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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: 552 | FT: 23
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 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!

Serving type: on-tap

03-17-2011 01:13:52 | More by zeff80
Photo of OldIronLungs


4.15/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft into a tulip with light lacing - nice deep burgundy/brown and a present nose of earthy oak, malt malt malt, chocolate and some dark fruit (figs/raisins).

A sip is indulgence - woody bourbon, raisins, lots of nice caramel malts, chocolate and some vanilla. The abv hits at the end of a smooth and lightly carbonated sip but never oversteps bounds.

Really enjoyed this, great example of a strong ale.

Serving type: on-tap

03-10-2011 13:59:45 | More by OldIronLungs
Photo of AJacob81


4.15/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer in a box. Actually, a bomber with black paper foil over the cap. I had an 8 oz. pour into a snifter, split with my brother-in-law and father-in-law to toast the upcoming arrival of my niece.

A - Black at the center, dark chocolate/mahogany at the edges. A beige head of less than a finger quickly recedes to a soapy ring.

S - Oak and bourbon barrels. Vanilla, milk chocolate, toffee, a hint of coconut. A little, tiny bit of earthy hops also barely noticeable.

T - The wood of the barrels and the vanilla are joined by brown sugar right up front. Hops profile more forward than I expected, but provides a solid counterbalance. As it warms, the coconut becomes much stronger. Finish is sweet, but not cloying.

M and D - Silky, medium body, with healthy carbonation. Alcohol becomes much more noticeable with later sips, making this a bit hard to finish.

Well worth the buy, but not essential. A solid intro to F-W here in Chicago.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2011 04:20:35 | More by AJacob81
Photo of brotherloco


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

Bottled 10/25/10

Smell gives away the barrel aging quite clearly. A bit dry and dusty, woody, rich vanilla oak, boozy bourbon.

Tastes of sweet bourbony malt. Extremely smooth given the strength. Through the middle and finish the beer just floats on top of the tongue. Flavor is very unified, a great blend given all the ingredients.

The aftertaste is as close to a sip of fine whiskey as I've tasted in a beer. ABV strength is obvious as you sip this, but well folded into the flavor. A very respectable anniversary ale.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2011 03:59:22 | More by brotherloco
Photo of Reagan1984


4.13/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Jctribe25 for bringing me two bottles if this fine beer from Cali. Patrick's a good man!

Pours with a creamy light tan head that settles to a ring of foam around the glass. The beer is a dark brown color that only lets a slight amount of light in around the edges. No lacing

Aroma starts out very musty. This seems to be a beer that benefits from breathing a bit. I even poured into a 2nd glass wondering if it was my glass that was dirty. It wasn't same musty aroma that thankfully gave way to oak, light vanilla, raisins, and chocolate sauce.

Certainly complex and deep like the previous versions of the Anniversary brew. Always a treat to drink this beer. Cocoa, chocolate sauce, oak, coconut and a slight warming alcohol. At the tail end there is some slight vanilla, but this year it's just a bit more woody in nature. What started as a chocolate sauce flavor turned more of a dark chocolate deeper into the glass. The finish with the alcohol seems to be pulling the flavor in this direction.

Medium bodied, slightly slick and oily coating your tongue. As slight as carbonation can be.

A nice beer to slowly enjoy over an evening. I don't find this quite as intriguing as the last two versions, but I like it.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2011 02:56:49 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of cbutova


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

Reviewed from notes, had this earlier today at The Armsby Abbey in Worcester.

A- Pitch black with a dark tan head that builds to a nice size in the snifter and retains well. Tons of creamy cryptic webbed lace after I gulp it down.

S- Aged caramel malt notes and vanilla float off the top of this. Nice oak and bourbon support. Some sort of rye spice as well. Cocoa, roast malt. Well balanced but not the strongest overall aroma.

T- Big on bourbon whiskey, oak, caramel and licorice. Nice vanilla and even a rum aspect going on. Cocoa, dark fruit and raisin round out the flavor. Reminds me of the XIII but a bit more laid back.

MF- Extremely creamy and silky thick body with nice moderate carbonation. Slight warmth but this one goes down very smoothly.

DB- One of the more drinkable bourbon aged ales I have tried. The flavor gets a bit stronger as I drink it but it is very smooth nonetheless. Has a very nice aged wood caramel backbone to me.

Serving type: on-tap

03-05-2011 01:10:24 | More by cbutova
Photo of beer4colin


4.65/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in small 10 oz tulip at Union Brewhouse.

A - Dark as night. Even when held to sunlight minimal light gets through.
S - Bourban kegs.
T - dark chocolate. Someone said coconut and I can see that. Bourbon keg aging shines through and Then it fades to a big alcohol burn but I've had bigger.
MF - fills every nook and cranny.
D - this is an incredible cru'! Too grand for a pub. This is a fireside sipper. I can't be here all night but this beauty cannot - nay should not - be rushed.

Serving type: on-tap

03-04-2011 21:25:07 | More by beer4colin
Photo of jamie2dope


4.43/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Man, crazy beers have been showing up on Massachusetts shelves lately, this being a prime example. The packaging here is fantastic with the box and blend detail. The color is black, with some brown hues around the edge of the glass. Not too much heading here, though I am not too surprised given the ABV, and mix of different beers. I get toasted coconut first and foremost from the smell, followed by oak, vanilla, chocolate, and a hint of dark fruit. The wood character in the flavor is remarkable, starting off with a hit of alcohol and molasses, and ending on a dark cherry note. More coconut comes through, as well as malted milk balls. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy, as it should be fir a beer of this strength. This is definitely one to sip, and let explore the palate, because it seems to change every time. I guess the crazy complexity here can be attributed to the blending. The alcohol is very noticeable in this beer in flavor and effect, but again, it should probably be sipped like a liquor. It took me the better part of an hour to finish one glass, but every sip was enjoyed immensely. From the Anniversary series I have had 11, 12 and this one, which may be the best out of the three. Either way, the blending here is no joke. It truly adds a level of complexity that is tough to match.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2011 01:41:02 | More by jamie2dope
Photo of Gushue3


4.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Very dark almost black with no head when arrived at my table

S- hops liquor and malt. Smells amazing.

T- BOOZE. godly booze and cocoa note and dark fruit notes. Awesme hop finish

M- so smooth. Almost no carbonation

D- so good. Heavy booze taste and chocolate taste. I need moremore

3 of these got me trashed... as seen by my review.. still a great beer

Serving type: on-tap

03-03-2011 02:27:08 | More by Gushue3
Photo of perrymarcus


4.43/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served in a snifter.
bottled date: 10/25/10

pours an opaque dark brown, sits a pitch black in the glass. 1/2" head fades to a thin, khaki colored collar around the glass... middling retention (not unexpected) and decent lacing. overall a solid looking brew, though nothing about it really stands out as exceptional.

aromatic nose is decidedly malty, offering strong notes of molasses, vanilla, oak, some hops, and a big bourbon presence. great aroma.

wow. hugely complex flavor profile follows the nose; just a ton going on - unsurprising given the blend (FW double double barrel ale, sticky monkey, parabola, velvet merkin, good foot, and black xantus). molasses, vanilla, oak, hops, bourbon, all shine through in one of the more complex beers i've had in a while. significant bitterness and a warming boozy kick to the finish.

smooth, velvetey full-bodied mouthfeel; oustanding there. the archetype of a sipper; drinks almost like a cognac.
carries a hefty pricetag, too. not something i'd buy on a regular basis but worthy of a once-in-a-while, special occasion purchase.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2011 02:32:32 | More by perrymarcus
Photo of Naugros

New Jersey

4.38/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap in a stemmed snifter at Cloverleaf Tavern in Caldwell, NJ.

A pretty beer with a translucent, porter-like color and the foamy film that resides on top of the beer throughout most of the experience. But other than what you see, the first and most lasting experience is the smell. Vanilla and oak come off immediately and give a sense that the sweetness of the malts wanted to make bourbon but were tricked into becoming a beer. Lucky for us.

This is one of those rarities in the beer world; the taste not only delivers the promise of the smell but even exceeds it. This is one sweet, complex concoction with vanilla, oak, bourbon, a nuttiness I couldn't peg, minor dark fruit and a roasty bitterness thrown off from the dark malts. The alcohol heat is prevalent from the first sniff to the last sip, but it does not detract from the experience and even serves to accentuate it. The beer is smooth and clean with a nice, clean finish. This is quality! This should lay down nicely if I can get my hands on a bottle.

At my favorite watering hole I don't always take my time with a beer. I want to get a good sense of it, write my review notes and then try whatever else they have that night. I stuck with this one all night and even kicked the keg. Not only was I content sipping this beer at the bar, but I also realized that nothing that I tasted after this would get a fair shake. It is so flavorful that nothing else would be able to make any impression on my palate for the rest of the night...and that is happiness.

Serving type: on-tap

02-27-2011 19:09:26 | More by Naugros
Photo of Spider889


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

My biggest prize from my first trip out to Chicago. Easily the best bottle presentation I have ever seen for a beer - it's packaged like a fine scotch in an embossed full-color box. Inside the bottle has a paper insert with a message from the brewery and on the back all of the details about the beer blended for this ale.

I only wish that they had used the textured paper I found on the Double Jack and Porter used on the bottle itself.

Live review on a cold rainy February night. On the eve of my second trip to the windy city. Can't wait to see what I find next...

On the pour the beer initially looked a fairly clear cola color, but quickly it collected in the bowl of my snifter to form an impenetrable black. It wasn't hard to coax a two and a half finger tall creamy head out of this brew. There's some meager spots of lace, but otherwise the beer wound up too thin bodied to leave anything significant.

The smell is right up there with the best barrel aged beers. There's strong bourbon elements like that of a BB strong ale along with deep mixtures of malt and barrel-aged stout. As it warms the alcohol becomes more apparent, and long inhaling reveals a more biting alcohol, more akin to whiskey - but perhaps I am detecting the brandy barrels used in the "Sticky Monkey" part of the blend.

From a slight distance the beer smells more inviting. The snifter serves to focus the smell, and if I inhale a few inches from the lip of the glass, as opposed to putting my nose directly inside, I can smell much sweetness. Toffee and vanilla are both strong. Lighter notes of licorice and leather emerge, as well as a peppery hint of chipotle. Light char and dense American oak round it out.

An even deeper inspection pulls forth sour cherry and the sweet innards of still-moist dates. The bourbon comes through again, strong, very strong - young and high volume.

The taste is another thing of beauty. The bourbon and brandy barrels lend strength, warmth, and sweet complexity to the flavor. Light hints of chocolate and pipe tobacco lead into vanilla and oak, followed by hop bitterness and dark fruit sweetness. The finish grows more bitter, along with increasing properties of bourbon.

The mouthfeel is very warming, but never harsh. Medium bodied, with a lingering finish that grows drier over time thanks to all the oak aging.

This is a sipper, but it's certainly enjoyable in every respect. I savored the whole bomber myself. It felt selfish, but then again,after I carried this and another 40 lbs of beer over a dozen blocks, and then babied all the way back to Ohio, this was a $21 treat I needed tonight.

Worth every penny, though take out the packaging cost and I wonder how cheap this beer could really be.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2011 07:25:22 | More by Spider889
Photo of kwjd

Ontario (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown colour, but not quite opaque. Thick tan head that has nice retention. Some nice lacing down the glass. Smells of brown sugar, vanilla, roasted malt and chocolate - there is a lot going on in this beer, quite complex. Some bitterness in the flavour, but there is more sweetness I think. Very smooth mouthfeel. I loved this beer and would buy it again in a heartbeat if I ever see it in a store.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2011 16:30:28 | More by kwjd
Photo of Retsinis


4.55/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I Have had this beer as part of three separate vertical /horizontal tasting events of Firestone Walker Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen, & Parabola. All of which took place in the last 4 months. One was at an apartment with beers from my, and a fellow Beer Advocates cellar, the other was at a bottle share at Instant Replay in Canoga Park, CA. The third was hosted & served at Blue Palms in Hollywood, California.

I compiled notes from all three events, before I reviewed this beer here, to be as fair as possible to something that is rare, released once (for each anniversary) sought after, aged, and to a degree hyped as well. Also, each event I had 3-4 oz of each beer, and I felt I needed to try them again to better evaluate them, (also considered storing conditions affecting the beer.) Since I have now had about 9-12 oz of each beer in totality, I feel I can post my humble opinion of them in a review.

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Bruery Tulip glass (was a large Brandy snifter AND on draft at Blue Palms, but a Bruery Tulip at the other two tastings)

The beer pours a deep, dark, brown with a violet colored hue that can be seen when held to the light. Good carbonation, with a murky light brown head that rose about a quarter inch that faded to just a nice lacing and a ring of carbonation on the edges.

The scents on the aroma are very inviting, and distinct. I get smells of chocolate, wood, oats, tobacco, and vanilla.

The flavors in the taste do not disappoint, and I think Firestone Walker is only getting better at blending these beers each year. I initially get a chocolate sweetness upfront, followed by, tobacco, and some light bourbon notes. On the second sip, and in the middle, I get vanilla, wood, bread, some oatmeal, and heat. A great beer fresh, glad I got to have this so many times fresh for this years too. This beer has the most blended to it from the brewing notes, so I think there is a lot going on that will only come more to the forefront with some aged on it.

The mouthfeel is thick and chewy, with low carbonation, and is a little sticky. Great sipper though.

Due to the price, limited release, ABV, and the fact this will hold up to aging, this is not something you would drink a lot of in a sitting (unless you bought case after case of it, and if you did, congrats to you)

If you can, seek it out though. Either in a bar event, bottle share, or to purchase, it will not disappoint.

Serving type: on-tap

02-22-2011 18:37:05 | More by Retsinis
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2011 15:43:46 | More by Sammy
Photo of jrallen34


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

650 ml Bottle poured into my De Struise glass... Dark brown pour with a hint of crimson. A very light tan head leases a thick finger cap, ok lacing... The star of this beer is the aroma, perfectly shows the greatness of barrel aging. Vanilla with super smooth bourbon, molasses, dark fruits, a hint of oak and chocolate. Main player is the vanilla accented by the bourbon. Outstanding!... The taste has the same elements but isn't quite as successful. Same flavors but more oak, more alcohol very spirit like, and a touch to warm. More oak and dark fruits come through, loses a lot of the vanilla. Still good just not as smooth or sweet, hurting the drinkability a bit... The mouthfeel is nice, a little warm but nice, good carbonation. Easy to drink.

This is really good, much better then 12 or 13. A steep price tag but worth it.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2011 02:08:08 | More by jrallen34
Photo of argock


4.75/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap in a 10oz goblet/snifter at Beer Run (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Black with some brown highlights at the edge with plummy, light brown, 1/2-finger head with persistent crusty lacing.

S: Molasses, herbal-earthy hops, cocoa, and dark fruit like figs, and plums accented with a mild berry-cherry alcohol note. Smells delicious and much less ABV than what is stated.

T: Very luscious brew with a decided molasses note that is sanded down smooth with the blending. The cocoa and softer coffee notes really work well with the strong plum, fig, and date dark fruit flavors. The hops component is less prominent than in the aroma, but still contributes an ample punch of earthy goodness. Alcohol is a clear player, but it is not overwhelming or overbearing. FW 14 comes off as a masterfully calculated creation, and tasting it makes me wonder how many iterations of blending they went through to pull this exceptional ale together.

M: Velvety smooth and decadent with predictably low carbonation. The body is full on full but not a 30 lb bomb either.

D: One of the best 3 or 4 brews I have tried so far this year, and that includes PtE and Citra DIPA. This on-tap sample makes me almost tempted to go after a bottle, even at the ungodly $21.99 price tag. Decisions, decisions...

Serving type: on-tap

02-18-2011 04:25:29 | More by argock
Photo of champ103


4.43/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to Dajtai007 and wolffman17 for sharing a bottle with me.

A: pours nearly opaque black, with some brown around the edges. A two finger beige/kaki head forms with really good retention. Light lace is left behind.
S: A big malty aroma. Toasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, toffee, light coffee. Some wood lingers as well. Very nice.
T: I can't get enough of the big toasted malt flavor. So well balanced with vanilla and toffee. It never gets over barring or cloying. A very nice wood flavor lingers on as well. I love it.
M/D: A full body. So smooth and creamy. Big lushes and velvety. The best part. So easy to drink. Just a bit of heat, but a real treat to sip on. I wish this would never end.

I have had this several times now. Overall, another excellent beer From Firestone Walker. I think Parabola is just a bit better, but this is truly exceptional. I love it, and highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2011 04:01:01 | More by champ103
Photo of JamnesCameron


4.85/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tall snifter. Bottled 10/25/10 at 13:34.

Pours an inky black with a big, two fingered light tan head that drops within a few minutes. Lacing evident. Surprising for the high alcohol and barrel aging.

Aromas of bourbon (oak and vanilla), some cocoa, coffee, dark roasted malt, licorise, but oak and vanilla dominate.

First sip is of vanilla, oak, alcohol heat, not able to pick out any particular hop flavor, dark fruits, rum raisins, prunes, licorise, slightly sour. Very multi-dimensional brew. Finish is long and hot, plenty of bourbon notes, vanilla and oak tannins.

Mouthfeel is medium/heavy, with a thick, sticky, viscous, almost oily consistancy. Warming alcohol. Tannins are mouthcoating.

Very drinkable, complex brew. Almost like a sipping whiskey. Very nice effort.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2011 04:41:27 | More by JamnesCameron
Photo of MbpBugeye


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

Thanks for Spider889 for buying this for me on his trip to Chicago.

10/25/10 11:01 stamped on the neck. Poured into a snifter, as suggested by the description insert found in the box.

A- Deep, inky black body with visible weight to it. The head can be coaxed out to about 2 fingers in height. Its a sandy off white in color that creeps up the sides of the glass as it subsides. It leaves only a thick collar that throws small spots against the walls of the snifter.

S- Licorice is very strong, especially after a deep swirl. Second in line is a nice, rich cocoa along with dark fruits that border on that found in dark Belgians. Alcohol is very potent, its nearly stinging. A fresh oaky aroma encompasses everything.
I was really hoping for a little bit more here, its lacking a little bit of complexity. It does open with warmth, but its muted until about the 50 degree mark.

T- The taste is a huge improvement from the aroma. A nice bitter sweet blend of licorice, dark chocolate, fresh oak, vanilla, brown sugar, dark fruits and a flash of citrus on the back.

Sweet molasses and brown sugar kicks things off on the tip of the tongue. Oak is close to follow, and rightfully so, after reading the descriptions I see that there is a LOT of oak being used in this blend. The earthy, woody barrels blend into a deep fruitiness with licorice on the back. The finish is pretty strong on anise with a squeeze of citrusy hops to round it out.

This is quite the sweet tasting beer, but its so damn well integrated and very complex. Truly exquisite.

:EDIT: Coming back into this review a good 2 hours after opening this beer. Once its had the chance to fully warm the finish really comes alive. What was at first a strong licorice and alcoholic finish has settled and opened up into a very tobacco laden, milk chocolate melange. Sure, the alcohol is still there but it has been enveloped by the pipe tobacco, chocolate and brown sugar. A true work of art. Damn.

M- Upon the first sip I jumped ahead and marked this a 5 for mouthfeel. Typically the mouthfeel improves as you drink and the carbonation escapes a bit. This could be an exception to my rule though. The carbonation is already pretty low right out of the bottle. Now that its died down even more its nearly flat. The body is very full and chewy with a stickiness left on the lips. The alcohol is not ashamed of itself at all. It really comes alive on the swallow. Even though the carbonation has died a bit to much, its still an easy 5 for the feel.

D- Big, assertive alcohol keeps you sipping on this one. But thats a good thing. Finishing this bottle quickly would be a disappointment.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2011 04:28:53 | More by MbpBugeye
Photo of billyshears


3.95/5  rDev -10.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2011 03:07:53 | More by billyshears
Photo of Wegomlegging


3.53/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Dark brown pour with very weak head. Excellent full oaky boozy smell with burnt brown sugar and caramel. Remarkable flavor considering the high alcohol presence, with malt, sugar, and caramel. Mouthfeel a bit thin. Great tasting beer overall, overcoming skepticism of "blended" beer. Drinkability suffers a bit with high alcohol presence, which can be overcome as evidenced by many other beers.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2011 12:42:17 | More by Wegomlegging
Photo of goethean


4.78/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tiny black ring of foam. mostly flat. flavor is a blast of malt and oak. somewhat hot. not super fruity. some roasted malt and grain. a sipper at 13.5 abv. quite a bit of very dark chocolate. complex hints of coffee and whiskey. hugely full bodied (but not as much as Bell's Expedition). finish is of alcohol burn. not a hop in sight. literally sticky with unfermented sugars. with some aging, this could be frighteningly good. insanely dense and potent.

Serving type: on-tap

02-09-2011 16:37:35 | More by goethean
Photo of Axic10

New Jersey

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

I've gotten quite a few of these of the last few months, so I apologize for not giving the appropriate credit for this. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours dark brownish with a finger of khaki colored head that settles down to a thin layer that hangs around for a while.

Smell: Wow, this has a great nose on it. Oak, leather, vanilla, toffee, caramel malt, roasted malt and even some dark fruits. Slight alcohol burn as well.

Taste: Sweet malts (from the barleywines), vanilla, chocolate, oak, bourbon, plum, brown sugar and molasses. Very complex taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and really smooth.

Drinkability: Really really enjoyed this beer. I have two more bottles and probably will be looking for more.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2011 23:39:21 | More by Axic10
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2011 22:37:58 | More by emerge077
Firestone 14 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 626 ratings.