Firestone 17 - Anniversary Ale
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Firestone 17 - Anniversary AleFirestone 17 - Anniversary Ale
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Strong Ale - American
4.48 | pDev: 7.59%
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Firestone 17 - Anniversary AleFirestone 17 - Anniversary Ale
Notes: 30% Bravo Barrel-Aged Imperial Brown Ale
25% Stickee Monkey Barrel-Aged English Barley Wine
15% Velvet Merkin Barrel-Aged Oatmeal Stout
15% Parabola Barrel-Aged Imperial Russian Oatmeal Stout
8% Double Double Barrel Ale
4% Helldorado Barrel-Aged Blonde Barley Wine
3% Wookey Jack Black Rye India Pale Ale
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Reviews: 131 | Ratings: 1,440 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Kendo
Kendo from New York

4.4/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This one's been sitting in my cellar for years - finally getting around to it on January 24, 2021. Let's see how it's held up. . . .

A: Poured into a tulip glass. Body is dark chestnut brown with a wisp of a greyish-white head on top.

S: Still a big nose, even after all this time in the bottle: dried fruit (raisin, figs, dates), brown sugar, apple cider & cedar plank.

T: Booze-soaked dried fruits, toffee/caramel and brown sugar. Toasted coconut. Vanilla and oak and bourbon. Still has layers of flavor, which isn't surprising given the variety of beers that serve as the foundation/base that became this beer. Finishes with a bourbony booziness (not surprising given the 13% ABV), with booze heat felt in the belly.

M: Full bodied, carbonation is still there to some degree, but it's a little bit slick.

O: I'm really surprised how well this beer has held up. Excellent job, Firestone-Walker.

Jan 24, 2021
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draheim from Washington

4.6/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

22oz into a tulip. Pours a deep rich clear mahogany with minimal head, just a thin collar of light foam around the edge.

Aroma is rich and sweet, oozing with Bourbon and rum-soaked dates, toffee, vanilla, caramel, pipe tobacco, leather ...

Taste is likewise rich and complex. Figs, dates, vanilla, coconut, toffee, chocolate, brown sugar, caramel ... on and on, layer upon layer. Truly nectar.

Mouthfeel is heavy and slick, laden with flavor and body. Goes does easy and smooth, so good.

Overall another truly outstanding anniversary beer from FW. Superlative. Hard to imagine how 7 years in the fridge/cellar could have done anything but improve it.

May 15, 2020
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jlindros from Massachusetts

4.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is an old one that should be fun to drink.
Pours a small-ish tan colored foamy head with med-low retention, light lacing, decent sticky leg-like coating, very dark mahogany brown almost black

Nose is quite nice, loads of oak and dark malts, as well as the nice aged malt character, powdered cocoa, a bit of roast and coffee, dark chocolate, coconut, toasted oak and a bit buttery oak, plenty of vanilla, caramel. baking spices and light cookie dough nougat candy, hint of oxidation, cocoa, touch nutty, a bit of whiskey and some dark fruit alcohol like rum or brandy maybe

Taste brings lots of the same, complex and deep but soft, alcohol is very light, with a little warmth, lots of dark malts, some roast, caramel, heavy layered malt like a barleywine, touch of coffee with roast, dark chocolate, light malt-derived fruits, a little nutty, dark fruits like fig raisin but very light, a little complex aged winey character and port or brandy, a bit of whiskey, and touch of paper oxidation but otherwise nice, a touch of bitterness more from the roast than hops, powdered cocoa, touch of nougat and baking spice, plenty of vanilla and toasted oak, a touch of whiskey, baking spice, rich nougat, mild sticky finish with a bit more bitterness and mild alcohol warmth and tingle like

Mouth is fuller bod, rich chewy thick, med carb, light warming alcohol

Overall this was quite nice, I wish the barrel and whiskey characters came through a bit more, but age did nicely to this, nice mild oxidation characters, alcohol was very low, nice enjoyable sipper, great complexity of all the blends, wish I tried it fresh to compare, and wish I had more

Mar 09, 2020
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2013 vintage; drank 7/13/14 on draft @ Northdown.

Brown/black hue.

Khaki head; decent lace.

Booze, brown sugar & coconut nose. Too hot!

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Milk & booze, un-melded, up front (a la Velvet Merkin); caramel & oak notes emerge as it warms.

More palatable than my last try, but still not very good.

Jan 01, 2020
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cjgator3 from Florida

4.39/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. XVII is a nice anniversary blend of seven different Firestone Walker beers (most notably Bravo, Stickee Monkee, Velvet Merkin, and Parabola). Brown sugar, dark fruits, and bourbon are well pronounced on the nose. The taste is incredibly rich, smooth and complex with a nice malty base creating a good deal of sweetness and a warming finish from the high ABV and barrels used in the aging process. Overall, XVII is a fantastic brew.

Dec 26, 2018
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beergoot from Colorado

4.34/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep, dark reddish-brown, almost black in appearance; one-finger thick head, lasting. Roasted and charred grain scent infused with notes of dates and figs; cocoa; wood. Boozy, charred grain flavors; spicy; cocoa and hints of vanilla; brown sugar. Heavy body; thick and chewy; some alcohol heat but mostly malt sugar heft; semi-sweet finish.

Found this bottle tucked into a corner cabinet, so figure after five years its ripe for consumption. It seems well blended and nicely balanced with all the dark malt goodness that went into it. The ABV is well-hidden behind the malt base. A beautiful monster...

Feb 15, 2018
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mac31 from California

4.4/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

First time having. Stored since purchasing. Hard to separate this beer from it's components. As they say: the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts. I think Bravo, Parabola come to mind first. Followed by Sucaba and Stickee.

Sweet caramel, cooked caramel and brown sugar hit my palate first. Then some coffee/ "soft" espresso kicks in. Every now and again I get some deep, dark fruit. Cherry? might be the fruit. Red wine/vine? I get some minor leather in there (reminiscent of Sucaba.)
There is the familiar (FSW), moderate amount of barreling noted in this brew. Vanilla is there, but subdued. Carbonation is more noticeable than some component beers. It's appropriate, though. Body is silky, yet thinnish. Big beer. Sweet. Boozy, for sure. Flavors clean up rather quickly on the palate. Slight hint of (earthy) hops and coffee linger past the finish, not overbearing in the least.

It's a great beer. I've had so many of it's complementary beers, it's hard for me to look at this as a "different" beer. Do I like it? Yes. Am I happy I bought it? Yes. Should I have stored it for so long? No. Glad that I have another? Absolutely!

Mar 27, 2017
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

4.04/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

These things are almost always so similar, except for 14 which was like, primarily a stout compared to the other ones.

Very dark brown pour, close to black, thin lighter brown head, 2/5". Aroma of booze, bourbon, chocolate, oak. Mild citrus hops.

Taste, pretty decadent and layered, much like the Bruery anniversary beers. Brown sugar, bourbon, chocolate malt. Still has that tiny bit of citrus hop bite. Toffee, caramel, burnt belgian candy sugar. A real good chestnuts roasting on an open fire feel to it as well. Mouth feel then drops the slightest bit of vanilla and raisin. Complex.

Feb 02, 2017
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Ctb6582 from Maryland

4.49/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter a deep dark brown, almost black. About 1 finger of irregularly shaped bubbles in the head that left deep lacing. Smells of stone fruit, leather, and red wine. Tastes about the same. Moderate bitterness is well balanced by the malt these guys really know what they're doing in the blend.

Feb 02, 2017
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Zythophile from District of Columbia

4.23/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle Date: sometime in 2013
Palate Contaminants: grilled meat

Appearance is a really dark brown, but it does let some light through. There's hardly any head.

The smell is buttery and smoky. It has a lot of what I could best describe as burnt molasses. There's also a hint of spices (cinnamon), but the molasses are the main thing. Definitely cola in there, as well. Overall, it doesn't seem to volatilize particularly well.

The buttery savoriness is the first taste I get, then there are a whole bunch of other things behind that. The next flavor is charred barrel, but it's in the acceptable range. From that emerge some sweeter flavors. Very heavy sweet tea is there, like brick tea with a drop of clove honey. It is a bit like dark rum, too, and I definitely get the alcohol. It gets sweeter as it warms up, mostly from nondescript dried fruits, although I can pick out prunes. There some anise in there, also.

The aftertaste is somehow a little bit spicy. The aftertaste is dominated by cloves and burnt sugar. There's not much carbonation, still.

I have one more bottle, and I don't know how much longer I'm going to let it sit.

Jan 01, 2017
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SHODriver from North Carolina

4.81/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Poured into a DFH snifter to a deep brown that may as well be black with a small tan head that fades quickly to a small collar leaving minimal lacing.
S: Smells of toffee, caramel, vanilla, some fruitiness, hints of chocolate and roasted malts
T: Taste is toffee, oak, caramel, vanilla, spiciness, dark fruits, slight dark chocolate and hints of roasted malt. Swallow is oak, roasted malts, chocolate, a little espresso, with some lingering caramel and vanilla from the barrels
M: Fairly heavy in body but not terribly so with soft carbonation and a dry finish from the alcohol
O: Simply outstanding. Such great flavors and the nose is exceptional. This beer is liquid art and I can't speak highly enough of it. You can taste the individual parts and they play very well together.

Apr 16, 2016
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jakecattleco from California

4.65/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draught pour at Davis Beer Shoppe into a snifter. Pours a brownish black with almost no head. Nose is mostly sweet, vanilla and cherry, mixed with nice augmentations of oak and whiskey. Nose became more mute as it warmed. Taste was delicious, some sweetness and a bit hot from the ABV, character of the barrel, some toffee, hints of chocolate, and other hard to distinguish subtleties. Mouthfeel is good but perhaps on the thinner side, carbonation good, and the finish lingers a bit hot and dry. A very complex beer that I thoroughly enjoyed!

Mar 25, 2016
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titty_mcbitty from Tennessee

4.59/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Aged over two years.

Pours a dark brown, almost black. There's a deep reddish tint on the sides. I poured in a mini-wine glass so there's almost no head.

It smells like a Belgian strong dark: raisins and brown sugar.

Flavor is very complex! It's hard to pick out what I get initially, but after a few sips: brown sugar and raisins are up front and very prominent. I really like the level of sweetness. There's also this lovely dark chocolate playing in the background, like Hershey's chocolate. With the brown sugar flavors, the chocolate mixes and creates a sweet graham cracker/marshmallow flavor. Also mixed in there are plums and black cherries, along with some caramel or toffee, and of course bourbon. Awesome flavor.

This beer is on the thicker side of medium. There's just a little carbonation, which adds some character. After each sip, it lingers on the tongue and coats the whole mouth with the lovely flavors described above. Some booze is left on the throat as well.

Overall, this is a wonderful brew. I'm thankful that the barrel characteristics aren't hiding all of those amazing flavors. Not only are those flavors there, but they are THERE - meaning that all of them stand out as if you were drinking a liquid desert cake.

Feb 22, 2016
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Sandalwood from New Jersey

4.52/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Aged two years. Pours a very dark brown, almost black color with a reddish tint. There is a small head with a little soapy lacing. The odor for me is dark fruits, figs, plum, raisin, berry, coconut, almost dessert wine like, dry woods, barrel, little bourbon. The taste for me is plum, dates, figs, dried fruits, coconut, dark berry, raisin, woods, barrel, no bitterness, dry on the back.

Feb 22, 2016
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IvoryFoxhole from Virginia

4.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage aged 2+ years and poured into Belgian ale glass today because snow, so why not?

L: Very, very dark burgundy. Normal pour results in 1+ finger light tan head, with poor retention and no lacing, cap or ring.

S: Sweet malts, candi sugar, some vanilla, wood from barrels, a bit of coffee and maple.

T: Completely follows nose. On the right edge of almost too sweet. Some alcohol heat, but not much.

F: Very well balanced, medium bodied, little to no carbonation, lingering but not cloying.

O: I think more than anything the StickyMonkee comes through, but the Velvet Merkin is there as well. It's ambitious, and it comes through very nicely, especially after the aging.

Jan 27, 2016
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seedyone from New York

4.45/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Eureka! One of my favorite brewers" proprietary releases & on tap no less. Hooray RnH.

The look & aroma will make no new friends as they are unremarkable. Deep, deep mahogany with no head or lacing. Then we get to the magical mystery. When first under the nose it"s "what's that smell?

Jan 22, 2016
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Auraan from Arizona

4.72/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured a deep brown, appearing black, though when held to light it is a very dark reddish brown with ruby red highlights. A thin cap of bubbly tan head recedes to sticky lace slowly. Overall impression of appearance is of a nice blended dark beer, well done. Scents of oak and vanilla upfront, leading into rich aromas of toasted coconut, brown sugar, dark molasses, dark fruit notes of raisins and dates and rich, semi-sweet chocolate and cocoa at light levels, followed by notes of the aforementioned chocolate-derived aromas and coffee with a warming alcohol at medium-light levels. Age contributes notes of leather and tobacco adding further depth. Overall impression of aroma is of an amazing barrel-aged ale. I don't get the component beers themselves, rather, they have been expertly blended and aged to create a truly unique beer that is rich and appealing with an amazing range of aromas layered together in harmony. A truly excellent bouquet. Flavor begins rich and malty with flavors of molasses, bittersweet chocolate, coffee and light burnt caramel. Oak and vanilla are also present adding depth. Middle adds light flavors of dark fruit, following aroma, raisin and dates layered beneath an increased bitterness of roast malt, bittersweet chocolate, cocoa and black coffee, aged leather notes and light warming alcohol. Finish is bittersweet with notes of dark chocolate, toasted coconut, black coffee and dark molasses with light nutty notes and faint hints of dark fruit with supporting flavors of oak, vanilla, moderate warmimg alcohol and notes of tobacco and leather. Aftertaste is rich yet bitter, with notes of black coffee, dark chocolate and roast malt with tobacco continuing from the finish. Overall impression of flavor is of an excellent beer. One of the finest I've had, a rich, complex ale. It becomes well more than the sum of its parts to be a unique experience. It displays an array of flavors derived from the base beers, the high ABV, the barrel aging and the additional two years in the cellar to create an amazing tapestry of flavor. Truly magnificent. Mouthfeel is full bodied with medium-light carbonation, a light warming alcohol burn and a smooth, velvet feel. Overall impression of mouthfeel is of an excellent strong ale, rich, yet not overwhelming. Overall this is one of the best beers I have ever sampled. It has an amazing aroma that telegraphs the rich complexity of the flavor which is itself enhanced by the smooth mouthfeel. The complexity of all aspects is at both beguiling and approachable, a well constructed tapestry of aroma and flavors that highlight how Firestone Walker is one of the best breweries in the world.

Jan 09, 2016
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StraightNoChaser from Georgia

4.59/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

look: Murky dark mahogany. Moderate sized whitish-tan head on the pour that does a good job sticking around considering the high ABV. Nice, filmy lacing that slowly recedes.
smell: Rich, decadent nose. Vanilla, fudge barleywine.
taste: even better than the killer nose. Again, rich and decadent and complex. After 2 years, dangerously mellow.
overall: Just steller.

Dec 26, 2015
Photo of raynmoon
raynmoon from Colorado

4.51/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had this a few times when it comes out. Kept for 2 years at room temp-ish.

Looks dark brown, with some red hues along the sides of the glass. Also has a small ring of foam around the edges. Alcohol legs are apparent. Looks great.

Big oaky, sweet liquor candy, perhaps a touch of oxidation (cardboard). Once swirled, sweet alcohol, unsweetened coconut, and wood come out. Pretty complex. Not too aggressive however.

A lot of the same initial flavors come to play in the big, drying oak, sugary bourbon and brandy character. However on the back-end, I get tons of graham cracker, and vanilla that lingers. Really awesome.

Lighter end of medium bodied, I'd say; for the style at least. It is appropriate. Not too syrupy or too runny, but just right. Also, upon initial opening it seemed a little fizzy. Perhaps some more fermentation took place in the bottle at my "cellar" temp.

Overall, still drinking awesomely. I think I now know what my favorite beer, and that is Firestone Walker's Anniversary Series. It is not the same beer every year, but I've now had 16-19 (have 15 waiting in the closet) and have loved all 4 of the vintages. They are each unique, in that no other beers taste like this.

I do think 18 and 19 are actually drinking better than this currently. My gripe with this beer initially was that you could taste the Double Jack/Wookie Jack.

Solid A!

Dec 05, 2015
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rudzud from Massachusetts

4.32/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bought this when it came out. Figured it was time to crack it.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a dark dark brown nearly black in the glass hue with a one finger mocha head that fades slowly to leave a creamy blanket.

S - Aromas of toffee, bourbon, molasses, maybe some tobacco, coconut barrel.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, loads of caramel and toffee, very nice bourbon which lends flavours of coconut and vanilla with toasty barrels. Finish still has a few flashes of alcohol which after a few sips start to get a touch oppressive and dominating though.

M - Mouthfeel is rather rich and creamy, but again, bit hot on the finish.

O - Overall, this was a tasty beer. Nicely aromatic and flavourful, the finish is still on the warm side though. Certainly aged nicely.

Serving Type: Bottle

Oct 25, 2015
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neurobot01 from California

4.52/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a Barrelworks Teku at fridge temp, allowed to warm.

Look: dark garnet-tinged brown with little head.

Smell: sheer BA barleywine heaven. Brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup, oak, leather, vanilla, coconut.

Taste: maple syrup, vanilla, coconut, oak, mild hoppy bitterness, more oak.

Feel: I'm guessing people will complain this is thin, but I love the drinkability. Pretty low carb.

Overall: my memory of this fresh had it as a richer, more complex cousin to something like 2013 Southern Charred—brash, burly, bitter (and awesome). Either that memory is way off, or age has massively smoothed out those rough edges. I don't know that this is better than the best of its components, and it's certainly not better than Maltose Falcons... but, it's damn good either way.

Oct 25, 2015
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jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Dark burgundy ruby pour with a thick toffee ring lacing.

S - Dark fruit, bourbon, oak, roasted caramel.

T - Start to finish: dark fruit, bourbon, oak, dark roasted toffee, and vanilla.

M - Thick, heavy, sticky slick body with boozy effervescence.

O - Not terribly complex and boozy.

Oct 20, 2015
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joeseppy from Illinois

4.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown pour with stiff mocha head. Aromas of molasses, sweet bourbon, cocoa powder, figs and smoky oak. Taste is rich. Redman tobacco, damn fine bourbon, smoked almonds, prunes...just to name a few top picks. Feel is creamy and lasts a long time. Sorry for the quick review but I gotta finish watching to see if the Gophers can beat Nebraska. Fine brew indeed!

Oct 17, 2015
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stevoj from Idaho

4.72/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle from Brewers haven. Excellent! Well worth the wait. Every year I look forward to their anniversary ale, and have yet to be disappointed. Their blending o their BA beers is superb.

Sep 24, 2015
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Original_Gravity from California

4/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My 1 year anniversary on BA, also my 100th beer rating! I recently found the 17 at Tap 25 in Livermore, CA (I couldn't believe they still had bottles just sitting in their cooler!). I'm a big fan of the FW Vintage series, and I've really been looking forward to trying this. This blend may be a bit too complex, so many flavors vying to dominate. I think the brandy form the Bravo and the Helldorado stand out too much for my tastes. Still an outstanding beer, just not my favorite from this series.

Sep 15, 2015
Firestone 17 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 98 out of 100 with 1440 ratings