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Firestone 13 - Anniversary Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Firestone 13 - Anniversary AleFirestone 13 - Anniversary Ale
BA SCORE
4.39/5
Outstanding
400 Ratings
Firestone 13 - Anniversary AleFirestone 13 - Anniversary Ale
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 11-02-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
226
Ratings:
400
pDev:
8.43%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
286
Gots:
138
Trade:
8
HISTOGRAM
 
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Ratings: 400 |  Reviews: 226
Photo of popery
4.79/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Birthday beer #2. Bottle, home. Why you gotta be so good, Firestone Walker 13? If I spill this beer, I'm going to lick it off the floor. It's big, luxurious and delicious. It reminds me of Port's Older Viscosity, one of my favorite beers, for its velvety feel and lush, barrel-aged pleasure. It pours black with a small dissipating head. The aroma is brandy, rich malt, cocoa, vanilla bean, espresso and brown sugar. The flavor is relatively sweet, but it works very well with the flavor. There's a lot of oak and wood throughout the beer. It's just a really nice blend. This is a treat and a nice slow sipper. Great beer.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.77/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

FIRESTONE, FIRESTONE

oh firestone, my firestone

here we are again
another epic beer
for another epic year

the liquids you regale me with
are top notch and so grand
I really love all this great beer
that we get in NorCal land

oh firestone, my firestone

you're 13th blend is killer
the liquid dark and heavy
the aroma of booze and toffee
is that a hint of sherry?

I don't know how you do it
I just know that I'm glad you do
this is the 4th in a row kid
here's looking at you.

oh firestone, oh firestone

the taste is barrel-tastic
the sweet malts and slight hops
I gotta give it up boys
this really is the tops!

The drinkability, is one of the best their is
I wish I had more of this stuff
but oh well, viz a viz

FIRESTONE FIRESTONE

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Photo of bunnyhustle
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into snifter with creamy tan head, dark as night. Good retention and lacing. Smell was creamy with some vanilla, molasses and booze, a little too much alcohol i thought but not terrible. Taste, as expected, is a wonderful blend of a dozen or more flavors. Vanilla, chocolate, smoke, oak, molasses, alcohol, syrup, and a "barrel" (i know thats vague) taste all blend together to a sublime treat for the mouth. Mouthfeel is rich and full, nice and creamy, a smooth and velvety texture to it that is just wonderful. Overall a great beer. The ABV is relatively well hidden but noticeable. I think I liked 12 better, but this one has nothing to be ashamed of.

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

Side-by-side with FW12 at hoppymcgee's tasting.

A - Heavy dark black, cherry mocha head that recedes quickly.

S - Vanilla, clean alcohol. A bit one-dimensional.

T - Vanilla, milk chocolate - not as much cocoa as FW12, bourbon, very little fruit profile. Molasses and a bit of smoke.

M - Very good. Nice and chewy, even if a bit over-carbonated which gives the taste a bit of an after bite

D - Great. Better than the 12 IMHO

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

Pours an opaque darkness with better than a full finger loose foamy light brown head that fades slowly leaving spotty patterns of lacing behind. The smell is aggressive and boozy but with a unique complexity. Barrel aged characteristics, chocolate and vanilla persist with a sweet malty caramel ending. The mouth feel is lightly carbonated and singular with a light texture that is dominated by the effects of the alcohol. All aspects of the 12% ABV are present and welcome. A classic complex beverage with tons to consider.

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

A 22oz bomber poured into a snifter - from notes taken on 11/27.

A: A deep chocolate brown - almost black - very similar to the previous FW anniversary beers. This is poured very cold and there is minimal head, almost none with a faint ring of lacing at the edges. After a gentle stir, a swarm of tiny bubbles surface and form a dark tan coating then disappear.

S: Impressive. This is really cold, too cold in fact, but in spite of that there is a wonderful, smooth oak barrel aroma. Charred oak soaked in vanilla extract with some butter notes. The smell is intoxicating. There's also some rich fruit undertones also with a bit of chocolate at the bottom. An awesome smelling beer.

T: Again, it's starting out too cold, but it seems to be a bit muted and not as flavorful as the 12 was. A strong alcohol burn, both in the mouth and on the way down, ending with a slight warming feeling in the belly. A bit of a medicinal quality to the beer - it could use a bit more flavor to back up the alcohol bite / burn.

M: Very good viscosity and perfect carbonation. It mixes well with the alcohol and gives it a bit of a unique prickly warming sensation.

O: A very good anniversary beer but not as good as last year's 12, which was balanced with more imperial stout character. The base bravo ale is not as flavorful to balance out the high abv of the beer. Will have to see how this ages and if the heat dies down and some of the more subtle flavors make their way to the top.

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Photo of spointon
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this from a 22oz brown bomber into a tulip pint glass after letting it warm to slightly under cellar temp.

A= This ale poured a brown so dark it was almost black. Some ruby highlights around the edges when held to a bright light. With an insanely aggressive pour, I got about 1/2" of cream colored head to rise. This settled to a broken skim quickly leaving no lace behind.

S= A very aromatic beer for sure. I found probably a dozen aromatic notes, with none dominant. Amazing really. Lots of vanilla, toffee, dark fruit, coconut, faint chocolate, and bourbon. Simply killer...easily the best smelling barrel aged beer I have had the pleasure of.

T= Pretty much all of the same notes as in the aroma, but with the bourbon coming forward just slightly more. The malts gave all of the caramel/toffee/chocolate complexity I was expecting. The barrel, in addition to bourbon flavors, gave a lot of oak, vanilla, and coconut. No hop presence other than enough to completely balance the sweetness. Finished fairly dry and crazy complex. Nice alcohol warmth in the aftertaste.

MF= Just medium bodied, with a fine carbonation. It surprises me that some say this beer is nearly still. My bottle was nicely carbonated with really tiny bubbles leading to a prickly feel that suited the flavor and body perfectly.

D= This is a ridiculous, wonderful beer. The drinkability, for this ABV, is a danger. I really appreciate that the brewers coaxed so much depth of flavor from the barrel without getting so much bourbon in there that it ruined the beer. Very well done! Highly recommended!

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours out a near black body, though with ruby-hued hints at the edges and capped with a medium-sized, frothy, beige head.

Smell: Well-integrated, blended nose displays a vast array of malt and barrel-imparted notes that carry over fully into the flavor.

Taste: Starts quite sweet with a full range of rich, delectable flavors: chocolate ganache, creamy oats, smoked vanilla beans, spicy wood, caramel candy, macerated dark fruits, flaked coconut, aromatic tobacco, chilled coffee, and dark molasses. Some slight bitterness coming through. Warming, peppery alcohol tones begin drying out the taste. Chocolate squares washed with fine bourbon on the warming, semi-dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium-low carbonation. Exceptionally smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Recommended! While it may possibly benefit from some aging, I thought it was a true treat already at this early stage. Wonderfully complex, yet still keenly drinkable. Fine work, Firestone Walker!

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled this at hoppymcgee's tasting 1/16. 3oz. pour into an 8oz. pint glass. Had alongside the 12. Reviewed from notes.

A: Gentle pour yields a .5 finger fine milk chocolate colored head. Like its brother, this one is opaque black. Lacing is spotty, stringy.

S: Nose is again, boozy. However, its more subtle than the 12. Chocolate, vanilla, oakiness dominate with a background of raisins and dried dark fruit.

T: Opens sweet and boozy but again, more subtle, but quite hot nonetheless. Dried dark fruit, raisins, a bit soy saucy. Also molasses and honey. Hops are less detectable in this beer, overcome by the strong malt profile.

M: Medium to full bodied, the feel of this beer is really what makes it. Smooth and oily in the mouth with a finish that is sweet and sticky. A very hot beer that is tempered by its body here, the feel is what allows the flavors to really come out and present themselves.

D: A highly drinkable beer more so than its counterpart. A remarkably enjoyable body with the complexity and balance to match. Maybe a bit hot at times but still very enjoyable. I wouldn't hesitate to have this again. Another very well-crafted blend from FW.

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Photo of mikey711
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this bottle from Weibull during the White Whale BIF

A: Dark brown with some light able to shine through. Tan head that is a quarter inch thick and holds ok. Some lace.

S: Caramel, roastiness, smokiness, oak, vanilla, bourbon, wood. Very nice blend of flavors, all more towards the sweetside but some balance is provided by the smoke and roast. Also some chocolate

T: Nice caramel and butterscotch and chocolate notes to start, some toasted nuttiness and coconut. Mikd wood notes and some warming bourbon. There was a bit of a syrup quality to it as well.

M: Good body with not much heat, but there was almost a saplike or syrup like quality that gave it a weird chewy feel at times

D: I enjoyed this one over the course of a few hours and it was a very pleasurable experience. Probably best shared but if you have the time you can finish it on your own

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Photo of abecall98
4.44/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this beer from my roomate as a Christmas gift. Shared with my roomate and another buddy.

A - pours a nice pitch black. Initial pour was a big inch and a half. However, the head died quick. Lacing is minimal. Beer still looks very inviting.

S - oh boy. This beer, at first wiff hits hard with bourbon. The next flavor coming through the nose hits with rich dark chocolate. At another sniff, I notice sweet malts followed by a nice hint of hops.

T - taste is much different than smell. The beer is sweet like brown sugar. After that, the beer has flavors of vanilla bourbon. The barrel did a damn good job here. After the bourbon, the vanilla comes back and finishes the beer.

M - smooth and creamy. I wish there was a little more bubbles going on more. However, the beer as it is, coats the mouth in a pleasing creaminess.

D - for being 12%, the alcohol in this never hits the flavor receptors. The pleasing taste of bourbon is noticable, without the alcoholic burn. However, the thickness and string bourbon flavors prevent you from wanting so much of this beer.

O - for being my first ever firestone anniversary ale, this beer is very tasty and makes me happy knowing I have about 4 in my cellar. Can't wait to take those down!

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Photo of Sammy
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Gift to Radek, and to us. Initial impression, an imperial stout. What it is is lots of chocolate, mouthfeel on dark brown with lacey, off-wehite head, thick mouthfeel. A very smooth drinker without sharp edges. Masterful, there is coconut, chocolate, bourbon. Nothing overwhelms.

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Photo of auroracrisis
4.2/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter from the bottle.

Pours a dark, dark brown with a one finger head that dissipates into a rim around the edges of the liquid.

Smells like brown sugar, vanilla, coffee, a bit of booze, wood and bourbon. Lots going on in this as it warms up.

Taste is dark chocolate mixed with vanilla, brown sugar with coffee and wood. Some hotness as it warms up.

Mouthfeel is very low carbonation and on the lighter side of thick.

Drinkability is good on this one but nothing I could pound all night. Just enough to keep you going to finish the 22oz.

Overall, I'd say I like this beer. It has a very complex profile that couldn't be found in any other beer I have tasted. Glad I have a couple more bottles of this i can break out on special occasions.

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Photo of gford217
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Richie for the bottle.

Pours almost completely black with only the slightly hints of mahogany showing through the edges underneath a small but thick tan head. Some lacing and a small cap linger.

The aroma is big and complex with the stout coming out at first with dark roasted malts, bakers chocolate and some toasted nuts. There is also an underlying sugary molasses aroma throughout. But there is more than a hint of bourbon barrel, with sweet vanilla and spicy oak.

The taste is hefty with some sweet chocolate malts, vanilla, licorice and lots of wood character, almost spicy. Then, when you think you've got it all, there is some booze-soaked raisins and plums...then a bit of earthy hops...then some tobacco...then some molasses...damn. There is a definite bourbon burn as it goes down as well.

The mouthfeel is full bodied and unbelievably smooth with a soft carbonation that perfectly complements the heft of the body.

Probably one of the most complex beers I've ever tasted. So much going one that comes together in a perfectly balanced package. I'm not exactly sure how they can get better with next year's blend...can't wait to see. As it is, this year's blend is absolutely world class.

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Photo of afausser
4.77/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Firestone Walker 13, courtesy of Bankhead.

A: Pours a deep brown--very dark coffee--with a barely-there hint of red, creating mahogany tones, with a thin ring of head and a ring of very tiny, fine toffee bubbles around the edge of the glass. Wisps of mocha float on the top throughout the life of this beer. Very pretty, and looks by appearance alone like it should be paired with dessert.

S: Smells like dessert, too--a coconut-topped cherry chocolate cake. Very heavy coconut and banana notes, as well as heavy chocolate, caramel, molasses, toffee, butterscotch, and an ever so slight hint of vanilla. There's even something nutty in the nose. Definitely some alcohol-soaked fruits--raisins, prunes, and apricots. There's also a bit of a bourbon heat in the noes. There is so much to get out of the nose in this one--as it warms slightly, I'm smelling french toast with syrup and heavy powdered sugar. Very complex and nice.

T : Heavy cream, vanilla, butterscotch, toffee, and spicy anise. Smoky, oaky, and earthy. There's a hint of chocolate syrup but also some very heavy notes of bittersweet chocolate. RUm, bourbon, and dark fruits are again present. So complex, with nice alcohol and barrel flavor blending with the fruit and candy tastes.

M: The carbonation in this one doesn't particularly jump out at me at first, and seems to be very small, but the mouthfeel doesn't suffer due to this. On second taste, the carbonation is very very fine and is more than sufficient to lift the complex taste up. Smooth, creamy, and very nice--also very consistent and doesn't lose hardly anything as it warms. I can't think of how this could be improved.

D: Definitely one to sip, but is extremely creamy, goes down quickly, and is so excellent that if it weren't prohibitively expensive (well, at least for someone on student loans) I'd try to get it all the time. Would be a delicious after dinner beer--I would say dessert beer, but this one could be dessert by itself.

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

Firestone Walker 13 at the January C'ville throwdown, courtesy of Bankhead. Poured in to a 12 oz. brandy snifter.

Appearance: Pours a dark, inky black, but with enough transparency - perhaps courtesy of the "lighter" additions (lighter like the 11% wheatwine? I suppose so) - to let light peak through around the edges. Head retention is low - the one finger of foamy light cocoa fades quickly - and it leaves some similarly retarded, high-alcohol-esque lacing, i.e. speckled, a little runny, glittery, bright, and very fine-bubbled. The collar left is thin and fine but also dense and clingily persistent, belying some internal carbonation.

Aroma: Pure barrel (that is, barrel notes that are pure, not that this one's aroma is pure barrel) is large up front, contributing both faint coconut and barrel sugars as well as the spirit contributions. On that note (gnyuck), bourbon is the most dominant, contributing a fair but not overpowering amount of earth and spice, though there's definitely a brandy-esque note buried in here somewhere, a little more fruit-sugar-like, but it takes significant warming to pull it out. Speaking of wamrth, this one becomes very vinous as it nears room temperature, with hints of tobacco and dark, sticky fruits - cherries, raisins, dates, plums - emerging and melding with the dark malts. Toasty malts also run the gamut, from bittersweet cocoa and dark toffee to wholesome, crusty oats, toast, and faint smoke. A faint boozeyness finally emerges, but only after significant warmth and agitation have been introduced to the equation - impressive.

Taste: Maple syrup hits me large up front, that combination of sweet barrel caramel and the sweeter malts of Rufus and Opal, likely. This one's not as dark as it looks or smells, really - light, sweet malts, caramel, light toffee, bittersweet Belgian chocolate, oatmeal, and a definite light wheat note more than stand up against the earthy toast, slight smoke, and bold bourbon notes. Rye is a little more dominant here than in the nose, complimented by spicy but not boozy bourbon. This one's definitely hoppier than the 12 I had, recently - some nice, soft underlying grass, tobacco, and herbal notes compliment the lighter malts and oaky green earthiness well.

Mouthfeel: Thick, and you would imagine it would have to be given what you're working with here. Nonetheless, there's plenty of smooth, well-integrated carbonation, and the oatmeal addition (in not one but two beers) enhances the soft, creamy, smoothness of this one.

Drinkability: Bankhead described this one as "a complexity bomb," which is both a contridiction in terms as well as so, so true. This is - like the 12 I had before and the 11 I recently obtained and am cellaring - an incredibly complex brew, and no one is really doing blending like Firestone Walker is currently doing. For that alone, they deserve a high mark on drinkability, because this is a beer I truly could have sat there and sipped. All. Night. Long. A new note buried in each sip, an ever-evolving array of fruits and malts and barrel notes and spirits and hop overtones ... do yourself a favor and buy a bottle. There are very few beers I would say are "worth" $22, but one definitely is.

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Photo of Proteus93
4.49/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep and black... "strong dark" as a style is a bit of an understatement. Forms a decent head which does come down quite quickly - acohol can play into that a lot. Keeps a very bubbly collar and a little spotty lacing down the glass.

S: + T: These are very difficult for me to cover with such complex brews. The solera process has intrigued me as of late, and it tends to add a magical touch to a beer. This is no expection. Big oakiness, lending a wonderful vanilla aroma - tobacco, and some peppery scents along with some lighter notes of maple and caramel. Notes of dark fruits - plum or fig, coming out more in the flavour.

M + D: Certainly a calm sipping beer, and wonderful w hen shared with good company. Rich, full-bodied, more viscous than creamy. As far as cost goes (at least on the East Coast), I question paying double digits when there are also other good beers out there for under $10. This one fits the bill of the few that would be an exception. An excellent beer, and worthy of the praise it receives.

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Photo of tang3nt
4.82/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle
Received this bottle as part of a gift from my lady. Poured a Thick black color with a nice brown head.
Stong aromas of chocolate, toffee, and even some dark fruits. Extremely inviting.
Strong coconut vanilla character up front, with chocolate and caramel overtones. A bit of bourbon flavor with some dark fruits and oatmeal creeping out. All kinds of flavors here, and it's delicious.
Kind of all over the place on the palate. Very complex, but blended well - seems to hit all the right spots for me. Very tasty, you barely taste any of the alcohol in this and is hard to imagine it's 12%. Overall a very delicious and well done blend of barrel aged beers. For a barrel aged freak like me, it doesn't get much better.

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

A generous birthday gift from my parents, poured from a bottle into a dogfish head signature glass. The beer is pitch black in the center, fading to a murky deep brown around the edges. There is a very thin off-white head, that fades quickly to a tight ring, leaving some small bubbles on the walls of the glass.

The smell is vanilla and bourbon sweetness first and foremost. The second smell reveals coffee, chocolate, toasted malt and more sweet red wine characteristics. Each time I put my nose to the glass I come up with something different, there are also some definite English Barleywine characteristics here in addition to the bourbon and vanilla a strong amount of toffee is present. Just an awesome smelling beer.

The initial flavors are coffee, toasted malt, chocolate and a light spicy pepper hop characteristic. The second wave of flavors is vanilla, bourbon, oak barrel, and dark fruits (raisins, cherries, figs) that introduce some definite port-like qualities. The finish reintroduces the toffee, and is accompanied by pecans, more chocolate and more clearly defined barrel characteristics. This is by far one of the most complex beers I have ever had.

The mouthfeel is thick and full, there is very little carbonation, but just enough to make the flavors come to life. The beer coats the mouth and the flavors linger in a very good way. The alcohol is well hidden by the incredibly complex flavors, it just rears it's head with a little sweetness and a nice warmth in the stomach after a few sips. After having the 11 and the 12, I would say that this is easily my favorite of those three, the alcohol heat doesn't detract from the beer at all, and the flavors are easily as complex.

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Photo of grub
4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

big thanks to out to MasterSki for sharing this gem. thanks alex!

22oz bottle topped with a black wrapper and presented in a matching box. sampled jan 1/2010.

pours mostly opaque deep dark brown but crystal clear at the edges. a small fine dark tan head forms, dropping slowly and leaving spotty lace.

aroma is good. toasted white bread with loads of butter. makes me think of breakfast at a greasy spoon restaurant. bit of coconut. light alcohol. caramel and toffee. bit of butterscotch.

wow, the taste is awesome. the depth goes up exponentially from the aroma. the buttery toasted white bread is there, along with biscuit, multi-grain bread, and a bit of cracker. brandy and barrel character. light alcohol. butterscotch and caramel. dark chocolate. bit of milk chocolate. date and light raisin. raw oak. tons of vanilla. bit of nutty character. great depth.

mouthfeel is great. nice big body. just under medium carbonation level, silky smooth.

drinkability is great. after a bit the alcohol starts to feel warm, but it still hides most of its strength. superb depth. the buttery character usually doesn't work for me, but this one keeps it in check just enough. looking forward to seeing how this one develops over the years. thanks again alex!

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Photo of Schmaltzy
4.62/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz bomber into Chimay glassware.

A- Dark brown borderline black with red around the outside, a nice finger of tan head that dissapates quickly to a ring of thin foam and slight lacing

S- Awesome smell to this beer, best I have ever had. Starts out a nice vanilla coffee and chocolate that moves to some nice bourbon/brandy flavors with chocolate covered cherries, nice oak flavors, caramel, candied fruits, toffee, nougat, almonds/roasted nuts, slight alcohol smell, the scents just keep coming as it warms up.

T- Very similar to the scent, lots of nice vanilla coffee and chocolate as it warms you get a lot of candied fruits especially cherries, toffee, nougat, almonds, bourbon/brandy/rum flavors, great oak flavors followed by loads of vanilla.

M- Very smooth and slightly thick with low carbonation. Alcohol is blended very nicely with the flavors in this one which makes the mouthfeel very smooth.

D- Great beer, probably the best that I have had to date. I am very happy that I have 4 more bottles of this beast to enjoy. Do yourself a favor and try and get some of these for yourself.

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

Thanks very much to Damian and Andrew for hooking this up, two of the most generous BAs out there. Split a bottle with my dear old dad on New Years Eve before heading out. Review from notes, served at cellar temp.

Pours a nice dark chocolate color with ruby edges when held to the light. Nice tight khaki head forms with big bubbles in my snifter. Fades to a ring with a few spots lasting.

Smells awesome. Leans toward sweet in the aroma with just a bit of roast and bitter dark chocolate in an attempt to balance, but is overall sweet. Not in a sugary way, but more flavors of vanilla, coconut, licorice, caramel and dark cherries and wood. Some milk chocolate. Alcohol lingers and makes itself known, but is in no way intrusive. Some toasted nuts and butterscotch. It is clearly a barrel aged beer, but not so overly boozy (and as some friends would say, 'stinky') from the barrels that you can't pick out more subtleties of the base beer(s).

The taste is not nearly as sweet as the aroma may have indicated. The best thing about these anniversary ales is that they are distinctly blended beers. Very nuanced. Booze is apparent, but in check with the complexity of all the other flavors. A little more chocolate apparent here along with just enough roasted malt bitterness to balance the sweeter chocolate and barrel flavors coming through. Lots of vanilla.

Very creamy mouthfeel, medium to thick bodied brew. Low carbonation to a perfect level. Silky smooth and delicious. Extremely drinkable, and despite being cognizant of the ABV throughout, it didn't leave a huge impact on the overall experience of this beer. Another winner from FW. I don't know how much I see this one improving over time (It's already awesome), but I will definitely hold onto a bottle or two just in case.

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Photo of hrking
4.7/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this one last night with a couple buddies of mine at Savage's Ale House. This beer had high expectations going and and man did it ever deliver! The nose was just enough to lead you into the smooth creaminess that awaited your palette. Almost coming in as a desert that reminds me of eating smores. Vanilla, Caramel,nutty..You even get a marshmallow flavor from this beer it goes down so dangerously smooth. This is ready to drink now and I really can't see aging these doing them more justice but i've got a few to sit back just because it's such an awesome beer. I can't recommend this beer enough. This is one of those beers you want to hoard and break out on those extra special occasions! Awesome in every aspect and hats off to the blenders of this exceptional beer!

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

22 oz bottle, boxed up nicely, huge thanks to MasterSki for another stellar brew brought to my place, much too kind! Good one for #2100.

Pours a clear very dark reddish brown, dark and delicious, medium sized but thick tan head forms, settles down to a solid ring, drops some lace spots and a touch of legs, great retention, head really lasts.

Smell is heaven, vanilla and alcohol, woody, roast, brown sugar, nougat, tons of caramel, bourbon, chocolate milk, raisins and assorted dark fruit, fantastic aroma.

Taste is amazing too, very nutty, toasted pecans, nougat, honey, liquid Toblerone, oak, lots of vanilla and caramel, chocolate, butterscotch, alcohol, nice bourbon finish, more vanilla, awesome.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, a little slick, low carbonation, warmth going down, ABV is hidden well. Another winner from FW anniversaries. They can do no wrong. This is great stuff, thanks again Alex!!

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Photo of obywan59
4.87/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle in a box.

Next to black in my pint glass with red highlights only at the very top and bottom. After reading the reviews saying there was virtually no head, I tryed a very hard cascading pour and was rewarded with a 2 finger head the color of coffee w/ cream. Some light lacing. On the second fully cascading pour I managed 3 1/4 fingers with more substantial lacing.

Aroma of incredibly rich chocolaty, malty sweetness with rum.(perhaps influenced by my recent consumption of Appleton Estates Extra 12 year old Jamaican, and coke) This ranks right up there with Dogzilla as the best smelling brew I've reviewed. Not much in the way of hops in this instance, however.

First taste seemed almost like a mixed drink, but drier. Later I decided it was more like a liqueur. It's the closest think to Irish Cream I've ever tasted in a beer. Creamy milk chocolate and vanilla with almond. More like bourbon, than rum or whiskey. But then, when the alcohol hits the throat, I'm reminded of my rum and coke again. This is unlike others of this style I've tried (Stone Arrogant Bastard and Double Bastard), with the minimal hop presence, but the malt is definitely in your face. Wonderful, long-lasting sweetness. Alcohol is very warming, which is welcome, as it is now 4 degrees above zero outside.

Creamy and syrupy, but not cloying. Contributes to long lasting flavor. Very pleasant.

Wow, everything about this beer says "Drink me, Drink me!" Long lasting flavor: even after the swallow it seems you can still taste it from deep in the throat on each exhale.

Overall, this is probably my new favorite beer. It's thicker than my previous favorites, but that's a plus, considering the high ABV. It makes it more of a sipper. I can't believe I paid $20 for a single beer, but now I'm sorely tempted to buy another to hold for awhile.

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Firestone 13 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.39 out of 5 with 400 ratings
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