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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.

640 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 640
Reviews: 289
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: 640 | Reviews: 289 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jakenunes
4.28/5  rDev -2.7%

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!

jakenunes, Mar 29, 2011
Photo of LiquidBread219
4.35/5  rDev -1.1%

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

LiquidBread219, Mar 28, 2011
Photo of ArrogantB
4/5  rDev -9.1%

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.

ArrogantB, Mar 28, 2011
Photo of UMNbeerhunter
4.33/5  rDev -1.6%

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.

UMNbeerhunter, Mar 26, 2011
Photo of 05Harley
4.47/5  rDev +1.6%

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.

05Harley, Mar 25, 2011
Photo of brentk56
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

brentk56, Mar 24, 2011
Photo of justintcoons
3.65/5  rDev -17%

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.

justintcoons, Mar 22, 2011
Photo of sisuspeed
4.28/5  rDev -2.7%

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.

sisuspeed, Mar 22, 2011
Photo of jongullotti
4.45/5  rDev +1.1%

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.

jongullotti, Mar 22, 2011
Photo of silentjay
4.28/5  rDev -2.7%

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.

silentjay, Mar 22, 2011
Photo of jlindros
4.33/5  rDev -1.6%

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 mikesgroove
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.

mikesgroove, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of rowingbrewer
4.22/5  rDev -4.1%

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.

rowingbrewer, Mar 20, 2011
Photo of steve8robin
4.18/5  rDev -5%

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!

steve8robin, Mar 19, 2011
Photo of zeff80
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!

zeff80, Mar 17, 2011
Photo of OldIronLungs
4.15/5  rDev -5.7%

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.

OldIronLungs, Mar 10, 2011
Photo of AJacob81
4.15/5  rDev -5.7%

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.

AJacob81, Mar 07, 2011
Photo of brotherloco
4.28/5  rDev -2.7%

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.

brotherloco, Mar 06, 2011
Photo of Reagan1984
4.13/5  rDev -6.1%

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.

Reagan1984, Mar 05, 2011
Photo of cbutova
4.47/5  rDev +1.6%

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.

cbutova, Mar 05, 2011
Photo of beer4colin
4.65/5  rDev +5.7%

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.

beer4colin, Mar 04, 2011
Photo of jamie2dope
4.43/5  rDev +0.7%

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.

jamie2dope, Mar 04, 2011
Photo of Gushue3
4.63/5  rDev +5.2%

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

Gushue3, Mar 03, 2011
Photo of perrymarcus
4.43/5  rDev +0.7%

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.

perrymarcus, Feb 28, 2011
Photo of Naugros
4.38/5  rDev -0.5%

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.

Naugros, Feb 27, 2011
Firestone 14 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 640 ratings.