Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Firestone 16 - Anniversary Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

158 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 158
Hads: 1,063
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 3.26%
Wants: 145
Gots: 487 | 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: 158 | Hads: 1,063
Photo of Jwale73
4.12/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to newbrewbb for not only sharing this, but buying me one for my cellar to boot! Served in a tulip. Pours the color of cola with ruby highlights around the base when backlit. Head is a quarter inch, loose and cream-colored and quickly disperses into a thin band around the shoulders. Great nose - malty, buttery, coconut, vanilla notes and a boozy quality. Taste consistent with nose with the addition of a pleasant cocoa presence. Mouthfeel is a bit thin for this beer in my opinion. Medium-light in body (but closer to the lighter end of the spectrum) with a carbonation that is a little too assertive and a hint of alcohol heat at the finish. Overall, a very good blend. The nose and the flavors are great; however, the mouthfeel, specifically the carbonation level, detracts slightly from the overall experience. I definitely plan on cellaring a bottle for at least a year to see how it develops with some time. (922 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.43/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep brown caramel with a small khaki head. Settles quickly. Just a stray wisp on the surface.

Smell - Lots of barrel, but nondescript. A lot of different alcohols mixing here. Caramel and some darker malts.

Taste - Much more rich caramel than the nose and a more direct Bourbon barrel. Vanilla and bitter oak. Chalky and bitter finish. Mix of flavors that is impossible to discern.

Mouthfeel - Doesn't taste like 13%, but it had all sorts of other pitfalls. Rough bitter finished and a very odd flavor I can't pick out.

Overall - There's something there I can't pick out. Unpleasant in the back. Chalky is he best way to describe it. (689 characters)

Photo of Danimal25
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is, hands-down, one of the best beers ever created for the retail market. Perfect balance resulting from perfect blending. Nice bourbon and caramel flavors running through it...but nothing overbearing. Layers and layers of flavor...pairs wonderfully with a cigar as well. (276 characters)

Photo of tectactoe
4.11/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Jeff for sharing this one with us! Pours a dark-ass brown color, very nearly black with a tan head, small and unobtrusive but lasting for at least half of the pour. The smell is very commanding and powerful, hitting first with a big vanilla-bourbon combination. Oaky, sweet, and full of spicy alcohol. Right from the nose, you know that this beer means serious business. If I had to guess, it smells more powerful than 13% ABV, although 13% is still nothing to scoff at. Nice balance of sweetness and booziness overall.

Wow, the taste is as robust and strong as they come. Thick and syrupy bourbon and whiskey right out of the gate. This one definitely tastes a bit higher than 13% ABV, it's pretty hot, but still remains drinkable given it's sheer power. Sweet brown sugar, sugar coated figs and dates. Very, very boozy vanilla and lots of oak and wood flavors. Moderate amounts of cocoa and toasted caramel in the finish, although the bourbon is still the most prominent thing in this brew. Slightly on the thicker side for the body, mild carbonation.

Whoa, this one will put you on your ass if you don't look out! Very strong and very powerful, yet deceivingly sweet and drinkable at the same time. A nicely crafted brew that I'm glad I got the chance to try. I'd like to see this one with a few years on it and see if the alcohol mellows out a bit, just a touch too hot right now. (1,396 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark chestnut brown color that appears pitch black and opaque in the glass with a two finger beige head that quickly settles into a thin, lasting ring. Decent retention considering the style and high ABV with sporadic spotty lacing left behind.

Complex, yet very inviting nose with a strong barrel presence that seems nicely integrated into the characteristics of the individual base beers of the blend. There's a nice toasted oak presence giving off hints of damp wood, vanilla, marshmallow and toasted coconut. This is accompanied by various spirits but bourbon seems to dominate. Sweet and spicy with some rye whiskey and brandy. Tequila barrels were used in the PNC portion of the blend but I can't really pick any of that up in the nose. Five of the eight beers in the blend were aged in bourbon barrels so that naturally dominates yet I can still pick out brandy and other spirit notes.

Although the barrel presence is strong it doesn't dominate the aroma allowing elements of the various stouts, barleywines and strong ales to stand out. There's a nice balance of sweet, earthy and roasted malt notes along with spicy rye and a complex hop profile. There's a decent leathery malt presence that's complimented by resinous, earthy hops that give off hints of grass and pine needle. I'm also picking up a faint citrus hop presence after the beer warms up a bit. Roasted coffee bean, burnt toast and oatmeal are countered by a silky dark chocolate presence as well as some caramel, toffee and fudge/chocolate cake.

Fuller bodied than expected with a surprising amount of carbonation. Viscous and chewy with a ton of intense barrel flavor which lingers over the various malt and hop flavors into a sweet, slightly hot finish. There is a strong bourbon barrel component but it isn't as dominant as it is in the nose. Lots of dry, toasted oak as well as some vanilla, coconut, subtle vinous fruit and a touch of ash. The bourbon presence is sweet and spicy without being overly boozy or abrasive. The brandy, spicy rye whiskey and other spirit flavors come through but I'm still not picking up much tequila. I would have never guessed that those barrels were used if I didn't read it in the description. Underneath the barrel flavors, there is a complex malt bill and a balanced hop profile that surprisingly stands out in the finish. I wasn't expecting as much barleywine character but it really stands out with leathery malt, bitter, earthy hops and vinous dark fruit flavor. These flavors are complimented by an assortment of sweet and roasted malt notes from the brown ale, black IPA and various stouts used in the blend. Sweet, silky chocolate/dessert like notes along with caramel, toffee and vinous fruit balanced by burnt malt, oatmeal, roasted espresso bean and toast. There is so much going on here and even though the Wookey Jack is only a very small portion of the blend(4.5%), the spicy rye, roasted malt and complex hop profile of that beer really stand out, especially in the finish with dry bitterness, earthy pine and subtle citrus.

Overall, this beer is pretty exceptional and drinks way too smoothly for something of it's complexity and strength. There are a lot of bold flavors bouncing off of one another but nothing seems to dominate. Something new is found in each sip and everything seems to go together perfectly. Finally, it's hard to fathom that this beer is 13%. Drinkability is a term that gets loosely thrown around but this beer is truly dangerous. I don't know how they did it but the blend they came up with expertly masks the high alcohol content. Sure, there is lots of alcohol flavor/sweetness but there's hardly and heat with just a bit of warmth in the finish. I usually enjoy the FW anniversary beers over the course of an hour but I had to slow myself down with this one. Another exemplary barrel aged/blended beer from the crew at Firestone Walker. (3,905 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter glass.

A real nice dark walnut brown, with lots of red edges to it. Makes a creamy light tan one finger top from the pour with some real microscopic bubbles to it. Fairly impressive looking if basic.

Bouquet hits with a good amount of heat. Sense of raspberry, cherry, red fruits and dark raisins. Splintery wood sensations. Touch of vanilla hides in the back just barely.

Mouthfeel is the most noticeable on first sip. Extremely silky and roasty palate. Hits of chared roast with a creamy chocolate sense. Fruit angle of cherry seems to wash over real nicely too. Nice round oak body. Doesn't taste boozy either.

Overall it's just a real simple but good tasting aged brew, with hardly any hint that this comes in at a whopping 13 percent abv. Tastes like a roasty barleywine. (824 characters)

Photo of Chico1985
4.04/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this a little over a month ago, reviewing from notes.

This pours pitch black with a tan head that sticks around mostly as a thick ring, leaving spots of lace. Pretty good for the ABV.

Definitely a strong scent, with lots of chocolate, dark fruit and bourbon barrel showing through. A bit on the boozy side.

Taste...is like the beer...a crazy blend of flavor. It is quite stout-like overall as expected but quite a bit more going on underneath the surface. Big chocolate, brown sugar, dark fruits, some roast, mix with a good kick of bourbon and oak. What really throws this one for a loop is the tequila barrel, which gets intense with warmth, but is somehow pretty well integrated.

All these barrels in a 13% beer makes this one a little boozy by nature, but it's not abrasive and adds to the complexity. Body is medium, leaning more towards thin than hefty, with medium carbonation as well.

These anniversary blends just keep getting crazier, the tequila barrel really added something unique here. I may buy another. (1,028 characters)

Photo of WillCarrera
4.34/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a super-dark brown, nearly black, with a thin layer of khaki head, leaves spotty lacing.

S- Very sweet, rich, decadent aroma. Lots of dark fruit, vanilla and caramel sweetness as well as loads of dark chocolate and some roasted grain and mild oak.

T- Similar to the aroma, but with a more noticeable chocolate fudge and fruity sweetness. The chocolate, fruit, caramel and vanilla are all delicious and in nice proportion to each other. There are also roasted grain and char flavors and oak, booziness is noticeable but mild and sweet.

M- Full-bodied, moderate carbonation, has a smooth, creamy texture with a dry finish.

O- A delicious beer, I enjoyed this much, much more than last year's version. It's a bit pricey, but is quite tasty and worth picking up at least a bottle of. (833 characters)

Photo of Teleweizen2
4.58/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A - Pours a deep opaque chocolate brown which gets darker . Maybe a fingers worth of frothy tan foam which doesn't last long to no surprise. Spotty lacing is left on the glass with every sip.

S - a deeply complex and truly evolving aroma. While the beer is on the colder side, 40 degrees or so, notes of french roast coffee, Belgian dark chocolate, bourbon and hints of pine needles. as it warms notes of caramel-y bourbon and rum soaked raisins become stronger. But notes of Vanilla, oak, cocoa powder, toasted coconut are persistent through out.

T - sweet and lightly toasted malt profile up front. Hints of chocolate and burnt sugar around the edges. the center is round and juicy. Lots of dark fruits intertwining with chocolate flavors like dates and cherries. Very light earthy hop profile balances out nicely. The backend is sweet and boozy with strong notes of caramel, granulated sugar and vanilla. The woody vanilla and caramel flavors linger on.

M - Full bodied with a creamy texture and a frothy high carbonation.

O - Excellent beer. This is how barrel aged beers should always be done. with balance and precision in mind. What I like about this beer is that it is stout up front, barelywine in back and a perfect blend of both in the middle. All while being mellow and without unpleasant fussel alcohol or heat. Great stuff. Will report back on later findings. (1,381 characters)

Photo of liamt07
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle thanks to buzze40, 22oz into some tulips.

Deep brown, with a mocha head. Good lace and a little bit of retention. Nose has moderate bourbon, leather, oak and vanilla. Hella complex. Palate has more vanilla, oak, coconut, general whiskey barrel notes and chocolate. Again, complexity exceeds my descriptors. Medium full body, and exceptionally smooth palate. Ideal carbonation right out the bottle as well. Brilliant. (424 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz bomber, oversized snifter

Nice garnet-mahogany body, light creamy head with minimal retention. An interesting blend, and quite different than previous anniversary releases. Obviously, FW nails the barrel aging component. They are second to none in that category. Waves of brandy, bourbon, and wood but not as overpowering as in the past. I really get the barleywine and double DBA coming through strong - lots of tropical hops buried beneath layers of chocolate, malt, and rich decadence. (494 characters)

Photo of Anker13
4.41/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had it last night on draft at Churchkey in DC. Was with company so I didn't want to nerd out and take notes, but this was truly a remarkable beer.

Served in a snifter

Appearance- very dark, not quite motor oil but deep brown almost black, tan head

Aroma- vanilla, oak, toasty, slight coffee and dark malt, almost bourbony, not a lot of hop character

Mouthfeel- super well balanced, surprisingly light co2, medium-full bodied

Taste- Fantastic beer! Vanilla bean and toasted malt flavors, woody and earthy. It starts sweet and finishes bittersweet.

Residual- nice lingering sweetness, not overwhelming

Overall- A great offering. Would never have guessed it was 13%. I haven't spent any intimate time with Firestone Walker, but after trying this beer I will definitely be seeing what else they have to offer (812 characters)

Photo of ThickNStout
4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottler from LetsPour.com. No bottling date but it's only a couple months old. Served in a Sweetwater snifter.

Pours dark brown, near black with garnet highlights around the edges and a half finger burnt cream head. The head fades quickly and leaves small wisps of lace.

Smells of vanilla, oak, toffee, currants and burnt caramel.

Taste is a hot, yet smooth blend of oak, bourbon, dates, toffee, currants, vanilla, medium roast coffee, cocoa, leather, licorice/ anise, brandied dates, tobacco, charred pine and plenty of booze. It's plenty hot but goes down incredibly smooth for a 13% brew. My description can't possibly do this justice. It has layer upon layer of flavor.

Creamy medium full feel with average carbonation. Long, complex finish with bourbon, dark fruits and more booze.

One of the most conplex beers that I've tried. So many different flavors going on here. It's got a good bit of booze for sure but it still goes down easy. I'd love to have another to age but no regrets for drinking this one now. (1,030 characters)

Photo of Immortale25
4.11/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a Dogfish signature snifter. Label says 2012.

A- Pours a mostly opaque black color with a 1/4 inch tan head that retains a bit before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a patch of bubbly surface foam. Slippery non-resilient lacing slides down the glass quickly leaving little specs behind.

S- Intensely boozy oak aroma with some sweet malt behind it. Whoo, borderline rubbing alcohol. Not very pleasant.

T- The taste is a different story. The alcohol is still there as well as the oak but there's more of a chocolaty sweetness to accompany it. Also some vanilla and caramel with the dark roasted malt smoothing every thing out and even lending some bitterness, but more like coffee bitterness rather than hops. There are some mild hop notes but they take a backseat to all the other flavors. Oak aftertaste.

M- Slightly creamy and slick with medium carbonation and a full body.

O- Super solid but the fumy aroma is a bit off-putting. Otherwise, I enjoyed how drinkable it is for such a strong beer. (1,037 characters)

Photo of rfgetz
4.36/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark mix of black, brown and red, decent cap of khaki froth, gone quickly but decent lacing. Lots goin on in the scent, leads with vanilla and coconut, quick turn to booze - smooth bourbon and some more astringent notes, damp wood and earth, mocha coffee and chocolate, dank piney and citrus hops, light toasted caramel. Needless to say, the taste has a lot going on. First impression wasn how approachable it was fresh, despite the large presence of burbon, tequila and more, smooth and flavorful without being overbearing. Definitely want to age one now. Medium to heavy on the palate, a touch more smoothness would be welcomed for such a heavy beer. Overall, one of the top anniversary blends and a welcome one along side the fantastic Parabola and Succaba. (773 characters)

Photo of gcamparone
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
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. (1,254 characters)

Photo of snaotheus
4.86/5  rDev +13.3%
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. (630 characters)

Photo of DanChristensen
4.58/5  rDev +6.8%
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! (1,087 characters)

Photo of smcnulty1981
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
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 (849 characters)

Photo of ms11781
4/5  rDev -6.8%
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. (1,780 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
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. (636 characters)

Photo of BierJager89
4.66/5  rDev +8.6%
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. (629 characters)

Photo of jzeilinger
3.92/5  rDev -8.6%
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. (1,115 characters)

Photo of Chadhowie
3.59/5  rDev -16.3%
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. (272 characters)

Photo of chiral3
3.01/5  rDev -29.8%
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. (1,135 characters)

Firestone 16 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 158 ratings.