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Firestone 15 - Anniversary Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,052 Ratings
no score

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Ratings: 1,052
Reviews: 302
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 163
Gots: 742 | FT: 37
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:
Beer added by: brew3crew on 11-08-2011

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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,052 | Reviews: 302 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of vic21234
3.92/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a snifter. Been looking forward to this one...

A- A dark brown with slight white/ caramel colored head that quickly fades.

S- Alcohol-bourbon sting is there. Also getting hints of coffee, vanilla, and dark malts.

T- Very interesting. Up front is the alcohol sting from the bourbon notes. I also taste the coffee, chocolate, vanilla, oaky notes you would experience if sipping a BA stout. At the back of the taste I get citrusy hops.

M- Not overly heavy. Some heat from the alcohol sting. The hoppy taste at the end of each sip lingers.

Really interesting beer for sure. It's definitely a hot one, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. However, I think this one will be better with some age on it.

Photo of imagery
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of davidbowers13
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of SpdKilz
4.15/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

Photo of WankelEngine
4.62/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a snifter

A: Very dark mahogany brown bordering on black. Almost opaque. The is a slight foam head that disappears quickly to a faint rim around the edge.

S: The smell is deep and malty. Warm, brown malts dominate with a bit of darker chocolate/coffee scent. The burn of alcohol is also prominent. There are notes of cherries, raisins and rum along with just a hint of bitter hops.

T: There are a lot of nuances to this beer. Bourbon is a prominent flavor that I did not catch in the smell. There is still a strong malt presence which lends some dark coffee notes and chocolate. This is complemented by dark fruits, cherries and a light vanilla flavor. Hop bitterness and spicy oak and molasses.

M: Moderate to thick mouthfeel and a little bit syrupy. Alcohol heat is noticeable but manageable.

O: Excellent. Incredibly nuanced, potent and balanced.

Photo of steve8robin
3.5/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Came across 1 bottle on the shelves in MA. Score! 22oz bottle...

A: A nice deep clear copper color with a tan colored head that fades quickly to very small bubbles atop the brew. Good.

S: I get some grassy hop upfront with some sweet toffee quickly followed by some more sweet caramel towards the back. Good.

T: A boozy bourbon taste upfront blended with a hint of creamy walnut. This is quickly followed by an acidy rye. More bourbon burn on the back. This one needs to sit for a while. Very one dimensional right now. Ok.

M: Medium body with a great carbonation. A boozy finish. Good.

O: All in all, this needs some time to calm down. Not very many flavors shine through on this one right now. It's very heavy on the bourbon! I would hope the flavors get better over time.

Photo of stonermouse
4.28/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an oversized wine glass.

Pours dark reddish-brown with a minimal, quick-fading head.

Aroma is surprisingly muted. There's a hint of generic booziness, with some sweet fruits mixed in. Tough to pick up, though.

The flavor is spectacular and smooth, however. Huge bourbon notes, with lots of welcoming sweetness. Nice cherry flavor as well, and some nice vanilla contributes to the smoothness. There's a lot of depth here, and you almost literally can pick out the base brews one by one.

Mouthfeel is so smooth and clean for such a sweet brew. Finshes drier than the flavor for sure.

Great, great flavor here. Exceeded my high expectations.

Photo of Thingus
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Out of a bottle into a tulip, live tasting...

Appearance; pours a lovely mahogany brown, ruby along the edges and when viewed through the top down through the beer. One finger off white, light tan head that quickly dissipates.

Smell; brandy, bourbon, brown sugar, maple, vanilla, oak definitely solid alcohol presence on the nose. Some may find it overwhelming but to my nose it nicely offsets the sweet smells I get.

Taste; this is a very forward beer with alcohol, tons of bourbon, brandy, dark fruit, vanilla, oak, and molasses...

Mouthfeel; is very smooth, somewhere between medium to full body with a viscous to syrupy mouthfeel... Getting the body pegged on this one is difficult for me for some reason... It feels thicker than the color would let on.. Very still although not flat, quite similar to a barley wine in my opinion, which would make sense given the barley wine contributions to this beer approach 50% (46% to be exact)

Overall; XV is extremely complex, and there are a ton of aromas and flavors I couldn't decipher in this beer... It is most similar to barley wines that I've had previously... Strong alcohol presence, and I'm curious to see how this beer mellows and matures with age. Certainly a great brew, but at the moment, a little raucous and immature in my opinion, absolutely drinkable and enjoyable but I'm also glad to have another bottle to revisit in a couple years!!

Photo of infi
4.22/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Photo of largadeer
3.58/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear tawny body with a small but lasting head.

A good mix of bourbon and brandy aromas, quite a bit of molasses, caramel and tropical fruit, along with a rather harsh ethanol character.

Palate is hot but pretty nice, surprisingly quite fruity with a big molasses/brown sugar character. Lots of brandy and bourbon, but not as much heat as the nose implies. The body is medium, a bit thin compared to past blends. Finishes a bit harsh, though I'm not sure if age will really improve this beer. Overall probably my least favorite of the FW anniversary blends.

Photo of usofar
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of metalgdog
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.55/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Photo of gbbass16
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of homebrew311
4.37/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Photo of mikereaser
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Ineedabeerhere
3.5/5  rDev -19.7%

Photo of crbooher
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of weeare138
4.62/5  rDev +6%
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.

Photo of jophish17
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.67/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Photo of MinorThreat
4.97/5  rDev +14%
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.

Photo of Jakers90
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Pellinore1
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of sdhomebrewer
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Firestone 15 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 1,052 ratings.