Firestone 13 - Anniversary Ale
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Firestone 13 - Anniversary AleFirestone 13 - Anniversary Ale
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Strong Ale - American
4.41 | pDev: 8.39%
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Firestone 13 - Anniversary AleFirestone 13 - Anniversary Ale
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Reviews: 228 | Ratings: 406 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of EMV
EMV from Pennsylvania

4.16/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Black pour with thin brown barely-there head. Still and oily.

S: Mild oxiation... roasted sugars... vanilla, bourbon, and caramel.

T/F: Sweet... has held up pretty damned well for being 10 years old. Loads of caramel and toffee... boozy... lighter vanilla, chocolate, and bourbon. Lighter baked raisin and dark fruit. Medium to thick bodied... oily/sticky on the tongue.

O: A tasty sipper, and a really BIG beer. Probably past its 'best by' but still damned impressive one I'm really glad I got to try.

Mar 03, 2019
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stakem from Pennsylvania

4.07/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bomber into a snifter appears black in color with a khaki head.

Nose is raison, mild oxidation, milk chocolate and bourbon booziness.

The taste is chocolate, raison, earth, mild oxidation blending to roasty grain contrasted by vanilla and caramel sweetness.

This is medium in body with modest carbonation. This beer was a real delight at ~8 years old. It held up much better than I imagined it would. The alcohol is completely masked making this one dangerously chuggable brew for 12%.

Jan 08, 2018
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AndyAvalanche from Massachusetts

4.99/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

39%- Porabola (13% ABV) - Russian Imperial Oatmeal Stout - Aged in Bourbon Barrels
24% - Bravo -(11%AVB) Imperial Brown Ale - 2 Barrel varieties Bourbon and Brandy 50/50
15% Velvet Merkin (6% ABV) - Traditional Oatmeal Stout - Aged in Bourbon Barrels
6% Opal - (11%ABV) Wheat Wine- aged in rye barrels
6% Rufus - (11%ABV) Continental Imperial Amber Ale- aged in rye barrels
6% Double Double Barrel Ale - ( 10.9% ABV) - Double Englis Pale Ale - 100% aged in FW union retired barrels
4% Saucerful of Secrets (9% ABV) Belgian Strong Ale - Aged in bourbon barrels.

22 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip glass. Out of the bottle towards the glass it's a dark cola brown color but as it pools up in the glass it becomes black and you can't see through it. Still there are some slightly lighter areas producing some slight brown highlights on the side. Slightly darker than kaki colored head with small and medium sized bubbles that sticks around a good portion of the session. Decent lacing and has a nice syrup effect after each sip. It's a good looking beer.

Smells awesome. Sweet aromas of vanilla, molasses, dark grain, ripe and not quite ripe plumbs, and a bit of leather and sweet tobacco. Some hard alcohol aromas, bourbon and a dark rum blend.

Taste is truly outstanding, I absolutely love it. Lots of vanilla, bourbon and bruleed caramel. There's also some sweet toffee flavors but there's a fruity element with flavors of dried plumbs and maybe even some raisons. A lot of natural sweetness, but there's a natural earthiness to the flavor as well. Roast grains, but there's a hop flavor as well at the end especially when it reaches room temp.

Mouthfeel is pretty near perfect, especially considering the style. Full bodied with some nice lingering flavors for several seconds. Nice natural sweetness, very smooth in the middle and has a nice warming finish at the end. A pinch of heat at the end, I wouldn't describe it as "hot" though. Very drinkable beer a very easy sipper. Firestone killed this one and it aged extraordinarily well. Wish I could find more of this one.

Mar 06, 2016
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wisrarebeer from Wisconsin

4.45/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Extremely drinkable for alcohol strength. Velvety, creamy mouthfeel, well-balanced with rounded malt up front, could use a few more years cellaring (4-6) to round it out a bit.

Feb 20, 2016
Photo of ReDave
ReDave from California

3.92/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I found this in the back of 'deep storage'. These Anniversary Ales started tasting like pruney strong ales, and this may have been the last year i bought.
This seemed to hold it's age well, maintaining a pretty complex taste.
I'm thinking it might have been a little low carbonization to begin with, and it surely lost some on the way, but maintained enough effervescence to bring out the flavors well. Not much lace however.
As the beer warmed up, it was very drinkable, and hid the higher alcohol well.
Some bourbon, wood, and sweet flavours, very nice.

Jan 25, 2016
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MLDucky from Texas

4.5/5  rDev +2%

Bottle opened on 8/16/14. I loved the flavor, no one flavor dominated. Slight bourbon nose, a little coffee, and sweetness (toasted caramel, toffee flavors).

Aug 18, 2014
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Smakawhat from Maryland

4.15/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter at a tasting. Thanks to Russwbeck for the bottle!

Mahogany brown bottle, slightly silky coming out with a chestnut hue, and a faint tan collar. Looks slightly dead and lifeless with not much going on, almost kind of sludgy.

Real interesting nose. Still quite a good amount of heat on this thing, with some good bouquet of berried fruits. Hints of cherry, purple grapes, and the a kirsch brandy action a bit particularly.

Palate is real impressive. Good toffee thickness with a candy bar crispness. Real good wood action with an almost cigar box character, splintered sandal wood, but it's also very boozy and hot. Palate feel kind of stays neutral and simple, with not a lot of complexity or depth, and just lets the flavors do the basic talking. A good hint of hot alcohol, but many of the flavors are just struggling to get past it.

As impressive as this is, it feels like it's ready to jump overboard any second. Still very nice, but it seems much of the oomph has left the bottle. Still delivers nicely.

Aug 11, 2014
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chugalug06 from Colorado

4.32/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Nice soapy short caramel colored head with nice big bubbles. No lacing. Brew is deep robust coffee color.

Lots of toasted coconut, almonds, caramel, coffee, a bit gummy, solid bourbon vanilla. Solid.

Carbonation is a bit heavier than I'd like it to be a bit lighter. Lots of coffee, laced with vanilla. A slight heat burn. High cocoa powder. Solid, unique, spicy brew.

A sweet yet spicy mix of solid brews. Recommended , but I wouldn't give up an arm and a leg to get.

Aug 10, 2014
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elNopalero from California

4.79/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I tasted this as part of a flight at an epic bottle share. The review is from my notes, based on at least 1 ounce and at most 2 ounce pours. In most instances this would be an insignificant sample size but considering the fact that I could quite possibly never even see this beer again, well, I couldn’t pass it up. [This is my standard intro to my tasting notes from the series.]

This poured a solid black with a cocoa-colored layer on top. I get a lot of dark chocolates and an Italian roast/espresso aroma. There’s a pronounced flavor of bitter chocolate, a lot of roast, some bourbon on it, maybe a hint of a maple sweetness. There’s still a touch of heat to this but overall the flavors have blended quite well. So delicious.

Jan 02, 2014
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anteater from Oregon

4.41/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle. About 4 years old at this point.

A: Black, very small thin light tan head. Dissipated quickly.

S: I could smell it the second I cracked open the bottle. Very rich and intense chocolate, bourbon, coffee, vanilla.

T: So incredibly smooth. It is very rich and creamy. Vanilla and barrel flavors dominate for me. Chocolate, coffee and bourbon are all equally present and well balanced but not as intense as the smell. At 12%, this is one of the mellowest beers I've ever had. I almost wish there was bit more intensity but the mellowness of this 4 year old beer is incredible in its own right.

M: Very little carbonation. So creamy, great thickness.

O: Excellent anniversary ale that I never expected to be able to try. I wouldn't let any future anniversary ales that I get my hands on go quite so long but I'm really glad I tried this one when I did. Absolutely delicious.

Nov 14, 2013
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium from Florida

3.08/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Thin khaki collar but not much else. Black body.

Smell - Ack, lots of cardboard. This hasn't oxidized well. Bourbon. Vanilla. Chocolate. Brown sugar lingers.

Taste - Better. Less cardboard, but it's still present. Rich dark chocolate. Bourbon. Vanilla. Oak. Cardboard lingers in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Still decent carbonation. Seems thin.

Overall - This is way past its prime. Way past good, in fact. Too much oxidation.

Jul 05, 2013
Photo of xhuskr
xhuskr from California

4.73/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Cracked this one with some make sure my aged beers were holding up..this one..yep!
A: black beer gold with a bit o'lace
S: complex as you'd expect from a blend...not one dominating aroma...just a mixture as you'd get from standing in a pasture on a Spring blooming day...ahhh
T: licorice, choc..all the usual suspects were present and accounted fo
MF: carb was spot on...smooth on the palate begging for moe
O: Wish I had more

this hit the spot and bummed I only have one up..a FW12 or FW14

Mar 02, 2013
Photo of LaChupacabra
LaChupacabra from California

4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown, almost black with little light showing through. Beige head that receded quickly and left some spotty lacing. The nose was bourbon forward with lots of cocoa, oak, vanilla, coffee, molasses and general maltiness. Taste was similar to smell. Malty with bourbon, oak, cocoa, coffee, vanilla and molasses. Medium-low carbonation. Full bodied, creamy mouthfeel. Very smooth, sweet, rich, dulcet. The boozyness is still there, but has definitely had time to mellow out over the last 2+ years.

Overall, it's a fantastic beer that's aged exceptionally well!

Nov 13, 2012
Photo of jethrodium
jethrodium from California

4.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

650 ml bottle generously shared by colonelforbin. Thanks Mike. Pours a very dark brown with small tan head that has good retention and leaves some light lacing on the glass. The aroma is roasty with bourbon, oak, a light mineral note, a bit of vanilla, and some some coffee. The initial taste has a light sweetness. There is lots of roastiness, a bit of bourbon, some oak, a bit of vanilla, and some light coffee. The finish is fairly dry with a lingering roastiness. Medium-light body. Low carbonation. Great beer. It might be my favorite of the anniversary beers.

Nov 01, 2012
Photo of jsanford
jsanford from Georgia

4.17/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with brown edges and a thin off-white ring of haze. Aromas of oak, caramel, molasses, dark berry, chocolate, raisins, and Bourbon. Well-crafted, well-blended, and pretty decadent smelling. Taste is similarly chocolate and Bourbon-forward (you can definitely taste the Parabola), with more dark fruit, caramel, molasses, and a touch of ashy oak. Smooth as silk, and nicely aged. Mouthfeel is slick and a touch creamy, with a medium-full body and lower carbonation. Great anniversary beer from FW, can't wait to try more of the releases.

Oct 19, 2012
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wethorseblanket from California

4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Tried several times over the years from fresh to aged.

A: Pours nearly black with a half-inch thick tan head which fades to the rim leaving spots of lace.

N: Bourbon, vanilla, roasted dark chocolate, brown sugar.

T: Caramel and vanilla from the bourbon barrels, some sweetness and dark chocolate, roast.

M: Full body and semi-moderate carbonation. Finishes sweetly boozy, rich caramel and chocolate vanilla.

O: Great to see how this has gone from heavy heat burn to complex and integrated. Recent tastings show some faint oxidation, but still a treat.

Sep 12, 2012
Photo of harrymel
harrymel from Washington

3.86/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice oiled leather brown with little foam formation. Rich smells of cocoa, vanilla, nougat, toasted sugars, hints of oak nad caramel. A nice grouping that together seems like a turtle candy. Flavor is sweet and toasty with gobs of vanilla toffee and hints of almonds and pralines. A nice, tight netting of caramel corn flavor on the edge with a bit of alcohol warmth. Medium bodied with sparkly carb and a good off dry finish. Nice beer. I wouldn't really seek it out again, but it is a nice beer.

Aug 28, 2012
Photo of bamadog
bamadog from Ohio

4.27/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Been sitting on this one for a while, had a long shitty day, so I figured that's a good enough reason to crack into it. Review is from notes taken on 8/18/2012 and poured from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Looks pretty tempting coming out of the bottle -- pour is a dark burnt coffee brown/near black; starts with a short 1/2 finger creamy tan head that fades almost immediately to nothing other than a thin ring; body is of course opaque;

Smell: Wow -- super. Very sweet, lots of vanilla, burnt sugar/caramel; some bourbon; some syrupy sweet chocolate; some alcohol; nice and robust - jus flows out of the glass.

Taste: See smell. Fantastic -- plenty of vanilla and sweet caramel -- I'm reminded of those caramel target candies; plenty of alcohol and it is very much like bourbon; bit of a roasty coffee flavor lying in there somewhere, but it's really subdued by the sweetness. This would be a fantastic dessert. For being a few years old, the alcohol is still booming and I love it.

Mouthfeel: Body is medium/heavy in terms of weight; carbonation is soft, a little "flat" and all of the life of the body comes from the big alcohol, and it works alright, but I do feel that the carb could be a touch stronger; a thin, semi-dry and sticky coating is left on the roof of the mouth; gums and belly are left extremely warm from the booze.

Overall: A great beer, world class. The only thing I feel I can fault it for is a body without much life, but overall, a fantastic beer that should be made again and distributed to anywhere I happen to live.

Aug 19, 2012
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UCLABrewN84 from California

4.09/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to wethorseblanket for sharing this one at the Firestone Walker night at Steingarten LA in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots and streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is quite complex and is of roasted malt, brown sugar, cocoa, cookie dough, vanilla, slight toasted coconut, wood, and bourbon/alcohol aromas. Taste is very much the same with a woody aftertaste and quite a boozy finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer but I prefer the smell over the taste. This one might be falling off a little bit flavor wise but I never tried it fresh so I won't know.

Jun 30, 2012
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Jeffo from Netherlands

4.15/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A monster cheers to BOLTZ7555 for the chance to try this anniversary beer. Doopie, Pasqual and I got together for an awesome "what-did-you-call-my-mother" night of fun and French misunderstandings. We lined up the XV, XIV and XIII all at once. Ou est mon fromage?

From a bomber into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Darker pour on this one. Transparent black pour yields a medium sized, medium looking, light tan head with good retention. Black, transparent body with no carbonation evident. Head fades to light wisp and ring. A splotchy wisp and ring remain and leave dots of lacing down the glass. Definitely darker than the other two.

SMELL: Milder nose of milk chocolate, oak and licorice. Bourbon, with some vanilla and sweet cream, as well as a nice portion of dark chocolate on the nose. A little mild for sure, but very complex and enticing. Enjoyable stuff.

TASTE: Barrel notes with bourbon, oak, vanilla and milk chocolate up front. All this is supported by a solid base of roasted malts and bitter, dark chocolate. A bold aftertaste of bourbon barrel flavors and some roasted base beer lingers nicely on the palate. Flavorful, showing a very nice balance between base beer and barrel. Very different than the other two as well. More stout-like.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Creamy on the palate, smooth as well, goes down smooth and finishes slightly sticky. Some heat lingers on the palate. A touch creamier and smoother than the other two.

OVERALL: A solid brew for sure, and my favorite of the XV, XIV, XIII lineup we did. This one was more like a bourbon barrel aged stout, which usually agree more with my palate. Moreover, this one also showed a better balance between the roasted and stout-like base beer on the one hand, and the bourbon barrel aging on the other. I don’t know if the extra age played a roll in this, but nevertheless, the beer is right up my alley at this point. Thanks again BOLTZ for sending this one our way. I would love to drink this one again. Highly recommended.

Apr 23, 2012
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orangesol from Pennsylvania

4.12/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to foofaa for bringing this one to Stakem's Fish Fry.

A - Pours dark brown, bordering on black, with a nice one finger tall tan head leaving spotty streaks of lace down the glass.

S - Smells of coffee, brown sugar, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon and a bit of oak. There is still a bit of alcohol present but it doesn't get in the way. Still very nice.

T - Starts off with a big sugary kick - mostly chocolate, toffee, vanilla and brown sugar - but it fades quickly, leaving hints of coffee grounds, dark fruits and some drying oak. Finish is a mix of dark roast and a bit of sweetness. Once the carbonation died the flavors went with it. Still pretty good none the less.

M - Pretty smooth feel initially. The flavors work really well together but the carb goes a little flat toward the end of my sample.

O - I liked this one but I would say that I like the others I have had more than this one. It has some great flavors but was a little out of balance for my tastes.

Apr 19, 2012
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Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a deep black color ale with a nice thick foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of vanilla and bourbon with some black chocolate notes and some sweet notes. Taste is a complex mix of vanilla notes with some bourbon and some black chocolates with some caramelized malt. Body is full with nice creamy texture and good carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Very well assembled mix of different beers makes for a very tasteful beer at the end of the day.

Apr 02, 2012
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LiquidAmber from Washington

4.74/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a very dark brown with hints of red. Half finger medium brown head dissipates to a thin film, but leaves lacing. Powerful aroma of bourbon, dark and caramel malt. Delicious chocolate, dark fruit, vanilla and wood, all integrated beautifully. Finishes with a great bourbon finish. This is a superb ale. Loses a 1/2 point because of a bit of stark alcohol on the finish, but up to that point a solid 10.

Mar 09, 2012
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MexicanSkittel from California

4.44/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just a random night opening of a very special bottle! No better way. Poured from the cellar into a goblet, 54 degrees.

Quite a rich shinny dark black chrome pour. With a tan amber medium to large bubble head that looked more wet than fluffy. It fell quickly to a brown ring for thin lacing. Sitting in the glass leaves the beer with dark maroon, amber cutting the black pour.

The nose is great.
Butter creme, caramel, malt, raisin, marshmallow, oak, bourbon, cocoa, sweet espresso, coconut, Hawaiian tropic tanning oil,

Taste to match
Well rounded flavors, the malty caramel, start the tasting, leading way to a stinging bourbon that gets grabbed on the tongue by the oak. The sweet cream mallows linger on the pallet after the swallow, then get a nice bitterness of espresso winding down the initial finish.

Mouth feel is lighter than expected. Very nice lively carbonation which keeps it from being too heavy or viscous. The heat is apparent and half way through this bomber I can tell its a 12%er.

Overall, another great anniversary ale from FW. Selfish of me to open this on my own, sorry in advance. Just no one around to share it with, and it's how the dice were rolled.

Feb 21, 2012
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axeman9182 from New Jersey

4.29/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle, allowed to warm a little bit before being poured into a petite Duvel tulip. I had this one earmarked for review #450, but cracked it to celebrate a good showing at a homebrew competition. Thanks for the hookup WeisGuy!

Firestone Walker 13 pours stout-like in its appearance. It's a solid black, with just over a finger of mocha head. The foam shows a little bit of staying power, and the lacing left behind is quite spotty. The nose is highlighted by caramelized brown sugar. Rich milk chocolate, vanilla, and a bourbon undercurrent also show up, giving the overall impression of a bourbon spiked chocolate cake, but overall the aroma could stand to pop a little more. The flavor profile is largely the same as what's found in the aroma. There is a bit of oxidation showing here though, as notes of both cherries and sherry are appreciable and add a nice additional layer to the beer. The mouthfeel is superb, with a full body that has just a bit of creaminess to it, and carbonation that keeps the beer from approaching syrupy, but otherwise stays out of the way of the malts. Firestone Walker 13 is drinking very nicely right now, and is another top notch barrel aged beer/blend from Firestone Walker.

Jan 30, 2012
Firestone 13 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 406 ratings