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Firestone Walker 17 (XVII Seventeenth Anniversary Ale)

 
overall
100
100
style
Serve in Snifter, Tulip

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unknown

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available

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RATINGS: 276   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.06/5   EST. CALORIES: 399   ABV: 13.3%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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!


3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Minderbinder (3264) - Québec, Quebec, CANADA - MAR 12, 2016
Bottle 660ml. Pours dark mahogany with low beige head. Minimal lacing. Aroma is of roasted malt. Taste is of roasted malt, alcohol, barley sugar. Palate: Full bodied. Soft carbonation. Overall: Good, boozy. One of the best of the series I guess.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
tom10101 (5192) - Quebec, CANADA - MAR 11, 2016
Bottle (22 oz) shared at tasting. Dark reddish-brown with a small beige head, moderate retention, leaving little lacing and little legs on the glass. Flavors of alcohol - booziness, molasses, bourbon, vanilla, oak, dark fruits, toasted malts, chocolatey notes, mineral notes... super rich again. . Taste is sweet but not that much. Boozy. Full body. Moderate carbonation. carbonation. Mouth coathing sirupy liquorous mouthfeel. Warming and hot finish. Quite similar to FW XVI we had just before. Pretty good sipper in small quantity, but not something I would like to drink on a regular basis (and never more than 2 oz of it) despite the wide array of flavors. Tasty.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
mathieuc (3248) - Québec, Quebec, CANADA - MAR 9, 2016
Pours a reddish brown with a small offwhite head that leaves spotty lacing. Nose is of raw alcohol, chocolate and bourbon (coconut). Taste is quite sweet and centered on chocolate. Some vanilla (coming from the bourbon/barrel I guess). Medium-full bodied with a soft carbonation. Some hot alcohol but nothing bad. A good strong ale, can’t say I would want to have it again, though.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Whatup14 (1580) - Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, CANADA - MAR 6, 2016
Bouteille 650ml, bottle share. Couleur acajou foncée presque opaque, mousse beige foncée fuyante. Arôme de malt torréfié, touche de cuir, mélasse, alcool. Goût poivrée, malt torréfié, boisé. Carbonatation moyenne-faible, corps moyen.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
czar (7525) - Québec, Quebec, CANADA - MAR 5, 2016
pours unclear dark brown with a small light beige cap offering some retention and lacing. chocolate chips, roasted powdery chocolate, coconut, burnt toffee, obvious bourbon, spicy red fruitiness, minerals, some sweetness - raisins and maple syrup; tasty nuts. moderate carbonation, medium body - oily; sweet and woodsy-bourbon-spicy finish. tasty.. and scattered. but less scattered than xvi.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
SlovakSniper (4984) - Candiac, Quebec, CANADA - MAR 5, 2016
Caramel, fruits, vanille, chocolat et réglisse au nez. Notes rôties, amertume d’alcool, chocolat noir, réglisse et vanille grillée. Corps ni tout à fait mince ni tout à fait fort. Arrière-goût amer et boisé.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
JulienHuxley (5578) - Trois-Rivières, Quebec, CANADA - MAR 5, 2016
Bottle shared. Brown red pour with thin white head. Aroma is super spicy, peppery, light roast, pepper, cherry, cherry coke. Taste is super spicy, tons of pepper, light alcohol, woody, rich English barleywine. Palate is full bodied with good carbonation. Good.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Nocturne (1769) - Cheshire, ENGLAND - DEC 30, 2015
650ml bottle. Dark brown with one finger head. Aroma works in chocolate and oaky notes. Taste seems to be where the complexities really lie. Well poised with sweetness and dryness. Not too thick and quite drinkable. The stouts that went into it shine most but it’s an interesting combination at work. Very good stuff.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Zakoon (483) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - NOV 30, 2015
650ml bottle enjoyed @ home. Pours very dark brown - cola like with a beige head. Aroma is i boozy, bourbon, vanilla, oak, dark dried fruits, caramel and toffee. Flavour is medium to heavy sweet, medium bitter. Full bodied, oilyish texture, soft carbonation. Finish is boozy, woody and plenty of caramel.

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
corby112 (2804) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 19, 2015
Pours a dark chestnut brown color that appears pitch black and opaque in the glass with a two finger, frothy beige head that slowly settles into a thick, lasting ring. Very good retention for the style and ABV, taking a while to settle and leaving streaks of soapy lacing behind. Very inviting aroma with a prominent barrel presence that’s nicely integrated into the characteristics of the various base beers. There’s a decent spirit presence, consisting mostly of sweet and spicy bourbon, but the oak and other barrel notes really stand out. Subtle charred oak but not too harsh or toothpick-like along with some silky vanilla bean, marshmallow and strong toasted coconut. As it warms the bourbon/whiskey stands out a bit more and the tropical coconut presence comes to the forefront. Underneath the barrel, there is a subtle citrus hop presence and a complex malt bill with a nice balance of earthiness, roast and sweetness. Slightly smokey with hints of coffee bean, oatmeal, dark chocolate and toast countered by leather, baker’s chocolate, caramel, burnt sugar and toffee. The brown ale and barley wine elements are the majority of the blend and it shows in the aroma. Not overly roasted or burnt smelling with sweeter, dessert-like and leathery, earthy malts. Also, the Mexican turbinado sugar from the stickee monkey portion is prominent providing additional sweetness that counters the barrel, spirit and more robust malts. The nose of this beer is very complex and appealing with not one element being too strong or overpowering. I would have preferred a little more bourbon, especially since it’s such a prominent part of the blend, but it’s refreshing to come across a BA beer it’s a complete booze bomb. Viscous full body with a strong boozy barrel presence that is perfectly integrated into the complex flavors of the blend. There’s some charred oak and boozy heat but the ABV is very well masked making this complex beer dangerously drinkable. I’m picking up a blend of different spirits but it’s mostly dominated by bourbon and whiskey. Along with the bourbon and oak, there’s a lot of toasted coconut and some sweet vanilla bean. Underneath the barrel flavors, there’s a very nice balance of stout, brown ale, barley wine and black IPA characteristics. Bravo imperial brown ale is the strongest portion of the blend and it definitely shows. There’s a prominent sweet, chocolate malt presence with subtle roast, caramel and toffee. Velvet Merkin and Parabola combine for 30% of the blend and together they provide more bourbon as well as roasted, robust malt and sweet dessert-like sweetness. Burnt toast, bittersweet dark cocoa, coffee bean and oatmeal followed by flourless chocolate cake, fudge and toffee. Stickee Monkee and Helldorado give the blend some more alcohol sweetness but surprisingly, there still isn’t much heat. Just great bourbon/whiskey/brandy flavor. In addition, these barleywines provide subtle earthy hops and a decent amount of leathery malt and a touch of vinous fruit sweetness. Toward the back end of the palate, the earthy hop bitterness and the spicy rye presence from Wookey Jack stand out. The WJ is only 3% of the blend but the spicy rye, resinous hop and subtle citrus stand up to all of the barrel flavors, boozy sweetness and complex malt flavors. Overall, I’m once again very impressed by the blend that FW came up with for this anniversary beer. Amazing barrel flavors that are perfectly integrated into the complex flavors of the base beers and the high ABV is nearly invisible. There is some heat and boozy sweetness but the drinkability is off the charts. I had to slow myself down before finishing the bomber to quickly. Another great beer from Firestone Walker. Highly recommended!


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