Sunday, December 4

Beer Review: Firestone Walker XV (15th Anniversary Ale)


Grabbed 2 bottles at NW Liquid Gold here in Vancouver for about $21 each. From what I can tell, that is a pretty good buy since some are charging more. I always buy two of this so I can have only one to age and try. So far all I have is a 14, and now 15.

I cracked the bottle open, and didn't hear a thing. No hiss, pop, nothing. Kind of scared me a little, but it turned out great and well carbonated. Perhaps it was because I just pulled it from a cold fridge.

Appearance: (4.0)
- Nice rich dark and mostly clear brown. Big slowly forming off-white to beige colored head. Bubbly like a barrel aged brew should look. Settles with lace all about and a thin pillow riding on top. Nice looking!

Smell: (4.5)
- Great sweet malts and holiday dessert notes. Brown sugar, molasses, vanilla from the barrels.. earthy sweet caramel.. light grassy and herbal hop spice.. little roasty tobacco, and light alcohol. Almost a touch of licorice going on. Very good.

Taste: (4.0)
- Oh my. Where to start? Rich caramel and grainy molasses sweetness. Vanilla and oak character really shines through, and blends perfectly with the bready grain, and esters from the grain. Some fig, raisin, tobacco, earthy grassy hops with a slight citrus and spicy zest. Little alcohol, but very well hidden. Really good bourbon notes. May be a bit much on the bourbon side for some, guessing this will age perfectly.

Mouth Feel: (4.5)
- Super nice medium to heavy body with the perfect carbonation. Though a very sweet beer, it isn't too overly syrupy or sticky. Quite chewy and cloying really, and dries the mouth just a touch. This is a smooth winner.

Overall: (4.0)
- A very well made and carefully blended beer. I love barleywines, and I love bourbon barrel barleywines. This turned out very good and is very well balanced. A lot of good beers went into this, and simply created a fantastic beer. Worth picking up a few.

A- / 4.15

(BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale)

2 comments:

  1. I was slightly disappointed by the last of these I tried (think it was the 13, but maybe the 14). Not that it was bad, just that it wasn't $69 six-pack good.

    Did you like the 15 better than the 14? BTW, I saw 14 for sale at Belmont Station alongside the 15 (roughly same price) if you need more.

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  2. I liked the 15 better than the 14 yes. For me the 14 was a bit too thick and sweet. Perhaps over time it will mellow out. Thanks for lookin' out! I don't think I will be shelling out any more dough for it though as I agree with your assessment.

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