Firestone Walker 16 (XVI Sixteenth Anniversary Ale)

RATINGS: 381   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.05/5   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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Leighton (23107) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - NOV 4, 2014
Bottle shared in London - big thanks to Bruce. Pours clear brown with a frothy tan head. The nose holds of tangy ripe fruits, dark malts, grapes, dates. Medium to big sweet flavor with lots of jammy berries, raspberry, dates and figs, vanilla, burnt toffee. Full bodied with fine to average carbonation. Warming finish with lots of rich, dark sugars, loads of fig and date, suggestions of cocoa, background wood, some mild toffee. Great stuff. Exceptional depth and balance.

Scopey (16548) - Croydon, Greater London, ENGLAND - NOV 4, 2014
Bottle thanks to Bruce. It pours dirty dark brown with a small tan head. The nose is rich, dried fruits, toffee, vanilla, jammy, oily wood and roasty brown sugar. The taste is rich, roasty, wood, leather, vanilla, boozy, toffee, bourbon, earth, varnish and dried fruits, with a smooth, toffee finish. Fullish body and fine carbonation. Great balance and very enjoyable. Nice depth.

daleharshman (1085) - Escondido, California, USA - NOV 3, 2014
Boxed bomber purchased at Holiday Wine Cellar almost two years ago ($23.99). Pours dark brown with one finger of tan foam. AROMA of very rich toffee, vanilla, long-aged bourbon, nutty coffee, old leather, with some maple syrup and molasses. FLAVOR of big dark caramel, rich dark chocolate, vintage port, bourbon and cognac, sticky molasses, and cherry pipe tobacco. Sweet-ish elements are present here, but overall this is not very sweet. Boozy but the very high ABV is well concealed. A very nuanced blend, though I do not like it quite as much as the 15 and the 13. I have had the good fortune of trying many of the component beers (all of which are excellent on their own) and it is interesting that I can pick out elements of some of these contributory beers. Another excellent blend from FW and friends! (336, 921)

hackobock (4073) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - OCT 15, 2014
#1400. Bottle, October 3, 2014. Pours dark brown with a small off-white head. Aroma is bourbon, vanilla, milk chocolate, dried fruits, oak, hints of tequila. Taste is sweet caramel, dried fruits, milk chocolate, light bitter chocolate, bourbon and tequila notes. Finish is dried fruits, roasted bitterness, bourbon and tequila warmth. Very smooth sticky mouthfeel, soft carbonation.

DrewFace (970) - Melbourne, Florida, USA - OCT 11, 2014
Bottle share thanks to beechner224. Smooth bourbon and oaky, light vanilla and chocolate nose. Very dark, mostly opaque, tan head, persistent. Nice big bourbony flavor, chocolate, semisweet, light fruity character, dark fruity...very good. Medium full body.

beechner224 (1024) - Melbourne, Florida, USA - OCT 11, 2014
Bottle. Pours a deep brown borderline black. Aroma is strong bourbon and chocolate, reminiscent of parabola. A bit sweet. Taste is smooth, bitter, chocolate, and hint of boyrbon. Really easy drinker.

slowrunner77 (13408) - Reno, Nevada, USA - SEP 22, 2014
"Man...don’t know where to start with this one. This year’s blend (which over the last 2-3 years has become THE seasonal release) is rather stout heavy (42%). So was XIII, my personal favorite. This year’s is maaaybe a notch lower in pure awesomeness...better than 14, a step behind the barleywine heavy 15 (hard not to try and rank these in my head, but I love em all). Probably THE most complex of the blends. Still sweet leaning, a little heavy and sticky, but surprisingly lacking in alcohol burn. Warm? Yes. Hot? No. Aroma sensory delight...cocoa, mocha, leather, wood, bourbon/vanilla, and a hint of brandy and yes, tequila (very very subtle, a tiny bit more in the flavor). A floral honey-like sweetness from the Helldorado (probably my favorite componenet), light toffee and caramel (DDBA) and dark fruit. Taste is likewise so ridiculously complex (though bourbon and cocoa dominant, it goes waaaay beyond those flavors). Slight twang from "other" barrels and an ever so slight note of rye and hops from the Wookie (like last year’s use of DBL Jack, just to temper sweetness. Expensive at $22 per, but you can tell the craftsmanship that goes into something like this. One of the most decadent and complex beers I’ve had. And the best part? No hint of surprise in that statement. "

SirLimpsalot (4950) - SWEDEN - SEP 6, 2014
@ Basunen 14-9-6: ganska snäll doft men en trevlig smak med en fantastisk mjuk balans. Lite alkohol men trevliga toner av mogen frukt och rusin. Inte all värdens men ganska ok. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone ---- Soberness not garanteed!

hapjydeuce (1007) - Carlsbad, California, USA - SEP 2, 2014
Bottled, sitting at the back of my dwindling personal stash. Like all of the other Firestone Anniversaries, I picked this one up direct from the Paso Robles brewery sometime around Thanksgiving 2012... I think that’s the right year. Color is near-black with slight transparency when held up to light. Beautiful dark copper color around the edges. Low carbonation forms a bubbly tan head and sticky lacing. Aroma is smothered in cherry chocolate, vanilla bean, bourbon and oak. Tanned leather, tobacco and sweet chocolate follow in the flavor, with spicy nutmeg and maple syrup. The flavor is immediately bombarded by the warming character of the barrel liquors. Unbelievably, I think I taste the tequila barrel. As of finishing, I still haven’t decided if this is a good or bad thing. Interesting for sure. Oily mouthfeel, very nice palate. Overall the brandy, bourbon, and tequila notes came through damn strong, maybe just a bit too much for my tastes. Definitely a slow sipper. Not my most favorite of the Firestone Anniversary bunch, but a unique one to remember. The heat could benefit from a few solid years of aging.

SHIG (5300) - Wasilla, Alaska, USA - AUG 30, 2014
Bottle thanks to timfoolery: Poured black with a thin beige colored head. Aroma is vanilla, woodsy, and roasted malts. Strong bourbon bite, vanilla, coffee bean, roasted malts, alcohol burn and hints of chocolate melded with complexity. Finish leaves the tongue dry and tingly.

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