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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 MDDMD
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-medium to dark brown color with a nice light tan head and some lacing

S-caramel, toffee, dark fruit, chocolate,vanilla, bourbon, light oak

T-toasted malt, caramel, toffee, raisins, chocolate, oak, bourbon

F-medium body with light to moderate carbonation, smooth, little booziness

O-great flavors, loved sipping this and even more enjoyable as it warmed

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Photo of Jeffo
2.87/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Always been a fan of this series, so cheers for ScottO for sending one of these over!

From a bomber into a snifter

APPEARANCE: A clear brown pour yields a two finger, medium looking, foamy, light tan head with good retention. Clear bistre brown in color with medium levels of carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a half wisp and ring. A ring remains until the end leaving a couple dots of lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Lots of oak, with some dark chocolate, coconut, caramel and toffee. Pretty nice, though there's a lot of wood on this one. Medium strength and nice enough.

TASTE: Lots of oak, caramel and coconut flavors up front, then a boozy and oak heavy finish with light vanilla, milk chocolate, toffee sweetness and alcohol. Some bitter dark chocolate, toffee sweetness and alcohol. Some bitter dark chocolate tries to balance. Okay, but not as nice as the nose. A little boozy overall with lots of oak and sweetness.

PALATE: Slightly thinner body with medium levels of carbonation. A bit creamy on the palate, goes down fine and finishes slightly sticky. Some heat lingers.

OVERALL: Definitely my least favorite of the series so far. Too much oak and alcohol in the flavor and the feel is a bit too thin and light. Not special, and the blend of beers just doesn't seem to do much of anything here. As if all the individual parts have just canceled each other out and left it without an identity. Disappointing for sure, as the other years have been really nice. Anyways, thanks again ScottO for sending this one over. Always happy to see new incarnations of this series.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.67/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1620th Review on BA
Bottle to FW snifter

2012 release
Purchased for $22.99 at Party house, Chino Hills

App- Out of the bottle this had a ton of browns and deep reds behind it. When held to the light it had a really good and deep center. Fairly dense all the way around with a little bit of a lighter edge. I was very suprised to see no cling or lace. Ring of 1/8" tan bubbles.

Smell- A lot going on. When I started reading the letter in the box, I can see why this was so complex. Overall after it warms from the 53F I opened it at, I pick up oak, char, malts, whispy booze with some oatmeal and a bit of the tequilla, balanced out by a subtle bitter and a dark chocolate aroma. Alot went into this blend, but just not doing it for me.

Taste- Well I was super excited for this bottle. Although it's not as good as 13-15. This was a bit grainy with a interesting booze mix. All of the barrel characters bring a little bit of something to the party. It's fairly woody, grainy and even some of the prickly tequilla comes out. Heavy malts with oak and earty char. A balance of the chocolate and oatmeal is there with Merkin being most of the final blend though.

Mouth- It was a fairly creamy body with tinges of the prickliness of the body with a bit of chocolate, oatmeal and oaky char. The carbonation was medium but just was better than the body.

Drink- I would say this is probably my least favorite of the anniversary blends. I will also say I didnt have (10-12) This one and the blend just didnt do it for me. I will probably try to find another bottle to sit on but not expecting miracles from it.

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Photo of pkalix
4.89/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

some chocolate milk head but that went away quickly. very very dark brown in the glass, no lacing, just unorganized foamy bubbles on the side of the glass. smell is very beautiful. bourbon is very nice layered on top of some lighter coffee, toffee roasted malts, vanilla. taste is the same and very well-balanced, very smooth. all I can say is 'wow'. a little bitter on the sides, but this is extremely smooth and velvety. I didn't research this much before I opened it so I was intrigued when I read what Phelps wrote in his review back in July. quite a mix of some decent brew. before I even continue with this, and I think I just want to relax and enjoy this one, I will recommend you scroll down to read what Phelps wrote as that was a really nice description....
mmm, lingering chocolate and not in a novelty way. this is really an almost perfect brew. this one is truly "good to the last drop".

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Photo of arizcards
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bomber from BevMo in late November for $22.99.

Beer poured a dark brown with a decent tan head upon the initial pour.

Nose is lovely, vanilla and bourbon with some dark fruits.

Taste is crazy good, vanilla and bourbon, dark fruits, some hints of chocolate blended artfully together to form a delightfully aged bourbon barleywine stout.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and very smooth.

Overall a superb beer that is masterfully crafted. For the abv it is only slightly warming and not cloying. Glad i could experience this gem. I hope i can snag a bottle of the 17th anniversary!

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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 elNopalero
4.54/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

(From my 6+ month old notes)

This is the last of the series I tried as part of a flight at an epic bottle share.

As the most recent of the flight available (at the time of tasting) I found this beer to be “young” and still developing, at least in relation to the complexity, blended smoothness, and layers of the previous iterations.

This pours a dark black with cocoa colored foaming. I get a lot on the aromas, with some tobacco, stone fruits (figs and raisins), a bit of dark cherry and bitter chocolate. There’s an underlying boozy note that complements all this but the balance seems to be in process.

Flavorwise there’s more of the same. Lots of big flavors, from dried stone fruits to dark chocolates, and a hint of wood and vanilla beans. Wet leather? Tobacco leaf? Candied Orange? Yes, yes, and yes. A terrific blend but again, I would love to revisit this with a little more age on it. Since it’s a FW anniversary beer I’m not just looking for “good,” but transcendent.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is burgundy with a thin lingering white head. Leaves behind splotchy lacing. Nose is sweet with maple, vanilla, and a moderate amount of oak. Taste is well balance with maple, vanilla, minimal chocolate, a little bit of booze at the end. Mouthfeel is heavy with medium carbonation. Overall, not as tasty as 15, a little spendy, worth a try.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2012)

Texas Liquor
Carlsbad, CA

Just about black with a moderately sized dark brown, somewhat persistent, head. Leaves streaks of random, messy bubbles irregularly down the glass. Very pretty. Not quite as thick in appearance as some barrel-aged stouts, but this is a gorgeous beer.

The aroma reminds me of a Milky Way candy bar: chocolate and caramel especially, with a little bit of vanilla nougat as well. There's a hint of booze, and some delicate dark fruit character--the dark fruit character emerges more and more as the beer warms. Very good, but not transcending.

The flavor is more complete and more complex than the aroma would suggest. Layers of chocolate, caramel, pie crust, vanilla, and mild oak combine exceptionally well. The alcohol is nicely hidden, though a complementary accent. Some mild roast, but it's not a main component of the beer's flavor. Wonderful stuff.

Near full in body with moderate carbonation. Surprisingly carbonated.

Fantastic. Much better than Firestone 15, and in the same realm as previous iterations.

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Photo of harrymel
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saw this in the store, decided to try it.

Pours a toasted, dark tawny with a rim and confluent etching of light tan foam. Smells of bourbon, alcohol, cocoa powder, baker's chocolate, hints of resin, some oak, a bit of bing cherry, some vanilla and nougat. Taste is boozy up front, sweet, some bourbon, some cherries, vanilla, marzipan, bits of oak and tawny porto. Medium bodied with lower carb and a wet finish. A nice beer, a very enjoyable beer. I'm starting to think that this series is worth a try annually, but not really worth the money it demands to get into the bottle....

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Photo of flexabull
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ah number 16... I'm getting old, I remember buying number 10, and it feels like it was a couple of years ago.

Pours a pretty deep brown color with a pretty nice off white head.

Aromas are very nice. Notes of cocoa, leather, light tabacco, coconut, and brown sugar.

Taste is boozy, with notes of roasted nuts, tabacco, and hints of brown sugar. Finish is warmth from the alcohol with sweet coconut and vanilla flavors.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side. I like this style to have a bit more body. It is smooth and well carbonated though.

Overall? Solid, but this doesn't quite measure to prior years versions. Kinda bummed that the last couple of years have just been very good instead of excellent, might be time to open my vertical and stop buying 2 bottles per year. Nice beer, but I'm not sure it's worth it's price tag.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.62/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark black with a bit of brown around the edges and a finger of frothy tannish head. The head fades down at a fairly quick pace leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet caramel and dark caramel malts, oak, vanilla, Bourbon, tequila, chocolate, roasted malts, brown sugar, toasted coconuts, dark fruits, Brandy, and a bit of booze.

T - Starts off with a mix of dark caramel malts, vanilla, tequila, dark fruits, and some toasted coconut. Through the middle, the oak, Bourbon, Brandy, chocolate, roasted malts, brown sugar, and bit of citrus hop. The finish is a mix of dark caramel malts, dark fruit, oak, vanilla, toasted coconuts, Bourbon, Brandy, Tequila, chocolate, molasses, and booze.

M - Full bodied with mild carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet and warming finish.

D - Very drinkable. Amazing blend of flavors. Very complex but still has a great deal of smoothness.

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Photo of DIM
3.56/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

a: This was just a degree shy of being pitch black. It poured with the thin, khaki colored fizzy head.

s: Absolutely dominated by whiskey and naked oak aromas. There were hints of vanilla, roaty malts, grassy hops, and caramel; but they were quite mild when compared to the bordering on harsh barrel notes.

t: Up front I tasted a boozy, too heavily hopped big stout. I could find some roastiness, caramel, and maybe a hint of fruit, but the surprisingly strong grassy hop note wad distracting. There was nice, strong whiskey flavor towards the middle that was quickly brushed aside by woody, bitter astringency.

m: Thin or silky depending on your overall level of enjoyment I suppose.

o: I liked this more than my review suggests, but overall I am disappointed. I'm very glad that I shared this one. 22 ounces would have been kind of a chore. The pale ales in the blend came through too strongly in my opinion, making this drink almost like a wateted down or diluted stout. The barrel notes were good, but more vanilla would have been welcome. The underlying beer came across as a kind of random hodgepodge of beer. I've never tried any of the beers in this blend, but my suspicion is that a lot of great beers were sacrificed to make a slightly above average one.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

22oz. bomber into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a 1 finger fine cream colored head with moderate retention. Beer is a clear, dark, almost opaque brown. Lacing is thick, patchy and stringy with good stick. Thin, oily legs too. Great looking beer for the style.

Nose is nutty, brown sugar, molasses, and sweet booziness. Some notes of fresh green raisin too. Decently aromatic but nothing that really stands out here.

Opens brown sugar, molasses, prunes, raisin, and other dark fruit. Astringent hop bitterness floats in the background in the middle but its suppressed nicely by the big malt body. Chocolate, cocoa, and fudge towards the end with some brown sugar and mellow sappy hop bitterness. Nutty and sweet finish with a sugary aftertaste. Good complexity. A real nice flavor profile.

Medium bodied with low to moderate carbonation. Smooth and slick in the mouth and goes down warm with just a bit of heat. Messy finish with a lingering, sticky aftertaste. I can barely taste the ABVs in this one. This is how you do it!

At about 8-12 months, all of the FW anniversary blends have been incredible. XVI is no exception. Great complexity of flavor and an excellent feel make this one that should definitely not be missed. Have it soon though, these beers are phenomenal now but they tend to fall of quickly.

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

Enjoyed this bottle out of a craft beer glass

A: Pours a dark black hue with a thick tan head that slowly dissipates into a solid persistent lace.

S: Bourbon – vanilla – chocolate aromas.

T: Similar to the smell there is a ton of boozy bourbon, vanilla and some toffee mixed in.

M: Thick body and minimal carbonation.

O: Excellent brew – tons of flavors and enough alcohol to make it interesting.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

FW blended together 226 oak barrels and 8 different beers creating something truly complex and exceptional. XVI is 42% stout with Velvet Merkin, Parabola and “PNC” working together as three roasty toasty friends that create rich cacao, chocolate and mocha flavors together. “PNC” also introduces tequila barrels into our blend for the first time and brings some interesting south of the boarder spirit notes to the mix – a welcome twist. Helldorado, with flavors of lavender honey liqueur was again a favorite of the winemakers and made the cut adding some flowery notes. FW Double Double Barrel Ale (DDBA) continues to deliver its signature American toasted oak, English caramel toffee and light leather nuances. DDBA was also released on its own in 2012 and is now established as a solid annual brew. Stickee Monkee is fast becoming one of FW's favorite pieces with its rich maple syrup, spicy cinnamon, and ripe fig flavors which has developed into a bolder cousin of perennial blend component Bravo who carries barrel character and bourbon notes like no other. The additional twist in 2012 was the Wookey Jack, Black Rye IPA with its wily citrusy hop notes and spicy rye backbone. The finished blend is unfiltered and unfined.

Pours a deep dark garnet color with a moderately full, tan, pillowy head which is somewhat lasting and leaves minimal drippy lace throughout. The nose is full of spice (alcohol, pepper, bourbon, tequila, rye, cinnamon), vanilla bean, molasses, almond, milk chocolate, cocoa, light maple, and faint grapefruit. The flavor is similar with less spice but still present; there is a very slight grapefruit and peach underneath everything, almonds still, dusty yeast and dry chocolate, molasses, figs, creme brulee, some toasty oak, cinnamon and pepper, and a tequila note that is was quite distinguishable. The palate is perfect with a a soft to lively carbonation, a full body, and a round, chewy, and velvety mouthfeel. The beer finishes with some coffee roast and dark chocolate adding bitterness, still cinnamon, vanilla creme brulee, molasses, but ultimately chocolate notes lingering. Overall, an excellent Anniversary brew that I'd love to have again.

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Photo of snaotheus
4.86/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

22oz bottle poured into a large snifter

Pours dark brown, slightly muddy looking, little head, small amount of carbonation. Basically opaque. Smell is rich, sweet, fruity, alcohol, some black licorice, some smoke, chicory, something chocolatey. It smells very interesting.

Taste is shockingly creamy and smooth. Alcohol is noticeable, but not even vaguely overpowering. Well balanced by sweetness that comes out as chocolate and dark fruit. Jesus. This is delicious.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. Buttery, velvety, but not sticky or heavy. Terrific.

Overall, this beer is world class, excellent. Well done, Firestone Walker.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
4.04/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Capitol Beer and Tap Room in Sacramento, CA

Appearance - Deep, near black cordovan brown, served in a 10oz pour with a thin, light tan head. Good retention. Leaves behind a good amount of lacing with fair stick.

Smell - Strong, bourbony boozy aroma, sweet with vanilla, chocolate and faintly earthy character.

Taste - Follows the nose; bourbon booziness, while notes of vanilla and lesser of chocolate bounce around in the deep background. Sweet vanilla notes shine through brighter as the beer warms. Somewhat chaotic start turns a smooth finish. Hints of oak and moderate alcohol heat. Traces of caramel can be found well into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full body with slightly tingly carbonation. Heat from the alcohol forces this thing to finish bone dry.

Overall - This is one complex, boozy "mess" of a beer, and considering it's a blend of 8 different barrel-aged brews, it's right where it should be. Growing up, I was always a fan of making soda kamikazes, so I don't find it much surprising that I rather enjoyed this. Normally I'm not a fan of booze forward brews; this one's an exception.

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

From a 22 oz bottle into a wine glass.

A-The brew is ebony in color with little flecks of ruby color in the light. A soft pour produced no head and only a thin ring of dark tan foam.

S-A barrel-heavy blend of chocolate, bourbon, and brown sugar. Lots of booze here, which gives the brew a sort of hot nose, but it isn't off-putting.

T-The taste tracks the smell pretty closely. Booze is upfront and immediately noticeable, but it carries a nice mixture of milky chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, and brown sugar. Also a little dark fruit.

M-Sweet, heavy bodied feel, but not terribly syrupy (too much alcohol for that, I think). Carbonation is mild and fine.

O-I enjoyed this beer quite a bit. It was hot and boozy, but the alcohol kept things from being too cloying, and the flavors layered nicely. I never felt like the booze or barrel characters overpowered things. I will be curious to see how a some time in the cellar changes the flavors.

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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 Arbitrator
3.2/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. My first review from my Kindle!

A: Pours a dark brown; not totally black when held to the light. Light tan head with short retention.

S: Toffee, caramel, raisin (sherry), vanilla. I do not find the signature coconut aroma I love in FW barrel aged beers. There is a significant bourbon and oak note. Some heat. I'm a little let down already; the past anniversary beers have often had much more expressive noses. This is a bit one-dimensional.

T: Undeveloped and simplistic considering the past successes of the blending program. This is no XIII. The oatmeal stout is prominent; it lends a chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon base that some of the other flavors play off: a touch of brandy, some toffee, and a spicy bite that I assume is from the tequila. It's not bad, but it is not great. I was hoping the other components would express themselves more in the flavor, but they have been lost in the mix.

M: Medium bodied. It is not boozy, but it has a warming effect on the way down.

O: Pretty forgettable at the price point. This is outclassed by Parabola and Sucaba, which are $10 cheaper. If it were a $10 four-pack, sure...

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Photo of ThickNStout
4.17/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottler from LetsPour.com. No bottling date but it's only a couple months old. Served in a Sweetwater snifter.

Pours dark brown, near black with garnet highlights around the edges and a half finger burnt cream head. The head fades quickly and leaves small wisps of lace.

Smells of vanilla, oak, toffee, currants and burnt caramel.

Taste is a hot, yet smooth blend of oak, bourbon, dates, toffee, currants, vanilla, medium roast coffee, cocoa, leather, licorice/ anise, brandied dates, tobacco, charred pine and plenty of booze. It's plenty hot but goes down incredibly smooth for a 13% brew. My description can't possibly do this justice. It has layer upon layer of flavor.

Creamy medium full feel with average carbonation. Long, complex finish with bourbon, dark fruits and more booze.

One of the most conplex beers that I've tried. So many different flavors going on here. It's got a good bit of booze for sure but it still goes down easy. I'd love to have another to age but no regrets for drinking this one now.

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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 denver10
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown with a brown head, that quickly recedes. A pretty crazy and complex aroma offering more going on that I think I am capable of deciphering. I am getting some caramel,butterscotch, a hint of some raisin, vanilla, and a little roastiness. As it warms the bourbon barrel shows itself a little. Flavor is just as complex. Sweet and rich; where the barrel which was missing in the aroma (at least before it wartmed) it totally shines through in the flavor, some caramel, butterscotch,honey, raisin, chocolate, vanilla, and sugar. A thick medium, creamy muthfeel. Overall, yeah, this beer is pretty great. Worth every penny it costs, I just wish I could afford another one because I want more.

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Photo of Damian
4.44/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 1 pint, 6 fluid ounces (650ml) bottle purchased at Pemberton Farms, Cambridge, MA
Served in a snifter

The beer poured a slightly thin, chestnut brown and was topped by a tight, creamy, bubbly, one-inch tall crop of khaki colored foam. Drippy streaks of lacing cascaded down the glass. The head faded to a frothy mass that lasted much longer than I anticipated.

The aroma was rich, robust and remarkably smooth. Bourbon came through big time. Super boozy, but in a good way. Tons of toasted coconut. Quite sweet with strong raisin and brown sugar notes. Some caramel and toffee appeared as well. There was a dry, powdery yeastiness initially, but this faded with time.

The flavor profile was solid. Roasted and toasted malts came through on the front end. Loads of bourbon. Strong caramel and dark fruit notes. Raisins were most noticeable. Maple syrup was also detectible. Slightly smoky with hints of tobacco. There was an almost overwhelming boozy/bourbon presence on the finish, along with some earthy, piney, bitter hops and a bit of ashiness. All in all, the beer was quite rich and sweet on the palate, but it lacked both the smoothness and the intensity of the nose.

The beer was medium bodied for the style. A fine, zippy effervescence gave the liquid a creamy, fluffy, almost puffy quality. After each sip, the beer left a sticky film on my lips.

If my memory serves me correctly, this Firestone Walker offering was one of the more balanced of their anniversary releases. This is a fantastic beer to sip and savor on a cold winter night.

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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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