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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 homebrew311
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is burgundy with a thin lingering white head. Leaves behind splotchy lacing. Nose is sweet with maple, vanilla, and a moderate amount of oak. Taste is well balance with maple, vanilla, minimal chocolate, a little bit of booze at the end. Mouthfeel is heavy with medium carbonation. Overall, not as tasty as 15, a little spendy, worth a try.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2012)

Texas Liquor
Carlsbad, CA

Just about black with a moderately sized dark brown, somewhat persistent, head. Leaves streaks of random, messy bubbles irregularly down the glass. Very pretty. Not quite as thick in appearance as some barrel-aged stouts, but this is a gorgeous beer.

The aroma reminds me of a Milky Way candy bar: chocolate and caramel especially, with a little bit of vanilla nougat as well. There's a hint of booze, and some delicate dark fruit character--the dark fruit character emerges more and more as the beer warms. Very good, but not transcending.

The flavor is more complete and more complex than the aroma would suggest. Layers of chocolate, caramel, pie crust, vanilla, and mild oak combine exceptionally well. The alcohol is nicely hidden, though a complementary accent. Some mild roast, but it's not a main component of the beer's flavor. Wonderful stuff.

Near full in body with moderate carbonation. Surprisingly carbonated.

Fantastic. Much better than Firestone 15, and in the same realm as previous iterations.

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Photo of harrymel
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saw this in the store, decided to try it.

Pours a toasted, dark tawny with a rim and confluent etching of light tan foam. Smells of bourbon, alcohol, cocoa powder, baker's chocolate, hints of resin, some oak, a bit of bing cherry, some vanilla and nougat. Taste is boozy up front, sweet, some bourbon, some cherries, vanilla, marzipan, bits of oak and tawny porto. Medium bodied with lower carb and a wet finish. A nice beer, a very enjoyable beer. I'm starting to think that this series is worth a try annually, but not really worth the money it demands to get into the bottle....

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Photo of flexabull
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.62/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark black with a bit of brown around the edges and a finger of frothy tannish head. The head fades down at a fairly quick pace leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet caramel and dark caramel malts, oak, vanilla, Bourbon, tequila, chocolate, roasted malts, brown sugar, toasted coconuts, dark fruits, Brandy, and a bit of booze.

T - Starts off with a mix of dark caramel malts, vanilla, tequila, dark fruits, and some toasted coconut. Through the middle, the oak, Bourbon, Brandy, chocolate, roasted malts, brown sugar, and bit of citrus hop. The finish is a mix of dark caramel malts, dark fruit, oak, vanilla, toasted coconuts, Bourbon, Brandy, Tequila, chocolate, molasses, and booze.

M - Full bodied with mild carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet and warming finish.

D - Very drinkable. Amazing blend of flavors. Very complex but still has a great deal of smoothness.

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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 MDDMD
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-medium to dark brown color with a nice light tan head and some lacing

S-caramel, toffee, dark fruit, chocolate,vanilla, bourbon, light oak

T-toasted malt, caramel, toffee, raisins, chocolate, oak, bourbon

F-medium body with light to moderate carbonation, smooth, little booziness

O-great flavors, loved sipping this and even more enjoyable as it warmed

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Photo of elNopalero
4.54/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

(From my 6+ month old notes)

This is the last of the series I tried as part of a flight at an epic bottle share.

As the most recent of the flight available (at the time of tasting) I found this beer to be “young” and still developing, at least in relation to the complexity, blended smoothness, and layers of the previous iterations.

This pours a dark black with cocoa colored foaming. I get a lot on the aromas, with some tobacco, stone fruits (figs and raisins), a bit of dark cherry and bitter chocolate. There’s an underlying boozy note that complements all this but the balance seems to be in process.

Flavorwise there’s more of the same. Lots of big flavors, from dried stone fruits to dark chocolates, and a hint of wood and vanilla beans. Wet leather? Tobacco leaf? Candied Orange? Yes, yes, and yes. A terrific blend but again, I would love to revisit this with a little more age on it. Since it’s a FW anniversary beer I’m not just looking for “good,” but transcendent.

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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 beergoot
4.17/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown body with a thin yet foamy and lasting head; minor lacing on the glass. Light caramel and roasted nut aroma; ripened dates and figs. Rich caramel and tobacco flavors mixed with vanilla; brown sugar, and booze. Heavy body; semi-sweet and rich mouthfeel.

Taste wins out with this heavy, heady brew. Robust malt flavors rumble with a big alcohol heat factor, creating an intense and enjoyable tasting experience.

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

some chocolate milk head but that went away quickly. very very dark brown in the glass, no lacing, just unorganized foamy bubbles on the side of the glass. smell is very beautiful. bourbon is very nice layered on top of some lighter coffee, toffee roasted malts, vanilla. taste is the same and very well-balanced, very smooth. all I can say is 'wow'. a little bitter on the sides, but this is extremely smooth and velvety. I didn't research this much before I opened it so I was intrigued when I read what Phelps wrote in his review back in July. quite a mix of some decent brew. before I even continue with this, and I think I just want to relax and enjoy this one, I will recommend you scroll down to read what Phelps wrote as that was a really nice description....
mmm, lingering chocolate and not in a novelty way. this is really an almost perfect brew. this one is truly "good to the last drop".

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

FW blended together 226 oak barrels and 8 different beers creating something truly complex and exceptional. XVI is 42% stout with Velvet Merkin, Parabola and “PNC” working together as three roasty toasty friends that create rich cacao, chocolate and mocha flavors together. “PNC” also introduces tequila barrels into our blend for the first time and brings some interesting south of the boarder spirit notes to the mix – a welcome twist. Helldorado, with flavors of lavender honey liqueur was again a favorite of the winemakers and made the cut adding some flowery notes. FW Double Double Barrel Ale (DDBA) continues to deliver its signature American toasted oak, English caramel toffee and light leather nuances. DDBA was also released on its own in 2012 and is now established as a solid annual brew. Stickee Monkee is fast becoming one of FW's favorite pieces with its rich maple syrup, spicy cinnamon, and ripe fig flavors which has developed into a bolder cousin of perennial blend component Bravo who carries barrel character and bourbon notes like no other. The additional twist in 2012 was the Wookey Jack, Black Rye IPA with its wily citrusy hop notes and spicy rye backbone. The finished blend is unfiltered and unfined.

Pours a deep dark garnet color with a moderately full, tan, pillowy head which is somewhat lasting and leaves minimal drippy lace throughout. The nose is full of spice (alcohol, pepper, bourbon, tequila, rye, cinnamon), vanilla bean, molasses, almond, milk chocolate, cocoa, light maple, and faint grapefruit. The flavor is similar with less spice but still present; there is a very slight grapefruit and peach underneath everything, almonds still, dusty yeast and dry chocolate, molasses, figs, creme brulee, some toasty oak, cinnamon and pepper, and a tequila note that is was quite distinguishable. The palate is perfect with a a soft to lively carbonation, a full body, and a round, chewy, and velvety mouthfeel. The beer finishes with some coffee roast and dark chocolate adding bitterness, still cinnamon, vanilla creme brulee, molasses, but ultimately chocolate notes lingering. Overall, an excellent Anniversary brew that I'd love to have again.

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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 Arbitrator
3.2/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. My first review from my Kindle!

A: Pours a dark brown; not totally black when held to the light. Light tan head with short retention.

S: Toffee, caramel, raisin (sherry), vanilla. I do not find the signature coconut aroma I love in FW barrel aged beers. There is a significant bourbon and oak note. Some heat. I'm a little let down already; the past anniversary beers have often had much more expressive noses. This is a bit one-dimensional.

T: Undeveloped and simplistic considering the past successes of the blending program. This is no XIII. The oatmeal stout is prominent; it lends a chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon base that some of the other flavors play off: a touch of brandy, some toffee, and a spicy bite that I assume is from the tequila. It's not bad, but it is not great. I was hoping the other components would express themselves more in the flavor, but they have been lost in the mix.

M: Medium bodied. It is not boozy, but it has a warming effect on the way down.

O: Pretty forgettable at the price point. This is outclassed by Parabola and Sucaba, which are $10 cheaper. If it were a $10 four-pack, sure...

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Photo of hooliganlife
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

pours a cola brown, cloudy, dark, creamy head

rich vanilla and sweet bourbon. candied fruit and molasses

similar to nose, very smooth vanilla and oak bourbon. sweet candy and molasses with a touch of chocolate.

mild to moderate carbonation, a lot of burn on the gums and lips. the heat really reminds you this is 13% and barrel aged.

smooth, good stuff. a great evening sipper.

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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 jaasen64
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Salty Pig in Boston. 10oz serving in a Boulevard glass ($13).

A- Pours a dark slightly reddish brown that appears mostly opaque in the glass. About two fingers of frothy darker beige cream boardering mocha brown head that has nice retention but slowly recedes to a flat top without any head leaving some light layered lacing. Decent consistently rising carbonation.

S- Chocolate, toffee, tequila, lightly roasted malts, hints of bourbon, and some light oak. Decently aromatic, fairly complex, and a nice balance without anything dominating too much. If anything the tequila shows a little bit much in the barrels.

T- Fairly sweet mixture of chocolate, toffee, tequila that adds taste but not much of an alcohol flavor, some faint bourbon, and some oaky vanilla. Finishes with a barrel aged presence that definitely makes itself known and a cocoa aftertaste that lingers with a hint of tequila.

M- Smooth, very drinkable especially at 13%, only a slight abv burn, nice carbonation, fairly full bodied.

O- Nice barrel blend that has a slight over-powering taste but other then that it is nicely balanced taking the best elements from each of the base beers. FW 16 was very smooth and did not have a strong alcohol presence until it hit you later. It had a nice complexity and a very nice drinkability. I think I preferred 15 a little bit more, but 16 was very good and I definitely recommend trying it. I definitely recommend giving it a try, but due to the price I probably wouldn't pick up too many.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz, November '12 (I think was release date)
Tired Hands glass

A: Pours medium brown color with reddish hues. You can see some color through the edges. Collar of light tan head. Definitely getting some alcohol feet on this 13% brew. Not a lot of lacing due to lack of head.

S: Booze on nose. Caramel. Toffee. Vanilla and oak for sure. Malty sweetness. Definitely smells like a barrel aged brew. So much going on.

T: Although it smelled hot, it drinks fairly well. You get that booze that you smelled on the back end. Throat warmth. Lots of sweet malts here. Getting notes of vanilla, caramel, toffee, leather, etc. All what you'd expect with some of the blend brews. Really need to dig into another one of these down the road and let it open up even more with warmth. Epic stuff.

M: Full bodied. But easy drinking.

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Photo of spoony
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 22 oz bottle into a wine glass.

A-The brew is ebony in color with little flecks of ruby color in the light. A soft pour produced no head and only a thin ring of dark tan foam.

S-A barrel-heavy blend of chocolate, bourbon, and brown sugar. Lots of booze here, which gives the brew a sort of hot nose, but it isn't off-putting.

T-The taste tracks the smell pretty closely. Booze is upfront and immediately noticeable, but it carries a nice mixture of milky chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, and brown sugar. Also a little dark fruit.

M-Sweet, heavy bodied feel, but not terribly syrupy (too much alcohol for that, I think). Carbonation is mild and fine.

O-I enjoyed this beer quite a bit. It was hot and boozy, but the alcohol kept things from being too cloying, and the flavors layered nicely. I never felt like the booze or barrel characters overpowered things. I will be curious to see how a some time in the cellar changes the flavors.

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Photo of snaotheus
4.86/5  rDev +13%
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.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a goblet. Pours a deep brown with some mahogany outskirts in the light. Bit hazy on first view. Thin cap of foam settles a bit but keeps a thin cap and ring. A swirl yields a nice aroma of the barrel and a hint of chocolate notes. Touch of brown sugar but not the depth I've come to expect though still fairly solid.

Taste is smooth and easy yet seems to lack a bit of the direction of years past. Bit muddled in a sense. Bit of chocolate/red cherry on the finish but brief it is. Feel is moderate and blah overall, and particularly given the lineage of this beer. Alas, good yet not my favorite Anniversary Beer by a longshot..

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Firestone Walker Sixteen (XVI)
Poured into a snifter from the tap at iTap (Soulard). Poured during their Nightmare Before Christmas Event.

Copied from notes.

Pours a dark, dark brown almost black with a light creame colored head. The head is short and slightly dense but recedes fairly quickly. Leaves some sticky lacing. (4.0)

Intense bourbon aroma starts things off. Licorice and some cinnamon present form the wood and there are some intense caramel notes. The booze in this brew is definitely hard to miss. It is very intense and hot. (4.0)

The flavor follows the nose. Caramel and toffee sweetness starts thing off while an intense rush of boozy heat comes in quick. Sort of overtakes the sweetness. There are some vanilla notes in there, as well as some slight chocolate roast present. The flavors are intense and work well together but the brew is very hot. Mouthfeel is oily and viscous. Finishes dry but with somewhat of a sticky caramel note. (4.0) (4.5)

Overall, this brew is good. I’ve had better of their Anniversary blends. Very hot. Flavors are delicious and sweet with caramel and nice cinnamon notes but the heat overtakes them somewhat. Also, this version doesn't seem as well blended as the others. (3.5)

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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 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 Phelps
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16 is composed of eight different beers from 226 oaken barrels. The percentages fall out like so:

- 23 percent Velvet Merkin, an awesomely-named bourbon-aged oatmeal stout
- 22.5 percent Stickee Monkee, a nearly 13-percent ABV English barleywine aged in bourbon and brandy barrels
- 20.3 percent Double Double Barrel Ale, an imperial English pale ale aged in retired barrels from the Firestone Union
- 10.8 percent Parabola, a bourbon-aged Russian imperial stout
- 8.1 percent PNC, a tequila-aged buckwheat stout brewed in collaboration with Publican National Congress
- 5.4 percent bourbon- and brandy-aged Helldorado, a blonde Barleywine
- 5.4 percent bourbon- and brandy-aged Bravo, an imperial brown ale, and
- 4.5 percent Wookey Jack, a dank and hoppy black IPA

With all that stuff in there, you might expect the flavors and aromas to get a little muddled. But here's what you can really smell: the tequila. No matter what other ingredients are included, nothing can quite mask the pungent potency of tequila. The agave liquor adds its musk to an incredible melange of cocoa, dark cherry, toasted coconut, vanilla bean and smoke. Think eating a chocolate-covered cherry in a smoky bar in Mexico.

And here's what you can really taste: nothing. And by nothing, I mean everything. The beers above all contribute individual elements -- Velvet Merkin's oats are noticeable; Double DBA has lent its distinct toffee character -- but each is indistinguishable from the next. Fruity brandy gives way to smoky dark chocolate which steps aside for buckwheat, vanilla and tequila before an aged-citrus finish. It's an ocean of flavor, constantly shifting and revealing new depths with each pass. The body is perfect -- velvety yet not too heavy. Carbonation gently tingles the tongue, and alcohol, which should be hard to get away from, is instead hard to find at all.

This Firestone Anniversary is the best since 13, which is saying something-- I loved that beer more than most parents love their babies. Bottles aren't cheap -- extended aging in barrels is takes up costly time and space, so prices jumped this year to more than $25 at some stores. And that's if you can even find them -- nearly every beer purveyor sold out of the boxed bombers within a few days. But many bars are set to tap kegs at special events Thanksgiving weekend, so try to get your fill on draft before it's gone.

On draft, this is much sweeter. Maple, very sweet bourbon, just a hint of tequila. Blue agave. A touch o' char. Sweeter, smoother, but perhaps less complex.

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