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:
1,124
Reviews:
168
Avg:
4.29
pDev:
9.56%
 
 
Wants:
144
Gots:
484
For Trade:
42
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,124 |  Reviews: 168
Photo of Zorro
4.54/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear deeply brown colored ale with a small brown colored head. Amazing it can form a head at this alcohol level.

Smells the moment you pop it open of fig, brown sugar and whiskey. Strong vanilla aroma.

Whiskey, coconut, licorice, chocolate, and cherry are all quite strong. This is an intensely aromatic ale and the best thing I have smelled all year.

Starts out sweet, a strong flavor of chocolate, vanilla and coconut in the mouth with a lingering vanilla and caramel candy after taste. Intensely flavorful, this seems to be much more finished than last years version. Little bit of oak and butter are present. Bourbon is present but pleasantly so, this isn't a beer that tries to hide its strength, it boldly lets you know it is strong. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall this is a damn tasty beer. No reason to age this one, it is ready now.

 855 characters

Photo of mrn1ceguy
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

Photo of yourefragile
2.25/5  rDev -47.6%

Photo of Halcyondays
4.29/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood I,

A: Pours a deep brown with a light tan head, some lace, good head retention.

S: Lots of barrel character, bourbon, sugar cane, sweet brown sugar. Reminiscent of the 11.

T: Delicious malt flavour. Vanilla, some roast, lots of barrel/whiskey notes. Very well done, the best fresh since the 12 in my opinion.

M: Full-bodied, but never feels heavy. No real alcohol burn which is impressive. Soft, guiding carbonation.

O: As I said, the best fresh since the 12, a good beer, though I was never really spellbound with this one as I was with the 11 and the 12. The bomber price is far too much, but I loved trying this on-tap at a much better price point. It'll be interesting to see where this goes, since the boozier ones seemed to age better, i.e 13.

 775 characters

Photo of jzeilinger
3.92/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours dark, dark burgundy that's borderline black with a thick, one fingered cream/toffee colored head, it eventually leaves a thick, frothy ring. Swirl the glass and it's semi-viscous and clings to the sides.

S - Oak, bourbon, cherries, dark fruit, chocolate, cream, and light coffee notes.

T - The first noticeable thing is the rather bold alcohol, boozy presence with lots of warming on the way down. Oak, bourbon, vanilla, leather, dark fruit, and dark chocolate bitterness finishes things out. Leaves a coating of dark chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon that lingers for awhile, the bourbon eventually dies out and leaves the chocolate and vanilla on the palate.

M - Medium body and one would expect a thicker beer judging buy the aroma, somewhat slick, and velvet smooth.

O - I always enjoy a good barrel aged beer but it's overly boozy right now which detracts from the complexity. Purchase multiple bottles, try one now, then cellar the rest, and revisit in 10-12 months to see if and how it mellows. I think this will definitely be better with some age on it and will revisit my review at that time.

 1,115 characters

Photo of fredmugs
4/5  rDev -6.8%

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

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%

Photo of Stevedore
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of epyon396
4.36/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Haybeerman
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of sweemzander
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks to Chris for sharing!

(A)- Pours a near pitch black color. Very minimal tan froth that dissipated quickly.

(S)- An interesting aroma. Lots of dry oak barrel with some underlying oatmeal, raisin, and some hint at citrus and cocoa. Complex but fresh overall.

(T)- Complex. A combination of a citrus with dark fruits of raisin with the oak and bourbon caramel sweetness.

(M)- A mellow but fitting carbonation level. A nice balance that kind of jumps all over the place on the palate for me. Very dynamic, though might need a little further aging to have everything integrate into a more cohesive whole.

(O)- I like the play on flavors and aromas. A bit "fresh" for me now, but look forward to seeing what a little more time does to this in the cellar.

 796 characters

Photo of waddellc2
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of jbaker67
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of rodbeermunch
4.14/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

 668 characters

Photo of beergorrilla
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Stinger80OH
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of PEIhop
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 stereosforgeeks
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a dark brown with a small tannish head which quickly fades leaving spotty lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: I get big notesa of caramel, toffee, a booze stings the nostrils. There is a light woodiness, vanilla and cocont with a subtle tequila note

T: Immediate heat. Hints of caramel, toffee and chocolate appear initially with some subtle dark fruits, vanilla, wood and coconut. There is a unique stinging quality to this beer, I do detect a very trace amount of tequila. The finish is warming, robust, silky and rather clean/dry

M: Full bodied, well carbonated. Loads of flavor that do not complete which was my biggest pet peeve against FW15.

O: Probbaly my favorite of the series only behind FW11 and FW13.

 729 characters

Photo of beertunes
3.85/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served in tulip. Poured an almost muddy dark brown, no translucence, but not really black either, with just under 1/2 inch of medium brown head that had low-to-medium retention and pretty good lacing.

The aroma was fantastic, lots of deep, rich malts, a hint of stone fruit, just a touch of yeast, and a barely noticeable alcohol scent. On the tongue though, the alcohol hit hard, fast, and sharp at the front. The blend of malts and fruit took possession of the middle, with alcohol and fruit sharing the finish.

The body was nicely smooth and even, and surprisingly dry for as sweet as it was. Drinkability was good, for such a big beer, but I probably wouldn't have 2 in a row. Overall, a great beer. A must try if you see it.

 731 characters

Photo of Immortale25
4.11/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a Dogfish signature snifter. Label says 2012.

A- Pours a mostly opaque black color with a 1/4 inch tan head that retains a bit before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a patch of bubbly surface foam. Slippery non-resilient lacing slides down the glass quickly leaving little specs behind.

S- Intensely boozy oak aroma with some sweet malt behind it. Whoo, borderline rubbing alcohol. Not very pleasant.

T- The taste is a different story. The alcohol is still there as well as the oak but there's more of a chocolaty sweetness to accompany it. Also some vanilla and caramel with the dark roasted malt smoothing every thing out and even lending some bitterness, but more like coffee bitterness rather than hops. There are some mild hop notes but they take a backseat to all the other flavors. Oak aftertaste.

M- Slightly creamy and slick with medium carbonation and a full body.

O- Super solid but the fumy aroma is a bit off-putting. Otherwise, I enjoyed how drinkable it is for such a strong beer.

 1,037 characters

Photo of rfgetz
4.36/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark mix of black, brown and red, decent cap of khaki froth, gone quickly but decent lacing. Lots goin on in the scent, leads with vanilla and coconut, quick turn to booze - smooth bourbon and some more astringent notes, damp wood and earth, mocha coffee and chocolate, dank piney and citrus hops, light toasted caramel. Needless to say, the taste has a lot going on. First impression wasn how approachable it was fresh, despite the large presence of burbon, tequila and more, smooth and flavorful without being overbearing. Definitely want to age one now. Medium to heavy on the palate, a touch more smoothness would be welcomed for such a heavy beer. Overall, one of the top anniversary blends and a welcome one along side the fantastic Parabola and Succaba.

 773 characters

Photo of mattmarka1
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Firestone 16 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.29 out of 5 based on 1,124 ratings.
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