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RATINGS: 182   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.05   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!


fishonmyplane's rating

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
fishonmyplane (437) - Newington, Connecticut, USA - APR 20, 2014
A very strong, rich ale. For the most part it comes across as an oak-aged stout/barleywine blend, but as noted in the description there are several other styles in there as well. It has multiple layers of bourbon, oak, molasses, vanilla, etc. Sweet but not cloying. They are right in saying that the flavors & aromas open up more as it warms to ~55 F. I must admit, I am usually skeptical of the approach of mixing together a bunch of different beers in order to achieve complexity. Nonetheless, this is a great sipping beer and the high ABV has a nice warming quality.


4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
smith4498 (3025) - Miami, Florida, USA - SEP 13, 2014
Bottle from a trade CaptainHook. Pours very dark brown color with light brown head. Aromas of bourbon, roasted malt, dark fruits and oak. Up front bourbon and roasted malt flavors with molasses, raisin, fig, vanilla, chocolate and oak. Full body with minimal carbonation. Another excellent FW anniversary beer. Thanks Jeremy.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
hapjydeuce (938) - San Diego, California, USA - SEP 12, 2014
Bottled direct from the Paso Robles brewery. Ive been on a Firestone Anniversary spree the last few weeks, drinking 15, 16 and now 17 sequentially as I steadily clear out the cellar. My involvement in the craft beer world is diminishing as priorities in life change, but I will always hold the Ratebeer community close to heart as one of my true passions in life. This anniversary ale is a step in a different direction than the previous three, with a heavier influence of brown ale character and barley wine. The color is a deep brown / copper, showing medium carbonation that settles out nearly flat. The aroma is filled with oak, cocoa powder, wet soil and tree roots with coffee and caramel. The flavor comes off sweeter and less bitter than the previous blends, with less emphasis on the alcohol heat and Bourbon influence. Chocolate liqueur and shredded coconut show through from the barley wine. Finishes long and sweet with a slightly oily palate. Delicious. I like the previous versions more. I probably jumped the gun here... based on my experience with much older Firestone Anniversaries the aging has done it wonders. This could benefit from the same treatment.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Jow (2150) - New York, USA - SEP 7, 2014
Bottle shared by Tom at the End of History tasting. pours deep maroon. Nose is of dark fruits and burnt sugar. tastes of figs, plums, rum, chocolate, bourbon sweetness finishes it off. decent with a hint of alcohol on tongue

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
jtclockwork (8405) - , New Jersey, USA - SEP 6, 2014
Bottle shared by Tom at end of history tasting. Pours dark brown tan head. Nose/taste of oak, brown sugar, alcohol soaked fig, dark fruit and bourbon. Full bodied.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
TheBeerGod (5249) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - SEP 5, 2014
Bottle. Opaque dark brown to near black pour with a short tan head. Aroma is big bourbon notes, vanilla, lots of toasted coconut, molasses, brown sugar, sweet malt, caramel and toasted malt. Taste is big vanilla, molasses, coconut notes, alcohol, toasted malt, caramel, sweet malt, brown sugar, light chocolate, rum cake and candied fruit. Body is medium-full with a moderate, bubbly carbonation. Very sticky with lots of boozy warmth. Ends with more vanilla, toasted coconut, bourbon notes, caramel, dark fruit, toasted malt, sweet malt notes, light chocolate and brown sugar. Tasty!

4.5
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
slowrunner77 (1610) - Reno, Nevada, USA - SEP 4, 2014
"These ave gotten a little stronger over the years, ad you can tell a little. That is really the only "fault" in this beer. It’s ridiculously smooth and has a near perfect body. Just a touch of too much alcohol on the nose and flavor prevent this from being ecstasy in a bottle. Bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, and leather up front and center. Complex and usual. This years blend is stout heavy, and I love my stouts. Stuck between 4.5-4.6 outta the gate. I’ll go low for now and see how it ages."

4.2
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
PartyFowle (17) - - SEP 2, 2014
Bottle into a snifter. Bright, fruity nose. The blend is apparent here -- it’s heavy on the brandy-aged brown ale and fruity English barleywine. Dark, sweet cherries, figs, toffee, caramel, a bit of toasted coconut. A dash of earth and milk chocolate. Raisins, blackberry. Sweet, smooth, rich. Flavor is equally tasty and complex. Malt-forward, lots of caramel and toffee drizzled with vanilla, ethanol, oak. Dates in the back, caramelized aged oranges. Strawberry. Creamsicle-like. Again, some earthy hop bitterness and touches of chocolate malt. Velvety medium-light body. Mild, tingly carbonation. Ethanol is biggest in the nose, a little tongue numbing, but well hidden overall. A tropical drink, almost. Cherry/orange, with caramel and vanilla.

4.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Pyrmir (3351) - Uppsala, SWEDEN - AUG 30, 2014
650 ml bottle. Dark ruby brown with tan head. Aroma is complex, alcohol, roasted malt, rum and mild chocolate. Taste is sweet, light roasted, alcohol, rum, light chocolate with a boozy and warming finish really nice

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
blklab2007 (1962) - Connecticut, USA - AUG 28, 2014
Bottle poured a very dark brown in color with a covering of off white head. Aroma has juicy barrels, oak, bourbon, vanilla, brown sugar, thick brown malt, chocolate, and custard. The description of Bourbon-soaked chocolate chip cookie dough is right on with sugars and marshmallow. Mouth feel is a solid medium with great coating and low side carbonation. Flavor busts out an amazing blend of barrel flavors matched up with huge rich base beers. Oak, vanilla, bourbon, chocolate, mid range malts that are rich and chewy, dark brown sugar, molasses, and a snap of heat showing it’s true strength. I have been drinking this anniversary series for five years now and it never fails to impress me with the detailed paperwork, fantastic packaging, and most importantly blending of lots of flavors in such a skillful way.

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Travlr (11812) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - AUG 28, 2014
Draft at Paradiso Dupont. Deep dark maroon brown color, beige head with good retention and solid lacing. Aroma of gingerbread house covered with dark chocolate and dark fruit, with a pot of coffee brewing inside. Taste is rich, complex dark fruits, dark roast, lots of character. Great silky full mouthfeel. Really delicious.


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