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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: 354   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.04   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.


3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
laiti (4952) - Helsinki, FINLAND - AUG 23, 2013
66 cl bottle @ PBF VIII
Aroma is sweet with caramel, resin and some slight woody notes – quite typical to American Strong. Also some sweet berry notes. Flavour is rather sweet with stinging alcohol, woody notes, vanilla, caramel and toffee. Also some peppery notes on some sips. Too sweet (no surprises here) but not bad still.

4.2
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
tiong (3077) - Espoo, FINLAND - AUG 23, 2013
650ml bottle @ PBF 2013. Thanks lusikka!

Pours dark brown with a smooth white head. Complex and heavy aroma with notes of sweet syrup, caramely malts, roastiness, ripe fruits, vanilla, wood, oak and bitterness. Taste is complex and caramely with notes of dark ripe fruits, wood, oak, vanilla, sweet syrup, chocolate and hops. Finish is spicy, malty and roasty with notes of oak, wood, vanilla, sweet syrup and ripe fruits. Complex and tasty, but perhaps not as perfectly balanced as XIV or XVI. Still excellent, though.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
omhper (18970) - Tyresö, SWEDEN - AUG 23, 2013
Bottled at PBF. Hazy mahogany colour, minimal head. Caramelly with plenty of oak and vanilla. Sweet with full body and cleqn, rounded mouthfeel. Caramel, bourbon and honey. White pepper heats a mid bitter finish.

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
DrSilverworm (5051) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - AUG 5, 2013
22oz bottle I got from a trade last year, I believe from cbkschubert. Shared with caterwaul. Mostly clear very dark red / brown color. Thin khaki head. Few dots and ropes of lace. Really nice, rich, complex potent aroma in the nose. Big vanilla, dark fruit, light spice, oak in the nose. Good caramel candy flavor, in a good way. Hint of chocolate. I was nervous to break this open, because when I had 14, it was boozy as hell and very hard to drink. Thankfully, this has none of that boozy hotness, what a relief. In fact, the alcohol is shockingly well-hidden, drinks the smoothest of any 12.5% Firestone Walker beer I’ve had yet. Just a nice light pleasant warmth, very little. Bigger, chewy body. Smooth, creamy, light carbonation. Full body, but a lightly dry, warming finish. It’s the perfect amount of alcohol, super great body, texture, and finish. Moderate sweet taste, light to moderate bitter. Seeing the honey, light ginger, light cinnamon brown sugar, vanilla custard notes in this. More pronounced chocolate. Hop notes are very subtle, just a little bit of citrus, definite orange zest to all the rich, darker notes. Can’t pick out anymore hop besides that, but it seems to contribute a very balance to it all. Wow. Fucking amazing beer, one of the best I’ve ever had. Incredibly complex, a true liquid work of art.

3.2
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Getbetter (730) - Cucamonga, California, USA - JUL 17, 2013
From a bottle.The pour is dark tan in color with a medium body and a minimum white head.A tanging sweet taste with a dark fruit note,butterscotch and vanilla.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
MartinT (7523) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JUL 14, 2013
My Bottom Line:
Deep residual sugars share caramel, dried dates and milk chocolate, while alcohol heat and roasted angles build complexity.

Further Personal Perceptions:
-A veil of foam rests atop the shiny ruby-hued brown.
-The mouthfeel is undeniably rich.
-Black bean allusions are also tasted.
-You could call this a Black Barley Wine and get away with it.
-In the super heavyweight category, this one’s a winner.

Bottle.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
illidurit (2052) - Petaluma, USA - JUL 7, 2013
Deep caramel and maple maltiness, lots of oak and slight vanilla, leather, prune, chocolate-covered coconut, mild hop finish.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
soonerchamps (5) - Edmond, Oklahoma, USA - JUL 3, 2013 does not count
22 oz bottle in Blind BIF. Poured medium brown with light tan head. Beautiful caramel and toffee on the nose with some dark fruits. Creamy vanilla and caramel with a bit of citrus. I want more in a year.

4.4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Ughsmash (7008) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - JUN 17, 2013
Bomber. Poured medium-deep brown with a short dusting of smoked toffee head. The aroma picked up sweet vanilla, bourbon, maple, and caramel with accents of oak and toasted marshmallows.. nice peppery warmth and a touch of grapefruit rounded it out. The flavor found sweet and tasty bourbon throughout, with vanilla beans, milk chocolate, molasses, and a little maple at the core.. more maple, bourbon, vanilla, and chocolates on the long, belly-warming finish. Heavier-bodied with low carbonation on the palate.. moderate roast to it.. very well-balanced, and way smoother than it should’ve been.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Aniela (2302) - Göteborg, SWEDEN - JUN 9, 2013
Bottle. Clear dark amber beer with a small offwhite head. Dried frits, malty, citrus, spicy and oaky aroma. Caramell, dried fruits and brown sugar flavour.


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