Firestone Walker XVIII Anniversary
In 2006, on their 10th anniversary Firestone Brewery released a limited edition oak-aged strong ale aptly named ’10’. Although never meant to be repeated the excitement of the experience was addictive and led to a yearly anniversary celebration that heralds autumn.
Their 9th release named ‘XVIII’ (18) follows the same path as its predecessors, a skilled and harmonious blending of their beers, some barrel aged, barrel format chosen for its influence on the beer. Not for the faint of heart, Firestone XVIII has taken 9 different beers spread over 227 oak barrels. The result is something 100% original, dark and complex and here for you to enjoy.
Parabola, a Russian Imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels forms 38% of the final blend with Heldorado a Blonde Barley Wine aged in both bourbon and brandy casks form 16%. Next comes Imperial Brown Ale, Bravo, again aged in bourbon and brandy casks a further 16%, then 14% Stickee Monkey an English Barley Wine aged on bourbon and in brandy casks, followed by Velvet Merkin a Traditional Oatmeal Stout aged in bourbon barrels who takes up 5% of the show. 4% is given over to Hydra Cuveè a collaboration beer formed with Flying Dog. 3% is Wookey Jack an American Black IPA, 2% Ol’Leghorn another English Barley Wine, a collaboration with Three Floyds. At the final curtain comes Double Jack a Couble IPA who claims the last 2%.
It pours dark black/brown, with a small foamy head. The aroma is typical Firestone, with brown sugar being prominent, it is carrot cake rich, ripe and sweet with fruit. The oak of the liquor seems rather discreet.
On first taste it feels complex. Ripened dates up front. A hint of tobacco smoke and oak, and again sweet rich fruit cake. You will find yourself picking out each of the brews. At the finish the alcohol presents a lingering stillness that leaves you wishing for... maybe one more.