Firestone 10 - Anniversary Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
150 Ratings
Firestone 10 - Anniversary AleFirestone 10 - Anniversary Ale
BEER INFO

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

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.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
150
Reviews:
102
Avg:
4.24
pDev:
13.68%
 
 
Wants:
221
Gots:
14
For Trade:
0
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Ratings: 150 |  Reviews: 102
Photo of Sammy
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I lost my note of whom I traded with, what a find. This beer is everything, a yummy drinkable barkeywine, with an exceptional complexity of bourbon, whisky, vanilla, and wood. A strong ale, this is an evening 12% and it is drinkable yet deserves sipping, after several minutes of aroma.. All kinds of hops, spearmint, peppermint.

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Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of GRG1313
3.25/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of t0rin0
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler brought to Blue Palms by the brewers last Friday night.

Poured a dark brown/red color, but thats only in the light. Black otherwise. Murky. Not much head, decent lace. I gave it extra points because I like the color but otherwise it would be a 2.5.

Aroma is barleywine-ish but with a touch of roast and chocolate. Some booze present in addition to the oak, whiskey, sweet malt, and slight fruitiness. Fairly complex and very interesting.

Flavor is half barleywine and half brown ale with a touch of roast. Sweet, bitter, roasty, and quite boozy. The aftertaste is the sweet barleywine finish with more booze. I shouldn't give this a 4.5 in flavor because of the crazy amount of alcohol that makes itself known but I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Body is heavy, carbonation is slightly less than medium. I really wanted this to be the best beer I ever had and that is affecting my memory of the event but looking at my notes reminds me that this, while a very good beer, is another hyped up beer. Thats not to say that I would mind having a few bottles of this.

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Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of emerge077
3.94/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

FW vertical sampling at Luda's annual cellar clearance, thanks Ben for bringing this one!
Served in a mini-nonic, quick review from transcribed notes.

Tawny dark brown with lighter highlights, ring of frothy bubbles around the edges, a swirl of skim and some spotty lace after each sip. lc. Murky with suspended sediment.

Leathery aroma, autolysed yeast and some barrel notes.

Viscous and full bodied, rich. Chocolate, whiskey heat, whoppers. Lingering dry tannic bitterness. Very rich and best shared. Of the group this one seemed to show the most oxidation, corresponding to being the oldest bottle of the vertical.

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Photo of brentk56
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the beer that takes me to Afficianado status!

Appearance: Pours a coffee brown color with a modest head (high abv, remember) that splotches the chalice; the head retains as a swirl of foam and can be stirred up at will to provide a fresh head

Smell: Bourbon, oak, vanilla and a leathery aspect infuse the aroma

Taste: Up front with a rich flavor combination of dark fruit and coffee that is joined by oak, vanilla, bourbon; fruity flavors (citrus, now) emerge by mid-palate; after the swallow, the woody flavors and the bourbon jump to the fore and are joined by some milk chocolate, vanilla and coconut through the finish, which is still a bit hot

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and moderately carbonated; considerable warming on the finish

Drinkability: Here's where I struggle with this beer; there is a ton going but I don't find myself enthralled; I just feel it is going to take a while for all of this to come together; wish I had another bottle to set aside for a few years because this could become something really special.

Almost sorry I drank it so soon; thanks again to my trading buddy, Boolshot

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Photo of largadeer
4.82/5  rDev +13.7%
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.

 1,008 characters

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of mothman
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a half finger of light head. Color is a mahogony copper.

Aroma: Big bwine flavor. Bourbon and oak with vanilla. Chocolate, toffee, and caramel. A light roasted malt feel to it. Rich with some dark dried fruits.

Taste: This one seems to be dropping off a bit. It is big and boozy, but it has touch of carbonation. Wow this is hot. Too much bourbon. Toffee, caramel, and chocolate malt. It is very rich with some dried fruits. Again very bwine like with a ton of heat.

Mouthfeel: Warming with heat. Full bodied with a low to medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry and hot.

Overall, this beer was very hot. I was pretty shocked. It was somewhat drinkable, but a sipper at that. Not the best in the series.

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Photo of olradetbalder
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.55/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Well, well, our paths finally cross. Thanks to jcb890 for the introduction. Served as part of a 10-14 diagonal along with Abacus, Parabola, and the like. Served in a Three Floyds / Intelligentsia mini-snifter.

Pours near black with a very small tan head that went away very quickly without leaving behind any lacing or legs. Forgivable, for sure. The nose is a bit weak, carrying some roast and cofee and is actually quite boozy still. There's a bit of wood and slight spirit character, though not too much. The flavor has slight roast and some chocolate. Bit of coffee there as well atop the oak. Not very strong and still not all that integrated. This was one of the booziest of the bunch, which was quite odd.

Getting a 4.0 overall, as some of these areas were closer to 3.75, but didn't quite hit the 4.0 mark. Glad to have tried this, but it does indeed seem to be going downhill fast. The same is true of the 11, which was fantastic just over a year ago, but now isn't much better than the 10. I'm sure bottle variation plays a bit role here at this point, so make what you want of these thoughts.

 1,106 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
2.5/5  rDev -41%

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of atrocity
3.52/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Small signs of oxidation... still pretty tasty!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Charred chestnut that crowds the edges of the snifter so completely that no more than the skinniest sliver of scarlet is visible. Given the ABV, the persistence of the crown is a minor miracle. The foam is peanut shell in color, looks great and is more than capable when it comes to the laying down of lace.

Ten (10) is literally a mixture of an English barleywine, an Imperial oatmeal stout, a DIPA and an Imperial brown ale. That's an interesting concept that should have led to a more interesting aroma. The boozy dark fruit of the barleywine and the roasted malt of the stout come through the loudest. Edit: bourbon-soaked oak dominates once the beer reaches room temperature, forcing a score bump.

Maybe it's nothing more than the difference in acuity between my nose and palate, but this big brew has much more depth and complexity than the aroma suggested. It looks like almost two years has helped fuse the various flavors and has given the alcohol a chance to mellow a little. Drinking it barely cool is good idea as well.

It also tastes like a combination barleywine-Imperial stout. The pale malt of the DIPA isn't able to stand up to the more assertive flavors and the brown malt is dominated by the roasted malt of the stout. This is a luscious beer that is full-to-bursting with complexity.

The flavor profile includes bittersweet chocolate fudge, dark brown sugar, black currants and plums soaked in bourbon, candied cherries, orange peel and vanilla. The remarkable combination of aggressiveness and harmoniousness is brewing alchemy of the highest order. The time that it took to settle on the ultimate proportions of the component ales was definitely time well spent.

An ABV of 12.0% is akin to playing with fire for most brewers. The fact that Ten isn't the least bit hot is a testment to the skill of the folks at FWBC. What alcohol is appreciated warms the tongue, the esophagus, and the stomach like a well-aged bourbon whiskey. Like everything else about this outstanding beer, the bourbon barrels were utilized in expert fashion.

Rule of beer reviewing #6: whenever I can't come up with a single suggestion to improve the mouthfeel, a perfect mouthfeel score is in order. This one hits the exact center of the bull's eye. It's full without being heavy and is impressively silky and smooth-edged. Calling it outstanding seems inadequate, but my brain is too fuzzy at this point to come up with something better.

Firestone Walker Ten is a remarkable achievement and is this brewery's finest creation (at least until Eleven is bottled). It was probably damn good beer fresh, it's damn good beer now, and it will almost certainly be damn good beer for years to come. My advice is to snap up every bomber that you can lay your hands on.

 2,762 characters

Photo of Jason
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

dark brown, near black with a light head of tan that comes up and caps the top of the glass nicely. Aroma is dominated by aromas of oak and vanilla, which meld seemlessly into the chocolate notes that become ever more present as time goes on. First sip is wonderful, more carbonated then I typically see with barrel aged beers, with a nicely lively presence and rich, velvet like carbonation. First sip is loaded down with oak notes, hints of bourbon and vanilla start to come out as I dive further into it. Suble at first but then it starts to build. Nice backbone of chocolate coming through as well as a light touch of smoke. Nicely put together I have to admit. Smooth, with the alcohol all but absent from the profile making it for a smooth, sublte, and wonderfully complex nightcap.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.8/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

HUGE thanks to Thorpe420 for providing this one at our Firestone Walker tasting. We did the 10-14 diagonal side by side with Abacus, Parabola, Black Xantus, and Walker's Reserve.

a - Pours a dark brown color with no real head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of booze, dark fruits, oak, chocolate, and roasted malts. I liked the nose, but was very surprised how much alcohol was still coming through; more so than any of the other Anniversary beers.

t - Tastes of alcohol, sweet dark fruits, molasses, sugar, oak, vanilla, and roasted malts. Also light chocolate. Again, I enjyoed it but the alcohol is way too strong.

m - Medium to thick full body with low carbonation evident.

o - Overall this is a good beer, but no where near the level of some of the other Anniversary beers. I was surprised that this one seemed to have the most alcohol to it considering it was the oldest one. Would have again but not worth what it would probably cost to trade for it. I think everyone there was in a consensus that this was the "worst" of the Anniversary beers.

My order went: 13, 12, 11, 10 tied with 14.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I certainly didn't think there would come a day when I would be typing this review, but here it is...

A: The pour is a darkish amber with just about no head and somewhat light carbonation.

S: The aromas certainly exhibit signs of this beer being incredibly oxidized and on the way down. Stale sugar, a slight cardboard, caramel, vanilla, and maybe even a bit of bourbon.

T: The flavor does not show the same intensity in terms of signs of "decay". A bit of booze (surprising after 4 years) along with vanilla, caramel, stale sugar, and a bit of chocolate.

M: The body is quite full with almost no carbonation and a touch on the thick side.

D: Certainly not what it might have been years ago, but still a decent beer and one that I've been hoping to taste for quite some time now.

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Photo of orangesol
3.65/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.6/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike!

Firestone Walker tasting, including FW 10-14, Abacus, Parabola, Walker's Reserve, Black Xantus.

Order of preference and notes: 13, 12, 11, 14, 10
Abacus and Parabola still shined. Along with FW 13, these were my three favorites of the lineup, with FW 12 not far behind.

FW 10 appears remarkably similar to the other FW anniversary ales, dark brown with a thin cap. The carbonation seems to have dropped off just a bit in the years since its release.

The aroma still brings a fair amount of booze, with some toffee and roast notes as well.

The flavor was lacking the balance, depth, and complexity I found so wonderful and present in FW 12 and 13. A surprising amount of heat throughout the flavor profile detracted from the overall presentation of the beer.

The finish brought an unpleasant harshness to the back of my throat. Some good flavors still lurk here, but are overshadowed by the heat.

Overall, the weakest of the anniversary series by a long shot. It was a treat to have tried this, and I am very grateful for the opportunity.

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Firestone 10 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.24 out of 5 based on 150 ratings.
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