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: 314
Photo of rwilde
3/5  rDev -29.6%

Photo of Jwale73
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle served in my Captain Lawrence tulip. Pours a dark mahogany hue with a loose, quarter inch off-white head. Not much off the nose that is distinguishable - I get substantial malt aromas, as well as a suggestion of bourbon and burnt turbinado sugar and prunes. Taste reveals dark toasted malts, vanilla, a trace of butter and a pleasant, but not overpowering bourbon character. There is also a pleasant hops bite the expresses itself at the onset. Mouthfeel is medium-light with an assertive carbonation and a slightly creamy texture. Overall, a very good beer. Not something I would age, as I don't think it will stand the test of time; however, it's really quite good. That said, I had the opportunity to taste this beer on tap and I thought it was fantastic. Definitely worth trying if you have the opportunity; however, if you can try it on draft, don't pass it up.

 879 characters

Photo of goldspire
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of dixonmp
5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of podunkparte
2.25/5  rDev -47.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I love FW 14. I realize every Anniversary beer is different altogether, but I had high hopes for 15.

Poured into a 12oz New Belgium snifter.

A: Deep dark red when held to the light. About a 1/2 finger light tan head that disappeared quickly. Barely any lacing at all. Meh.

S: Dry, unsweetened toasted coconut. That's all I get

T: Hint of an initial sweetness to begin that never delivers. Gives way to that trademark coconut flavor that was delicious in the 14 (accompanied by great sweet and roasty flavors) but is sadly revealed to not stand on its own here. Once you swallow that coconut flavor is gone and you have no aftertaste but a bit of strange dryness with a lingering alcohol essence. I compare it to tasting a very high alcohol vodka. Very disappointing. I find myself not looking forward to the next sip and that's sad.

M: Thin and dry. Nothing to really say here.

O: Sorry, but this is not a good beer. There's no depth, no character that I found in Parabola, Abacus, and FW14. Too dry, to thin, too uni-flavored.

 1,033 characters

Photo of j1knapp
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of Khazadum
4.36/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Bit of a disappointment in the appearance. Laces alright, sticky lacing for what its worth. Its got a cola coloration, a decent head development, but the retention is all wrong.

S- Delightful oak character, vanilla, light woodiness, caramels, deep molasses, bourbon sweetness. Volatile dark fruit acidity. Is that brandy notes?

T- Its all about the barrel aging here. The characteristics are strictly barrel related with the malts giving a synergism that you wish was a bit stronger. Still worthy. Bourbon sweetness with ethanol. Dark chocolate off the bat that gives way to the next flavors. Its got the alcoholic tinge of bourbon without the intensity. Dark fruits mingle here and there and its laced throughout with a murky hop character that eludes you. Bittering, but enough to the point you know its balanced.

Right in the middle every once and a while you get slapped with a vanilla characteristic that also contains a custard. Hell, I'll just say it. You taste vanilla custard without the creaminess! It seamlessly transitions into a tropical citrus makeover. Nicely hopped!

Finishes oaken, wooden, grainy but delightfully so. Hints of plums and dates.

M- Oh it has a heat that will build and build if you let it! Full bodied, almost syrupy. Wish it was creamier. Good carbonation level gives its presence on the back end so the initial flavors aren't hampered or hindered.

Really like this. Great beer, not sure if its 20$ great, but definitely a complex and worthy brew to start Beermas.

 1,509 characters

Photo of Harvey98
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of 20ozmonkey
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank this to celebrate the end of a stressful semester. Poured it into a Stone 15th Anniversary glass (Some good ass breweries popped up 15 years ago).

I was surprised to see how light it was as I was pouring it. I was expecting another pitch black imperial stout colored beer. While it is very dark it is still clear and you can see the light come through on the edges. No head at all but some bubbles comin' up.

Very strong toffee smell. Kind of like those weird (but awesome) candies from See's that are long flat bars of toffee covered in chocolate.

Sweet tobacco and toffee flavors on the front that turn into a bit of bitterness and cookie flavor on the finish. Flavors of dates, brown sugar, caramel and all that good stuff are loaded into this beer.

Lightly carbonated with a medium body. Slides down nicely.

I try to limit myself to one or two "Tastes/smells like" references, but this beer has a LOT going on and it tastes great. I'm glad I still have a bottle to hold on to. I imagine it will taste a lot different once the hoppiness from the Double Jack fades away.

 1,086 characters

Photo of jbakajust1
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured at a FW release event at Bier Stein w/ free taster of 14. 8oz pour into Tear drop glass

A - Pours an opaque black w/ faint brown highlights, thin brown head fades to nothing, light lacing

S - Smells of chocolate, cherries, hops, sweet, oak, vanilla, brandy, big caramel and dark fruits

T - Prunes, sweet cakes/bread, cookies, chocolate, brandy, caramel, citrus hops, oak, bourbon, spicy hop bite as it warms.

M - Big and chewy, full body, sweet & warm finish w/ decent bitterness

O - Wow! Way too complex. Amazing sensory experience. Too deep for me to fully experience. Warming, brandy, bourbon, fruits, hops, chocolate, oak, sweet malts. Christmas present please!

 677 characters

Photo of richbrew
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of OldIronLungs
5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of darkmoon66
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of theminutemen
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of mrand01
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz shared with nicoco. Poured into Dogfish Head "tulip" glasses.

A: Pours with a thin line of tan head that quickly dissipates. Spotty lacing, and the beer appears quite sticky. Mahogany in color, the beer is pretty clear...when you have enough light to see through it. In normal lighting, this beer is dark. Very dark.

S: Butterscotch, toffee, coffee, cocoa, vanilla, honey...sweet smelling. The addition of Double Jack to the blend does not appear to effect the smell. Almost no booze on the nose.

T: More of the same notes from the smell...but the hops are there. After the onslaught of sweet butterscotch and toffee, you are presented with a mild kick from the hops. Hops take a more piney tone rather than citrus. This beer is certainly a little hot, but nothing that takes away from the whole package.

M: Heavy bodied, creamy, with mild carbonation.

O: Amazing, as usual, for the Firestone anniversary beers. I've seen some mention that this year's offering is not up to par compared to previous years. I've only had the pleasure of trying 14, and this blows it out of the water...fresh at least. Not having had an aged 14, it's tough to really compare. That said, if you see this, buy it.

 1,202 characters

Photo of cougarbait
5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of tbizzle0
5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of stylinprofiylin
4.59/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Backstory: Ralph's managed to mislabel 4 bottles at $4.99. They had to honor their price, so i took em all. Luck.

A: Dark almost maroon look. Off-White head. XV is nowhere near as cloudy as its predecessors.

S: This is where i feel this beer excels. Sweet aromatic malts fill far beyond the glass. The hops have a good footnote, almost cementing the aromas onto your palate.

T: Sweet malts feel properly infused with the bourbon barrels used to age this mixture. This is a trait that Firestone has always been able to deliver on. You really get that Parabola mouthfeel with that awesome Barley Wine warmth.

M: Has a bit of a bite, with a mixture of sticky, smooth, and slightly dry towards the end.

D: Definitely a drink to share.... Be Careful cause its a duzy. I want more.

 782 characters

Photo of corby112
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark chestnut brown color with a two finger, frothy beige head that slowly settles into a thick, lasting ring. Streaks and spots if lacing left behind.

Complex aroma with a very prominent barrel presence along with some dark malt and a surprisingly strong hop character. Sweet and boost smelling with lots of bourbon, toasted oak, marshmallow and vanilla. The barrel is countered by some roasted malt and a really nice hop presence that gives off hints of pine needle and citrus fruit.

Medium bodied and incredibly complex with a great balance of barrel, sweet, boozy spirits, roasted malt, dark fruit and hops. The barrel character is very prominent with lots of dry oak, vanilla and toasted coconut. There's plenty of delicious bourbon but it's perfectly integrated into the flavor without overpowering the other notes or giving off any heat. As the beer warms and I slowly sip, I can pick up elements of each component of the blend. Some leathery malt and lavender from the barleywines, dark roast and sweet malts from the stouts and brown ale and complex hops from the Double Jack and high IBU beers. Sweet notes of caramel, toffee, hazelnut and dark fruit countered by the complex hop profile. Some dry, earthy pine bitterness along with some citrus and tropical fruit notes. Very faint heat in the finish but overall the ABV is excellently masked. I can't believe that this beer is almost 13%!

Overall, this beer is incredible. Complex, flavorful, well balanced and dangerously drinkable. One of the best FW Anniversary blends yet.

 1,551 characters

Photo of Solether
5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -12%

Photo of Dlish
5/5  rDev +17.4%

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

On-tap 12/4/2011 at Pour Farm in New Bedford, MA served in a half-pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick on the glass.

S: The aroma contains bourbon, dark fruit, caramelized malts, vanilla and some hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of bourbon, vanilla, dark fruit and caramel. Then a hearty roasted malt character comes in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and provides a good balance. There’s a hint of an alcohol booziness but it’s faint considering the 12.5% ABV. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a nice high-octane beer to drink for as long as you can handle it.

 876 characters

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Pours a deep deep brown. Almost black. Had a nice tan head to start. Dissipated to a ring. Not a lot of lacing.

Aroma is very barley wine ish. Very malty and caramel like. Pretty boozy in the aroma. Bit of dark fruits. Not a crazy aroma.

Taste is awesome. Very barly wine ish. Lots of malt. Bit of sweetness. Kinda caramel and dark fruits. Little bit of boozyness with a bit of hop bite in the finish.

Mouthfeel isn't too thick. Nice and smooth. Good carb.

Overall I think this beer is too green and hot. Would like to see some age on it. Have 2 more to put in the cellar

 598 characters

Photo of pumaguy021
5/5  rDev +17.4%

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