Firestone 11 - Anniversary Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Firestone 11 - Anniversary AleFirestone 11 - Anniversary Ale
BA SCORE
4.39/5
Outstanding
Firestone 11 - Anniversary AleFirestone 11 - Anniversary Ale
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
173
Ratings:
249
pDev:
9.57%
 
 
Wants:
314
Gots:
35
Trade:
3
 
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews & Ratings
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 173 | Ratings: 249
Photo of Sammy
3.94/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a blending, elements of a strong ale, an imperial stout, a barleywine. Orange, oak wood, vanilla,booze. Black with a bubbly head. Bourbon aroma. A smooth drinker. Slightly sweet finish.
Opened at My 58th Birthday Bash., with fond memories of 2007.

 252 characters

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.12/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour courtesy of wethorseblanket at Woodshop 7 held at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

Pours a murky dark brown with a foamy tan head that fades to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, wood, and bourbon. Taste is much the same with a woody finish on the aftertaste. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is pretty tasty and easy to drink.

 524 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -14.6%

Photo of djrn2
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3/5  rDev -31.7%

Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of emerge077
3.58/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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.

A similar appearance to the 10 that preceded it, dark brown color, murky with suspended sediment, larger bubbles clustering in a ring around the edges. Minor spotty lacing after each sip.

Smells like dead (autolysed) yeast, lightly musty.

Thinner feel and a llght astringency puts a slight damper on it, dark fruit notes of plum and fig. Lightly bitter, with some nice barrel character. Hardys-esque, leather, prunes, port flavors. Overall slightly different from the 10, the sharp feel is less appealing though.

 667 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.92/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a very dark amber with a modest head that quickly shifts to a ringlet; a galaxy of dots litter the sides of the chalice

Smell: Rich aromatics of caramel, dark fruit (primarily fig), tobacco, chocolate/vanilla, licorice and wood; just tons of wood, like an antique chest

Taste: From the outset, the wood sets the backbone against which the flavors will be measured; at first, it is fruity, with the hops playing against the wood but as it settles in, the bourbon elements start to take their position, with a boozy blend of vanilla, fig, tobacco, licorice and chocolate moving to the fore; after the swallow, a coconut aspect arrives to mellow out the bold pre-swallow flavors, while the wood and alcohol linger in the background to the finish; licorice is strong at the very end

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied with low to moderate carbonation; very smooth

Drinkability: I was not that big a fan of the Ten, which overwhelmed my taste buds; the Eleven, however, rules the roost; just an incredible blend of flavor

Thanks, urwatuh8, for the opportunity

 1,065 characters

Photo of mothman
4.45/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to masterchiefmd for sharing this at DLD. Review from notes.

Poured into Duck Rabbit snifter.

Pours a light fizzy tan head. Decent splattered lace left. Color is a dark caramel brown. Some sediment in my glass.

Aroma: Bourbon and oak. Very warming. Reminds me of a BA Bwine. Toffee and caramel with sweet fruits. Very well done.

Taste: Just like the aroma: like a warm BA bwine. Toffee, caramel, bourbon, oak, and dark fruits. I also picked up some vanilla in the taste.

Mouthfeel: Very warming and smooth. Medium to full bodied withe a decent amount of carbonation. Ends hot and a bit dry.

Overall, this beer was very well done. Drinking very easy and I know I put a decent dent in the bottle. This beer was drinking pretty good at the moment and I don't know if I would want to cellar this if I had any of it. Really glad I could try this one.

 858 characters

Photo of largadeer
4.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Edit: Tried this again with 6 months of age on it and found it to be hugely improved. All of the astringency disappeared and the alcohol faded into the background, while the bourbon really came to the forefront. I have a feeling that this beer will get even better with more time on it.

Appearance - Dark, translucent brown with about an inch of tan-colored head. Retention could be better, but it's about average for a high gravity, low carbonation beer. The body of the beer looks thick and viscous, clinging to the walls of the glass like oil.

Smell - Vanilla and caramel are most prevalent. Sweet, rum-like alcohol is noticeable along with notes of molasses, dried dark fruits and oak.

Taste & mouthfeel - Vanilla, caramel, coconut rum & bourbon; subtler notes of toasted nuts and dark fruit. Thick and syrupy on the palate; very low carbonation. The finish is rough and alcoholic with a sharp, astringent bitterness similar to a young wine.

Notes - It's already very good, but it has a few rough edges that need time to soften. Much like the 10, I think it will improve greatly in 8 months to a year. I probably won't be opening another bottle for at least a year - it would be a waste to drink this young.

 1,216 characters

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of olradetbalder
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of russpowell
4.54/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this one from Solomon420, cheers Damien!

Pours a ruby tinged ebony with 1 finger of tan head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Buttery toffee, figs, dates& rum; dissipates as this warms

T: Toffee, butterscotch, a touch of booze warmth, oaky dryness & vanilla & leafy hops up front. Some booze persists as this warms, along with buttered rum; a bit of plummyness, figs & leafy hops, a bit of chocolate & licorice. Finishes with nice dark fruits, leafy hops& a touch of brown sugar

MF: Chewy with low carbonation & medium body & stickyness

Drinks easy for the style & ABV, but proceed with caution!! This damn fine American strong ale (ASA) will knock you down if over indulged. Worth seeking out, a complex. yet approachable ASA

 746 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured side-by-side with 12 and 13. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a dark brown color with a bit of a thin tan head. A few legs though not much retention or lacing, as must be the case (or at least I assume--never really looked for legs in the midst of ringy lacing). Nose brings forward really nice characteristics with some oak, vanilla, roast, chocolate, bourbon, and slight caramel.

Taste is just as complex and isn't nearly headed downhill, at least as far as I can tell from never having had it before. Either way, this was the best of the bunch for me that day. Mouthfeel is fairly thick and a bit dry with a very mild tannic presence. Drinks incredibly well and I'm looking forward to getting the 11-14 together at once, as I've pretty much lost all hope of having the 10.

 779 characters

Photo of dfhhead25
3/5  rDev -31.7%

Photo of Kegatron
4.49/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a snifter. Comes with a nice looking classy box and a certificate detailing the blending of the beer. Thanks to Deauane for sharing.

Pours a very deep, dark brown (just almost black) wtih a 1/2 finger of tan colored head. Great retention around the outer rim with some thin wisps across that center that leaves a nice smattering of lace behind. The aroma just has a TON going on with it. Notes of bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, smoke, oak, nuttiness, caramel, fruit and a touch of heat. It's all in there and everything is so very well balanced together.

The taste is similar to the aroma, being so very well balanced yet extremely complex. Oak and char arrive up front first, followed by the extremely well integrated bourbon notes. Notes of vanilla, chocolate, and dark fruit sweeten things up a bit in the rear, before finishing things with a sticky and warm feel on the palette. The mouthfeel is full and viscous with a slight boozy feel that is imparted from the bourbon notes and the ABV, although for the most part, it is fairly well hidden.

Very nice job on the blending of this anniversary beer by Firestone. It's truely a work of art to find a barrel aged beer this complex yet balanced while keeping the whole thing still fairly drinkable. I'm glad I had the pleasure of trying this.

 1,316 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -31.7%

Photo of wethorseblanket
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of atrocity
3.98/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Surprisingly, this one still holding up well after 7 years.

59 characters

Photo of mdfb79
4.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

HUGE thanks to Lunch 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 deep dark brown color with less than an inch of white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of bourbon, caramel, oak, whiskey, chocolate, toasted malts, and roasted malts. Great smell, with a ton of whiskey to it, which I loved.

t - Tastes of more bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel malts, toasted malts, and roasted malts. A slight step down from the nose, but still enjoyable.

m - Full body and low carbonation. Thick and smooth, goes down easy.

o - Overall a really nice beer. I liked this one more than the 10, but not nearly as much as the 13 and 12. Lots of bourbon in the nsoe of this one; think it was a little too much for some but I enjoyed it. Worth checking out.

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

 917 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.32/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Lunch. Thanks Paul!

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.

The beer appears dark brown, transparent to a certain degree when held to the light. The head is a thin beige cap that fades within a few moments, leaving sparse lacing.

The aroma is of roasted malt, toffee, booze.

The flavor in FW 11 is certainly better and more palatable than FW 10. Everything is more balanced, and the heat is toned down a notch.

The finish still brings a boozy kick, but thankfully, lacks any harsh burning sensation.

Overall, a solid beer, good representation of the style, and worth a try if you have the opportunity.

 855 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Burnt sienna with garnet colored highlights. I'm amazed to see that Eleven isn't quite opaque. Then again, since 82% of the blend is brown ale, maybe that isn't so surprising. The compact crown is a creamy slice of coffee milkshake that leaves no more than a few fine feathery fingers of lace on the upper reaches of the snifter.

First, the details. This 11th Anniversary offering is a combination of four different ales: 82% Bravo (Imperial brown), 7% Rufus (Imperial amber), 7% Velvet Merkin (oatmeal stout), and 3.5% Parabola (Russian Imperial stout). The various elixirs were aged for varying lengths of time in some combination of new American oak, bourbon barrels, brandy barrels and rye whiskey barrels.

The aroma simply isn't as robust as expected. What is appreciated is wonderful, so maybe a few more degrees will open things up. At the moment, the nose contains primarily bourbon mixed with cocoa and a little vanilla bean.

Eleven is definitely good beer. Whether it's special beer or not has yet to be decided. First impressions include the need for more malt and a better mouthfeel. Here's an idea... much more RIS and much less Imperial brown ale. Now *that* would have been an outstanding strong ale. Another early impression is that bourbon is front and center. Just like I like it.

The lack of heft results in a flavor profile that is broader than it is deep. Specific flavors include bourbon whiskey (brown sugar, oak, vanilla), dark toffee, black coffee, coconut shavings and a drizzle of blackstrap molasses. Complexity is present and accounted for. Sustained complexity, which all truly great beer possesses, is not.

The 11.0% ABV is appreciated as bourbon accents rather than ethanol, as it is in some beer this big. My tongue is slowly becoming numb and my belly is becoming increasingly warm and toasty. Even if I don't agree with the final proportions, the barrel aging came off without a hitch. Bourbon flavord beer is never a bad thing.

The mouthfeel is the chink in Eleven's armor. Whatever the reason, there's no excuse for an American strong ale from one of America's best breweries to be this light (actually, it's more like light-medium for the style). That's all the more disappointing because Ten's mouthfeel was out of this world. I wonder if the loud 'pffft' on crown cracking is related somehow. At no time, however, has the beer felt overbubbled.

Firestone Eleven does not deliver on the promise of Firestone Ten. It comes close, though, and probably would have gotten there with a sturdier malt backbone. I will still enjoy the hell out the remainder of the bomber and I'm still glad that I got the opportunity to drink and review it. Thanks a million, Talisker.

 2,709 characters

Photo of drewone
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Firestone 11 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.39 out of 5 with 249 ratings