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Beer Information
Average Review High Score Low Score Reviews Tried Consumed
91 94 88 9 28 15

Review by Surly Duff on 03/25/11  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
92 2 10 19 5 10 2007
This beer has been sitting in the cellar for quite a while. 50-55° the whole time.

Pours a jet black with a slightly tan off-white head hat quickly settles and leaves a ring around the edge of the glass. No real lacing left on the walls of the glass.

Smells of smooth syrupy malt with nice great toffee and light caramel. Oak notes come through a nice bit. Light roast with no burnt bitterness. Plenty of cocoa and light milk chocolate. No alcohol notes to be found. Just a small hint of bourbon that becomes apparent more so over time. Very light hints of dried fruit. Fig and raisin.

Super smooth with plenty of malty goodness. Medium flashiness with smooth oatmeal and a light nuttiness. Medium toffee and light caramel mingle nicely. Bourbon flavor comes through nicely as do light oak notes. Plenty of super smooth milk chocolate and just a tiny hint of coffee. Just a hint of hops still coming through with a touch of fruity flavor. Ends with a hint of brandy and bourbon mingled in the aftertaste.

Super smooth with just a hint of carbonation left. Drinks way too easy to believe it's got 11% ABV.

Served In: Snifter

Review by Dr. Rockzo on 11/12/09  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
90 2 11 18 5 9 0
Huge thanks to Dave N for the chance to try this illusive FW anniversary beer, very generous man! Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a Darkness snifter.

A: Pours out a semi-hazed brown-ish/burnt-amber color (lighter and clearer than I expected) with a very modest skin of thin dark-tan colored bubbles that recedes into near-nothingness quickly. Spotty/dotty patterns of very thin lace is left coating the glass here and there. Looked pretty much like what I expected, big BA beers don’t need a lot of head or lacing.

S: The smell is really deep and complex with a lot of remaining intensity even with the age. It’s really raisiny and full of dark fruits/berries initially, with a soft undercurrent of toasted oak, vanilla, butterscotch, and minor hints of toasted coconut. Some chocolate notes and a bit off creamy coffee comes out with some warmth, as well as some burnt-toffee/caramel and general semi-roastiness and fruity alcohol esters. There’s even more than that going on, but I’m having trouble picking it all out…very complex.

T: What strikes me right away about the taste is it’s so smooth and velvety and very mellow, but still complex as all hell. The raisins and dark-fruits/berries are much smoother and less pronounced and the barrel notes of toasted oak, vanilla, butterscotch, and coconut take center stage upfront. Very silky chocolate/creamy-coffee and some toasty/semi-roasty malts with some soft sweetness (that is mostly burnt molasses/caramel based) comes in mid-palate and lasts into the finish, with a strong-ish coffee/chocolate finish. The transition between the different aspects of the beer are super interesting and phenomenally intriguing, although it’s much mellower at this point than I expected.

M: The mouthfeel is nice and full bodied with a lower level of soft carbonation. The consistency starts a bit sticky but really smoothes out into an insane level of creamy softness that coats the tongue with a velvety sensation that fades beautifully after a few minutes. Alcohol is hidden really well at this point as well with only the faintest kiss of warmth building on the throat. The smooth/creaminess is just insane in this one.

D: It’s damn good, really damn good…and way too drinkable for such a big beer. I know it’s probably mellowed a bit with time, but right now I can say this is one of the best and most enjoyable blended strong ales I’ve ever had, maybe even better than the FW 10 I had some months ago. This has got me super excited for the 12 and (upcoming 13), I may be getting wood as I type thinking about it…

Don't know what else to say about this beautiful creation, it's just a stellar blended beer. Please seek out now...not sure how long it will stay this good, but right now it's awesome. Drink up fellas!

Served In: Snifter

Review by joe1510 on 11/08/09  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
88 2 11 18 4 9 0
22oz Bomber

I got this treat in a trade awhile back from errantnight, way to come through Derek! Firestone's 11th Anniversary brew appears solid black in the glass but the closer it gets to the light the brighter mahogany highlights I get until they glow ruby when directly backlit. A light pour upfront didn't bring much of a head so I got a little more aggressive and wound up with a quickly grown two finger beige head that fell to a half finger cap rather quickly. Peaked sheet lacing gets left behind after each drink making for a great appearance.

Wow! The nose on this brew is potent, rich and complex. The complexity is so much that I can't even begin to describe all the smells coming from this snifter. Silky oak in the form of vanilla, caramel and crystal maltiness, bourbon, mild coffee grounds, and mild chocolate all play roles in this brew. Each swirl brings roastiness to the top and the bourbon brings enough alcohol fumes to tickle my nose hairs. Even with this huge melting pot of aromas nothing is out of place and they all seem to be intermingling seamlessly. I don't want to pull my beak from the glass but of course I need a drink.

The first couple sips of this brew I took were merely good. After another 15 minutes or so of warming they have become excellent! This blend is heavy on the RIS as far as I can tell with roasty malts, dark chocolate and faint freshly ground coffee laying down the base. The bourbon and oak are both big with buttery vanilla and bourbon that seems to bring some heat to the back of the throat. Caramel sweetness pops up here and there along with what tastes to me like crystal malts. The RIS and barrel ageing are what take the cake and that's perfectly fine with me. The overall flavor of this beer is big and in your face with so much dense complexity it'll make you think.

The body was close but not quite where it should be when I first opened the bottle after about 30 minutes out of the fridge, but now after about 50 minutes from the fridge it's hitting its stride. The body tips the scale toward the heavier side while the carbonation adds both creaminess and a slight airiness. The clean booziness doesn't hit until the throat where it warms me up every sip.

This is a huge beer with huge flavor. It's so complex and palate destroying that a bomber is all I could or would want to handle in a sitting. This is a beer to sit and contemplate while you try and pick apart the blends.

I'm glad I got the chance to try this deliciousness. Unfortunately it was my only bottle and I already want more. Firestone, in my opinion, is one of the most consistently good breweries in the country. Thanks for the bottle Derek; I owe you big for this beauty!

Reviewed: 11/29/08

Served In: Snifter

Review by seaoflament on 03/22/09  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
92 3 12 18 4 9 2009
*Uploading my old reviews, this one has a review date of: 1-20-08. If I can acquire the beer again I will re-review it*

Had about 5 or 6 onuces of this at the Lost Abbey Red Poppy release, I'm not sure who brought the bottle (Thanks for the taste Tim).

Poured a caramel color with a very light head.

The aroma was fantastic. Lots of brown sugar, maple, dark fruits. After an hour or so I can still smell it. I think I spent more time smelling this beer than tasting it.

Taste of maple syrup, toasted malts, brown sugar, vanilla, oak.

A well crafted beer indeed, and one of my favorites for the year.

Served In: Pint Glass

Review by Organized Chaos on 09/13/08  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
92 3 10 19 5 9 2008
Huge Thanks to gator for this one.

Pours a really dark brown with a layer of bubbles around the glass.

Good smell, bourbon, oak and alcohol hit the nose, I think I smell chocolate on this as well, not sure..

The taste is unique and very complex. The oak is prominent in both the first taste of the beer through untill the beer has been down for a little while. Along with the oak, you can taste the bourbon, vanilla, chocolate a hint of smoke.. Very nice.

This beer has a nice mouthfeel, better carbonation then the pour would suggest and a very smooth beer.

Overall, nice brew, huge thinks to Gator for this one..

Served In: Pint Glass

Review by tangfoot on 03/27/08  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
94 3 11 19 4 10 2008
Where to begin?

The beer is wonderfully brown, with red highlights. Far from opaque, but rather jeweled.

The smell hits you immediately with oak, bourbon, and figgy fruits. This melts into intense vanilla upon tasting it, followed closely with a malt sweetness/smoothness that is unmatched. Beyond the vanilla and sweetness is a boozy alcohol that finishes with an amazing Amoretto cherry sweetness and smoooooooth.

There's just a slight tough of bitterness that leaves the tongue aching for more in the mouthfeel...just a hint more and it would be perfect.

Oooooooohh, I'm in love with this.

Served In: Pint Glass

Review by Tip Top on 03/13/08  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
88 3 9 18 5 9 2008
Big thanks to Gator for this bottle.

As WST would say, into the Oversized Reidel Snifter it goes.

A - Wow, really fizzy for a blend of barrel aged brews. Bubbles sticking to the sides and a big fizzy, almost cola like, cocoa colored head on top. The head quickly dies down, leaving a skim on the top and a thick ring around the glass. Darker, almost murkier cola looking body. Surprisingly a lot of visible carbonation.

S - Hmmm...what's that I smell? I think it's a bit of tobacco. Deep chocolate. Vanilla and definite woodiness of oak. The woodiness, with a good char to it, really stands out. I am guessing the char is what made me think tobacco.

T - Wow, tastes much, much different than the smell. Deep flavors of vanilla and bourbon, although the vanilla tones are definitely much stronger. Some nice chocolate notes come in, with milk chocolate being most present. Thick roastiness that hangs on for a while, even bringing with it a slight bitterness that seems to be in part brought about from the wood. Some star anise in there. Honestly, I am having trouble picking it all up here, there is a lot going on (despite some other short reviews...). Slight alcohol burn and warming on the finish. The flavor in this one outdoes the nose by a longshot.

M - Big, thick and chewy. Super smooth feel, despite what looks like very fizzy carbonation.

Overall - Another look into what masterful blending can do. Matt is doing some amazing work at Firestone. Too bad Gator gave away the other two bottles he said he was going to get me...

Served In: Snifter

Review by Lordofthepale on 02/13/08  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
94 3 12 18 5 9 2008
Phenominal brew. I love the complexity of this beer. The art of blending beer like this has to be difficult. At 11% it is such a smooth finish you can't tell it's that hight. The bourbon and vanilla notes make this beer what it is. Without the bourbon barrel aging, this beer wouldn't be what it is! As it warms up the bourbon becomes even more present. Looking forward the the 12 anniversary!

Served In: Snifter

Review by Kegergator on 11/30/07  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
88 3 10 18 4 9 0
Pours a extremely dark amber with a nice tand head that lasted throughout the glass. Smell has tons a vanilla and bourbon, great. Lots of vanilla and bourbon in the taste, LOTS. Nice malt finish. Really great brew again by Firestone, but just a hair under "10". :cheers:

Price: $16.95 Served In: Pint Glass

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