Firestone 12 - Anniversary Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

186 Reviews
Firestone 12 - Anniversary AleFirestone 12 - 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 barleywinefiend on 11-09-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 186 | Ratings: 302
Photo of mdfb79
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 03/25/11 notes. Huge thanks to nimbleprop for busting this one out; thanks Mac. Poured into a tulip.

a - Pours a mahogany brown color with one inch of tan head and light carbonation evident. No lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of caramel malts, bourbon, oak, vanilla, sweet chocolate, and rich chocolate. Smell is really good.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate, roasted malts, and light fruit.

m - Medium to full body and low to moderate carbonation, smooth, thick, and creamy body Light alcohol warmth keeping it from perfect, but a very good mouthfeel.

o - Overall this is a great beer. I had heard this was starting to go downhill but I really didn't see any signs of that. I was lucky enough to try FW 13 at NOTB last month and to me, this was very similiar. Both flavors seemed to have a lot of Parabola going, which is great in my opinion. Would love to have again.

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Photo of hooliganlife
4.07/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a dark black with lots of cola. very light cocoa head.

very rich up front. tons of vanilla and bourbon. lots of dark fruit. a bit of booze in the mix.

we were all in agreement that this had a massive oak presence. this more or less set the tone. the barrel aging really creates the flavor and is eventually backed up by the softer side. besides the oak, the vanilla was quite strong. bitter chocolate and sweet chocolate blended together. sweet dark fruit through out. boozy.

nice moderate carbonation, sweet and sticky feel, full body.

although this was delicious, the STRONG oak and booze knocked down the drinkability. i wouldnt seek this out again, but I would drink it if it was in front of me.

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

Have had this beer as part of three separate vertical /horizontal tasting events of Firestone Walker Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen, & Parabola. All of which took place in the last 4 months. One was at an apartment with beers from my, and a fellow Beer Advocates cellar, the other was at a bottle share at Instant Replay in Canoga Park, CA. The third was hosted & served at Blue Palms in Hollywood, California. I compiled notes from all three events, before I reviewed this beer here, to be as fair as possible to something that is rare, released once (for each anniversary) sought after, aged, and to a degree hyped as well. Also, each event I had 3-4 oz of each beer, and I felt I needed to try them again to better evaluate them, since storing conditions can affect the beer. Since I have now had about 9-12 oz of each beer in totality, I feel I can post my humble opinion of them in a review.

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Bruery Tulip glass (was a large Brandy snifter at Blue Palms, but a Bruery Tulip at the other two tastings)

The Appearance of this beer on the pour is a deep, dark, brownish/black, with what I would describe as a cocoa or chocolate hue when held to the light. Very little head, sort of a film on top, and a bit better then Eleven, and that formed a nice ring of bubbles at the edges.

I smelled this beer quite a bit before tasting it. Short sniffs, swirled, then dove in the glass to get currants of richly complex, and delicious aroma's on the nose. Vanilla scents, dark cherries, earthy chocolate. These give way to the bourbon, oak, figs, molasses, caramel, tobacco, and roasted malts. This should be a cologne!

The flavors in the taste start out bolder, and richer then Eleven, but just as decadent and complex. The barrel aged character is a bit more pronounced on the draw. Flavor notes of vanilla, semi sweet chocolate, caramel, a light roasted coffee up front, then in the middle a mixture of dark fruits, dates, raisins, figs, and ending with a leather character on the finish. Booze is there, but not distracting.

Medium to low carbonation, viscous, smooth.

Interesting blends of the Parabola, Rufus, Saucer full of Secrets, Little Opal, Union Jack beers, though Parabola flavors dominated, (which I consider closer to a desert RIS) it was not as sweet with the other beers added in, and they added some interesting layers. Think this one is in its prime with 2 years of bottle age on it. Seeing how the potency drops off in Eleven. Great blend though, and is absolutely delicious.

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Photo of Phelps
3.97/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed during a vertical (diagonal?) tasting of FW Anniversary 12, 13 and 14 with tlay10. This one was poured from the bottle into a snifter.

Pours a light maroon, clear like coffee, that becomes a cola-colored dark burgundy with crimson highlights in the glass. Tyler says it's darker than he remembers it. A faint, whispery head of tan fizzles away rather quickly, leaving behind a large-bubbled ring and fat spatters of lace. Some tiny floaters of yeast pepper the dusky liquid.

Smells very sweet. Cherries, vanilla, dark chocolate, plums, oak and a tiny bit of ethanol. Age seems to have done this bottle well; it's so smooth.

The flavor isn't as sweet as the nose. Way more bitter, acrid coffee flavors. Vanilla, light oak, figs, plums, cocoa nibs and a blast of maple syrup. There's a pretty hefty alcohol in the nose and flavor, but it's blended beautifully.

In the mouth: medium-light, massaging carbonation creates a very light fizziness. Soft body with impressive viscosity. It's a creamy medium-light in fullness. Alcohol is noticeable in the nose and as my tongue becomes progressively more numb, but it's not out of place.

Tyler, who's had this beer fresh, says it hasn't gone downhill at this point. He would know better; all I know is it's dryer than I expected, but nice. Good flavors, excellent smoothness, tasty beer.

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Photo of JAXSON
4.16/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Early 2010 rate.

Bottle, pours deep chocolate that has slight maroon tones in the light. Creamy cappuccino head. Nose is big and roasty, some lightly charred malt, bit of coffee dust, bitter dark chocolate, vanilla. Yummy. Nice vanilla, melted dark bitter chocolate in the mouth, really creamy. Has a neat kind of "dusty" finish. Vanilla and soft whiskey in the finish. This is a bit boozy, pleasantly so, but is just light and fluffy in the mouth. In fact, it reminds me a bit of the most airy bitter chocolate mousse. Residual bitterness lingers a bit too much, the only real flaw I'm noticing.

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Photo of craytonic
3.3/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Tasted side-by-side with 10, 11 and 13

Appearance: coffee/brown/mahogany, decent head and lacing

SMell: Caramel, fig, bourbon, brown sugar, vanilla, molasses, raisins

Taste: Toffee, caramel, bourbon, vanilla, oak, booze

Mouthfeel: low carbonation, alcohol is a bit harsh

Drinkability: I did not notice any big differences between FW 10-13, they range from OK to slightly better to my palate. THis one was a bit hot, although most of them were to some extent.

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Photo of willjschmidt
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Stone IRS glass.

A: Pours a near jet black with red tones around the edges. Virtually no head.

S: Bourbon, vanilla, and quite a bit of alcohol.

T: Layers of complexity. Quite a bit of bourbon, vanilla, chocolate. Very little roasted or coffee flavors. Slightly sweet throughout. Lots of wood and very boozy.

M: Viscous and thick. Very little carbonation.

D: A sipper for sure as it's a very boozy brew. A nice beer to sit and sip on a cold winter evening.

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Photo of youradhere
3.8/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes of a 12, 13, 14 Vertical

Poured a deep maroon tinged mahogany, no head and little lacing. Looks very clear, nice legs on the brandy snifter. Smells of subdued oak, bourbon and slight vanilla. Tastes sweet with still some alcohol hear, the flavor is mild with notes of chocolate, caramel, honey. Slight sediment as the bottle goes down, mouthfeel isn't that thick but still drinks good.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.32/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Tasted side-by-side with the 11 and 13.

Pours a dark brown color with a thin head and a bit of retention. A few bubbles here and there as it goes down. The nose is roast, bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel, toffee, and a tad bit of chocolate. The taste combines everything quite nicely with a bit of vanilla and chocolate coming through atop the oak. Feel has gotten a bit thin and actually has a moderate amount of booze still. Not quite as good as the 11, but still quite tasty.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.61/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a tasting glass. I believe thanks go out to John or Jim for sharing this one!

(A)- Pours a dark brown; almost black color. A decent tan head that dissipated after awhile.

(S)- Kinda closed. Some roasted bits and some raisins. Touch of heat.

(T)- Some rich nutty hazelnut and vanilla caramel and molasses. Still a bit hot.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. As mentioned before, it is a bit boozy, but otherwise a good rich, malty sweet monster.

(D)- Good, but a tad sweet and boozy for my taste. Maybe another 6 months could help this one out?

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

Pours a layer of light tan head. Good retention with some lace. Color is a dark mahogany brown.

Aroma: Rich and malty with some heat showing. I get a nice dose of bourbon and oak. I also get some vanilla. Some nice caramel sweetness with some roast and chocolate. Very nice aroma.

Taste: A bit more roasted and chocolate comes out here. Big bourbon and oak. Caramel and vanilla sweetness. It is warming. It has a bit of toffee as well. A bit hot, but good.

Mouthfeel: Warming and smooth. Full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends with a lot of booze showing.

Overall, this is a great beer, but it is still hot. I have had it multiple times and I always say it can still use some time. How much time does it need? I like it, but it needs to lose some heat.

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

Chocolate-covered fig brown with rust orange and cherry red accents at the bottom of the glass. The outstanding looking crown is a thick slice of golden brown sugar colored cream that doesn't look like it will fade in this lifetime. That's a remarkable achievement considering the double-digit ABV. Gossamer-like sheets of currently unbroken lace are now decorating the glass as well.

The nose is akin to an especially black licorice-like Belgian stout. It's incredibly powerful and speaks of good (make that great) things to come on the palate. No alcohol is noted, which is yet another impressive feat. Warming opens things up even more, which didn't seem possible on first sniff.

Historically, the Firestone Walker Anniversary brews have been blends of four different ales. XII is no exception. Its components include Parabola (Russian Imperial stout), Opal (wheatwine), Bravo (Imperial brown ale), and Saucerful O' Secrets (Belgian quadrupel). Let's see what this potentially devastatingly delicious exilir has to say for itself.

Wow! This 2008 offering may the best in the series to date, and that's saying something. First of all, any concerns about aging and whether this was the right time to crack the crown should be laid to rest. This beer is drinking beautifully right now and should last for many more years to come. Yeah, it's still *very slightly* warm, but show me a 12.0% ale that isn't.

It's impossible to pick out the contributions from the component beers, so I won't try. In any case, the end result in an incredibly well-integrated concoction that delivers the best attributes of several different styles. This beer's depth is unfathomable and its complexity is mind-boggling.

Flavors include dark chocolate-dipped figs, dates and raisins soaked in Sambuca, coffee, bourbon whiskey and brandy. There are caramelized sugar, vanilla bean and toasted oak notes galore, which adds immeasurely to an already jaw droppingly delectable brew. Let's not forget the dark berry vinousness of a large shot of tawny port. My oh my... oh my!

The mouthfeel, once I wrest my attention away from the taste bud extravaganza, is out of this world. It's big beer thick and chewy and heavy creamy smooth and silky. We might have to invent new adjectives to describe what goes on in the mouth with each upending of the glass.

Both Firestone X and Firestone XI were great beers. Firestone XII is transcendent beer that makes me glad to be alive with functioning taste buds. This is easily numero uno for 2010... and I seriously doubt if it will be challenged for that spot over the next several months.

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

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue XI:

Hell yeah, back again for another year. Twelve years, so 12-percent ABV makes sense, right? Black in color with small bubbles that roll around in a somewhat viscous liquid for a nice cap of head. Big aroma with a sharpness of wood, thick with vanilla beans and a slight boozy character, becomes a sweet, truffle-like nose. Thick body, slightly syrupy with a slick and smooth mouthfeel. The alcohol drops a hammer on the palate with a stinging warmth that fades quickly. There is an edge of fusel flavor that tries to dominate, but the maltiness is too big to jump over. Lots of wood flavor, a little tannin and vanilla. Maltiness lays down a coating of sweetness and toasted bread character, showing some balance. Roasted flavors hit middle to end with faint charcoal, unsweetened dark chocolate and a dark-roasted coffee. Finishes sweet with lingering vanilla, wood and roasted tones.

An epic beer; believe the hype. Firestone Walker has helped bring barrel-aged beer closer to the forefront. A sublime sipper.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had this 3-4 times since the release, and each time being at a tasting of some sort. I've always enjoyed spending time with one of the FW Anniversary beers, and tonight's the night for the 12.

In my snifter, this beer pours a very dark brown with a dense, light brown head with good retention and rather excellent lacing. Reddish brown highlights are present.

The nose is rather muted, and it's surprisingly so. I drank a Parabola a few weeks back and absolutely loved it. This has a moderate blend of booze, bourbon, vanilla along with some spicy oak. As it warms up, the paradox of this beer becomes apparent. One usually finds a beer that looks like this and with as prominent a bourbon character to have a ton of chocolate on the nose, but that's not to be. Instead, what I get is a rather fruity, malty base with some caramel, prunes and brown sugar. As it warms up, the nose does open up a lot.

The palate is a lot better than the nose. Opening with a rather pronounced alcoholic burn, there's bourbon, and along with it, a blend of sweeter flavors - brown sugar, a little molasses, some prune. A little cocoa is present in the mid-palate, but this tastes like a rather big, bourbon barrel brown ale. Moderately oaky, this has a rather tannic character on the finish. Some vanilla is present too. The malt character seems to be oxidizing a bit, tuning just a little dull. I'm also struck by the fact that what balances the sweetness is not a grainy bitterness or a solid roastiness, but the spicy, boozy bite. The mouthfeel, OTOH, is excellent. Medium-full in body with a soft, creamy carbonation, this beer has a wonderful finish, rather excellently balanced with light cocoa, caramel, booze and tannins. I've got a couple of hours to work through my bottle, and it won't be a problem at all. It's better suited to be a digestif, but hey, I'm not complaining. As well done as this beer is, it is my least favorite of the FW anniversary beers.

** Original Review dated 23 May 2009.
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | drink: 3.5
At The Graduation Tasting. How fortunate was I to be at a tasting where this was the "worst" beer?

A: Jet black with reddish brown highlights. Thin tan head with OK retention

S: Big and bourbony with ridiculous malt depth - prunes, dark caramel, brown sugar. Not that much roasted/burnt malt character. The barrel-aging complements the existing flavors really well

T: Like a good BA RIS, this is big, boozy with vanilla and oak, but it also has a richness and depth reserved for barleywines, with toffee and caramel present. Boozy, but well integrated.

M: Big in body with spot on carbonation and a booze, sweetish bitter finish

D: This is a sipper that could use a little more time in the cellar before it's consumed. Maybe when the 13 comes out?

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Photo of kirok1999
4.59/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ruddy brown to almost black in the glass. Slight off white head that fades away quickly.
Nose is incredible, dense dark fruit, milk chocolate, mild creamy coffee, raisins, cherries, toffee and caramel. Simply one of the best smells I've ever experienced.
Taste is right up there with the nose. There's a lingering dark finish that really lets the sweetness come out. One of the most complex beers I've ever had. Everything works together and no one note dominates. This complex blend makes it so easy to sip as you're not overwhelmed with any one thing. Rich and dense in the mouth, smooth and creamy with very little carbonation.
A damn fine beer that I wish I had more of.

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

Dirty dusty opaque brown with minute head really just a small topper.

Amazing nose, sweet toast vanilla, charred oak, chocolate, black mission fig, burnt caramel, roasted marshmallow.sweet toffee, raisin and prune. Very very wonderful.

Christ the flavor follows the smell to a tea. Amazingly complex but light and delicate enough to sip on all night. Very elegant, a bit of esidual sugar on the finish, toast vanilla riddled with toffee, and dates, with charred oak and milk chocolate. Prune and rasins. Creamy, but not overly thick with perfect carbonation. Fabulous!

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Photo of levifunk
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you matt for breaking out this treat. review #100.

a - pours black with a brown head. good lacing.

s - bourbon, caramel, malts. still smells quite boozy.

t - chocolate, caramel, malts. very very good. still some booze hotness that is keeping it from a perfect 5.

m - huge thick body. carbonation is right on.

overall - this is a very tasty beer. I love creamy, milky chocolate brews, so this was right up my alley. would love to have again. It could use some more time to mellow down.

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

A: Pours dark brown with some deep ruby highlights when held up to the light, capped by a half finger beige head. Head settles into a thin layer of frothy carbonation, where it remains for the duration of the drink.

S: Strong vanilla scent up front that gives way to some bourbon notes, followed by dark fruits - currants, dark cherries, figs, and a slight vinous quality. A big dark chocolate aroma comes in with a good balance of sweetness and roastiness, along with caramel, molasses and a whiff of tobacco.

T: Starts out with caramel and some roastiness before showing some of the barrel aged character with vanilla and light bourbon. Moves over the tongue with dark, semi-sweet chocolate, which gives way to a huge dark fruit profile - cherries, figs, plums, and raisins all float around. A light very light leather comes in on the backend before finishing with boozy chocolate.

M: Just shy of full bodied with low to moderate carbonation, feels very smooth and creamy but could be a touch thicker.

D: Great beer with a very well integrated set of flavors, the heat has mellowed over time but still keeps this as a sipper.

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

Had this one courtesy of jleblanc during a great night at Ebenezer's in Lovell Maine thanks Jeff!

Appearance: Pours deep mahogany brown to black with a small off white crown that displays little to no retention or lace.

Smell: Great bouquet of figs, caramel, vanilla, bourbon, and a small earth note.

Taste: Smoothed out flavorful malt up front. Notes of caramel without too much sweetness, raisins, figs, bourbon, vanilla, and a slight rye tinge.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and slightly undercarbonated.

Drinkability: The abv is high and the mouthfeel lacking, but the flavor profile is complex yet balanced.

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

Pour from a bomber served in a tulip glass

A - Black in color, with little head and no lacing. The consistency looks delectable.

S - Toffee, caramel, and roasted malts

T - Molasses, tobacco, and leather are apparent from sip one, with other dark roast malt elements, bourbon, and some heat coming through as the minutes pass.

M - Medium-heavy and not much carb. Smooth, silky, and very palatable.

D - A big beer with good drinkability. The excellent flavor profile keeps this interesting and makes me want a bomber to myself.

Wow, what a beer! The best in a bunch of amazing beers which I had the pleasure of sipping the other night, FW12 easily stood out from the crowd. I'm a big fan of blends, and this is one of the best which I've had. Seek this out and savor a bottle shared with a close friend.

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Photo of psiweaver
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Great brown/black with a thin brown head, amazing deep earthy color.

S: Fantastic complex rich earthy chocolately malty smell. Just an amazing delicious smell.

T: rich, bold, complex, coffee, leather and malty. Fantastically delicious and very very well integrated, less boozy than the FW13 is right now and far more complex. More pronounced flavors than the 11 is right now.

M: smooth and rich, viscous and perfectly carbonated.

D: very easy to drink. the perfect blend of flavors.

Absolutely delicious, great complex flavors while not being overwhelming, perfectly balanced, drinking perfectly right now.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was rearranging some bottles in the cellar when this one fell from the shelves onto the floor. Luckily, it didn't burst and just started to leak. So, I figured now was the best time ever to review this one since I'm not going to let it go to waste. Poured from 22oz bomber into snifter tasting glass.

A - Pours black as night with some brown twinge on the edges with a tan-colored head. After the head disipiates, there's a thin ring along the sides of the glass. No note of a cap on top at all.

S - Once this bottle started leaking, I could smell the awesomeness fizzing out...haha. Boozy alcohol, dark fruits, sweet sugars, roasted malts. Just a really BIG nose here...huge even. You could smell this one from several feet away, once opened.

T - Really boozy...lots of hotness. Dark fruits, dark chocolate, burnt sugars, malts, roasted nuts. The boozy alcohol is really up front here which will hopefully diminish over time.

M - Medium to full, rich and viscous, light carbonation.

D - This one is still not, which is why I hadn't opened it yet. I'm thinking another year or so will do this one some good. I recently had FW10 and it was not quite as boozy as I like, so I'm thinking 3 years of age on this series is just about right.

Edit: Drank again on 05/14/11 and it's smoothed out wonderfully. Much improved from just over a year ago. Drink now or for another year or so for best results, in my opinion.

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

Had this at DLD this from notes.

A- Poured a deep mahogany color. One finger light mocha colored head rose quickly and fell back down into the beer. Light lacing left on the sides of the glass.

S- Nice roasted malts blend with a light vanilla bourbon aroma. Light caramel malt in the background peaks in and out. Coffee and oak notes in the background. Nothing is too overpowering in the nose which I enjoy a lot.

T- Roasted caramel malts come into play right with this one giving way to alcohol dipped darker fruits. The bourbon flavor blends right into where the darker fruits are ending with some light oak and vanilla flavors. Alcohol in the back end is mellow to me.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonations is a little lacking but is still wonderful for the style. Flavors blended well altogether and left my palate dry after each sip. Light roasted malts and darker fruit left on the palate with a touch of bourbon and oak in the aftertaste.

D- This beer is wonderful to say the least. I think the age on it mellowed out a lot of the hottness and added a new depth of flavor to it. Wish I had a bottle left in the cellar. Will be looking for another one or two here soon!

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

Review from notes on 4/24/10. Thanks to a very generous group of DLD goers who shared this with me. At least a 4 oz pour on this one! I sampled this beer without knowing what it was and damn, I was blown away.

A - A dark, graham cracker brown body with a light beige head. No see through on this one, though the light made the body incandescent! Touch of lacing on the glass as well. 4.5

S - Wow, rich caramel, deep fruits of raisins and figs, butterscotch, hint of vanilla, and oaky woodiness. Perhaps a touch of whiskey as well? Is this a barrel aged American barleywine? 4.5

T - Very, very similar to the aroma. Actually, pretty much identical. See above. 4.5

M - Rich body and moderate carbonation. Decently rich, but not overly so. 4.0

D - Mmmm yummy. 4.0

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Photo of womencantsail
4.37/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A deep, dark mahogany color with a minimal amount of off white foam on top.

S: A really intense nose of caramel, bourbon, vanilla, and even a touch of roast. Everything seems to compliment the other components quite nicely.

T: Although there is still a fair amount of booze, the bourbon flavors really work nicely with the rest of the beer. Dark fruits make an appearance here along with the sweet caramel malts, vanilla, oak, and just a hit of chocolate.

M: Very full bodied with a low carbonation and some alcohol warmth. To the brink of syrupy, but not quite there.

D: Still a bit warm which is somewhat surprising, but nice flavors and aromas. I would be happy to try this one again and see how it is progressing.

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Firestone 12 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.39 out of 5 based on 302 ratings.
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