Firestone 11 - Anniversary Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Firestone 11 - Anniversary AleFirestone 11 - Anniversary Ale
Firestone 11 - Anniversary AleFirestone 11 - Anniversary Ale

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

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.

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User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 173 | Ratings: 249
Photo of augustgarage
4.2/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled multiple small pours into a snifter as part of a vertical at the Firestone Anniversary party at Blue Palms. Matt, the brewmaster was standing over my shoulder for much of the time, answering my questions about barrel types, blending, etc.

Cordovan and burgandy body, with copper highlights. Dark liquid, but good clarity. No head, though there is a smattering of lacing. There seems to be an inverse relation between collar size and leg formation - the older the anniversary ale, the thinner the collar and more dense the legs.

11 surprised me as being the hottest of the anniversary ales, even now. Alcohol notes are very strong, and almost fusel at times. Funny to think that this could stand some more ageing compared to 12 or 13. Toasted white oak, with potent coconut, vanilla, and other lactones, though the toasty quality balances the sweetness. As good as I thought the Bruery's White Oak was in terms of barrel notes, it smells almost artificial and in nature compared to Firestone's anniversary ales.

As with all of the blends, bigger than the sum of the parts. The effect of faint oxidation is a positive influence, melding the blend more completely and contributing some sherry notes to the profile. Sweetness on the palate also suggests carmelized red banana and fennel. A slight tart and tannic note emerges mid-palate, like dark cherry, leading into a long dry earthy finish.

Very warm, rather tannic and a bit thicker than 10, but still the textural elements bring to mind a wine or liqueur more than your standard ale.

I know many people I was drinking with preferred 11 to all the others, which could be their preference for Bravo coming me it lacked subtlety and multi-dimensionality compared to the other blends (though relative to most any other beer, it remains remarkably rich and complex).

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Photo of Arbitrator
4.17/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Lightly chilled bottle into a glass. Split with the gf to celebrate the end of her move (READ: the end of two weekends of manual labor).

Received in a generous trade from ThreeWiseMen. Thanks Nick.

A: Pours a dark brown body in the glass, opaque in the center but translucent in the edges. The head is light tan, with moderate retention, and some spots of lace down the sides.

S: Coconut, raisins, plums, raspberries, brown sugar, caramel, barrel, bourbon. Quite a strong smell. A small booze component in there that surprised me, since people said this was peaking and fully mellowed out.

T: Starts with coconut and hints of vanilla. The mid-taste reveals the imperial brown base in brown sugar and caramel. Plums and raspberries flesh out the flavor as well. The finish is lightly tannic, with a lingering bitterness that remind me of very dark (like 90%) chocolate and earthy cigars. It's a bit jarring given the otherwise smooth, mellow, and even kind of sweet taste.

M: Soft in the mouth; medium-bodied with low carbonation. A small heat in the finish.

D: This was my first and only bottle. I can see why people say the beer is peaking or has peaked; it seems some of the barrel flavors (vanilla, in particular) have dropped out compared to descriptions of the fresh bottles, and the finish is evolving in an unusual fashion. I'm glad I tried it, but it didn't move me so much that I need to seek out a second bottle.

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Photo of tendermorsel
4.94/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally got around to drinking this one. Big thanks to mattolesh for sending this bad boy my way a while back. I had pretty high expectations for this one and it did not disappoint.

Nothing real remarkable for the appearance. Dark brown color. Some good lacing/legs on the side of my tulip glass.

Wonderful aroma. I could smell wood and alcohol in the nose. I was salivating just smelling this one.

Great taste. The beers in the blend meld together extremely well. Considering the ABV very little alcohol heat. Dried Fruits brown sugar and wood tannins present with every sip. For me very similar to a good Belgian quad in flavor in terms of the sweetness.

What really blew me on this beer was both the mouth feel and the drinkability. One of the smoothest beers I have ever had. Silky and satin mouth feel. Definitely a slow sipper . I drank the bottle over 1.5 hours but the beer was never overbearing. I was savoring each sip as I went. This beer warmed up wonderfully getting more and more depth as a reached the bottom of the glass. Extremely drinkable.

I have not had a ton of Firestone Walker beers but this is a true masterpiece. Great great stuff. I did not have this beer fresh but I cannot see this beer getting any better with age. Mellow and nice right now. I am a huge fan of blended beers. It is an art form that I feel is lacking in the American craft beer scene. This a great example of a near perfect American blended beer. I am looking forward to trying the 12th and the 13th anniversary versions.

Thanks again Matt! I am glad I got an opportunity to try this rare treat. This one is worth the hype.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.52/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to dukedevil0 for bringing this gem over. Largadeer shared a bottle a few months ago - but it was at the end of a long list of huge beers, so I don't remember all that much. Served in a FoBAB mini-pint glass.

A - A dime of quick-dissolving light tan foam that leaves a ring and a touch of haze. Dark brown color - semi-opaque when held to the light, with some obvious suspended solids. A few spots of lace are left as the beer is consumed.

S - There's still a little heat after two years, but it's still a little less boozy than the 10. Lots of coconut, raisins and dark fruits, brown sugar, caramel, a bit of tannic tart apple flavor.

T - This has really mellowed with minimal heat in the flavor. I see what people mean by suggesting this is going downhill - it has certainly lost the alcohol presence faster than the 10, but I don't feel that the flavor has suffered in the slightest. Sweet burnt malts, caramel, milk chocolate, vanilla and light barrel flavor. The finish is surprisingly clean and the aftertaste quite mild.

M - Soft, creamy, medium-bodied, low carbonation, minimal heat. Not sure how this could get any better.

D - I had 6oz or so and I'd be happy to have more. There's a little warmth after a full pour, but it's such good stuff that that's barely an inhibitor. Highly recommended.

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Photo of dukedevil0
4.72/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got this bottle from Solomon420, a super generous trader, thanks! Shared this with some BA friends at a tasting.

A: Pours a dark brown color with just a small couple millimeter height of khaki head that settles down to just a rim around the edge.

S: Lots of quad type smells to me - raisins in the forefront, dark fruits, caramel, brown sugar, then lots of barrel aged scents like vanilla, oak, bourbon

T: almost exactly like the smell - raisins, dark fruits, figs, caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, oak, bourbon - DELICIOUS

M: Super creamy, there are some imperial stouts that aren't this creamy, zero burn at all from the ABV, nice and syrupy too

D: I'm amazed by how drinkable this 11% strong ale is. I can feel it kicking in already after several ounces, but the flavor wouldn't clue you in on it. The flavor is amazing too.

This is a stellar beer and I wish it were easier to get more, but at least I got to try it once.

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Photo of carps12
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a stemless wine goblet. Thanks to Jeff ipa247 for this trade. This is my third time trying this, but first time reviewing.

A- hazelnut brown in color with lively bubbles around the edges. A swirl of carbonation in the middle keeps it lively.

S- hazelnuts, caramel, toffee, raisins, some menthol/speariment booze(this was VERY prevalent in the FW 10), very complex, mild sherry, prunes, and dates

T-raisins, oak, some spice, tanic fruit, peppermint/booze, mild vanilla, toffee, rye. The Bravo(80%) of blend is very noticeable with brown ale characteristics, but the brandy and rye add that extra punch. Finishes oaky, dry, and long lasting taste of nuts and raisins. If the booze wasn't so prevelant in the taste then this would be one hell of a beer.

M-carbonated perfectly. A slick and smooth feeling upfront followed by a warming finish

D- I'm drinking this one quite easy and is very enjoyable. I feel the warmth after my first glass, but it is easily manageable.

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Photo of bmanning
4.39/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with minimal head but good lacing.
Very complex aromas of chocolate chip cookies up front and pear, apple muffin, caramel, maple syrup, molasses.
Taste is not quite as complex as the aroma, but still very good with flavors of dark chocolate chips, biscotti cookies, and cinnamon apples.
Mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side, but has a nice level of carbonation.
Overall this is a great barrel aged strong ale, and I can't wait to see how it develops over the next few years.

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Photo of deliriumfest
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed on 10/12/09 for my 1 year anniversary on BA.

Poured a dark brown/deep amber color with no visible head. Aroma is very complex and features a huge bourbon/oak smell along with hints of vanilla coconut, and alcohol. The taste is beautifully mellow and has all of the characteristics of the aroma along with dark fruits and a nice chocolate malt backbone. The alcohol isn't quite as well hidden as I thought it would be for the age of this beer. The mouthfeel is particularly smooth and creamy but much thinner than expected. The drinkability is pretty high considering the alcohol presence and the thin body. A very nice treat especially considering it was a gift from Gabe at the Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach, CA. I hope to try this one again in a few years to see if it really has peaked like a lot of people are saying.

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Photo of baggio
4.02/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared with BA rojo. This was the last ale at our lite samplesession.

A: Dark red with a minimal head.

S: Bourbon, Vanilla, Butterscotch, Alcohol.

T: Vanilla, Bourbon, Dark fruit, Chocolate, Raisins.

M: Body is thinner than i expected but full of flavours. A bit of alcohol shines through at the end of a sip.

A really good beer but nowhere as good as the hype suggests. Interesting!

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Photo of MisterClean
4.27/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Bob the Tech for bringing this to the brew day.

A - Pours dark brown with 1 finger of cappucino head, which dissipates immediately. Leaves little lacing.

S - Leather, chocolate, oak, bourbon, vanilla, and light alcohol.

T - Lots of leather coming through with chocolate, oak, bourbon, vanilla, bittering hops, and light alcohol. Gets more caramely as it warms up, but not too viscousy.

M - Medium bodied, malty and light alcohol.

D - Very good. I would recommend you seek out the XII as it is the better beer. This one is very enjoyable too.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Special Thanks to Richbeer for providing this beauty in trade. I appreciate the chance to try this beer.

I was somewhat shocked by how the head formed and faded so quickly here. Off white, more fizzy than I would have imagined. These active bubbles faded rather quickly. A ring of foam remained around the glass. The beer itself looks like a deep ruby color once you look into it. At first glance it looks dark brown, but it's not. Poured a small sample for my wife in a tasting glass and you could see how much lighter the beers color was in a small glass.

Aroma is nice. Bourbon, vanilla, Coconut.

Interesting as the vanilla and coconut flavors start out, then you get some dark chocolate flavors in the middle. Slowly it fades back to the vanilla, coconut and some light bourbon notes. At this point you get the slightest warming from the alcohol. As nice as the flavors are, it finishes a little flat. Not much lingers on your tongue. Almost could use a touch more sweetness to hang with you and meld with the vanilla flavors.

I have to say this is where I think this falls short of complete greatness. The body is a touch thin for what I was expecting. I remember the XII being more fully bodied and that it was more appropriate for the flavor profile. Still wonderful..

A treat to slowly enjoy this. The warming effect is nice and makes this one to sip and savor.

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Photo of gford217
4.7/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle courtesy of Solomon420 poured into a tulip.

Pours a very dark brown that shows slightly red around the edges when held up to the light. There's a small cream-colored head that recedes slowly to a healthy collar.

The aroma is big and damn good. There is dark fruit, with lots of raisins and plums along with some roasted dark chocolate malts. There is vanilla and plenty of bourbon as well, though it's not overpowering at all.

The taste is even better, spectacular actually, with a roasted, slightly bitter kick on top of the big chocolate malt backbone with lots of vanilla, caramel and some raisins as well. The finish is where the bourbon comes in and it leaves a pleasant burn going down along with a little bit of tobacco.

The mouthfeel is good, medium bodied and a little slick with plenty of wood and bourbon on the palate. The carbonation is soft but adequate.

I am not sure what this one tasted like fresh, but it tasted wonderful now. There are tons of flavors but they have all come together perfectly and the drinkability is extremely high given the ABV. One of the best beers I've had in recent memory.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks goes out to a most generous BA (ipa247) for this one. Birthed a rhinoceros when i saw this one in the box.

Pours a deep ruby brown, almost impenetrable, but not quite. Major ruby highlights, and a nice off white head that falls quickly and turns to a skim with some islands on the surface. Decent lacing but nothing amazing.

Nose is quite complex with huge notes of bourbon, vanilla and oak. Tobacco, leather, and notes of dark cherry abound amongst the bourbony nose.

Wow. This is pretty much exactly what you look for in a Bourbon aged beer. Amazing ride of complex flavors. Bourbon and oak flavors are strong. Super rich caramel and chewy tobacco and leather flavors hit hard with a creamy vanilla presence the whole way through. Some light dark fruit notes, candied cherry almost. A slight bitterness on the finish, but really almost rides right through. Vanilla, oak, bourbon and caramel linger in the aftertaste. Divine.

Mouthfeel is damn near perfect. Nothing annoys me more than a hot bourbony beer with a thin mouthfeel, and this one is the polar opposite. Nice, chewy, viscous, creamy mouthfeel without being too thick or cloying. Carbonation is right where it oughta be.

Drinkability is quite strong, but you can definitely tell this is 11%, and that bourbon came into play. On par with what it claims to be.

Overall, quite simply put, this is the finest barrel aged beer i have had in a long time. An excellent and time consuming comprehensive hands on experience with what barrel aging and blending are capable of. One must admire the time and dedication put in to produce a beer of this quality within this style. If you are a fan of barrel aged beers, this is simply an absolute must try. Drinking much better now than it did fresh (although it was fine then too). Really developing well, and i think it could go for a while yet still. An excellent beer, near perfect. Very very very well done.

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Photo of John_M
4.52/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

At the HOTD tasting at Dyan's the other night. I can honestly say this is a beer I never expected to see or taste. Many thanks for pulling this gem out for dessert last night Dyan. It was all that saved me after the Cantillon Classic Gueuze.

The beer pours a darkish brown color with good head retention and lacing. On the nose, there is an interesting array of dark fruits, including prunes, plums, vanilla, chocolate and light coffee. The amount of flavor in this beer, coupled with the velvet-like mouthfeel, is just astonishing. The beer gushes milk chocolate, plum and cherry, but with just a touch of bitterness in the finish, which acts as a foil for the richness and moderate sweetness. Mouthfeel is just stunning, and is incredibly light, creamy and smooth. Drinkability is amazing in this beer, especially considering the abv. Alcohol is not the least bit intrusive, and is incredibly well integrated in the flavor profile.

Time has been very kind to this gem. Would have liked to have tried it young, but now in the sunset of its years, this beer is just exceptionally fine and refined. A classic, clearly...

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Photo of joepais
4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to a west cost BA who hooked me up with this one.
Bottle poured into a tulip class produced a finger worth of tan head that trailed off to a nice light lace. The body was a chocolate lab color and the highlights were amber in color.

The aroma was a huge bourbon bomb. Plus there was some nice vanilla note along with some oak thrown in for good measure.

It tasted like the finest bourbon as well. The words Smooth came to mind as I sipped away at my glass. It had a medium feel to it in my mouth with light carbonation.

This was a wonderful brew easy to sip and relax with. I do believe one bottle is about all you want in a sitting. I would not mind drinking this one again

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Photo of photomike
4.52/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big big thanks to zminor for busting this out randomly last night.

Pours a dark brown that lets a surprising amount of light through when held to the light. Much lighter in color than the 12. Short beige head recedes to a ring and leaves some spotty lacing down the glass.

The aroma on this one is strong and complex. Mountains of dark fruits come through: dates and raisins are backed up with a smack of vanilla and brandy booziness. Nice wood elements.

The taste is full of a lot of the same stuff. Lots of dark fruit, molasses and vanilla. Wood, bitter chocolate, and a hot, boozy finish. All flavors are very well integrated with each other in a smooth, rich package.

The mouthfeel may be my favorite part. Very low, effervescent carbonation and warming heat from the alcohol. Full bodied and somewhat viscous with a lightly chewy finish. Near perfection.

Despite the richness and full body of this beer, it is neither too heavy nor too sweet to be overwhelming. One to be savored and shared, for sure, but very drinkable for what it is.

I have to think this is drinking near it's peak right now, and hope that the 12 develops into such a complete package. Very impressive.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.79/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep brown with small carbonation and a small tannish head. Nose was vanilla, oak, bourbon, chocolate and lots of it. Taste was nice and smooth with the bourbon and vanilla being very prominent. Mouthfeel was good and warming, very smooth, roasted malts were nice to have on the mouth. This brew is well balanced considering the mixes of beer here. Drinkability is good but only one of these at a time of course.

Sixth tasting of this brew almost two years after realease and it is still going strong! Excellent, even better now than my previous tastings.

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Photo of glid02
4.72/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle from Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach, CA.

Pours a dark brown color with a frothy one-finger tan head. The head recedes fairly quickly into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of molasses, butterscotch, oak, milk chocolate, and bourbon. As it warms the bourbon becomes more prevalent but manages not to overpower everything else.

Tastes similar to how it smells - a mishmash of flavors that somehow melds very nicely. Butterscotch, oak, and milk chocolate flavors start things off and it's joined by bourbon midway through the sip. The bourbon flavors carry through until the ending, after which bourbon, oak, and milk chocolate flavors linger.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a solid thickness with lighter than average carbonation.

Drinkability is great. I could literally drink this all day long and I wish I had enough of this beer to do so.

Overall this beer certainly lived up to the hype although I attribute some of that to the age of the bottle. If any of this passes around be sure to grab a sip.

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Photo of sonicdescent
4.89/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This one took a while to get, looking forward to it in a big way.

Look is good, would prefer more head to make it great, but otherwise we have a murky brown pour with a thin white head. Great lacing.

Smell is of dark fruit, a bit of cocoa, light tobacco. Really excellent in this department, I wish I had the discerning nose to pick some of the nuance, but this is complex and intense in a good way. Great barleywine territory in the nose, maybe slightly less on the hop side., this is the most complex bastard I have ever had. I get tobacco, fruit, chocolate, light hops, a small booze..for some reason this is what I imagine a utopia to taste like. This kicks the hell out of it's 12 cousin, which to be fair hasn't had as much time to lay down, but wow.

Mouth is good as is, but i think some more thickness behind it would have made it amazing. Carbonation is relatively low.

Overall, I curve this one to the max. What a crazy good beer this is. I don't get blown away much, but we have a big winner here. Unfortunately I don't see myself getting to try another one.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.72/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've had this beer on a number of occasions, but I'm just now getting around to reviewing it. Pours very, very dark brown with ruby highlights. The creamy beige head is an inch high with good retention and some nice lacing.

The aroma is just as good as I remembered. Notes of caramel and toffee are strong. The great coconut notes I remembered in this beer are still prominent in the nose, and quite excellent. The alcohol has mellowed out quite a bit, allowing the oak and rich malt ample room to breathe. Some earthy notes are present, as well as some nice vanilla and a little bourbon.

The flavor has come along nicely since I last had this. The heat has all but died, and what lingers is rich caramel and toffee. The delicious malt is accompanied by oak, vanilla, bourbon, and that unique XI coconut flavor. The mélange of flavors in this beer are harmonious and perfect.

XI is medium - full bodied with low carbonation and a creamy, full mouthfeel.

If you have this, drink it now. I believe this is at its peak, and though there's no telling how long it will maintain its current level of excellence, I think it can only go downhill from here.

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Photo of chinabeergeek
4.82/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to the threewisemen for my first try at this baby.

22oz bottle, boxed, with printout description and blending notes. tasted in late april/early may 2009. poured into tulip.

dark, reddish brown, almost black. red tints, esp under the light. 1.5-finger tan head fades to thin wispy layer and foamy ring. loose, scattered webs and rings of lace, pretty decent for such a high ABV and with barrel aging.

aroma: bourbon with lots of vanilla and oak. woody with fruity brandy and rum notes of dried berries and... coconut! this is especially prevalent in the back, on exhale, and in burping. my first time experiencing this in a beer! caramel, molasses, slight hint of hops. more coconut. tobacco and leather. wow, layer after layer of complexity - and i'm still just talking about aroma!

taste: malty molasses and brown sugar, meeting cherry and vanilla, wood and leather, with mild to moderate bitterness from leafy, grassy hops. more coconut and coffee in the finish. rum, brandy, bourbon all make their presence. it's really all just too hard to write it all down. so much going on, yet harmonized perfectly. alcohol is perceptible of course, but it's never too boozy. quite a feat for an 11% beer.

lightly syrupy feel, with momentary flashes of tannic astringency near the finish, then smoothing out again. mild to moderate carbonation is both creamy and sporadically tingly.

a revelatory experience, showing me the potential of barrel-aged blends.

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Photo of Vancer
4.13/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ok - special review number 1500. Reviewing a special beer sent by a special BA (solomon420) in a special glass (Cordendonk tulip that he also sent in an early BIF). Great stuff all around.

Pours a deep mahogany brown, looking like bourbon, no head from this big ass beer.

Great aroma of cherry mash malt, and vanilla bean (lightly). No hint of any booze in this bourbon laced malt bomb, loaded up with dark fruit (big on plum and dark cherry). Sips well, even on this hot ass summer day.

Wait, as it warms, a bit of hot alcohol leaks through, but still a tasty treat this fine summer day.

Thanks again Damian, my BA friend. This is one great beer journey.

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Photo of rye726
4.97/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Shared with Rhinos00 and ratman197.

Pours a dark mahogany with a thin tan head.

Nose has oak, vanilla, bourbon, toffee, caramel, dark fruits, bready malts, oak and spicy alcohol.

Taste is equally delicious. Huge whiskey and wood tones over figs, plums, cherries, peppery booze, vanilla, nutty malts and rich candy.

Thick, creamy body holds a soft carbonation. Long, complex finish.

Another top notch barrel aged blend from Firestone Walker.

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Photo of rhinos00
4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasting with rye726 and ratman197. Beer #1 of 8. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a New Belgium snifter.

A- Pours a reddish brown color, nice shades of maroon. Produced a soapy off-white head that reduced to a ring pretty quickly.

S- Had a very potent nose. Huge notes of raisins and figs with lots of candied malts. Also getting some oak and vanilla as well. Really complex.

T- If one crossed an english barleywine and an old ale, this would be the outcome. Notes of vanilla, bourbon and oak upfront. Following is a great molasses, chocolate flavor that really compliments the beer. Finishing is strong deep fruit flavor, plenty of figs and raisins, that just adds another layer of complexity.

M- Had a medium bodied feel, a bit thin at points. Left a nice residual stickiness on the palate.

D- This is dangerously drinkable. While there is a slight burn in the chest, this is the only evidence that this beer has an 11% abv.

Overall, good stuff. Very happy to be able to cross this one of my list. I really prefer this blend from Firestone as compared to FW XII. Thanks again Rye!

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.51/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

So I've been lucky enough to try this gorgeous beer twice. Below are two separate reviews written about 8 months apart.


Decided to do a back-to-back tasting of FW11 and FW12 last night with Wiseman Justin. He provided the Twelve; I provided the Eleven.

Poured into a New Belgium globe.

Appearance: Body is a dull brown with amber shades near the edges. Visibility is low; I think murky is probably a good word to describe it. Yeast particles can be spotted when the beer is held to light. Looks hot and slick. A small, foamy, tan head sits on top. *N: 3.5; J: 3.5*

Smell: Tons of oak, vanilla, bourbon, and molasses. Dark fruits, specifically cherries and figs, are very prominent as well. Justin claims that it's like walking through the forest after a fresh rain. I'd agree, however the sugary esters and candy aromas are what do it for me. Oh yeah, and the oak. Never smelled so much sweet oak in my life. Justin says it's the best beer he's ever smelled; I might have to agree with him. This got an instant 5.0 the first time around, and it's gonna get another one this time. *N: 5.0; J: 5.0*

Taste: Dark cherries, toasted malt, lots of oak, bourbon, figs, prunes, root beer, vanilla, and caramel. Very oaky, bourbony and complex. Much better than the last time I had it (not sure if it's changes in my palate or in the beer - probably both). Dark cherries shine through in an aftertaste that's a bit lacking. Time has definitely cooled this one off. Deeeelish. *N: 4.5; J: 4.0*

Mouthfeel: Slick, thin, and warm. Very malty. Heat has definitely died down since the last tasting. *N: 4.5; J: 4.0*

Drinkability: For 11% ABV, this is incredibly drinkable. I could've easily downed the whole bottle one my own and been a happy, happy man. *N: 4.5; J: 4.5*

Wiseman Nick: A (4.40)
Wiseman Justin: A- (4.15)


Been waiting a long time to try this one. Wiseman Jorge will be joining me in this review.

Appearance: Looks like a flat cola initially. When held up to the light, we see more of a deep auburn color with an even distribution of yeast particles throughout. Almost no head to speak of. Even a vicious pour into the second glass amounted to only a small ring of loose bubbles (tan-colored). *4.0*

Smell: Huge oak! Really, really sweet - molasses, caramel, vanilla extract. Jorge says chocolate chip cookie dough, and Nick agrees. Smell is extremely complex - makes our mouths water. Alcohol is almost totally masked (maybe a bit of a bourbon aroma), which is unbelievable given the ABV. *5.0*

Taste: Lots and lots of chocolate - Nick says milk chocolate; Jorge claims dark. Oak, mocha, raisins (only Nick), caramel, tobacco, dark currants, burnt malts, and whiskey. Very dry, alcoholic finish. *4.0*

Mouthfeel: Slick and oily with low carbonation. Slides right down. Thick body as well. Pretty heavy mouth coating, and extremely warm. Feels like hard liquor. *3.5*

Drinkability: Yeah right. This is definitely one for sipping. The ABV is strong, and the taste is even stronger. Beware - this beer is not for the faint of heart. *3.0*

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Firestone 11 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.39 out of 5 with 249 ratings