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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
Reviews:
167
Ratings:
1,115
Avg:
4.3
pDev:
24.42%
 
 
Wants:
146
Gots:
485
For Trade:
38
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Reviews: 167 | Ratings: 1,115
Photo of corby112
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.47/5  rDev +4%
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.

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Photo of beertunes
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.11/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.92/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

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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 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured into snifter glass.

Appearance: black body beer with 1 full finger of creamy tan colored head that drops down to a thin cap and eventually a ring.

Smell: Very sweet nose. Oak, bourbon, and vanilla; lots of huge barrel notes.

Taste: Barrel forward beer. Vanilla, bourbon, a rootbeer / cola like flavor. Chocolate with spicy and warming booze. Lot of complexity and intense sweet flavors coming from this beer.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer thats close to a full bodied beer. Low end of moderate carbonation. Fairly smooth barrel aged beer with a little booze kick that works well in this beer.

Overall: This is another enjoyable anniversary blend by FSW. It is reminiscent of FSW 13. This blend drank fresh is actually one of the better anniversary blends that I have drank right out of the gates.

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Photo of rfgetz
4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.2/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle from Whole Foods. Split with my dad on Christmas Eve.

Pouring a very dark brown with a thin brown head with decent retention but poor lacing, this is about on par for the course. The nose is solid. Very boozy with some caramel, cocoa, light Vietnamese coffee. Lots of oak, rather tannic with the double DBA component quite noticeable - pale English malt, mildly caramelized. Some vanilla, brandy and mild tequila notes are apparent. 


The palate is poorly integrated. In the past, the thinness of these anniversary beers hasn't bothered me, but this time, it does. Caramel, toffee, sweetened mild chocolate, mild coffee, some brandy, plenty of bourbon, some vanilla- all components that i typically enjoy -just don't mesh here. Astringent booze and oak, especially on a sweet finish, make this harsh. The brandy fruitiness is one component that does work reasonably well here, but again, at this price point, i expected more. Medium-light in body, moderately boozy and astringent, this beer is mildly carbonated and does improve with time to breathe. The finish is long, tannic and boozy with some sweetness. Decent, I think this will improve in the short term, but I don't intend to buy any more, especially at the $1/oz price point.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.21/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Reno Dave for bringing this beer (and so many others!) to the March Madness bottle share.

Poured out a black color that didn't have the thickness/viscosity normally associated with such a beer (stout). Instead, I'm already thinking this was more of a barleywine blend with some Parabola thrown in giving the beer its color. Very thin tan head in the 1/8" range.

Deep caramel inhalation occurs, comes off a bit like Melange3 in the nose. Booze hidden to the nose. Picking up bourbon and chocolate. Oak, vanilla.

Taste wise gets plenty complex, caramel, chocolate, warming alcohol sensation, more vanilla, coconut, oak, bourbon. A little bit sweet, far from overly sweet, pretty much the right amount for this guy. Liquid cracker jacks. Body isn't too heavy, seems to be a bit of the lighter body barleywine (blonde) thing going for it. Just a touch of smoke and citric hops to it as well.

Unfortunately, this beer costs over $20 a bottle, so it gets weighed down in terms of value. Is it damn good? Yes. Damn expensive? Somewhat. Spoil yourself once in awhile, but I won't exactly be chasing this one down all over town. Would recommend to those who can afford.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to newbrewbb for not only sharing this, but buying me one for my cellar to boot! Served in a tulip. Pours the color of cola with ruby highlights around the base when backlit. Head is a quarter inch, loose and cream-colored and quickly disperses into a thin band around the shoulders. Great nose - malty, buttery, coconut, vanilla notes and a boozy quality. Taste consistent with nose with the addition of a pleasant cocoa presence. Mouthfeel is a bit thin for this beer in my opinion. Medium-light in body (but closer to the lighter end of the spectrum) with a carbonation that is a little too assertive and a hint of alcohol heat at the finish. Overall, a very good blend. The nose and the flavors are great; however, the mouthfeel, specifically the carbonation level, detracts slightly from the overall experience. I definitely plan on cellaring a bottle for at least a year to see how it develops with some time.

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Photo of cbutova
4.57/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aged about one year, had this fresh when it came out and it seemed like it would age very nicely for about 1-2 years. Last bottle, hoping for the best.

A- Poured into two pint glasses with atremains. The beer is black like an RIS but not quite oily thick looking, probably from the blending. Head builds up to about a finger high with a frothy, bubbly texture and a light tan hue. Retention is decent and a nice ring leaves some good spots of lace.

S- Smoothed out Bourbon and oak off the top with a quality feel, not just whiskey all the way. Vanilla oak is very inviting. Beyond that is something between a Barleywine and a big Stout. Malty notes of caramel, raisin, roast cereal grains and molasses.

T- Follows the nose with the relaxed, high quality Bourbon whiskey feel but more and more layers of complex flavor open up with each sip. When I think of Barleywine I get deep caramel and nice aged raisin Old Ale flavors. When I think of RIS, I get deep roasted cereal grains, burnt coffee grounds and chocolate powder bitterness. I can even taste a tiny bit of the Wookey Jack in here, my favorite Black IPA. Fresh oak wood notes and flavorful Bourbon atop of all of this. Tiny hint of rye spice, tequila and rum raisin.

MF- Thick bodied with a nice silky, creamy overall texture. Somewhat foamy with a medium level of carbonation. Finishes with just a bit of warmth and superb whiskey lingering on the palate.

Damn, I remember liking this beer when it was fresh but this just seems like a masterpiece right now. The layers and level of flavors in this beer is unlike most other brews and follows suit with the excellent standard FW has set with its anniversary ales. Bourbon atop it all with just about every beer flavor I can think of beneath that.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Geneva Ale House - Geneva, IL

Pours dark brown-near black, with a tall, beige, foamy head that holds good retention leaving sticky lacing as it fades. Aromas are boozy, roasted malt, sweet grain, citric hops. Tastes are ripe banana up front, chocolate, booze, peppers the tongue, rye, roasted barley, whiskey, oak, anise, coffee, citric hop undertones with pine. Crazy complexity! Mouth-feel is super creamy & smooth, full body, finishes exceptionally clean, but it hot with alcohol as it burns the throat on the way down. Nice treat to say the least. I never thought I'd get the chance to try this one.

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Photo of maximum12
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to DocJitsu & SalukiAlum for answering my sad & pathetic call for the most current Firestone Anniversary beer. If there was one brewery I could bring to the shelves & bars of Minnesota...22 oz. bottle split with my wife. I'll sneak a whole bomber for myself when she's not looking, later.

Pour is darker than I recall the last beauties, red to the tune of matte night. I pick my nose, then put it in the beer, & it's fairly quiet. Very sweet, vanilla, barrel. Oh goody.

Firestone Walker XVI is a fucking work of art straight out of the gate. Holy crap ass-monkey, I'm not even sure where to begin. A listing of tastes isn't going to begin to describe the orgy going on around my gums. Sweet caramel & toffee, big boozy bite in the ass, plunk of vanilla, enough bourbon to make me loopy, & a slight under-berry of tequila...which I wouldn't have been able to I.D. without the label, but knowing it's there, it lends great cleavage to the taste. Rich to the point of Bailey's Cheesecake. I could drink this coming out of a garden hose.

Brilliant. This is a beer for the ages & possibly the best Anniversary beer fresh. Rich, decadent, just pure happiness. Close to perfect.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-Black/deep brown, one finger off white head with some lacing.

S-Bourbon, oak, malt, chocolate, coffee and molasses.

T-Mild bourbon, some oak, caramel, molasses, slight bitterness. Some chocolate and coffee.

M-Medium bodied and nicely carbonated.

O-A step up from last year, price still makes it hard to justify purchasing two. However a must try at least once.

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Photo of Rutager
4.09/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thank you to DaftcaskBC for bringing this one along to our tasting last weekend. Can't go wrong with a FW anniversary beer!

Appearance. Pours a deep mahogany with a think khaki head.

Smell. Bourbon and burnt sugar, fresh barrel wood, light grassy hops and chocolate. Very complex as expected from what goes into these beers.

Taste. Burnt sugar, chocolate, dark fruits, booze and wood. There's more in there but those are what jumped out at me.

Mouthfeel. On the low side of full bodied with medium low carbonation.

Overall. Complex beyond my ability to explain. Very nice. Thanks again Ian!!

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Photo of Suds
4.76/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer is an experience, one to be slowly enjoyed...sipped, savor end, and contemplated. It is dark, ruddy brown, and just slightly carbonated. A thin, slim head sits on top...quickly fading. The taste is where this beer grabs you, and truly doesn't let go. Adjectives come to mind - enveloping, layered, complex, expansive, wow. It is sweet, malty, boozy, and very oaky. Earthy, yet refined. Dark fruit, cocoa, fig, and smoke. It is hard to describe because the date changes and reveals ever more complexity with every sip. Warming and, at times, numbing. Full in body, even luxurious. The taste hangs on the tongue long after the drink. Exceptional.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.28/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle split and poured into FW proprietor's reserve glasses. Dark black with minimal head. Smells similar to past anniversary beers, barrel, vanilla, coconut but also a hint of strong booze. Flavor was good at first but also extremely boozy, I blame the tequila barrel aged beer even though it was a small component in the blend. My friend said "its hot as fire" which was a good description of how the alcohol overpowered this one. Sadly, this was my least favorite anniversary beer from Firestone, it wasn't bad it just wasn't as rich as previous offerings.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a flute at City Beer Store.

4A: Pitch-dark with a ruby hue. Light off white head.

4S: Huge. Fruity malts. Trace hops. Dry bitterness; chocolate. Intense alcoholic esters. Raisins.

4.5T: A barrel-aged malt bomb. Bourbon, figs, black tea, molasses, caramelized brown sugar, herbal-spicy hops(?). There is some roasted bitterness, but it seems to be dry by virtue of its ABV as much as anything else. A touch of rum-infused chocolate right at the end.

4M: Thick and sticky, then dry. Nice.

4O: A decadent, Brobdingnagian beer. A sipper that is almost too rich to finish, but very rewarding. Still, not particularly interesting. Solid, tasty, and recommended.

17 January 2015 EDIT:
Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a Firestone Walker tasting glass.

4.25A: Heavy lacing; opaque.

4S: Strong and boozy, but not very complex. Stouty.

4.25T: Rich and sharp and strong and bitter. Chocolate, definitely, with boozy hints. Rye?

3.5M: A touch thin.

4O: Good, but not as excellent as expected. Might not have again.

Notes:
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

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

22oz bomber, oversized snifter

Nice garnet-mahogany body, light creamy head with minimal retention. An interesting blend, and quite different than previous anniversary releases. Obviously, FW nails the barrel aging component. They are second to none in that category. Waves of brandy, bourbon, and wood but not as overpowering as in the past. I really get the barleywine and double DBA coming through strong - lots of tropical hops buried beneath layers of chocolate, malt, and rich decadence.

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Photo of xnicknj
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into Tired Hands stemware

Hazy mahogany brown with dark hues. Crop of bubbled tanned head rests on top, fading into cloudy film and a few patches of lacing on the glass.

Tons of stuff happening here - toffee, burnt sugar, raisins, oak, chocolate, vanilla, oak, tequila, brandy, alcohol heat...enough already? Breathing in is a treat, as something new keeps popping up as the beer slowly warms.

Sweet and warm up front, driven by cocoa, vanilla, brandy and burnt sugar. Toffee, bread crust, big burly dark roasted malts. Plethora of liquor barrels including bourbon, brandy and tequila. Brown sugar, raisin and candied dark fruit. Soft hoppiness on the back end with strong alcohol warmth.

Fuller medium body, slightly higher carbonation, sticky and lingering on the tongue. A little crazy, definitely complex, and probably a little young yet. I enjoyed this but I'm looking forward to opening more bottles in a year or so.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.11/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into 25oz snifter.

A: Pours a very dark brown woody color with a finger of creamy dark tan head that faded into a faint soft collar that left a touch of soapy lace.
S: Rich and potent notes of bourbon, leather, sweet molasses, raisin, and caramel. Mild spice and faint bakers chocolate as well.
T: Follows the nose with boozy flavors (not heat) of bourbon barrel spice, caramel and sweet molasses, vanilla, slight anise, and dried wood. Finish is woody, hints of vanilla, and the aftertaste is full of bourbon, sugar and chocolate. Not much tobacco. Not much hops but the aftertaste is still pretty bitter. Kick of licorice and earthy herbal bitterness.
M: Full thick body, chewy and viscous mouthfeel, low carb, tingly mouth, decent alcohol booziness but not necessarily warm. More bitter than I remember the last couple years being.
O: Not as good as I remember the last couple years being either. This one has a great flavor but a rougher mouthfeel. Still very drinkable, but maybe needs another year in the bottle.

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Photo of Dope
4.24/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled March 10/05/12.

A: Very dark brown pour with a large, fluffy medium brown head. Head fades at a moderate pace. Decent fluffy splotchy lacing. Good retention.

S: Lots of barrel notes. Tequila? Hmph. Some toasted coconut from the bourbon barrels as well. Lots of caramel and fig with some roasted malt just barely poking through. Maybe hints of brown sugar?

T: Definitely some tequila barrel in there. Surprisingly strong, I figured it would be mild given that it's a small part of the blend. I guess tequila isn't exactly subtle in general, however. Again with the toasted coconut and caramel. Lots of it. Sweet brown sugar, fig and maybe even marshmallow in there too. Mild chocolate and a little char. Finish is oaky with hints of tequila and toasted coconut. Lingering spirits in the aftertaste.

M: Not nearly as heavy as you'd expect 13% to be. Barrel flavors seem to cut down on the thickness. Nice.

O: Another unique anniversary beer from FW. Tequila is definitely an interesting note, not too overpowering but there's plenty of it there. Despite this being over 50% stout it doesn't have huge stout notes. It's more like a big sweet barrel-aged english barleywine with a little roasted malt characteristic in it. Not my favorite anniversary blend but still quite good.

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Firestone 16 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.3 out of 5 based on 1,115 ratings.
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