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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: 388   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.04   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 375   ABV: 12.5%
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.


4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Arayaga2 (1914) - portland, Oregon, USA - DEC 31, 2011
Cola brown with a thin brown head. Aroma is marshmallowy bourbony goodness, and taste is the same, with bourbon and chocolate throughout with a mild alcoholic finish. $20/22ozs

4.1
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
dmac (4740) - Toms River, New Jersey, USA - DEC 31, 2011
22 oz bottle from Spirits Brick Blvd. Poured a good looking thinner density black body with a smaller sized foamy super light beige head. Aroma is very nice notes of bourbon, toasted coconut, vanilla custard, chocolate truffles, pudding skins, and more bourbon. The body is only a medium mouthfeel and a little thin for such a big beer. Carboantion was nice with a soft touch and a good dose of heat from the middle to the end which was the perfect touch for this beer. Flavor of bourbon, dark chocolate, burnt toast, vanilla extract, super dark chocolate truffle candy, touch of wood. Good stuff all around but I wish it was a bit thicker.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
tmoreau (2988) - Lombard, Illinois, USA - DEC 31, 2011
On tap and snifter served at Lunar Brewing Co., with a clear, mahogany tone, a modest amount of off white/light tan head foam, and light spots & streaks of lacing. The aroma was sinus clearing, bourbony alcohol, barrel/cask hints, caramelly/brown sugar sweetness, a touch of tartness, mid-fruit, tropical hints, and some vinous/port characteristics. Booziness was strong but mellow, the texture was a little sticky and syrupy, and the body was full. A potent but smooth, cordial-like brew, that was sipped slowly and enjoyed thoroughly!

4.4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
BOLTZ7555 (2979) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - DEC 31, 2011
Body pours a chestnut/sun burnt tangerine with a small latte head that diminishes into a razor thin film that follows the beer down the glass. Aroma of molasses, tobacco, Godiva, Starbucks, gooey caramel, vanilla, and oak. Flavor definitely shows signs of the barrel with bourbon, wood, brown sugar, chocolate, and vanilla finding their way. Medium to soft carbonation. ABV masterfully hidden, more so than in past blends. Another great beer from this amazing brewery!

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Gription79 (2652) - Bountiful, Utah, USA - DEC 30, 2011
22 ounce bottle shared at the Utah holiday tasting. Tried side by side with XII. The XV had a rich malty character with fruity alcohol notes. This beer is rich with dark stone fruits and vanilla, like a decadent desert.

5
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
DocLock (8593) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 29, 2011
Bomber from Frank Smith’s. Pours deep brownish with 1-finger frothy tan head. Nose is earthy peaty malt, figgy and vinous fruits, mild spice, bourbony oaky notes, and vanilla. Tastes of dark malt, oaky bourbon, spicy with notes of cinnamon, ginger, cacao, plus citrus fruit, vanilla, late coconut. New flavors emerge with every sip, and the overall experience is sublime, and one of the reasons I still seek out these types of beers. The alcohol is well integrated, not hidden so much as accompanying the plethora of flavors. This is one of the most amazing beers I have ever quaffed, and is a true delight to behold.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Pailhead (5746) - Plymouth, Michigan, USA - DEC 29, 2011
Courtesy of rayl101

Bottle: The aroma consists of fruit, caramel, alcohol, chocolate, and vanilla. It pours a dark brown with some orange highlights and a small beige head that quickly fadesbto a ring. The flavor starts with caramel and chocolate. There is a light fruitiness in the background. The finish has bourbon, vanilla, and a hint of oak. Medium-full bodied with mild carbonation and a lightly sticky mouthfeel.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
rayl101 (163) - Brownstown, Michigan, USA - DEC 29, 2011
22oz bottle courtesy of dcschiller. Pours a deep, clear brown with a thin off-white head that fades to a thin ring. Aroma is dark chocolate, with notes of coconut, toffee, and vanilla. Flavor is much the same, but very little heat from the spirit barrels. Full bodied, and dec,eptively smooth to drink. Excellent!

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Reynolds314 (2881) - Connecticut, USA - DEC 29, 2011
This is a monster beer with more flavors then I want to list. The aroma is roasted nuts, chocolate, dark fruits, and a little citrus. Taste is like a barley wine with some roasted burnt character. Chocolate covered cherries and nuts are the predominant flavors I get. Great stuff.

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
RickTStiles (825) - Houston, Texas, USA - DEC 28, 2011
UPDATED: JAN 4, 2012 pours the deepest possible red with a thin white head and some spotty lacing. aroma is raspberry, mint, bourbon, oak, licorice, and chocolate. taste is red wine, a hint of grapefruit, bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, cherry, some metal, and clove. finish is boozy, with notes of bourbon and hops. finish is syrupy leaving lots of sticky stuff on the lips. an extraordinary beer, one of the best I’ve had. complex but balanced. i can tell that aging would do this beer well but I didn’t have the patience!


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