Firestone 15 - Anniversary Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Firestone 15 - Anniversary AleFirestone 15 - Anniversary Ale

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

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
18% Helldorado (11.7% ABV) Blonde Barley Wine.
17% Sticky Monkey (12.5% ABV) English Barley Wine.
17% Bravo (13.5% ABV) Imperial Brown Ale.
13% Double Double Barrel Ale (11.5% ABV) Double Strength English Pale Ale.
11% Good Foot (14.3 ABV) American Barley Wine.
10% Velvet Merkin (8.6% ABV) Traditional Oatmeal Stout.
9% Parabola (13% ABV) Russian Imperial Oatmeal Stout.
5% Double Jack (9.5% ABV) Double India Pale Ale.

Added by brew3crew on 11-08-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 1,114 |  Reviews: 315
Photo of musicforairports
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown, clear ruby hues when held to the light. A bit of head and lacing.

Smells of chocolate, oak, bourbon, vanilla, pine.

Flavor is a lot of barrel flavors--whiskey, vanilla, oak, charred wood--and some darker, sweet malts. Chocolate and caramel. Some pine and maybe citrus. Very smooth, complex, and tasty. The bourbon flavor is light and doesn't overwhelm. The hops are noticeable, but otherwise minor. The ABV has a slight bite, but is mostly undetectable.

Medium-thick mouthfeel, low to medium carbonation.

This is my first Firestone Walker Anniversary beer, and I really loved it. Complex and smooth, and it doesn't taste like I'm drinking watered-down liquor. I rarely enjoy beers this high in ABV, especially darker ones, but this is a notable exception.

 771 characters

Photo of jackmax
5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of afrokaze
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Wine Affairs 2/15, I also had Younger, FW 14 and Abacus the same day, one I'll never forget.

Pours a dark brown with some ruby around the edges, just a shade lighter than 14 with about a finger of tan head that dies down quickly with little lacing.

Smell is a great mix of molasses, chocolate & vanilla swirl, dark roasted malt, coffee, a bit of earthy hops and less alcohol than expected.

Tastes like the most complex dessert I've ever had. Dark chocolate blends with vanilla, coffee, tobacoo, coconut, earthy oak tannins balance out brown sugar sweetness. Hints of leather and a good bit of spicy & fruity hops complement fig & bourbon-soaked raisins and a bit of cherry. Alcohol is nicely integrated & gives it a bourbon-like character with some nice heat.

Has a good body that's just a bit lighter than 14 due to the Double Jack in the blend, but still a nice medium-heavy feel to back up the huge layers of flavor. Feels like it drinks at its ABV but in a way that complements the beer and warms the soul. A bit slick on the palate but not quite as sticky sweet as 14.

Overall I like this fresh a lot better than 14, the barrel character stands out more especially the coconut-like flavor that gives it a nice nutty quality. Glad I have one of these to try in a year or so, but I don't think it'll age nearly as well as 14. A great sipper that is more drinkable than it would seem.

 1,401 characters

Photo of marqoid
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Joe_Mahma
5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of jongullotti
5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of vic21234
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a snifter. Been looking forward to this one...

A- A dark brown with slight white/ caramel colored head that quickly fades.

S- Alcohol-bourbon sting is there. Also getting hints of coffee, vanilla, and dark malts.

T- Very interesting. Up front is the alcohol sting from the bourbon notes. I also taste the coffee, chocolate, vanilla, oaky notes you would experience if sipping a BA stout. At the back of the taste I get citrusy hops.

M- Not overly heavy. Some heat from the alcohol sting. The hoppy taste at the end of each sip lingers.

Really interesting beer for sure. It's definitely a hot one, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. However, I think this one will be better with some age on it.

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Photo of lurpy1
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Muled this one home from Sacramento for myself. At $22 for a bomber, it's the most expensive I've ever bought. Still, the beer goulash concept is cool, and I'm looking forward to it. Split into 2 pint glasses. Gotta get some other glassware - the pint is not suitable for this kind of beer.

Elegant packaging (in cardboard),but on first pour, is not horribly impressive, but not awful either - little to no head, sitting on top of a Dr. Pepper colored pour.

Smell is great, bourbon, vanilla, malt, molasses, some indistinct fruitiness and an overall but again indistinct sweet.

A bourbon, woody experiences encompasses the taste. Vanilla comes through, as does some of the malty. The booze stands up and gives a big hello, the taste is not very alcoholic, at the same time, one sip lets you know that XV means business.

I found XV a bit over carbonated, and the massive alcohol ran interference. Still, pretty smooth. However, my wife had a beast of a time choking this down due to the booze content.

A very, very good beer, really a mutated barleywine at the end of the day. At $22, though, probably a 1-time experience for me.

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Photo of rodkin
4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Three Kings.

Pours a dark reddish brown, kind of a cola look. Almost no head.

Smell is oak, molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, bit of chocolate, bit of coconut. Tiny bit of roasty bitterness. Maybe a faint hint of hops. Really, really nice.

Taste is big chocolate, oak, and vanilla upfront. There's some coconut in there, too. Not as noticeable as it was fresh in the bottle, but it gets more noticeable as it warms, especially in the finish. It's really rich and decadent, but there's some heat from the alcohol that keeps it in check, so it never becomes cloying. Maybe a bit of dark fruit in there too? Raisin or plum.

Mouthfeel is just a touch thicker than medium. It coats the mouth nicely. Not too much carbonation, just about what you'd want from a beer of this size.

Really smooth, really drinkable, just delicious. Great beer.

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Photo of infi
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber, shared with BAs brun and r0nyn.

Poured into a brandy snifter.

Brown, cola-colored body with blood red hues. Off-white head that leaves speckled lacing upon glass.

Immensely packed with vanilla tannin, barreled oak, sharp boozy heat, caramel and burnt sugars. Incredibly complex and mellow smelling, especially considering the amount of beers in the final blend. Very potent once warmed to room temperature.

Tastes, just like style implies– very strong. Like a brandy to be sipped. Tannins, brown sugary sweetness, molasses and vanilla. Very barleywine like. Smooth, but particularly hot on the palate. Would probably be mellower after six months or more. Definitely one for the cold weather.

Medium body with low carbonation. Silky texture. Worth the buy– consider splitting the costs with someone else.

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Photo of crusian
2.67/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

All these positive reviews... I had to chime in.
Bottle from awesome girlfriend from Boston.
Going to skip all the pleasantries.
Nose is nice, I can actually pick out ipa, barley wine, oak. Nice.
Taste is not good. It is boozy and messy. A huge disappointment. I loved 13 and 14. This one is not good. I do taste the oak, vanilla, and it is nice. After you get through that, it is a mess. Tastes like a really hot oak aged barley wine. I am having a hard time drinking it. It will be good in a few years, absolutely. I feel that this is getting rated higher due to price and that it is a firestone anniversary beer. Huge let down.

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Photo of tjkinate
4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another great anniversary beer from FW!

A: Caramel colored beverage that is toped by a modest head that dissipates rather quickly and leaves only a hint of lacing.

S: Bourbon scents come through nicely and are followed quickly by large amounts of vanilla and toffee. Smelled similar to a Barleywine, but lacked the dark fruit notes making this a unique smelling brew.

T: Very similar to the smell, loved all the vanilla. This brew is well balanced and can't wait to try my second bottle in six months or so.

M: Medium/heavy, soft and creamy, well carbonated.

O: I am very happy with this beer and am glad to see the 15th anniversary really separated itself from last years. I hope this one ages well and I may just have to get myself more bottles!

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Photo of muttyd
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of bonez05404
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of beerandcycling88
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a snifter.

A Pours a nice brown color with some hints of red topped with a tan head.

S Lots of bourbon, vanilla, brown sugar, and some fruity notes.

T To sum the taste up this is what would happen if you ate a vanilla cupcake and drank a vanilla coke with a shot of bourbon. Also a bit of licorice and some sort of sweet fruity note.

M Pretty smooth and velvety.

Overall this is an amazing beer that was well worth the hefty price tag. A complex beer that will require many tastings to get the full complexity. Should be interesting to see how this one ages.

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Photo of Harvey98
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of JHB-510
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of DanSmith17
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Nick29
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of volta
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of Centennial
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle split into snifter

A. Dark tan with amber hue while being poured, yet appears darker in the glass except when held up to the light. Still opaque. Clear, appears slightly syrupy, virtually no head.

S. Bourbon and alcohol, vanilla, mild caramel. Can not detect the hop aroma they claim is suppose to be apparent due to the 5% double jack addition.

T. Sweet caramel and vanilla with brandy undertone. Hops in the back seem to mix this up a bit in the wrong direction and do more to bring out unpleasant alcohol nuances then add to the smoother barrel flavors.

M. Slick and a little syrupy, alcohol has a burning effect.

O. Ok barrel blend, falls far short of FW14

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Photo of Rizalini
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into my Deschutes tulips glass...

A - Pours a deep mahagony color, with a minimal off-white head. Pretty much no lacing.

S - There's a LOT going on in my nose. I get chocolate waffer, bourbon, coconut, and woodsey oakiness.

T/M - The taste is that of a bourbon barrel barleywine. The smell carries very well over to the taste. It's kinda crazy, but it's like I can taste some of the beers blended in this one, especially Parabola and Abacus. Medium heavy mouthfeel, low carbonation.

O - This is the 1st Firestone Ann. I've had, and I love the concept. Blending different barrel agerd brews to perfection, and hiding the alcohol very well. Scary easy to drink since there's no boozy blowout, which is amazing for a 12.5% beer.

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Photo of guytyping
5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of MarkFy
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of Nickcal
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was good but could have been better. Bought it from my local liquor store. They had been aging it ever since. Don't know if this beer was the result of bad cellaring or what. Like I said though really a top shelf beer but would have liked to try when it had been released to compare. Stunk of booze but tasted medium bodied with a clean finish and no alcohol heat.

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Firestone 15 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.26 out of 5 based on 1,114 ratings.
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