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Firestone 16 - Anniversary Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

161 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 161
Hads: 1,074
Avg: 4.3
pDev: 9.53%
Wants: 148
Gots: 490 | FT: 37
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:
Beer added by: AgentMunky on 11-15-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

23% Velvet Merkin
22.5% Stickee Monkee
20.3% Double Double Barrel Ale
10.8% Parabola
8.1% PNC
5.4% Helldorado
5.4% Bravo
4.5% Wookey Jack
View: Beers (83) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 161 | Hads: 1,074
Photo of Petela
4.93/5  rDev +14.7%
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!

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Photo of ckollias
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of tdm168
4.43/5  rDev +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!!!!

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Photo of DIM
3.56/5  rDev -17.2%
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.

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

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Photo of ThirdEyePA
4.95/5  rDev +15.1%
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!

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Photo of sweemzander
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.21/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

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Photo of JoeBloe
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
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!

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Photo of MikePags
4.56/5  rDev +6%
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

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Photo of arizcards
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
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!

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Photo of larryi86
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.11/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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Photo of Titans77
4.66/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of chanokokoro
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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Photo of bum732
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Photo of John_M
4.31/5  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.

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Photo of Suds
4.76/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer is an experience, one to be slowly enjoyed...sipped, savor end, and contemplated. It is dark, ruddy brown, and just slightly carbonated. A thin, slim head sits on top...quickly fading. The taste is where this beer grabs you, and truly doesn't let go. Adjectives come to mind - enveloping, layered, complex, expansive, wow. It is sweet, malty, boozy, and very oaky. Earthy, yet refined. Dark fruit, cocoa, fig, and smoke. It is hard to describe because the date changes and reveals ever more complexity with every sip. Warming and, at times, numbing. Full in body, even luxurious. The taste hangs on the tongue long after the drink. Exceptional.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-Black/deep brown, one finger off white head with some lacing.

S-Bourbon, oak, malt, chocolate, coffee and molasses.

T-Mild bourbon, some oak, caramel, molasses, slight bitterness. Some chocolate and coffee.

M-Medium bodied and nicely carbonated.

O-A step up from last year, price still makes it hard to justify purchasing two. However a must try at least once.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
4.04/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Capitol Beer and Tap Room in Sacramento, CA

Appearance - Deep, near black cordovan brown, served in a 10oz pour with a thin, light tan head. Good retention. Leaves behind a good amount of lacing with fair stick.

Smell - Strong, bourbony boozy aroma, sweet with vanilla, chocolate and faintly earthy character.

Taste - Follows the nose; bourbon booziness, while notes of vanilla and lesser of chocolate bounce around in the deep background. Sweet vanilla notes shine through brighter as the beer warms. Somewhat chaotic start turns a smooth finish. Hints of oak and moderate alcohol heat. Traces of caramel can be found well into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full body with slightly tingly carbonation. Heat from the alcohol forces this thing to finish bone dry.

Overall - This is one complex, boozy "mess" of a beer, and considering it's a blend of 8 different barrel-aged brews, it's right where it should be. Growing up, I was always a fan of making soda kamikazes, so I don't find it much surprising that I rather enjoyed this. Normally I'm not a fan of booze forward brews; this one's an exception.

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Photo of joeseppy
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This sat on store shelves for months. Que?? After I delved into the Double Dba, I had to go back and pull the trigger on this one.

Cola perception with a head that fizzles away quickly, receding to the edges in a thin line formation. Soon that will be gone too as it comes up in temperature.

I could assimilate this all day long. Bananas fried in butter flambéed in Grand Marnier. Alcohol, light brown sugar, vanilla oaked tequila. Bourbon notes with a floral bouquet dusted with cocoa powder. A very complex libation, really, need I go on?

Taste of alcohol throughout entire sip or 'aggressive slurp'. My mind goes through a myriad of booze. Let's go...first I get the anejo tequila, shutterbox, as a camera, I get oaky bourbon, onto a delightful rye whiskey. A mellifluous sweetness with fig and dried cherry. Hoppy bitterness that is subdued in a dusty Dutch cocoa fashion. This is tremendously tremendous.

Some pucker from the cocoa and hops. Almost no carbonation at the ideal temperature.

You need to follow the manufacturers recommendation to drink this at the optimal 55F to fully enjoy the voluptuousness and intricate aromas and flavours.. Cold temp. proves to be bitter, untamed, raw and unsophisticated. The dynamics lend well to the pleasuring of the palate. This breaks down inhibitions and...tally ho.

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

We pour a brew of a deep mahogany brown, letting up a little light around the edges. It holds a one and a half finger head of light brown cream, showing decent retention. This leaves ridges of soft lacing around the glass, and eventually becomes a ring of foam around the top of the liquid. Carbonation appears medium, and no haze or sediment is noted. The aroma is wildly complex, with the first components noted being fusel alcohol, massive bourbon barreling, and roasty chocolate malts. Raisins, creamy vanillas, faint fruity esters, and warmed cinnamon plum pudding add sweetness, while earthy herbal hops, clovey phenols, cooked caramels, and raw cacao add depth, spice, and bitterness to cut. Our first impression is that we are so, so happy we opened this beer now, rather than waiting, as the oaky, woody glory is some of the most robust and flavorful we’ve ever tasted. As we sip, velvety bourbon flavoring, peppery booze, huge dark chocolate and caramel malts, spicy raw fig, lightly grilled coconut, and insanely deep oaked barrelness blend, waking the palate up quickly. We come to a peak with enhanced spicy oakiness and sweet buttery diacetyls, soured muskiness, fusel booze, char of roasted chocolate malts, and light leathers. These all continue, blending to the finish, where plum and cherry fruitiness, clove, nutmeg, cacao powder, and buttery bourbon all stick out. The aftertaste breathes of fusel booziness, nail polish remover bite, powdered chocolate malts, dusk and musk, bourbon barrels to the maximum, and chalked yeast. The body is medium to full, and the carbonation is medium. There is excellent slurp, sip, smack, and pop on each sip. The mouth is coated with thick, oily slickness, but this quickly burns away as the booze takes charge, sucking the mouth and palate into a state of chalky dryness. The abv is big and warming, and this guy is best sipped.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this beer was the utter complexity of aroma and flavoring, and the unmatched bourbon blast that you get on that sip. All 226 oak barrels used in the brewing process blend to the peak, but are beautifully apparent from the very first drop, in a robust fashion that we have yet to see in beer. The nose is rich, spicy, sweet, and deep, and all of that translates into flavoring, and then some. The bourbon is wonderful, and the finish is with massive chalkiness of powdered cacao and chocolate malts. This is one of the best beers we’ve had in a while, and we’re truly sad to see the last sips from our glasses disappear.

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Photo of bcostner1
4.89/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Deep, dark, rich mahogany with nuances of dark garnet. Bordering on black. Head is moderate and quickly dissipates leaving traces around the edges.

S: Vanilla, bourbon, rich dark fruit, and actually a little tequila maybe. Also getting some fresh baked doughnuts strangely enough. Very complex.

T: Ridiculous. So much going on. Among the flavors I'm getting are: molasses, maple, brown sugar, doughnuts, wood, bourbon, vanilla, rum drenched raisins, milk chocolate, toffee, chocolate cake batter, and caramel. I'm even getting a little bit of the tequila (I swear) which I thought would be offputting but I'm actually digging it. Phenomenal tasting brew.

M: Satisfying for sure. Perhaps still a little on the "hot" side as I'm drinking it. ABV definitely detectable. Viscous, thick, and rich.

What can I say? This is one of the top beers I have ever had in my opinion. I loved the 15 and I may love this one even more. World class for sure.

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Photo of AdamBear
4.61/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A-black with a a very thin cream colored head.

S-strong scent of really dark chocolate, almost like baking chocolate. Definitely smells like it was aged in some sort barrel. Very sweet.

T-a prett good beer. Comes in with a taste of mixed barrel flavors. I don't know how else to describe it. Has a good aged aspect reminiscent of a good, raw Belgian. It's very thick and...velvety. Has a thick after-taste, very full, almost like a good dinner. Some hints of coffee and cocoa in there. No alcohol. Maybe some berries. Well balanced. Well done.

M-medium creamy carbonation with a nice, creamy finish

O-yes, the flavor is awesome, but what I'm most impressed is how smooth this is for the high abv. It's difficult to find such a well done high gravity ale. This is such a relief after having Fruet last week. A bottle worth drinking by yourself, but you'll want to share and spread the word with this one.

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Firestone 16 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 161 ratings.