Firestone 18 - Anniversary Ale
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Firestone 18 - Anniversary AleFirestone 18 - Anniversary Ale
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From:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
 
California, United States
Style:
American Strong Ale
ABV:
13%
Score:
100
Avg:
4.55 | pDev: 6.37%
Reviews:
113
Ratings:
881
Status:
Retired
Rated:
Jun 23, 2021
Added:
Aug 13, 2014
Wants:
  204
Gots:
  484
SCORE
100
World-Class
Firestone 18 - Anniversary AleFirestone 18 - Anniversary Ale
Notes: We blended together 227 oak barrels containing 9 different beers creating something dark complex and 100% original.

38% Parabola aged in bourbon barrels, 16% Helldorado aged in bourbon & brandy barrels, 16% Bravo aged in bourbon & brandy barrels, 14% Stickee Monkee aged in bourbon & brandy barrels, 5% Velvet Merkin aged in bourbon barrels, 4% Hydra Cuvee aged in bourbon barrels, 3% Wookey Jack, 2% Ol' Leghorn aged in new American oak, 2% Double Jack
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Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
 
Rated: 4.5 by hopley from Massachusetts

Jun 23, 2021
 
Rated: 4.35 by MikeVail from Indiana

Dec 20, 2020
 
Rated: 4.37 by BrewSTL from Missouri

Sep 19, 2020
 
Rated: 4.44 by NolaHopHead from Louisiana

Feb 29, 2020
Photo of GuyFawkes
Reviewed by GuyFawkes from Illinois

4/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
2014 vintage; drank 8/26/16 on draft @ Northdown.

Brown/black appearance.

Nitro tan head; decent lace.

Blackberry, oats & milk chocolate notes in the nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Marshmallow & milk chocolate flavors up front; booze heat notes on the finish.

Some nice flavors lurking here, but a bit too boozy for me to love.
Jan 01, 2020
Photo of BBThunderbolt
Reviewed by BBThunderbolt from Kiribati

3.89/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
22oz bottle poured into 14oz teku. Poured a solid black color with over a half-inch of tan head that had moderate retention and light lacing.

Some roast notes at the front of the aroma, Some booze and wood were also apparent, with some fruit-like notes in the background.

Very similar on the tongue, with the fruity aspect coming a bit more forward, and the booze toned down.

The body is full, smooth, and rich with a medium finish.

Drinkability is very good, but a sipper for sure.

Overall, a great beer. A must-try if you get the chance.
Dec 30, 2019
 
Rated: 4.39 by metter98 from New York

Dec 29, 2019
 
Rated: 4.56 by Sound_Explorer from Washington

Nov 29, 2019
 
Rated: 4.71 by BKotch from Texas

Oct 06, 2019
 
Rated: 4.57 by DEMRY10 from California

Sep 29, 2019
Photo of mp54790
Rated by mp54790 from North Carolina

4.52/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Great barrel presence even with 5 years on it.
Sep 12, 2019
 
Rated: 4.68 by Gagnonsux from Texas

Aug 19, 2019
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Reviewed by Zythophile from Washington

4.57/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
Bottle Date: 2014
Palate Contaminants: none

Color is very dark brown, and there is a little tinge of red toward the edges when in front of a strong light source. Fine, off-white head, but not much of it.

The smell is great. It's intense, but it's not particularly volatile. The main scent is lightly burnt sugar, all underlined by a pleasant vanilla. The sugar also lends itself to a scent somewhere between caramel and molasses. Over to the herbal, there are moderate amounts of cloves and cinnamon. Lots of great stuff in here, and enough of it.

The sugar is a bit more burned in the taste, and it's more intense. There's also a very heavy anise flavor. The vanilla has gone to the back. I usually don't associate bourbon with brew flavors as readily as some folks, but this has it. The sweetness/graininess/barrel... -ness is in the right proportions to trigger that for me. Cloves and cola come and go. So intense, man.

Medium weight for the type. Medium carbonation, but not prickly at all. Alcohol is detectable, which lends even more comparability to bourbon, but there's no burn. And the aftertaste seems almost as heavy as the taste. Anise still up front, and I might call the liquor more of a spiced rum during this part of the show.

I wish I had another bottle. Then another. Then another. Then ano—

You get the idea.

And it's also worth noting that this has aged extremely well. However, sometimes a strengthening cola flavor can be a sign of decline, so that's a consideration.
Jun 22, 2019
 
Rated: 4.44 by kemoarps from Washington

Jun 11, 2019
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Reviewed by Oh_Dark_Star from Washington

4.27/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
L: Dark brown with a thin tan head and light lacing fading slowly to a bubbly ring.

S: Sweet caramel and chocolate malts, lower roast, peat. Bourbon.

T: Dates dominate with notes of leather, oak, and tobacco. Milk chocolate, birthday cake, bourbon. Complex with decent balance.

F: Medium body with some perceptible viscosity and slightly lower than desired carbonation.

O: A wonderful brew, but still overpriced, a touch thin and underwhelming.
May 03, 2019
 
Rated: 4.46 by SaxmanRick from Minnesota

Mar 15, 2019
 
Rated: 4.5 by brittanylicious from Indiana

Feb 02, 2019
Photo of heysuz
Reviewed by heysuz from Indiana

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Brew: Firestone Walker Brewing Co. - Firestone 18 - Anniversary Ale

Intro: 22 oz. poured into a tulip glass. Shared with a friend.

Appearance: Pitch Black. Ample head, maybe 2 inches. Moderate lacing as I drank

Smell: Roasted malts, Chocolate, vanilla, maybe some graham cracker.

Taste: Oak, bourbon, mild tequila, dark fruits.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel, medium carbonation.

Drink: Easy drinker. These are always a lot of fun. Kind of the best of everything Firestone

Conclusion: This is the second I’ve tried of these offerings. I was well pleased with the previous one I had so I had no reservations about getting it. There were a couple years gap as I could not find it any longer
Feb 02, 2019
 
Rated: 4.91 by admonster00 from Illinois

Jan 01, 2019
 
Rated: 4.46 by Dark_Scarecrow from Virginia

Dec 01, 2018
 
Rated: 4.24 by pkalix from California

Nov 20, 2018
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Reviewed by HattedClassic from Virginia

4.75/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
The beer pours a nice creamy chocolate brown head that dissipates quickly but still leaves some around the inside edges of the glass. The beer itself is a good looking dark chocolate black with an oily sheen and texture. It looks good.

The smell is delicious. The main notes are the sweet bourbon notes and a slight booziness that adds a distinct sweetness and burn. Generally, the barrel notes such as a slight wood contrasting with the sweet brandy notes are what dominate the nose. The other notes are a bit hidden underneath them though.

The taste is absolutely succulent. While it has the same strong sweet notes from the bourbon and brandy along with a slight boozy note. The chocolate comes out more in the finish but the dark fruit notes are what really come out. There is a tiny bit of rye in the finish but it's almost undetectable.

The feel is pretty good. It has a heavy body but is very creamy and silky that it loses that weight and makes it scarily drinkable. The body is also slightly thin but still good. Despite aging for several years, there is a nice biting carbonation.

Overall, this is a fantastic beer even after aging it for several years in less than stellar conditions. The blend of all the different beer styles is fantastic because they both are able to have their distinct traits mix together but still be able to be picked out individually. This is definitely one to trade for if possible.
Nov 04, 2018
 
Rated: 4.27 by jason_nwx from Oregon

Oct 22, 2018
 
Rated: 4.4 by rbrefbeerman from California

Sep 21, 2018
 
Rated: 4.25 by jschott75 from Illinois

Aug 17, 2018
 
Rated: 4.68 by dafla67 from Pennsylvania

Jul 16, 2018
 
Rated: 4.63 by DutchcdnTEXAN from Texas

Jun 01, 2018
 
Rated: 4.49 by Cpmitchno1 from Virginia

May 31, 2018
 
Rated: 4.42 by Gambyt20 from Illinois

May 05, 2018
 
Rated: 4.66 by Casey_L from Texas

Apr 14, 2018
 
Rated: 4.5 by MurphDog14 from Illinois

Mar 18, 2018
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Reviewed by REVZEB from Illinois

4.59/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
Got to try from the cellar at Niche in Geneva. Upon opening and first pour two things were very clear, the beer is jet black, almost silky syrupy, and even more noticeable is the aging clearly did not detract from the boozy scent. Speaking of the scent, it is wonderful. It is a dark temptress, calling you into the depths of all dark flavors, think bourbon, dark fruits, and malt. The taste is complex. So much going on, and yet so good! It is uncompromising and smooth in the body, that helps serves as a solid, boozy, backbone to the other decadent flavors.
Mar 03, 2018
 
Rated: 4.64 by jcoleMA66 from Massachusetts

Feb 04, 2018
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Reviewed by WickedBeer from Alabama

4.71/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
227 different barrels?? Holy shit, this ones awesome. Tons of dark fruit, booze, coffee.. hints of chocolate.. this beer truly had everything, so many layers.
Jan 22, 2018
Photo of ThickNStout
Reviewed by ThickNStout from Georgia

4.14/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Black foil capped 22oz bottle from LambicPentameter (thanks!). Bottled 10/01/14. Served in a Firestone Walker snifter. Enjoyed 8/28/17.

Pours a deep ruddy brown with a little more than two fingers of ecrue head. That foam recedes to a small island, an impressive bubbly border and a few sparce dots of lace.

Tons of sweet, oaky barrel on the nose. Apple, vanilla, wet wood, caramel, chocolate and some dark fruit.

Tastes of burnt sugar, dark chocolate, coffee, barrel char, subdued bourbon, grainy malt, reduced dark fruit, a balsamic-like sweetness, molasses and a subtle kiss of alcohol.

Semi-syrupy, medium full, oily feel with mild carbonation. Barrel-infused, bittersweet finish with notes of dark chocolate, grain and bourbon soaked charred oak.

Another outstanding cuvée from Firestone Walker. Their anniversary series continues to impress. Kind of like a stout... with a couple barleywines, plenty of barrel and an unexpected bitterness.
Jan 05, 2018
 
Rated: 4.56 by WormGod from New York

Dec 11, 2017
 
Rated: 4.43 by coryhk from California

Dec 04, 2017
 
Rated: 4.45 by daem3384 from California

Nov 12, 2017
 
Rated: 4.59 by Wisconsin_IPA_Lover from Wisconsin

Nov 09, 2017
Photo of rodbeermunch
Reviewed by rodbeermunch from Nevada

4.13/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
The 18th anniversary beer was reminiscient of the 14th, basically both being beers that have a lot of roasted malt beers to them. They both pour black, although its not the heavy viscous black that you come across in an imperial stout. Feint beige head on the top, only 1/6" deep after the initial pour settles in. Aroma is plenty of bourbon. After that, roasted malt, vanilla and oak pick up the remnants of what you smell after the blast of bourbon.

Taste, a sweet sipper, the heavily roasted malt in beers like Parabola really imparts nothing here in the way of bitterness or roastiness. Its a lot more creamy, vanilla, sugary. While there is some booziness, it is nowhere as big as the abv would lead you to believe. Carbonation is a little lower than your average beer, but is entirely appropriate for this stuff. This was the first year I think the bottles exceeded the $20 range. I'll keep buying one of them each year I guess, they're good.
Nov 05, 2017
Firestone 18 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 994 ratings