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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 gcamparone
gcamparone

Rhode Island

4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a oversize wine glass (I really need to get a snifter). Purchase in Wakefield, RI.

A- The pour was clear and brown, but once in the glass it's a pretty opaque and super dark, nearly black with cherry highlights. The head was small and khaki brown, and didn't leave much lacing.

S- The first noticeable aroma is a very inviting vanilla-bourbon note, reminiscent of BCBS. I also get some toffee, maple syrup, and caramel. Slight booze but nothing cloying.

T- Upfront it's sweet with notes of honey, caramel, candied sugar, vanilla, and sweet bourbon. It then develops into a beer with predominately stout characteristics, namely roasted malt, dark chocolate, coffee, and a nice smokey, toasty aftertaste. I may be picking up subtle hint of the the smaller blends, including an ever so slight rye zing on the finish from the wooky jack.

M- medium-low carbonation, medium body but it's quite creamy and smooth.

This was the first anniversary ale I've experienced from Firestone, and it makes me want to seek out versions from previous years. It's SUPER complex, tasty, and balanced. It's a lighter version of BCBS with an added level of complexity. I can't wait to try this in 2 years when my other bottle is matured.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2013 04:09:02 | More by gcamparone
Photo of snaotheus
snaotheus

Washington

4.88/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

22oz bottle poured into a large snifter

Pours dark brown, slightly muddy looking, little head, small amount of carbonation. Basically opaque. Smell is rich, sweet, fruity, alcohol, some black licorice, some smoke, chicory, something chocolatey. It smells very interesting.

Taste is shockingly creamy and smooth. Alcohol is noticeable, but not even vaguely overpowering. Well balanced by sweetness that comes out as chocolate and dark fruit. Jesus. This is delicious.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. Buttery, velvety, but not sticky or heavy. Terrific.

Overall, this beer is world class, excellent. Well done, Firestone Walker.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2013 20:53:43 | More by snaotheus
Photo of DanChristensen
DanChristensen


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

This blend of beers was an interesting concept to me and with the high amount of respect I have for FIrestone I decided to shell out the 20 bucks. It is the most expensive beer that I have ever bought but certainly not the best. I liked the uniqueness of the beer combining maple, vanilla, and toasty flavors. The wood flavors were really pretty subtle. One of the most difficult, perhaps even impossible, tasks with a very high gravity beer is to hide the alcohol from the nose and taste buds. This was my biggest let down with XVI as the smell and taste of alcohol was one of the first things that I noticed, but truthfully I was looking for it. That flavor and smell did subside as I drank either because I got used to it or because it warmed up. Disclaimer: of all Firestone beers I like velvet merlin the least and it makes up the greatest percentage of this beer. SO if you like velvet merlin then chances are you will love this beer. The mouthfeel is truly exceptional, kinda of like... velvet. If you are willing to spend the money then buy one because it sure was fun trying it!

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2013 19:13:12 | More by DanChristensen
Photo of smcnulty1981
smcnulty1981

Rhode Island

4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a dark dark thick brown color with a 1 finger darker kahki head with a good ammount of lacing on the glass when held up to the light there is a dark red hue showing also there was some alcohol legs showing

S: lots of coconut and bourbon on the nose with some chocolate coming through also there was very little to no alcohol on the nose

T: the coconut and bourbon again come through on the taste with good malty character the only issue is the there is a little bit of alcohol burn but with some aging it should go away

M: heavy mouthfeel on this beer coats the mouth very well almost a viscous quality

O: this was a great beer as usual fw is one of the best at barrel aging and the blend of this beer is spot on compared to last year 16 I believe is better than last year can't wait to see how this edition turns out with some aging

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2013 16:36:38 | More by smcnulty1981
Photo of ms11781
ms11781

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a very deep, muddy brown color. Settles in the glass much darker, almost black. Surprisingly, a nice finger or so of tannish head develops. It doesn't stick around for long at all, settling in as a thin, soap-like ring of foam around the glass. The difference in color between the very dark body and much lighter head is striking.

There is a ton of wood right up from in the nose. Oak, bourbon and vanilla are represented very well. Underneath the barrel notes there is a nice sweetness with some toffee and caramel leading the way. As the beer warms it seems that there are slight roasted notes but they are buried underneath the other aromas. There is definitely a touch of booze throughout that gets stronger as the beer warms.

The taste is similar to the nose but the sweet toffee and caramel notes are more dominant than the barrel character. Surprising given the amount of wood/oak/bourbon/vanilla in the nose. The toffee is really big and provides an almost sticky sweetness. There seems to be a touch of chocolate that peaks its head out as well. It wasn't in the nose but works nicely with the sweet toffee and barrel notes. The booze is present just as it was in the nose. It's definitely there but it's not too hot, even when it gets stronger as the beer warms.

Low carbonation (really low) and a big body give the beer a huge mouthfeel. At times the beer is pretty sticky but all the while, it's incredibly smooth. There is a slight burn from the alcohol but it isn't too bad.

This is a very nice beer. The sweetness and barrel notes meld together extremely well. It's definitely a big, rich, almost dessert-like beer. Like most of the Firestone Walker barrel aged and anniversary beers, this one is ready to drink as is.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2013 19:22:29 | More by ms11781
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

4.39/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle to CBS Snifter.

A - Poured dark brown and settled almost black - completely opaque with a thin layer of light brown head.

S - Massively complex nose. Vanilla, bourbon, brandy and oak all come though initially as the various barrels really shine up front. Toffee, dark caramel, cocoa, roast and a hint of tequila in the background.

T - Pretty heavy barrel flavours up front - bourbon, oak, brandy, vanilla and tequila. The tequila is not dominant but is definitely more prominent than the nose indicated. Cocoa, caramel, toffee and roast are all here too.

M - Medium body, creamy. Somewhat sticky at times. Light carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2013 18:39:23 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of BierJager89
BierJager89

California

4.66/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a free sample on tap, poured into a shot glass.

A: Dark brown, nearly black with a brown ring of head.

S: Vanilla, oak, some citrus, chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, grass and coconut in the nose. Smells like a bourbon barrel aged black ale.

T: Starts off fruity, like a citric IPA, but not bitter, followed by chocolate, roasted malt, coffee and vanilla/oak bourbon character. Delicious and quite interesting.

O: Try it if you can. It's really good. I couldn't find bottles of it anywhere. This was my first Firestone Anniversary Ale and I can't wait to try next years. Lucky I'll have Sucaba and Parabola to comfort me.

Serving type: on-tap

01-18-2013 20:34:47 | More by BierJager89
Photo of jzeilinger
jzeilinger

Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours dark, dark burgundy that's borderline black with a thick, one fingered cream/toffee colored head, it eventually leaves a thick, frothy ring. Swirl the glass and it's semi-viscous and clings to the sides.

S - Oak, bourbon, cherries, dark fruit, chocolate, cream, and light coffee notes.

T - The first noticeable thing is the rather bold alcohol, boozy presence with lots of warming on the way down. Oak, bourbon, vanilla, leather, dark fruit, and dark chocolate bitterness finishes things out. Leaves a coating of dark chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon that lingers for awhile, the bourbon eventually dies out and leaves the chocolate and vanilla on the palate.

M - Medium body and one would expect a thicker beer judging buy the aroma, somewhat slick, and velvet smooth.

O - I always enjoy a good barrel aged beer but it's overly boozy right now which detracts from the complexity. Purchase multiple bottles, try one now, then cellar the rest, and revisit in 10-12 months to see if and how it mellows. I think this will definitely be better with some age on it and will revisit my review at that time.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2013 03:23:22 | More by jzeilinger
Photo of Chadhowie
Chadhowie

California

3.59/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

I like Firestone. I think they have some good beers and some decent beers. I was stoked to try this anniversary after hearing that it is a blend (stoked and worried, that is); I was pleasantly surprised by the complexity and flavor, however, and would recommend this beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2013 00:27:33 | More by Chadhowie
Photo of chiral3
chiral3

Pennsylvania

2.95/5  rDev -32%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2013 13:32:34 | More by chiral3
Photo of TallSaint
TallSaint

New York

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

Poured into a Kate the Great tulip.

A: Pours near-opaque, dark ruby with half a finger of head.

S: The nose is incredible with bourbon notes dominating but vanilla, coffee, and chocolate are also present. The nose is quite heady, booze is present and noticeable.

T: Upfront bourbon sweetness presents. In the mid-palate vanilla mixes with slight toffee and biscuit. In the back it is malty sweet then hot with a touch of fruity tequila.

M: Mouthfeel is surprisingly light and well carbonated providing a nice balance to the boisterous flavors that are present.

At 13% ABv it is very warming in the back and makes no attempt to conceal its alcohol content but this is not a bad thing as I found it quite balancing. This here is all about the barrels. It is an excellently blended beer that provides a complex look at the influence of a barrel and the beers which constitute it. The influences of the barrels are presented linearly down the palate in expert fashion. A big, big beer that it is very complex and is a great example of fantastic barrel aging.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2013 03:35:07 | More by TallSaint
Photo of ThePaleRider
ThePaleRider

California

3.98/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark coffee brown with no head to speak of. Leaves thick legs on the glass.

S - Lots of whiskey, tobacco, leather, and smoke. Smells a lot like the 15th.

T - Lots of whiskey and barrel wood. Lots of dark chocolate and cocoa nibs. Lot's more chocolate than I remember.

M - A little lighter than I expected and no carbonation. A little booze on the tongue.

O - Not as good as last years but still another amazing brew from Firestone. A little too close to the 15 though.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2013 04:52:35 | More by ThePaleRider
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

4.23/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Christmas dinner 2012

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a one-finger, off-white head of foam. It left thin sheets of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of vanilla and oak. Some dark chocolate notes, too.

T - It tasted of roasted malts, vanilla, oak, bourbon, toffee and a touch of bitter hops. Fairly boozy, too.

M - It was smooth and clean finish. A medium to full bodied brew.

O - This is fantastic. Firestone Walker's anniversary beers have all been great.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2013 22:16:16 | More by zeff80
Photo of emyers
emyers

Illinois

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

22 oz. bottle poured into a Founders snifter.

Apprearance: Dark brown with a thin off-white head dissipating after seconds to a thin lacing.

Smell: There's a lot going on here. Bourbon is the first thing I notice, followed by figs and some cherry. Very strong dark fruit presence. Apple brandy. Rich toffee and cocoa powder, which strengthens as the beer warms. Some very slight citrus hop notes. There's just a hint of tequila - it's subtle but definitely there.

Taste: Equally as complex as the aroma. Love the bourbon/brandy combo going on. Nice carmelized sugar/creme brulee flavor. Cocoa and more dark fruit, which isn't as strong as in the aroma. It's just a bit "busy" with all of the flavors going on, but when all is said and done they meld pretty well. The alcohol is not particularly hidden and really comes out in the finish (I feel like the tequila amplifies this). I think this could be truly spectacular with some age if the flavors meld a bit more and the alcohol harshness dies a bit.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and very smooth. Appropriately low carbonation. Coats the palate nicely as it goes down.

Overall: This beer is a great experience to drink. It's pretty fun to pick out all of the various flavors going on. Definitely ranks up there with the most complex beers I've had. A little too hot fresh, and honestly I feel like the tequila holds it back a bit (but then I'm not a fan of tequila). Still, I'd love to taste this after a couple years.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2013 08:04:10 | More by emyers
Photo of yamar68
yamar68

Minnesota

4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Massive thanks to hugonaut13 for this gem:

Dark, swampy brown body with edges of coffee clarity. A large gauge finger of khaki carbonation fades to a thick collar within a few minutes... oily alcohol legs coat the glass along with some thin bits of lacing.

Mmmm... bourbon... roasted nutty malt notes soaked in caramel and boozy toffee, vanilla sweetness with the charred wood character, the alcohol presents itself with a touch of brown sugar, molasses... big and bad... nice.

Yup. Oaky bourbon, breakfast flavors... oatmeal and chocolate, even a touch of coffee maybe, caramel cake, more of that sweet bourbon, toffee and liquor... the complexity demonstrated here is on par with Melange 3. Wonderfully dynamic stuff.

Very grateful to have had the chance to try this one out - can't wait to crack the 15, thanks Tom!

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2013 01:02:40 | More by yamar68
Photo of OStrungT
OStrungT

California

5/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer pours into my Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine glass, a very dark brown color, with a thick, fluffy brown head. The head fades slowly, leaving a nice lace. I really like the murky depths of this beer. Holding it up to the light, nothing shines through at all.

This beer boasts a lot of aroma. I smell vanilla, chocolate, oak, light bourbon, figs, and tobacco. Wow, this aroma is intense. So much going on, but not overpowering or cloying at all. Just lots of different aromas.

This beer pretty much tastes like it smells. I get all the above, and also a nice sweet caramel flavor. Maybe just a hint of smoke also. It is pretty damn nice.

This beer is silky smooth. It has a mild carbonation, fitting the style. The 13% ABV is extremely well hidden in both the taste and the aroma. The entire time drinking it, I barely noticed just how strong it was. I get a caramel and toffee aftertaste.

With the high ABV, and the high shelf price, mixed with the limited availability, this beer might not make the best session beer. However, for just one bottle, this beer is very easy to drink.

Overall: This beer is amazing. I have been really impressed with Firestone Walker as a brewery the last few years, and I have always enjoyed their Anniversery releases. This one impresses me just as much and previous ones. Amazing beer!

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2013 03:59:31 | More by OStrungT
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this is just sensational stuff. came in a box for 19 bucks with a two sided r page of notes about the blending process. wow, this defines craft to me, maybe a little over the top by some standards, but you have to be impressed by this level of attention to detail. the beer pours dark and a tad silty into a wine glass. its glowing red and brown and caramel and black all at once, with a quarter inch of tan bubbles that dont go anywhere and are easily reinvigorated with a gentle swirl of the glass. the nose is real intense, tons of booze and wood, dead giveaway for a blended beer. lots of stout it seems like here, big roasty malt profile behind all that bourbon, some definite rye too from the wookie jack. flavor is more hoppy than expected, and the small portion of tequilla barrel aged brew comes right up to the top of the flavor spectrum here. it almost starts and ends like a shot of nice tequilla. so much complexity here, oak, chocolate, heavy handed american hop varieties. just a wonderful glass of beer, with alcohol strength just radiating throughout. the feel is taken over by the booze. if you hold it it your mouth for a few seconds, its akin to licking a 9volt battery, caustic and electric. not to say thats a bad thing, because it works here, almost necessary to cut through the layers of flavor and bring a man back to earth. full body obviously, but not undrinkable in feel, just in strength for me at least. great bottle to share with other beer enthusiasts. its stuff like this that cements firestone walker near the top of the brewing hierarchy in my mind. not a hair out of place. this is a series i wait for every year, and it just keeps getting better. do not miss it.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2012 21:47:05 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of xnicknj
xnicknj

Pennsylvania

4.23/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into Tired Hands stemware

Hazy mahogany brown with dark hues. Crop of bubbled tanned head rests on top, fading into cloudy film and a few patches of lacing on the glass.

Tons of stuff happening here - toffee, burnt sugar, raisins, oak, chocolate, vanilla, oak, tequila, brandy, alcohol heat...enough already? Breathing in is a treat, as something new keeps popping up as the beer slowly warms.

Sweet and warm up front, driven by cocoa, vanilla, brandy and burnt sugar. Toffee, bread crust, big burly dark roasted malts. Plethora of liquor barrels including bourbon, brandy and tequila. Brown sugar, raisin and candied dark fruit. Soft hoppiness on the back end with strong alcohol warmth.

Fuller medium body, slightly higher carbonation, sticky and lingering on the tongue. A little crazy, definitely complex, and probably a little young yet. I enjoyed this but I'm looking forward to opening more bottles in a year or so.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2012 20:28:01 | More by xnicknj
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

4.03/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Local Option. Served in a snifter.

A - Tan foam settles to a partial cap and thick collar, leaving behind splotchy lace. Brown body with some ruby transparency when held to the light. Impressive for a 13% barrel-aged blend.

S - Roasty, with some chocolate an coffee notes and mild oak. Fairly stout-like this year, but with some obvious English malt influences, as well as a decidedly English approach to the barrel-aging; oxidized fruits and mild vanilla in addition to dry wood.

T - The taste is similar, with a mixture of roasty stout, vanilla, molasses, dark fruits, and chocolate, with a milder barrel influence than the aroma. The tequila is thankfully understated and creeps in late, although it does assert itself more as the beer warms with a spicy faux hop herbaceous vibe to it. Booze comes out a bit as this warms, and this gets a tad heavy and fatiguing.

M - Dry, roasty, and tannin heavy, with a medium-full body, and fairly restrained carbonation. Alochol is reasonably well-concealed, making this a smooth drinker even with the grainy and oak-heavy texture.

D - I enjoyed this more than the disappointing XV, as I dug the heavier roast stout flavors and the restraint on the vanilla. This also doesn't have cloying sugary sweetness and oxidization like last year. I was a bit skeptical about the blend, but the tequila integrated better than expected. I'd be curious to try this again, but I don't anticipate it will age that well, as it's decidedly mellow to begin with. Probably too pricey for me to splurge on though, as there are beers I enjoy more at half the price. It took me a while to work through the snifter.

Serving type: on-tap

12-30-2012 03:43:03 | More by MasterSki
Photo of sukwonee
sukwonee

Washington

4.18/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black opaque body from the side (you can see through from the top) with 1 finger light tan head that retains.

S: Oak, Vanilla, some hops, booziness,

T: While I think this could benefit a lot from aging, its got great taste fresh. I think it's a tad bit too boozy though. I guess lots of wood, oak, vanilla, caramel malt, roasty malt, hop bitterness, and booze. I also taste some... what appears to be tonic water? Very very complex.

M: It's thin for my linking and carbonation is quite sharp.

O: It's one tasty beer. As mentioned above, slightly too boozy and thin for my liking, but it's a very complex, masterfully blended beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2012 04:02:13 | More by sukwonee
Photo of DefenCorps
DefenCorps

Oregon

3.18/5  rDev -26.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2012 03:04:54 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of gr0g
gr0g

New Jersey

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

Served in a Stone Double Bastard mini tumbler. Color is deep brown, almost black, with good clarity. A thin, light-khaki head of tiny bubbles forms. The aroma is as complex as you'd imagine, being a blend of eight different barrel-aged beers. There's a definite coffee component, along with lots of sticky-sweet caramel. Alcohol is noticeable too, but it's quite subdued for a 13% brew and stays below the "too powerful" threshold.

XVI is my first FW anniversary ale, and it's a wonderful mash-up of barrel-aged stout and Barleywine. Sugars are kept nicely in check, while the sticky, slightly syrupy mouthfeel of other FW barrel aged offerings such as Abacus/Sucaba and Double DBA carries over. Dark toffee with chocolate accents. Some fruit components - think rum-soaked plums. Alcohol sting on the finish.

While aging would definitely help this, it was hard to resist trying this now. Despite some alcohol heat, this is drinking nicely now and is highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2012 20:51:46 | More by gr0g
Photo of rand
rand

California

4.7/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 650 mL bottle to pint glass

Ahh, Firestone's blended series continues. Notes of anise, vanilla and caramel leap from the glass while the deep mahogany and rich complexion keep with expectations. Having sampled Firestone's barrel-aged, there's a certain signature profile unique to the brewery, which makes Parabola and Abacus ridiculous. Pretty much the same thing here.

Boozy notes blend with anise and chocolate. Oak and vanilla are bordered by a touch of hop crispness. The whole mouthfeel is cohesive and singularly but nuanced. Finishes long but doesn't linger.

This brew is amazing, and it shows Firestone has developed a trademark barrel-age flavor. The beer is extremely dangerous, 13% is afterthought...sip slowly.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2012 04:21:48 | More by rand
Photo of flexabull
flexabull

California

4.05/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ah number 16... I'm getting old, I remember buying number 10, and it feels like it was a couple of years ago.

Pours a pretty deep brown color with a pretty nice off white head.

Aromas are very nice. Notes of cocoa, leather, light tabacco, coconut, and brown sugar.

Taste is boozy, with notes of roasted nuts, tabacco, and hints of brown sugar. Finish is warmth from the alcohol with sweet coconut and vanilla flavors.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side. I like this style to have a bit more body. It is smooth and well carbonated though.

Overall? Solid, but this doesn't quite measure to prior years versions. Kinda bummed that the last couple of years have just been very good instead of excellent, might be time to open my vertical and stop buying 2 bottles per year. Nice beer, but I'm not sure it's worth it's price tag.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2012 04:15:25 | More by flexabull
Photo of Treebs
Treebs

Illinois

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

22 oz. bottle served in a FW tulip.

A: Pours a solid black color with some dark ruby highlights around the edges. A light khaki head forms on the pour and recedes slowly to a thick ring. Sticky sheets of lace are left down the glass.

S: Some chocolate and caramel malt notes. A little roast and a touch of oak. As it warms up there are definitive spirit/bourbon notes on the back end.

T: Light bourbon-like flavors up front that give way to some milk chocolate and a little bit of coffee bean. Some salted caramel sweetness with a touch of roast. Slightly oaky as well with just a hint of piney hops and a little bit of booze. A little bit of brown sugar sweetness comes out as well.

M: Medium to heavy bodied with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Medium carbonation level.

O: This was definitely stout like in flavor profile, but there are bits and pieces of some of the other blended beers that remind you it's still a blend. This might be the best fresh Anniversary ale that I've had from FW.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2012 13:45:53 | More by Treebs
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