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RATINGS: 183   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.05   EST. CALORIES: 399   ABV: 13.3%
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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!


5
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
halfwayhouse (14) - - NOV 26, 2013
The flavors are almost indescribable. Chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, cherries--this is a great beer that develops in your mouth and just keeps getting better. Amazing beer.

5
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
Calvinroots (15) - Portsmouth, Virginia, USA - JAN 30, 2014
Blended perfection! What can you say? They nail it every time. Complex yet smooth even fresh. Unbelievable, exactly what I was hoping for.

4.9
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
magikarp (15) - - MAR 21, 2014
Amazing. Really complex. Deep red color. Too many flavors than I am able to perceive, but almost reminds me of red licorice.

4.9
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Braudog (5743) - Hampton, Virginia, USA - AUG 6, 2014
Bottle. Wow. Dark red-tinged black. The head is animated, the most interesting thing I’ve witnessed in almost 6000 beers ... the carbonation dances around, like sprites dancing around on a thin cloud. The aroma si rich with vanilla, bourbon, roast. This drinks with an equally flavorful -- thick with chocolate, more vanilla, a bit of banana, oak, and even a little bit of ful milk. Quite complex. Amazing. A+. (#5608, 8/6/2014)

4.8
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
JustDrinkIt (261) - Arizona, USA - NOV 27, 2013
Black-brown pour with toffee colored head. Aroma is toffee, caramel, vanilla, crème brulé. Flavors are full bodied chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon.

4.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
troupos40 (67) - New Jersey, USA - DEC 6, 2013
Draft to snifter, thick black with fluffy tan head. Aromas of chocolate, licorice, malt, vanilla. Thick mouth feel, very complex, one of the best I’ve had!

4.8
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
cernjoh (124) - Ohio, USA - APR 19, 2014
Poured into Firestone Walker snifter. Aroma is chocolate, booze, and vanilla. Appearance is dark brown, nearly black allowing no light to pass. Had 1 finger light tan head. Taste is chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, booze, and caramel. Palate is good with just the right carbonation though I’d expect this to be a bit more viscous. Overall an excellent beer as the ratings demonstrate.

4.8
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
fitwitchik (315) - USA - APR 19, 2014
Poured from a bomber into a Firestone Walker Snifter motor oil dark with a tan head. Aroma is exquisite. Vanilla bean coconut with warm spicy chocolate. Flavor is the same. Rich chocolate. Smooth bourbon. WOW. Perfectly balanced with all this brew should be. The anniversary ale is incredible. Every year. Yet another reason Firestone Walker is one of my top fave breweries.

4.7
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Thisis12ptfont (838) - Los Angeles, CA, California, USA - NOV 9, 2013
Immense aroma with candied sugar and coconut overtones followed by other notes of deep roast, straight bourbon, stinging rum, dried prunes and oats. Very black appearance with a distinct purple tint and circular lacing. Remarkably smooth, for the amount of beers they blended into this, it is insanely smooth. There is not really and upfront and backbone to this, it comes as one uniform piece bringing notes of sticky molasses, maple syrup, cinnamon, faint coffee bean oil, very dry cocoa nibs, toffee, plums, a slick cough syrup note (I think from the Double DBA) and burnt sugar/caramel. The finish brings immense alcohol which stays with you to the very end of the finish. Notes of dates, bourbon, plums, coconuts and more cough syrup loiter on the palate. Overall, this is seriously a piece of art. I am so impressed. I can detect the Double DBA and the Parabola and Velvet Merkin help to make this beer insanely smooth. Really something special. A+ rating.

4.7
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 20/20
poisoneddwarf (1714) - Rathdrum, Idaho, USA - DEC 14, 2013
Boxed foil-capped bomber. Aroma is right up this series’ alley: toasted coconut, cashew brittle, oak, dark fruit, artisan caramel candy. So good. Appearance isn’t too impressive, though. It has a pretty dark brown/near black to mahogany hue, but the small beige head is short-lived. Taste is sweet and savory with some extremely minor bitterness in the finish. Earthy, nutty flavors; like biting into an artisanal brownie with nuts. Licorice comes out after it warms. Mouthfeel seems a little more watery than usual, carbonation is average, body is not as full as the ABV would have you believe. Excellent top shelf effort, but maybe not as good as XIV and XVI. Really close, though. Goddam I love beer. This is what it’s all about.


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