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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

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,052
Reviews: 302
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 164
Gots: 743 | FT: 38
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 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.

Photo of StoutFest
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of Gosox8787
3.5/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Bomber bottle poured into my Cigar City Tulip. Served just below room temperature.

Appearance: Much lighter in color from the other Firestone Anniversary beers I've had. The high percentage of lighter barleywines in the blend is really apparent. Pours a cola light medium to dark brown. Pours a slight beige head that recedes quickly. Almost perfectly resembles Coke.

Aroma: Big caramel, brown sugar and molasses upfront. Very sweet. Bourbon and brandy notes are definitely present in the back. Also, a surprising amount of heat. I am not detecting a lot of the Double Jack in here, as I am getting mostly cloying sweetness.

Taste: Brown sugar, honey, and molasses really dominate. Oak and vanilla add some nice backing notes and work well with the sweetness. I definitely still get the bourbon and brandy. In some ways this blend is very nuanced and nice, but I can't help but feel it is too sweet and could have done much better with something to balance all the barleywines. I guess my final impression is a bit too cloyingly sweet. I would be curious to see how this ages though, as I think a little less heat and the components blending together better might serve this well.

Mouthfeel: Plenty of carbonation to not weight this down too much. Medium to full mouthfeel.

Overall, not as successful as some of the other Firestone Walker beers. It is overly sweet at times, but I never found it hard to drink. I also felt it was overly hot at times too. An interesting beer that might age well, but left me a bit disappointed considering the standard I usually hold Firestone to.

Photo of perrymarcus
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle served in a snifter.
bottled 10/07/11 (wish i could get double jack this fresh. not that this is exceedingly fresh but the most recent batch of double jack on the shelves around here is-, ok, sorry i digress. but we're talking ~6 months.)

pours a mahogany tone, sits a borderline black in the glass; yields a short-lived tan head.

as anticipated the nose is malt-forward. bourbon is clearly showcased, along with notes of vanilla and caramel and hints of chocolate and molasses.

flavor is intriguing, a lot more going on than i expected going solely off the aroma. vanilla, caramel, and molasses pull through (along with bourbon of course), but there's also a slight citric presence - as others have noted likely coming from the double jack - some raisin, and a touch of chocolate. complex and tasty. definitely on the sweet side but not overly sweet for me, though i can see where it might be for others. alcohol presence is there but not nearly as imposing as you might expect for a 12.5% ABV beer... medium-plus bodied mouthfeel with below-average carbonation.

overall i'm right in-between an A- and a solid A on this one, with A- seeming a touch low and A striking me as a hair too high. forced to choose, i'll give it the .5 bump. a really enjoyable beer.

Photo of ms11781
3.57/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a deep brown, nearly opaque, with some reddish/amber hues on the sides and bottom of the glass. There is almost no head at the pour and what little foam there is immediately disappears.

A good deal going on in the nose. A big bourbon aroma comes across first but quickly backs off, allowing some other characteristics to come across. When chillled, some chocolate notes are present, along with some caramel and toffee. When the beer warms the chocolate takes a backseat to a dominant caramel and coffee aroma with some nice vanilla and oak notes.

The taste follows along with the nose but it is very sweet, perhaps too sweet at times. The bourbon and vanilla notes are excellent but the caramel and toffee notes aren't so subtle and provide a substantial sweetness. There is a brown sugar aspect that wasn't in the nose that plays a huge part in the flavor profile. There is a nice warming at the back of the throat from some alcohol.

The body is pretty thick and viscous with low carbonation. Although the carbonation is low it feels a bit prickly on the tongue. Combined with the finishing alcohol, it gives the beer a bit of a kick that keeps it from being cloying.

Overall, this is an ok beer. It's pretty much a darker barleywine and those characteristics come through. It's too sweet for my liking. The aroma is great but nearly every characteristic in the nose comes across as sweet as possible in the taste. This beer would be extremely good if the sugary sweetness was dialed back a bit.

Photo of shanghai55
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of Destral
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of bpfrush
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

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