Firestone 13 - Anniversary Ale
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Firestone 13 - Anniversary AleFirestone 13 - Anniversary Ale
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American Strong Ale
4.41 | pDev: 8.39%
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Firestone 13 - Anniversary AleFirestone 13 - Anniversary Ale
View: Beers | Events
Reviews: 228 | Ratings: 403
Photo of mdfb79
4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 03/11/11 notes. On tap at NOTB up in Boston.

a - Pours a black color with less than an inch of white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of bourbon, oak, chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla, tofee, and caramel malts. Lots going on but well balanced. Smells great.

t - Taste mirrored the nose; lots of bourbon, oak, and caramel malts. Also some roasted malts, sweet chocolate, vanilla, and dark fruits. Again, very balanced and enjoyable; not too boozy.

m - Full body and low carbonation, thick and chewy mouthfeel. Very light alcohol heat, but great for a 12% strong ale.

d - I really liked this one; if the FW 14 morphs into this, I'll be very happy I have a few bottles of it. It wasn't overly boozy, and the smell and taste had a lot going on. Would love to have again.

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Photo of Gfunk720
4.07/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shared with my buddy Johnny. Out of my SN XXX glass...

A- Pours pretty black in color, with a healthy khahki colored head. It looks a little thin to the eye, nice lacing though.

S- Smells beautiful, a sweet blend of bourbon and malt. Chocolate, oak, and dark fruit.

T- It's a nice subtle taste at first, which transitions to a oaky bourbon sweet flavor. More chocolate, and cream. There is a nice lingering hoppy aftertaste.

M- Carbonation level is excellent for the style. The mouthfeel is a little too light though. I just wish it was a bit thicker.

O- Well, it's pretty darn drinkable. The 12% alcohol is barely noticeable till you start to catch a buzz. The body is the only thing holding this back.

Good stuff, however I think I liked 14 a little bit better. A very complex and tasty beer, that I would gladly drink again.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
4.56/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Even though my review of Firestone 14 was a little over a month ago, its deliciousness is still fresh in my mind. Needless to say, I've been very excited for this one. HUGE thanks to dmeadows for this bottle. Something I didnt think I'd try.

Hardly any head at all, even as I increase the height of my pour. As it flows this beer isn't all that dark, its a deep root beer color with a dash of see-through-ability. It collects in a snifter looking near pitch black. The beer has moderate legs and veining but doesn't appear to be crazy thick. Really, it just looks pretty potent but not uber thick.

Sniffs and whiffs
After having this one warm adequately I didnt notice a huge change in aroma from when it was chilled. Perhaps it gets a little heavier on molasses and licorice and lighter on bourbon with warmth. This one keeps me whiffing constantly and every time I raise the glass I find new elements. First impressions are of bourbon and sherry or port. It leads on strong giving lots of rich, high alcohol aromas. Delving deeper; vanilla, purple grapes, brown sugar and molasses, and milk chocolate become apparent. Things teeter between sweet and vinous. I think in the end the deep, red wine aromas win out over the caramelized sugars. The smell suggests that there is a large percentage of English style barleywine or old ale in this.

Tongue senses
Complexities abound. Each sip unlocks new, undiscovered flavors that are more enjoyable than the last. Epically smooth bourbon barrel notes must be about as old as I am. Vanilla flows like gossamer, weaving in and out of rich notes of fortified red wine. The port character keeps a nice fruitiness going all the while licorice, oak, molasses and candied walnuts take their turns battering the taste receptors. A very delicate blanket of smoke is laid over it all. One of the most interesting and complex barrel-forward beers I've ever tasted.

Warm fuzzies
Carbonation is very low, but this beer would be harmed by any higher level of fizz. The body isn't very full on the grand scheme of things but it flows eloquently across the tongue. The finish is long and oily-like. There is a bit of grittiness involved as I move my tongue about. Its as if oak debris has found its way into the bottle, which isn't a bad thing in my book. It keeps a rich sweetness behind. Alcohol warmth is perfect, its enough to be picked up as a twinge on the tip of the tongue.

Over, under and all around
A really fantastic beer. One of the very best blends I've tasted. The barrel notes are perfectly soft and integrated. The body could use a small boost, but that's nit picking at this point.

The two Anniversary blends I've had (this and 14) have been hands down, drop dead, head over heels, boot to the moon, fantastic. It just sucks that, given the rarity, I'll probably never get a shot at 10, 11 and 12. But I'll make damn sure to get 15 when it comes out!

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Photo of iowaherkeye
3.87/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bottled sometime in (I think) November, 2009. Don't remember where I got it. Clear deep garnet with a small mocha head, fair retention. Oak and vanilla and bourbon is up front in the nose with moderate amounts of brown sugar and prune/raisin notes, some dark chocolate and roast, hints of anise. I can even pick out the Rufus in this, with toffee and lots of aged (old) hops. Flavor has some butter cream notes to go along with the oak and vanilla quite nicely. Finishes roasty with some chocolate, moderate spicy alcohol and bourbon. Bitterness peaked at a 3. Medium body with light carbonation--nowhere near as full bodied as Parabola. Even with almost a year and a half of age on it, this beer is still pretty hot--tasty though. Lots of barrel influence, so if that's your thing, you'll like it.

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Photo of stephens101
4.05/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally decided to wake this one from its year long hibernation.

Thin tan and quickly fading head off a medium pour down the middle of my favorite snifter. Black in color with faint red hues when held to light. A few dotted lines of lace move up, down and around the glass.

Rich sweet malt and cherry aroma with a little vanilla and spice noticed on a second take. Complex and unique to the palate with sweet and smokey malts, milk chocolate, dried dark fruits, licorice, and subtle piny hops at the far edges.

Creamy all the way through with a medium to heavy body. Smooth and inviting. Alcohol is superbly blended and almost indiscernible.

Very distinct brew here. Has some Barleywine qualities which make for an interesting juxtaposition of tastes when you figure in the chocolate and vanilla notes.

Been looking forward to popping the cap on this one for a while, and have to say it was worth the wait. Damn fine brew despite, or maybe because of, its eccentricities.

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Photo of rye726
4.57/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a rich, rusty mahogany. Thin tan head. Nose has hops, booze, caramel, toffee, molasses, whiskey, oak and vanilla. Taste is nice and malty. But these beers always seem a bit dead to me similar to some of Lost Abbey's BA strong ales. But still another fantastic blend from FW.

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Photo of Retsinis
4.62/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | 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)

What I've noticed on the appearance of this beer (since I took photo's) is it depends on how much is poured at different tastings. If it's a generous pour, it's pitch black. If it's 4-5 oz. It's a Murky dark brown. Either way, similar to the other anniversary beers in color overall. Tiny thin brown head that fizzles, and forms a ring of bubbles. No real lacing.

Similar to both Eleven, and twelve, smelling these beers is a large part in enjoying them. Little sniffs at first, swirled in the glass to stimulate a bit, and then deeply inhaled to get a great nose, mixed with notes of bourbon, coconut, dark chocolate, brandy, licorice, caramel, roasted malts, and smoked oak. So far 13 has been my favorite in terms of smell of all of the anniversary beers, but they all smell great.

The flavors that come through in the taste follow the nose beautifully. The initial draw, I get dark chocolate, butterscotch, and toasted nuts sprinkled with coconut. On the second, and in the middle, burnt brown sugar, caramel, bourbon, vanilla, rich sweet malts. Really wonderful. The finish has a little spice or bitterness, but just a pinch.

The mouth feel is chewy, sticky, and has some heat to it. Light carbonation.

Drinkability, just enjoy this sipper. Hard to come by, but worth it.

Thirteen had 7 beers blended in it per some of the material included in the package. Parabola, Bravo, Rufus, Saucerful of Secrets, Big Opal, Velvet Merkin, and Double Double Barrel Ale. Parabola is said to be the largest component, and that shows. As well as the Velvet Merkin. Fresh, a lot of the others came through more, but there not as distinct as before. It's possible they may arise with more age, time will tell.

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Photo of emerge077
4.32/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Dave for sharing this one!
Review from analog (written) notes.

Pours into a small snifter with a bit of khaki foam. A cirrus cloud skim swirls across the surface, it's a mahogany color with some lighter garnet touches around the edges.

Aroma is mellow but well integrated, primary notes of caramel, dark fruit, and oak, with some sweet vanilla from the bourbon barrel.

Fig, raisin, very well defined oak, light brown sugar sweetness, tobacco, bourbon, and dark chocolate. Sticky. The woody oak tannins linger into the drying finish, mellow and rich feel overall. Extremely smooth and mellow, any booziness has been smoothed out. Though it was relatively easy to drink, it was best shared. Thanks again Dave for the opportunity to try this!

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Photo of GbVDave
4.32/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a North Coast snifter. Thanks to Joe, Matt, Wil, Justin, Jay, Aaron, and Alex for the assist! Honorable mention goes out to Skiba!

Thanks to brokenleadedcask for this from our in person trade at DLD '10.

A: Pours a deep dark brown. Just a few shades shy of being black. Thin layer of creamy off-white foam on top.

S: Aromas of chocolate, toffee, bourbon, pan roasted nuts, ripe raisins and other over-ripe dark fruit. Slight nostril tickling booziness.

T: Taste follows the smell lock step. Chocolate, caramel, dark fruit, and bourbon. Yes!

M: Slick, sticky, and sweet. Feels quite boozy which helped to roll the top off the sweetness.

D: Pretty good, but I sure was glad to have had a bunch of folks to share this with.

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Photo of TJBurgess
3.9/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip from 22 oz bottle.

Appearance is black. Pitch black. Small caramel colored head leaves quickly. 4.0
Smell is sweet with a tart / sour note in the front and a sugary molasses touch. Slight bourbon and vanilla in there too. 4.0
Taste is right behind the smell. Some heat and molasses right in the forefront with bourbon, sweet barleywine-ish vanilla notes on the finish. 4.0
Mouthfeel and drinkability are good. Creamy thickness in the mouth with a nice balance of carbonation. 4.0. Drinkability is hurt by the heat and sweetness that just don't quite balance each other out. Not sure if time will help this, but I have 1 bottle left to find out! 3.5

Overall nice to try, but it was tough finishing this bottle even over a few hours.

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Photo of chumba526
4.67/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer appears black, black as night. It has a small brownish tan head that dissipates quite quickly. A few bubbles rise from the bottom of the glass as I pour the beer.

This ale smells of ripe tart cherries, juicy grapes, dry pure liquorices', molasses. A nice mild citrusy lemon like flavor is also present. A mellow clean smelling caramel and a chocolate smell are also noticeable. There is a pleasant fruity smell. There is a vanilla and oaky smell noticeable as well. There are many complex flavors mingling together in this beer. I have been smelling this beer for five minutes and am still noticing new complexities.

It tastes initially of vanilla, oaky, coconut bourbon. There is a nice cherry like taste as well. I get a bit of a nutty malt taste. There is a solid caramel and toffee like. I get a bit of a coffee flavor, a grassy and herbal hoppy flavor and a mild hoppy bitterness. There is a bit of a red wine oaky flavor to this beer as well. This blend of barrel age beer is excellent. All the flavors blend with each other perfectly. There is a great blend of bitterness, dryness and sweetness. I though this beer would be good but not this good.

The mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy. The carbonation is moderate low.

This is a high alcohol beer and a heavy and rich beer so the drinkability is limited; however the beer goes down very smooth.

This is a great barrel aged blended beer. I like barrel age beers but this one is very impressive and one of the best examples that I have had. I have not had this beer when it was fresh but I think it is in its prime now. If you can find it I suggest you buy it. Now if I can only find firestone 14!

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Photo of portia99
3.88/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle courtesy of a trade with hoppymcgee. Thanks Greg! Poured into a New Belgium globe. Immediately sampled this following FW11.

A - Dark, dark brown in color...looks to have good clarity when held to a light (for what I can see). A finger of off-white head dies quickly to a foamy collar with a bit of lacing left clinging to the glass.

S - Boozy, bourbon, alcohol, caramel...lacing a bit in complexity.

T - Vanilla, roasted malt, coffee, bourbon, booze, caramel, molasses, dark chocolate, hoppy - earthy and fruity...a bit of heat...

M - Warm, boozy, smoothed out a little bit by the vanilla aspects. Creamy medium body with a foamy lite carbonation.

D - This might have been more impressive if it wasn't for the FW11 had before it. Seemed a bit rough and harsh by comparison. Boozy, bourbony warmth...still very good and enjoyable. Would love to get another one of these and let it sit a couple of years to see what happens to it.

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Photo of thetomG
3.8/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown color with a decent layer of tan head.

Aroma is roasty & has a nutty aspect to it as well. Flavor has some nuttiness as well, but also has a bitter element to it with underlying sweeetness. Medium mouthfeel - surprisingly bubbly though.

This one is tasting good now, but I think it could use even a little more time to age and improve.

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.65/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to mikeyv35 for the trade. Shared with trep over the holidays.

Pours into the tulip glass with a porter-brown body and a deep coffee center. The head is molasses-colored and almost wispy in its appearance. With each sniff, I get big notes of chocolate chip cookie dough, vanilla bean, a soft booziness, and toasted dark malts. Very nice so far...

The flavor is a dream. Rich, chocolate fudge brownies combine with fig, raisin, and an earthy hop bitterness on the finish that lingers with drying notes of coffee and subtle smoke. The full body is creamy and luscious, with a smooth, boozy finish. Overall, a phenomenal beer. No surprise that I enjoyed this one so much, as Parabola is in my top 5, and FW13 is nearly 40% Parabola. *Sigh* I need more...

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Photo of pdoran10
4.72/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours out jet black into a snifter with very little tan head that fades quick and leaves some nice lacing.

Smell is big vanilla mellow bourbon, with a slight chocolate note.

taste is hmm, where to start?...tons going on here, slight red wine acidity up front blends to chocolate notes and some moderate hop bitterness finishes with vanilla barrel aging flavor. smooth blend exceptional taste.

Mouthfeel is thick with low carbonation. Pretty standard as barrel aged stouts go.

Wonderfully drinkable for all the complexity and alcohol. Incredible beer.

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Photo of Damian
3.8/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from a 1 pint, 6 fluid ounces/650ml bottle
Acquired in a trade with oregonskibum
Served in a snifter

The dark chestnut brown liquid was topped by a thin film of khaki colored bubbles. Within seconds, the head dissipated to a clingy ring of froth.

The nose was sweet and smooth. Raisins and prunes were immediately noticeable. Molasses and brown sugar notes came through as well. Moderately boozy. A touch of vanilla was also detectible. Some leathery notes appeared as the beer warmed, along with a bit of smoke.

The flavor profile was malt dominant and much more roasty than I anticipated. Black coffee came through strong up front. Some vanilla notes too. Dark fruits appeared in the center, along with indications of brown sugar. Nutty. Notes of char and piney hops were detectible in the dry, tannic, oaky finish. Bourbon was present but it did not play as big a part as I would have liked.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied with a fine, moderate effervescence. Creamy, smooth and slick on the palate.

This beer drank incredibly well for its alcohol prowess. I definitely would not have guessed it to be 12% ABV.

After trying Firestone Walker's 11th, 12th and 13th anniversary beers, I can definitely say that this was my least favorite release to date. Perhaps if they cut back on the roastiness, the flavor profile would have been more balanced.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.85/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 3/5/2010. Bottle thanks to mkade8883. Pours black with a small ring of white head. Aroma of roasted malt, bourbon, graham cracker, alcohol. Flavor of vanilla, sweet roasted malt, alcohol, bourbon, bitter chocolate. Full-bodied and quite tasty. Very enjoyable!

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Photo of Murchmac
4.1/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review #500 for me.

Waited a year to crack this puppy, glad I did. Pours a dark black with some creamy head and lacing.

Smells of vanilla, bourbon, licorice dance through my head.

Excellent taste swirl of vanilla, bourbon, chocolate, sweet chocolate lingering.

A little bit of boozieness still but as always an excellent anniversary beer. Much better than 12. Still holding up.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.55/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Re-review. I opened a bottle to celebrate the completion of a major manuscript. Yes kiddies, Arbitrator actually gets work done. Surprising!

I've had this beer multiple times, mostly bottles I opened because I keep missing all the *@^%ing tastings where this gets shared. But I'm not bitter.

Anyway, at release, it started out at a 4.7, moved up to a 5.0 in a few months when the small booziness faded, and since then it has been dropping. To MY palate it peaked about 6-8 months after release. Now the subtleties are fading and it's tasting more like Parabola. Weirdly enough, it's also getting hotter and harsher in the process. The finish is astringent. It's not a very enjoyable beer anymore. I'm glad I drank most of my bottles early on, but I regret holding on to the last two (well, now one).


Original review:

Chilled 22oz bottle into a glass. Shared twice by largadeer (thanks Chris), but I didn't feel confident in reviewing it then, so here's my own bottle to judge from.

A: Probably the weakest part of this beer, but that's not saying much. The body is a pitch black-brown that appears totally opaque in my snifter. The head is a light tan color that retains well for a 12%er. Agitation produces milky swirls on top of the brew.

S: Immediately upon cracking the bottle, I'm greeted with a puff of vanilla, coconut, and chocolate. Mmm. The poured beer also presents those aromas most strongly. The rest is a nuanced, subtle blend of caramel, oak, bourbon, oats (!), apricots (!), and tobacco. Wow. This is superlative.

T: The taste is up there, as well. Like the nose, it leads with vanilla and coconut. Chocolate is more subdued than expected, pairing nicely with earth, tobacco, and bourbon in the mid-taste. Oats and caramel sweetness emerge at times, along with dark fruits (I'm tempted to say raisin or even port), coffee, even some butterscotch. The finish brings out tannins and tobacco once more, along with a surprising presence of stone fruits. Apricots or peaches, I guess. A lightly lingering peppery / earthy / tobacco bitterness that cleans up the residual sugars.

M: Medium-full bodied, with low carbonation. It's nearly velvety on the tongue; very smooth, delivering lots of flavor. There is also some light heat at the end that reveals the ABV on this bad boy, but it doesn't ruin the experience.

D: What an amazing beer. What an AMAZING beer. I can put down a bomber myself without problems; at $23 it's (IMO) reasonably priced. I want to have Firestone 13's babies.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle into The Bruery tulip, split between my wife and I.

Pours pitch black, thin (half-finger) brown head that settles out quickly into a rim of small bubbles. Some very delicate lacing, but no real retention to speak of.

Nose is rich - the barrels speak loud and clear. Notes of oak and bourbon, brandy peeking through also. Coconut and dark chocolate are there, as are hints at candied licorice. Beautifully decadent, balanced despite the massive richness.

Taste follows up the nose perfectly - chocolate fudge cake, candied dark fruit and hints of licorice pair up with coconut and vanilla notes from the barrel aging. Caramel notes add sweetness as well, with the perfect amount of a burnt sugar note. Alcohol adds a bit of spicy booziness that lingers alongside a hefty yet perfectly placed oak note on the palate, balancing the sweetness perfectly.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, lightly carbonated but just enough to prop this one up. Oaky notes linger long on the palate with a some very light tannins that balance the dert-like richness spectacularly.

Drinkability is fantastic as well - alcohol never gets in the way, only adding to the flavor profile, and there's no denying thi sis a delicious, fantastic beer. Reminscent of Bourbon County only in that I find myself taking another sip before I realize my hand is moving towards the glass, and when it's about half empty I'm already a little sad. Excellent beer, worthy of its ranking.

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Photo of craytonic
3.3/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Tried alongside 10, 11, 12 and 13

Pour: Coffee/mahogany brown/black, smallish head

Smell: Bourbon/booze, molasses, raisins, caramel, and toffee

Taste: Raisins, molasses, bourbon, toffee, caramel, chocolate. A bit hot and bitter

Mouthfeel: This but a bit hot

Drinkability: After fighting our way through 10-12 we poured half this bottle out to move onto other beers. This one tasted a bit young.

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Photo of jminsc76
4.05/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Courtesy of alexd3891 to complement a vertical with Firestone 14. (note: we had this several months ago with chocolate cake at alexd3891's birthday party) [yum], but he was quick to point out during this tasting that the strength of the aromas and flavors have died down considerably since then)

Into a wide-rimmed, non-stem wine glass pours a cocoa-colored head atop a black body. Reemerges quickly upon agitation, only to die down just as quickly.

Aromas include slight quantities of coconut, graham crackers, and some roasts. Despite the loss of intensity, I still *whiff* away because what is there is decent.

Flavors are still fairly rich, with an excellent amount of chocolate and roasts on the finish. The issue noticed among those of whom I am sharing this with is not that it lacks complexity, but impact (i.e., oomph!). A shame considering the ABV level.

Mouthfeel is soft and silky; a bit thinner than I prefer, though not unsurprising.

Overall, I may have enjoyed this more had Alex said nothing, but he's right. It is blunted, sadly only a shadow of its former self oh so not long ago. It tastes good (pairing extremely well with the blue cheese and chocolate/peanut butter cookies present) rather than great. That being the case, and considering how awesome a previous bottle was, I will be kind with my rating.

Here, enjoy some eye-candy (from bikebusbeer via flikr; yes, that is me in the background with pen and notebook in hand):[email protected]/5252682151/

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Photo of JAXSON
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 rate from a couple bottles.

Pours a deep espresso with a mocha head. Intoxicating nose filled with black licorice, peppermint, fine dark chocolate, dark fruits, and pine wood. Flavor is a testament to barrel aging and blending. Dates, prunes, figs, deeper malt complexity, and a fantastic peppermint and black licorice quality. Reminiscent of the best, older bottles of World Wide Stout and batch 1 Mephistopheles. A more viscous mouthfeel would improve this slightly. Extremely good.

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Photo of ManuelHerrera
4.52/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Coming into the holiday season I've been needing a robust stout...and Firestone's 13th anniversary is hitting the spot quite well.

Pouring midnight black with little head in an oversize wine glass - the robustness of this beer is visible. Smoked and malty aroma with notes of currant, coco and raisin.

The front end of this beer is massive and intense. This alcohol is prevalent throughout which leads to some distraction, but fortunately for this brew it's complex enough to work through it. The maltiness keeps the flavors in the balance, but the heavy barleywine and port wine flavors are the most prominent. The beer is chewy on the front end and finishes with sugary, tobacco flavor that lingers on the palate.

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Photo of JustinA1
4.17/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared with ThreeWiseMen on 11/17/10. Poured into a Brandy Snifter.

A - Black. Sexy Black. Red tint on the rim with a milk and coffee colored head. Retains well for a one year old beer. Light foam on over a midnight black liquid. The contrast is gorgeous.

S - Aggressive nose. Chocolate, bourbon, Caramel, Toffee, Coffee, Vanilla, Oak. Hints of dark fruits, almost red wine, but not quite. Reminds me of Wine Country. Fresh, crisp, transcendent. Dark chocolate provides the chorus to a bourbon lullaby.

T - Strangely, I'm immediately confronted with a spicy and earthy flavors, almost herbal or pine. Turns into coffee and dark chocolate and with finishes with a subtle yet unmistakable bourbon flavor.

M - Full body that coats the mouth well with a fantastic condition. Serves the beer very well, Not as smooth as I recall from previous tastings but still pretty fantastic.

D - Great beer, hides the alcohol well but I wouldn't forget it's there. Better than 14 for sure (tried side by side). I would gladly drink more of this.

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Firestone 13 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 403 ratings