Food & Drink

Review: Firestone Walker XXV Anniversary Ale

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California’s Firestone Walker Brewing Co. celebrated 1 / 4 century of beer-making final fall with the discharge of this brew, dubbed XXV. It’s the sixteenth launch in what has turn out to be an annual autumn ceremony by which the brewery and their native winemaker mates collect for a pleasant mixing competitors and what have to be one helluva get together. The profitable brew this 12 months was a mixture of 5 totally different beers. The flagship Parabola imperial stout varieties a wholesome base at practically half the mix (41%) with Tequila Barrel Merkin milk stout (28%) the following largest element. Stickey Monkee quad (10%) and Brandy Barrel Barley Wine (13%) make up virtually the remaining quarter, with only a sprint (8%) of Whiskey Barrel Wheat Wine rounding issues out. This launch has ranked in our Top 10 Beers record for 3 straight years, most lately taking residence high honors in 2021. Let’s see how the silver anniversary mix stacks up.

The beer pours a shade harking back to darkish chocolate fudge with a skinny, caramel-colored head. The aroma exhibits, unsurprisingly, numerous barrel-aged stout affect with candy and mildly boozy notes of uncooked coconut and sticky vanilla bean. Because it warms within the glass, issues flip extra complicated with a inexperienced, virtually salty, vegetal observe (seemingly the work of the Tequila Barrel Merkin), a little bit of candied nuts, chocolate syrup, and golden raisin. It’s enchanting stuff, and that’s earlier than even tasting it. On the palate, all that complexity within the nostril is deftly balanced and stylish. The flavors aren’t huge and punchy, like so many barrel-aged beers (together with a few of the elements right here). As an alternative, that is gentle and silky, filled with black cherry and darkish chocolate-covered raisins, lemon zest, and grape pores and skin. There’s no bitterness, so these flavors roll unobstructed into the lengthy end the place only a trace of acidity, extra citrus than grape, and a little bit of agave-tinged sweetness add a small burst of brightness that stored me dipping again into my glass. Very totally different from latest releases however undoubtedly a contender for high honors once more this 12 months.

11.5% abv.

A / $20 /

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