Firestone 23 - Anniversary Ale
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Firestone 23 - Anniversary AleFirestone 23 - Anniversary Ale
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From:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
 
California, United States
Style:
Strong Ale - American
ABV:
11.5%
Score:
96
Avg:
4.34 | pDev: 6.68%
Ratings:
192
Status:
Retired
Rated:
Apr 29, 2022
Added:
Aug 28, 2019
Wants:
  4
Gots:
  6
SCORE
96
World-Class
Firestone 23 - Anniversary AleFirestone 23 - Anniversary Ale
Notes: XXIII is a blend of six distinct beers aged in spirits barrels, including bourbon and tequila barrels—resulting in a smooth, bold and remarkably complex drinking experience.

THE FINAL BLEND
Stickee Monkee | 28%
Parabola | 28%
Bravo | 20%
Bourbon Barrel Helldorado | 15%
Velvet Merkin | 5%
Tequila Barrel Helldorado | 4%
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Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
 
4.49 by bigpoppa67 from Wisconsin on Apr 29, 2022
 
4.25 by TylerJ from Iowa on Apr 07, 2022
 
4 by CisPiece88 from Nebraska on Feb 20, 2022
 
3.39 by TMoney2591 from Illinois on Jan 17, 2022
 
4.04 by Sound_Explorer from Washington on Jan 17, 2022
 
4.33 by loganburgh from Michigan on Dec 06, 2021
 
4.44 by o29 from Texas on Nov 27, 2021
Photo of jvgoor3786
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by jvgoor3786 from Arkansas

Reviewed at two years old. Beer pours a deep tan with minimal head and minimal lacing.

The smell is brown sugar, dark fruits, and vanilla.

The taste is amazing and complex. Loaded with dark fruits, vanilla, oak, char, tobacco, and a hint of cherry.

The mouthfeel is medium with low carbonation. Thinner than expected.

Over the flavor on this beer is amazing. Full of complex flavors.

Nov 26, 2021
 
3.88 by Sammy from Canada (ON) on Sep 30, 2021
 
4.43 by BKotch from Texas on Sep 05, 2021
 
4.5 by drstalker from Illinois on Aug 29, 2021
Photo of mynie
4.56/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
by mynie from Maryland

Pour is dark and still. Some visible fizz, but not much.

Aroma is oaky with some chocolate nodes. Not like a stout. Not quite like a whiskey,

Flavor is gonzo. Sweet vanilla up front, cream and coffee in the middle, and then some charred barley in the back end.

I have no idea what they were going for here, and I don't think anybody would be able to do this up proper-like in larger batches, but for a small release BA beer this is quite nice.

Jul 26, 2021
Photo of Zythophile
4.49/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Zythophile from District of Columbia

Bottle Date: 2019
Palate Contaminants: other beer, on the bitter side

Lots of medium-fine light brown head. Not a lot of lacing. Basic opaque brown.

The scent is very nutty and there's lots of brown sugar. It's hazelnuts and Brazil nuts, so savory and distinct. Slightly buttery, but not particularly lactic. Light caramel. It's great, although the lack of variety limits the number grade.

The Brazil nuts are more pronounced than the hazelnuts in the taste. Dark wood comes to the fore, too. Then there's something unexpected, mint and dark chocolate. That can devolve into a pungent herbal taste, which still ends up being pretty pleasant. Cloves are part of that. The scored sugar has a little derogatory bitterness, which is really the only knock I have.

Aftertaste has a nice balance of bitter and sweet (in other words, the sweetness leads). The dark wood aftertaste seems adequately separated. And the aftertaste hangs on for quite a while. Alcohol is fairly well hidden. Medium-fine carbonation. Medium-heavy weight.

Jun 05, 2021
Photo of Bruno74200
4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Bruno74200 from France

Dark ruby/brown with a nice one finger head, no lacing
The nose is amazing, very complex yet simple with a lot of bourbon, vanilla, toffee, coconut
The taste follows with a nice balance.
The mouthfeel is not overly thick yet coating.
Overall a great blend

Apr 17, 2021
Photo of Damian
4.03/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
by Damian from Massachusetts

Drank from a 12 fl. oz. (355ml) bottle purchased at Half Time Beverage, Poughkeepsie, NY
Served in a snifter

Thinner bodied, deep hickory brown appearance. The shimmery looking liquid was capped by a frothy, finger-tall, khaki colored head that fell to a thick, lasting collar. A few tiny streaks of lacing stuck along the glass.

The aroma was sweet and rounded but not super complex. Rich toffee and brown sugar notes dominated. Dark fruits also came through strong. Big raisin and dried fig notes. There was a moderate barrel presence as well.

The flavor profile was similar to the nose but drier and roastier. Caramel malts were prominent up front. Bit of roasted malt character too. Dark fruits appeared in the center. Charred raisins and currants came to mind. The roastiness intensified on the back end and crescendoed in the finish. Some booze and leafy hop notes lingered after the swallow. Slightly bitter. Dry, oaky tannins were also noticeable.

The mouthfeel was underwhelming. It was thinner bodied and a bit over carbonated. The liquid contained a larger bubbled, fairly aggressive effervescence that felt light and fizzy on the palate.

I look forward to trying Firestone Walker’s anniversary release every year, but this vintage struck me as being rather tired. I think a complete redesign of this beer is long past due.

Apr 02, 2021
 
4.37 by Tcsox from Massachusetts on Mar 28, 2021
 
4.61 by Bogdawg from Massachusetts on Mar 28, 2021
 
4.25 by brittanylicious from Indiana on Mar 21, 2021
Photo of heysuz
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by heysuz from Indiana

Brew: Firestone Walker Brewing Co. - Firestone 23 - Anniversary Ale

Intro: 12 oz. poured into a tulip glass. Shared with a friend.

Appearance: Pitch Black. Ample head, maybe 2 inches. Moderate lacing as I drank

Smell: Roasted malts, Chocolate, vanilla, maybe some graham cracker.

Taste: Oak, bourbon, mild tequila, dark fruits.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel, medium carbonation.

Drink: Easy drinker. These are always a lot of fun. Kind of the best of everything Firestone

Conclusion: I’ve had several years of these offerings and am always pleased with the quality of brew. I never hesitate to grab one when I find them.

Mar 21, 2021
 
4.26 by Nunya from Ohio on Mar 13, 2021
Photo of russpowell
4.01/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by russpowell from Arkansas

Pours an effervescent chestnut/cola color with some tan head. Minimal head retention & lacing

S: Some Bourbon notes & figs, plus molasses

T: Light caramel, vanilla, leafy hops & barrel dryness, plus figs up front& brown sugar. Leafy hops rise as this warms, takes on some black tea notes beside brown sugar & barrel dryness, plus rum & cola taste & feel, plus little red wine late

MF Medium body, fairly lively carbonation, dryness as well

Solid, drinkable, but had way higher hopes for this. Seems very Rum & Coke with brown sugar & red grapes

Mar 07, 2021
Photo of Thankin_Hank
4.62/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5
by Thankin_Hank from Texas

2019 Vintage pours with no head and deep dark rich color. Red in the light. Smells of dark fruit, prunes, raisins and dates. Sharp and crisp tasting. Multitudes of fruit. Slightly sweet. Near wine like. Fabulous on the tongue. Fairly alcoholic. I love it so far. Awesome blend Brewmaster Matt.
BEER BEFORE GLORY

Feb 11, 2021
 
4.5 by fstone from California on Feb 04, 2021
Photo of DIM
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by DIM from Pennsylvania

Less stout-y than a lot of years which suits me fine. Sweet caramel, charred nuts, raisins, figs, plenty of booze, and a little vanilla. This is a really cohesive, harmonious blend. Comes across as a world-class barleywine to me.

Jan 28, 2021
 
4.44 by JasonF1981 from Connecticut on Jan 18, 2021
Photo of rand
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by rand from California

12 oz bottle into a chalice.

Dark brown brew, moderate carbonation, minimal head. Wafts of leather and caramel. Oaky. Flavors are rich and sweet and full of molasses. Lighter complexion than expected. Distinct notes of vanilla. These anniversary ales roll on year after year, familiar but enigmatic. Each one as delicious as the last.

Jan 16, 2021
 
4.38 by Taenim from New Jersey on Jan 12, 2021
Photo of Limazulu
4.62/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Limazulu from Idaho

A- dark mahogany, minimal khaki head, nice color
S-beguiling sweet caramel and vanilla
T-The bourbon comes out here, with a number of complimentary flavors you don't get in a few-note barrel aged stout. Dark fruits, some molasses. Average sweet, average bitter.
M-Medium (+) body, below average carbonation, smooth and creamy for the slightly lighter than expected body.
O-The influence of the quad is signifianct, and it creates a very unique strong dark ale.

Jan 05, 2021
 
4.39 by TheEpeeist from Pennsylvania on Jan 04, 2021
Photo of LiquidAmber
4.41/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by LiquidAmber from Washington

Poured into a Firestone Walker tulip. One year old, properly cellared bottle. Pours a very dark mahogany brown and a quarter finger dark khaki head with great retention and good lacing. Aroma of caramel, molasses, figs and raisins, a little dark malt and bourbon bourbon. Flavor is semi-sweet dark caramel malt, bourbon, dried plums, vanilla, dates, raisins, a little rum, woody oak. Medium bodied with light creaminess. As always, a rich, strongly flavored ale that exhibits the character of the stouts, barleywines and porters in its mixture. This one had some tequila Helldorado, but it is barely detectable and then only because I was looking for it. Delicious and fine, I see no reason for this not to be my traditional New Year's Eve beer in the future as it has in the past. And lately it's been in a much more approachable 12 ounce bottle.

Jan 01, 2021
 
4.47 by dubnation from Kansas on Dec 26, 2020
 
4.38 by StanleysCup from Maryland on Dec 26, 2020
Photo of beerbully
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by beerbully from New Jersey

L-Pours a very dark mahogany......thin head that settles into a cap......lacing is moderate to thin

S-Woody bourbon barrel notes upfront with some chocolate swirling around......molasses, brown sugar, caramel.......

T-Can taste the quad....dark fruits and some belgian esters.....some bitter roasty chocolate....some fruity sweetness at the finish black cherries with lingering boozy Manhattan aftertaste

F- a bit fizzy with some carb bite......medium body.....

O- The sum is greater than the parts.....highly complex with a bunch of flavors that meld together rather well

Dec 17, 2020
Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.49/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by IvoryFoxhole from Virginia

Looks like I aged this for a year. Don't even recall buying it, to be honest. 12 oz. bottle, poured into BCBS glass and allowed to warm.

L: About a 1F fizzy tan head. Hangs around a little longer than I expected and leaves a tan ring. Beer is very dark brown, you can see a touch of brownness when held to the light.

S: Caramel, unsweetened chocolate, black cherry, hints of vanilla (bravo for restraint here), very understated oak. This really is an amazing blend - getting the Parabola and Stickee Monkee to get along like that is difficult enough.

T: Caramel, vanilla, black cherry, dried dark fruits, unsweetened chocolate, oakiness, a tiny bit of alcohol heat, roughly in that order.

F: Full-bodied, not much in the way of carbonation. A real accomplishment in construction, putting all those flavors together and making them come out balanced. A bit of heat, maybe more aging would mellow that a bit.

O: Tasty. Get some if you can find it.

Dec 13, 2020
 
4.78 by BrookW from Virginia on Dec 06, 2020
 
4.29 by Dharmelink from Wisconsin on Dec 06, 2020
 
4.1 by Nichols33 from Massachusetts on Nov 30, 2020
 
4.33 by mgundy32 from Wisconsin on Nov 20, 2020
 
4.16 by rab53 from Washington on Nov 10, 2020
 
4.28 by dazedman from Virginia on Oct 20, 2020
Firestone 23 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 192 ratings