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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 womencantsail
3.65/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brownish color with a small tan head. Smells of whiskey, milk chocolate, and vanilla, for the most part. A bit of wood and some toffee and caramel. The flavor is somewhat muted, even when warm. There is some milk chocolate, cocoa powder, whiskey, oak, and vanilla, though. On the thin side of medium in body with low to medium carbonation.

Photo of vasdef42
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of mkotsayfan
4.2/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a New Belgium globe. Pours a cola-like color (black with ruby) with about a finger of head that dissipates quickly. The aroma that stands out the most to me are the barleywine characteristics of dark fruits, along with some coconut and vanilla flavors. The taste has some heavy bourbon characteristics because of the barrel aging, along with the slight hops kick from the Double Jack, the same flavors from the aroma, and some roasted malts. The mouthfeel is surprisingly medium/thin with decent carbonation, and goes down very easy for a 12.5% beer.

Overall, a darn good beer I wouldn't mind revisiting again. I think I would enjoy it more if the balance of barleywine and stout was 50/50, but I enjoyed it, much more than other barleywines I've had.

Photo of Chico1985
4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light brownish orange, nice off-white head eventually reduced to a cap leaving some good lace.

Smell is good but a bit faint, surprising considering how strong the other Anniversary's were. Bourbon, caramel, vanilla, slight chocolate.

Taste is a big bourbon/vanilla/toffee bomb, caramel, honey, brown sugar, decent hop presence and some dark fruit. It's an interesting blend, it almost reminds me of bourbon soaked caramel popcorn...but in a good way. It is sweeter than previous Anniversary beers but I didn't find it cloying, my 8oz went quickly and I wanted more. Taste would probably be a 4.25 if that were an option.

Low-ish carbonation, slightly syrupy, big bourbon flavor but not very boozy. I actually found this less boozy than 14 fresh.

Mostly has a bourbon-blonde-barleywine feel so it makes sense that's what made up most of the blend, but it feels like many of the other beers are lost in the mix. A nice change up to the series, maybe if bottles are still around in a few months I'll pick one up.

Photo of Impfan
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Simply one of the most complex, balanced, fruity, chocolatey, sherry-like, velvety, silky creations I've ever tasted.

On balance, it's definitely sweet, and perhaps it could use a bit more roastiness to dry it out a tad, but its flavor is so voluptuous that I really couldn't knock it down even a tenth.

Photo of kkrez
4.16/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

To say the least, this beer is complex and extremely layered.

It pours a dark brown color with a tan head which dissipates.

Aroma is of vanilla, toffee, caramel, coffee and cocoa.

Starts out a little boozy hot, but then follows the nose and then some; caramel, vanilla, toffee, oak, tobacco, oats, leather, bourbon, dark fruits and Brandy notes, all finished off by a citrusy hop bite coming from the use of the Double Jack, which leaves the palate clean and ready for more.

Mouthfeel is perfect. medium to heavy body, perfect amount of carbonation that lasts throughout

But really, words do not do this beer justice. The interplay of flavors is divine and indescribable. The price tag is bold, but so is this beer. You want it.

Photo of KidRagnarok
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of Docer
4.17/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: (4.0)
- Nice rich dark and mostly clear brown. Big slowly forming off-white to beige colored head. Bubbly like a barrel aged brew should look. Settles with lace all about and a thin pillow riding on top. Nice looking!

Smell: (4.5)
- Great sweet malts and holiday dessert notes. Brown sugar, molasses, vanilla from the barrels.. earthy sweet caramel.. light grassy and herbal hop spice.. little roasty tobacco, and light alcohol. Almost a touch of licorice going on. Very good.

Taste: (4.0)
- Oh my. Where to start? Rich caramel and grainy molasses sweetness. Vanilla and oak character really shines through, and blends perfectly with the bready grain, and esters from the grain. Some fig, raisin, tobacco, earthy grassy hops with a slight citrus and spicy zest. Little alcohol, but very well hidden. Really good bourbon notes. May be a bit much on the bourbon side for some, guessing this will age perfectly.

Mouth Feel: (4.5)
- Super nice medium to heavy body with the perfect carbonation. Though a very sweet beer, it isn't too overly syrupy or sticky. Quite chewy and cloying really, and dries the mouth just a touch. This is a smooth winner.

Overall: (4.0)
- A very well made and carefully blended beer. I love barleywines, and I love bourbon barrel barleywines. This turned out very good and is very well balanced. A lot of good beers went into this, and simply created a fantastic beer. Worth picking up a few.

Photo of furthurgone
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of drn
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of ejw127
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of GarrettB714
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of biolachris
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of drewburning25
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of daysinthewake
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of dksl16
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of dylnthmsn
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of localhost
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of MasterSki
3.66/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Mike (AgentZero) for sharing this. Served in a Bell's tulip.

A - A finger of off-white foam settles to a thin collar, leaving behind a near-complete wispy cap and a few splotches of lace. Transparent dark cherrywood body. Quite attractive considering the high ABV.

S - Lots of oak up front, and perhaps a bit of spicy alcohol presence as well. Behind that there's some milk chocolate, honey cakes, nuts, a bit of fig, and perhaps a hint of anise. Lots of wood for sure, and also a slightly aged, oxidized quality that makes this beer seem older than it is.

T - Extremely sugary - a mix of turbinado, oaky vanilla, maraschino cherries, milk chocolate cherry cordials, and a honey and burnt crème brûlée finish. It's complex, but becomes cloying and overly saccharine very quickly. Alcohol is better hidden in the flavor.

M - Smooth, medium body, with lower carbonation, and a decidedly light tannic character. Alcohol isn't particularly present here, and there's a very mellow aged character.

D - Just too sweet for my tastes - the blend is basically all barleywines and brown ales, most of which have added sugar or honey. There's not enough whiskey or roast character in the flavor to balance out the intense saccharine qualities of this brew. Might be good as a 4oz dessert pairing, but it was a struggle for Mike and I to consume the 22oz bottle. Almost certainly my least favorite beer of the series. I also don't anticipate this aging well as it already tastes kind of old.

Photo of Nitrogenx
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of ObeMaltKinobee
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of AgentZero
3.48/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Nice looking beer. A rich mohagany color with good ruby on the edges. Off-white head with some decent retention and moderate stick.

S - There is quite a bit in the nose here. Nuts, fruit, vanilla, caramel, brown sugar, butterscotch and dark fruit. Smells quite sweet, but good.

T - Taste is a lot like the nose. Really get a lot of brown sugar in this. As Alex said, reminds a lot of a brown ale. Bit of chocolate, slight hops. I don't really like Double Jack, which was supposed to be the "game changer" in this beer. Maybe that's what's making this one not as good as the last anniversary beers. Overly sweet, becomes a bit cloying and hard to drink.

M - Lower carbonation, close to full bodied.

O - My least favorite of the beers I've had of this series. It's got a lot going on to make for decent complexity, but it's too sweet and I wish they would have focused more on some of the more subdued notes.

Photo of Rizalini
4.27/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into my Deschutes tulips glass...

A - Pours a deep mahagony color, with a minimal off-white head. Pretty much no lacing.

S - There's a LOT going on in my nose. I get chocolate waffer, bourbon, coconut, and woodsey oakiness.

T/M - The taste is that of a bourbon barrel barleywine. The smell carries very well over to the taste. It's kinda crazy, but it's like I can taste some of the beers blended in this one, especially Parabola and Abacus. Medium heavy mouthfeel, low carbonation.

O - This is the 1st Firestone Ann. I've had, and I love the concept. Blending different barrel agerd brews to perfection, and hiding the alcohol very well. Scary easy to drink since there's no boozy blowout, which is amazing for a 12.5% beer.

Photo of PretzelCity
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of BradLikesBrew
4/5  rDev -8.3%

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