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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.

626 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 626
Reviews: 287
rAvg: 4.4
pDev: 9.09%
Wants: 206
Gots: 553 | 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:
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)
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Ratings: 626 | Reviews: 287 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of andrewinski1

New Hampshire

4.3/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very excited to try this one after having Parabola. Poured into a tulip. Very dark color but when poured you can see the amber color as the stream of beer goes into the glass, so it's noticeably lighter colored than a stout. The head is about a quarter inch thick and doesn't retain except for several bubbles.

The aroma is full of sweet chocolate and vanilla with mild notes of maple.

The taste is full of rich chocolate and notes of vanilla. I get a lot of bourbon in the finish that yields a good amount of oak flavor with it. There is a good complexity here that I really really like.

The mouthfeel here is really spot on. It's a little light and airy. The carbonation feels a little soft, but not quite creamy.

I really enjoyed this one. It has a good drinkability for its strength. I'll have to make it a point to track down more Firestone Walker beers.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2011 02:20:37 | More by andrewinski1
Photo of rfgetz

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, cola-like brown, minimal head from moderately aggressive pour. Scent brings burbon and oak to the front, hints of vanilla, earth, anise, brown sugar and some fruity hops to boot. Taste is not as dark and aggresive as expected, but immediately reminded that 30%+ of this beer is a English Pale... the burbon barrel aging imparts vanilla and oak and not a big booze burn, lightly sweet with brown sugar, hints of anise and cinnamon, earthy and lightly fruity hops present. All in all, while not overly aggressive, the craftsmanship that went into blending this beer and making it as smooth as it is can not be passed over... while the individual components can be picked out, the beer is at its best when you are not searching for the parts. Fuller side of medium body, could have used a touch more heft and carbonation. A very good beer I am glad i had the opportunity to purchase.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2011 12:52:34 | More by rfgetz
Photo of mjn5036

New Hampshire

3.73/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Coca-Cola brown in the pour; black whilst in the glass. Small off-white head quickly rises and falls. No visible lacing.
N: The bourbon notes seem to hit me up front, bringing with it caramel, sugar and vanilla. A combination of sweet fruit notes and righteous hops come together to create an interesting smelling brew for sure.
T: Bourbon and dark fruits seem to dominate the palate, with some bitter hops in the aftermath.
M: Big and viscous with too little carbonation to make it as drinkable as I would like.
O: A bit too boozy. While it has a lot going on I don’t think all the flavors are integrated as well as I was hoping for.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2011 01:49:08 | More by mjn5036
Photo of DavoleBomb


4.03/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2011 02:25:32 | More by DavoleBomb
Photo of pmlondrigan

New York

4.33/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An expensive beer to be sure, now tasting it I wish I hadn't traded away one of them. A quant tan head appears atop a deep garnet maroon body. The head fades the deep garnet stays. Such a scent, jammy figs and pommegranite, molasses, sweet white oak and vanilla. Expert blending has created a singular beer. Port marinated fig, jammy raisin and sweet bourbon and vanilla. Chocolate notes and leathery goodness play second fiddle to these other huge flavors. This 14 is silky smooth with a hit of alocohol on the rough of the mouth. Otherwise there is no indication of the strength of this beer other than the pleasant haze I sit in whilst I drink.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2011 00:23:23 | More by pmlondrigan
Photo of cosmicevan

New York

4.28/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 16oz growler fill of this earlier today.

a - Through the growler and in my glass a silky shiny black. Poured into a CCB snifter and had no head no lacing, not much other anything beyond a shiny black liquid. Swirling in my glass brought the beer to life a bit, but it was short lived.

s - Licorice, chocolate, booze...booze...booze.

t - Roasted chocolate malts and licorice and fairly boozy. Quite tasty though.

m - Pretty smooth for such a big beer. Carbonation was there, but not lively. Left an alc tingle in my mouth.

o - Overall a pretty great beer, but one that can be a bit intense fresh. I'm glad I have a few bottles to sit on for some time.

Serving type: growler

04-09-2011 03:43:49 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of hopluva1


4.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served @ 50 degrees in a brandy snifter.

The pour is dark copper to brown with a trace of red. 1/2 finger tan head falls quickly.
Aroma is sweet coffee, bourbon ,and a little bit of raisins.
The flavor is where this beer shines. It has 6 distinctly different barrel aged beers blended together harmoniously. There are bourbon and brandy vanilla notes, as well as coffee, raisins, and some chocolate. A bit of alcohol helps clear the palate for your next drink. With all the flavors present it still finishes remarkably clean.

Craftsmanship is on display with this beer!

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2011 23:48:57 | More by hopluva1
Photo of thagr81us

South Carolina

4.33/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to mikesgroove for this one! Served from growler into a Green Man snifter. Poured a deep dark brown (almost black) with a half finger light tan head that subsided to a minimal amount almost instantly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, raisins, and alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, slight roasted malt, dark fruit, sweet alcohol, and subtle caramel. It had a heavy feel on the palate with low carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. This one definitely let you know it was 10+%. The alcohol and overall flavor definitely smoothed out upon warming up. The aroma while not overly complex, was quite good. An absolute must try here!

Serving type: growler

04-01-2011 13:21:13 | More by thagr81us
Photo of Kinsman


4.53/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque almost black body with some lighter brownish-red highlights. A bit more than a finger thick of tan colored head builds up but quickly settles down to leave a bit of sticky lace.

Sweet vanilla and bourbon aromas mixed in with fruity notes and some brown sugar. A bit of a cocoa aroma too but it seems a bit faint.

Lots of sweet flavors up front with a mix of bourbon barrel/vanilla flavors and some brown sugar. Fruity too with hints of raisins and figs. Bits of coffee and cocoa can be detected too but are not all that strong. Hops provide a slight bitterness but their flavor seems to be masked by everything else going on.

Mouthfeel is a bit hot and certainly full body with a slightly velvety texture.

Overall, this beer is something special. Plenty of bourbon barrel and vanilla flavors going on without being a boozy mess and still leaving room for the numerous "lots" to show off.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2011 01:47:47 | More by Kinsman
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-30-2011 11:53:04 | More by MasterSki
Photo of DNICE555


4.35/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Looks like a thin stout. Black body with a tan head.

S - Bourbon, Vanilla, Brown Sugar, hint of alcohol, Dark fruit, Jelly Beans.

T - Tastes like Dr Pepper. Sweet bourbon, vanilla, Chai Tea, Coffee. One of the most complex beers I have ever tasted. Really pushed boundaries. Ive had the union jack, parabola, and now the 14th anniversary from this brewery... FW is kickin ass.

M - Carbonation is high in a good way, really envelops the palate.

D - Sweet and sexy.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2011 14:48:40 | More by DNICE555
Photo of jakenunes


4.28/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Holy Complexity! Poured from bottle to a clean tulip glass. Pours super opaque black. Dark tan head. Aroma faintly smells like bourbon and molasses or brown sugar. Nice and velvety smooth. Tons of different flavors. Coffee, chocolate, vanilla, fig or raisin, oaky, black cherry, caramel...roasty, toasty and delicious. Nicely done!

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2011 09:08:27 | More by jakenunes
Photo of LiquidBread219


4.35/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - labeled as a American strong ale, looks like a stout. Dark black with a tiny bit of coffee-and-cream head on top, that doesn't stick around for long.

S - sweet bourbon, vanilla, a touch of alcohol, brown sugar, dark fruit. Really nice nose.

T - same as nose - a blast of sweet bourbon, vanilla and coffee right up front. Then the carbonation and alcohol take more notice, with some heat on the back end of the palate. A ton of complex flavors going on here. Really damn good.

M - Right amount of carbonation, I also liked the way it coated my mouth.

D - this beer is really freaking good, but still plenty hot. I'm glad I got to try it fresh and will now be looking for a few more to cellar. Also, this is a definite sipper

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2011 02:58:01 | More by LiquidBread219
Photo of ArrogantB


4/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2011 01:13:08 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of UMNbeerhunter


4.33/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured on 3/25/11 into a Surly Darkness Glass.

Pours a pitch black like motor oil. Leaves a one finger head that disipates and leaves no lacing on the glass.

Smell is super complex. Barrel aging is apparent as well as bourbon, maple, vanilla, and booze.

Taste is great. Bourbon barrel is the first thing that hits and I like it. Lots of chocolate and other sweet tastes on the way down.

Mouthfeel is medium to heavy with little bitterness. goes down smooth throughout even with the big ABV.

Drinkability is moderate to high. A little more ABV's then I would like at 12.5. Taste is great and the after taste is nice as well but I would never be able to consume more then one of these in one sitting.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2011 06:52:55 | More by UMNbeerhunter
Photo of 05Harley

New Hampshire

4.47/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2011 21:45:04 | More by 05Harley
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

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

Serving type: on-tap

03-24-2011 23:49:28 | More by brentk56
Photo of justintcoons


3.65/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Pours black with ruby highlights and 1 finger of fluffy white head that dissipates moderately slow. Low carbonation.

N: Vanilla, oak, booze and nuts.

T: Oak, vanilla, toffee, dark chocolate, almonds, red grapes, brown sugar, molasses with hints of citrus. There's a lot going on and a lot of tastes tend to get muddled together.

M: Very full bodied and creamy.

D: This stuff is thick with a 12.5% ABV which makes it a super-sipper. Alcohol is well hidden.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2011 23:39:09 | More by justintcoons
Photo of sisuspeed

New Hampshire

4.28/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Beerness for the bottle!

Poured into a Portsmouth tulip glass. A thin, light-tan, head rests on top of a dark brown body with reddish tint. Light lacing.

Bourbon, oak and a little bit of alcohol heat on the nose. Dark roasted malts and chocolate. Touch of roasted coffee and anise.

Boozy chocolate and English malts mix with caramel and oak on the tongue. The bourbon barrels come through nicely with just a hint of the brandy barrels. Dark roasted malts with a touch of coffee and dark fruits.

The mouthfeel is much like the 13. Smooth, almost creamy. A bit hotter than I remember the 13 being when it was fresh. However, the warming alcohol fits this cold night perfectly. Lower carbonation.

Overall, 14 reminds me of a bigger, boozier version of 13. Parabola plays a nice role and even Black Xantus seems to come through with just a touch of coffee. However, I found 13 to be a bit more refined and balanced, which I liked. Either way, I'm already looking forward to Firestone's next anniversary beer. Great stuff.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2011 19:49:26 | More by sisuspeed
Photo of jongullotti


4.45/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased in March 2011 as Firestone Walker has finally decided to come to MA.

22oz brown bottle poured into a bourbon glass at slightly colder than room temperature.

Pours a very deep brown with a small tan head which does not last long. Traces of bubbles remain at the edge of the glass throughout.

Aromas of brown sugar, bourbon, mocha, maple, vanilla and alcohol. A lot going on. Smell this for a while.

Tastes of bourbon right away. Chocolate, dates, molasses and then oak and vanilla. Bourbon flavor remains.

Silky smooth. Slight alcohol burn, but I like that. Rich but not heavy. Slight carbonation.

Overall a great beer. Very complex as it has a lot of different aromas and flavors that pop up at different times. Balanced complexity. Big delicious beer. Perfect dessert/nightcap beer for me.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2011 14:06:25 | More by jongullotti
Photo of silentjay


4.28/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

murky dark brown/black with a small, but thick khaki head that quickly settles to a spotty film, but leaves some spots behind on the glass.

kinda like an old-ale/porter mix, with lots of dark sugars and some roasted malts. molasses, leather, raisin, dark brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, maple, nougat, a touch of bitter chocolate, maybe some hazelnut coffee.

sweet, thick, rich, hot. some oakiness brings up some vanilla and nougat flavors that interplay with the rich dark malts. vanilla, molasses, maple syrup, amaretto, rum, some cocoa on the finish as well as some wood and piney hops. pretty damn complex. each sip brings about a new flavor or three.

full bodied, syrupy, and chewy, boozy, with a subtle carbonation that works well.

drinks well now. will maybe drink even better in a year? booze could be turned down just a bit, and it is pretty sweet, but very tasty and complex with strong flavors and subtleties working in connection with each other. well done, as my second Firestone Walker beer ever, I am impressed and will need to seek out more of these.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2011 02:56:27 | More by silentjay
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2011 02:13:06 | More by jlindros
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2011 01:37:51 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of rowingbrewer


4.22/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

sampled this beer on tap.
this beer pours a dark nearly pitch black color with a nice light brown head. immediately i get a wonderful bourbon aroma followed by roasted malt character. the taste is pretty similar to the smell with the barrel aging being apparent with hints of oak and vanilla. then the malt comes through. this beer pours like an imp stout, but is slightly lighter mouthfeeling than most imoerial stouts. overall this is a very drinkable beer young but would love to try it with some age.

Serving type: on-tap

03-20-2011 06:57:20 | More by rowingbrewer
Photo of steve8robin


4.18/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this bottle at a local beer store. Glad to see Firestone make it's debut in MA! Tried 13 at Extreme Beer Fest Night Of The Barrels 2011 and enjoyed. 22oz bottle...

A: A nice dark black with burgundy highlights around the edges and a small tan head that doesn't completely fade. Good.

S: Smells of some nice bourbon characters with some sugary malts upfront. Some hints of mild hop in the middle and some fruity notes on the backend. Decent.

T: A very nice blend. Some nice maltiness blended with some nice apple caramel fruitness. Some nice hints of raisin and some nice spicy grains on the backend. Very good.

M: Full bodied with a great carbonation. A dry finish. Very good.

D: Goes down good.

All in all, this is a solid beer. I've only tried a few from FW, but it seems like their limited release brews are their specialty. Definitely worth a try if you get the chance and like the big brews!

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2011 02:20:19 | More by steve8robin
Firestone 14 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 626 ratings.