Firestone Walker Unveils XXIII Anniversary Ale

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by Todd, Nov 5, 2019.

  1. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,997) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    Brewers Collaborate with Local Winemakers to Create Annual Anniversary Ale

    Paso Robles, CA: Just as the harvest season was getting underway in the Paso Robles wine country, a boisterous group of local winemakers convened with the Firestone Walker brewing team on September 10 for an annual late-summer rite—the blending of the brewery’s next anniversary ale.

    The result is “XXIII”—a limited barrel-aged release that is rolling out to all Firestone Walker markets starting this week.

    “Winemakers are practicing experts in the art of blending, which is why we have sought their involvement ever since making our first Anniversary Ale in 2006,” said Brewmaster Matt Brynildson. “XXIII is super elegant and seamless. The component beers just flow together in a way which no single beer could have accomplished.”

    Blended to Perfection

    XXIII is a blend of six distinct beers aged in spirits barrels, including bourbon and tequila barrels—resulting in a smooth, bold and remarkably complex drinking experience.

    To create XXIII, the winemakers were divided into teams for a friendly but spirited contest. Each team was presented with numerous different component beers and tasked with creating the ultimate blend. Hard work and smack talk ensued.

    When the session concluded, all of the individual team blends were blind tasted by the group to determine the favorite. The winning blend became the basis for XXIII, commemorating Firestone Walker’s 23rd year on California’s Central Coast.

    For the second year in a row, the winning team included Sherman Thacher and Daniel Callan of Thacher Winery, as well as Will Freeman and Phil LaMontagne of TH Estate Wines. They all walked away with the coveted “cardboard crowns” that are accorded to the winners each year.

    XXIII: The Final Blend

    Stickee Monkee aged in Bourbon Barrels (28%)
    Central Coastal Quad

    Parabola aged in Bourbon Barrels (28%)
    Russian Imperial Stout

    Bravo aged in Bourbon Barrels (20%)
    Imperial Brown Ale

    Bourbon Barrel Helldorado aged in Bourbon Barrels (15%)
    Blonde Barley Wine

    Velvet Merkin Aged in Bourbon Barrels (5%)
    Milk Stout

    Tequila Barrel Helldorado aged in Tequila Barrels (4%)
    Blonde Barley Wine

  2. tobelerone

    tobelerone Poo-Bah (2,689) Dec 1, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    I will buy this. Love the FW anniversary beers.
  3. AWA

    AWA Aspirant (263) Jul 22, 2014 California

    I'm going to buy a few. But that is a lot of Stickee Monkee. Pretty sure this is going to be too sweet for me.
    KRug likes this.
  4. pjeagles

    pjeagles Initiate (150) May 29, 2005 New Mexico

    Including and exclusively aged in those two, with 96% aged in bourbon barrels and 4% in tequila barrels. Wonder if any of that will come through?
    phillyman likes this.
  5. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (1,815) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Society Trader

    I had their last Anniversary bottles, they were tasty but a little hot out of the bottle. I may snag a couple and age a little and enjoy down the road. Always a solid buy.

    alucard6679 and tzieser like this.
  6. IKR

    IKR Defender (652) May 25, 2010 California

    As a reference if you’ve had XXII XXIII is noticeably less sweet. Cheers
    dcotom and AWA like this.
  7. AWA

    AWA Aspirant (263) Jul 22, 2014 California

    That's what I want to hear. Thanks man.
    IKR likes this.
  8. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Defender (605) Mar 28, 2009 California

    I would assume the tequila will not come through. Maybe it provides something in the background or lightens the bourbon up just slightly, but highly doubt any tequila character would come through.
  9. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Defender (689) May 3, 2016 Illinois

    Why don't we see more brewers doing these blends?
  10. laketang

    laketang Meyvn (1,159) Mar 22, 2015 Illinois

    I bought many 12 oz XXll and now I am ready for XXlll !
  11. thuey

    thuey Aspirant (281) Nov 13, 2015 California

    Well the thing about Paso Robles, CA is that it's more known for their wineries. So Firestone Walker being in the midst of that, they actually have the wineries compete to come up with their annual blend.

    It's a good way to promote collaboration among the entire region.
  12. tzieser

    tzieser Meyvn (1,089) Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey

    They’re out there. The Referend is an example of this, they’re a blendary first and foremost...bud as @thuey said, FW is in a great wine region, so this is right in their wheelhouse.

    Haven’t had FW Anniversary for a few years now, might have to keep an eye out.
    HouseofWortship likes this.
  13. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,972) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    One of those breweries that can do no wrong, well other than to stop making Wookey Jack.
    thuey likes this.
  14. JBogan

    JBogan Champion (834) Jul 15, 2007 California

    ... and Pale 31.
  15. QuakeAttack

    QuakeAttack Zealot (511) Mar 19, 2012 California

    As a general practice, I have always found FW BA beers to be a little hot. I always wait 3-4 months to drink them and found that they calm down by then.

    Really looking forward to this one. I liked last year as it got older.
    AZBeerDude72 likes this.