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Firestone 14 - Anniversary Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

643 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 643
Reviews: 290
rAvg: 4.4
pDev: 9.09%
Wants: 205
Gots: 555 | FT: 21
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:
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

(Beer added by: ZX6Chris on 11-02-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 643 | Reviews: 290 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.98/5  rDev -9.5%
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.

Sammy, Feb 20, 2011
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -9.1%

t0rin0, Sep 27, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.28/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Wowcoolman for sharing this one at the Firestone Walker night at Steingarten LA in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that fades to nothing. No lacing on this one. Smell is of roasted and toasted malt, vanilla, caramel, toffee, toasted coconut, slight cocoa, cookie dough, and some wood and alcohol aromas. Taste is the same but the flavors are balanced and complex with a woody finish and not too bad of an alcohol kick on the finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer that seems to be holding up quite well at this time. To me this one tastes great and has become a tasty and dangerously drinkable beer at this time.

UCLABrewN84, Jun 30, 2012
Photo of djrn2
4.25/5  rDev -3.4%

djrn2, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
3.93/5  rDev -10.7%
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.

Thorpe429, Nov 21, 2010
Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -9.1%

zestar, Jan 18, 2014
Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev -3.4%

nmann08, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -9.1%

acurtis, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of brentk56
4.43/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a rich, mysterious brown color; while there is not much head and what there is doesn't last long, there are plenty of trace elements lingering around the chalice

Smell: The oaky barrel dominates the aroma, with Bourbon and vanilla, but underneath there is nougat, nuts, caramel and that German Chocolate Cake character

Taste: The German Chocolate Cake character is apparent right from the outset, with the chocolate, coconut, caramel and nut flavors dominant; by mid-palate, the boozy Bourbon and vanilla flavors build and after the swallow, the blend comes together; there is a bit of hop character that emerges in the finish, as well

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, with moderate carbonation and warmth, not only in the gullet but in the belly

Overall: I always look forward the the Firestone anniversary series and this one is no exception

Thanks, mrmiles, for the opportunity

brentk56, Mar 24, 2011
Photo of Texasfan549
4.75/5  rDev +8%

Texasfan549, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
4.47/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

finally after staring at this in my fridge forever i decided to open it up. served into a snifter i used this as my night cap after a long day.


pours out a jet black color with only a minimal head that does not stick around too long but what is there is clinging to the sides and nice ans sticky. aroma is warming, lots of boozy notes, vanilla and oak coming through the air very clearly now, really showing off what it can do for sure. a nice and well rounded mix of bourbon, caramel, dark roasted malts, nice hints of toffee, and vanilla and a light brown sugar that seems to pop up in the finish. really nicely blended and a well deserved finish was smooth, silky and full of sweet flavor.

overall a very solid ale. cannot see what this becomes with some time on it, really is just a great, great way to end your night.

mikesgroove, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -20.5%

GRG1313, Apr 09, 2014
Photo of womencantsail
4.38/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review #1500 here on BA. Certainly worthy of FW14.

A: The pour is a dark brown color with minimal off-white head formation.

S: Sweet milk chocolate and vanilla to open things up. Lots of bourbon, caramel, and brown sugar. There's a mild oakiness and coffee, too.

T: The amount of chocolate here is ridiculous. Sweet milk chocolate and an almost chocolate malt flavor to it which is just great. Plenty of bourbon and vanilla, but nowhere near as hot as the previous blends.

M: The body is medium with a low to moderate carbonation. Overall, this beer is just silky on the tongue.

D: I said to a friend that this tastes like a Bourbon Vanilla Chocolate Malt and I'm standing by that. Of the anniversary blends I've had fresh (or relatively so), this is the best.

womencantsail, Nov 15, 2010
Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -31.8%

ygtbsm94, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of spycow
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

spycow, Apr 15, 2013
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev -3.4%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
4.43/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a flared pokal.

Big thanks to the Central PA group from the Gang Bang BIF for this bottle!

Damn, just reading the blend's breakdown is making me salivate... This stuff pours a dark brown-garnet topped by a finger of sandy tan foam. The nose comprises buttery biscuits, rye bread, toffee, oak, light bourbon, maple syrup, and light chocolate. The taste holds notes of light cocoa, rye bread, toffee, brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup, light bourbon, and a kiss of booze. The body is a stolid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a lightly syrupy feel. Overall, a very tasty brew, one that, in retrospect, was probably a bit more complex than my 'buds led me to believe this time (though they went to bed happy regardless). I guess I'm just gonna haveta get another bottle...

TMoney2591, Sep 07, 2011
Photo of emerge077
4.33/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep ruby/garnet hue in the light, otherwise appears black. Initial pour summoned a half inch of tan foam, which subsided fairly quickly into a thin ring and spotty lace.

Aroma was really nice, fried plantain, brown sugar, plum, dates, and figs. Rich and slightly sweet, with a slight trace of alcohol when swirled and deeply inhaled.

Sweet and sticky with a medium heft to it... long lingering aftertaste with oaky presence. Rich flavors of dark fruits: fig and plum, dry oak tannin in the back, with a bit of bitter dark chocolate from the Parabola. Vanilla surfaces from the bourbon barrel, and there's a bit of distinct bourbon flavor faintly in the back too. The blend is well done, it's very smooth and one to sip for an hour or more. Booze is in check, though certainly present. Overall very nice, hope to also try on tap before it's all gone.

emerge077, Feb 06, 2011
Photo of largadeer
4.1/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at Toronado.

Firestone's new anniversary blend looks much the same as the previous two vintages: a blackened, nearly opaque amber-brown. The head shows surprising longevity given the style and high alcohol, though it does eventually dissipate completely.

What an outstanding aroma. There's an abundance of toasted coconut and vanilla, rich caramel, oak, a hint of milk chocolate. Despite 1/3 of the blend being comprised of neutral barrel Double Double Barrel Ale, there's no lack of bourbon and brandy character here.

Firestone's anniversary beers usually have some heat and harshness to them when they're fresh, but that's not the case with XIV; the alcohol is very reserved. I had this side by side with Parabola and Abacus, and to my surprise, XIV showed greater depth and less heat.

There's a strong caramel and bittersweet chocolate presence on the palate, with subtleties of vanilla, coconut rum and brandy shining through. Oak contributes light tannins that cut the sweetness slightly, though it remains a rich and heavy beer. Alcohol is nicely integrated, a mild heat that balances rather than detracts.

Carbonation is at a lower-moderate level, just enough to give the palate a light scrubbing. The body is full, but not syrupy by any means; Firestone is excellent about making rich beers that aren't cloying.

While I still need to try this from the bottle to get a better feel for it, numerous glasses on tap leave me with the impression that this is one of the better anniversary blends.

Addendum: A better beer on tap than out of the bottle, though bottles are fairly good.

largadeer, Nov 11, 2010
Photo of zeff80
4.1/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, dark burgundy color with a small, off-white head of soapy foam. It had some brief retention but left sudsy trails of lace.

S - It smelled of bourbon, malt and touches of vanilla. The was a mild oakiness.

T - It had a nice blend of bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate and toasted caramel malt. A nice bittersweet flavor.

M - It was smooth and crisp. A medium to full bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a really tasty ale from Firestone Walker. Yet another great one!

zeff80, Mar 17, 2011
Photo of JAHMUR
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

JAHMUR, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Kegatron
4.2/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle into a couple of snifters. Thanks go to HopDerek for sharing this one with me.

Pours a pitch black, topped with about a ½ finger of fizzy dark mocha head. This rapidly dissipates from the glass, basically not having much in the way of retention or leaving any lacing back. I guess this wasn't too surprising, considering that this often happens in the case of barrel-aged beers but man, this did disappear fast! VERY warm bouquet on this, with notes of chocolate, toffee, fruit, molasses, coconut, brown sugars, and charred wood. There a lot of complexity here and the flavors themselves have a smooth integration but that big ABV and barrel character definitely leaves its mark here in the nose.

The taste is as fierce and complex as the aroma was, with thick sweet notes of chocolate, molasses, vanilla, dark fruit, and brown sugars that get roughed up a little on the edges by a darker presence of coffee, roasted coconut, and a deep burnt smokiness. This finishes with a dry parching tannic feel that consumes the palate. The barrel notes are very well integrated and blended here, as the flavor just seem to effortlessly flow in and out of each other. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a prickly effervescent carbonation that fills the mouth. Make no mistake though; this is definitely a BIG BEER that forces you to take your time with it. Things do get a bit stinging although it isn't thankfully enough to interfere with the flavor profile.

What can I say, another year, another awesome anniversary blend from Firestone Walker. As other reviewers have noted, this was a noticeably sweeter than previous ones thanks to the Double Double Ale and Sticky Monkey making up the bulk of the blend but there was plenty of darker character to be had here as well. Like I said before, this still seems a little too raw and hot right now but I'm hoping that some time in the cellar will help tame this beast down a bit.

Kegatron, Jan 28, 2011
Photo of russpowell
4.65/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This one is courtesy of Bitterbill, a great trader! I love the complete/detailed background on the beer you get from the box info & the scroll included inside, beer geek heaven! Cheers Bill...

Pours an effervescent mahogany with a pinky of Mocha colored head. Viscous appearance to this. Above average head retention & some lacing

S: Nice Bourbon & oaky notes, plums & raisins too.

T: Rich dark fruittyness, dryness, prunes, vanilla & oakyness up front. Nice plummy notes as this warms, some hints of leafy hops, Bourbon sweetness, oakyness & dryness once warm, along with caramel, & dark cherries. Finishes dry, warming with dark chocolate, vanilla, cherries, rich Bourbon flavors, a slight kiss of coffee

MF: Chewy & warming, very little carbonation, so rich

Drinks fantastic for the style & ABV. Rumor has this brewery is headed this way in 2011. Here's hoping if we don't get it here, a neighboring state does, I like/love most of their offerings...

Still waiting for the 3-6 inches of snow we are supposed to get tonight, I wish it would have showed up with this in my glass, bummer that weather didn't deliver, the beer sure did!

russpowell, Jan 20, 2011
Photo of MasterSki
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Fountainhead. Hooray for this being on-tap locally. Served in a snifter.

A - Served with a finger-plus of tan foam that settles to a thin cap and features good retention. Glass-coating lace is left behind. The body is an opaque near-black.

S - Bourbon barrels, vanilla, earthy whiskey, roasted malts, cocoa, coconut, oak, coffee, and dark fruits. As it warms up more sugary malt and booze-soaked cherry flavors emerge.

T - Taste is heavier in burnt sugars, molasses, bourbon, oak, and brandy-soaked fruits. The finish is a little charred espresso bitterness. Surprisingly little overt alcohol, and presents more as a barleywine (which makes sense as I look at the blend information).

M - Smooth, medium-full body, medium carbonation, and a sticky, viscous finish. There's a mild amount of warmth, but nothing to suggest the list ABV.

D - This is very good, and seems ready to drink quite early into its anticipated lifespan. Competitive with the best of the anniversary beers for sure. At $20 I may be regretting not purchasing more of this.

MasterSki, Mar 30, 2011
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.4/5  rDev 0%

A great brew that has matured beautifully since it's release. Deep brown to cope in color and now with just a prickle of carbonation. The nose is heave whiskey barrel, and the malt of the big esb component seems to come through the most. Chocolate and roast on the front end of the taste while more fruitiness develops later on. Plums and dried dates come to mind, and the whole thing has a very brandy flavor to it. Vanilla and oak are long finishing and while the booze is back, the sweetness if the beer is robust, toffee like. Huge sticky body akin to other barrel aged beers from Firestone, silky as any too going down. A real treat to share this after all this time, I bet it could hold on a few more years, but no reason not to pop it open now if you are lucky enough to have one!

StonedTrippin, Wednesday at 06:33 PM
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Firestone 14 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 643 ratings.