Firestone 22 - Anniversary Ale
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Firestone 22 - Anniversary AleFirestone 22 - Anniversary Ale
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Style:
American Strong Ale
ABV:
12.7%
Score:
94
Avg:
4.35 | pDev: 5.52%
Reviews:
78
Ratings:
219
From:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
 
California, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  5
Gots
  33
SCORE
94
Outstanding
Firestone 22 - Anniversary AleFirestone 22 - Anniversary Ale
Notes: 44% Stickee Monkee
22% Parabola
22% Bravo
7% Rum Barrel-Aged Helldorado
5% Gin Barrel-Aged Helldorado
View: Beers
Reviews: 78 | Ratings: 219 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Harrison8
4.49/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown that pulls up just shy of black, revealing a little ruby tint to the edges when held against the light. Evidence of some lighter ales in this mix. Head is a finger of khaki foam that retains well. Considering this is a 2018 anniversary ale, and is being consumed in April 2020, that's a good showing. Aroma is jam packed with notes - toffee, raisins, fig, clove, caramel, molasses, charred coffee and roasty, toasty, nutty and caramely malts. Barrel character is prevalent, adding some char and bitterness along with a little woody oak to round it out. One thing is for sure - complexity is huge. Sweetness with a twinge of bitterness. Flavor profile is raisins, toffee, fig, caramel, molasses, chocolate, maple syrup, roasty coffee and roasty, toasty, nutty and caramely malts. Woah - huge! Some big sweetness characteristics right up front, and while they remain all the way throughout, they do subside slightly towards the finish, allowing the bourbon barrel to poke through. It is dessert like, but with the bourbon sear at the end, keeps the sweetness from lingering. Mouth feel is medium-thick that expands to a more full thickness as it warms. Texture is crushed velvet with a light siltiness, adding a little presence to each sip. Overall, depth and complexity is huge here, and yet it all works together well. It's sweet, hot and yet still bitter, netting out a noble balance.

Served in a 15.5oz Speigalau tulip from a 12oz bottle. Poured and reviewed on 4/19/2020; 2018 bottling.

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Photo of stortore
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into a snifter. Bottled 10/28/18. Had 7/28/19.

Pours a dark garnet/brown, mostly clear, with a half inch head and some spotty cling. Aromas of caramel, malt, figs, bourbon, oak, coconut, toffee, vanilla, some chocolate, plums, dates, light rum, some brown sugar, light coffee and raisins, light char, tobacco and some leather as it warms. Smells wonderful. The flavor tastes as good as it smells- bourbon, rum, plums, caramel, toffee, vanilla, prunes, brown sugar, oak, dates, figs, less coconut, light gin, some chocolate, a little tobacco and leather. Light alcohol warming, a little herbal on the finish. Smooth, a solid medium to full body, well carbonated.

A cornucopia of terrific aromas and flavors, and the barrels shine without dominating. The rum really shows well for being such a low percentage of the blend. Definitely one of the best years I’ve had.

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Photo of FLima
3.78/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Brown color with a thin head.
Aroma with notes of molasses and wood.
Flavor with notes of citrusy and grassy hops, molasses, wood, rum and raisins. Dry, sweet and bitter aftertaste.
Medium body with appropriate carbonation. Alcohol of 12.7% is perfectly hidden.
Sweet Strong Ale with rum notes and backed by American hoppiness.

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Photo of MrOH
4.74/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Clear dark brown, garnet highlights. Thin tan head, doesn't stick around long, but leaves sticky rings of lace
Quite a head aroma. Lots of barrel notes- vanilla from the bourbon barrels, dried fruit from the rum, just a hint of juniper. Toffee malt underneath it all.
Lots of caramel and dark fruit flavors, just a hint of roast, firm bittering keeps it drinkable.
Heavy bodied and lightly carbonated, as it should be.
Wish I had held on to this a couple more years. Oh well

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Photo of hman43
4.51/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look: It pours dark brown with a tan head. Head retention is low.

Aroma: It has a dark caramel and bread aroma. There are low hints of chocolate in the background. There are some sherry qualities in the nose. There are also some dried cherry elements as the beer warms.

Taste: It has dark caramel flavors with some bread. There are sherry like qualities with some chocolate. There are some strong alcohol elements and dried cherries. There are very low gin elements.

Feel: It has a chewy body with strong alcohol warming. The warming is very pleasant, not hot. There is also a high level of bitterness.

Overall, a very complex beer in both flavors and aromas, thick body, strong alcohol.

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Photo of mothman
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap. Khaki tan head. Lace. Dark caramel brown color.

Tastes like a really nice barrel aged old ale. A ton of flavors going on, as usual. Coconut, figs, caramel, toffee, and chocolate. Tons of bourbon all around. Vanilla and oak. Some fruit notes including banana. Marshmallow. Lots of flavors. Full bodied. Smooth and warming. Always a treat.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.39/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter from a 2018 vintage bottle.

Appearance: send me then but a semi thick black body coming off with an off-tan head with medium bubbles settling quick after one sip almost zero head after one sip.

Smell: bland sent of warm sugar and whiskey granted it does smell good but it dissipates from the nostrils super quickly.

Taste: complex we taste consisting of heavy barley, whiskey, and a smooth Mall finish which becomes highly addictive. It's a touch better but offset with a sweet finish.

Mouth: full body with a soft carbonation in the sticky finish which comes off a touch sweet.

Overall: easily one of my most favorite Firestone Walker beers, slightly expensive considering it's only 12 oz but I would buy it again but I would not drink it back to back if you know what I mean. Salud!

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Photo of Damian
4.32/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Drank from a 12 fl. oz. (355ml) bottle purchased at Whole Foods Market (River Street), Cambridge, MA
2018 vintage
Served in a snifter

The beer poured a nearly clear, deep copper-amber hue. A film of large, light tan bubbles topped the liquid, but it quickly fell to a thick, lasting collar. Droplets of lacing trickled down the glass.

The aroma was initially pretty unexciting. Dry yeasty notes were most apparent. Slightly papery. As the head dissolved, some sweet caramel malts came forth. Later, dark fruits were noticeable. Raisins, figs and plums specifically. Nice brown sugar sweetness as well. Somewhat boozy. Okay barrel notes were also detectable. As the beer warmed, the nose improved considerably. The dark fruit, brown sugar and bourbon notes really intensified. Toffee was also apparent. Lots of raisin and vanilla character too. Very spirit-like and pretty amazing overall.

The flavor was similar to the nose but somewhat rougher around the edges. Big and boozy with caramel malts leading things off. Dark fruit notes kicked in next. Raisins and prunes came to mind. Brown sugar appeared in the center. Slightly sweet. There was a distinct spicy, rye-like quality as well. Perhaps this was from the gin barrels. The beer finished even boozier with strong oaky barrel/bourbon notes. Some bitter roast and earthy hops lingered after the swallow.

Solid mouthfeel. Medium bodied for the style. Creamy and somewhat syrupy on the palate. The beer contained a finer bubbled, fairly subtle effervescence that frothed up nicely on the palate.

In the age of pastry stouts and milkshake IPAs, a somewhat thin and boozy barrel-aged strong ale might be easily overlooked, but luckily that was not the case with this Firestone Walker anniversary release. While this beer seemed to lack character and complexity initially, it improved drastically as it warmed. Be sure to give this this plenty of time to open up in order to allow its best qualities to shine.

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Photo of DokiDokiLitFam
4.56/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown with tiny bits of foam. Minimal lacing.

Nose is mostly barrel presence. So huge. The only thing that manages to sneak out is malt and brown sugar. The barrel presence keeps everybody down like a bunch of hostages.

But the flavor...oh boy...

The flavor is an explosion! Wood, bourbon, malt, nuttiness from the barrel or perhaps the brown ale , savoriness, spiciness, sweetness, brown sugar, caramel, toasted bread, dark fruit. The cops just tossed the tear gas in and everybody is fucking scattering. This tastes like a meal every time I sip it. And sip it I shall. At nearly 13% this holds no punches. I should be sharing this with friends, but I don't want to. It's all mine!!! Ahem. Well anyway there's so much going on here that it's hard to keep track. Is it balanced? Can you balance 5 beers put together? If you can, I say they did a damn good job. There must be a method to this madness and they absolutely nailed it. This beer has no center. It's not a stout, nor a quad, nor a brown ale. It's just in limbo. Every element compliments the other.

Carbonation is mild. Body is medium. With a barrel bomb of this caliber, it makes sense.

Overall this beer is a tempest. It's hard to quantify. It's just hard to explain and unless you try it yourself, it's even harder to understand.

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Photo of mpyle
4.21/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to my coworker TB for giving me this bottle. Will confess to being scared to try this 12.7% beast.

Crystal clear deep amber color, pours a smallish tan colored head that lingers briefly, then says mercy to the alcohol.

Big malty sweet nose, some raisin and some booze. Smells like a big boy.

Over the top malt flavor, sweet but not quite cloying for me. Plenty of dark fruit like raisin and plum, hints of coffee and chocolate. Has a drying midmouth onward - mix of hops and alcohol?

Heavy body and relatively lower carbonation, both in line with expectations. Some alcohol warming, but it is pleasant. Definitely a beer meant to be sipped slowly.

Definitely the kind of beer that should be a one off. Not an every day drinker, but something to bust out on a special occasion. The fine cigar of beers?

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.68/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A dark brown with a little red peeking through. Small tan head with a bit of lace.
Bourbon first in the aroma. Chocolate, dark fruit, molasses, vanilla.
Taste followed the nose. Some gin late.
Very smooth, eminently drinkable.
World class!

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Photo of Jacobier10
4.29/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle, dated 10/28/18 etched in extremely small font near the bottom of the bottle.

Very deep brown, almost black, and opaque. Average sized light tan head with good retention. Spotty lacing.

I could smell the bourbon coming off this thing as I was pouring it out of the bottle. Which makes sense seeing as though 88% of the final blend was aged in bourbon barrels. (The remainder was 7% Rum Barrel-Aged Helldorado and 5% Gin Barrel-Aged Helldorado). Massive dark chocolate notes with molasses, coffee, cherry, fig, port, vanilla, cinnamon, rum and cola. Wow.

Flavor follows suit and there is a nice balance between deeply roasted malts, booze-soaked barrels, and dark fruits. There is a decent amount of spice in the finish, Hard to tell if it's the gin coming through but it just adds a slight touch of astringency and bite at the end of the beer. Not in a bad way though. Carbonation is lively for such a strong ale.

Firestone Walker knocked this beer out of the park. So much complexity yet it is remarkably easy to drink. Really delicious beer, as was the previous version (XXI). The packaging is also excellent. If I spend this much on a single bottle of beer, I really appreciate the extras that are provided with it.

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Photo of superspak
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 10/28/2018. Pours crystal clear dark ruby red/brown color with a 1 finger fairly dense and rocky khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of huge caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, coconut, toasted oak, raisin, plum, prune, cherry, fig, date, apricot, red apple, roasted nuts, toasted biscuit, and brown bread/crust; with lighter notes of licorice, molasses, rum, juniper, spruce, chocolate, cocoa, coffee, peat smoke, oak char, leather, tobacco, cinnamon, peppercorn, herbal, grass, and yeast/roast/toast/oaky earthiness. Incredible aromas with fantastic complexity and balance of dark/roast/bready malts, fruity/spicy yeast, and bourbon/rum/gin barrel notes; with big strength. Taste of huge caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, coconut, toasted oak, raisin, plum, prune, cherry, fig, date, apricot, red apple, roasted nuts, toasted biscuit, and brown bread/crust; with lighter notes of licorice, molasses, rum, juniper, spruce, chocolate, cocoa, coffee, peat smoke, oak char, leather, tobacco, cinnamon, peppercorn, herbal, grass, and yeast/roast/toast/oaky earthiness. Light herbal, grassy, peppery, roasted bitterness; and bourbon, rum, gin, yeast, oak tannin spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, coconut, toasted oak, dark fruit, roasted nuts, toasted biscuit, brown bread/crust, licorice, molasses, rum, juniper, spruce, chocolate, cocoa, coffee, peat smoke, oak char, leather, tobacco, cinnamon, peppercorn, herbal, grass, and yeast/roast/toast/oaky earthiness on the finish for a while. Insane complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malts, fruity/spicy yeast, and bourbon/rum/gin barrel flavors; with a fantastic hop/roasted bitter/sweet and bourbon/oak tannin spiciness balance; with zero cloying, acrid, astringent flavors after the finish. Lightly increasing dryness from lingering hop/roast bitterness, and bourbon/oak spiciness after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full body; with a very smooth, creamy/silky/velvety/bready, and lightly slick/sticky/chalky/tannic mouthfeel that is fantastic. Mild increasing warmth of 12.7%. and lingering barrel booze after the finish. Overall this is an insane barrel aged blended strong ale! All around amazing complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malts, fruity/spicy yeast, and bourbon/rum/gin barrel flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the huge ABV, with the mildly bitter/tannic/drying finish. Amazingly soft feel for the ABV, not overly boozy/tannic. Perfectly balanced between super rich malts, fruity yeast, and barrel presence/integration. Light residual sweetness with lingering dryness. A highly amazing offering, and world class style example. Insane balance between all the styles in the blend.

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Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle. Etched on bottle is date of '10/28/18'.
Clear, ruby brown colored body with garnet red highlights. Light tan head stays around as a bubble fed interrupted island and ring. Some spots and short strings of lacing left behind.
Aroma of toffee/caramel, dark fruit, coconut, vanilla, cocoa, and barrel (bourbon and rum).
Taste of chocolate, dark fruit, toffee/caramel, brown sugar, and barrel notes of vanilla, bourbon, oak, rum, and a little gin).
Sticky, somewhat thick mouth feel. Good carbonation.
The higher ABV% is well hidden, but the barrel notes are wide and complex. The little bit of gin brings out a botanical note. The malts also are complex and nuanced. There is a sweetness here that works well with the barrel influence. The 12oz bottle size is just right to get a good sampling experience without having to drink more than is necessary in a session.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: AleSmith Barrel-Aged Reserve 10-oz. snifter
From: Firestone Barrelworks in Buellton, Calif.
Price: $11.69 (w/ 10 percent off with AHA card)
Purchased: April 16, 2019
Consumed: May 26, 2019
Reviewed as: American Strong Ale
Misc.: No bottled on date

Picked this up last trip by Barrelworks. Guessing this would be in the 4.20-to-4.30 range since the four anniversaries I had have been from 4.19 to 4.32. Gave it a 4.25 on Untappd on Jan. 4, 2019. Blend shakeout was 44% Stickee Monkee, 22% Parabola, 22% Bravo, 7% Rum Barrel Helldorado and 5% Gin Barrel Helldorado. Brewmaster Matt Brynildson described it as, “This beer is all about the barrels. Bourbon, Rum and Gin barrels combine forces to create incredible complexity. The stout percentage is restrained, allowing the wood to speak and be heard. I especially like the way the Gin barrels bring new spice notes that we have not seen before in an Anniversary blend. I will let you discover the rest. This beer is unfiltered and unfined, so there will be a small amount of sediment in the bottom of the bottle.”

Poured a very dark brown-to-light black color with 1-to-2 fingers of khaki tan frothy head. Could see a few bubbles coming up along the sides of the glass. Very good spotty lacing. Outstanding retention. (Sight - 4.00)

Smelled toffee, caramel, milk chocolate, cocoa, wood, oak, chocolate syrup, crayon, vanilla, smooth bourbon, rum, toasted coconut, dark fruit, leathery tobacco, figs, burnt sugar and molasses. Just lovely. (Smell - 4.50)

Tasted really good, but not as good as the nose. Got toffee, caramel, milk chocolate, cocoa, chocolate syrup, wood, oak, rum, light coconut, spicy rye, smooth bourbon, dark fruit, figs, raisins, leathery tobacco, burnt brown sugar, molasses and dark red wine barrel. Did not taste 12.7 pct. ABV. (Taste - 4.50)

Full body. Sticky texture. Average carbonation. Long, smooth, warming finish. (Feel - 5.00)

Just a wonderful beer. My favorite of their Anniversary beers that I’ve reviewed. Really remember liking 19, but haven’t reviewed it yet. (Overall - 4.50)

4.42 | 98 | A

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Photo of jrc1093
4.14/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on 10/28/18 (2018 Vintage)

Pours a deep, rich mahogany hue verging on black and topped with ~2 fingers of bubby but dense light khaki foam; good longevity on the head yields a sparse, temporary lacing and slight, frothy collar.

Aromas of dark fruits, bourbon, brown sugar, spiced oak, and boozy vanilla intermingle in subtle harmony; milder notes of treacle present in the background.

Taste shows plenty of dark chocolate, caramel apple, oaky vanilla, toffee, tobacco, plum, and Belgian candi syrup; bourbon in the background, and rum even more so; a cocoa char finish lingers on the swallow. The profile takes a noticeable turn from the sweeter aroma, with much fruitier tones coming through over the course of the flavor profile.

Mouthfeel presents a silky but robust medium body, slightly sticky in parts and with minimal carbonation; creamy-smooth with any booziness present accentuating the body; incredibly balanced across the palate; develops an oaky dryness that thins slightly into the finish

Plenty going on here showing again how competently Firestone Walker levies balance to bombastic flavor; the sweetness of the barrels may not always reconcile with the burgeoning fruity notes coming through over time, but the overall consistency and flow is picture-perfect for an upper-tier strong ale.

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Photo of brenn79
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle- Pours dark ruby red to brown with a small light tan head. Aroma is strong, barleywine, fruity, figs, leather, slightly boozy but mellows as it warms. Cream like feel in my mouth, with chocolate, vanilla and just a smooth malty finish. Divine and delicious, hard to compete with FW's barrel beers.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.31/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Crowler from King's in Phoenix. I picked this up over Christmas and aged it for 7 months.

A very dark brown with a thin brown head with good retention and decent lacing, this looks solid. The nose is excellent. Brilliant barrel character with rum and bourbon with a touch of red wine to go with cocoa, unsweetened chocolate, a mild nut flavor, dark brown sugar, honey and a little toast. The blend of vanilla, coconut and brown sugar from the barrel pairs very well with the brown sugar from the Bravo, the candi sugar from the Helldorado and cocoa from Parabola. I can't really say I get a whole lot of gin here. The palate opens boozy and mildly sweet with a blend of toffee, brown sugar, cocoa, unsweetened chocolate, a little dark syrup. This is followed by a blend of barrel flavors with vanilla and rum dominating with a little coconut to go with it. Not as coconut forward as other anniversary beers. Sweet on the finish and medium in body, this beer is softly carbonated. Lingering sugar and bourbon on the finish. Excellent.

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Photo of ThrewRedButter
4.94/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L - Sits pitch black in the glass when fully poured, but the mohogany color shines through as it empties. A finger of khaki-colored head

S - Dark fruits, chocolate, coconut, bourbon, rum, some booze

T - As complex as the nose, but a lot of vanilla thrown in.

F - Full-bodied. No booze.

O - An amazing blended beer, one of the best of the series.

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Photo of Thirstygoat
4.41/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A mahogany tint and chocolate brown with no lacing or foam. Smells of candy fruit wood ans alcohol.
Sweet but dries in the mouth very quickly leaving a bit of alcohol burn. Coats the tongue and throat in a pleasant way. A very good beer. I like the 12oz bottles , a nice amount to sample.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.49/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a fairly dark brown color, with a small head, and a little bit of lacing.

This smells like caramel, bourbon, melted milk chocolate, vanilla, spice, gin botanicals, and dark fruit.

It’s only 5% of the final blend - but the Gin Helldorado is actually fairly present. It adds an intriguing earthy and sweet herbal botanical type character, and accentuates the dark fruit character. I don’t get much rum outside of a slight spiced oak character. I get the usual chocolate/toffee/caramel, and some definite vanilla/oak type barrel character.

This is creamy and well rounded, with a good level of drinkability. There’s really not much booziness.

This is a pretty excellent blend - it’s certainly one of the more unique ones so far.

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Photo of Viaduck
4.51/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle on a box with a lengthy note from the brewmaster. Dark reddish brown body. A rough pour will produce a little head, blink & it’s gone. Sniff & it tells you to expect a delicious dessert, vey sweet: brown sugar,vanilla, oak, toffee & bourbon. Taste: pure sweetness, no bitter, no salty, no sour. Flavor: yes plenty of it & plenty of variety-it is a blend of 5 excellent brews. To the implied flavors add: caramel, raisin, plum, maple & gin. Medium thick viscosity,very smooth, no detectable carbonation but playoffs alcohol heat. I’m a fan of high ABB & sweetness & with the great flavors supplied I have to give this a high rating.

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Photo of Avitra
4.23/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

While very obviously a nice and complex beer, I have to say that the blend was not necessarily my favorite, with too much stoutness in it.
Very very long and lingering vanilla finish is nice, but there's something not quite pleasant in the palate for the sip. Plums and other red fruits are evident, but so is a bitterness which is more fruity than hoppy, and not quite the correct tone.
Pretty good beer though, just not as great as some other masterpieces by this brewery.

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Photo of GoneARye
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Dark Brown with mild lacing. Swirling the glass shows off this beer's stickiness. It doesn't have legs but it does linger for a bit as it falls back into the beer.

S: vanilla, burnt sugar, and oak. Sweetish on the nose but inviting, a promise of toffee.

T: vanilla and wood, with stone fruit coming through and definite Candi sugar. Very mild leather notes as well.

M: chewy and thick for sure with a slickness. Some mild alcohol heat and spice too. Gentle carbonation on the finish brings the full flavor to life.

O: A great anniversary blend. The gin barrel really brought something special to this blend and i wish i had bought more

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.34/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

These Firestone Anniversary beers never get anything less than a 5 for appearance from me. Even though we are rating the beer itself, the excruciating detail and blood, sweat, and tears put into these boxes are just amazing to me. What beer comes with a SCROLL? Not just a scroll, but an entire front and back itinerary about the beer itself and how it came to be. Effort x 1,000. I love it.

Anyways, this Oct 2018 release was poured into a Boulevard Smokestack Snifter and has a chocolatey-brown, tootsie-roll colored body and has ruby highlights up the sides. The head is pink-almond and is 1 finger tall receding to a lush fingernail. Lovely long alcohol legs streak down.

The nose - Wow. That fresh snap of gin, juniper, and ginger hits the nose very smoothly, but intensely. Melted caramel and brown sugar follow, with hints of pecan pie and a touch of fresh sage.

The flavor - bready pecan pie opens this up with dashes of ginger, sage, and brown sugar. Sharp herbal mint, juniper, and eucalyptus follow. Woody notes from the barrels pop up. Slight rum and gin mix together. Some darker fruits begin to surface...plum, blackberry, and some black licorice, perhaps a touch of molasses. Evergreen and minty notes fade it out. There's just so many flavors here. I do get palate fatigue after 3-4 sips, but luckily the flavors in this beer don't hang on forever so it gives my palate a chance to regenerate and reset after 1 minute.

Feel is slick and creamy, cut slightly thin by all the barrel activity. The mint and juniper provides a cooling burn while the alcohol heat provides a hotter shade. Slight oils on the finish with a touch of dryness and pucker.

Overall, an incredible beer that deserves slow sipping and contemplation. I'd dare say if you don't know what you're looking for that this beer would be a waste for you. It's so complex that if you're unfamiliar with trying new things (especially generalized strong ales) it could turn you off real fast. But if you start this with an open mind, some education, and you take it slow, you will be pleasantly, pleasantly surprised.

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Firestone 22 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 219 ratings