Firestone 25 - Anniversary Ale
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Firestone 25 - Anniversary AleFirestone 25 - Anniversary Ale
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Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States
American Strong Ale
4.35 | pDev: 5.75%
Nov 13, 2023
Oct 22, 2021
Introducing “25”—the milestone release from our storied Anniversary Ale program, marking the 25th year since Firestone Walker’s founding in 1996. This is a tour de force blend of five barrel-aged beers, created with the help of local winemakers to produce a masterwork of flavor and complexity. The result is a showstopper that rises to the occasion of our 25th anniversary.

The final blend includes Parabola Autumn Edition (41%), Tequila Barrel Merkin (28%), Brandy Barrel Barley Wine (13%), Stickee Monkee (10%), and Whiskey Barrel Wheat Wine (8%).
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Ratings by Beginner2:
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Reviewed by Beginner2 from Illinois

4.27/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
I very much want to find a couple of more copies and cellar them as 25 needs some time to blend its blend.
25 is only my second in this series (I'm always late to parties.) But this whole process of collaboratively blending with winemakers that is described on the sheet in the box is as elaborate as I can imagine for a brewer and very Californiana.

I will do this brew justice and finish this review after I've aged and mellowed 25. Great potential.
Mar 16, 2022
More User Ratings:
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Reviewed by beergoot from Colorado

4.32/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Opaque body, looks black; thin yet persistent khaki hued head. Alluring aroma; sweet and fruity with dark grain and barrel aging notes. Great, balanced and complex flavors; cocoa and chocolate notes mixed with raspberry and sherry tones; milk chocolate; vanilla; minor whiskey notes in the background. Heavy body; smooth, silky, and slippery on the palate; heavy sweetness.

Okay, this beer is already a couple of years old yet like many good dark beers, has aged gracefully. It has an amazingly smooth and refined complexity, melding flavors and textures in a beautiful manner. Opulent aptly describes this beer.

Pouring temperature: 43 °F; bottling info: 2021
Source: Tavour
Nov 13, 2023
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Reviewed by Franziskaner from Missouri

4.29/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Black in color with a murky complexion. There’s a fingernail of khaki brown around the rim and covering half of the top. The aroma is an assault of dark malt, bourbon, vanilla, brandy, and oak. I’m tasting a lot of dark malt, bourbon, vanilla, roasted barley, and brandy. The mouth is thick, chewy, and sticky.
Oct 07, 2023
Rated: 4.25 by brittanylicious from Indiana

Sep 17, 2023
Rated: 4.33 by heysuz from Indiana

Sep 17, 2023
Rated: 4.42 by LA2ED7

Aug 15, 2023
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Reviewed by cjgiant from District of Columbia

4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
I do vaguely recall having some of this fresh, but at 2.5 years old, it's holding up decently. It seems a bit more in the barrel-aged malty strong ale category than other years which have seemed to lean more towards stout-like in my opinion. Having it beside a newer 26th Anniversary showed this, at the very least. The nose was a mix of melanoidin, malt, and vague spirits. The taste was strong ale and quad-like, with a finished whiskey vibe. I think the tequila barrel still sneaks in to provide an interesting note near the finish, but it also cuts off the richer brown malt and whiskey notes. It's still enjoyable, though and I enjoyed getting another chance at it to review.
Jul 14, 2023
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Reviewed by stortore from Illinois

4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
12 ounce bottle into a snifter. Had 6/6/22.

Pours a dark cola color, mostly opaque, with a quarter inch quickly dissipating head and sparse specks of cling. Aromas of roasted malt, chocolate, bourbon, oak, char, cocoa, marshmallow, light tequila as it warms. Smells a bit smoky. Flavors of bourbon, roasted malt, chocolate, vanilla, oak, light brandy and agave. Has a bit of a fruity taste, and a spicy, almost peppery taste on the finish. Smooth, a solid fuller body, well carbonated.

A wonderful array of aromas and flavors. Surprised the tequila barrels aren’t more evident. Terrific blend this year, really enjoyable.
Jun 12, 2023
Rated: 4.25 by mmilyko from Nevada

May 11, 2023
Rated: 4.5 by bigred89 from Maryland

Apr 18, 2023
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Reviewed by MadMadMike from France

4.49/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
12 oz bottle poured at 53° into a Firestone Walker taster’s glass. A beautiful tan foam rises and stays over a pure black brew.
Aromas fill the sense; dark chocolate, dark roast malt, bourbon, oak, brandy, vanilla extract, prunes.
Taste pushes the aroma up higher. Lots of flavors unpacking slowly on the chew. The ABV livens it all up., tequilla barrel dryness, cream sherry, dark stone fruit, molasses all take a bow. Excellent long, tongue-coating finish.
Full bodied and smooth mouth feel, low to mid carbonation.
Overall - what an annual celebration brew should be like.
Apr 10, 2023
Rated: 4.5 by DavyJonesXXX from Texas

Apr 10, 2023
Rated: 4.35 by Sparky44 from Illinois

Mar 25, 2023
Rated: 4.54 by spark3148857 from Ohio

Mar 18, 2023
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Reviewed by LifesAnesthesia from Virginia

4.74/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
L - Deep mahogany with lighter brown highlights as well as a dark tan head that dissipates somewhat quickly leaving behind a thin cap and minimal lacing
S - Rich dark chocolate, rich bourbon, notes of sweet brandy, caramel, hints of toffee, some vanilla, oak, dark malts, licorice, molasses, dark fruits, dates
T - Complex: rich dark chocolate and bourbon up front and throughout intermixed well with sweet brandy, rich caramel, toffee, vanilla, dark malts, earthy oak, licorice and molasses, dark fruits and dates on the back end
F - Full bodied with light carbonation. Smooth
O - This is truly a fantastic and complex ale
Feb 05, 2023
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Reviewed by hman43 from North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Look: It pours dark brown with a brown head. It has moderate head retention.

Smell: It has a strong malty aroma that features toffee and caramel. There are some light vinous qualities with tequila. There are also some hints of dark fruits and molasses with a touch of bourbon.

Taste: It has strong malty flavors that also feature toffee and caramel. There are some light roasted elements with a bit of sweetness from dark fruits (plums) and dark cherries. There is a bit of orange and bourbon with a touch of lime. It also has some wine like elements.

It has a full chewy body with an aftertaste that is on the sweet side.

Overall, a complex blend of flavors with a lot going on in both the aroma and the flavor.
Jan 15, 2023
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Reviewed by dcotom from Iowa

4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Poured from 12-ounce bottle into a tulip glass. Deep cola colored pour, with reddish-brown highlights on the edges and a thick tan head. Good retention, with some spotty lacing. This has a lot going on. Every whiff and every sip uncovers another layer of complexity. Rum barrel and toffee, dried fruit, caramel, coffee, chocolate, molasses, licorice, it's all there. Boozy as hell, with quite a bit of oaky tannin on the finish. If you run across this vintage, take a shot at it. You won't be disappointed.
Dec 23, 2022
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Reviewed by StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
thankful a friend brought this to our share last night, i have missed the last several years of this, cool to get to have this one i thought i had missed. fun blend, they all are, this one is made unique to me especially by the tequila and brandy barrel aged threads in the blend, its a little spicy in the nose from the tequila, and quite fruity in the taste from the brandy, especially on the finish. on paper it doesnt even sound like these things would go very well together, but they do. deep brown pour without much carbonation activity or head, just a little sediment at the bottom, and a viscous sort of opacity to it, so much of this is parabola, it was neat to have it with some vintages of parabola and some variants in the tasting, you can really pick a lot of that out of this, barrel char, dark chocolatey malts, and light vanilla from the bourbon. tons of sweetness through the middle of it from the barleywine and quad elements, toffee, chestnut, raisin, brown sugar, and maple all present in this phase. more wood than specific barrel through much of it, but i definitely get the tequila, lush and then almost peppery in the center of this, pretty pronounced on the nose too, boozy enough to cut through the malt heft i reckon. the brandy is all on the finish and sort of has a nutty port character to it as well, light alcohol burn most of the way, rich chocolate, leather, toffee, and faint spice. palate coating and enormous, a little bitter roast for balance is appreciated. perhaps not as complex as some of the beers i remember from this line in the past, but every bit as good. warms up awesome and feels right on for holiday time!
Dec 22, 2022
Rated: 4.29 by dbrauneis from North Carolina

Dec 11, 2022
Rated: 3.79 by morimech from Minnesota

Nov 23, 2022
Firestone 25 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 126 ratings