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Firestone Walker 17th Anniversary Review

IMG_218613.3% ABV. From Firestone Walker in Paso Robles, CA. I always look forward to FW’s anniversary beers every year and they never disappoint. Pours black-brown espresso with a tan one-finger head that recedes quickly but leaves along a nice thin lacing throughout. A quick whiff of vanilla and oak escaped the bottle once I opened it just as you would expect from a traditional FW Anniversary beer. Strong bourbon, oak, vanilla, dried fruit, chocolate, figs, and perhaps some crème brûlée are picked up in the nose. Good golly! This brew was pretty hot with its bourbon traits rushing out like the running of the bulls in Spain which made me a bit remorseful for not laying this brew to rest to allow it to age a bit longer so that the heat would mellow down significantly to enjoy the other complexities of the beer. After allowing for the beer to get just below room temperature, I could once again detect the oak and vanilla. I also picked up rich molasses, brown sugar, cinnamon, and the flavor was reminiscent of the Stickee Monkee, FW’s barleywine, as I understand the most forward component of this beer was the barleywine style. Medium bodied mouthfeel and decent carbonation throughout. Overall, this beer was very well made and tasted better after each sip mostly due to the temperature change which allowed the other flavors to open up and finally underwhelm the bourbon heat. Again, I wish I had laid this beer to rest and I plan to do that with my extra, so I’ll be seeing this one again next year!
theBeerAuthority: A-

Commercial Blend of the Firestone 17
30% Bravo Barrel-Aged Imperial Brown Ale
25% Stickee Monkey Barrel-Aged English Barley Wine
15% Velvet Merkin Barrel-Aged Oatmeal Stout
15% Parabola Barrel-Aged Imperial Russian Oatmeal Stout
8% Double Double Barrel Ale
4% Helldorado Barrel-Aged Blonde Barley Wine
3% Wookey Jack Black Rye India Pale Ale

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This entry was posted on March 11, 2014 by in Beer.

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