Firestone 14 - Anniversary Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 638 | Reviews: 289 | Display Reviews Only:
3.98/5 rDev -9.5%
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.
02-20-2011 15:43:46 | More by Sammy
4.28/5 rDev -2.7%
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.
06-30-2012 05:44:33 | More by UCLABrewN84
3.93/5 rDev -10.7%
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.
11-21-2010 01:17:58 | More by Thorpe429
4.43/5 rDev +0.7%
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
03-24-2011 23:49:28 | More by brentk56
4.47/5 rDev +1.6%
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.
03-21-2011 01:37:51 | More by mikesgroove
4.38/5 rDev -0.5%
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.
11-15-2010 07:44:44 | More by womencantsail
4.43/5 rDev +0.7%
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...
09-07-2011 02:07:20 | More by TMoney2591
4.33/5 rDev -1.6%
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.
02-06-2011 22:37:58 | More by emerge077
4.1/5 rDev -6.8%
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!
03-17-2011 01:13:52 | More by zeff80
4.1/5 rDev -6.8%
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.
11-11-2010 17:51:50 | More by largadeer
4.65/5 rDev +5.7%
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!
01-20-2011 05:07:13 | More by russpowell
4.2/5 rDev -4.5%
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.
01-28-2011 16:05:47 | More by Kegatron
4.5/5 rDev +2.3%
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.
03-30-2011 11:53:04 | More by MasterSki
4.33/5 rDev -1.6%
Growler of FW 14 served in a vertical epic tasting glass from Stone...close enough.
Beer is black with weak carbonation a low head and some legs of alcohol are left on the glass from the swirl.
The aroma is sweet with liquor and malts, smells pretty good.
Beer is medium bodied with lead off sweetness and booze. The finish is dry and mildly bitter from roasted malts....not much else. The beer is flavorful, some plum and more malt in the midpalate. Its a heavy beer though, a sipper for sure. A growler is a slight miscalculation, fortunately a tasting killed about 2/3 of it.
12-19-2010 21:19:22 | More by drabmuh
Firestone 14 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 638 ratings.