is the guarantee of sloppy-seconds American wood. As oxygen set in this outcast integrated, ingratiated, complementing the sticky caramel and oloroso sherry flavors that are reminiscent of unfermented wort.

Shit, I wish I had decanted this beer an hour before drinking it. It's an infant and needs a slap on the posterior to begin gasping air and embracing life.

In blends, elements come together only to disappear. And to beget new elements, promises and problems that would never have had a chance in eight different bottles. Bottom line is that XV is delicious. The only frontier left for this indispensable brewery is to apply the winemaker's conceit of "terroir" to beer. Fire walk with me.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2011 05:58:39 | More by whahoppened
Photo of Pahn
Pahn

New York

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
Photo of BARFLYB
BARFLYB

Pennsylvania

3.33/5  rDev -23.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-20-2011 00:00:50 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of brez8791
brez8791

Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +14.9%

12-19-2011 18:33:30 | More by brez8791
Photo of mhaugo
mhaugo

California

5/5  rDev +14.9%

12-19-2011 15:38:40 | More by mhaugo
Photo of sjstraub
sjstraub

Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

12-19-2011 03:33:51 | More by sjstraub
Photo of krause316
krause316

Illinois

5/5  rDev +14.9%

12-18-2011 23:39:03 | More by krause316
Photo of Daktyls
Daktyls

Massachusetts

4.7/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark mahogany color with a minimal head that dissipates to a fine lacing almost immediately.

S: Hints of bourbon and oak are immediately present with some hints of vanilla and a slight breadiness. I'm getting a bit of chocolate and coffee as well as some dark fruits as well.

T: Wow that's good. Notes of vanilla and bourbon are present up front with dark cocoa and bitter coffee on the back end along with some dark fruits, figs and dates.

M: Heavy and complex flavors with a light amount of carbonation that suits this beer quite well.

O: Fantastic. This is one of those unfortunate times when I wish this beer/type of beer was not in fact a limited release, but available year round.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2011 19:41:12 | More by Daktyls
Photo of huadog
huadog

California

4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

12-18-2011 04:41:15 | More by huadog
Photo of muttyd
muttyd

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

12-18-2011 03:57:35 | More by muttyd
Photo of amart80
amart80

Missouri

4/5  rDev -8%

12-18-2011 02:52:14 | More by amart80
Photo of brealbg
brealbg

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

12-18-2011 02:51:30 | More by brealbg
Firestone 15 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 990 ratings.