1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Firestone 15 - Anniversary Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,059 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,059
Reviews: 303
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 164
Gots: 743 | 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:
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.
View: Beers (76) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,059 | Reviews: 303 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of flexabull
4.04/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cola brown color with a small white head.

Aromas are chocolatey, with toasted coconut, vanilla, light booze, and a light earthiness. Smells very pleasant and complex.

Taste is nutty, cola like, lightly sweet, with notes of chocolate, coconut, and vanilla. Finish is lightly boozy, caramel like, with some toasted oak flavors. Complex, tasty, and very drinkable, alcohol is hidden very well.

Mouthfeel is smooth, but a bit on the thin side.

Overall, another nice anniversary beer. This one is unfortunately the weakest of the bunch though. Still a solid, complex, and tasty beer. But it pales a bit in comparison to 10-14. The weaker mouthfeel makes me think this one might not stand up to aging as well as some of the others.

Photo of lurpy1
4.24/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Muled this one home from Sacramento for myself. At $22 for a bomber, it's the most expensive I've ever bought. Still, the beer goulash concept is cool, and I'm looking forward to it. Split into 2 pint glasses. Gotta get some other glassware - the pint is not suitable for this kind of beer.

Elegant packaging (in cardboard),but on first pour, is not horribly impressive, but not awful either - little to no head, sitting on top of a Dr. Pepper colored pour.

Smell is great, bourbon, vanilla, malt, molasses, some indistinct fruitiness and an overall but again indistinct sweet.

A bourbon, woody experiences encompasses the taste. Vanilla comes through, as does some of the malty. The booze stands up and gives a big hello, the taste is not very alcoholic, at the same time, one sip lets you know that XV means business.

I found XV a bit over carbonated, and the massive alcohol ran interference. Still, pretty smooth. However, my wife had a beast of a time choking this down due to the booze content.

A very, very good beer, really a mutated barleywine at the end of the day. At $22, though, probably a 1-time experience for me.

Photo of marqoid
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of oline73
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this on-tap at Max's. Served in a sample glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark mahogany with a layer of smooth off white head. The head disappears completely.

Smell: Very sweet with some dark fruit and bourbon barrel. Caramel and alcohol with a very mild hint of soy sauce.

Taste: Quite sweet from the malt with some vanilla and caramel from the barrel. There is some bitterness and very hot alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Thick body with smooth carbonation and a slick finish. There is a warmth from the alcohol.

Overall: I thought this one could use some age, but I still enjoyed the blend. The sweet aftertaste was good and the taste was still able to shine.

Photo of Shaggy9356
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of marct
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a snifter at Fountainhead.

Appearance: This has a color that is on the darker side for a barleywine - a full brown color with a bit of mahogany color in the center. A small tan head fades to a collar fairly quickly and does not leave any lace.

Smell: The bourbon really jumps out into the nose. Gooey caramel and vanilla complement an English malt bill, bringing out some notes of fig, dates, and peat. A bit of coconut as well.

Taste: The flavor is strong on the bourbon as well. It is the first flavor on the tongue, preempting dark roasted malts, gooey caramel, and some dark fruits. The figs, dates, and raisins get a bit of peat and take on a bourbon soaked flavor due to the intense barrel character. Some vanilla, lots of oak, and more alcohol intensity in bourbon form come through at the end.

Mouthfeel: The beer itself has a malty sweetness throughout, but this is mostly negated by a very intense bourbon and oak dryness. The carbonation helps to bring out a creamy feel, but it does not quite go far enough.

Overall: This one definitely has all of the signs of being raw; it is fairly hot, with the bourbon overwhelming some of the base flavors, which haven't seemed to blend together that well yet. Some time will help mellow this out a bit, and it will undoubtedly improve over the next year or two.

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of crusian
2.67/5  rDev -38.8%
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 pokesbeerdude
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of crewfan16
4.77/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured from a bomber into a sam adam's pint glass. have high hopes for this one, as it was a tad expensive ($20)

a- dark ruby brown with a 1/2" of khaki head. light shines through slightly with more red around the edges.

s- bourbon, vanilla, oak caramel malt, a little raisin. crazy complex

t- holy crap thats good. bourbon and oak biscuit caramel, vanilla then goes into the DIPA type flavors of hops and sweet malt then changes again back to stout like flavors of coffee, roasted malt and a little chocolate. wow. one of the most complex beers i have tasted.

m- not a ton of carbonation, which is expected. creamy silky feel. flavors linger nicely on the palate. abv is really well hidden. incredibly drinkable.

overall, this is an amazing brew. such complex and powerful flavors. you can really taste many of the different blended beers throughout. I wish i could get some more...but alas probably cant. insanely good.

Photo of PHKrames
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of stawn
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of mcgwire756
3/5  rDev -31.2%

Photo of bpfishback
4.97/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is blackish brown, barely transparent with some undertones of red. Head fades fairly quickly but leaves some lacing on the glass.

First smell is a familiar bourbon barrel aged smell, slight vanilla, sticky sweetness, then caramel, maybe slight oxidation, candied plums, cherries, chocolate, toffee, and a bit of spice.

Taste is dark fruits at first, cherries and plums. The dark fruit lingers for awhile, and after what seems like hours you get a finish of bitter chocolate and coffee.

The mouthfeel is very creamy, I would love to known the FG of this beer, it has a fullness in its mouthfeel but it is not cloying, it's a big beer yet I want to drink more and more.

I am really enjoying this beer. I was excited to try it and now I see why. An incredible balance between sweet and bitter, a beer with multiple dimensions, a work of art.

Photo of 2neardead
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of RohoMech
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of lballstar
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of Amdy
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of jh1982
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of leprakhan
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of hansgruber
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Vonerichs
3.95/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown color with light brown head that dissipates fast.

Smell is vanilla, fig, brown sugar, and toffee.

The taste is boozy. Vanilla, brown sugar, toffee. It is a little too sweet, but I'm able to get past that as the rest of the flavor is good.

Mouthfeel is thick and sticky. The sweetness really comes into play in the mouthfeel and is a bit much.

Overall, a really good beer. My only real knock on it is the cloyingly sweet flavor and texture. Otherwise, I really enjoyed it.

Photo of Beerontwowheels
5/5  rDev +14.7%

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

On tap at Max's last night.

The beer pours a fairly dark brown color with good head retention and decent lacing. The beer smells terrific, as I pick up considerable milk chocolate, vanilla, light cherry and coffee. There's is also a considerable aroma of bourbon, which becomes increasingly pronounced as this beer warms. The flavor profile replicates the nose, and while absoltely delicious, this beer is definitely a bit on the sweet side. The alcohol is also pretty noticeable (it's not hot or heavy on the finish, but you can definitely tell you're drinking something with a considerable abv.), though I thought it well integrated into the flavor profile. Mouthfeel is full and fairly soft, with a long, rich, sweet finish. The carbonation comes across as fairly low, which I think works well with this particular beer.

An excellent beer, though given the sweetness and considerable alcohol, it's hard to imagine ever consuming more than one glass of this at a sitting.

Firestone 15 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 1,059 ratings.