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Firestone Walker 17 (XVII Seventeenth Anniversary Ale)

Serve in Snifter, Tulip


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RATINGS: 234   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 crčme 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

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
fishonmyplane (497) - 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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
caesar (5565) - Bunnik/Utrecht, NETHERLANDS - APR 18, 2015
Bottle @ WWT IV, small sample. Clear brown color, short head. Aroma of bourbon, cookie, caramel, bit booze. Medium sweet in taste, bit alcoholic, bourbon, vanilla. Big sipper.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Maakun (1156) - The Hague, NETHERLANDS - APR 18, 2015
Bottlee at WWT tasting. Black with small shoirt lasting beige head. Marzipan, cognac, milk chocolate, sweet strawberry jam, iced coffee, sweet grape candy. Quite sweet. Medium to full bodied. Very nice.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Benzai (9548) - Oirschot, THE NETHERLANDS, NETHERLANDS - APR 17, 2015
Bottle shared @ WWT IV. Clear red-brownish color, average sized off-white to beige head. Aroma is a bit faint. Taste malts, some alcohol, roasted malts, some dark chocolate, a hint of overripe dark fruits. Medium body and carbonation.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jake65 (2846) - Boise, Idaho, USA - APR 16, 2015
Bottle, Boise imperial stout tasting. A deep brown pour with a thin ring of creamy brown head. Nose is rich and inviting; sweet barrel notes, cocoa, and vanilla. Taste is rich with bourbon and chocolate malts, lighter vanilla and toffee. A little on the boozy side, but rich and sultry.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
adster (497) - HUNGARY - FEB 21, 2015
A Firestone Walker aranykezű mesterei és szakértő segítői 2013-as évének megkoronázása a főzet, melyhez hozzájutni kiváltságnak számít. A művészi gonddal összeállított keverék a 17. évfordulóra az előző évi változatban is megtalálható összetevők mesteri elegyét nyújtja, jelen esetben egy imperial brown ale karakterét helyezve a középpontba, a különböző hordók lelke azonban ismét mennyei lenyomatot hagy minden egyes komponensen. Mahagóni teste ha lehet, még ékesebb köntöse az italnak a 16. évfordulós változathoz képest, illatai azonban kevésbé zabolázhatatlanok, lekerekített élűek, puhábbak és inkább mélyek, mint szertelenül szerteágazóak. Vaníliás kávé, mandulás likőr, konyak és szivarfüstös bourbon hangulatát árasztó pirított mogyorós aromák. Olajos kortyai súlyosak, kerekek, ugyancsak élesen alkoholosak, masszív, de elegáns párlatok képei köszönnek vissza belőlük. Olvasztott csokoládé, bourbon vanília, likőrös kókusz és fahéjas marcipán elemei sorakoznak kimeríthetetlen erővel, miközben a stílusok színpadán a bársonyos imperial stoutok és klasszikusan markáns barley wine-ok jegyei viaskodnak a háttérben, a stílusok egymásnak feszülése azonban korántsem képez feloldhatatlan ellentéteket, leginkább a lágy harmónia érzése az, amit az egyes karakterek egymáshoz idomulása során tapasztalhatunk. A 16. verzióhoz képest a brit jellegzetességeket ez esetben igazi amerikai vérvonal váltja, összességében némileg sötétebb, azonban kevésbé vad, elegánsabb változatát adva a Firestone Walker főzeteinek legnemesebb változata nyújtotta varázselegynek.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
trevor211 (1398) - Seattle, Washington, USA - FEB 7, 2015
Tap at Beer Junction. Murky dark cola brown. Not as hot as I remember. Mellowed aroma with vanilla, toffee, oak... sticky flavor, still a bit boozy, and the barrel character seems to have as much dark rum as whiskey. Quite sweet. Like boozy candy in a glass.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
GRM (3199) - Aylmer, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 31, 2015
Sample, draught, during the Great American Beer Festival (Denver), savoured on October 2 2014; eye: black, opaque, tiny sheet of beige head, no lacing; nose: woody, bourbon, roasted barley, caramel, toffee, alcohol; mouth: woody, bourbon, roasted barley, caramel, toffee, alcohol, alcohol warmth, finale in roasted barley with woody presence, average carbonation, mildly sweet, lightly bitter, alcoholic texture; overall: quite good FRANÇAIS Échantillon, en fűt, lors du Great American Beer Festival (Denver), savourée le 2 octobre 2014; śil : noire, opaque, petite couverture de mousse beige, pas de dentelle; nez : boisé, bourbon, orge torréfiée, caramel, toffee, alcool; bouche : boisé, bourbon, orge torréfiée, caramel, toffee, alcool, chaleur d’alcool, finale en orge torréfiée avec présence boisée, corsée, carbonatation moyenne, moyennement sucrée, légčrement amčre, texture alcoolique; en résumé : trčs bon

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
RexTalionis (2929) - FINLAND - JAN 30, 2015
Bottle. Dark amber in color with a tan head. This is a dark temptation that offers at first some creamy dark ripe fruityness infused with barrel notes in aroma. You also get some sweeter notes from both milk chocolate and vinous fudge mixed with little bit of christmas spices. Pretty nice. Feels rich, but not too heavy. Malty sweetness is present tastewise, hard toffee too and later on there’s some raisins and dadels too. Smooth one with some chocolate, almond sweetness and bourbon in finish. A notch up compared to the XVI.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
tcon25 (172) - Duvall, Washington, USA - JAN 27, 2015
Draft pour at Beer Junction. Black pour, very sweet aroma, boozy taste with a little bit of the barrel. Great beer.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
c0fein (310) - Helsinki, FINLAND - JAN 16, 2015
650ml bottle from Bier-Deluxe. Bottled 10/07/13.

Black colour with a small light brown head. Chocolate, bourbon, alcohol, wood, fullness. Big bottle only for me so this takes a while to enjoy. Sadly this is the only one, wish that could leave one to cellar for a few years.

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