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Firestone 13 - Anniversary Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Firestone 13 - Anniversary AleFirestone 13 - Anniversary Ale
399 Ratings
Firestone 13 - Anniversary AleFirestone 13 - 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 Todd on 11-02-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 399 |  Reviews: 226
Photo of ChrisPro
3.8/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber thanks to callmemickey. Pours black with hints of burgundy in the light. Thin tan head that fades quickly. Aroma is all over the place with bourbon, coffee, rye, cherry and a touch of coffee as well as some roasted coconut.

Good carbonation, medium body and ABV hidden well. Lots of hop flavor with a nice dry bitter finish.

Incredibly complex blend and I'm glad I had the opportunity to try it.

 410 characters

Photo of Damian
3.8/5  rDev -13.4%
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.

 1,361 characters

Photo of thetomG
3.8/5  rDev -13.4%
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 RoyalT
3.82/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - This is very dark in color, almost black, with little head owing to the high alcohol content no doubt.

Smell - There are some wonderful fruits in this nose and the coconut is especially aromatic, but the sharp alcohol takes away from the overall bouquet. It's similar to a bourbon smell, which sounds great, but just a bit heavy on the booze.

Taste - The up front fruits just explode in the mouth especially as the ale warms. This is a fruity burst of flavor like none other. The natural coconut from the nose is the stand out of this crowd. The malts are heavily roasted into a nice flavor but struggle to keep up with the fruiting.

Mouthfeel - The alcohol sting that I was expecting thankfully was not here. What I did get was a nice, very pleasant feel with a slight boozy tingle. The body of this ale is close to full with a touch of bitterness.

Drinkability - This went down surprisingly easy for such a big beer. The high ABV though came across I think a bit too much.

 991 characters

Photo of kplooki
3.82/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mdaschaf
3.85/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.85/5  rDev -12.3%
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!

 271 characters

Photo of harrymel
3.86/5  rDev -12.1%
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.

 505 characters

Photo of fear025
3.87/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Aroma:Dark Malt, a little boozy, raisins and other dark fruit.

Appearance:Black and opaque. Very little head.

Taste:Dark bitter chocolate, slight sour cherry taste.

Mouthfeel:Medium body, some hot alcohol burn, good carbonation.

Drinkability:This beer has some harsh edges, and could definitely be improved by some age.

 323 characters

Photo of iowaherkeye
3.87/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

 803 characters

Photo of portia99
3.88/5  rDev -11.6%
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.

 945 characters

Photo of TJBurgess
3.9/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

 757 characters

Photo of ReDave
3.92/5  rDev -10.7%
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.

 562 characters

Photo of younger35
3.92/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received this beer last year and for the life of me can't remember who sent it to me. I've had FW10 & 11 and they were both very solid. Excited to try this one. Drank from my Ithaca Excelsior tulip.

Appearance- Pours a pitch ass black with a nice half finger creamy dark tan head. A super thin collar is all that remains after a few min and zero lacing is left behind.
Smell- Despite how dark it is it still has a fairly familiar Barleywine smell. A light malty sweetness upfront that's full of caramel and butterscotch. A buttery sort of woodiness from the barrels that adds just a touch of vanilla. Not sure if this is aged in bourbon barrels but there is a light spirit like influence in the nose. Fairly simple, upfront nose that I don't get any hops or that usual candy like aspect. Not really roasted either despite how dark it is.
Taste- Starts with a light bit sweetness upfront with a fair amount of rich caramel and a touch of milk chocolate. No roast is really noticeable but there is that sort of astringent bitterness that you get from dark malts. A bit of vanilla from the barrels bleeds in and adds a majority of the flavor of the beer. The finish is lightly sweet with a touch of candied malt. Not an ounce of alcohol is detectable.
Mouthfeel- A touch on the thin side for a Barleywine but not a deal breaker. A light touch of carbonation that could be ratcheted up a notch.
Drinkability- Overall a pretty tasty beer but not really the Barleywine I was hoping for. I feel like the flavor could use another 'layer' as it's pretty basic (all in all I suppose). It's different in the Barleywine sense but I did enjoy it. Thanks whoever sent this!!

 1,661 characters

Photo of AgentZero
3.95/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Very black, surpringly so for something that is not a porter or stout. SMall head that left a slight abmout of lacing in it. Nice looking. but truthfully not sure how it takes on the style.

S - Very chocolatey, with some vanilla notes and a slight bit of whiskey bourbon.

T - Decent bourbon taste, but it's mostly chocolatey. A decent amount of oak influcent, but mostly toffee, with a bit of dark fruit. Surprisingly full flavor for what it is. A bit of alcohol burn in it.

M - Full bodied, nicely carbonated, works very well for the style.

D - Very rich and filling, the high alcohol makes this definately a sipper.

 626 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
3.95/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a medium dark brown with a soft light tan head. Nice spots of lace.

S: Light initially, but ended up getting some enticing butterscotch, molasses, and coffee.

T: Dark chocolate dominated with notes of coffee and licorice. Oak is prevalant, giving interesting wood notes, but more terpene like/actual wood flavour than vanilla-type flavours. Strong character in the taste I liked it a lot.

M: Not as thick or robust as I'd like, but solid overall, compared to the 12 though it's a bit of a lightweight right now.

D: This is clearly good beer. Maybe I'm expecting too much out of the Anniversary series right now, I'm expecting to be blown away out of the gate like I was with 11 and 12 which were exceptional upon release. This one is still really good, though I think it needs some time to achieve greatness.

 847 characters

Photo of tpd975
3.97/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a couple people send me this one as of late.

A: Pours a deep dark shade of black with a puny tan head. Zero retention or lace.

S: Aromas of dark roasted malt, dark fruit, chocolate, barrel, and booze.

T: Same as the aroma with not as much depth as the previous vintages. I did pick up some vanilla as well along with hints of coffee.

M: Medium in body, light boozy burn in the slightly dry finish.

D: Not too bad, hopefully it improves a bit with age. Just good, not great.

 484 characters

Photo of mdillon86
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of 1424IpA
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of MrHirschybar
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of Guffy
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of Rhettroactive
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of roodie
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of EB1
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of klipper
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Firestone 13 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.39 out of 5 with 399 ratings
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