Beer Review: FIRESTONE WALKER XVIII ANNIVERSARY ALE

Beer Review: FIRESTONE WALKER XVIII ANNIVERSARY ALE

The XVIII Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker presents itself with a dark, almost black pour. While tight bubbly edges form, the absence of a head raises an initial eyebrow, setting the stage for a distinctive visual experience.

Aroma

A symphony of complex aromas greets the nose, dominated by brandy notes, intertwining with layers of chocolate, dark fruit, tobacco, vanilla, and a faint hint of soaked oak. The olfactory journey hints at the depth and richness promised by this barrel-aged creation.

Taste

Upon the first sip, the dark chocolate flavor takes the spotlight, complemented by the bourbon’s intricate dance of wood, spice, and warmth. Burnt caramel and oak contribute to the overall palate, while dried dark fruit and a subtle Euro hop bitterness add layers of complexity. The taste profile reflects the careful craftsmanship behind this robust ale.

Mouthfeel

The mouthfeel offers a spirit-like sensation of warmth and astringency, delivering a medium-full-bodied experience. Modest carbonation contributes to the overall texture, allowing the intricate flavors to unfold on the palate with each sip.

Overall

In assessing the overall experience, it becomes apparent that Firestone Walker’s XVIII Anniversary Ale is a step above its predecessors. The nuanced blend, particularly heavy on Parabola, contributes to a memorable tasting experience. While personal preferences may play a role, the enjoyment expressed surpasses that of the last two years, aligning closely with the freshness of the XIII edition. The potential for aging and evolving positively over the years adds an intriguing layer to this ale, making it not only a pleasure to savor now but a promising candidate for a well-curated beer collection. The journey that began in 1996 seems to continue with the same passion and excitement, evident in this ninth oak-aged blend.