Firestone 16 - Anniversary Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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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:
145
Gots:
483
For Trade:
41
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,123 |  Reviews: 168
Photo of AApparel
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of WhiskeeTango
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of leschkie
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%

Photo of Jeremy6566
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of Nightrain87
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.43/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep brown caramel with a small khaki head. Settles quickly. Just a stray wisp on the surface.

Smell - Lots of barrel, but nondescript. A lot of different alcohols mixing here. Caramel and some darker malts.

Taste - Much more rich caramel than the nose and a more direct Bourbon barrel. Vanilla and bitter oak. Chalky and bitter finish. Mix of flavors that is impossible to discern.

Mouthfeel - Doesn't taste like 13%, but it had all sorts of other pitfalls. Rough bitter finished and a very odd flavor I can't pick out.

Overall - There's something there I can't pick out. Unpleasant in the back. Chalky is he best way to describe it.

 689 characters

Photo of FievelGoesWest
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of Romulux
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of Danimal25
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is, hands-down, one of the best beers ever created for the retail market. Perfect balance resulting from perfect blending. Nice bourbon and caramel flavors running through it...but nothing overbearing. Layers and layers of flavor...pairs wonderfully with a cigar as well.

 276 characters

Photo of DanMolony
5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of tectactoe
4.11/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Jeff for sharing this one with us! Pours a dark-ass brown color, very nearly black with a tan head, small and unobtrusive but lasting for at least half of the pour. The smell is very commanding and powerful, hitting first with a big vanilla-bourbon combination. Oaky, sweet, and full of spicy alcohol. Right from the nose, you know that this beer means serious business. If I had to guess, it smells more powerful than 13% ABV, although 13% is still nothing to scoff at. Nice balance of sweetness and booziness overall.

Wow, the taste is as robust and strong as they come. Thick and syrupy bourbon and whiskey right out of the gate. This one definitely tastes a bit higher than 13% ABV, it's pretty hot, but still remains drinkable given it's sheer power. Sweet brown sugar, sugar coated figs and dates. Very, very boozy vanilla and lots of oak and wood flavors. Moderate amounts of cocoa and toasted caramel in the finish, although the bourbon is still the most prominent thing in this brew. Slightly on the thicker side for the body, mild carbonation.

Whoa, this one will put you on your ass if you don't look out! Very strong and very powerful, yet deceivingly sweet and drinkable at the same time. A nicely crafted brew that I'm glad I got the chance to try. I'd like to see this one with a few years on it and see if the alcohol mellows out a bit, just a touch too hot right now.

 1,396 characters

Photo of Benny3000
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of corby112
4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark chestnut brown color that appears pitch black and opaque in the glass with a two finger beige head that quickly settles into a thin, lasting ring. Decent retention considering the style and high ABV with sporadic spotty lacing left behind.

Complex, yet very inviting nose with a strong barrel presence that seems nicely integrated into the characteristics of the individual base beers of the blend. There's a nice toasted oak presence giving off hints of damp wood, vanilla, marshmallow and toasted coconut. This is accompanied by various spirits but bourbon seems to dominate. Sweet and spicy with some rye whiskey and brandy. Tequila barrels were used in the PNC portion of the blend but I can't really pick any of that up in the nose. Five of the eight beers in the blend were aged in bourbon barrels so that naturally dominates yet I can still pick out brandy and other spirit notes.

Although the barrel presence is strong it doesn't dominate the aroma allowing elements of the various stouts, barleywines and strong ales to stand out. There's a nice balance of sweet, earthy and roasted malt notes along with spicy rye and a complex hop profile. There's a decent leathery malt presence that's complimented by resinous, earthy hops that give off hints of grass and pine needle. I'm also picking up a faint citrus hop presence after the beer warms up a bit. Roasted coffee bean, burnt toast and oatmeal are countered by a silky dark chocolate presence as well as some caramel, toffee and fudge/chocolate cake.

Fuller bodied than expected with a surprising amount of carbonation. Viscous and chewy with a ton of intense barrel flavor which lingers over the various malt and hop flavors into a sweet, slightly hot finish. There is a strong bourbon barrel component but it isn't as dominant as it is in the nose. Lots of dry, toasted oak as well as some vanilla, coconut, subtle vinous fruit and a touch of ash. The bourbon presence is sweet and spicy without being overly boozy or abrasive. The brandy, spicy rye whiskey and other spirit flavors come through but I'm still not picking up much tequila. I would have never guessed that those barrels were used if I didn't read it in the description. Underneath the barrel flavors, there is a complex malt bill and a balanced hop profile that surprisingly stands out in the finish. I wasn't expecting as much barleywine character but it really stands out with leathery malt, bitter, earthy hops and vinous dark fruit flavor. These flavors are complimented by an assortment of sweet and roasted malt notes from the brown ale, black IPA and various stouts used in the blend. Sweet, silky chocolate/dessert like notes along with caramel, toffee and vinous fruit balanced by burnt malt, oatmeal, roasted espresso bean and toast. There is so much going on here and even though the Wookey Jack is only a very small portion of the blend(4.5%), the spicy rye, roasted malt and complex hop profile of that beer really stand out, especially in the finish with dry bitterness, earthy pine and subtle citrus.

Overall, this beer is pretty exceptional and drinks way too smoothly for something of it's complexity and strength. There are a lot of bold flavors bouncing off of one another but nothing seems to dominate. Something new is found in each sip and everything seems to go together perfectly. Finally, it's hard to fathom that this beer is 13%. Drinkability is a term that gets loosely thrown around but this beer is truly dangerous. I don't know how they did it but the blend they came up with expertly masks the high alcohol content. Sure, there is lots of alcohol flavor/sweetness but there's hardly and heat with just a bit of warmth in the finish. I usually enjoy the FW anniversary beers over the course of an hour but I had to slow myself down with this one. Another exemplary barrel aged/blended beer from the crew at Firestone Walker.

 3,905 characters

Photo of JorgeOjeda
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of pmoore311
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of jegross2
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of smakawhat
4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter glass.

A real nice dark walnut brown, with lots of red edges to it. Makes a creamy light tan one finger top from the pour with some real microscopic bubbles to it. Fairly impressive looking if basic.

Bouquet hits with a good amount of heat. Sense of raspberry, cherry, red fruits and dark raisins. Splintery wood sensations. Touch of vanilla hides in the back just barely.

Mouthfeel is the most noticeable on first sip. Extremely silky and roasty palate. Hits of chared roast with a creamy chocolate sense. Fruit angle of cherry seems to wash over real nicely too. Nice round oak body. Doesn't taste boozy either.

Overall it's just a real simple but good tasting aged brew, with hardly any hint that this comes in at a whopping 13 percent abv. Tastes like a roasty barleywine.

 824 characters

Photo of dbfp210
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of BillHilly
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of Haybeerman
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of Chico1985
4.04/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this a little over a month ago, reviewing from notes.

This pours pitch black with a tan head that sticks around mostly as a thick ring, leaving spots of lace. Pretty good for the ABV.

Definitely a strong scent, with lots of chocolate, dark fruit and bourbon barrel showing through. A bit on the boozy side.

Taste...is like the beer...a crazy blend of flavor. It is quite stout-like overall as expected but quite a bit more going on underneath the surface. Big chocolate, brown sugar, dark fruits, some roast, mix with a good kick of bourbon and oak. What really throws this one for a loop is the tequila barrel, which gets intense with warmth, but is somehow pretty well integrated.

All these barrels in a 13% beer makes this one a little boozy by nature, but it's not abrasive and adds to the complexity. Body is medium, leaning more towards thin than hefty, with medium carbonation as well.

These anniversary blends just keep getting crazier, the tequila barrel really added something unique here. I may buy another.

 1,028 characters

Photo of tbeq00
5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of WillCarrera
4.34/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a super-dark brown, nearly black, with a thin layer of khaki head, leaves spotty lacing.

S- Very sweet, rich, decadent aroma. Lots of dark fruit, vanilla and caramel sweetness as well as loads of dark chocolate and some roasted grain and mild oak.

T- Similar to the aroma, but with a more noticeable chocolate fudge and fruity sweetness. The chocolate, fruit, caramel and vanilla are all delicious and in nice proportion to each other. There are also roasted grain and char flavors and oak, booziness is noticeable but mild and sweet.

M- Full-bodied, moderate carbonation, has a smooth, creamy texture with a dry finish.

O- A delicious beer, I enjoyed this much, much more than last year's version. It's a bit pricey, but is quite tasty and worth picking up at least a bottle of.

 833 characters

Photo of Teleweizen2
4.58/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A - Pours a deep opaque chocolate brown which gets darker . Maybe a fingers worth of frothy tan foam which doesn't last long to no surprise. Spotty lacing is left on the glass with every sip.

S - a deeply complex and truly evolving aroma. While the beer is on the colder side, 40 degrees or so, notes of french roast coffee, Belgian dark chocolate, bourbon and hints of pine needles. as it warms notes of caramel-y bourbon and rum soaked raisins become stronger. But notes of Vanilla, oak, cocoa powder, toasted coconut are persistent through out.

T - sweet and lightly toasted malt profile up front. Hints of chocolate and burnt sugar around the edges. the center is round and juicy. Lots of dark fruits intertwining with chocolate flavors like dates and cherries. Very light earthy hop profile balances out nicely. The backend is sweet and boozy with strong notes of caramel, granulated sugar and vanilla. The woody vanilla and caramel flavors linger on.

M - Full bodied with a creamy texture and a frothy high carbonation.

O - Excellent beer. This is how barrel aged beers should always be done. with balance and precision in mind. What I like about this beer is that it is stout up front, barelywine in back and a perfect blend of both in the middle. All while being mellow and without unpleasant fussel alcohol or heat. Great stuff. Will report back on later findings.

 1,381 characters

Photo of CelticAleMan
4/5  rDev -6.8%

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