Firestone 16 - Anniversary Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Firestone 16 - Anniversary AleFirestone 16 - Anniversary Ale

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

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
23% Velvet Merkin
22.5% Stickee Monkee
20.3% Double Double Barrel Ale
10.8% Parabola
8.1% PNC
5.4% Helldorado
5.4% Bravo
4.5% Wookey Jack

Added by AgentMunky on 11-15-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 167 | Ratings: 1,111
Photo of LXIXME
4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I'm pretty happy I got a hold of 16, 17, and a few other tougher bottles of Firestone stuff. Although it's not the prefect beers they are still way damn decent and I do not know the storage history of this beers. Under perfect storage conditions I'm stupefied to imagine the taste. This makes me want to get on the list of insiders that get bottle and store them as they should be and then I'll relate the true aged tastes of these beers. LOL, where do i sign up.

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Photo of Rimbimhoot
4.24/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2012 Vintage

A: Dark brown with a tan head
S: Bourbon, brown sugar, alcohol, caramel, molasses, dark chocolate, tobacco
T: Sweet caramel, bourbon, molasses, dark chocolate, light coffee, tobacco, light bitterness, coconut
M: Medium heavy but easy drinking
O: I prefer almost all beers fresh but this has held up very well. Definitely a large barleywine presence in this vintage

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Photo of Zythophile
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle Date: sometime in 2012
Palate Contaminants: other beer

Three years in, and it's time to crack this one open. Honestly, I'm a little sad that I won't have the bottle anymore, but...

Appearance is a very dark brown, barely letting any light through. It's really only at the edge of the glass where I can detect any light.

Smell is molasses and burnt sugar. A ever-so-little bit of herbs and spices.

First taste isn't particularly impressive, but after waiting a few seconds, very nice. There's cane sugar and some very pleasant woodiness. If smoky rum were a thing and it had a beer cousin, this would be it. There's a slight bit of bitterness that meets the sweetness in the aftertaste. A bourbon flavor increasingly appears as it warms up.

Feel is mildly carbonated, and the mouthfeel is nice and thick. It leaves a coating. And I can hardly detect any straight-up alcohol taste. (I can feel it, though.)

I don't know if this one is still ascending, but I wonder if I should've cracked it last year. I'll never know. And do let it warm up a little.

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Photo of PicoPapa
4.31/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle. Pours a brackish dark brown color with a half inch of frothy light brown head. Moderate amount of lacing. The aroma is Bourbon, vanilla and oak upfront followed by caramel and toffee. The taste is surprisingly smooth right off the bat. Boozey but not overly so with vanilla, oak, brown sugar, toffee, caramel, and a hint of chocolate. Raisins, dark cherries and figs more towards the finish with more Bourbon and wood. Woody, oaky finish with a nice alcohol warmth. Velvety mouthfeel. The anniversary beers never seem to disappoint and this one is no exception. Overall, time has mellowed this one into a very drinkable delicious blend.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

You get the pour and its the most stout like viscosity wise since 14. Parabola all up in this. Super thin beige head on it. Tiny. Oily.

Lots of boozy caramel in the aroma. Oak, vanilla, chocolate. Taste dips into the complex realm, no surprise given the amount of different (already complex) beers thrown into these. Some coconut and bourbon comes in. This is pretty similar to Bruery's anniversary beers and their Melange series which uses those beers frequently. Good mouthfeel, never too hot or heavy. Sweet at times. Brown burnt sugar.

All things considered in this day and age, the availability, price and consistency of these beers aren't too bad.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle: Poured a dark cloudy brown color ale with a medium size foamy head with OK retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of bourbon, vanilla, caramelized malt and toffee is pretty singular and quite enticing. Taste is a super complex mix of an English barleywine with caramelized and toffee malt with light chocolate notes with some strong whiskey with woody and vanilla notes also noticeable. Body is full with medium carbonation and some warming alcohol notes. Quite an enjoyable treat to finish the night.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a goblet. Pours a deep brown with some mahogany outskirts in the light. Bit hazy on first view. Thin cap of foam settles a bit but keeps a thin cap and ring. A swirl yields a nice aroma of the barrel and a hint of chocolate notes. Touch of brown sugar but not the depth I've come to expect though still fairly solid.

Taste is smooth and easy yet seems to lack a bit of the direction of years past. Bit muddled in a sense. Bit of chocolate/red cherry on the finish but brief it is. Feel is moderate and blah overall, and particularly given the lineage of this beer. Alas, good yet not my favorite Anniversary Beer by a longshot..

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Photo of Bfarr
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deep clear brown with red highlights and thin tan head with no retention. Bold vanilla and bourbon oak and chocolate hints. Caramel, vanilla and oak flavors with milk and dark chocolate sweetness. Floral, citrus, and honey in the lightly dry finish. Full mouthfeel with a low carbonation.

Much more dominant in the stout and barrel aged flavors than the delicate, vinous flavors of XV. Still a rich beautiful beer well worth the investment. As usual, their anniversary beer is a feast for the senses.

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Photo of ThrewRedButter
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

L - Brown out of the bottle ,but pitch black in the glass. Half a finger of khaki head.

S - Plums, raisins, brown sugar, bourbon, oak, tequila

T - More quad than stout. Figs, raisins, some cherry. Subtle milk chocolate and roasted malt. A sticky molasses taste and hint of vanilla.

F - Thick and viscous. No alcohol at all. Not even a warming sensation.

O - While this is complex as all hell, I can't help but feel everything is slightly subdued. It was probably mind-blowing when fresh, but with age, this is still great and worth your time.

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Photo of SayBoom
4.77/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pitch black in the glass, tan head which soon falls. I felt tons of luscious bourbon, port, dark fruits, caramel and a background of anis. The bouquet is a bit boozy. Taste is a complex mix of a caramelized and roasted malt, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon barrel tones, some rue notes. On the palate: rich, full, smooth and viscous. Drink-ability for the high ABV. The verdict: I'm glad I have 17 – Anniversary)

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Photo of brentk56
4.24/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a medium brown color with a nice head; splotches of lace hang around

Smell: Roasty, with chocolate, dark fruit and coffee notes

Taste: Roasted tones and a hint of molasses up front, with dark fruit and chocolate developing; the barrel tones add complexity with just a hint of Tequila on the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low to moderate carbonation

Overall: It has been a while since I have had one of the Firestone anniversary series and I had forgotten how good they are; after a few years in the bottle this is still an excellent beer

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Photo of tprinzing
4.96/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Consumed 2-15-2015. This is the best beer I've had to date. Extremely complex flavors and smell. I just wish I had more of these. I guess I'm just going to have to wait for my Anniversary 18's to age to get the experience again.

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Photo of SFC21
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Taste is roasty bitterness and bakers chocolate. Huge okay finish with a very boozy aftertaste. Very good but the aftertaste took away from it for me.

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Photo of fox227
4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Consumed on 12/31/14. Full disclosure: This is my first and only Firestone Anniversary Ale, and it's been aging, so I don't have any reference points other than the beer in the glass.

Appearance: dark, small tan head, which soon falls to reveal the underlying abyss...

Smell: I notice whiskey, anise, milk chocolate, and caramel.

Taste: The slight anise aroma does not manifest on the palate, and the initially strong smell of whiskey proves to be rather muted, giving way to a prominence of caramel, toffee, and slight butterscotch, which could be considered a defect from improper storage, but is not deficient here. I also taste pumpernickel, and slight dark raisins.

Mouthfeel: surprisingly thin for a beer of such an intense profile. I also have to note that the ABV is not noticeable, at-all. I would have, however, preferred a thicker mouthfeel.

In conclusion: a fine beer, perhaps mellowed to be overly easy drinking, over a couple of years, but certainly a feast for the senses.

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4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Why drink a wonderfully aged two year gem like this one on a Tuesday night in December? Why not?

Pours to a blackish brown body that only lets a bit of light through on the edges when held to the brightest of flames. Head is a deep tan that stands at nearly three fingers. Retention is a bit short and leaves only a little bit of lace behind.

Nose is spectacular with tons of luscious bourbon, port, dark candied fruits and a background of molasses. There is still considerable alcohol heat to the nose even after two years of aging. The nose is truely enticing.

Enters the mouth like bourbon silk. Rich overripe dark fruits are carried by well represented oak smoothness. Alcohol still plays in the flavor profile considerably. There is a building dryness to the back side of the palate that resembles burnt molasses. This brew has a very lengthy and complex body that is best drank at room temperature.

Mouthfeel is a balance between rich sweetness and even dryness. Overall another wonderful anniversary from Firestone Walker.

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Photo of beerdrifter
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up from a great trade with Evan! Clear dark mahogany pour with a two finger beige head with great retention and lacing. The nose is toasty and very oak forward with hints of caramel, toffee, molasses, vanilla, subtle chocolate, tobacco and booze. The taste mirrors the nose with tons of oak and caramel along with hints of vanilla, toffee, brown sugar, tobacco, subtle dark fruit, chocolate, maple, coconut, and booze. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, slightly syrupy, perfectly carbonated with great balance and a subtle boozey warming finish. Overall, this is a bold, complex, and flavorful beer with huge drinkability for the ABV. Another awesome beer from one of my favorite breweries! Highly recommended!

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Photo of BrettonJay
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Drank on tap out of a tulip at Woodstock’s Pizza 10/17/14. The next guy’s tulip tapped the keg. The only thing I can compare it to was a Firestone Walker XVII which I opened right away and thought was too sour and strong. XVI was mellow and delicious.

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Photo of TequilaVoodoo
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

I have hold to this beer for almost two years, this was my very first expensive beer, I think I paid about $20 for one bottle but coming from traditional beer it was pretty expensive.
Nice thick head and deep charred caramel flavor with really nice whiskey hints, body wise it has a nice full bodied texture. Definitely an anniversary beer. Well done fi

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Photo of kojevergas
3.31/5  rDev -23%

Brown glass bottle with black papered over pry-off pressure cap and paper pull-tab purchased in SoCal years ago and served into an Odell stem-tulip in me friend's gaff in high altitude Fort Collins, CO. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I'm skeptical of this brewery's beers but the current 96 rating is interesting.

Served cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: One finger wide. Khaki colour. Nice even smooth consistency. Nicely creamy. Retention is above average - about 2.5 minutes. No lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

BODY: Opaque dark black. Nontransparent; no yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Appears adequately carbonated. Far from unique or special looking for the style.

AROMA: Vanilla, bourbon, and marshmallow. Neutral barrel sugars. My broken nose can't pick up anything else; all apologies.

A pleasant aroma of mild strength.

TASTE: Has a lovely bourbon tone throughout, with some nice vanilla and oak notes. Barrel sugars bleed in. Kisses of dark fruit; they blend in so well I can't isolate them. Caramel. Sticky dark fruits. Maybe a hint of raisin. Toffee. Dark malts. Marshmallow. Treacle.

On the sweeter side, but not boozy.

The oak is lovely, as is the complementary bourbon. It's surprisingly well balanced for a Firestone Walker blend, and boasts impressive complexity as well as some limited subtlety. I like it, and it has some loose cohesion, but it isn't gestalt. Well-executed and enjoyable.

Nice depth and amplitude of flavour. Above average intensity and duration of flavour.

TEXTURE: Fairly chewy. Full-bodied. Aptly thick. Smooth and wet. Has plenty of heft and weight on the palate, but while it's a sipper, it never feels overbearing or unnecessarily heavy.

Not oily, gushed, astringent, scratchy, rough, or harsh. The alcohol is present but doesn't distract. Decently carbonated.

OVERALL: She's a sipper, but she's enjoyable. A nice blend from Firestone Walker. I'm surprisingly happy I picked this up; it isn't as disappointing as most of this brewery's highly celebrated brews. I wouldn't necessarily get it again, but I do like it. Worth trying. I think this made the top 250 list upon release; that's unwarranted, but it is indeed tasty.

As good as it is, though, is all that blending and effort really necessary? Other (i.e. superior) breweries make far better strong ales with far less tinkering. Maybe Firestone Walker should hire staff capable of blending their own good beers without requiring the input of others (and the marketing opportunities associated therewith). Ultimately, it's a bit too sweet, which holds it back.

Low B-

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Photo of foobula
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

Apperance is dark brown, nearly opaque. Small tan head dissipated quickly. Aroma when cold is limited, mostly sour & a little bourbony sweetness. Taste-wise, after letting it rest on the palate, it's bourbony up-front. Some booze. some tangy flavors. Sweet honey. Some citrus flavors, coconut, some sourness. On the back of the tongue there's a bourbony finish, and that finish pleasantly stays with you for an hour or longer. This beer definitely shines with temperature, as would be expected (and as indicated in the accompanying literature.) Mouthfeel is on the thin side of medium. Carbonation present but somewhat lacking. When it first came out, I had this side-by-side with XV and was unimpressed by the lack of in-your-face bourbon. But separately, it stands on its own as a big tasty beer, despite being less of a syrupy bourbon-bomb than its predecessor.

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Photo of aleigator
4.01/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thank you very much for this, Jason! Dark brown, almost black color, with a small beige lacing.

Aromas of honeyed malts, coated up by gentle bourbon aromas, both warming and fervent.

Earthy, warm malts form the first impression, which turns sweeter, as coconut flavor along with a huge enjoyable bourbon and rum note become visible on the palate. Alcoholic notes get detectable, as they wash over honeyed malts. Still, the overall balance of this beer remains, due to a complex chocolate defined body, wrapped up in intriguing cocoa and mocha flavors, which get softened on the palate by a fantastic oakiness. Bourbon flavor adds a gentle, stinging complexity to the toffeeish malts of the beer. Subtle coffee bitterness, along with warm alcoholic notes shape the complex aftertaste, completed on the palate by wooden oak. Full bodied beer with a very smooth mouthfeel, fantastic balanced.

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Photo of Tele
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: 4.5 Very dark brown (almost black) with a half inch light tan head.

S: 4.75 There's a lot going on with this beer and you can smell different elements as the beer warms up. First, the various barleywines are present with vanilla, caramel, figs and dark fruit. Floral aromas, spice and tequila from the PNC also show up, but they're fairly mild. Coconut comes last when the beer is a room temperature.

T: 4.25 Quite sweet, but is very similar to the nose. More barleywine coming through than the stouts. It really develops as the beer warms. More fruity and coconut than on the nose and very little bitterness. Bourbon, figs, coconut, and chocolate when at room temperature.

M:4.5 It could be a little thicker, but it’s very nice for a barleywine. Silky smooth and no burn.

O: 4.5 An excellent beer and an interesting experience tasting all the beers that went into it. Based on the percentage of the component beers, the stouts could be a bit more forward to offset some of the barleywine presence, but it overall it was really great.

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Photo of beergoot
4.17/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown body with a thin yet foamy and lasting head; minor lacing on the glass. Light caramel and roasted nut aroma; ripened dates and figs. Rich caramel and tobacco flavors mixed with vanilla; brown sugar, and booze. Heavy body; semi-sweet and rich mouthfeel.

Taste wins out with this heavy, heady brew. Robust malt flavors rumble with a big alcohol heat factor, creating an intense and enjoyable tasting experience.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.86/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to RussianDragon for sharing.

The beer is mahogany with crimson / russet highlights and a half inch of khaki head. Nice looking beer. Aromas of booze, vanilla, molasses, bourbon, brown bread, etc. No doubt a complex beer. The flavor is a bit boozy and muddled. Not bad, per se, but certainly not on par with some of favorites of the series. The body is a tad thin, with alcohol heat becoming a bit distracting at times. Perhaps this beer didn't take as kindly to a little bit of aging as one would expect? Anyhow, this is good, but disappointing considering the greatness of other FW Anniversary ales.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.89/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Opened Apirl 13th, 2014

A - Beautiful ruby mahogany body. Nice khaki head with low retention and lace.

S - Great integration. Coffee, caramel, plum, warm booze and oak.

T - Nice flavor profile but surprisingly light. Caramel, cola, cocoa powder, booze, and marshmallow. Feels like it could use better integration.

M - Thinner than I wanted; medium-light body with relatively low staying power.

O - In a vacuum this is a fantastic beer, but relative to the history of anniversary ales from Firestone Walker it falls short of expectations. I'm concerned that the beer didn't age well.

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Firestone 16 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.3 out of 5 based on 1,111 ratings.
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