Firestone 16 - Anniversary Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
95
world-class
1,123 Ratings
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Firestone 16 - Anniversary AleFirestone 16 - Anniversary Ale
BEER INFO

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

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.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,123
Reviews:
168
Avg:
4.29
pDev:
9.56%
 
 
Wants:
144
Gots:
484
For Trade:
42
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Ratings: 1,123 |  Reviews: 168
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of kylehay2004
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to MaxStout for sharing this one at jmgrub's birthday tasting.

Pours a clear dark orange with a foamy biege head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, toffee, and alcohol. Taste is much the same with a sugary flavor and an alcohol kick on the finish. There is a mild amount of woody bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and dry mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty but probably my least favorite of the Anniversary beers thus far.

 624 characters

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this is just sensational stuff. came in a box for 19 bucks with a two sided r page of notes about the blending process. wow, this defines craft to me, maybe a little over the top by some standards, but you have to be impressed by this level of attention to detail. the beer pours dark and a tad silty into a wine glass. its glowing red and brown and caramel and black all at once, with a quarter inch of tan bubbles that dont go anywhere and are easily reinvigorated with a gentle swirl of the glass. the nose is real intense, tons of booze and wood, dead giveaway for a blended beer. lots of stout it seems like here, big roasty malt profile behind all that bourbon, some definite rye too from the wookie jack. flavor is more hoppy than expected, and the small portion of tequilla barrel aged brew comes right up to the top of the flavor spectrum here. it almost starts and ends like a shot of nice tequilla. so much complexity here, oak, chocolate, heavy handed american hop varieties. just a wonderful glass of beer, with alcohol strength just radiating throughout. the feel is taken over by the booze. if you hold it it your mouth for a few seconds, its akin to licking a 9volt battery, caustic and electric. not to say thats a bad thing, because it works here, almost necessary to cut through the layers of flavor and bring a man back to earth. full body obviously, but not undrinkable in feel, just in strength for me at least. great bottle to share with other beer enthusiasts. its stuff like this that cements firestone walker near the top of the brewing hierarchy in my mind. not a hair out of place. this is a series i wait for every year, and it just keeps getting better. do not miss it.

 1,699 characters

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of kojevergas
3.31/5  rDev -22.8%

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-

 2,782 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
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

 569 characters

Photo of oline73
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%

Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of emerge077
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a mini nonic pint, compact thin cap of tan foam, arcs of lacing in the glass. Lasting skim across the surface, breaks after a few sips.

Toffee and plantains in caramel sauce. Slight hint of booze.

Chocolate and caramel, toffee, vanilla sweetness up front. Dry barrel tannins in the aftertaste. Full bodied though easily drinkable. Very smooth and a little viscous. Overall it's well blended and easily drinkable now... not going to improve with cellaring, so drink em if ya got em.

 495 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

 507 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of zeff80
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Christmas dinner 2012

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a one-finger, off-white head of foam. It left thin sheets of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of vanilla and oak. Some dark chocolate notes, too.

T - It tasted of roasted malts, vanilla, oak, bourbon, toffee and a touch of bitter hops. Fairly boozy, too.

M - It was smooth and clean finish. A medium to full bodied brew.

O - This is fantastic. Firestone Walker's anniversary beers have all been great.

 476 characters

Photo of LXIXME
4.34/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

 467 characters

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of mothman
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thinner body than the others. Coconut, chocolate, caramel. Lots of bourbon an oak. Some vanilla and spice. Brown sugar. Molasses.

129 characters

Photo of DrBier
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

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Firestone 16 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.29 out of 5 based on 1,123 ratings.
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