Firestone Walker Brewing Unveils XXVII With The Help of Local Winemakers
(Paso Robles, CA) – Firestone Walker today unveiled “XXVII”—the latest edition of its storied Anniversary Ale, blended once again with the help of local winemakers.
“This beer was created with experience, passion and collaboration, sparing no expense to celebrate our brewery’s 27thanniversary,” said Brewmaster Matt Brynildson. “This may be our most eclectic Anniversary Ale to date—a testament to the blending skills of our winemaker friends.”
The result is XXVII—a masterwork of flavor and complexity, blended from five distinct ales aged in bourbon barrels. XXVII (single boxed 12-oz bottles) is rolling out now in limited quantities to all Firestone Walker markets. It is also available at each brewery location and online at FirestoneBeer.com for a limited time.
Blended to Perfection
Firestone Walker resides in the Paso Robles wine country, home to some of California’s most decorated winemakers—many of whom Brynildson has befriended over the years.
Ever since making the brewery’s inaugural Anniversary Ale in 2006, Brynildson has leaned on his winemaker friends to help create a complex and harmonious beer from a variety of distinct barrel-aged components. This year’s blending session took place on the afternoon of June 28.
“These winemakers are practicing experts in the art of blending, and it’s always amazing how they help us create a beer that is greater than the sum of its parts,” he said. “It’s a fun, competitive and spirited experience whenever we get together.”
This year’s blending session marked the 18th occasion of this annual summer rite. As always, the winemakers broke into teams to create their own candidate blends from a variety of barrel-aged components. Next, the winemakers and brewers blind tasted all of the candidate blends, then voted as a group to crown the winner that would become XXVII.
XXVII: The Final Blend
Brewmaster’s Tasting Notes: “The finished blend is deep dark mahogany in color and expresses decadent up-front barrel aromas with notes of toffee and cocoa powder close behind. The mouthfeel is smooth and silky with rich caramel flavors complemented by toasted nut, vanilla and coconut accents. There is a beautiful balance between a rich malt character, a top-shelf bourbon spirit and chocolate truffles. An absolutely stunning barrel-aged beer and a true testament to the winemakers’ skill in blending not only for aroma and flavor, but also for texture.”
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Dividing Time – Aged in Wheated and Rye Bourbon Barrels (29%)
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Bravo – Aged in Bourbon Barrels (13%)
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Velvet Merkin – Aged in Bourbon Barrels (12%)
Molly Lonborg – Alta Colina
Kevin Sass – Halter Ranch
Along with Beer Club Member Ezekial Palmer
This team created the winning blend that became “XXVII”
Sherman Thacher – Thacher Winery
Janelle Dusi – J Dusi Wines
Billy Grant – McPrice Myers
Russell From – Herman Story Wines
Jesse Juarez – Desparada Wines
Steve Martell – Kaleidos
Bastien Leduc – Seven Oxen Estate Wines
Pete Turrone and Kyle Jury – Booker Wines
Pete and Alex Slosberg – Pete’s Wicked Ale
Cassi & Nigel King – Beer Club Members
Mark Smolyar – Hopped.com