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Firestone 14 - Anniversary Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Firestone 14 - Anniversary AleFirestone 14 - Anniversary Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

294 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 294
Hads: 694
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 7.69%
Wants: 218
Gots: 557 | FT: 24
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  12.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ZX6Chris on 11-02-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

The blend consists of: 31% Double Double Barrel Ale, 29% Sticky Monkey, 27% Parabola, 7% Velvet Merkin, 3% Good Foot, 3% Black Xantus
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 294 | Hads: 694
Photo of Rhettroactive
3.88/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 22oz bomber to Bruges hybrid glass on 1/26/12
*From notes

A: Quite a dark beer, almost stout-like in color. A good pour yields a creamy, cascading two finger head. Healthy retention and lacing follow.

S: Slightly vinous, which I credit a bit to it's year-long cellaring. Quality caramel, an abundance of vanilla and a laid back bourbon vibe round out the bouquet.

T: Complex and well put together. Strong, firm stout characteristics dominate. It's still got a hoppy bite to it, and the caramel, vanilla and bourbon roll from the nose right onto the palate. The woody profile really helps to reign in the wild flavors that overwhelm every millimeter of the mouth. Even at a year, this could use a bit more time in the cellar.

M: Creamy, yet not overly thick. It's immensely drinkable and doesn't show too much wear from it's extended barrel aging.

O: Firestone's 14th Anniversary Ale is a pretty solid blend of barrel aged delights. Not as strong as it's individual parts (specifically Abacus and Parabola), but still a worthwhile effort. Recommended, and significantly better then their 15th Anniversary effort. (1,121 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
3.9/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11/19/10

Bottle split with my girlfriend. Appears much the same as the draft version: dark brown with a small beige head. This took a while to open up, but when it did the aroma was quite nice. Notes of caramel, toffee, bourbon, earthy hops, brown sugar, and chocolate are apparent. Alcohol is a bit stronger here. Overall, it smells good, but something is missing. Oxidation seems onerous compared to the keg, and the alcohol is a bit too strong. In the flavor I find notes of brown sugar, bourbon, toffee, caramel, oak, and a strong oxidation character coupled with powerful alcohol. Compared to the draft version, the booze and oxidation are much more apparent, and somewhat distracting. The various flavor components don't seem to meld as well as I'd hoped. Overall, it wasn't exactly how I remembered it tasting on draft, and it suffered for it. Still, a less good Firestone Anniversary is still a good beer. I don't think this one will age well. It seems like it would become more disharmonious, and though alcohol heat would wane, the oxidation is already starting off pretty strong and I don't see a solid foundation for it to build on. Though, I don't think 11, 12, or 13 have really aged for the better, so this isn't a new trend in the Firestone Walker Anniversary series, for me. (1,292 characters)

Photo of corby112
3.9/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark brown color that appears almost black and completely opaque with faint mahogany edges when held to a light source. One finger frothy beige head that immediately fades into a thin lasting ring. Not much in the way of lacing.

Earthy, leathery aroma with sweet bourbon booze and a prominent barrel character. Hints of oak and charred wood mixed with toffee, biscuit, caramel and dark fruit notes. Subtle earthy pine notes as well as some chocolate malt, roasted coffee bean and tobacco.

Chewy full body with a sweet bourbon booze flavor up front along with a rich, silky malt profile, earthy hops and an earthy/leathery character. Slightly dry with a decent amount of warmth in the finish but not nearly as hot as expected considering the high ABV. The barrel character is evident but not completely overpowering. The aroma suggested a lot of charred wood but thankfully it's more balanced. There's some soft carbonation with subtle bourbon flavor and hints of vanilla that eases the earthy wooden tones. This beer is blended very well and thankfully isn't a bourbon bomb. Leathery malt smoothed out by luscious chocolate, oatmeal, caramel, toffee and biscuit. The spices from Sticky Monkey are evident with hints of brown sugar and cinnamon, adding some more sweetness. No too much so, however, balancing out the wood/leather notes from the barleywines. Subtle smokiness with faint hints of roasted espresso/coffee bean and toast. I'm also picking up some vinous dark fruit, especially grape, dark cherry and raisin. Dry finish with subtle tobacco/cedar notes and slight warmth.

Overall, this beer is very complex with an excellent blend that creates great balance, resulting in a pretty quaffable high gravity beer. I enjoyed sipping this bomber over the course of a couple of hours and picking out it's subtle nuances. My least favorite of the FW anniversary beers I've had so far but still pretty good. (1,926 characters)

Photo of berkey
3.92/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in an about 8 oz snifter at the Firestone Walker 14 release party at Beer Revolution in Oakland, CA. From notes 11/15/10.

Essentially black in color with a light brown ring around the rim of the glass in lieu of a head.

Aroma puts off a good share of burnt coffee acrid roastiness. Much more so than last years anniversary release. I guess that's the Bravo making it's presence felt. There's also a mildly sweet chocolate character and just the subtlest traces of soy sauce.

Alcohol is a little more present than I prefer and leaves a slight burn in the throat. Oak shines much more on the flavor than it did on the aroma while coffee bitterness stays very noticeable. Thankfully the soy sauce from the aroma stays in check and doesn't run wild like on some other high gravity, roasty, stout-type beers.

This has the makings of something that could turn out to be excellent but at the moment this is well short of FW 13 when that beer was as fresh. Based on this experience with the tap verson I'd recommend giving the bottles some time, this beer's pedigree makes it likely to improve nicely. (1,104 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.92/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Galaxy Hut. Served in a snifter.

Initial pour (to near the top) is nearly black with just a few tan bubbles around the edges. No head. We'll see how it does with a good swirl or two after I drink a bit of it down. Judging from 11 through 13, I don't think that'll be a problem. Nose off the fairly-cold brew brings some nice bourbon, molasses, and fruit notes. It's not going to get any more fragrant this cold, so I might as well drink some...

First impression is a bit of light booze along with some rum-soaked dark fruits. As it warms in my mouth I get a touch of prickly carbonation on the back of my tongue. There's also some bourbon, light vanilla, and oak. Some roast there as well.

Body is medium with good carbonation and some definite booze. Drinks well enough but--at least at this point--doesnt reach the level of earlier versions. (856 characters)

Photo of Jeffo
3.92/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Masterski for including this one in our trade a good while back. Finally Doopie, Pasqual and myself were able to open the XV, XIV and XIII together a couple weeks ago. Vive la France!

From a bomber into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Pours a small, medium looking, beige head with lousy retention. Color is a relatively transparent sienna brown and no carbonation is evident. Head quickly fades to only a ring, which remains until the end but leaves no lacing down the glass. A little darker than XV, but also nothing special.

SMELL: Bourbon, oak, vanilla and some notes of roasted malts and milk chocolate. Not quite as bold and the XV, but more roasted aromas and less caramel / toffee notes. Still nice on the nose.

TASTE: A touch of roasted flavors up front, but the rest is similar to the XV. Very bourbon barrel forward, with bourbon, oak woody notes, vanilla, and some nice milk chocolate as well. A big, bold and lingering aftertaste of bourbon barrel and a tough of roasted malts and caramel as well. Very nice and flavorful stuff.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Not overly creamy on the palate, but goes down fine and finishes slightly sticky. Carbonation is actually a touch prickly perhaps. Some heat lingers on the palate. Same as the XV.

OVERALL: Another solid brew in the FW Anniversary Series. While they were all enjoyable, quality beers, this one was probably my least favorite of the three beer series. It didn’t quite have the boldness the XV had, and the XIII agreed a little more with my palate. Still, another person could have the complete opposite experience, so this one not only comes highly recommended for being part of a stellar series, it comes highly recommended for being a superb beer on its own right. Thanks again for the trade Masterski. (1,803 characters)

Photo of billyshears
3.94/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: dark black body, surprisingly big bubbles around glass. not much head otherwise. minimal lacing. none too pretty.

s: vanilla/coconut notes from the bourbon. darker fruits and malts and also some lighter english malts and toffee which i assume is from the english pale and english barleywine, alcohol

t: starts off with sweetness and bourbon notes. bitter finish with a dark roast and coffee notes. there's an odd transition for the light malts to the dark malts on the swallow. the way they go together it tastes like banana type sweetness with the light and then goes onto chocolate in the dark. chocolate dipped bananas are still pretty good though. its interesting how the switch is so evident. Not sure if just getting drunker or it just needed to get quite warm, but towards the end of the bottle it seemed to fuse a bit more cohesively.

m: thick mouthfeel that froths due to much carbonation goes down pretty smoothly.

d: well, i drank the whole bottle. sip though.

I was unsure how I was going to feel about this beer at first, but I did end up enjoying it. Is it as good as past blends? Maybe not, but I appreciate that it is a bit different and that it's still worth trying. (1,191 characters)

Photo of Gmann
3.95/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown color with a short dense khaki colored head that settled into a light ring.

The aroma is sweet with toffee notes, candied fruit and some hints of oak. Very malty aroma. Aroma is alright, not a big fan of the candied fruit notes.

The taste is of caramel, honey, and toffee. Loads of sweet malt upfront. Some brown sugar, wood, toasted pumpernickle and seasame. Some vanilla from the barrel aged parts of the brew as well as some bourbon soaked cherries. Loads of different flavors going on, perhaps a bit too much as it is hard to focus.

The beer is well bodied with prickly carbonation. It is big and malty so it is a bit sticky. This is all malt on the palate.

One big beer for sure. The flavors are great and new ones seem to pop up as you drink. That said it is a bit heavy handed on the various flavors and the ABV is enough to take down a hippo so the drinkability is limited. Nice beer. (915 characters)

Photo of emmasdad
3.95/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Ratman for procuring a bottle of this one for me. Poured a very dark brown/black color with a very small brown head. Aromas of booze, bourbon, chocolate and vanilla. On the palate, this one was thick, smooth and full bodied, very boozy, with flavors of oak, toffee, chocolate, bourbon and vanilla. Pretty good, but not as amazing as I had hoped. (355 characters)

Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.96/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2

Really excited for this one also. Got the slow-roast pork going and Football Sunday so figured we'd break it out. A whopping 12.5% ABV, at a whopping $17.99/bomber, so this oughtta be interesting...Pours an inky brown with hints of ruby red at the edge. Not a lot of carbonation, and a very short cap of foam settles on this. Looked oily and thick on pouring, so probably a sweeter beer. Beautiful, complex aromas spill out of this - lots of semisweet chocolate, some bourbon cask and char, brown sugar and/or maple syrup, chocolate covered cherries. Yum. Huge, enormous, robust flavor. Like their Parabola, this is just almost overpowering. Not a sessionable beer by any means. Creamy smooth texture, and the flavors in the barrel-aging are fabulous. It is fairly sweet, but not cloying. Lots of espresso and chocolate notes, as would be expected. Alcohol hits near the finish and is very warming. The mouthfeel on this is incredibly rich, smooth, velvety and thick. Very awesome. Not enough carbonation, in my opinion, is one of the two minor flaws. The second being a finish that carries a tad too much alcohol. All-in-all, this beer defies real easy classification, but I would call it a wonderful accompaniement to Winter and a cigar.

What I like most: The incredibly rich, robust mouth and flavors.

What I like least: the price.

Verdict: Unreasonably expensive, but almost worth it. Absoultely worth tracking down and trying now, and maybe cellaring a few. (1,465 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.97/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown, some lace, a moderate sized head. Some sugr, tasty, drinkable, a dry finish. Bourbon in the aroma, lots of roast, alcohol burn. An imperial dry stout.
Fuller mouthfeel. A very nice sipper, though I do not seem to have enjoyed this as much as other anniversary editions. (281 characters)

Photo of davod23
3.98/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into my Bruery tulip.

Beer is near-black, very opaque, yet with perfect clarity. Nice off-white cap forms, dissipates slowly, and is resurrected with a swirl of the glass. Nice looking beer.

Smell is nice enough, if a bit hot. The barrels are quite evident here. Candy aromas, particularly caramel and toffee. Coffee roastiness, dark chocolate, coconut. Booze.

Taste is similarly good. Sweet, boozy, I'm thinking this one could use a little bit of time in the corner. This could be spectacular with time. Rich bitter chocolate, coconut, caramel. And my girlfriend thinks I'm crazy, but I swear that the first thing I noticed in the taste was raw peanut butter. I haven't seen any other review mention this, so it's possible that I've lost my mind. But I taste peanut butter.

Mouthfeel, like all the FW anniversary beers, is great. Thick, adequate carbonation, slightly sticky.

Drinkability takes a hit from past iterations of the anniversary series. This one is just a bit too hot and needs some time to mellow out before it reaches its peak. Fresh, this is my least favorite of the five, but that's like saying that Gisele Bundchen is my least favorite Victoria's Secret model - it's still pretty damned good. (1,240 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
3.99/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter at a tasting. Thanks to Russwbeck for the bottle!

Pretty much like it's 13th brother, mahogany brown bottle, slightly silky coming out with a chestnut hue, and a faint tan collar. Looks slightly dead and lifeless with not much going on, almost kind of sludgy.

Classic bouquet of toffee and caramel, but with less of a fruit quality than expected from previous anniversaries. Thick and sticky.

Much of the palate is classic, but with a lighter drinking body. Light toffee with more of an emphasis on caramel. Some interesting notes of black licorice/anisette qualities as well. Simple rounded body with a fairly one dimensional solid palate.

Overall pretty good and a straightforward take on their classic strong ale series. (765 characters)

Photo of yemenmocha
3.99/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown and rather translucent. Almost looks cola colored and easy to see through. Virtually no head whatsoever, even with a somewhat aggressive pour into the snifter. Disappointing. Nose is rich with coffee, chocolate, and lots of caramel. On the palate it comes across with a slap of alcohol heat, gigantic caramel & bourbon notes, and some robusta coffee flavors. Finishes roasty, bourbon-vanilla, and boozey. (421 characters)

Photo of jbakajust1
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

4oz pour @ Bier Stein came free w/ full pour of 15.

A - Pours a deep brown almost black w/ garnet highlights, 1.2 finger brown head, good lacing

S - Smells of chocolate, roast, cherry, vanilla, oak, sweet toffee, and bourbon.

T - Chocolate, roast, sweet toffee, vanilla, oak, light brandy

M - Smooth, thick, chewy, warm, sweet finish

O - Very nice, complex, warming, too much to take it all in. (399 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Re-review off a bottle shared by a friend (which I gave him for Christmas). Uh... thanks Arbitrator?

This has come a long way in the bottle. Next to Melange No. 3 and Cherry Adam, this had the most complexity in the nose and aroma.

The delicate esters I had previously picked up in the nose were still present, but they played second fiddle to brown sugar, brandy, molasses, and caramel. Vanilla, chocolate, and cherries (that's new!) in the nose as well.

This actually tasted very similar to Melange No. 3. When cold, it was driven primarily by brown sugar, molasses, maple, vanilla, and chocolate. As it warmed, the taste shifted more toward oak, leather, and (when warmest) cherries. I was surprised; this is much more complex than when it was fresh. It's really coming together.

The mouthfeel has improved, too. The slightly harsh, boozy nature of the young bottle has receded in favor of a mild heat that could almost be mistaken for a spicy bite. It's smoother than Melange No. 3.

Unanimously the favorite of the night. Still not as impressive as I had hoped, but it's better than before.

~~~

Original comments (I had given it a B):

Chilled bomber into a glass, courtesy of mfielden. Thanks, Mark.

I drank this without looking at the blend sheet for the first half of the bottle. Most of the fun is figuring out what went into it, and seeing what I can detect.

A: Pours an extremely dark brown, so dark that it appears nearly black in my snifter. During sips, I can kind of see through the thinner regions of the glass, which glow with a ruby translucence. The foam is a light tan cap that vanishes quickly, leaving a moderate, big-bubbled collar on the beer. A few clumps of lace appear while I'm sipping, but nothing that sticks.

S: If I close my eyes and sniff, I start to feel like a tripel is involved. There's an estery, nearly floral presence that I can't quite figure out. It's overridden by brandy, molasses, caramel, and oak. It vaguely reminds me of Velvet Merkin, probably from the hints of vanilla and chocolate that flit across the nose. It's actually quite a nice aroma, and as it warms, it becomes more so. But, also as it warms, it gets boozier, with a little nose hair singeing going on.

T: Molasses, brown sugar, brandy (or at least a grape-based spirit like port -- it's quite strong, bordering on raisiny). An earthy, dark chocolate bitterness surfaces before leading into caramel, toffee, and just a touch of bourbon that reflect the Parabola that unmistakably went into this beer. The finish is oaky and nutty, with caramel that lingers on the tongue. A mild heat closes off the experience. A complex flavor for sure, and there's a lot going on, but it reminds me of a Dogfish Head strong ale (specifically, Palo Santo Marron). It lacks the delicacy and balance I appreciated in 13, and is more brash in comparison. In terms of flavor, I'd put 13 first, then 12. This ties with an aged 11 (which didn't hold up that well) or even slightly behind it.

M: Full-bodied, with carbonation closer to low than medium. It produces a silky body with sticky flavor. A slight astringency in the finish reveals the numerous barrels that went into this beer. When I first start drinking, there's a low heat to it; nothing brash, and it feels good on this chilly [for California] evening. But as it warms, the heat becomes stronger, to the point of becoming a flaw.

D: I've only had the 13 and 14 fresh. This is similar to 13 in that it's basically ready to drink now, though a few months of age may cause it to peak slightly (like 13 did for me). That being said, I'm not going apeshit over this like I did with its predecessor. I don't know what it's missing, but it doesn't have that oomph. Then again, it took me a couple of bottles to warm to 13, so maybe that's what this one needs. It's just that at $22 a pop, I'm not looking to give this multiple chances unless they're forced on me.

It's true what they say. Black Xantus ruins everything. (3,991 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle thanks to beerdy. I drank this with a couple friends right after we split an Abacus and this was good but not Abacys good. Dark black color, smells boozy and rich. Tastes like a barrel aged imperial stout despite the high barleywine content. Abacus and Parabola are much better values than the anniversary beers at this point. (338 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
4.01/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a deep tawny garnet brown with a smallish off white head that dissipates almost instantly. Smells of oaken wood with a sweet but tannic edge and a hint of wet cardboard. Sweet sugars and caramel with a touch of chocolate an roast along with a bit of fruity sweetness to round out the nose quite nicely. The flavor is big and sweet up front with a solid shot of ethanol. Brown sugar and caramel with hints of cocoa and dark fruits.Medium to thick body with a sweet sugary mouthfeel and a light level of carbonation. This is a big thick complex beer that I thoroughly enjoyed tonight. Its a sipper, but on a cold night such as this it just worked as an all night thing. (673 characters)

Photo of OlieIPA
4.02/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Stone IRS tulip

A: Pours relatively black with hints of brown when held up to the light. The head is a bit fizzy, but settles down into a light cream colored blanket.

S: Tons of brown sugar, maple, dark fig, bourbon, and alcohol. That raisin/dark fig really seems to stand out as the beer begins to warm up as well.

T: I can definitely pick up the "Double Double Barrel Ale" on the initial sip! Extremely fruity, especially on the dark end, with strong influences of oak, bourbon, and molasses.

M: Masterful! Full body with just the right amount of carbonation.

D: It's a little hot, but rather drinkable at this stage. The flavor profile is quite enjoyable as well, so all in all...a great beer experience!

Overall: To be honest, probably my least favorite of all the anniversary blends so far...but put together well. A must try. Cheers! (882 characters)

Photo of ptykozoon
4.02/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Basically black, spotty lacing, bits of islands.

Raisin, molasses, dark chocolate, bits of cherry, vanilla, fudge, caramel, licorice, on and on...

Aforementioned with an emphasis on dark chocolate and bitter coffee, lots of bourbon in this one.

Very nice mouthfeel, exactly how a stout like this should be - dense.

Very nice. (330 characters)

Photo of nataku00
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap poured into a tulip glass. Dark brown beer with no head. Some orange tint at the edge of the glass when held up to the glass. Not quite opaque as I could see the shadows through the glass, but a nice looking color to this.

Nose is mostly dark fruits (figs and dates), with some oak and caramel malts accenting. Not quite what I was expecting.

Taking a sip, alcohol burn initially, but the taste follows the nose mostly, lots of dark fruits soaked in alcohol, with minimal oak presence on the tongue. Alcohol burn follows through on the tongue with light pine hops in the aftertaste.

Decently carbonated medium bodied beer, but it seems 14 could use a year to help with the alcohol. I'll probably get a bottle to age as there was enough good in this sample to see this turning into something special. (812 characters)

Photo of mothman
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Peter for sharing this one!

Poured into stone snifter. Pours a light layer of khaki beige head. Color is a deep copper hued brown.

Aroma: Oaky and vanilla. I definitely smell the black xantus. Chocolate and roasted malts. Some coffee. Very sharp. Whiskey or bourbon flavors.

Taste: Oak and bourbon here. Lots of chocolate and cocoa. Roasted malts and coffee. Some dark fruits. Vanilla. Parabola and Black Xantus flavors. A bit of heat.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and roasted. Velvety. Full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends a bit dry and roasted.

Overall, this was a pretty solid anniversary beer. Very enjoyable. I like the barrel flavors. Nose was a bit weak, but the taste made up for it. (709 characters)

Photo of youradhere
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had in a 12, 13, 14 Vertical.

Appearance is clearer than the 13, a dark brown with maroon and mahogany edges, red tinges the body in light. Smells of sweet beets, vanilla. Taste is cocoa, vanilla and oak; mouthfeel is drier and more tannic, bolder flavors that will mellow out with time I'm sure. Pretty drinkable, but the blend is young still and the flavors need some more time to take the sharp edges off. (409 characters)

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.04/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Big thanks to piclee for this.

3.5 A: Black color. Aggressive pour yielded about one finger of frothy beige head that fell quickly and left no lacing.

4.5 S: This is simply jampacked with licorice. So much licorice that just about every other aroma is hard to pick up. Candied plum is the second most apparent aroma, followed by chocolate, a mild bourbon, and oak and vanilla. Behind all that there is raisin and tobacco, prune, a mild roastiness, and caramel sweetness. Speaking of sweetness, this is indeed quite sweet overall.

4.0 T: Taste is good, but isn't as impressive as the nose. Again, there's lots of sweetness. Big caramel component, which is heightened by syruppy boubon booziness. Less fruity than the nose suggests, but there is still a decent amount of plum with lesser amounts of raisin and fig. Light roastiness with some oak and some vanilla and a bit more chocolate. Moderate to high-moderate booziness.

3.5 M: Heavy mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation, but it isn't as spritzy as I'd like. Also, a bit chewier than I prefer. Big creaminess, but a still present booziness reduced the smoothness a bit.

4.0 D: Before this, the only anniversary beer I had was the 13 - and I thought it was a horrid mess. This, though it also lacks a clear direction, comes together much much much better. Flavors blend well and the booziness isn't too overwhelming. I bet this will be a lot better in a couple years. Probably not worth the $20, but definitely worth a try. (1,498 characters)

Photo of Vonerichs
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color, but I noticed that during the pour it was a much lighter shade than what ended up in the glass. Minimal head.

The smell was like a watered down bourbon- oak and vanilla with a touch of alcohol burn.

The taste also has a lot of oak and vanilla, with additions of toffee and chocolate. I even picked up a light earthy flavor.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Carbonation is minimal but compliments the smooth aspect and the high alcohol content.

This is a very good beer. I tasted it with a little age on it and it still drank like a high abv beer. (579 characters)

Firestone 14 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 294 ratings.