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Firestone Walker 15 (XV)

 (RETIRED)
overall
100
99
style
Serve in Snifter, Tulip

bottled
available

on tap
available

Regional Distribution

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RATINGS: 378   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.03   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 375   ABV: 12.5%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
As a finished beer, XV is alive with amazing complexity and yet it is quite possibly the most integrated and seamless blend yet. Looking at a blend of 8 beers on paper at first looks chaotic and potentially disjointed; however, a closer look reveals and interesting theme: 76% Barley Wine style beers, 19% Stout and 5% Imperial IPA. XV introduces our new blonde barley wine Helldorado with flavors of lavender honey liqueur. The well established DDBA delivers its signature American toasted oak, English caramel toffee and light leather nuances. 2010 vintage Sticky Monkey folds in brown sugar, maple, cinnamon, ginger and ripe figs. Parabola brings the familiar flavors of roasted dark coco, and chocolate covered cherries. Velvet Merkin carries silky milk chocolate, toasted coconut and creamy textures. Good Foot and Bravo add assertive barley wine warmth and lush barrel derived vanilla bean notes. The game changer this year is the addition of Double Jack to the blend. At just 5% its massive dry hop character brings citrus zest, tangerine and mango aromas making this a completely new beer. The beer is unfiltered and unfined, so there will be a small amount of sediment in the bottom of the bottle. XV is best enjoyed poured carefully into a half-filled brandy snifter or wine glass. Allow it to warm to 55F to fully enjoy the pleasing and complex aromas. As the beer sits and breathes in the glass, a richer, orange zested, chocolate dusted, vanilla custard character is reveled, so take your time. If you wait to open your bottle later, store it in a cool dark place. I suspect that this beer will age well and change favorably for years to come. It was an absolute pleasure in the making and I truly hope you enjoy our Sixth oak-aged blend! Our journey continues and it’s just as fun and exciting now as it was back in 1996.


3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
KyotoLefty (6695) - Kyoto, JAPAN - MAY 9, 2014
Bottled. Nose of bourbon, caramel, chocolate, vanilla. Flavor of raisins, vanilla, caramel and toffee. Very smooth. Very nice but a bit unsurprising.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
maekchu (2283) - Hirakata, JAPAN - MAY 6, 2014
Bomber. Mild bourbon nose, with rich dark fruit and some serious fumes. Light translucent brown. Tingling alcohol hits the tongue right away, ripe dark fruit, dark sugar, melds into a light but hot fruit sweetness. Medium-heavy body, with a bit of sharp alc. burn. Good, very complex, and tasty. A bit too hot.

2.9
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
zimbo (605) - SCOTLAND - APR 26, 2014
Deep brown colour. Fair bit of acitone on the nose with some sweetness. Blueberry nose with a hard acidic and berry end on the tongue. Such a very busy brew which just dilutes into a light volatile banana clashing spirity mess.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
allmyvinyl (4219) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - APR 26, 2014
Bomber from a Garvie tasting, thanks for sharing! Pours deep dark brown, thin white head. Aromas are liquorice, caramel, vanilla, leather, very fruity, getting a touch of roasted coconut too. Taste is sweet, boozy, nice longer boozy bitterness. Oily texture, thick mouthfeel, but clean bitter finish. Lovely.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
cgarvieuk (15163) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - APR 25, 2014
bottle at home ... deep brown ... thin tan lacing ... dark sweet berries .. big fruit ... rich soft malt nose .. dark malts ... big berries ... soft toffee ... little crystal on the linger .. rich sweet malts ... big berry

4.7
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
hopwine (383) - Bend, Oregon, USA - APR 14, 2014
Super dark, almost black, mahogany hues at the edges, with thin off white head. Coconut and vanilla are prominent in aroma with flashes of cocoa, spice, orange peel, bourbon and very faint hop resin. Flavor begins soft, floral honey which slowly builds to an explosion of strong oak, bourbon, orange peel, cinnamon, figs, and toffee pudding. Finish adds some dusty cocoa courtesy of the merkin. Wow 2 years might be my favorite age for a FW anniversary. Still burly, powerful and lightly boozy with a touch more drinkability.

4.4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
jobusrum (22) - California, USA - MAR 8, 2014
Appearance is an amber like barleywine, with a nice head that dissipates in a thin layer around the glass. Aroma is full of candied fruits, bourbon, oak and some citrus. Tastes of sweet honey, dried fruit, bourbon, vanilla, slightly chocolate, nice sweetness. Overall sweet barleywine feel upfront, with a dry finish, and some sweetness and heat on the finish. Definitely one of my favorite anniversary beers, love the barleywine base and addition of stout and ipa to smooth it out.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 13/20
AdamJackson (2870) - Enfield, New Hampshire, USA - FEB 15, 2014
Bottle split 4 ways

A - Appearance is like most FW blends, barley wine old ale and stout sort of mixed together. Faint oak red / brown.

S - Great depth! lots of cherry, fig, blackberry, blueberry and other fruits. Bourbon vanilla and rum with a touch of cognac. Sweet nose.

T - Taste is nice. Oranges and honey with a lot of dark fruits. Very tannic and full of great maltiness but a slight oxidized finish.

M - Creamy mouthfeel, sweet and vinous finish

O - I enjoyed this one a lot. Should have opened it sooner.


4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
daleharshman (932) - San Diego, California, USA - FEB 3, 2014
Bottle purchased at the brewery in Paso Robles in November 2011 ($). Enjoying this nicely-aged beauty just a few days after my 40th birthday. Pours a murky red-brown hue with a thin layer of beige foam. AROMA of dark caramel and toffee, brown sugar, brandy, bourbon-covered dark candied fruit, marshmallow, and vanilla. FLAVOR is nicely complex with various notes of dark toffee, pipe tobacco, oaky bourbon, maple syrup, vanilla, sticky molasses, and chocolate-covered maraschino cherries. The Double Jack must have fallen out over the 2+ years since this was bottled is there is little not really any detectable hoppiness to be found. Boozy finish with sweet-ish bourbon/brandy notes. Another excellent blend from the fine folks in Paso! (351, 838)

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 13/20
Odysseyalien (45) - New Jersey, USA - JAN 26, 2014
Firestone Walker's biggest competitor is Firestone Walker. This 15th Anniversary bottle is two years old and has aged well. The alcohol is still hot though the flavors have blended well in two years. Still, while this is a delicious strong ale or barleywine, it competes in my book with their Sucaba offering which is an amazing English barleywine. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone


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