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.

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Ratings: 150 |  Reviews: 102
Photo of mthomas84
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
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 SpeedwayJim
2.62/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Thanks to Scalene for this one. By way of light whale BIF 2. 22oz. bomber poured into a Darkness snifter.

Pour generates a .5 finger dark cream colored head with poor retention. Beer is a cloudy, dark brown, almost mudyd. Lacing is spotty with little cling. Really fantastic legs though. Average for the style.

Nose is heavy on the abacus. Notes of caramel, brown sugar, and toffee along with a sap hoppiness. Some booziness peaks through also. Decent but not the most robust or deep flavors are present here.

The first sip is a harsh reminder that this beer is a shadow of its former self. Some roasted malt bitterness mixed with alcohol. Booziness is pervasive. Caramel and toffee are there but very muddle and exceedingly coarse. Some brown sugar sweetness pushed way in the back. End is boozy and sweet with a sap hop bitterness mixed with caramel aftertaste.

Light to medium bodied with low carbonation. Very, very thin in the mouth. Oily with some boozy harshness going down. Really a mess at this point. Finish is messy with a lingering aftertaste. Probably one of the worst bodies of the style I've had in a while though it does thicken up slightly as it warms.

Had this one about a year ago and it was already on the decline. At this point, its probably not even worth drinking. Very thin, flavors are muddled and the alcohol is becoming more and more prominent. If you have this, get rid of it now. Its fallen off significantly. Higher overall grade here just for what it once was.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.7/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours an extremely dark brownie colored brown with a raisin colored head.
S: Vanilla, bourbon, raisins, and some chocolate. Smells a bit old though.
T: Follows the nose with dominate barleywine-like flavors of vanilla, raisin, caramel, wood, leather and chocolate. The aftertaste is full of chocolate, but the flavor falls off in the finish.
M: Low carbonation, touch of warm alcohol, slick body and a pretty hefty mouthfeel.
O: Not super complex or flavorful anymore. Not that I’ve had this fresh, but I know there used to be more to this beer. Sadly very average and disappointing.

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Photo of AgentZero
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big thank you to Sean for generously sharing this rarity at our Firestone Walker vertical.

A - Dark brown beer with a tannish head that faded to a nice ring and partial cap. A few spots initially, but sides of the glass cleaned up pretty quickly.

S - There is some slight oxidation, but it has held up pretty well. It's mostly Abacus, so you'd expect this one to age nicely. Burnt sugars and caramel with some dark fruits, vanilla, and wood.

T - Taste is pretty much like the nose. Dark fruits and caramel a plenty, along with the barrel flavors. The oxidation is a little more noticable in the taste, but it is still a good beer.

M - Smooth, lighter carbonation, and full bodied.

O - Wish I could have had this a year or two ago, but it was still really nice. I'm excited for drinking some bottles of Abacus in a couple years, because I think this is a nice example of how it's going to age.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.6/5  rDev -14.7%
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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Photo of drabmuh
3.48/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Thorpe for organizing and hosting the vertical tasting of the Firestone walker beers. Another once in a lifetime tasting experience. Right off the bat I'm going to rank the 5 vintages we had in order of preference 13>14>12>11>>10 (the >> means much greater).

Beer is black / brown with a thin broken lacing free head and low carbonation. Looks like a big barrel aged something or other.

Aroma is sweet and dark with a mild papery aroma.

Beer is a little papery, thinner than expected, no real barrel / bourbon character, the malt is what is shining through for me here. It is a little sweet, sticky with a boring finish and a mild off flavor. If you have a bottle of this I'd trade it or drink it quick. Of course I don't know the providence of this particular bottle but I think it is time to open these.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.8/5  rDev -10%
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 Thorpe429
3.55/5  rDev -15.9%
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.

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Photo of Sean9689
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle provided by me at our Firestone Walker tasting (aka a random Saturday).

A - Pours dark brown, cream-colored head, thick collar, large bubbles here and there on top.

S - Smooth booze, dark fruits, burnt sugars. The large amount of Abacus that's in this bottle is right up front, and still very enjoyable.

T - Dark fruity sweetness, burnt sugars, caramel, slight oxidation. Once again, drinking aged Abacus doesn't suck, so I'm really enjoying this one. There's some slight oxidation on the end, but really, it doesn't take away much from my overall enjoyment of this beer.

M - Medium, light carbonation, creamy finish.

O - Well, can't say I didn't really enjoy this beer. While there was some slight oxidation, I felt the aged Abacus was smooth, fruity, and wonderful. It was probably a better beer a couple years ago, but it's still a good beer now.

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Photo of JWD
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this during a vertical tasting at Sam Hornes Tavern in Folsom during Firestone Walker night. The vertical consisted of 10,11,12,13, and 14 (draft)

Overall-I have always wanted to get a taste of the ever elusive 10. I will say it was very good and worth seeking out or trying given the opportunity.

I did however feel that it is on par and shares many of the same traits from 12,13, and 14. and shares nothing from 11. I am not sure what the exact blend was in this version but it was the typical almost black in appearance, very velvety mouthfeel, heavy vanilla and caramel as most of the other vintages. I truely enjoyed it however just do not feel that is was all that unique versus its siblings.

I know several people have said it was past its prime but i did feel it was right where it should be and i would continue to drink these older vintages if given the opportunity.

Thank you to those who provided me the opportunity to try this.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.67/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ditmier brought this little whale over tonight.. too cool for words. Thanks buddy.

Pours with a short lasting dark tan head.. no lacing... deep dark chestnut but not black... very clear.

Nose is very rich but slightly oxidized... good caramel and vanilla.. woody ..

Flavor is rich up front and drops off immediately.... "malty" but without any real discerning characteristics... just "malty"... the wood speaks of toasty oak and much lesser bourbon... a bit of cigar wrapper with warmth... but nothing gets better. a little cocoa and lite tannin... the palate seems pretty thin and definitely flimsy... a bit oxidized and definitely "old".

the body seemed about medium but ready to drop off too... hard to explain... just seems at the end of the rope.

Thanks Eric... thanks a bunch... but I think we are in agreement that this brew is on the steep downslope.


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Photo of craytonic
3.3/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this side-by-side with 11, 12 and 13

Apperance: Almost black with a bit of mahogany/brown to it; smallish off-white head

Smell: Raisins, brown sugar, molasses, old cardboard

Taste: Toffee, caramel, raisins, brown sugar, molasses and old cardboard. Not fully showing its age, but it is starting to. More boozy than it should be for being so old.

Mouthfeel: Full with somewhat light carbonation; leaves behind an alcohol taste despite its age

Drinkability: Four of us did not finish the bottle; resorted to creating a FW10-14 blend if that tells you anything. The sum was greater than the parts. I wasn't really impressed with this one, very ho-hum.

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Photo of charlzm
3.71/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

Consumed on November 10th, 2010 at Blue Palms, Hollywood, CA.

Very deep brown color, almost black, though still clear and partially transparent. Surprisingly to me, there was still enough carbonation in the this 4 year old bottle to make a thin tan head in my glass.

The first smell I picked up was soapy - specifically, laundry detergent. Ack. This did dissipate over time, thankfully, allowing a lightly boozy brandy note to shine. Going to have to go with "average".

The flavor held up better than the aroma; reminds me of an English barleywine in overall flavor profile: raisin bread, candied sugar, a touch of white pepper and caramel. High alcohol content still a flavor component as well.

Mouthfeel was unremarkable: medium bodied with low carbonation.

Drinkability suffers somewhat due to the awful early aroma, but if you let this one breathe a little, everything will be all right.

Glad I had it, but certainly not the great white whale...

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Photo of sweemzander
3.03/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz. bottle poured into a tasting glass. Thanks go to either John or Jim for sharing this one with us!

(A)- Pours a dark brown with some tan bubbles.

(S)- Lots of raisin with some bits of molasses. Has a weird bread-like wood funk or something.

(T)- Very rich with some caramel, raisin, and molasses. A tad dry. Is beginning to show some hints of soy sauce.

(M)- A good carbonation level. Rich and malty, but showing signs of decline. Lots of boozy heat for sure, in fact, it might have been the booziest of the lot tonite.

(D)- This might have started to decline and past its peak, however, it was an honor to have tried it. I say drink this now if anyone is holding onto it yet.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.46/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Pours a dark brown reddish color with a slight tan head. Really smells like a barleywine to be honest with big malty notes. Some chocolate and vanilla notes as well. In the taste the alcohol is definitely present. Slightly oxidized with some wet cardboard like undertones. Alcohol gives a warming effect. Not the best beer. Dark fruit notes as well. Best to probably drink these now if you are holding on to them.

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Photo of mothman
4.02/5  rDev -4.7%
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 Jmoore50
3.83/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

With the 14th Anniversary almost out, this is the first and only Anniversary beer I have had from Firestone Walker. I do believe this is on its way out, but it was still enjoyable.

It poured a very dark black, more accurately a darker brown color than black. It had some bubbles with the pour but really nothing that stuck around. It was very thick, leaving a oily leg on the side of my glass. No head, its disappointing but this beer is almost four years old and 12% ABV. What are you going to do?

The smell is muted, but what I pick up is nice. Lots of sweet molasses, caramelized sugars, chocolate brownies, and some booze.

The taste has lots of sweet flavors that are no doubtingly coming from aged Imperial Stout, Barley Wine, DIPA. Great chocolate truffles with a strong caramel flavor. Lots of booze, with some oxidized muted flavors that are my indication that this beer is losing it. Still enjoyable.

A very enjoyable beer that would of probably been enjoyed best when it was released.

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Photo of nickd717
4.29/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tick - I mean review - number 900 on BA, and I may give this the honor of being my 2000th official tick on RB. Big thanks to Arbitrator for sharing this one. Consumed while wearing my "Ratebeer: Two ounces is all you need." (with thimble logo) shirt.

Pours dark brown in color with a one-finger bubbly tan head. Others commented that it looks a bit like Coke, and maybe the color is similar, but the softness of the foam on top definitely differentiates it from Coke for me.

Excellent aroma - barrel aging evident with oak, bourbon, vanilla, sherry, chocolate, and roast.

The flavor is excellent but maybe just a little past prime but still great. Pretty oaky with lots of vanilla and some bourbon. Caramel, chocolate, roast, and nuts as well.

Smooth on the mouthfeel, still a little booziness, with medium-low carbonation and medium body.

Really good overall. I'm happy to have finally ticked, and enjoyed, this. I actually went back for more than 2oz, believe it or not.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.57/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle generously shared by Mike (colonelforbin) as part of a mutual arrangement. Thanks, Mike. My first time having this one.

A: Pours a dark, murky maroon body. Scattered bubbles on top of the brew, with a medium collar resulting from the collapse of a small beige head. Looks a little like Coca Cola.

S: Bourbon, oak, molasses, nuts, caramel, vanilla. It reminds me of a barrel aged brown ale on steroids. There's no oxidation; we kept seeing reports of this on the forums, but none of us picked it up. I guess storage conditions make a huge difference. You heard it here first, folks.

T: Bourbon, oak, molasses, brown sugar. Nuts, caramel, vanilla. A very light dark fruit presence (mostly grape) and some coconut. Again, no oxidation was picked up by anyone present. The age is reflected more in a lack of complexity, but maybe that's how the beer always was. It's hardly bad, but not worth the fuss (IMO); I feel that 11 was drinking better in November and 12 and 13 are drinking better right now.

M: It's not too viscous, but it has a full-bodied flavor. Surprisingly, it still has some heat to it.

D: Good stuff! I enjoyed my pour, but its [relatively] one dimensional flavor quenched my once-rabid desire to get more of this beer.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
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 Deuane
4.64/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Part of the 2009 PSU Graduation Celebration. We capped off our epic day with a vertical of FW 10, 11 and 12.

A-Deep, dark reddish brown with a large thick tan head. Head reduces slowly and leaves thick swaths of chunky lace.

S-Sweet vanilla, notes of bourbon, toffee, bitter chocolate, astringent oak and espresso all combine to create a very complex aroma. Backing notes of crushed citrus fruit and even a touch of minty floralness. WOW!

T-Similar to the aroma but not quite as assertive and complex. I think there is just too much going on for you to discern it all! Rich sweet/caramel/toffee, vanilla and oak bourbon notes, light dark bitter chocolate and mild earthy and floral hops in the drying finish.

M-Medium bodied and so complex it is a treat on the palate. Simply excellent, touch of alcohol warming, silky and super smooth.

D-A fantastic blend. An absolute treat to drink. Only the detracting touch of the alcohol burn and the fact you know this is a BIG beer keeps this from a 5.

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Photo of glid02
4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Grant - big thanks!

Pours a murky copper-brown color with a half-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of mildy spicy and earthy hops buttressed by solid amounts of chocolate malts and barrel character - vanilla with mild amounts of toffee. We I a betting man I'd say the hops had quite a bit more influence a few years ago.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Equal parts caramel malts and a combination of milk and dark chocolate flavors kick things off. Mild amounts of vanilla with milder hints of darker malts come in shortly thereafter. Midway through the sip spicy hop flavors enter into things and carry through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a nice thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is also very good. I finished my glass without a problem and could easily have another.

Overall there were two expectations surpassed here - the expectation that I'd never try this beer and the expectation that it would still be this good. I can't imagine this one getting any better with age so give it a shot if you have it laying around.

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Photo of gford217
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Kevin for sending me this bottle. Shared with the usual suspects at the Brick Store.

Pours a slightly opaque dark brown with a small tan head that recedes quickly and leaves some legs down the side.

I really liked the aroma on this one - very big. It's got a bourbon and vanilla sweetness coupled with dark fruits and what seems to be the remnants of the hops. Maybe some cocoa as well. Smells like a beer that's seen a few years.

Compared to the 12 and 13 I've had, this one is much lighter on the flavors. And I don't mean less flavor, but just not quite as stout-like. There is a bit of a chocolate-covered raisin character to the whole thing. The finish is definitely boozy with the bourbon barrel dominating.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and very smooth with a heavy oak and bourbon character, especially int he finish.

This is still an excellent beer, but it has the markings of a beer that's seen better days. Not in the league of FW12 or FW13 for me. Can't thank Kevin enough for this one.

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Photo of Mauerhan
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled in line with the rest of the firestone line up at the blue palms anniversary party. A big thanks to Brian for pulling these out of his stash.

Pours straight from the bottle with a flash of carbonation. Not much but as much to be expected in a 3 year old beer. A light lace skims the surface. Murky brown similar to tap water in the greater Los Angeles area. Has some nice legs on it. Good deal of sediment floating around my snifter. overall a pretty decent looking brew.

Smell is pretty reminiscent of Walkers Reserve. A good deal of sweetness. Some faint hints of ghosts of barrels past. A combo of soy and tabacco.

Taste is good. Some oxidation is present up front but still rather good. I get a hint of what once was a beautiful beer. Brown Sugar, Figs, Sweet Cherry, Cigar Paper/tabacco. Hints of vanilla and other barrel qualities are present. I would have loved to see how this was a year ago.

I enjoyed this beer quite a bit but I have a feeling this peaked a while back. Some very good qualities are still rather present but I feel if you have a bottle of this drink it or trade it away. This bad boy aint getting any better.

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