spjensen (97) - Davis, California, USA - OCT 10, 2014
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a deep dark brown, almost red with a thin brown head. Initial sweet tones of cheery with a heavy, strong oak aftertaste
jinroh (839) - ESTONIA - OCT 5, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
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 doesnít 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.
shoulderbroken (3061) - Tokyo, JAPAN - OCT 4, 2014
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle, thanks Jonno. Aroma is sticky, toffee, bourbon barrel, booze!
Taste is good, bourbon, dark fruit, black treacle, stickiness. Long long finish. Nice.
djd07 (6619) - Houston, Texas, USA - SEP 29, 2014
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle thanks to Dave. Pours a cloudy amber with paperthin beige head. The aroma is vanilla, raisin, wood. Slick mouth, nice oak, sweet vanilla, hides alcohol well, very impressive.
slowrunner77 (7878) - Reno, Nevada, USA - SEP 27, 2014
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
"quite possible itíll be upgraded to a 4.6 when the initial heat mellows a little, but itís already fantastic! FW sure knows how to barrel, and this blend is no exception. Sticky, malty goodness in every sip. More bourbon vanilla prevelant than the other barrels, but you notice the brandy presence as well, and a touch of hops (& chocolate), though this is definitely an after dinner sipper on the sweet side. Should age incredibly well as the previous couple have. 11/11 - upgrade to 4.6 complete after splitting a bottle at around 50-55 degrees. fantastic barleyeine-heavy blend!"
Chad9976 (1504) - Albany, New York, USA - SEP 21, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Firestone Walker XV is essentially a cuvee Ė a blend of barley wine (76%), imperial stout (19%) and imperial IPA (5%), though after three years in the cellar it seems the stout and IPA qualities have faded and itís now a rich, intense barley wine. Slightly unbalanced, for sure, though the flavors that remain are highly enjoyable, and the beer isnít a challenge to drink. Thatís a mark of excellence.
I poured a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. It was bottled on 10/7/11.
Appearance: Seemingly brown and opaque, but actually a deep shade of burgundy and slightly translucent. Pours to a two-finger, tan, soapy head which fizzles away and leave little lacing.
Smell: Intense aroma of dark fruits and confectionery notes. A hint of pine.
Taste: The engineering that went into making this beer is quite impressive, though the palette itself is actually quite familiar. Rich notes of dark fruits are immediately noticeable; plum, cherry, fig as well as pure toffee and caramel syrups. Through the middle thereís a touch of dark chocolate (probably from the stout component), and fair amount of dry bitterness on the back end. Whatever hop character this beer had initially seems to have faded, but not disappeared. Perhaps thereís a touch of dank, piney, resiny notes, but theyíre completely upstaged by the sweeter, maltier notes. I do detect some vanilla and a general earthy character from both the barrel-aging as well as the alcohol, though I wouldnít describe Firestone Walker XV as a hot beer per se. Complex to be sure, though not quite the mind-blower it should be.
Drinkability: I sat down with Firestone Walker XV on a surprisingly hot autumn evening and had no trouble drinking the entire bottle myself (that being said, I probably wouldíve prefer to split it). Yes, itís quite big and intense at 12.5% ABV, and yes thereís plenty of warmth from the alcohol. But no, itís not hot or slick. The alcohol adds to the palette, it doesnít distract from it. Also, the mouthfeel is quite soft and calm, leading to a smooth finish. Thereís a slightly dry, cloying aftertaste, but thatís fine with me.
MadIndian (2663) - Levittown, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 20, 2014
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle from SJ notes of cherry, and black berry. Bold barrel, vanilla, honey, wine and wood. Sweet finish, but awesome!!! Iím tits up right now!
ICEatALAMO (1173) - Troy, Michigan, USA - AUG 21, 2014
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. The pour is a a nice dark carmel color with no head. The aroma has a nice subtle bourbon, with dark fruits. The taste is smooth. My guess is the heat has mellowed and is just perfect now. Very tasty.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
BVery (8692) - Plymouth, Minnesota, USA - AUG 1, 2014
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bomber shared with my brother. Deep mahogany / cola pour. Smaller ring head. This is amazing. Lots of barley wine character. Lots of barrel aged character. Rich. Dark fruit. Killer beer!
DuffMan (8318) - the land of bitumen, beef & beer, Alberta, CANADA - JUL 12, 2014
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle RBAG 2014 prelim, as part of a vertical from XIII to XVI. This was the lightest of the bunch in terms of colour-- reddish brown, quite clear. Similar vinous profile, plummy chocolate, toasty toffee, but less rounded than the earlier ones.