Beer Review: FIRESTONE XVI

Beer Review: FIRESTONE XVI

Publisher, Genre, Print Length, and ISBN

PublisherGenrePrint LengthISBN
American Strong AleBarrel Aged BeerBeer ReviewsNot specified

Firestone Walker XVI Anniversary Ale, a coveted creation in the American Strong Ale category, has been a subject of anticipation for our loyal contributor, Don from Maryland. Let’s dive into the intricacies of this celebrated brew.

A Boozy Ballet of Mahogany and Molasses

Don’s rendezvous with the 22 oz Firestone Walker 16th Anniversary Ale began with a visual spectacle. The first glass boasted a mahogany hue crowned with a luscious taupe foam head, exhibiting commendable retention. As the second glass made its appearance, the head had waned, but the essence remained unchanged.

Aromatic Odyssey: From Molasses to English Toffee

In the olfactory realm, the journey through Firestone XVI was multifaceted. The initial glass presented a melange of molasses and sweetbreads, teasing the senses with subtle undertones of cinnamon, dried fruit, and a whisper of cedar. The second glass revealed a mellowed sweetness, accompanied by nuances of English toffee and hints of cocoa powder.

Tasting Notes: A Symphony of Sweet and Roast

The tasting expedition unfolded with the first glass delivering a cascade of very sweet dark brown sugar, adorned with prunes and dates. A lingering roasty and hoppy bitterness danced on the palate, occasionally allowing a fleeting glimpse of citrus from the Wooky Jack. The second glass, reflecting the aromatic profile, showcased a toned-down sweetness, embracing roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, and a hint of coffee.

Mouthfeel: Viscosity and Fizz

The first glass, thick and viscous, left flavors clinging to the palate, persisting long after each sip. The light carbonation tactfully refrained from overshadowing the flavor exploration. As the second glass warmed, a subtle increase in fizz was noted, with time having relatively minor effects on the overall experience.

Overall Verdict: A Stout Symphony with Fading Melodies

While the XVI mirrors its predecessor, the XV, with a heavier stout presence, Don found solace in the seamless coexistence of stout and dried fruit flavors. However, a lament arises as some cherished notes dissipated after the initial glass. Nonetheless, Firestone Walker XVI stands tall as a remarkable beer, earning a spot as Don’s top pick of 2012 (or 2013), with eager anticipation for the XVII in the coming year.