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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: 372   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 itís just as fun and exciting now as it was back in 1996.


5
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
Caskalefan (149) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - DEC 5, 2011
UPDATED: JAN 18, 2012 Simply one of the most complex, balanced, fruity (raisins, coconuts, papayas, guavas, persimmons, figs, dates, and plums) chocolatey, sherry-like, velvety, silky creations Iíve ever tasted. On balance, itís definitely sweet (although a nice touch of hops dry it out in the finish) and perhaps it could use a bit more roastiness to dry it out a tad more, but its flavor is so voluptuous that I really couldnít knock it down even a tenth.

5
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
DocLock (7912) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 29, 2011
Bomber from Frank Smithís. 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.

5
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
SPDickerman (975) - Texas, USA - FEB 1, 2013
Pours dark ruby mahogany with a small beige head. Smells of molasses, hints of chocolate, and tingles of tobacco. Taste is dark fruits, hints of chocolate and molasses, and hints of tobacco. Full-bodied with a slick texture and soft mouth-carbonation, Firestone Walker XV Anniversary Ale finishes with a bit of heat and some barrel dryness.

4.9
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
jstraw (1928) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 24, 2012
Draft at Jerryís. Dark mahogany with big, creamy, tan head / Rich nose of dark fruit, bourbon, chocolate, and oak / Full body, chewy and creamy, sweet but with good hopping, and long, only slightly hot, finish / Flavor of semisweet chocolate, dates, prunes, dark roast coffee, caramel, coconut, cinnamon, vanilla and oak / I apologize for the 1 point deduction.

4.9
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
onceblind (4286) - Denver, Colorado, USA - SEP 22, 2012
Aged approx 11 months. Murky dark rosy with a beige head that doesnít last at all. Heady beautiful aroma of cherry, plum, raisin, vanilla, a little bit of boozy oak, and dark sweet malt. Flavor is a complex explosion of everything in the aroma, and more. Dark malty tones of toffee and fig/raisins greet you with a touch of vanilla and tobacco, blending into honey, cherry and oak with a bourbony brown sugar/molasses sweetness and some gentle booziness, blending into some subtleties of cocoa and tobacco and gentle resinous hops. Wow-wee. This is the most complex, fruity, balanced, and delightful beer Iíve ever had. I can only knock it down a little for itís lack of head, but otherwise this beer is a masterpiece.

4.8
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
jeff789 (1407) - West Chester, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 6, 2012
Big nearly black beer with no head to speak of... Big big big slightly sweet bourbon creamy aroma with notes of vanilla roast dark fruits, exceptionally complex, as the bourbon is big but not overpowering... Deftly blended with notes of dark fruits, vanilla, woods, cream, roast, bourbon, brandy... Full bodied but not overly full bodied, each sip begs you to come back for more with complex flavors, super silky body... Quite possibly the best barrel aged beer ive had...

4.8
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
bigabe (194) - California, USA - MAR 6, 2012
Quite simply, the most complex beer I have ever tasted. Massive chocolate, coffee, bourbon notes... sweet malt, bourbon, and a little hop bite on the finish. Massively awesome, extremely epic... pick your superlative. This beer is incredible.

4.8
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
zizzybalubba (1448) - Elizabeth City, North Carolina, USA - JAN 19, 2013
On tap during the 43 Hours of Dark at The Birch, Norfolk, VA. Murky brown pour with a thin off-white head. Aroma of vanilla, bourbon, brown sugar, and maple syrup. Tastes of oak, coconut, chocolate cake, bourbon, and vanilla. Nice heat from the alcohol that adds just the right touch. Nothing short of stunning.

4.8
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
mgnewman5 (7) - - DEC 3, 2013 does not count
Enjoy it more than the 16 and 17 by far. Smooth, boozy and lots of dark sugars. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

4.7
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
Livid (49) - - JAN 1, 2012
22oz. bottle. Pours very dark, thick amber head. Smells of vanilla, clove, figs. Medium body. Sweet, roasty, vanilla, oak, bourbon, alcohol warmth. Lingering spiced afterglow. Itís expensive, but the incredible flavor profile and rich aromas are worth the expense. One of the best beers I have enjoyed in quite some time.


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