Firestone 16 - Anniversary Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Firestone 16 - Anniversary AleFirestone 16 - Anniversary Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

1,004 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,004
Reviews: 154
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 9.43%
Wants: 135
Gots: 501 | FT: 41
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  13.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: AgentMunky on 11-15-2012)
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Ratings: 1,004 | Reviews: 154 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JaysusJr
1/5  rDev -77%

Photo of nathan33
2/5  rDev -54%

Photo of yourefragile
2.25/5  rDev -48.3%

Photo of hoppyboy69
2.5/5  rDev -42.5%

Photo of jrallen34
2.5/5  rDev -42.5%

Photo of Atomicskis5
2.75/5  rDev -36.8%

Photo of ajzy
2.75/5  rDev -36.8%

Photo of bcerv-ca
2.75/5  rDev -36.8%

Photo of Sludgeman
2.75/5  rDev -36.8%

Photo of Jeffo
2.83/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Always been a fan of this series, so cheers for ScottO for sending one of these over!

From a bomber into a snifter

APPEARANCE: A clear brown pour yields a two finger, medium looking, foamy, light tan head with good retention. Clear bistre brown in color with medium levels of carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a half wisp and ring. A ring remains until the end leaving a couple dots of lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Lots of oak, with some dark chocolate, coconut, caramel and toffee. Pretty nice, though there's a lot of wood on this one. Medium strength and nice enough.

TASTE: Lots of oak, caramel and coconut flavors up front, then a boozy and oak heavy finish with light vanilla, milk chocolate, toffee sweetness and alcohol. Some bitter dark chocolate, toffee sweetness and alcohol. Some bitter dark chocolate tries to balance. Okay, but not as nice as the nose. A little boozy overall with lots of oak and sweetness.

PALATE: Slightly thinner body with medium levels of carbonation. A bit creamy on the palate, goes down fine and finishes slightly sticky. Some heat lingers.

OVERALL: Definitely my least favorite of the series so far. Too much oak and alcohol in the flavor and the feel is a bit too thin and light. Not special, and the blend of beers just doesn't seem to do much of anything here. As if all the individual parts have just canceled each other out and left it without an identity. Disappointing for sure, as the other years have been really nice. Anyways, thanks again ScottO for sending this one over. Always happy to see new incarnations of this series.

Photo of uncamarky
2.84/5  rDev -34.7%

Photo of chiral3
2.95/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I guess I'm the odd man out on this one... I was eagerly awaiting this release, the anniversary beers from FW being one of my favorite. Unfortunately I was not a fan of some of the flavors in here. It's difficult not to judge relative to previous incarnations, especially the 14, which I feel sets the bar. The component beers were well executed and the blend made sense, the sum of the parts being greater than the whole. I can't say this for 16. The beer itself is thinner with less mouthfeel - like the FG is just less. The tequila component is noticeable and doesn't complement the other pieces well. The blend has a drying property that chops the back end of the taste profile off; a decay that I think is hard won and an important contribution from the barleywines and stouts. All of the tastes that the other reviewers noted - chocolate, toffees, leather, etc. - were muted, mottled, and attenuated. The whole is less than the sum of the parts, IMO. I can only assume it was the PNC and not some degradation of the other beers, all of which I am familiar with. The PNC is only 8% and I'm surprised it had this much of an impact.

Photo of Cody66
3/5  rDev -31%

Photo of Huolis72
3/5  rDev -31%

Photo of soldat329x
3/5  rDev -31%

Photo of bhir
3/5  rDev -31%

Photo of DefenCorps
3.18/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle from Whole Foods. Split with my dad on Christmas Eve.

Pouring a very dark brown with a thin brown head with decent retention but poor lacing, this is about on par for the course. The nose is solid. Very boozy with some caramel, cocoa, light Vietnamese coffee. Lots of oak, rather tannic with the double DBA component quite noticeable - pale English malt, mildly caramelized. Some vanilla, brandy and mild tequila notes are apparent. 


The palate is poorly integrated. In the past, the thinness of these anniversary beers hasn't bothered me, but this time, it does. Caramel, toffee, sweetened mild chocolate, mild coffee, some brandy, plenty of bourbon, some vanilla- all components that i typically enjoy -just don't mesh here. Astringent booze and oak, especially on a sweet finish, make this harsh. The brandy fruitiness is one component that does work reasonably well here, but again, at this price point, i expected more. Medium-light in body, moderately boozy and astringent, this beer is mildly carbonated and does improve with time to breathe. The finish is long, tannic and boozy with some sweetness. Decent, I think this will improve in the short term, but I don't intend to buy any more, especially at the $1/oz price point.

Photo of Arbitrator
3.23/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. My first review from my Kindle!

A: Pours a dark brown; not totally black when held to the light. Light tan head with short retention.

S: Toffee, caramel, raisin (sherry), vanilla. I do not find the signature coconut aroma I love in FW barrel aged beers. There is a significant bourbon and oak note. Some heat. I'm a little let down already; the past anniversary beers have often had much more expressive noses. This is a bit one-dimensional.

T: Undeveloped and simplistic considering the past successes of the blending program. This is no XIII. The oatmeal stout is prominent; it lends a chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon base that some of the other flavors play off: a touch of brandy, some toffee, and a spicy bite that I assume is from the tequila. It's not bad, but it is not great. I was hoping the other components would express themselves more in the flavor, but they have been lost in the mix.

M: Medium bodied. It is not boozy, but it has a warming effect on the way down.

O: Pretty forgettable at the price point. This is outclassed by Parabola and Sucaba, which are $10 cheaper. If it were a $10 four-pack, sure...

Photo of kynap55
3.25/5  rDev -25.3%

Photo of montrealbcr89
3.25/5  rDev -25.3%

Photo of sustyhops
3.25/5  rDev -25.3%

Photo of mquartuccio87
3.25/5  rDev -25.3%

Photo of ArrogantB
3.25/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle split and poured into FW proprietor's reserve glasses. Dark black with minimal head. Smells similar to past anniversary beers, barrel, vanilla, coconut but also a hint of strong booze. Flavor was good at first but also extremely boozy, I blame the tequila barrel aged beer even though it was a small component in the blend. My friend said "its hot as fire" which was a good description of how the alcohol overpowered this one. Sadly, this was my least favorite anniversary beer from Firestone, it wasn't bad it just wasn't as rich as previous offerings.

Photo of thegerm87
3.25/5  rDev -25.3%

Photo of kojevergas
3.31/5  rDev -23.9%

Brown glass bottle with black papered over pry-off pressure cap and paper pull-tab purchased in SoCal years ago and served into an Odell stem-tulip in me friend's gaff in high altitude Fort Collins, CO. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I'm skeptical of this brewery's beers but the current 96 rating is interesting.

Served cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: One finger wide. Khaki colour. Nice even smooth consistency. Nicely creamy. Retention is above average - about 2.5 minutes. No lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

BODY: Opaque dark black. Nontransparent; no yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Appears adequately carbonated. Far from unique or special looking for the style.

AROMA: Vanilla, bourbon, and marshmallow. Neutral barrel sugars. My broken nose can't pick up anything else; all apologies.

A pleasant aroma of mild strength.

TASTE: Has a lovely bourbon tone throughout, with some nice vanilla and oak notes. Barrel sugars bleed in. Kisses of dark fruit; they blend in so well I can't isolate them. Caramel. Sticky dark fruits. Maybe a hint of raisin. Toffee. Dark malts. Marshmallow. Treacle.

On the sweeter side, but not boozy.

The oak is lovely, as is the complementary bourbon. It's surprisingly well balanced for a Firestone Walker blend, and boasts impressive complexity as well as some limited subtlety. I like it, and it has some loose cohesion, but it isn't gestalt. Well-executed and enjoyable.

Nice depth and amplitude of flavour. Above average intensity and duration of flavour.

TEXTURE: Fairly chewy. Full-bodied. Aptly thick. Smooth and wet. Has plenty of heft and weight on the palate, but while it's a sipper, it never feels overbearing or unnecessarily heavy.

Not oily, gushed, astringent, scratchy, rough, or harsh. The alcohol is present but doesn't distract. Decently carbonated.

OVERALL: She's a sipper, but she's enjoyable. A nice blend from Firestone Walker. I'm surprisingly happy I picked this up; it isn't as disappointing as most of this brewery's highly celebrated brews. I wouldn't necessarily get it again, but I do like it. Worth trying. I think this made the top 250 list upon release; that's unwarranted, but it is indeed tasty.

As good as it is, though, is all that blending and effort really necessary? Other (i.e. superior) breweries make far better strong ales with far less tinkering. Maybe Firestone Walker should hire staff capable of blending their own good beers without requiring the input of others (and the marketing opportunities associated therewith). Ultimately, it's a bit too sweet, which holds it back.

Low B-

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Firestone 16 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 1,004 ratings.