Serve in Snifter, Tulip


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RATINGS: 400   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.04/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 375   ABV: 12.5%
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.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Boutip (5950) - Gatineau, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 3, 2015
Bottle: Poured a dark hazy brown color ale with a medium size off-white foamy head with OK retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of woody whiskey notes with some light residual sugar and toffee notes is extremely satisfying. Taste is also dominated by woody notes with some whiskey notes and toffee and caramelized sugar. Nice balanced between the sweetness of some of the base beers and the dryness of the whiskey barrels. Body is pretty full with good carbonation and warming notes. Very well put together with some good complexity.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
BiiruBierBeer (964) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - JAN 3, 2015
Faint alcohol and malt smell. Malty taste with some bourbon and alcohol taste to it as well.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
chinchill (4337) - South Carolina, USA - DEC 8, 2014
From shared large bottle. Body is smooth but a bit too thin and, despite plenty of aging, there is more alcohol harshness than ideal The multiple brews used to compose this blend nicely yet leaving lots of subtle omplexities. Tasty and not challenging, with a nice component of dark fruity.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Prufrockstar (1995) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - NOV 20, 2014
Draft at brouwers. Ugly sweater time. Deep caramel pour, white head. Aroma: toffee, raisins, plums, molasses, oak, vanilla, oxidation, coconut. Taste: moderately sweet with oxidized drying finish. Slick, sticky texture. Full body, soft carbonation, alcohol on the tongue and warmth in the belly. Overall: really nice.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
monkeychugg55 (1031) - Joliet, Illinois, USA - NOV 18, 2014
Rating #900, 3 yr old bottle. Pours a dark, opaque mahogany with a small sand colored head. The aroma is very complex, with vanilla bourbon barrel notes leading the way. Lots of chocolate, figs, rum raisin, sherry, toffee, brown sugar, cinnamon, toasted marshmallow, some alcohol of course, and a hint of hop resins (like you get from an old double IPA or hoppy barleywine). The flavor is just as complex, if not more. Bourbon and sweet citrus (honey) upfront, with lots of chocolate and stone fruit, some candi sugar in the middle. The wood slowly builds long after the beer is swallowed, with a nice toasted character cutting through. Full bodied and sweet, but not overly so, wood and alcohol finish this one out nicely. One of the best beers I’ve experienced.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
solidfunk (7702) - Washington D.C., Washington DC, USA - OCT 27, 2014
Barrelly, with a lot of different malts going on here. Finishes a little on the sweet side, and too syrupy for my tastes. Pours maroon with ok head and lacing. Different malts mixed in here. Some citrus. Comes together ok, but not the best anniversary beer I’ve had from Firestone. Bottle pour at Churchkey’s 5th anniversary.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jackl (7069) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - OCT 25, 2014
Bottle @ Churchkey. Amber pour with a tiny head. Nose of caramel and raisin. Cinnamon toast crunch. Vanilla sundae. Taste is lovely, nice sweet/hot profile that’s not too aggressive. Full body. Oily. Nice caramel flavor. Pepper. Lovely.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Scopey (12711) - Croydon, Greater London, ENGLAND - OCT 24, 2014
Bottle big thanks to Bruce. It pours deep mahogany brown with a small tan head. The nose is rich, woody, toffee, banana bread, fruit cake, leather, light vanilla, plum, cherry and candy. The taste is smooth, wood, leather, toffee, fruit cake, date, raisin, booze, wood and light bitterness with a slick finish. Full body and fine carbonation. Very drinkable for the style. Well balanced and quaffable.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
spjensen (97) - Davis, California, USA - OCT 10, 2014
Pours a deep dark brown, almost red with a thin brown head. Initial sweet tones of cheery with a heavy, strong oak aftertaste

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
jinroh (1241) - ESTONIA - OCT 5, 2014
Pours dark brown, mahogany. Bit of foam. Aroma is quite soft, has hints of strong liquor - bourbon? Taste fails to surprise me at first - but this is because I am not ready for this, the beer is so complex and doesn’t reveal itself already after the first sip. Slowly sipping the beer while it is warming makes the experience more and more memorable, there are hops biting my tongue - or are they alcohol bites? Vanilla, bourbon, whiskey, oak barrel - whole array of different sensations going on there. It has a solid body and the beer is a slow sipper - although 12% ABV is still nicely hidden. Very glad I got to taste this one.

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