Firestone 15 - Anniversary Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 1,012 | Reviews: 298 | Display Reviews Only:
3.98/5 rDev -8.5%
The smell is a complex blend of the various scents from the multitude of beers that went together into the construction of this ale. First off there is a noticeable coconut scent followed by bourbon and brandy. You can easily pull out tones of vanilla as well as chocolate malts. There is a hint of oak and dark fruits that bring all of the scents together pleasantly. Surprisingly you don’t get a strong Alcohol scent with this being a 12.5 ABV beer.
The flavor is almost as complex as the scent and the beer mixture combination itself. The various beers blend together to create a tantalizing flavor combination of Vanilla, Coconut, Bourbon, Molasses, dark fruits and brown sugar. There noticeable chocolate and caramel malt accents that help solidify the flavor combinations. Unlike the scent you can pick up just a touch of the alcohol taste to it. The finish is a pleasant sweetness on the back of the tongue.
This is a full bodied beer. There is some creamy coating to the mouth, but not a lot. It has a light carbonation that makes it easy to drink.
I really enjoyed this beer and I was pleasantly surprised by its complex taste. Based on the fact that it is a combination of 8 different beers, I figured it would be so busy that it would be difficult to enjoy. That isn’t the case. I enjoyed all 22 ounces of the beer and it was just as delicious all the way to the last drop. I will say that I did prefer it when it warmed up closer to room temperature than when I pulled it out of the refrigerator. If you get a chance to get this limited edition beer, I would suggest trying it. It’s well worth it.
11-27-2011 01:28:45 | More by Contagion
4/5 rDev -8%
Beer poured from bottle into a stemmed Tulip-shaped glass
A - Dark red colored body, slightly on the brown side; liquid chocolaty look; small beige head formed, less than one finger in size; well carbonated; lights out cloudiness
S - Vanilla; maple; roasted malt back-end; has a heavy barleywine smell; liquor-grain alcohol nose; dark fruit like figs and dates; brown sugar; light american coffee aromas
T - Figs and dates; brown sugar; maple syrup; sweet; dark chocolate taste; oak and toffee; finishes with a light coffee flavor
M - Creamy; chewy; slightly effervescent
D - Great drink; easy to consume; unique blend of different beers brings a whole new meaning to collaboration brews; definitely worth having around dessert time
11-26-2011 02:34:49 | More by ferrari29
3.88/5 rDev -10.8%
A: Poured a deep brown with low carbonation and a nice dirty white cap
S: Coconut, vanilla, toasty, caramel, toffee, honey and light booze
T: Black liquorice, vanilla, coconut, toasted malt. Light bourbon, chocolate, oats, booze, caramel, tobacco, dark fruits, toffee are second play with a very light hop presence on end
M: Sticky, big body, low carbonation
O: Very good but my least favorite of the anny beers
11-26-2011 02:01:51 | More by barleywinefiend
3.9/5 rDev -10.3%
Served in tulip. Poured a very dark brown, almost a light black, with just a slight bit of red on the edges. The beer had just a very little bit of brown head and had no retention or lacing.
The aroma was very good, a nice amount of roast and grain, but the dominant scent was bourbon. Lots of bourbon, maybe a bit too much. The flavors were pretty much the same, bourbon, grain and roast and had a noticeable alcohol taste.
The body was and clean but a fair bit thinner than I look for in a big beer like this. Drinkability was very good for such a big beer, but I'm not sure I'd have two in a row. Overall, this is a pretty good beer, bordering on very good. This certainly a must try if you see it.
11-24-2011 18:51:06 | More by beertunes
4.38/5 rDev +0.7%
Pours a clear crimson brown color with a 1 inch foamy tan head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Random dots of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of coconut, wood, brown sugar, toffee, dark fruits, and some slight citrus zest. Taste is of toasted coconut, wood, toffee, some fruit, and citrus zest. A nice alcohol warmth in the back of the throat with each sip. This beer has a nice level of carbonation with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good blended beer and another winner from the barrel program in my opinion. This is my first of their Anniversary series and I must say I enjoyed this one very much.
11-24-2011 05:56:45 | More by UCLABrewN84
4.1/5 rDev -5.7%
22oz bottle $22.99. This may be the freshest Firestone anniversary I've had yet, poured into two stemless snifters. Dark brown, looks red when I hold it up to the light, brief head. Smells good, coconut, alcohol, pretty good. Flavor is nice, chocolate, booze, well done. This is pretty much on par with all the previous iterations of Firestone Anniversary with the exception of 11 which was sublime. Still, I can;t help but think that Abacus and Parabola are just as good if not better than the anniversary blends and much cheaper.
11-24-2011 04:22:03 | More by ArrogantB
4.1/5 rDev -5.7%
Served in a 16 oz. snifter.
A- Pours a dark brown with some amber. Dark cream head with good lacing that resides after 30 seconds or so.
S- Chocolate, tobacco, leather, bourbon, vanilla, oak
T- Roasted and amber malts, caramel, some bourbon, chocolate, fairly large pine hop flavors.
M- Full body, but heavy are super thick. Some hottness is present. Low/medium carbonation with a dry finish.
O- Another awesome beer from FW. Had 14 a year old and thought is was better than this beer is fresh, but will like to see what a year of aging will do to this beer.
11-24-2011 02:06:07 | More by kawilliams81
4.47/5 rDev +2.8%
On tap at falling rock and also opened a bottle. Pours a nice caramel color with tan head. Smells of bourbon, brown sugar, vanilla and caramel. A slight hoppiness in the background. The bourbon and brandy are very strong in the nose. Sipping this reveals a sweet, bourbony, caramel beer with nice hints of vanilla. Finishes with a little hop bitterness that I don't care for. Otherwise quite nice. Body is thick and sticky with medium carbonation. Overall quite good and will hopefully get better once the hops from the double jack fade.
11-24-2011 01:59:04 | More by waltonc
4.38/5 rDev +0.7%
this is a divine offering. a blend of firestone's wood aged beers. pours a mahagony brown with a very thin tan head. smells like a glass of fine whiskey, vanilla notes, sweet and malty. smells rich and time honored. there is a modest alcohol aroma too, but very refined. taste is sensational, impossibly complex. there is just a touch of hop bitterness from the double jack, a ton of woody sweetness and a caramel vein throughout. youd be hard pressed to find a beer of this level of craftsmanship in the united states, unrivaled in my opinion as far as creativeness and complexity. worth every bit of the 25dollars it costs. wonderful warm buzz too
11-23-2011 16:20:53 | More by StonedTrippin
3.78/5 rDev -13.1%
22 oz. bottle,
A: Pours a dark brown with a light tan head. Good retention, no lace.
S: Lots of vanilla and caramel, notes of coffee and dark chocolate.
T: Very boozy initially, but does blow off, though the whole beer has an ethyl undercurrent. Lots of toffee and caramel. Lots of malt character with a nice complex finish with some vanilla which I like.
M: Medium to full-bodied, not overly sugary which is nice. Hot to a point though I wouldn't call it boozy. Light aftertaste.
O: Better than 14 fresh for sure, reminds me a lot of 13 at this stage which aged great. 11 and 12 still are on another level early on.
11-23-2011 06:10:51 | More by Halcyondays
4.47/5 rDev +2.8%
My review from www.twistedsnifter.com
Appearance: Pours a deep amber with crimson hues. Dark but not black, the clarity of this beer is evident when held to the light. The head is light and wispy, sandy in color and constantly replenished by a thin stream of carbonation.
Aroma: The nose on this is surprisingly hop forward. Big citrus and passion fruit from American hops with a solid alcohol note. As it warms the hops give way to dark fruits, chocolate, vanilla and bourbon. Big. Luxurious. Bourbon. Some brandy too.
Flavor: Wow. This is a sweet beer with lots of caramel and ripe fruits. The hop flavor is still there without being overly bitter. Plum, raisin and sweet fruit characters contrast nicely to notes of chocolate and tobacco. There is a strong presence of brandy and bourbon, wood and vanilla in the finish to remind you that this is something special.
Mouthfeel: Fifteen is a heavy beer. Residual sugar leaves it with a thick mouthfeel but it manages this without coming across as cloying. The time these beers spent in barrels are reflected with a roundness of character that is difficult to describe. An acceptable and enjoyable amount of oxidation helps soften the edges.
Overall: I was truly impressed with this beer. This year’s version has the malt character of an English Barleywine, the hop profile of an IPA and a barrel character to rival the best. A big, bold beer that manages to be balanced and restrained at the same time.
11-22-2011 22:40:14 | More by lowendfrequency
4.38/5 rDev +0.7%
On-tap at Papago Brewing in Scottsdale, AZ for a Firestone Walker special event on 11/18/11.
A - Deep, dark brown with no head whatsoever. Alcohol sticks to the glass like legs on a wine.
S - Caramelized sugar, alcohol, a brandy-like smell.
T - Holy hell. Sweet alcohol that tingles the taste buds. Toffee. Butterscotch. Vanilla. Brown sugar. Browned butter. Poached fruits. Has a syrupy character. You can almost taste each beer in the blend. Definite barleywine accents and even some roastiness from the Velvet Merlin.
M - Alcohol lingers like scotch and dries the throat. Smooth, sweet, syrupy but not cloying. Heavy malt profile. Definitely some unfermented sugars.
At first I scoffed at the thought of a blended beer. Especially a beer with eight or so different beers blended within it. But Firestone Walker resides in wine country and has a wine background so I knew they would pull it off well. It's an amazing and unique beer and I'm grateful to have the opportunity to try it.
11-22-2011 09:16:22 | More by Gatch
4/5 rDev -8%
On tap at Far Bar in Little Tokyo
Pours a deep burgundy color, no apparent head, lots of creamy swirls around the top of the glass. A faint ring appears along the rim of the glass, stick very well, no bubbles or any sign of carbonation, looks very much like cognac. The aromas are strong alcohol, malty grains and tangy dark fruits, nice balance that is both strong and bold but also sweet and inviting. The flavors are very strong, lots of cognac flavors, strong alcohol and malty grains. Raisin, plum and tangy grain also make appearances, the alcohol is very firm but not hot at all. The barleywine elements are the clear winners here, very strong on the barleywine. It's very thick and syrupy, no carbonation at all, but it's not a bad thing. This is pushing the limits of beer, really more of a fine liquor, it's definitely good now, will do amazingly well with age, will have to grab a bottle and see where it ends up in a few years.
11-22-2011 07:07:26 | More by kevanb
4/5 rDev -8%
Tasted nov. 19th 2011 (from notes)
A - an almost root beer looking color (much more red though), not a lot of off white/tan head and no head retention or lacing
S - very sweet and boozey, vanilla, molasses, licorice, red wine blend, nutmeg, hops, toasty malts, almond extract, bourbon, bread yeast, flowers, red wine and whiskey barrels, lots of wood, earth, cherry, dried fruits and just all around fruity
T - vanilla, nuts, red wine, tons of oak, terrior, bourbon, chocolate, anise, dessert spices, to s of toasted and very sweet malts, a very slight coffee, toffee, fruity, a very slight but fruity hop, cherry, very dark chocolate dipped berries and more booze
M - medium minus body, low acidity, huge complexity, balanced for the level of complexity and very long finish
D - this is a wonderful beer. Wouldn't say any novice should even attempt this beer, but anyone who likes a huge, boozey, very complex and delicious ale, you should give this one a whirl. I think aging this beer would and will taste great with nice aging
Final thought - $20 a bottle is high in price, but this beer is good now and will be amazing later
11-22-2011 06:20:01 | More by whatthehull
4.53/5 rDev +4.1%
22 oz bottle poured into snifter.
Pours dark chocolate brown with some reddish-caramel colors near the edges. 1 inch egg shell colored head with small bubbles surprised me...for a beer with 12.5 abv I was impressed that it stuck around for a few minutes before dissipating. Minimal lacing with long alcohol legs.
The nose on this is outstanding! Toasted Coconut, caramel, toffee, damp wood, figs, dried cherry, coco, vanilla, some bourbon-like alcohol. All are layered in perfectly with only the coconut being a dominant component. WOW!
Taste is almost as impressive as the nose. It starts out firing off flavors quickly...hops, coconut, dried plums and figs; then it starts to slow down and develop with a very nice blend of oak-caramel-leather-earthiness. Alcohol hits you just before giving way to a luscious coconut/chocolate finish that lingers as the alcohol burn comes back to hit you in the back of your throat.
This is medium to full bodied with good carbonation for the style. Lots going on with this but it never feels too heavy, very mouth coating.
This is the most complex beer I've had in a while and I enjoyed it thoroughly. The depth achieved speaks volumes about the barrel aging program that Firestone Walker has put together and shows that blending is not a lost art. It's just an art reserved for a select few. Well done!
11-22-2011 02:39:48 | More by BeerOnTheWall
Firestone 15 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 1,012 ratings.