November 26, 2011

Firestone Walker Anniversary Ale XV

Each Year for the last five years Firestone Walker Brewing Company has released and Anniversary Ale. This year I was finally able to get my hands on a bottle of this rare blended beer. I canít compare this to the past years version of the Anniversary Ale because Iíve never had it, so if you are looking for a comparison from me, I canít help you out. This yearís Anniversary Ale is a blend of the following bears in what percentage (per the packaging).

18% Helldorado (11.7% ABV) Blonde Barley Wine.
17% Sticky Monkey (12.5% ABV) English Barley Wine.
17% Bravo (13.5% ABV) Imperial Brown Ale.
13% Double Double Barrel Ale (11.5% ABV) Double Strength English Pale Ale.
11% Good Foot (14.3 ABV) American Barley Wine.
10% Velvet Merkin (8.6% ABV) Traditional Oatmeal Stout.
9% Parabola (13% ABV) Russian Imperial Oatmeal Stout.
5% Double Jack (9.5% ABV) Double India Pale Ale.

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It pours a dark brown coffee color. There is a slight garnet or dark ruby coloring to it. Light passes through at the edges and there doesnít appear to be any haziness to it at all. A thick tan head consisting of tiny bubbles forms and fades very slowly. There is good lacing on the side of the glass that lasts until the beer is finished.

The smell is a complex blend of the various scents from the multitude of beers that went together into the construction of this ale. First off there is a noticeable coconut scent followed by bourbon and brandy. You can easily pull out tones of vanilla as well as chocolate malts. There is a hint of oak and dark fruits that bring all of the scents together pleasantly. Surprisingly you donít get a strong Alcohol scent with this being a 12.5 ABV beer.

The flavor is almost as complex as the scent and the beer mixture combination itself. The various beers blend together to create a tantalizing flavor combination of Vanilla, Coconut, Bourbon, Molasses, dark fruits and brown sugar. There noticeable chocolate and caramel malt accents that help solidify the flavor combinations. Unlike the scent you can pick up just a touch of the alcohol taste to it. The finish is a pleasant sweetness on the back of the tongue.

This is a full bodied beer. There is some creamy coating to the mouth, but not a lot. It has a light carbonation that makes it easy to drink.

I really enjoyed this beer and I was pleasantly surprised by its complex taste. Based on the fact that it is a combination of 8 different beers, I figured it would be so busy that it would be difficult to enjoy. That isnít the case. I enjoyed all 22 ounces of the beer and it was just as delicious all the way to the last drop. I will say that I did prefer it when it warmed up closer to room temperature than when I pulled it out of the refrigerator. If you get a chance to get this limited edition beer, I would suggest trying it. Itís well worth it. I give it 8.5 out of 10.

Posted by Contagion in Alcohol at November 26, 2011 07:35 PM | TrackBack

This sound really good.

Did you get it at Logli's in Rockford?

Posted by: Harvey at November 26, 2011 11:47 PM

No, I obtained this delight from Artale Wine Company in Rockford. Unfortunately it's a limited release and they only had two bottles left when I bought mine.

Posted by: Contagion at November 27, 2011 09:08 AM

No offense, but i suggest admin adding a "google+" button for easy share!

Posted by: elliptical reviews at December 12, 2011 07:17 AM