Firestone 14 - Anniversary Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 624 | Reviews: 287 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Reaper16:
4.22/5 rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
served on-tap @ The Foundry, Kansas City, MO, into a snifter
Pours a silky looking sepia brown with some dark reddish highlights. You certainly can't see through it, but it's also a lighter shade of brown that I expected (given the amount of imperial stout in the blend; the barleywines win out in terms of appearance). Over one finger of lightish khaki head sits on top. Little head retention, but that's OK. Pretty nice looking glass of beer.
The first attack of the nose is all barrels and booze. The french oak is unmistakable, and the beer is (unfortunately) not at all shy about showing its ABV%. Vanilla from the oak, and some other kind of sweetness that is hard to place... something like an Almond Joy candy bar? A small bit of chocolate malt character, some nuttiness for sure, and a small amount of coconut. Some caramel comes into play, too. Nothing really original coming from the nose, but it smells like a consistent beer (and not the Frankenstein's Monster hodgepodge that blended beers can be).
That coconut I was picking up on in the nose is certainly present on the tongue. Almond Joy for sure: milk chocolate, nuttiness, plenty of toasted coconut sweetness. Vanilla too -- those oak barrels are up front and heavy -- along with some astringency. A small, small touch of leafy hops are discernible. As the beer warms, the alcohol muscles itself into the room. I had to ask my bartender if she knew what barrels were used, because I was picking up a major spirit character. The combination of coconut and toasted sweet flavors and the bit of brown sugar that opened up, along with the alcohol, makes me taste a bit of rum. If you like run or coconut-chocolate bars then this is the beer for you.
The mouthfeel is fine. It isn't very thick, actually, but it is pleasantly smooth and silky across the tongue. Good stuff, overall. I am not the biggest coconut fan, but I can recognize how good this beer is. It's best trait is that it is remarkable smooth and balanced for its style, and that it tastes like a coherent, cohesive beer. It doesn't taste like a blend of many, many beers. It tastes like a singular vision. The blenders at Firestone Walker are to be commended for this.
Serving type: on-tap
05-20-2011 05:42:20 | More by Reaper16
More User Reviews:
2.93/5 rDev -33.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3
Dark brown with a pure tan head. Smells of milk chocolate, ripened cherries, plum and dark bread. Taste is limited to milk chocolate, vanilla and dark fruits. Cloying and too rich to handle with the alcohol coming in overly strong to add insult to injury. A highly rated, but simple and lopsided beer, which of course makes me question my "beersanity" but confirms my perception with another sip. Might be good in small doses, not unlike cough syrup or moonshine.
Serving type: bottle
06-17-2014 00:50:14 | More by stephens101
Firestone 14 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 624 ratings.