Firestone Walker 16 (XVI Sixteenth Anniversary Ale)

RATINGS: 378   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.04/5   SEASONAL: Series   EST. CALORIES: 390   ABV: 13%
The Aging Cellar – The Components
We blended together 226 oak barrels and 8 different beers creating something truly complex and exceptional.

The following are descriptions of key components with their original code names:

Velvet Merkin (8.7% ABV) - Aged in Bourbon barrels
-Traditional Oatmeal Stout (23% of final blend)
OG= 15P FG=5.5 IBU=32.5 Color= Black / 15% Oats / Hopped with 100% US grown Fuggles

Stickee Monkee (12.5% ABV) - Aged in Bourbon and Brandy barrels
-English Barley Wine (22.5% of final blend)
OGP FG=5.4P IBU=45 Color=28 / Brewed with Mexican Turbinado (Brown) sugar

Double Double Barrel Ale (14.2% ABV) - Aged 100% in retired Firestone Union barrels
-Double strength English Pale Ale (20.3% of final blend)
OG=25.0P FG=5.1P IBU=30 Color=16 / A Double version of our flagship created by Ali Razi

Parabola (13% ABV) - Aged in Bourbon barrels
-Russian Imperial Oatmeal Stout (10.8% of final blend)
OG=31P FG=8.5P IBU=80 Color=Black / Hopped with Simcoe, Bravo, Styrian Golding and East Kent Golding

PNC (13.0% ABV) - Aged in Tequila barrels
-American Strong Buckwheat Stout (8.1% of final blend)
OG = 25P FG = 5.0P IBU = 80 Color = 100 / Brewed with Buckwheat

Helldorado (11.5% ABV) - Aged in Bourbon Barrels and Brandy barrels
-Blonde Barley Wine (5.4% of final blend)
OG=24.7P FG=4.5P IBU=24 Color = 8 / Brewed with buckwheat honey & 100% El Dorado hops

Bravo (13.4% ABV) - Aged in Bourbon and Brandy barrels
-Imperial Brown Ale (5.4% of final blend)
OG=26.5 FG=7.7 IBU=35 Color=32 / Hopped with 100% US grown Fuggles

Wookey Jack (8.3% ABV)- 100% Fresh, Dank & Hoppy 100% Stainless Steel
-Black Rye India Pale Ale (4.5% of final blend)
OG= 18P FG = 3.0P IBU = 80 Color =black / Extremely hoppy double dry hopped BIPA

As a finished beer, XVI takes us back to some of the wonderful dark notes (the black keys) that I remember from the original 10 blending. XVI is 42% stout with Velvet Merkin, Parabola and “PNC” working together as three roasty toasty friends that create rich cacao, chocolate and mocha flavors together. “PNC” also introduces tequila barrels into our blend for the first time and brings some interesting south of the boarder spirit notes to the mix – a welcome twist. Helldorado, with flavors of lavender honey liqueur was again a favorite of the winemakers and made the cut adding some flowery notes. DDBA continues to deliver its signature American toasted oak, English caramel toffee and light leather nuances. DDBA was also release on its own in 2012 and is now established as a solid annual brew. Stickee Monkee is fast becoming one of our favorite pieces with its rich maple syrup, spicy cinnamon, and ripe fig flavors which has developed into a bolder cousin of perennial blend component Bravo who carries barrel character and bourbon notes like no other. The additional twist this year is Wookey Jack, Black Rye IPA with its wily citrusy hop notes and spicy rye backbone. The finished blend is unfiltered and unfined, so there will be a small amount of sediment in the bottom of the bottle. XVI 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 dusty chocolate, stone fruit and crème brulee character is reveled as the rich spirit characters fade - 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 Seventh oak-aged blend! The journey continues and its just as fun and exciting now as it was back in 1996. Thank you so much for spending a little time with us!

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BOLTZ7555 (3127) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - NOV 22, 2012
Dark mocha and mahogany pour with a dense latte head. Cocoa, vanilla, bourbon, oak, molasses, brownie batter and roasted coffee in the nose. Complex flavors with only a moderate amount of alcohol heat. Seems less aggressive and more polished out of the gate than prior releases. Dark fruit, Starbucks, and Godiva...yum!

beerbastard (844) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - NOV 21, 2012
Thanksgiving Eve! Got a 22oz bottle today and couldn’t wait. Very dark pour with legs. Coffee, burbon followed by milk chocolates, nose. Tastes start with a blend of Burbons and coffees. Very smooth silky feel. It gets more complex with some figs, dates, and toffee. I feel like I notice some tequila in the background. Finishes malty with alcohol burn. It’s good! Alot of complex flavors, in the background but, this what stood out to me.

talon1117 (1152) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - NOV 20, 2012
Despite my brain saying it is too early, my tongue opened this early. The pour is a very dark, nearly black, deep garnet color with a moderately full, tan, pillowy head which is somewhat lasting and leaves minimal drippy lace. The nose is full of spice (alcohol, pepper, bourbon, tequila, rye, cinnamon), vanilla bean, molasses, almond, milk chocolate, cocoa, light maple, and faint grapefruit. The flavor is similar with less spice but still present; there is a very slight grapefruit and peach underneath everything, almonds still, dusty yeast and dry chocolate, molasses, maybe a fig note, (I saw creme brulee and that is there), some toasty oak, cinnamon and pepper, and a tequila note that is very distinguishable. The palate is perfect with a a soft to lively carbonation, a full body, and a round, chewy, and velvety mouthfeel. The beer finishes with some coffee roast and dark chocolate adding bitterness, still cinnamon, vanilla creme brulee, molasses, but ultimately chocolate notes lingering. Another very nice beer from Firestone and another I’m sure will age very well. The tequila presence was very minimal but truly a very different tasting note in a beer for me. Nice.

wheresyourball (575) - El Cajon, California, USA - NOV 18, 2012
Bottle shared with Steve and Austin, poured into a tulip. Pours light brown with little head. Complex nose and taste - chocolate, coffee, dried fruits, with a lot of alcohol burn. Very good, better I think than XV, and likely to get better with time. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

crossovert (13909) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 17, 2012
Only got a 6 oz pour which really ahd to be like 4 the bar was just stiffing us. Didn’t get ot revel in its complexity but it defintely struck me as being similiar ot the 15.

Caskalefan (168) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - NOV 17, 2012
UPDATED: NOV 22, 2012 Very deep copper/brown pour with the usual nice head retention and nice lacing. Very different from last year’s offering, this version is definitely reflective of a higher stout percentage. It’s roastier and considerably drier on the palate with a very firm, tight flavor profile. The bourbon is there, but it’s more subtle, and more brandy comes through, as well.Baker’s chocolate,(a touch of) cinnamon, ginger,nutmeg, cherry cordial, figs, raisins, dates, vanilla, lavender, honey, burnt caramel, and toasted coconut are evident, as well as plum, breadfruit, kumquat, and a subtle citric quality. I also pick up an eccentric green tea characteristic, and even some melon. There are also esters of pears in brandy that I think must come from the tequila barrel aged buckwheat stout., and it is accompanied by a subtle smokiness, along with those wonderful leather and tobacco notes. As a bonus, there is less heat present than I’ve noticed in a newly released bottle in this series. XVI is my hands-down favorite in the series, and is absolutely the most drinkable. Thanks, Firestone, for this mind (and palate) blowing achievement.

DesertDevil (699) - Arizona, USA - NOV 16, 2012
On draft at West Fourth/Jane. Clear, dark brown color with a ring of beige bubbles for the head. Immediate tequila on the nose, with hints of black licorice and a touch of biscuit. Sweet caramel toffee forward with tequila, prunes, some coconut, and a bit of bitter coffee on the back end. Despite a pleasant malty backbone, it has a much lighter body than the past anniversary ales. Lovely brew.

kmweaver (3208) - Petaluma, California, USA - NOV 16, 2012
22oz bottle, courtesy of Firestone Walker. Thanks, folks! Pours a deep, dark cola-brown color; mixed-bubbled, very light-tan head with modest retention. Layers of dried dark fruits, bright oak, lightly charred wood, and a clean, vinous warmth in the nose; a lean, layered sweetness; some caramel and brown sugar. Medium-full body; very light co2; layers of dark fruits, brown sugar and caramelization, a subtle note of alcohol (especially for a beer this size), and some darker notes of charred oak & bitter chocolate; sweet, but not syrupy courtesy of the alcohol and specialty malt bitterness and tannins tempering things; really nicely blended, and on par with their previous efforts. Lasting finish shows a toastiness emerging and a balanced, lightly chocolatey end.

joeneugs (6372) - Livermore, California, USA - NOV 16, 2012
22 oz. bottle. It pours a nice chestnut brown color with a khaki head. For some reason I was expecting this to be darker. The aroma has lots of coffee, fudge, butterscotch and creme brulee. Like dessert in a glass. There’s some subdued notes of bourbon and wood, but those are secondary. The flavor doesn’t seem quite as sweet, and give this some points for being reasonably attenuated for such a big beer. Not syrupy at all in the mouthfeel. The alcohol comes through stronger in the flavor though. Caramel, bourbon, vanilla stand out. A little hot? Yes, but damn tasty.

socaltay (204) - Ventura, California, USA - NOV 16, 2012
Another great beer from their anniversary series. This beer builds on the complexities that you have experienced in the previous releases. This beer is very complex but oddly drinkable Easily one of the best beers I have had

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