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Firestone 16 - Anniversary Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Firestone 16 - Anniversary AleFirestone 16 - Anniversary Ale

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

874 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 874
Reviews: 143
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 9.91%


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: 874 | Reviews: 143 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of McD0uche
McD0uche

California

4.48/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass:

A look: Pours a dark brown with a nice copper head and moderate retention. Lacing isn't too prominent.

Smells complex: Oak, bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, coffee, fruits, roasted malts, and boozy.

First sip: Really tasty. Raisen bread comes to mind, with the §ucaba coming through prominently. Toffee, chocolate, oak, caramel, and vanilla.. very delicious.

On the palate: Billowy, rich, full, and smooth. Sits well and goes down easy.

The verdict: Pretty awesome. This is a cool series by FW, and they continue to amaze me with the quality of stuff they put out. I'm glad I have another one I can age for a while and compare my notes with.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2013 21:33:24 | More by McD0uche
Photo of patm1986
patm1986

New Jersey

4.36/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

THANKS, MATT!

A-Dark mahogany, chestnut body. off-white head, which sprouts well from the pour and settles nicely around the rim, leaving a subtle ring that doesn't dissolve completely.

S-First it's subtlety: toasted oak, char like lightly burnt toast, vanilla beans, mocha, molasses. After ten+ minutes, it devolves to mostly vanilla, oak, and a very prominent grain tinge; hello, tequila.

T: Off the bat: chocolate, caffe latte, leather, tobacco?, burnt ends, but after half the bottle and a drop in temperature, the flavor profile is undeniably dominated by tequila. the tequila flavor lingers like only tequila can: spreads the palate and doesn't leave. the PNC component is dominant, domineering. wow.

M: Surprisingly light for 13%. this should be thicker, fattier i guess. it's incredibly smooth-bodies for the style/percentage.

O: TEQUILA. really. so emphatic and prevalent, it takes over the last half of the bottle as it breathes. this is a unique brew with a blend i doubt will be replicated anywhere. even by FW's standards.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2013 03:50:07 | More by patm1986
Photo of Dope
Dope

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled March 10/05/12.

A: Very dark brown pour with a large, fluffy medium brown head. Head fades at a moderate pace. Decent fluffy splotchy lacing. Good retention.

S: Lots of barrel notes. Tequila? Hmph. Some toasted coconut from the bourbon barrels as well. Lots of caramel and fig with some roasted malt just barely poking through. Maybe hints of brown sugar?

T: Definitely some tequila barrel in there. Surprisingly strong, I figured it would be mild given that it's a small part of the blend. I guess tequila isn't exactly subtle in general, however. Again with the toasted coconut and caramel. Lots of it. Sweet brown sugar, fig and maybe even marshmallow in there too. Mild chocolate and a little char. Finish is oaky with hints of tequila and toasted coconut. Lingering spirits in the aftertaste.

M: Not nearly as heavy as you'd expect 13% to be. Barrel flavors seem to cut down on the thickness. Nice.

O: Another unique anniversary beer from FW. Tequila is definitely an interesting note, not too overpowering but there's plenty of it there. Despite this being over 50% stout it doesn't have huge stout notes. It's more like a big sweet barrel-aged english barleywine with a little roasted malt characteristic in it. Not my favorite anniversary blend but still quite good.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2013 03:43:43 | More by Dope
Photo of standardcherry
standardcherry

Massachusetts

4.61/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle

A: Very dark brown/almost pitch black with a thin white head.
S: Starts of very roasty with some coffee aroma and dark chocolate. Followed by vanilla, bourbon, oak and dark fruits.
T: Not as much coffee as the nose, but there is still some roastiness in there. Tastes a lot like dark fruits (plum) mixed with chocolate and vanilla. Tastes more chocolately than the nose would suggest, almost like a chocolate doughnut. Bourbon and oak blend in very well at the end of this.
M: Medium/thick bodied with light carbonation. Works well with the style.
O: Firestone Walker does not disappoint. This beer is extremely well blended to showcase all of the elements. Dangerously drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2013 05:50:08 | More by standardcherry
Photo of TammyC2164
TammyC2164

Washington

4.7/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wow first thing I smelled was rich chocolate and coffee. However the taste of the coffee and chocolate wasn't in the for front it came in at the end. You could taste the oak as well and all of these are strong flavors normally. Some how the brewers balance all of these bold flavors to make a smooth wonderful beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2013 21:45:14 | More by TammyC2164
Photo of mdaschaf
mdaschaf

Washington

4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Review from notes.

A: Pours a dark brown, practically black body with a surprisingly light tan colored head on top, about one finger in height. Pretty good retention and lacing for such a big beer.

S: Quite roasty with some coffee/mocha and chocolate. A little bit of dark fruit and oak at the end.

T: The dark fruit comes out more in the flavor profile as raisins and plum mixed with chocolate and a bit less coffee. Some brown sugar and a bit of molasses with light oak and vanilla.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. The alcohol came out a little bit, more so as it warmed.

O: It was nice, but I didn't love it. Certainly not worth the price tag attached to it, for me at least.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2013 20:27:36 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of facundoCNB
facundoCNB

New Jersey

4.14/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

a reddish black pour with a finger of creme colored head which had a very clean dissipation. smells of barrels.. lots of oak, sweet caramel, bourbon, vanilla, raisins, toffee, brown sugar. yikes, this is a STRONG beer. harsh alcohol up front, lots of bourbon, vanilla, and oak flavors. a mix of tons of sweet malt, caramel, and raisins.. very sweet, yet a bit harsh with the alcohol taste. full body with low carbonation, very smooth drink to be honest.

i was expecting to be blown away by this after reading the blend list.. and though it was really good, it's just too much barrel flavor and not enough beer taste. i know it sounds ridiculous, but this one was just a tad bit too much for my taste. still delicious, but i was expecting a more chocolatey stout-like feel/flavor.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2013 01:25:44 | More by facundoCNB
Photo of Petela
Petela

New Jersey

4.94/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle poured into a snifter

A: Pours black with ruby hues with a finger of off white/ light khaki head. Has descent lacing and pearlage .

N: Dark fruites, dates in particular, and booze upfront. Follows with vanilla and chocolate up the rear.

T: Similar to the nose but more chocolate and less boozy. Still get the dark fruit and vanilla notes in the middle.

M: Heavy to medium body with a light carbonation. Slight warming sensation with the swallow.

O: Excellent! For a 13% beer I finished with no problem and continued my session with lower ABV beers. Cant wait for !7!

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2013 05:13:08 | More by Petela
Photo of ckollias
ckollias

Maryland

4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this bottle out of a craft beer glass

A: Pours a dark black hue with a thick tan head that slowly dissipates into a solid persistent lace.

S: Bourbon – vanilla – chocolate aromas.

T: Similar to the smell there is a ton of boozy bourbon, vanilla and some toffee mixed in.

M: Thick body and minimal carbonation.

O: Excellent brew – tons of flavors and enough alcohol to make it interesting.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2013 01:59:48 | More by ckollias
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim

New York

4.41/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

22oz. bomber into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a 1 finger fine cream colored head with moderate retention. Beer is a clear, dark, almost opaque brown. Lacing is thick, patchy and stringy with good stick. Thin, oily legs too. Great looking beer for the style.

Nose is nutty, brown sugar, molasses, and sweet booziness. Some notes of fresh green raisin too. Decently aromatic but nothing that really stands out here.

Opens brown sugar, molasses, prunes, raisin, and other dark fruit. Astringent hop bitterness floats in the background in the middle but its suppressed nicely by the big malt body. Chocolate, cocoa, and fudge towards the end with some brown sugar and mellow sappy hop bitterness. Nutty and sweet finish with a sugary aftertaste. Good complexity. A real nice flavor profile.

Medium bodied with low to moderate carbonation. Smooth and slick in the mouth and goes down warm with just a bit of heat. Messy finish with a lingering, sticky aftertaste. I can barely taste the ABVs in this one. This is how you do it!

At about 8-12 months, all of the FW anniversary blends have been incredible. XVI is no exception. Great complexity of flavor and an excellent feel make this one that should definitely not be missed. Have it soon though, these beers are phenomenal now but they tend to fall of quickly.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2013 01:08:26 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of tdm168
tdm168

North Carolina

4.44/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jtd1969 for sharing this gem!

A - black with a thin, brown head that has great retention

S - bourbon, raisins, prunes, sweet malt

T - chocolate, roasty, candy sugar, raisins, prunes, figs, bourbon, warming alcohol

M - full bodied, warm, well carbonated

This was an awesome beer! I don't how these creative geniuses pulled it off, but mixing all these different beers together works superbly. In both the nose and the flavor I get a lot of the English Barleywine characteristics such as the dark fruit and sugary malts. I also get some faint roasted malts notes that come through. The malt also offered some nice chocolate notes as well. The bourbon played nice and lent some balance to the whole mash-up. I am so glad my friend shared this one with me!!!!

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2013 01:14:44 | More by tdm168
Photo of DIM
DIM

Pennsylvania

3.55/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

a: This was just a degree shy of being pitch black. It poured with the thin, khaki colored fizzy head.

s: Absolutely dominated by whiskey and naked oak aromas. There were hints of vanilla, roaty malts, grassy hops, and caramel; but they were quite mild when compared to the bordering on harsh barrel notes.

t: Up front I tasted a boozy, too heavily hopped big stout. I could find some roastiness, caramel, and maybe a hint of fruit, but the surprisingly strong grassy hop note wad distracting. There was nice, strong whiskey flavor towards the middle that was quickly brushed aside by woody, bitter astringency.

m: Thin or silky depending on your overall level of enjoyment I suppose.

o: I liked this more than my review suggests, but overall I am disappointed. I'm very glad that I shared this one. 22 ounces would have been kind of a chore. The pale ales in the blend came through too strongly in my opinion, making this drink almost like a wateted down or diluted stout. The barrel notes were good, but more vanilla would have been welcome. The underlying beer came across as a kind of random hodgepodge of beer. I've never tried any of the beers in this blend, but my suspicion is that a lot of great beers were sacrificed to make a slightly above average one.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2013 21:32:30 | More by DIM
Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
OBeerMeGreatOne

California

4.19/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into my Chimay goblet. Pours out an intense, dark chocolate brown with a quarter inch of light brown head. Very minimal lace, expected due to the 13% ABV.

Chocolate, plum, vanilla, oak, coffee and earth make up the smell. Booze creeps in as it warms, but not as much as expected.

Plum, toffee, oak and booze (whiskey/brandy) combine right up front. The booze isn't that hot, but the flavor remains. Grassy hops, vanilla and chocolate touch down around the middle. Finishes with a slight coffee and citrus note. Goes down smooth for being such a big beer.

Malt driven strong ales aren't really up my style alley, but every once in a while I get a craving. This one suited my craving just fine, complex and full of flavor. I would place this above the past few Firestone Anniversary releases.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2013 01:31:01 | More by OBeerMeGreatOne
Photo of ThirdEyePA
ThirdEyePA

Texas

4.95/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This has to be on the of single most unique beers that I've ever had. It's a blend of 8 different beers, using a total of 226 different oak barrels, and blended together by a select group of Paso Robles winemakers. This stellar brew consists of the following:

Velvet Merkin - Oatmeal Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels - 8.7% Abv - (23%*)
Stickee Monkee - English Barleywine aged in Bourbon & Brandy barrels - 12.5% Abv (22.5%*)
Double Double Barrel Ale - Double English Pale Ale aged in 100% retired Firestone Union barrels 14.2% Abv (20.3%*)
Parabola - Russian Imperial Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels - 13% Abv (10.8%*)
PNC - American Strong Buckwheat Stout aged in Tequila barrels 13.0% Abv (8.1%*)
Helldorado - Blonde Barleywine aged in Bourbon & Brandy barrels - 11.5% Abv (5.4%*)
Bravo - Imperial Brown Ale aged in Bourbon & Brandy barrels - 13.4% Abv (5.4%*)
Wookey Jack - Black Rye IPA - 8.3% Abv (4.5%*)

* - notes the percentage of the final product

Served in my Firestone Walker Proprietor's Series glass

A - This one pours a very dark brown that soon becomes murky with a thin cocoa-khaki colored head that slowly dissipates and clings to the slides of the glass. It is very dark and deep as no light can penetrate when I hold it to the light.

S - On the nose I get an abundance of scents. The nose just slaps you in the face with complexity. I'm getting bourbon, dark chocolate, oak, vanilla, faint tequila notes, plums, brandy, and a leathery/tobacco-ish kind of smell that reminds of me a maduro cigar. The bouquet of aromas just makes this so inviting.

T - A slow, but full, sip yields flavors to be expected from the story told by the nose, but there are some additional notes that really transform this into the beast that it is. The milk chocolate, vanilla, oak, dark chocolate, bourbon, brandy, and a surprisingly noticeable amount of tequila, toasted coconut, plums, figs, caramel, toffee, molasses, roasted malt, and some faint smokiness that somewhat reminds me of a smore. It's blended so well as to where no flavor is particularly dominant.

M - The mouthfeel is pretty much spot on from what you would expect from a beer like this. I thought it could have been a touch thicker, but that's just being nit picky. It has a mild cheweyness to it. It's full, rich, and smooth as silk.

O - Overall, this is one incredible beer and it will be interesting to see how this develops over time. Firestone Walker's barrel aging is top-notch and this beer is an amazing testament to that. This one is absolutely one of my new favorites. Well done!

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2013 03:30:05 | More by ThirdEyePA
Photo of sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks to Chris for sharing!

(A)- Pours a near pitch black color. Very minimal tan froth that dissipated quickly.

(S)- An interesting aroma. Lots of dry oak barrel with some underlying oatmeal, raisin, and some hint at citrus and cocoa. Complex but fresh overall.

(T)- Complex. A combination of a citrus with dark fruits of raisin with the oak and bourbon caramel sweetness.

(M)- A mellow but fitting carbonation level. A nice balance that kind of jumps all over the place on the palate for me. Very dynamic, though might need a little further aging to have everything integrate into a more cohesive whole.

(O)- I like the play on flavors and aromas. A bit "fresh" for me now, but look forward to seeing what a little more time does to this in the cellar.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2013 18:40:35 | More by sweemzander
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

4.21/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Reno Dave for bringing this beer (and so many others!) to the March Madness bottle share.

Poured out a black color that didn't have the thickness/viscosity normally associated with such a beer (stout). Instead, I'm already thinking this was more of a barleywine blend with some Parabola thrown in giving the beer its color. Very thin tan head in the 1/8" range.

Deep caramel inhalation occurs, comes off a bit like Melange3 in the nose. Booze hidden to the nose. Picking up bourbon and chocolate. Oak, vanilla.

Taste wise gets plenty complex, caramel, chocolate, warming alcohol sensation, more vanilla, coconut, oak, bourbon. A little bit sweet, far from overly sweet, pretty much the right amount for this guy. Liquid cracker jacks. Body isn't too heavy, seems to be a bit of the lighter body barleywine (blonde) thing going for it. Just a touch of smoke and citric hops to it as well.

Unfortunately, this beer costs over $20 a bottle, so it gets weighed down in terms of value. Is it damn good? Yes. Damn expensive? Somewhat. Spoil yourself once in awhile, but I won't exactly be chasing this one down all over town. Would recommend to those who can afford.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2013 16:51:44 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of JoeBloe
JoeBloe

New York

4.58/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

From a bomber in a box - the bottle was 'wrapped' in a thick stock piece of paper containing a wealth of info on this beer's 'pedigree'.
Poured a deep rich brown with a thin tan head into my tulip snifter -
Nice aroma of dark fruits and 'roastiness' -
Taste is sublime - with a balanced melange of flavor from figs, maple syrup, caramel, toffee, oak, bourbon and whiskey - no discernable alcohol taste or feel - this got better as it warmed in my glass - really smooth drinking.
Mouthfeel was just right - velvety smooth, full bodied, lip smacking and not too thick or sticky.
I fully enjoyed this bomber - this is how a 13% brew should drink - the last sip left me wanting more - worth the price - cheers!

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2013 11:40:27 | More by JoeBloe
Photo of MikePags
MikePags

New York

4.58/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Served from a bottle given out at the anniversary release party at FW in a stone barley wine glass.

A: dark rich color with excellent head retention.

S: vanilla malt.

T: smooth and complex vanilla, whiskey, and caramel that rolls over the tongue with exceptional ease. Surprised with very little alcohol taste considering the ABV.

M: thick and rich, amazing aftertaste of vanilla

O: amazing amazing amazing

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2013 01:26:29 | More by MikePags
Photo of arizcards
arizcards

Arizona

4.68/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bomber from BevMo in late November for $22.99.

Beer poured a dark brown with a decent tan head upon the initial pour.

Nose is lovely, vanilla and bourbon with some dark fruits.

Taste is crazy good, vanilla and bourbon, dark fruits, some hints of chocolate blended artfully together to form a delightfully aged bourbon barleywine stout.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and very smooth.

Overall a superb beer that is masterfully crafted. For the abv it is only slightly warming and not cloying. Glad i could experience this gem. I hope i can snag a bottle of the 17th anniversary!

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2013 23:23:52 | More by arizcards
Photo of larryi86
larryi86

Delaware

4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a tulip

A- Black with a two finger light mocha head

S- Toffee, coffee, vanilla, chocolate, bourbon, oak, sweet, a lot going on here.

T- Ok, there is a lot of good stuff going on there. Chocolate, toffee, bourbon, oak, vanilla, some coffee, brown sugar, cherries, some rye spice, touch of tequila, some heat but it works.

M- Smooth, creamy, medium to full body, some heat.

O- A great beer worth the price tag. Complexity left me wanting more and made me drink this at a pace much quicker than I am use to. Very tasty, very drinkable,would like to see how this ages.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2013 00:22:32 | More by larryi86
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

4.1/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From 03/15/13 notes.

a - Pours a deep dark brown color with one inch of light tan head and moderate carbonatioin evident.

s - Smells of coffee, toffee, roasted malts, chocolate, espresso, alcohol, bourbon, oak, and vanilla. Loads of coffee up front and alcohol isn't too strong; pretty nice nose.

t - Tastes of coffee, alcohol, vanilla, roasted malts, chocolate, toasted malts, toffee, caramel malts, oak. More vanilla and alcohol than the nose, and less toffee. Nice but liked the nose a little better.

m - Medium to thick body and moderate carbonation. Body is pretty smooth with some light alcohol heat keeping it from being great.

o - Overall a nice strong ale with loads of coffee. Alcohol is prominent in the taste; like the other years this will probably get better with some age. Might buy 1 bottle to lay down for 1-2 years but unsure; will depend on what price I can get it at.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2013 20:01:29 | More by mdfb79
Photo of Titans77
Titans77

Maryland

4.69/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - A very dark brown, verging on black with some dark reds where the light hits the glass. A khaki white half finger of head disappeared almost instantly to the 13% abv. Alcohol legs swirl around in the glass as the beer sticks to the side of my snifter. It invites for a nose to get a good whiff.

S - ahh, yes! Big vanilla and barrel qualities to this aroma. Some typical stout notes with the coffee and dark chocolates in the background. Toffee and caramel are rather noticable along with some dark fruits. The magic of this beer is that new aromas arise with every attempt to figure this brew out via nose. The complexity is profound.

T - Holy shit...

M - Very slight carbonation and just a tab bit of alcohol burn as it finishes. Coats the mouth like a hearty Imperial Stout. Sticks around in your mouth more than any other Strong Ale I have ever had.

O - One of the reasons FW barrel program cant be touched. The complexity is ABSURD. So many flavors to contemplate. If you passed up on this one, I feel bad for you. I can detect all of the Parabola, Sucaba, and DDBA in this one. I hope to try Velvet Merkin one day. Can't say enough about this beer. For $20, I feel like I robbed the liquor store. Keep going FW!

Taste (attempt #2, you didn't honestly think I was going to leave you hanging, did you?) - Big vanilla up front, these barrels are killing it! Huge toffee from the Sucaba blended in. Slight bit of caramel. Notes of dark fruit and slight coffee from the Velvet Merkin and Parabola. I am also getting a small bit of tequila from the PNC. This blend just screams Stout mixed with Barleywine in the most absurd variety of barrels. I know they put hops in here somewhere, but I cant even get the slightest hint. And the best part is? It works! Easily a 5 rating for taste. The complexity is unrivaled and it works.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2013 00:00:49 | More by Titans77
Photo of chanokokoro
chanokokoro

Illinois

4.36/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Fairly aggressively poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Firestone Walker Brewing Company Proprietor's Reserve Series branded snifter.

Pours a very dark mocha brown capped by cream colored one and a half to two finger creamy head. Excellent retention, especially for a barrel-aged blended beer, some evident lacing. Big oaky aroma joined by bourbon, brandy, and jammy, red-wine accented juicy and dried dark fruit. Deliciously, ridiculously complex. Toasted oak, black cherry, raisins, dates, red wine, dark chocolate, caramel, toffee, almond, hints of cashew and pecans. With every sip there's more and more. Finishes with some piney, citrusy bitterness at first that quickly relents, more pleasant oak and bourbon and brandy contributions. Full bodied, smooth, syrupy on the edges, with moderate carbonation. As usual Firestone Walker's anniversary ale is a beautiful beer. However, I'm inclined to believe this one may be among my favorites.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2013 03:36:48 | More by chanokokoro
Photo of bum732
bum732

Maryland

4.26/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

S: Sweet bourbon and oak up front, rich breadiness, just a touch of roast.

L: Very dark brown, some ruby highlights. Eggshell white head that dissipates.

T: Bourbon sweetness with some soft roastiness. Maltiness follows with some chocolate cakeness. Low bitterness yielding to some caramel and a touch of toffee. Slight nuttiness into a finish with a slight citric twang. Semi-sweet finish with some hazlenut.

M: Medium bodied, medium low carbonation. Some alcohol heat that increases as the beer warms.

Really enjoyed this, much better than the 15 but not quite as good as the 14. The stout characteristics are surprisingly mellow considering how much they make up in the blend. The citrus twang was quite interesting from the hops.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2013 02:46:49 | More by bum732
Photo of johnmichaelsen
johnmichaelsen

Oregon

4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Max's the other day.

The beer pours a very dark brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is attractive in this one, as I pick up considerable vanilla, milk chocolate, a hint of maraschino cherry and light bourbon. The beer smells as if it will be pretty sweet/rich, which of course it is. The flavor profile replicates the nose, and I'm really picking up a lot of milk chocolate, vanilla and light bourbon. It's pretty damn tasty, no doubt, but the beer does have a bit of heat on the finish (from the 13% abv. no doubt), that mars the flavor profile somewhat. Mouthfeel is fairly full and soft, though the beer doesn't come across as heavy or tiring on the finish (which is surprising in a beer that is so rich and high in alcohol). Pretty hard to imagine ever having more than small glass of this, given the sweetness and high alcohol, but there's no doubt this is another tasty, impressive beer from FW.

Serving type: on-tap

03-11-2013 12:08:52 | More by johnmichaelsen
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96 out of 100 based on 874 ratings.