Firestone 14 - Anniversary Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 636 | Reviews: 289 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by nhindian:
4.22/5 rDev -4.1%
22oz bottle poured into a snifter.
A - Pours a cola-colored brown, a smidge muddy, but unless you are looking at the thinnest points of the glass, it's tough to see through this anyway. A wispy, tan head slowly bubbles up, eclipsing a finger's height before gradually receding. Lots of smooth lacing gradually breaks apart, with some parts falling back into the beer and the rest settling around the edges.
S - The nose initially brings an intense burst of bourbon, chocolate, and vanilla, giving the beer a very rich and sweet component right from the start. As it settles, the complexity starts to develop, as the oats, hops, and individual components of the blend come into play. Coffee, leather, and toffee are strong players, as well as a surprising citrus contribution from the hops.
T - My first sip brings a bit of heat and, again, a lot of the bourbon barrel. It's easy to get overwhelmed with this beer, since a wide range of styles, ingredients, and barrel-aging is present here. Right away it's easy to distinguish the Parabola portion of the blend as the roasted malts and anise are a constant presence in the background, which when mixed with Velvet Merlin/Merkin, give the initial flavor a smoothness that helps accentuate each aspect of the beer. I'm also getting a smattering of brandy as well, with an alcoholic grape and cherry flavor. In the finish, the hops seems to shine, as a citrus hop flavor takes over, adding a somewhat bitter cut to the overall flavors.
M - Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with good carbonation. This is actually much thinner than I was expecting; rather than being a heavy, syrupy behemoth, this is surprisingly lighter-bodied and very easy to drink. That coupled with nice carbonation aids this in drinkability, and a rush of varied flavors keeps the palate busy guessing as to what will come next.
D/O - Drinkability is high. I have to admit that this is much different that I was expecting. After hearing and listening to reviews of this beer, I was anticipating something that would blow me away from the start. Honestly, that wasn't the case, and the initial taste left a little to be desired for. However, as it warmed and the individual beers developed within the blend, I found myself enjoying this more and more. This is the quintessential sipping beer, as when it is near-fridge temperature, the more harsh and bold flavors dominate, but with each temperature change brings more and more subtlety and depth as the rest of the blend develops. This is a year old at this point, and I will definitely say that I am looking to get more of this to drink in the future as this has a ton of potential still.
01-23-2012 03:54:44 | More by nhindian
More User Reviews:
3.8/5 rDev -13.6%
Thanks to mar for sharing this bottle. I have been looking forward to this one.
The beer pours a dark brown coilor with a white head. The aroma is a disappointment. It it not bad, but it is not what I was expecting. I get a lot of soy and toffee, as well as some leather. I also get something that resembles trash. Hopefully the flavor will be better.
For the flavor, I get a lot of roasted malt and chocolate, which is coupled with a lot of barrel-aging characteristics. I get a nice amount of oak and maple, as well as quite a bit of vanilla. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.
Luckily, the flavor was much better than the aroma, which salvaged this beer. Glad I got to try this one.
12-28-2010 02:15:46 | More by Mora2000
4.3/5 rDev -2.3%
22oz bomber poured into a wine glass.
Pours a very dark black color with hints of ruby and a small ring of dark brown head. Nose is a bit sweet, but very oaky and mellow with very little booze.
Taste is amazing, super complex with raisins, dark fruit, sweet malt and sharp flavors. Very drinkable given the abv. very tasty beer.
09-10-2011 21:55:04 | More by kingcrowing
4.33/5 rDev -1.6%
Thanks for the gift, NoSignsOfPain!
(Aged 1 year)
Very dark brown in color with ruby red highlights near the edges. There is very little visible carbonation and no head to speak of whatsoever.
Divine aroma of toasted coconut macaroon cookies, bittersweet chocolate, mild roast, and plenty of earthy and vanilla bourbon notes. Complete. Mild hint of alcohol until it warms fully to room temperature, then more booze certainly becomes present.
Coconut, bourbon, roast, mild chocolate, and a bit of alcohol heat make for a lovely combination.
Medium mouthfeel with very low carbonation.
A wonderful blend, though I wish it would have been just a tad more carbonated (and thicker).
11-01-2011 04:23:40 | More by ehammond1
4.18/5 rDev -5%
Black. Expected lighter given the other beers in the blend that aren't stouts. Bourbon dominated nose.
Easy drinking for the abv. Muddles all the beers blended, I can't taste Parabola or Velvit Merlin, etc. . . but it is interesting. Bourbon is heavy, but not as much as its aroma was. A little bit of everything else, chocolate, oak, vanilla, rummy sweetness, brandy, some other kind of wood heavier than oak, chicory? Not too thick, actually on the thinner side of most beers in this abv range. Maybe a kick of dark sugar.
While this was great fresh on tap, I think it definitely has the build to age miraculously. Of my bottles, I'm going to hang on to all of them for at least one year I think. This really seems ageable.
11-20-2010 06:05:31 | More by Beerandraiderfan
4.9/5 rDev +11.4%
This beer pours a very dark brown color that when held up to the light just barely shows a slight dark mohogany color. It boasts a thin light brown head that fades fast, leaving no lace.
There is a lot going on in the nose on this one. I detect dark fruits up front. Figs and raisins. I get some smooth vanilla. Bourbon is present, but not overpowering. Some bitter cocoa. Sweet toffee and caramel mix in as well. You can detect the 12.5% ABV in this aroma.
This beer has as complef a flavor as it does aroma. Vanilla first, with some fig/raisin flavors. Bourbon is present, more dominate in the flavor than the aroma. It has a very sweet caramel flavor. It is damn sweet.
This beer is very full bodies. It warms the mouth, throat, and stomach on the way down. This beer is low in carbonation, fitting the style.
This beer is definately a sipper. The very aggressive flavor and the high alcohol content make this one hard to put down by myself, but I think I will manage.
Overall: I felt that the 4th of July would be as good a day to crack open the $22.95 bottle. I have been sitting on it for a while. I am glad that I opened it. It is great. Firestone Walker is quickly becoming one of my favorite breweries. This beer is great and will last all night long.
07-05-2011 01:58:40 | More by OStrungT
4.47/5 rDev +1.6%
Bottled on 10/25/10
Purchased through West Lakeview Liquors, Chicago, Illinois
Price - $19.99/bomber
Appearance: Pours murky brown with a thin head and not much retention. Little to no lacing.
Smell: Straight from the barrel!! An unmistakeable aroma of bourbon hits the nose followed by vanilla, caramel and cherries.
Taste: Sweet with vanilla, caramel, dark fruit, roasted malts and alcohol. As it warms up the experience really intensifies and reveals layer after layer of flavor. There's definitely a lot going on here which certainly hits the mark the brewer had intended.
Mouthfeel: Thick and sticky, not quite like syrup but heavy none the less. Goes down surprisingly smooth for the ABV. Lite carbonation with some noticeable heat from the alcohol. Finishes dry and slitely bitter thanks to the hops.
Drinkability: Another winter warmer for sure and a sipper. Delicious as is without the need for aging. One can only wonder what a little age will do. I've got several more bottles and will see how it matures over time. Well done.
03-25-2011 21:45:04 | More by 05Harley
Firestone 14 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 636 ratings.