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Firestone Walker 16 (XVI Sixteenth Anniversary Ale)

Serve in Snifter, Tulip


on tap

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RATINGS: 357   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.05/5   SEASONAL: Series   EST. CALORIES: 390   ABV: 13%
The Aging Cellar – The Components
We blended together 226 oak barrels and 8 different beers creating something truly complex and exceptional.

The following are descriptions of key components with their original code names:

Velvet Merkin (8.7% ABV) - Aged in Bourbon barrels
-Traditional Oatmeal Stout (23% of final blend)
OG= 15P FG=5.5 IBU=32.5 Color= Black / 15% Oats / Hopped with 100% US grown Fuggles

Stickee Monkee (12.5% ABV) - Aged in Bourbon and Brandy barrels
-English Barley Wine (22.5% of final blend)
OGP FG=5.4P IBU=45 Color=28 / Brewed with Mexican Turbinado (Brown) sugar

Double Double Barrel Ale (14.2% ABV) - Aged 100% in retired Firestone Union barrels
-Double strength English Pale Ale (20.3% of final blend)
OG=25.0P FG=5.1P IBU=30 Color=16 / A Double version of our flagship created by Ali Razi

Parabola (13% ABV) - Aged in Bourbon barrels
-Russian Imperial Oatmeal Stout (10.8% of final blend)
OG=31P FG=8.5P IBU=80 Color=Black / Hopped with Simcoe, Bravo, Styrian Golding and East Kent Golding

PNC (13.0% ABV) - Aged in Tequila barrels
-American Strong Buckwheat Stout (8.1% of final blend)
OG = 25P FG = 5.0P IBU = 80 Color = 100 / Brewed with Buckwheat

Helldorado (11.5% ABV) - Aged in Bourbon Barrels and Brandy barrels
-Blonde Barley Wine (5.4% of final blend)
OG=24.7P FG=4.5P IBU=24 Color = 8 / Brewed with buckwheat honey & 100% El Dorado hops

Bravo (13.4% ABV) - Aged in Bourbon and Brandy barrels
-Imperial Brown Ale (5.4% of final blend)
OG=26.5 FG=7.7 IBU=35 Color=32 / Hopped with 100% US grown Fuggles

Wookey Jack (8.3% ABV)- 100% Fresh, Dank & Hoppy 100% Stainless Steel
-Black Rye India Pale Ale (4.5% of final blend)
OG= 18P FG = 3.0P IBU = 80 Color =black / Extremely hoppy double dry hopped BIPA

As a finished beer, XVI takes us back to some of the wonderful dark notes (the black keys) that I remember from the original 10 blending. XVI is 42% stout with Velvet Merkin, Parabola and “PNC” working together as three roasty toasty friends that create rich cacao, chocolate and mocha flavors together. “PNC” also introduces tequila barrels into our blend for the first time and brings some interesting south of the boarder spirit notes to the mix – a welcome twist. Helldorado, with flavors of lavender honey liqueur was again a favorite of the winemakers and made the cut adding some flowery notes. DDBA continues to deliver its signature American toasted oak, English caramel toffee and light leather nuances. DDBA was also release on its own in 2012 and is now established as a solid annual brew. Stickee Monkee is fast becoming one of our favorite pieces with its rich maple syrup, spicy cinnamon, and ripe fig flavors which has developed into a bolder cousin of perennial blend component Bravo who carries barrel character and bourbon notes like no other. The additional twist this year is Wookey Jack, Black Rye IPA with its wily citrusy hop notes and spicy rye backbone. The finished blend is unfiltered and unfined, so there will be a small amount of sediment in the bottom of the bottle. XVI is best enjoyed poured carefully into a half filled brandy snifter or red wine glass. Allow it to warm to 55F to fully enjoy the pleasing and complex aromas. It takes a while, but as this beer sits and breathes in the glass, more rich dusty chocolate, stone fruit and crème brulee character is reveled as the rich spirit characters fade - 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 Seventh oak-aged blend! The journey continues and its just as fun and exciting now as it was back in 1996. Thank you so much for spending a little time with us!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
DuffMan (8318) - the land of bitumen, beef & beer, Alberta, CANADA - JAN 20, 2013
UPDATED: JUL 11, 2014 Re-rate : RBAG 2014 vertical tasting. This was far less complex, thinner, and hotter than when I had it fresh. Almost a completely different brew. 3.7 Bottle, shared with Parksy and Grippitis. Dark lustrous near-black in the dim light of the pub, dense brown head that sits still on its throne. The nose is sweet and dark, and portends a richness that raises my hopes high. Toasted coconut floods the palate, vanilla, chocolate, roasted marshmallow, dark fruits, especially dark cherries and fig paste, reach the senses later, after my mouth is finished marvelling at the wonderful sweetness. Subtle spiciness. Luscious. Silky and velvety. It ranks as one of the most complex and deliciously interesting beers I’ve had. A new top-ten for me. I love finding a beer like this. 4.5

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
olio (8197) - Tampere, FINLAND - MAY 4, 2013
Sample @ CBC’13.
Pours clear dark copper color with a small head. Aroma of mild hops, dark ripe fruits, some caramel malts and toffee. Mild wooden and vanilla notes appear on the background. Very refined aroma altogether. Flavor has some sweet ripe fruits, caramel malts, subtle toffee notes and wooden wine notes. Nice mouth-drying effect with a somewhat sticky and tangy finish. Excellent.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
KyotoLefty (8125) - Kyoto, JAPAN - FEB 9, 2014
Bottle. Almost black, bubbly head. Huge nose. Bourbon and vanilla, wood, caramel chocolate, plums and raisin. Big bourbon barrel flavors, vanilla, chocolate, lots of dried fruits, very good use of the barrels. Great balance. Hugely tasty.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
sebletitje (8116) - Enghien, BELGIUM - SEP 30, 2013
Bouteille 66cl de Ibrew2or3, cheers Dave for bringing this fine gem. Brune foncé, col léger café au lait - moka avec un très beau doré au verre. Arôme est envoûtant offrant à la fois une complexité de barrique et bourbon, le tout sur des notes biscuitées, toffee et caramel. Palais est délicieux, note douce de caramel mais sans tomber dans le faux le tout mixé à des notes de barriques, doux sucre brun. Boisé très léger et une impression de toffee couplé à une certaine douceur vanillée. Franchement dur de trouver les mots tant la bière est complexe tout en restant agréable à déguster. On se retrouve entre les malts, le dessert avec des notes de grillés, et chocolaté, subtile touche torréfiée complété par un barrel-aging efficace. Dur de décrire cette expérience. Quoique portant nombres de similitudes avec les autres versions, Firestone démontre encore sa grande maîtrise des assemblages de fûts. Du tout grand art que cette bière.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
kermis (8062) - The Hague, NETHERLANDS - MAY 5, 2013
Bottle sampled at CBC 2013. Pours dark brown with a small tan head. Aroma of light bourbon, vanilla, fudge, ripe fruit, chocolate and molasses. Flavor is light heavy sweet and moderate bitter. Full bodied with flat carbonation.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
phaleslu (8006) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - MAR 5, 2013
22 oz. bottle via trade. Pours a deep, dark, basically opaque brown with a small, wispy khaki head. The film and ring last a while. The aroma doesn’t quite pop like in other years but offers smooth chocolate, roast, and oats, bourbon, oak, tequila, vanilla, and toasted brown sugar. The flavor opens up more, with bourbon and tequila heat up front, oak, earth, vanilla, caramel, roast and oats, and dark fruits. Booze on the finish. Medium-bodied, with a smooth, rich, boozy mouthfeel and moderate carbonation. Doesn’t get more complex than this series. Still, doesn’t stand out like other years.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
j12601 (8000) - Poughkeepsie, New York, USA - DEC 23, 2012
Bottle shared by John at work. Pours a deep black with a thin to medium sized tan head. Bourbon on the nose right away, roast and cocoa, chocolate, wood. Warm bourbon, cocoa. Long sweet roast, more cocoa. Lots of depth and a good amount of subtlety. Lingering wood, roast, cocoa, chocolate.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
marcus (7994) - Sacramento, California, USA - DEC 2, 2012
Bottle from Healthy Spirits. Pours dark brown with a disappearing tan head and a bourbon and treacle aroma. There is a satisfying dark molasses flavor with a carbonated oak finish and a warming alcohol trail. Very complex and tasty.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
BMan1113VR (7911) - Los Angeles, California, USA - DEC 22, 2012
On tap. Pours with a deep brown hued body with a largish tan head. Aromas are of barrel, brown sugar, nutty char, tobacco. Lots of barrel, but not quite as much as I was expecting. Medium raisins, dark fruit and lightly faded hops. Strong cola and light molasses. Flavors are of coconut, vanillin, brown sugar. Dry and earthy, leathery, plum, soil, barrel, dark fruit complexity with a nice oak interplay. Mildly fruity brandy notes. Medium carbonation, big alcohol, medium body and tannin. Good for the current season. Tasty right now, but I don’t see much benefit in aging this particular Anniversary.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
slowrunner77 (7861) - Reno, Nevada, USA - SEP 22, 2014
"Man...don’t know where to start with this one. This year’s blend (which over the last 2-3 years has become THE seasonal release) is rather stout heavy (42%). So was XIII, my personal favorite. This year’s is maaaybe a notch lower in pure awesomeness...better than 14, a step behind the barleywine heavy 15 (hard not to try and rank these in my head, but I love em all). Probably THE most complex of the blends. Still sweet leaning, a little heavy and sticky, but surprisingly lacking in alcohol burn. Warm? Yes. Hot? No. Aroma sensory delight...cocoa, mocha, leather, wood, bourbon/vanilla, and a hint of brandy and yes, tequila (very very subtle, a tiny bit more in the flavor). A floral honey-like sweetness from the Helldorado (probably my favorite componenet), light toffee and caramel (DDBA) and dark fruit. Taste is likewise so ridiculously complex (though bourbon and cocoa dominant, it goes waaaay beyond those flavors). Slight twang from "other" barrels and an ever so slight note of rye and hops from the Wookie (like last year’s use of DBL Jack, just to temper sweetness. Expensive at $22 per, but you can tell the craftsmanship that goes into something like this. One of the most decadent and complex beers I’ve had. And the best part? No hint of surprise in that statement. "

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