The Fifteen (15th Anniversary Ale) from Firestone Walker Brewing Company in Paso Robles, California is a blend of 18% Helldorado Blonde Barley Wine, 17% Sticky Monkey English Barley Wine, 17% Bravo Imperial Brown Ale, 13% Double Double Barrel Ale, 11% Good Foot American Barley Wine, 10% Velvet Merkin Traditional Oatmeal Stout, 9% Parabola Russian Imperial Stout & 5% Double Jack Double IPA.
Fifteen pours out a dark brown in color with just a little light getting through and is topped with a creamy, tan, one finger head that slowly reduces all the way down. On the nose, silky bourbon, vanilla, butter, caramel sweetness and a little alcohol. In the mouth, this is one extraordinary beer with incredible smoothness and layer upon layer of flavor. Flavors of bourbon, vanilla, toasted oak, brown sugar, chocolate and just the slightest bite of bitter, hoppy citrus. Full side of medium bodied. Fine carbonation that is on the low to moderate side. Little lacing on the glass. Slightly slick mouthfeel with a touch of syrup. The finish is incredibly long with the layers of flavor slowly peeling away leaving wonderful toasted oak bourbon flavors to the end.
Quite honestly, this is one of the best craft beers I have ever had the opportunity of drinking. The complexity of the flavors that thoroughly coat your mouth is a pleasure to the palate. Firestone Walker has taken the bar and raised it a notch with Fifteen. If you are able to still find a bottle I'd highly recommend you buy it right away. Highly recommended.
22 ounce bottle, 12.5% ABV
Beer 201 of 366 for 2012