Firestone Walker is adding a hoppy beer back into the mix that is neither a pilsner or hazy, rather an XPA.
Here are the specs, “Firestone XPA is built around New Zealand’s Nelson hop with its grapefruit and tropical Sauvignon Blanc qualities, all backed up with a dollop of classic Mosaic hops. The resulting beer offers a trifecta of drinkability: crisp, hoppy.”
Good to see one of my favorite breweries both bringing holiday cheer and bringing back in a new form, the infamous Wookey Jack.
“Wookey wonderland? We’re sippin’ in it! The Wookey has come in from the cold, and it’s fully reimagined for the season. Arctic Wookey is our classic black rye IPA reimagined with abominable amounts of flavor courtesy of a dank and resinous hop profile takes it to frigid new heights. It’s as black and cold as your blessed heart.”
Each year, I taste test the current FW Anniversary blend and then taste the blend from five years ago. This time around it is 27 vs 22.
This years anniversary beer, aka XXVIII or 27 was created by the team of Molly Lonborg from Alta Colina, Kevin Sass from Halter Ranch Beer Club Member Ezekial Palmer. Below are strands used in the blend:
DDBA Batch 10k – Aged in Wheated Bourbon Barrels (33%) – Imperial Special Bitter
Dividing Time – Aged in Wheated and Rye Bourbon Barrels (29%) – Munich Wine Made in Collaboration with Private Press
Bravo – Aged in Bourbon Barrels (13%) – Imperial Brown Ale
Rip This Joint – Aged in Bourbon Barrels (13%) – Imperial Stout Made in Collaboration with Side Project
XXII is made up of the following componemts: 44% Stickee Monkee, 22% Parabola, 22% Bravo, 7% Rum Barrel Helldorado, 5% Gin Barrel Helldorado.
Now onto the reviews…
22 – even though the rum and gin barrels are only 12% of the total, I am getting a bit of both. There is chocolate and a kick of spice here that I like the interplay between. Has a definite Belgian quad taste, sorry Central Coast Quad.
27 – seems kind of one note to me overall. It is a really good chocolate brownie. in beer form. Thick and muddy in a good way. Not much barrel notes to be found which I was sorta expecting considering the beers in the blend.
Even five years on, the 22 wins. If there has been more bourbon in 27, I might have given it the nod though.
Clapping hands loudly for the Double Decker new release from Firestone Walker
“Bravissimo lands as a revved-up edition of our signature barrel-aged Bravo brown ale. After a year of maturation in bourbon barrels at our Paso Robles brewery, this small-batch barley wine was blended back into a lot of traditional barrel-aged Bravo. The final blend was 70 percent traditional Bravo and 30 percent high-gravity Bravo. The result was a beautiful barrel character permeating the finished beer, with Bravo’s signature maple sap and chocolate flavors reaching another level.”
The latest Firestone Walker Propagator beer is one of many in a group effort to celebrate California beer and support the California Craft Brewers Association, which is the non-profit that fights for craft breweries all over the state.
FW has chosen to brew a Hazy Imperial IPA. Look for it now.
Let’s keep that FW energy going with a review of the weirdly named barrel-aged Bread Spread. I had two excellent barrel beers at their Invitational (Wild Pirate and Boilermaker), will this be a third winner….
There is a lot in this bottle. Vanilla beans, hazelnuts aged in chocolate bitters barrels and Bourbon barrels. First, Weirdly, what I get in big amounts is banana. Not hefe banana but a chocolate covered banana. Yet, not sweet at all. There is that Bourbon note lurking in the background. Second, Weirdly is that as this warms up, the hazelnuts really pour forward. In both the aroma and flavor. Almost two different beers.