Firestone 10 - Anniversary Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Firestone 10 - Anniversary AleFirestone 10 - Anniversary Ale
150 Ratings
Firestone 10 - Anniversary AleFirestone 10 - Anniversary Ale

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

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by dblinkhorn on 10-14-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 150 |  Reviews: 102
Photo of jh1982
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of bnelson997
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of DogFood11
5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up a case at the Buellton Tap room. Couldn't sample it there as they couldn't serve bottles due to some liquor license type rule. Poured contents into a Stone Barleywine glass aggressively it forms a tan head. Head is small and fades fast, little to no lacing.

Quite woody, like a trumped up double barrel in the smell. Taste is incredible. Super complex and ultra bitter. Maybe it gets the added kick from the barrel aging, maybe its from the double barrel, or even the DIPA batches but this is a monstrous concoction that blends with my palate perfectly. It has a digging bitter edge and the alcohol fits this brew nicely. I had a chance to sample the unfiltered double barrel and this has that extra smokey edge that I noticed in the unfiltered DB. The mix is perfect. I would love to see this as a seasonal. Reading the notes about how this was prepared I see how it could be unreasonable to keep as a seasonal considering it takes 10 BATCHES OF BREW to make it all work.

Notes: It really tasted like a mix between a Double IPA, Barleywine Jones, and some double barrel, throw in some aging and a kendling woody backside and you have my beer of the year. Outstanding.

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Photo of dksl16
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of Mages64
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of drgonzo2k2
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of UncleJimbo
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of mthomas84
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of cbanker
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of dgb3
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of HopHead84
4.97/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into my brandy snifter, 10 is deep amber with a small beige head. The head dissipates and leaves behind some lacing.

The aroma is outstanding. One of the best of the style that I've ever had the pleasure of experiencing (granted the beer is a couple years old and I didn't try it fresh). Earthy hops, mellow alcohol, caramel, and rich toffee all blend together to create a perfect aroma. The taste continues the trend of excellence. The beer is extremely smooth and balances the toffee sweetness with the earthy hops. The balance is perfect. Some light chocolate, alcohol, and oak exist alongside the vanilla and toffee. The caramel is an added touch of sweetness in the finish.

The mouthfeel is fantastic. Unbelievably smooth. Medium-full bodied with low carbonation and a smooth, creamy mouthfeel.

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Photo of Overlord
4.97/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

How often does a beer like this come along? Maybe four or five times a lifetime (thus far, for me).

Poured a somewhat ruddy-brownish-black. Mostly black. Nose was insane, with vanilla, bourbon, dark fruits, and ... is that a familiar RIS component? Not sure.

Taste is a crazy mixture of an English Barleywine and a seriously stouty stout. I know, it doesn't sound like it would work, but it does. Molasses, plums/raisins/brandied fruits, even a bit of hops, it's all here. There's some vanilla undertones, a sweet current of brown sugar and sweet chocolate ... just insanely complex.

Just an amazing mixture that seems to have aged remarkably well. Despite the ABV laden contents, the mouthfeel was lively and kept it fresh.

One of a handful of beers I would consider amongst the best I have ever had.

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Photo of Floydster
4.95/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Beer Review #400 here on Beer Advocate, quite a milestone for me in the world of beer

For this special review, I had to track down a worthy brew and the Daily Pint was the place that provided me with it tonight, a 22 ounce bottle with gold plastic over the top of the cap was only fifteen dollars, after seeing on eBay for over one hundred dollars a few days ago, I was stoked to see it this inexpensive, got to keep the bottle but unfortunately they made me throw out the box which I found odd

Bartender gave me a Guinness tulip pint glass to pour this into, put a couple ounces in the glass at a time to really pace myself as much as possible

Color was a deep auburn/ruby red with a dark brown tint, there was chunky sediment floating throughout with a large amount of yeast at the bottom of the bottle, when poured there was lots of retention and it looked like a stout that had been poured agressively as far as the head looked, thick and creamy each time I poured more into the glass, left chunky light brown lacing all along the bottom of the glass, looked like a chocolate milkshake rather than a barleywine

Smell was all over the place but amazing at the same time, tons of bourbon and aromas of oak because of the extensive time this beer spent aging in it, also strong smells of vanilla and toffee

Taste was more complex than any beer I have ever had, that said there was ten different things going on, hence its name, could taste each one of the things I could smell, each sip was different especially when the beer got to its warmest, at first there was lots of chocolate and cognac type boozy tastes, then a mixture of brandy and bourbon hit my tongue, during the middle stage it tasted reminiscent of a Russian Imperial Stout as far as the coffee and cocoa aspects are concerned, then it warmed more and turned into a more candy finish with substantial amounts of different sugars, then I was able to taste different spices and more strong hard alcohol hints, after came dark fruits like plums, prunes, and raisins that you would expect from a dark Belgian strong ale, the came hints of honey and grapefruit and lemons, finally at the end I could surprisingly taste coconut and it was delicious

Not much carbonation in this one, but the body was as full as they get, taste lasted minutes and good still taste hints of the beer when I got home that night, amazing mouthfeel

For being twelve percent alcohol, this one sure did not hit me hard, it must have been since I took over an hour to drink it, the booze are hidden very well in this one and tasted no stronger than a porter or mellow stout, this stuff was not that heavy either which is what I was originally afraid of, highest drinkability for a barleywine ever

All I can say is, I cannot wait for another month until Firestone Walker 11 comes out, I could potentially buy a case of that stuff, it is supposed to be the same concept, just an American Strong Ale, simiilar to Lost Abbey's Angel's Share

This beer was in my top five of all time and it is hard to think that I will ever taste a barleywine as good and complex as this one, this blew away all of my expectations and I am very happy to get the opportunity to try this at such a low price, the ten different ingredients and ten months of oak aging did this brew justice, I could not recommend 10 anymore!

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Photo of CJthirty7
4.92/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I always imagined drinking from an oak keg in middle earth, perhaps in Rohan or somewhere on the Brandywine. This beer made me think I could pull sheep out of my ass. And if I could, I would feed them this beer, bathe them in it, cook their meals in it, slaughter them, slow roast them in this beer, then eat them myself while enjoying a pint of this stuff. Its that good. Perhaps its just peaking as we speak.

You know, I might even baptize my kids in it. But that might be a little too much. I mean, why waste it?

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Photo of Avryle
4.92/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

"Night in the Woods" tasting 3.29.08
Thanks to Drseamus for bringing this to create a 'verzonical' otherwise known as a diagonal.

A- Dark brown with more hazing in the body compared to the 11. A small cap of head left after pour

S- Mind blowing. Phenomenally complex- vanilla, caramel, wood, plums, coffee, bourbon and more. Wow. I believe some magic may have been used in the blending of this.

T- Coffee, caramel, vanilla, oats & bourbon right up front. THere's also some chocolate & tobacco in there. Finished slightly bitter. Holy crap, this is amazing.

M- Medium-full bodied. Coats the tounge & has lots of residual flavors in th fumes

D- Sweet baby Jesus... Amazing. You could drink this all day long, contemplating life. However, it can improve... with the addition of the 11! Dubbed, 10.5, the sweet maltiness of the 11 improves upon something that's already next to perfect.

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Photo of BeerRun13
4.92/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had a hard time hunting this one down, but I finaly found a few locally. Cool how it's even packaged. Each bottle in it's own box. Inside with the bottle is a letter with all kinds of information on the brewing process and the story behind how this beer was created.
Ahhh, the Wife and kid are asleep...

Pours a beautifull, super dark, ruby color. A creamy tan head fades to a good sized ring, and laces nicely.
Sweet malt with some raison notes. Toasty and rich oak tones. Some hints of chocolate. Quite nice.
Malty sweet up front. Oakey flavors. Fruity cherry like, some chocolate and dark malt tones, and a touch of alcohol. Nice bitter hop flavor throughout. Really good flavor.
Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Alcohol warms and has the kick to go with it (without tasting overly alcoholic).
So complex, yet sop simply a great beer. It was very intersting to be able to read all about how this one came to life. Very enjoyable = very drinkable.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.92/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Drseamus for bringing this.

A: Deep red that is slightly cloudy. Better head retention than the 11.

S: This is the best smelling beer I have ever experienced. Then when you read it is a blend of so many beers it makes sense. I got a slight coffee smell,hops, barley wine. malt bourbon and some wood. Sublime

T: Bourbon up front then a big smack of oats. Then it goes into barley wine. Chocolate as well. So complex. If I did not know this was a blend I would have no idea how they got a beer this complex.

M:Med to heavy body. It is thick and coats the tongue. Probably thanks to the Oatmeal stout in here.

D: Amazing. You could drink this all day and not even begin to scratch the surface on all the smells and tastes on this beer. That being said we did a blend of the 10+11 and dubbed it the firestone 10.5 It killed the 10 and the 11. Long live 10.5!

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Photo of waltonc
4.87/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap last night at Toronado (as was a small batch of Firestone 12). Wow, this was great. One of my favorites of all time. Not pitch black, but very dark. Seemed like my first glass, which came off the first pour of the keg, was a little lighter and more amber than later glasses. Smell and Taste were sweet, oak, carmel, toffee, vanilla, and a wee bit of hops. Kind of creamy, and despite the 12% ABV, this was gulpable. In fact, too gulpable. Today is going to be a day of recovery.

2/13/09 update: cracked open a bottle of this tonight. Still quite tasty, but definitely starting to show signs of oxidation, which mutes some of the qualities I love so much about this beer.

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Photo of DrewOSU
4.87/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Shared by beachbum1975. Thanks Man!!

A: Pours a dark brown with a very minimal, grayish head.

S: All earthy, sweet malts on the nose. Tobacco quality scent.

M/T: Medium, syrupy body. Huge sweet malt presence with a strong alcohol bite on the secondary. I get oak flavor with hints of caramel and vanilla. Finishes very sweet, but dry due to the high APV. VERY COMPLEX, I get something different on every sip.

D: Huge beer, a very nice sipper and is perfect for a celebatory occasion. I enjoyed every drop of this one.

I think this bottle could have sat in the cellar for another 2 years and been even better. It was still a little hot!

Re-review 3/20/2010

Provided by Newtonty during a FW X-XIII vertical @ beachbum1975's place. I had an awesome time and thanks to Newtonty for providing ¾ beers for this EPIC vertical!

I previously reviewed FW X a year ago, during a house warming party for my new condo. After the vertical tonight, I had to go back and read my old review to see if I saw anything different. My first review was pretty similar to what I experienced tonight. FW X was definitely the hottest of the 4 beers! Even with this beer being over 4 years old, I think it could still sit for a few more. Although, reading through the notes, it may have mellowed a tad in its old age. Not having a chance to digest all of the literature from the boxes the bottles came in, I would have to assume FW X had the more RIS blend and it definitely had more of the bourbon aspects then the other three years. This one was the grand daddy of them all for sure. Mean and nasty!

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Photo of Vancer
4.87/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Darkest bw I have ever seen, almost an opaque dark brown, pretty damn fine head for a 12% hammer.

Good grief, aroma of vanilla, bourbon (Jim Beam) and roasted malts is impressive and enticing.

Holy crappola, this has aged a year and it’s still kicking ass – there is no bw to this, it’s all bourbon barrel strong dark ale. You had better like bourbon, as I do, to really enjoy this bad boy.

Mouth is soft and velvety, with a finishing alcohol glow. The vanilla helps to calm this one down.

A classic, I’m fortunate to have sampled this one, via rayjay and boolshot - Cheers!

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Photo of hero27
4.87/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

well..this is one expensive, luxurious, fucking privileged beer if there ever was one. Cracked open a bottle several months ago that I received in trade from God-knows-who..for God-knows-what. I hope I gave them something decent, because this was amazing..

Pours a dark mahogany with ruby highlights.. decent head retention for a beer with an abv of this magnitude.
Aroma of malt-laden whiskey hits the nostrils with some force, I must say.... bold vanilla, chocolate, hazelnut, & oak flavors seep into the tastebuds..very sweet & rich, but so delicious..
Mouthfeel is velvety smooth & the carbonation is low but spot-on for a brute like this.
yeah..uhm, wow. This blend of aged brew is for real and a pure masterpiece of modern brewing.

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Photo of grub
4.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

fartingdog hooked me up with this one in BC2. huge thanks to dave for this fantastic beer.

22oz bottle topped with a bronze coloured wrapper. presented in a box with a sheet detailing the creation of the beer and the various parts of the blend. sampled april 5/08 beside the eleven.

pours deep brown with a bit of garnet showing at the edges. a small dense dark tan head forms, dropping slowly and leaving spotty lace behind.

aroma is excellent. bourbon, vanilla, and oak in perfect interplay. i could just sit and smell this all night. caramel. dark chocolate. alcohol. bread and a bit of biscuit. some dark fruit too - date and raisin. bit of almond and nut. light earthy character. toasted multi-grain bread. i just keep going back and smelling it. truly amazing.

wow. taste is incredible too. bourbon and oak. vanilla. dark chocolate. slight toasty character. alcohol. bread and biscuit malt. bit of coffee. touch of dark fruit here too. medium-low bitterness level. some almond again. bit of caramel.

mouthfeel is great. well integrated medium-low carbonation level. medium-large body.

drinkability is great. pretty well balanced. the alcohol is mostly balanced, but not hidden. great barrel character. great blend. this is a truly excellent beer - if only i had more! huge thanks to dave for this great beer.

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Photo of RidiculedDisplay
4.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Before I review, I would suggest that a portion, at least, of the wonderful pamphlet explicating the brewing process of 10 that accompanies the brew be added to 10's as-of-now non-existent BA notes. In aiding that suggestion, here are what I deemed some important excerpts:

"(ed: Barrels used to age the individual lots:)

Barrels hand delivered by Tom Griffin fresh from Kentucky distilleries:
Old Fitzgerald Bourbon/Old Fitzgerald Wheat Whiskey
Heaven Hill Bourbon/Heaven Hill Brandy

Barrels purchased directly from American Coopers toasted to Firestone-Walker's specifications:
New American Oak produced by World Cooperage
Retired Firestone Union Oak produced by World Cooperage, Seguin Moreau and Barrel Associates

Components (ed: of 10):
The following brews were aged in six different barrel formats creating 10 distinctive component lots (pieces) that were blended together. Portions of these beers were also fermented in the Firestone Union oak barrel brewing system... :
Abacus - 5 barrel varieties
-Strong English Style Barley Wine (brewed 1-24-06 Racked to barrels 2-7-06)
OG=26P FG=5.1P IBU=50 Color=15 / Hopped with Amarillo and East Kent Goldings

Parabola - 2 barrel varieties
-Imperial Oatmeal Stout (brewed 2-09-06 Racked to Barrels on 2-20-06)
OG=28P FG=7.5P IBU=80 Color=Black / Hopped with Summit, Styrian Golding and East Kent Golding

Ruby - 2 barrel varieties
-American Style Barley Wine / Imperial IPA Formulated b y Jim Cibak while still working for Three Floyds Brewing
OG=26P FG=8.15 IBU=60 Color=20 / 100% Maris Otter Malt & Hopped with Simcoe and Summit

Bravo - 2 barrel varieties
-Imperial Brown Ale (Brewed 8-2-06 Racked to Barrels on 8-11-06)
OG=22P FG=4.8P IBU=45 Color=32 / Hopped 100% with an experimental hop variety provided by S.S. Steiner Inc.

Other Component Brews in the 10 Blend: Walker's Reserve, Humboldt Brewing Hemp Ale, 100% oak barrel fermented Double Barrel Ale"

Phew. Anyway, even if that isn't deemed addable by the BA Gods, I figure that will provide some nice background for anybody still considering searching 10 out. On to my review:

Poured into an oversized wine glass.

Appearance: Pours with a half-finger coffee bean colored head. Lacing is spotty but impressive for a beer this high in ABV - I'm used to solvent-like dense liquids when they get this high. The body, however, is where the appearance really shines. If there's anything to be said about it , it's that Firestone-Walker have somehow managed to copy the blueish dark effervescence of black licorice more accurately than any brewer I've come across. A "bute."

Smell: I waited for this to warm up a bit before imbibing (the pamphlet they attach recommends doing so, to at least 55 F). I found it amusing, when reading the attached pamphlet I keep referring to, that the winemakers F-W consulted to blend the beers were pushing up against the brewers' desire to make the beer strong and robust by asserting that the final product should have balance and subtlety. One can smell both of those assertions in this beer. Aromas coalesce and separate in a delicate waltz, requiring a wandering and patient nose to bring out all the individual nuances. However, there is still that "big beer smack" that one might expect from a large brew such as this. Stout-like dark chocolates and coconut, coconut milk, bourbon accents, charred oak aromas arising like pinpricks, vanilla, molasses, surprisingly slight alcohol, hop-driven pine and orange aromas, with a slight hint of grapefruit and some more assertive lemon, spices, almost hot chile-like back end aromas, like freshly cut Serranos and Habaneros, a general unindentifiable malt body. Incredibly complex, I could spend hours unearthing more aromas.

Taste: Oh, cherries! Dark, slightly unripe ones, sort of like pit cherries. That being said, cherries flambee. This is an incredible flavor, providing a bitter, earthy, firm base for the others. Slight pine, orange hops. Vanilla, charred oak more prevalent than in the aroma. Chocolate and very slight thin-bodied coffee. Cinnamon. Bourbon. Amazing. Overall, many of the aromas carry over to the flavor nicely, some more or less pronounced than they were in the nose.

Mouthfeel: This is, decidedly, a little hot. There is some astringency on the back of the tongue upon swallowing, and the edges of the mouth burn with a pepper-like spiced feeling after sipping. Still, well carbonated, and full-bodied, but surprisingly not as full-bodied or heavy in the mouthfeel as one might expect, which I think is a good thing.

Drinkability: The alcohol, while present, is surprisingly subdued here. Considering this was released sometime in early October, I was expecting more. However, again, it's hot enough that some age is required to mellow it out, I think, before you could say it is intensely drinkable. Still, it does a damn fine job for how young and huge of a beer it is. One of the finest pieces of brewing I've ever tasted. Makes me proud to live near FW.

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Photo of jeffjfindley
4.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Black, with mahogany when you hold in front of the light. An antique white head dissipates to leave behind willowy lacing. The smell is rich, and suggestive of bourbon, dark chocolate, and a touch of pine.

As one other reviewer mentioned, there is an incredible synchronicity in the qualities of this beer. The taste and mouthfeel function as one luxurious experience. There is a velvety explosion of dark chocolate, then there is a wash of licorice, accompanied by a light, puckery bitterness. Throughout I experienced rich, roasted caramel maltiness, and more than a little bit of bourbon from the barrels.

This was an absolute pleasure to drink, exceeding my expectations. Incredible.

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Photo of largadeer
4.82/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Toronado during the Firestone Walker 12 release party, a pleasant surprise needless to say. It's been over a year since I last tried 10, and I'm pleased to say that it has held up incredibly well. Nearly black in appearance, there's a hint of transparency around the edges. Carbonation is low, leaving a small sheet of tan foam on top. The aroma is toffee, fig and vanilla with an earthy, tobacco-like undertone. The blend of barleywine and imperial stout is unique, and this beer really does taste like an even mix of the two. The sometimes cloying sweetness found in barleywines is balanced by the bitterness of the stout, while the acrid/acidic quality of the stout is tamed by the barleywine; it's a beautiful mix. Barrel aging has added a lot of nuance, notes of vanilla, bourbon and light tannins. While the oak isn't subtle, it's thankfully not completely dominant either and allows the complexity of the beer to shine through. Simply masterful stuff overall, absolutely worth tracking down.

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Firestone 10 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.22 out of 5 with 150 ratings