Firestone Walker (Paso-Robles, CA) started the trend of blending beer to make their Anniversary beer 6 years ago. Tenth Anniversary was a result of brewmaster Matt Brynildson’s style indecisiveness. For the big 1-0, Matt made Russian imperial stout, then a barleywine barrel aged oatmeal stout. In the end he just blended them together. Obviously a big hit.
6 years later, people are thirsty for each year’s blend. This is what 14th looked like. (don’t be scared by the numbers. No math required.)
Double Double Barrel Ale 10.9% ABV – (31%) of final blend Aged 100% in retired Firestone Union Barrels. Double strength English Pale Ale
Sticky Monkey (12% ABV) – (29%) of final blend. Aged in Bourbon and Brandy Barrels. English Barley Wine
Parabola (13% ABV) – (27%) of final blend Aged in Bourbon Barrels. Russian Imperial Oatmeal Stout
Velvet Merkin (6% ABV) — (7%) of final blend. 100% Aged in Bourbon barrels. Oatmeal stout.
Good Foot (13% ABV) – (3%) of final blend. Aged in Bourbon Barrels. American Barley Wine
Black Xantus(11% ABV) – (3%) of final blend Aged in Bourbon Barrels. Coffee Infused Imperial Stout
15th Anniversary looks to be a real treat. Firestone scheduled the blended (done last week) ahead of the grape harvest so they can bring in local winemakers. (Paso Robles is wine country.) Wine people have a palate. The winemakers paired off, and got to blending. Then the group tasted a voted for the best blends. Team Saxum’s, composed of Justin Smith and assistant Saxum winemaker, Mark Adams had their blend was chosen as the recipe for XV.
What is in XV?
They have disclosed just this: Some of the individual components are highly regarded and sought after, such as Parabola, a Bourbon barrel-aged Russian imperial stout; alternately some of the components only exist to be a part of the blending such as Bravo, an imperial brown ale.