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Firestone Walker 17 (XVII Seventeenth Anniversary Ale)

Serve in Snifter, Tulip


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 230   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.06   EST. CALORIES: 399   ABV: 13.3%
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As a finished beer, XVII is dark, rich and complex. The lead beers of the blend are Bravo, a lean and oak-forward imperial brown ale and Stickee Monkee, a huge brown sugar infused barley wine. These beers are beautiful on their own but together they bring rich molasses drenched oak flavors and cinnamon glazed almond aromas lifted by high alcohol. In the middle of the blend are our two favorite stouts, Parabola and Velvet Merkin, working in concert to provide a dusty cocoa mocha aroma and bitter dark chocolate flavors. Somehow together in this blend I am reminded of Bourbon-soaked chocolate chip cookie dough! Double DBA makes the blend again this year, bringing its signature vanilla-infused crème brulée flavor. Helldorado, our blonde barley wine, helps to bring balance with its honey notes and light leather nuances. Like last year, a dash of Wookey Jack made the cut bringing with it some fresh hop notes derived from bold Citra and Amarillo creating even more interesting complexity. All together I find XVII to be full of soft chocolate and warm spice perfectly balanced by toasted coconut, bourbon barrel notes and smooth creamy malt mellowness. The finished blend is unfiltered and unfined, so there will be a small amount of sediment in the bottom of the bottle. XVII 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 chocolate and spice character is revealed as the ethereal spirit characters dissipate - 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 eighth oak-aged blend. The journey continues and it’s just as fun and exciting now as it was back in 1996. Thank you so much for spending a little time with us!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
j12601 (7350) - Poughkeepsie, New York, USA - DEC 30, 2013
Bottle shared with Jacob and Tom. Pours a clear ruby brown with a large creamy beige head. Bit of iodine in the front, moves into some sweet vanilla and bourbon, wood and caramel. Beautiful sweet caramel and a bit of chocolate, warm alcohol but not boozy. Sweet bourbon, cocoa, a bit of wood. Super smooth,a bit of umami. Long warm sweet caramel into the finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Jesterdeal (1984) - Marlton, New Jersey, USA - DEC 29, 2013
Bottle shared with the family. Aroma is candied nuts, belgian chocolate, figs, and vanilla. Pours deep red and thick with a nice small white head. Taste is brazilnut, vanilla, licorice, citrus, oak, and chocolate. Much hoppier than last years with some cool rye/licorice notes dominating the bourbon sweetness. Neat but not as intense as last year. Still a great brew.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
tgncc (2986) - Bellmore, New York, USA - DEC 29, 2013
The aroma is brown sugar, fruity, light smoke, tobacco, sweet, vanilla, lots going on. The appearance is deep brown, red hue, opaque, off-white head. The flavor is sweet, brown sugar, fruit, bread. A bit of a mess, like barley wine and porter and stout and IIPA all thrown together, which is what this is. For once, I’m not totally feeling their blend of beers, which is usually perfect. Don’t get me wrong, this is good, but not quite great. The finish is a bit weak, sweet, vanilla, oaky, VERY light bourbon. Medium in body, indeed, a tad less than medium overall, and a bit watery. I confess to being a tad disappointed by this, but only because I had such high expectations.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
jcnielsen (2398) - Charlotte, North Carolina, USA - DEC 28, 2013
Bottle at Vail. Thanks to adnielsen for sharing. Pours a deep brown color with off white head. Oak, caramel, roasty sweet, slight booze aromas. Roasty, bourbon, slight alcohol burn, vanilla flavors. Pretty tasty.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
dinkle50 (1075) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 28, 2013
Ruby red with a thin head. Gingerbread and toffee aroma. Graham crackers come to mind as you sip on this. Light mouth. Taste is very sugary. Lots of toffee. Hints of alcohol and some vanilla. Crazy complex.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Pailhead (5348) - Brownstown, Michigan, USA - DEC 27, 2013
Courtesy of 5000 via trade

Bottle: The aroma consists of chocolate, caramel, vanilla, coconut, and bourbon. It pours a dark brown with some reddish-orange highlights and a small beige head that fades to a thin ring. The flavor starts with chocolate, caramel, and a hint of molasses. The finish has light-moderate coconut, light vanilla, maple syrup, and faint bourbon. It’s medium bodied with with mild carbonation. Overall...wow is this is insanely drinkable for 13.3%.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
tectactoe (2881) - Michigan, USA - DEC 27, 2013
Bottle: thanks, Kevin! Deep brown pour, appears black in the glass with a light khaki head that dissipates to a chunky collar rather quickly. Aroma has notes of brown sugar, toffee, buckwheat, cocoa powder, wet oak, faint bourbon, mild vanilla, caramelized sugar, & some sweet chocolate faintly in the back-end. Lots of stuff going on, lovely. Taste is crazy smooth; cocoa nibs, grainy buckwheat, toffee, light coconut, vanilla, brown sugar, mild oak tannins, & a warming bourbon presence throughout. This stuff is insanely smooth for 13.3% & has a well integrated, beautifully complex aroma & flavor profile.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
dmac (4438) - Toms River, New Jersey, USA - DEC 27, 2013
22oz bomber from Spirits Brick. Poured a medium to thicker dense pitch black body with a smaller tight foamy deep beige head. Aroma is boozy, notes of vanilla, caramel, burnt toast, dark chocolate, molassess, burnt dates, fig, English toffee, bourbon barrel. Medium to slightly fuller bodied with a high amount of alcohol heat and softer carbonation, this is just a tad too hot for my taste. Flavor is just as good as the aroma if not a slight bit better. Notes of bourbon, vanilla extract, burnt caramel, some toffee and molasses, dark chocolate and roasted coconut, barrel, bourbon, some citrus rind. really nice beer but just a touch too hot.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
BelgianBeerGal (3289) - Panama City, Florida, USA - DEC 26, 2013
Christmas Eve bottle (continued into Christmas morning) grabbed in Phoenix. I can’t believe how easy drinking this was at this point in its life. This was not hot for 13+ ABV. I really like the sweeter, dark sugar barley wine flavors.The hops here are buried deep but it worked for me. Very tasty and definitely a great sipper.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
hopwine (472) - brooklynzzzzz, New York, USA - DEC 26, 2013
Pours a muddy very dark brown with tan head. Big barrel presence on the nose and flavor. Bourbon, vanilla, coconut, fudgey chocolate, toffee/caramel sweetness. Very faint hop accents poke through a bit. Another awesome anniversary from FW.

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