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Firestone 16 - Anniversary Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
95
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167 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
167
Ratings:
1,099
Avg:
4.3
pDev:
24.42%
 
 
Wants:
148
Gots:
491
For Trade:
40
Firestone 16 - Anniversary AleFirestone 16 - Anniversary Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by AgentMunky on 11-15-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 167 | Ratings: 1,099
Photo of Scotchboy
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

FW XVI, on-tap @ Bier:Thirty in Bound Crossing, 10oz served in a snifter...

A: Dark, nearly opaque brown with a creamy tan head and pretty good lacing for a big beer...

S: Liquid macaroon...seriously great aromas of toasted coconut and almond, lots of vanilla...oak and sweet alcohol too, without being overly boozy...chocolate...dark caramel, dates and figs and other hints of DDBA and Sticky Monkey...further suggestions of spirits, bourbon, whiskey are all mellow but present.

T: Follows the nose, there is a good amount of sweetness here; vanilla, caramel, coconut, chocolate...again, the booze is in check...there is a touch of citrusy hop character as well, more sweetness from the notes of spirits, bourbon. Rich and delectable.

MF: Fuller bodied, creamy mouthfeel, lower carbonation levels and sensations of sticky, viscous alcohol are left behind.

O: I'm going to say this one is not as good (IMO) as XIV but its still quite nice right out of the chute. Alcohol is really manageable for a young 13% strong ale, and the barrels and beers are, as always, blended beautifully.

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Photo of sukwonee
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

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Photo of Rimbimhoot
4.24/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2012 Vintage

A: Dark brown with a tan head
S: Bourbon, brown sugar, alcohol, caramel, molasses, dark chocolate, tobacco
T: Sweet caramel, bourbon, molasses, dark chocolate, light coffee, tobacco, light bitterness, coconut
M: Medium heavy but easy drinking
O: I prefer almost all beers fresh but this has held up very well. Definitely a large barleywine presence in this vintage

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Photo of beerdrifter
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up from a great trade with Evan! Clear dark mahogany pour with a two finger beige head with great retention and lacing. The nose is toasty and very oak forward with hints of caramel, toffee, molasses, vanilla, subtle chocolate, tobacco and booze. The taste mirrors the nose with tons of oak and caramel along with hints of vanilla, toffee, brown sugar, tobacco, subtle dark fruit, chocolate, maple, coconut, and booze. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, slightly syrupy, perfectly carbonated with great balance and a subtle boozey warming finish. Overall, this is a bold, complex, and flavorful beer with huge drinkability for the ABV. Another awesome beer from one of my favorite breweries! Highly recommended!

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Photo of standardcherry
4.6/5  rDev +7%
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.

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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 Gosox8787
4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Presentation: Bomber bottle purchased very recently at a store for $20.00. Chilled and poured into my Kate the Great tulip.

Appearance: Dark mahogany brown in color with very low carbonation. A very aggressive pour yields some light brown head that settles and slowly recedes.

Aroma: Chocolate cake, caramel, and marshmallow sweetness. There is some bourbon, oak, light vanilla and a touch of spice from the tequila. Definitely more stout heavy than the last blend but the barleywine gives off plenty of backing sweetness.

Taste: Like the aroma, tons of chocolate cake, marshmallow and caramel. The residual sweetness is very nice and mellows out the alcohol. Some bourbon, oak and even a touch of tequila as well add some depth. Some nice balance as well.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, full bodied and smooth. Not undercarbonated at all. About average carbonation for the style.

Overall, I really enjoyed this blend. The stout quality really comes through and contributes some nice chocolate and caramel with some bourbon backing. Really mellow for the ABV.

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Photo of patm1986
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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Photo of Bfarr
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deep clear brown with red highlights and thin tan head with no retention. Bold vanilla and bourbon oak and chocolate hints. Caramel, vanilla and oak flavors with milk and dark chocolate sweetness. Floral, citrus, and honey in the lightly dry finish. Full mouthfeel with a low carbonation.

Much more dominant in the stout and barrel aged flavors than the delicate, vinous flavors of XV. Still a rich beautiful beer well worth the investment. As usual, their anniversary beer is a feast for the senses.

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Photo of yamar68
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
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!

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

8 pour into a mini nonic glass.

A: Pours a dark brownish black that lets light through about 1/4 of an inch. A small khaki head that dissolves to a film.

S: Aroma of barrel aging, bourbon, oak and vanilla. Big malt bill on this one.

T: Such a balanced barrel flavor. The mix of beers really blends together nicely. Tequila does come through and provides a touch of burn. A stoutish barley wine with a focus on barrel aging.

M: Medium to full body with a creamy mouthfeel. Touch of a burn from the barrels. Certainly a sipper but one to be enjoyed.

Overall such a great blend. Very impressive and does justice to a great brewery's anniversary.

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Photo of OStrungT
5/5  rDev +16.3%
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!

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Photo of gcamparone
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

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Photo of Jonada
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours dark brown with 2 fingers of a light tan creamy head. Appears black in once in the glass, but when held up to light reveals hints of brown and dark ruby red.

Smell: Bourbon, caramel, toffee, chocolate, roasted malt, vanilla, and a bit of coconut.

Taste: Chocolate, coffee, bourbon, roasted malt, caramelized sugar, toffee, tequila, slight earthiness.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, creamy mouthfeel. Carbonation on the low end of medium.

Overall: Incredibly complex beer. Each smell and sip seems to yield additional flavors and aromas. This is a beer that's worth seeking out.

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Photo of rand
4.67/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

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Photo of brureview
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Cellared for about a year.

Poured a deep opaque chocolate color with a 1F head in a tulip.

The aroma is very sweet milk chocolate. Unlike other chocolate aromas in beers- layered and nuanced.

The mouth feel is moderately carbonated. With warming, the beer will take on more of an alcoholic finish.

The taste is similar to the aroma- mostly chocolate and subtly layered. There is some Bourbon, but not as strong as I anticipated.

As the beer warms up, the chocolate dissipates, and the alcoholic Bourbon finish is more dominant.

Overall, a wonderful beer. Subtly complex aroma and taste.

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Photo of aleigator
4.01/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thank you very much for this, Jason! Dark brown, almost black color, with a small beige lacing.

Aromas of honeyed malts, coated up by gentle bourbon aromas, both warming and fervent.

Earthy, warm malts form the first impression, which turns sweeter, as coconut flavor along with a huge enjoyable bourbon and rum note become visible on the palate. Alcoholic notes get detectable, as they wash over honeyed malts. Still, the overall balance of this beer remains, due to a complex chocolate defined body, wrapped up in intriguing cocoa and mocha flavors, which get softened on the palate by a fantastic oakiness. Bourbon flavor adds a gentle, stinging complexity to the toffeeish malts of the beer. Subtle coffee bitterness, along with warm alcoholic notes shape the complex aftertaste, completed on the palate by wooden oak. Full bodied beer with a very smooth mouthfeel, fantastic balanced.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Raul's jam - The Playground in Downtown Santa Ana, CA.

Wild stuff, like, the stuff that can make you listen to Ricky Martin n like it!

Smell? A bit harsh. A bit good. A bit like straight up booze.

Taste? Yeah, baby. Yeah, it potent, but those damn flavors done pop like Livin' La Vida Loca!

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Photo of ThePaleRider
3.97/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.66/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of gr0g
4.47/5  rDev +4%
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.

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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 ThrewRedButter
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

L - Brown out of the bottle ,but pitch black in the glass. Half a finger of khaki head.

S - Plums, raisins, brown sugar, bourbon, oak, tequila

T - More quad than stout. Figs, raisins, some cherry. Subtle milk chocolate and roasted malt. A sticky molasses taste and hint of vanilla.

F - Thick and viscous. No alcohol at all. Not even a warming sensation.

O - While this is complex as all hell, I can't help but feel everything is slightly subdued. It was probably mind-blowing when fresh, but with age, this is still great and worth your time.

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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 Teleweizen2
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

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Firestone 16 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 167 ratings.