Firestone 21 - Anniversary Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Firestone 21 - Anniversary AleFirestone 21 - Anniversary Ale
117 Ratings
Firestone 21 - Anniversary AleFirestone 21 - Anniversary Ale

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

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Velvet Merkin (42%)
Parabola (18%)
Stickee Monkee (17%)
Bravo (14%)
Rum Helldorado (9%)

"This year’s Anniversary beer is a magical blend of five components. Chocolatey, mild Velvet Merkin takes the lead setting the stage full of lush malt and barrel driven texture, yet tempered alcohol strength. The rest of the components fall perfectly in line, backing Velvet Merkin up with luscious caramel complexity and a creamy malt symphony. The final component adds a new twist – the rum barrel-soaked and lean Helldorado makes its Anniversary debut, bringing a fresh splash of island-spice to a ridiculously balanced barrel-aged brew. This is one of those times that the whole truly equals more than the sum of its parts. I couldn’t be happier with the result."
-Brewmaster Matt Brynildson

Added by ThatsThatDude on 08-22-2017

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 117 |  Reviews: 37
Photo of petewheeler
4.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Bogdawg
4.49/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Tcsox
4.29/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Luscious_Malfoy
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of GuyFawkes
3.75/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Released 11/4/17 (bottled 9/24/17? Guessing from bottle codes); drank 1/14/18 @ the Yarchives.

Opaque dark brown appearance.

A violent pour yielded a small khaki head; decent lace.

Burnt caramel, cream & dry dill pickle notes in the nose.

Creamy medium thick mouthfeel.

Cream, dill pickle & mild banana flavors up front; mild milk chocolate notes on the finish. Almost no booze heat.

Too much barrel, that leads to a dill pickle flavor; sitting on my remaining bottle. Hopefully it settles. Bad move featuring the worst beer the most (Velvet Merkin just isn't that good).

 583 characters

Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.24/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: pours thin brown with no head
S: sweet dark fruits and bourbon
T: bourbon, dates, figs, raisins, very much a Ba brown ale
F: very smooth, abv hidden well, a bit sticky but thin.

 181 characters

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.13/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of HattedClassic
4.65/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a strong slightly brownish tan. Very foamy but good looking. Lacing is gorgeous. Beer is a deep dark chocolate black. Texture looks thick and chewy.

Smell has a good caramel note that stands out. Light booze with an interesting lactose note. Tiny dark fruit but gets lost in the bourbon. Moderate light fudge note that peeks out with the bourbon. Seems to be Velvet Merlin at the front.

Taste is fantastic like a fudge brownie. Good malt note that comes in the form of a moderate caramel and some dark fruit mix well with a light vanilla. Sweet dark chocolate and bourbon are at the front. Delicious.

Feel is very good. Heavy and thick with some light carbonation. Almost reminds me of GBS. Slight almost invisible burn. Tingling carbonation.

Overall, fantastic beer worth getting. One of the more indulgent ones.

 823 characters

Photo of Lucnifter
4.41/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of n2185
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of StoutElk_92
4.84/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz. bottle dated 10/20/2017

Pours dark amber maroon red brown with a lasting, dense creamy khaki colored foam head. Smells like a real nice complex blend of the barrel aged beers, roasty, toasty, caramely sweet, fruity like plum, cherry, red grape, banana, slightly chocolatey, charred, oaky, rich bourbon, marshmallowy vanilla, toffee, rum, molasses, sweet spice, dried fruit like apricot, fig, dates, graham crackery, some orange marmalade, brown sugar, with mild boozy heat and just enough hops to balance. Tastes really nice and smooth, complex, almost s'mores-like with big charred oaky marshmallowy vanilla notes, rich bourbon, toffee, rum, molasses, sweet spice, roasted toasty graham crackery malts, some chocolate, plum, cherry, grape, banana, dried fruits, apricot, fig, dates, orange marmalade, dark brown sugar, with earthy herbal floral grassy pine. Feels medium smooth bodied, creamy with moderate low carbonation. Overall a real nice and complex blend of barrel-aged beers.

 992 characters

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

Photo of AirBob
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of cp45
4.08/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of dpgoblejr
4.68/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of dertyd
4.16/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours out a dark brown/black color, with 2 fingers of super creamy khaki colored head------------- the aromas are of whiskey, chocolate and oak, the aroma is a little subdued compared to years past---------- the flavors are of sweet dried cherries, whiskey and vanilla, the beer has a thin to medium mouthfeel finishing with a light roasted bitterness------------- overall this beer was delicious, it started out sweet with dark fruit and vanilla finishing with a roasted coffee like bitterness, only flaws were the subdued aroma and thinner mouthfeel, but I love Theese anniversary beers-

 599 characters

Photo of DaverCS
4.58/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown, almost black color. The beer looks thinner than prior years with a quickly disspaiting head with soda-bubbles.

Aroma smells great but is a bit muted. Lots of toffee and caramel. Heavily roasted malts and tons of vanilla bean. A good amount of oak and bourbon character.

Taste, while a bit thinner than prior years, still kicks with tons of flavor. Bourbon, coffee, vanilla, charred oak, figs, and toffee all combine into a delicious beer. Has a nice honey sweetness as well.

Overall, I absolutely love FW’s annual beer and this is no except. However, it is noticeably thinner this year, which does detract a bit from the harmony. It pairs well with almost any dessert. It gets a 92.5/100.

 714 characters

Photo of billab914
4.54/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Beersnake1
4.17/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from fridge temp but allowed to warm over 30 min. Pours a nice dark brown with a reddish tint. Not quite black. Good head on a relatively gentle pour. Getting rum, bourbon, and caramel on the nose. Not too overwhelming. Taste is definitely not as strong as years past. Tastes a bit light - no alcohol heat at all. Caramel, vanilla, plum, rum, figs, and a bit of bourbon. Mouthfeel is thin compared to what I was expecting. I think I prefer the previous years a bit more.

 477 characters

Photo of DefenCorps
3.6/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from The Beermongers.

A very dark brown with a thin, light brown head that falls off to a ring rapidly leaving little lacing, this looks solid. The nose is a blend of toasted whole wheat bread, toasted coconut, a little caramel, vanilla, butterscotch, toffee. There's a little bit of rum, some fruity red wine, a little honey and just a little spice. The palate opens with the flavor of brown sugar on toasted wheat bread along with bourbon, vanilla, coconut and a little dark fruit. There's a blend of date and sherry with a hint of roasted coffee. A whisper of rum - brown sugar, vanilla, a little heat - is present. The toasted whole wheat bread note is really grainy, lending an interesting crunch and crackle to the palate. This is especially clear on the finish, where a blend of dark wheat dough and honey are present. Faintly spicy with a blend mace and allspice. As with most FW anniversary beers, this one's on the lighter side on the palate and the lingering characteristics are vanilla and bourbon, and this time around, a little rum soaked toast. While all the right pieces are there, this does feel a little forced. Decent.

 1,147 characters

Photo of Eman17
4.11/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of avalon07
4.24/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a murky, cloudy consistency. There was a thin, foamy, off white head that quickly dissipated. Average lacing.

S: A very nice aroma of malt, caramel, bourbon, and some chocolate as well.

T: Tasted of a whole lot of caramel (never a bad thing), a moderate amount of malt, light milk chocolate notes, a bit of the advertised rum and bourbon barrel, and some dark fruit (figs, raisins). A much more subtle flavor than I was expecting, but no less tasty. Complex and powerful.

F: An average amount of carbonation with a somewhat slick finish. Medium-bodied.

O: A solidly made strong ale. Blended ales can be hit and miss, but this one succeeds in most categories.

 730 characters

Photo of DrBier
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of SebastianOwl
4.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Moses_Malone
3.27/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

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Firestone 21 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.32 out of 5 with 117 ratings
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