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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

642 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 642
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: 642 | Reviews: 290 | Display Reviews Only:
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, Yesterday at 05:33 PM
Photo of jlindros
4.33/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light fizzy head over very dark brown murky coke syrup colored beer.

Nose has tons of aged malts, light porter roast, light booze, lots of soft aged dark malt flavors, light oak, a nice bourbon aroma, light fluffy nougat, brown sugar, toasted syrup.

Taste brings soft subtle aged malts, very nice malt profile, chewy malts as well, brown sugar, little nutty, light porter like roast, light chocolate, light earthy grassy hops even, fluffy nougat again, little minerality from the roast, syrupy caramelized sugars, dark chocolate light oats, light booze, very complex. Definitely age-able. Finish brines a slight sweetness but a bit dry as well, a nice long finish, fluffy aged malts, more spicy hop bitterness, coffee, roast, touch of dark chocolate and a little chalky and slight boozy.

Mouth is a bit heavier bodied with decent carbonation.

Overall a good beer, lots of dark malts, complex but drinkable, booze is there but drinks much better than 12.5%, little syrupy but smooth mostly, lots of aged malts and a bit of a nice spicy hop character, tasty beer that will age well.

jlindros, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev -9.1%

oline73, May 27, 2014
Photo of Mora2000
3.8/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Mora2000, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of mendvicdog
2.5/5  rDev -43.2%

mendvicdog, May 29, 2014
Photo of mdfb79
4.05/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Galaxy Hut tonight. Served in a snifter.

a - Pours a dark black color, almost black, with one inch of white head and almost no carbonation evident.

s - Smells of roasted malts, dark fruit, chocolate, molasses, and booze. Some caramel came out in the nose as it warms, and it started to smell sweeter. As it warms up it smells much better.

t - Tastes of dark fruits, especially raisins and plums, bourbon which is much stronger in the taste than the nose, roasted malts, caramel malts, and molasses.

m - Medium to full body and low carbonation, it's a bit hot.

d - Overall I liked it and thought it was pretty good, and just a bit hot. I thought as it warmed up the smell was great, and being a bit boozey was its only negative. I'm going to open a bottle in 6-12 months and think it could be awesome. Glad I got to try it on tap so I don't have to open a bottle now.

mdfb79, Nov 23, 2010
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.35/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A solid pour into my Lost Abbey Teku glass produces a two-finger thick, lightly browned, dark tan colored head. The beer is a dark, deeply concentrated brown / amber color that shows clear, brown tinges around the edges when held up to the light. The aroma smells of deeply caramelized wood (think toasted coconut and vanillin) and malt; the malt gets rich and concentrated enough to smell umami like with notes of savory, chewy, at times almost smoky raisins, deep caramelized sugar and even some slight sherry / nuttiness. Touches of roasted grain seem to add to the sherry notes some how and in the finish there is definitely some light touches of noticeable roasted character that contributes dark toasted / burnt, whole grain bread-crust aromatics as well as a hint of dark espresso roast character. The up front barrel derived caramel and vanillin notes accentuate a concentrated, caramelized fruitiness that reminds me of rum soaked raisins, dark molasses and notes of brandy. At times this can seem a bit too focused on the barrel / wood character, but the whole thing is so well integrated and there is truly a lot of complexity noticeable in the subtle portions of the nose.

Thick, chewy and viscous as it first hits my palate, the beer lingers for quite some time almost seeming to coat the mouth with a layer of viscous, sweet beer. Somehow the beer does not end up being cloying, much of this is due to the complexity of all the flavors. The long finish sees a bitter, herbal hoppiness meld with some roasted bitterness as well as some warming / spice from the alcohol and some additional spiciness from oak. Up front the beer tastes of deeply caramelized malt sugars, some notes of molasses, rum or even brandy soaked raisins and dates as well as really reminding me of a dense, sweet, incredibly moist, brown sugar and molasses focused cake or bread. Showing up in the flavor is a rich, umami like malt character that, while not quite as expressive as in the nose, still produces flavors that hints at salty-smoky peat and savory concentrated malt notes (not really teriyaki or soy, but that is the best I can describe this flavor with). There is actually a fair amount of herbal hop character (including the bitterness) that this beer has; I don't know why but I wasn't expecting a lot of hop character from this beer. A biting bitterness (that is honestly a bit overwhelmed by the rich malt), a nice herbal / pine / touch of hemp oil hop flavor in the middle and perhaps a hint of citrus character that gets subsumed in the rich maltiness of this brew.

Coming back to this beer after dinner, my changed palate has me noticing subtle notes of dark cocoa in the finish that melds quite well with the rich molasses like malt character. The herbal hop character seems to also play a more prominent role now as does the spicy, warming alcohol.

This is drinking very nicely right out of the gate, while not a dominant character, I am really enjoying the vibrant hoppiness that this beer currently has. Wow, again I am just quite impressed with how tasty this beer is right now; I haven't had 13, but this beer is definitely starting out much stronger than any of the other beers of this series have for me. This is purely a contemplative sipping brew, there is a ton of complexity and it is way too sweet to be something to be drunk quickly; despite the ample sweetness I am quite enjoying this beer, I expected / wanted it to be rich and satiating, and this beer most definitely is. I wish I had quite a bit of this beer in my cellar right now and not to age, but so I could drink a lot of this beer this winter.

Gueuzedude, Dec 31, 2010
Photo of XmnwildX12
4.25/5  rDev -3.4%

XmnwildX12, Nov 28, 2013
Photo of Halcyondays
3.7/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Glad to have a relatively innocuous path to this beer, so far the 11 is the only one I've had to go on an active search for, 25.4 oz. bottle,

A: Pours brown, with a moderate tan head for the so-called style, limited lace.

S: Lots of caramel, some booze. Treacle dominates, an inviting nose as all its brethen in the past have been.

T: Lots of dark chocolate, caramel and barrel. The booze is there a bit, but the overall flavour is nice. Good complexity overall.

M: Full-bodied, fairly smooth, little boozy.

D: Everyone's saying this is the best since the legendary 11, so I was real excited. It's good as they've all been, but the 12 was clearly better earlier. Like the 13 this is a beer that needs some time to find itself, it needs aging, that is my final suggestion for the 14, give it a year.

Halcyondays, Nov 13, 2010
Photo of GClarkage
4.75/5  rDev +8%

GClarkage, Jul 04, 2014
Photo of imperialking
4.75/5  rDev +8%

imperialking, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of InspectorBob
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

InspectorBob, May 21, 2013
Photo of corby112
3.93/5  rDev -10.7%
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.

corby112, Jan 30, 2011
Photo of yourefragile
4.33/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Bronze-chestnut color. Bubbly, khaki head. Average retention, dots and dashes of lacing.

S: Toffee, caramel, licorice, anise, alcohol, vanilla, oak, hops that fade as it warms, bourbon.

T: Molasses, milk chocolate, leather, citric hops, oak, tannins, brown sugar, toasted malt, light char, coffee.

M: Medium thick, mildly syrupy, light fine, fizzy carbonation.

No real major surprises going into a FW anniv. beer at this point. I haven't tried any others this fresh, so I don't have a great reference point for it at this age, but this is sweeter with a stronger accompanying hop presence than others. The contribution of Parabola, while noticeable, is not as strong as last year's blend. Alcohol presence becomes more potent as the beer warms. For such a large, complex beer this is drinking pretty nice right now, but hopefully will smooth out a littler more with time. My least favorite of 11-13 so far, but not to say this isn't a world class beer. Buy a few, drink a few, age a few, whatever, you won't lose.

yourefragile, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.7/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Always a pleasure to try another of these releases. I hold high hopes for this one. This one was purchased in California and brought back to Sydney to share with @LaitueGonflable.

Pours a deep, heavy, viscous black-brown, with a mottled but reasonably solid head of mocha foam. Very fine static carbonation in the exceptionally heavy body. Lacing is almost non-existent, but that's not unusual in a beer this heavy.

Nose is just gorgeous. That perfectly balanced and sweet vanilla oak character, with dark chocolate and slightly astringent boozy notes. Even some dark toasted coconut—the barrel gives it such a redolent and mellow character, and the blending just gets the proportions right. Wonderful.

Taste is smooth and creamy, and genuinely darker than the previous release. Here we have big chocolate and coconut characters, like a toasted Bounty bar. It's so sweet and luscious, complementary and balanced. Still, it's smooth and leavened—it certainly doesn't have any roasted astringency. So smooth, and so drinkable young—and yet, it makes me want to squirrel away a bottle and see what it's like in ten or twenty years time. I think it would stand the test.

Such a gorgeous beer, and such a valid and perfect addition to the series. Genuinely one of the most well thought-out and well-balanced beers I've ever had. They put such a concerted and nuanced approach into these beers—I can't wait for number fifteen.

lacqueredmouse, Jul 30, 2011
Photo of orangesol
4.2/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I brought this one to Imminent Liquidation II. Bottle poured into a taster glass.

A - Pours dark brown with a decent one finger tall off-white head leaving light streaks of lace down the glass.

S - Smells of chocolate, vanilla, brown sugar, caramel, toffee, toasted nuts and some warm bourbon. Some booze creeps in as it sits in the glass.

T - Starts off with quite a bit of sweetness - same flavors as in the nose - slowly giving way to the warm bourbon that only grows stronger as it sits in the glass. Finish can best be described as sweet heat. The combination works very well. Once the booze dies down a little more this one will really be something.

M - Rich, slick feel with plenty of candy sweet flavors and moderate carbonation. The only real drawback is that the booze is still pretty noticeable.

O - I really liked this one. It had nearly all of my favorite flavors and was fairly easy to drink. I hope to try this one again in the future, I think it could really end up being one of the better in the series.

orangesol, Mar 26, 2012
Photo of barleywinefiend
4.8/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Poured a deep brown, almost black with a small brown head and bubbles. Looked good to me as I knew it was already.

S: Wood, Earth, vanilla, oak, bourbon, some liquorice at time

T: The nose is fantastic, I mean very good. Take the caramel, toffee, smooth chocolate, wood, oak, vanilla, hints at coffee. Wow.

M: Low on carbonation, sticky, sweet so much flavor, big body, just right on the booze

D: One of the easier to drink strong ales I have had and I still think it is one of the best FW anny beers yet.

barleywinefiend, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of dbrauneis
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

dbrauneis, Sep 07, 2013
Photo of drewone
5/5  rDev +13.6%

drewone, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of duceswild
3.5/5  rDev -20.5%

duceswild, May 26, 2014
Photo of DoubleJ
4.25/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at 38 Degrees, on to the beer:

Dark leather brown in color with a little lace that remains on top. The nose is very sweet and obviously influcenced by the barrel aging process. Whiskey and maple syrup are among the aromas coming from the liquid.

Bam! It's rich and it's delish. Some oak, toasted sugar, toffee, and marshmallow come out with good quantities. Still, it's a very mellow beverage, especially with the alcohol being buried quite well.

To sum it up, yet another worthy concoction to be made for the Anniversary series.

DoubleJ, Jul 05, 2011
Photo of Zorro
4.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The 4th in the Firestone Anniversary series.

There is a data sheet inside the box with the bottle of beer detailing the mix that went in to this beer.

Double Double Barrel ale (10.9% ABV) 31%
Sticky Monkey (12% ABV) 29%
Parabola (13% ABV) 27%
Velvet Merkin (6% ABV) 7%
Good Foot (13% ABV) 3%
Black Xantus (11%)

This is a clear very dark brown colored beer with a small yellowish brown colored head. This is considerably light in color than the anniversary beers from the previous three years.

Immediately upon opening I am hit with the scents of coffee and white wine before I even pour it in a glass. Strong scents are coffee, chocolate and bourbon whiskey. Deeper perception of the scent there is a strong vanilla and caramel aroma, makes sense this is a bourbon barrel beer. Coconut and chocolate are moderately strong and there is a perception of German Chocolate Cake in the smell of this beer. Coffee seems to be present but the smell doesn't stand out as anything more than patent malt scent. There is a slight tart scent here that I can only describe as the wine like odor you get from some lightly roasted coffees.

The taste starts out semi sweet with a German Chocolate Cake flavor that really has a long coconut aftertaste. Alcohol is slightly hot but this is really tame compared to last year's version. Mild bitterness as much from patent malt as it is from hops. This is a damn tasty beer.

Mouthfeel is thick.

This is one damn tasty beer. This is MUCH smoother than the 13th Anniversary beer last year and I would compare it favorably to being much like the 10th Anniversary ale. This is great as it is now, this will probably peak after 1-2 years of aging but it is damn good as it is now, go get some!

Zorro, Nov 26, 2010
Photo of mothman
4.05/5  rDev -8%
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.

mothman, Jun 12, 2011
Photo of afsdan
5/5  rDev +13.6%

afsdan, Aug 11, 2014
Photo of BARFLYB
4.1/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap at Blue Monkey in New Jersey, this is the first time I traveled into Jersey to drink some beer. Baffled by how NJ gets FS before PA, but I live in a great location, The Fertile Crescent! Bitches better recognize..

Firestone came to me in a big ol Chimay chalice type glass with about 10oz or so in it. A big black ol body with a dark tan, semi mocha like head. Sudsy and firm. Some stick towards the side, spraypaint in some spots. Great looks for a big beer like this. Smell is incredible, getting alot of parabola with coffee, roasted malt, caramel, bourbon and the like. I kinda get a old ale feeling out of this, alot to say the least. Im greeted by like 7 different beers at once and the Parabola comes out the most with nice chocolate and roasted coffee overtones. I get some bourbon barrel from what im guessing is the double double barrel stout. Vanilla, slight oak, small butterscotch. This is alot of beers in one, alot going on, cant really describe it, but I know I taste that parabola, by god, that beer is good on it's own. Feel is what you would expect, rich and chewy, approaching full, yet not hot at all, ok maybe there is a burn towards the end, but I like the burn sometimes, it let's me know im alive. There was a one glass per customer allotment at the bar, I could of easily went for another if allowed and barring I had a taxi waiting for me. Better, stronger, maltier!!

BARFLYB, Dec 20, 2010
Firestone 14 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 642 ratings.