Firestone 15 - Anniversary Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Firestone 15 - Anniversary AleFirestone 15 - Anniversary Ale
Liked This Beer
4.36 w/ 1,115 ratings
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: 1,115 |  Reviews: 315
Photo of hellcatsjg
3.5/5  rDev -19.7%

Photo of johnnnniee
3.88/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep garnet brown with a decent fluffy off white head that subsides quickly. Smells of oak vanilla and lots of dark pitted fruit with a touch to much alcohol. Slightly oxidized with a malty sweetness. Taste is sweet malty with lots of fruitiness. Hints of vanilla and oak play nicely off some smoke and roast. A touch of heat, but not like I thought based on the aroma. Long lingering fruity and roasty sweetness in the finish. Medium to thick body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet almost syrupy mouthfeel. There's a lot going on here and this is quite a flavorful beer. I think this blend would benefit from a little more time for the flavors to come together a little better.

 701 characters

Photo of Gmann
4.27/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a somewhat clear chocolate brown color with a short tan head that settled into a light ring.

The aroma is of toffee and caramel, raisins and figs. Quite the sweet candy like aroma. Some sweet bourbon and oak aromas as well. Toasted bread notes from the malt.

The taste has more woody, bark like notes. A nice earthy bitterness to the malt. Some burnt caramel and light toffee to go along with some raisin flavors provide some sweetness. The bourbon is subtle but noticable, provides additional sweetness and the oak provides some sourness. The flavors blend very well together.

The feel is moderate with some soft tingly carboantion. Drinks lighter than expected. It is sweet and sticky on the palate but has enough of an earthy bitterness to offset. Some ABV burn.

Drinks surprisingly light and well balanced. Nice complex flavors.

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Photo of pzymali
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.33/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured in to CBS Snifter.

A - Poured medium brown with a small amount of bubbly light brown head.

S - Bourbon, brandy, vanilla and brown sugar are the dominant aromas. The barrel aging qualities really shine though in the nose. The background has hints of roasted malt, dark fruit anda touch of chocolate.

T - Bourbon, vanilla and some oak are evident up front with some brandy present as well, but not to the degree that the nose indicated. The background has some subdues roasted malt notes along with brown sugar, dark caramel and some raisins. The barrel aging flavours take centre stage but don't completely overpower the flavours of the base beers. The ABV is warming but overall the 15% ABV is well hidden.

M - Medium body. Very smooth and silky but a touch thin at times. Light carbonation.

O - An excellent beer. I was a little bit surprised that the barleywine qualities didn't dominate here, given that they accounted for almost 50% of this blend. But that wasn't necessarily a bad thing.

 1,007 characters

Photo of hopsandstouts
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of ScrimshawFan
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of InfernalPotato
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of THEriksen
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of bonez05404
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of korguy123
4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into tulip
A- Somewhat clear dark brown with ruby highlights. Three finger light beige head that lasts momentarily. Lacing is spotty with slight alcohol legs.

S- Right off the bat I get english and american barley wine bitterness and sweetness. Mixed with the floral and pine of the double ipa. Bourbon and brandy are there but very subdued. There is a slight oak mixed with smoke and peat. Chewey caramel and sponge toffee. Vanilla and brown sugar.

T- Super smooth bourbon with sweet brown sugar, toffee and vanilla. Definite English barley wine in there with a slight bitterness and malt bill. Alcohol is very subtle. There is a slight maple syrup note in the sweetness. The hops are very slight but definitely aid in cutting the sweetness down.

M- Smooth, medium bodied, low carbonation makes this feel like a brandy or port. Sticky on the lips with the slightest of alcohol warmth.

O- This is truly a masterpiece. The work and thought and time put into this is remarkable.

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4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

10oz draft served in a chalice for $5.50. Sampled today, 1/21/12.

A: Not much of a looker. Just after being poured, the beer arrives with no head, and only a whispy off-white crescent shaped collar remains. The body is dark brown with amber showing through on the edges - and even part way into the glass. Mostly opaque. No lacing.

S: Caramel is by far the dominant feature of the nose, coming across with homemade-like decadency. Toffee moves in with a light whiff of butterscotch further in the background. Bourbon notes are gentle, bringing in pure vanilla and a sweet nuttiness - something like almond extract. Toasted marshmallow, coconut and maple syrup are a possibility. Alcohol is most definitely there, but it's pretty well concealed on the nose.

T: Long lasting, syruppy sweet flavor and even sweeter than the nose suggested. This is more appropriately a dessert beer than 14 is or ever was. More toasted and less roasted for that matter. Bourbon and toffee infused rum come through judiciously, warming on the back end and exhale. Caramel remains prominent.

M: Mouthcoating but never cloying. Perfect level of carbonation throughout. Finishes just dry enough to prepare for the next sip. Great once again.

O: A small step back from 14 but does not disappoint. Firestone Walker is on another planet with their blending ability.

 1,343 characters

Photo of wdarcy77
3.5/5  rDev -19.7%

Photo of FearTheElf
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of pirmannt1
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of mcphish22
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of zaphodchak
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice khaki head, bubbles in the body. Medium brown body.

Brandy, nutty sherry, and bourbon in the beautiful nose, along with cherry.

Dang son, this is supa dank. Kind of tastes like everything (Utopias-esque). Vinous tang like cognac, sweet malty backbone, a trace of burn and warmth along with plenty of wood and some bourbon. Hints of lightish fruit and a trace of vanilla. There's a bit of hops at the end, which will probably vanish in months.

Mouthfeel is quite smooth.

This is drinking great now; I had reservations about opening it so fresh, but it was great. Also, it paired well with goat cheese.

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Photo of morebeergood
4.04/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Union Brewhouse in Weymouth. Served in a 12 oz goblet for $7. Dark brown in color. Not much head at all. The aroma was ripe with bourbon. Flavor was good, with notes of fresh fruit, tobacco, and chocolate. But again, it was the bourbon that dominated here also. Really hot on the palate too at over 12%. It's a great sipper beer, but I am afraid that it's too one note for me. All bourbon. This is the kind of beer that you really need to age for a while before consuming. That might mellow it out a bit.

 518 characters

Photo of Yabev15
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of mikeywtc
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of crashoveride
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of jegross2
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewing the Firestone XV Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Company.
Score: 93

2011 vintage bottle served in a Surly Darkness snifter and enjoyed on 01/19/12.

Appearance: Root colored bodied with lots of ruby highlights throughout. Pours a half finger of off-white head that settles into a bubbly ring around the glass. Slightly above average lacing for a 12.5% ABV beer. 4/5

Smell: Sweet vanilla, brown sugar and light molasses. Lots of smooth bourbon flavors and a little butteriness in the nose as well. 4/5

Taste: Taste follows the nose. Smooth, slightly sweet bourbon. I would not call this one "bourbon-forward" only because there is no real alcohol bite or in-your-face here, unlike other barrel aged beers like Backwoods Bastard. Firestone XV is very balanced and pleasantly malty -- but not overly sweet. Marshmallow and brown sugar/molasses in the finish. Some peanut or cashew butteriness comes out in the beer as it layers. Not overly complex, but very very tasty. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, minimal carbonation. Sticky mouthfeel. Finishes slightly sweet. 4.5/5

Overall: An excellent blended beer. Totally smooth and balanced. This is one to drink fresh, and I cannot imagine it getting any better with age.

Recommendation: Seek this one out.

Pairings: Duck or lamb.

Cost: $22.99

 1,318 characters

Photo of ShanePB
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Boxed, wrapped and capped 22 ounce bottle split with my girlfriend and family last night. Poured into a snifter glass.

A: Mahogany brown body with some reddish hues throughout, topped with a small off-white/tan head. A little lacing was left on the glass walls, but not much. The only remaining head was a thin bubbly ring around the edges. No complaints here, this is a high ABV, blended and barrel aged beer.

S: Dark fruits (fig and raisin), matured mellow bourbon, oak, graham cracker, caramel, toasted malts, sweet toffee and salt. Wow doesn't describe how complex and aromatic this beer smells. And it just got better as it warmed.

T: Bourbon, oak, sweet dark fruits namely fig, caramel and toffee are all up-front. My cheeks started to get that warming and tingly sensation from the alcohol, although you couldn't taste any heat. An interesting peppery spicy element came out after the swallow and lingered around. Very interesting and a component I wasn't expecting.

M: Low carbonation, slightly bubbly but it still only has a medium bodied. It's not really robust and full bodied like I thought it would be, certainly on the thinner side. Less than I hoped for yet very drinkable for the style and ABV.

This was simply wonderful, as has every other Firestone Walker barrel aged beer I've tried. The blend of this beer is so flavorful and complex, it's every changing as you drink it. By far my second favorite from them. Superb job.

 1,445 characters

Photo of Satchboogie
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of stbo101
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Firestone 15 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 93.5% out of 100 with 1,115 ratings
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