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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.

624 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 624
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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Photo of Docer


4.2/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a couple... drinking my first ever Firestone Walker Anniversary brew right now.

- Pours a dark clear bourbon brown caramel.. very little head.. but some quick fizzing off-white bubbles and leaves a nice small ring in the glass. Sits dark and jet brown.

- Murky hidden aromas.. light cocoa, caramel malts, sweet buried sugars... grassy and earthy hops, vanilla, bourbon, and subtle alcohol aromas...

- Sweet velvet madness... vanilla, bourbon, sweet sugars, candies, caramels, vanilla again.. light grassy earthy woodiness... serious calorie packed malty madness here... should age nicely.

- Viscous, sticky sweet... heat thins it a touch.. slightly chewy and drying.

- What an interesting and delicious brew. A blend of many... aged.. and it's divine... this will become a great great brew with many years on it I am sure. It's very good now too. One to sip for sure. Big malts.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2010 02:27:59 | More by Docer
Photo of smithdc33


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

Enjoyed on tap at Pizzeria Paradiso (Old Town Alexandria location).

Served in a small tulip glass with a very slight off-white head that left just a little lacing. A dark amber/brown, nearly opaque beer. Sweet, sugary smell with the oak coming through quite easily. The oak is pretty obvious in the taste too, but a pretty complex taste--maple syrup, dark fruits, spices, and perhaps some chocolate as well--with a strong, boozy liquor finish, though it doesn't overpower the other flavors. Kinda similar to a port wine, but better. A thick, heavy beer with a very smooth mouthfeel. Not a great deal of carbonation and quite drinkable despite the heaviness and power. A very enjoyable beer.

Serving type: on-tap

12-07-2010 01:36:05 | More by smithdc33
Photo of BassBone


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

Had on tap at Congregation Ale House in Long Beach. Reviewed on my phone as I drink.

Poured an almost pure black into a tulip glass with a finger or so of white/tan head. Some lacing, but not much. That may have something to do with the water they spray into the glass before pouring, but I'm not sure. Nothing can be seen through this beer.

The first thong yhou get in the nose of this beer is oak, folowed by sweet, syrupy malt and a fair bit of coconut. There is a bit of alcohol among the scents, too, but it is an accent compared to the rest of the nose.

The taste is phenomenal. Coconut up front (I don't know why I taste this, maybe I'm crazy), with a quick blast of chocolate and malt right behind, followed by a nice, lingering bitter finish. There is the fairest hint of alcohol spice among all the flavors.

The mouthfeel is very smooth with a nice crisp carbonation and it just slides down the throat. This beer is pretty dangerous.

The mouthfeel coupled with the crazy flavor of this beer make it a dangerously drinkable brew. I would buy this again and again and again and enjoy every minute of it.

Serving type: on-tap

12-06-2010 04:29:34 | More by BassBone
Photo of ShogoKawada

Rhode Island

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

FW14 into an oversized Leffe wine glass type thing. Thanks to Arbitrator for this one (and Ding for the glass!).

A- Pours a nice dark brown w/ some aber highlights. Creamy head that vanishes into an outer ring of bubb;es.

A- I can smell the alcohol/sweet malts a mile away. Some barrel notes (caramel, vanilla) are there too.

T- Big dark fruit and caramel note. Actually, I'm picking up on some cognac. Reminds me of some Hennessy XO.

(side note- why don't they age beer in cognac barrels?)

Vanilla as well. Damn! This is tasty. A bit roasty and chocolatey in the finish. Tastes like a BA barleywine, although with all the blending I guess Am. Strong Ale works too.

M- Thick, creamy, smooth, and heavy. A delight.

D- Fairly high, but it's boozy. That's OK by me- this is a great beer. I think I still liked the 13 more, but juust by a hair. Impressive. One of the best Am. Strong Ales I've come across.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2010 02:55:49 | More by ShogoKawada
Photo of GabrielM

New Mexico

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

Thanks to ClarkGriswald for this one! Poured into a tulip.

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 - almost seems a bit overcarbonated and it's pretty strong.

D - this beer is really freakin' 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 at 12.5%.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2010 21:17:55 | More by GabrielM
Photo of Bitterbill


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

650ml bottle, black wrap with a silver pull tab to make things easy, and capped.

It pours a pitch black with about an inch of tannish foam. Plenty of lacing to please the folks that put a lot of emphasis on the appearance department...like myself.

There's no mistaking the barrel aging in the smell. There's lots of it and very pleasing. A huge amount of caramel malt sits side by side with the BA and makes this a treat to sniff over and over again.

The taste takes it a step further. Nicely sweet from the malt, deliciously decadent from the barrel aging, good notes of bread and a good dose of chocolate and some dark fruit in the background. Wow. This is some seriously good stuff and I'm getting quite a bit of warming from the more than substantial amount of alcohol that went into this puppy. Still, surprisingly drinkable for me. Wow, again.

I'd call it full bodied with a lowish level of carbonation that ends up with a great mouth feel. Luxurious, in fact.

Drinkability *could* have suffered from the sheer strength of this 14th Anniversary offering from Firestone Walker but imho,
they did their best to keep the alcohol in check and I surely appreciate it. It makes the sitting that much more easy to cope with.

Absolutely delicious fresh, I reckon this American Strong Ale *could* hold up, and maybe even improve, for many years to come. This is a hell of a brew!

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2010 20:26:03 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of hopsbreath


4.05/5  rDev -8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a snifter, this appears dark brown but can be seen through when held to direct light. A deep violet is apparent when this is done. A half glass of dust brown head builds with a violent pour. Good lacing considering what this is. Good legs cement a perfect score here. 5/5

S: The smell is to say the least, FANTASTIC! Rich caramel, decadent variations of brown sugar, pie spices (I checked the component list to see if any spices were used. None were), vanilla, some raw alcohol, and of course the glorious wood are all over the place here. The aroma promises a lot. Can the flavor deliver? 4.5/5

T: While not as great as the smell, the taste is still quite good. German chocolate cake, peppery alcohol (Goldschlager?), and a nice dose of amaretto are going to be my flavor descriptors here. Its very unique and interesting. 4/5

M: Kinda thin for what I'm expecting here. Carbonation is low and its a little sticky. 3/5

D: I like this beer overall. Its interesting enough to make me keep going back for more. I'll be checking it as it ages every few months for the next year or so. At this point I liked 13 better but am really growing an appreciation for the guys down in Paso Robles. Try it if you can. 4/5

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2010 05:16:21 | More by hopsbreath
Photo of waltonc


4.25/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I opened my first bottle of Firestone Walker XIV this evening, while sitting in front of a fire, petting my cat, Clarence Tibbs III, and admiring the Christmas tree.

This beer pours a cola brown with a creamy tan head, much like the eleventh anniversary beer. The aroma is a malty mix of caramel, toffee, brown sugar, figs, and bourbon. Sipping this beer, the same qualities present themselves on the front end. My primary complaint is that the beer finishes in a rather odd manner - with a cacophony of bittnerness that does not sit as well on my palate. Like a pheasant in a duck blind, if you will. Almost like bitter coffee and mint. It's not too bothersome and, if Firestone Walker 14 were an 18 hole round of golf, I would attribute this bitterness only to the final three holes. The other fifteen resembling Augusta's finest.

Body is typically rather thick and sticky, with moderate carbonation. If one uses Faygo redpop as a carbonation benchmark, I would describe FW14 as having appreciably less fizz.

Overall, a fine effort by my friends at Firestone Walker. Clarence Tibbs III, having received a nip of FW14 in his saucer, concurs.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2010 02:09:12 | More by waltonc
Photo of davod23


3.98/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into my Bruery tulip.

Beer is near-black, very opaque, yet with perfect clarity. Nice off-white cap forms, dissipates slowly, and is resurrected with a swirl of the glass. Nice looking beer.

Smell is nice enough, if a bit hot. The barrels are quite evident here. Candy aromas, particularly caramel and toffee. Coffee roastiness, dark chocolate, coconut. Booze.

Taste is similarly good. Sweet, boozy, I'm thinking this one could use a little bit of time in the corner. This could be spectacular with time. Rich bitter chocolate, coconut, caramel. And my girlfriend thinks I'm crazy, but I swear that the first thing I noticed in the taste was raw peanut butter. I haven't seen any other review mention this, so it's possible that I've lost my mind. But I taste peanut butter.

Mouthfeel, like all the FW anniversary beers, is great. Thick, adequate carbonation, slightly sticky.

Drinkability takes a hit from past iterations of the anniversary series. This one is just a bit too hot and needs some time to mellow out before it reaches its peak. Fresh, this is my least favorite of the five, but that's like saying that Gisele Bundchen is my least favorite Victoria's Secret model - it's still pretty damned good.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2010 00:22:55 | More by davod23
Photo of Jwale73

Rhode Island

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

22oz. bottle shared by blisscent. Pours the color and clarity of cola with no head. Nose suggests cocoa, banana esters, artificial sweetener and a trace of vanilla and lactose. Flavors reveal caramel, toffee, coca and coffee - really tasty. Mouthfeel is medium-light with a carbonation that falls short of lively. A really delicious brew. It's definitely sweet, but not at the extreme range of the spectrum (e.g. Creme Brulee). If you're not into sweet, you might want to cellar this one a little longer; however, it found it to be just right.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2010 21:56:21 | More by Jwale73
Photo of FosterJM


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

71st review on BA
bottle to pint

App- It was almost a pitch black pour but my eyes were playing tricks on me and saw in the light the dark brown it poured with almost no head on it.

Smell- It was a big smell of booze, licorice and anise.

Taste- A boozy, choco/caramel flavor with the smallness of a Utopias.

Mouth- It was a bit thin but I enjoyed the aftertaste to it.

Drink- It's drinking really well right now with the barrels bring a suprising mix of flavors that play well off eachother.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2010 03:06:34 | More by FosterJM
Photo of SpdKilz


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

Had on tap while in Santa Barbara at the Firestone Walker pub in Buellton, CA. An appropriate 350th review.

Appearance - Give to me in a goblet. Arrives with very little head that leaves slight lacing. Held up to the light there is a dark brown color, not completely black. Slight reddish hint.

Smell - Sweet. Caramel, bourbon, slight hops, heavy bourbon, coconut, and vanilla. Smells nice but smells boozy.

Taste - Similar to the aroma. Lots of vanilla and in the back coconut. The bourbon kicks in and then fights with coffee and bittersweet chocolate to show who is dominant. Molasses, brown sugar, and caramel make up the end of the taste. Many flavors, good, but not great.

Mouthfeel - Creamy, medium mouthfeel, lower carbonation, finishes a bit cloying.

Drinkability - For the ABV, quite so. I had not problem finishing the small goblet and ordering another. I have two that will sit in my cellar for at least a year before I revisit this. Honestly, (and I know they are different, obviously) I loved Parabola and at almost half the price from this, I don't see the value in this beer. Oh well...good but not great.

Serving type: on-tap

11-28-2010 03:52:14 | More by SpdKilz
Photo of JWD


4.05/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Alright i have this a couple of days ago for the Thanksgiving holiday.

A-Looked very good like most other FW ann beers, very little carbonation with a DEEP ruby/black color.

S-As always these beers smell fantastic, tons of oak, vanilla, and of course bourbon.

T-Good, very HOT though, i think this years vintage could benefit from some age.

M-OK, for me this was the biggest let down from previous versions, fairly thin with little activity.

D-not bad, other than being HOT it was very good despite the 12.5% ABV.

Overall this was my least favorite in the last 3 years with 13 being the best.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2010 18:58:10 | More by JWD
Photo of DovaliHops


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

Deciding to share this with some friends to celebrate Thanksgiving. Appearance is not nearly as dark as I was expecting. I recall 13 being a lot darker. This one pours dark brown, and a dark red when held up to light. Very small tan head. Scent is strong bourbon whiskey, dark fruits, coca cola, and delicious chocolate. Smells wonderful! Taste is wonderful as well. First I get really rich chocolate fudge, followed by a nice amount of bourbon whiskey and dark fruits. This is a great balance between an imperial stout and an american barleywine, and the bourbon flavors just blen the two worlds together so nicely. Mouthfeel is very full bodied and nicely carbonated. A great sipper with nice drinkability. Could slowly sip on this beer all night!

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2010 08:03:10 | More by DovaliHops
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!

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2010 01:09:28 | More by Zorro
Photo of phrankiebee


4.15/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have been waiting for this for some time now. Finally had it on tap! I've had black Xantus and Velvet Merlin and you can definitely taste them in this.

Very smooth and alcoholy you can definitely taste the bourbon which is a good thing (in my book) but it will be better once it mellows out in a couple of years.

If I had to compare it to anything it would be "black Tuesday" from the bruery which I love.

This will be one to sit on and wait for in a few year. Can't wait till then

Serving type: on-tap

11-25-2010 08:49:55 | More by phrankiebee
Photo of xhuskr


3.3/5  rDev -25%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Awesome aroma on this beer along with an appearance that could make me wait. Very complex brew, but the alcohol was a bit too much overall for me. I didn't finish my glass so I share it with others. The bourbon flavor was a bit strong for my palate at this time, but I look forward to trying this again when it's not so hot. Two bottles have been put away along with my other FW anniversary brews. I would say this beer is a must try, but not a must finish...yet.

Serving type: on-tap

11-24-2010 18:55:28 | More by xhuskr
Photo of JamisonM


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

A: brown as it comes out body is black in the glass

S: sweet bourbon and brandy with vanilla nice oak comes out as well what I found interesting was the toasted coconut I got in this beer

T: brandy and bourbon notes here along with a nice sweetness nice oak and vanilla toasted coconut is coming through on the taste also! warms the back of your throat going down.

M: med/heavy mouth med/low carbonation just right

D: for being such a huge beer this thing drinks real well.

overall: the beer drinks fantastic right out of the gate with some age on this bitch it should be just stunning!

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2010 00:51:39 | More by JamisonM
Photo of billshmeinke


4.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Delirium Tremens tulip. Have already had this on tap and from the bottle a few times, first time I got around to giving it a formal review though.

Pours dark black with a tinge of ruby highlights when held up to light. One finger light beige head. dies down to a nice bit of foam on top.

Wow, smells amazing. Brown sugar, toffee, cocoa powder and a hint of dark chocolate up front. Some smoke, leather and tobacco as well. Also, plenty of oak and jammy dark fruit.

The taste brings out toffee, brown sugar and molasses up front accompanied by dark chocolate (much more of the dark chocolate here than in the nose). Then I get some resin and tobacco again. Also, a really nice nutty presence. Some coconut as well. Luscious oakiness and even some vinous blackberry jam notes. Incredibly complex and tasty with a huge and lasting finish.

Sticky and just a touch sweet, very full, but with a nice bitterness and oakiness to dry it out sufficiently.

A true beer lover's desert beer, and possibly something your red wine loving friends might be into.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2010 00:13:45 | More by billshmeinke
Photo of mdfb79

New York

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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-23-2010 23:24:04 | More by mdfb79
Photo of berkey


3.93/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in an about 8 oz snifter at the Firestone Walker 14 release party at Beer Revolution in Oakland, CA. From notes 11/15/10.

Essentially black in color with a light brown ring around the rim of the glass in lieu of a head.

Aroma puts off a good share of burnt coffee acrid roastiness. Much more so than last years anniversary release. I guess that's the Bravo making it's presence felt. There's also a mildly sweet chocolate character and just the subtlest traces of soy sauce.

Alcohol is a little more present than I prefer and leaves a slight burn in the throat. Oak shines much more on the flavor than it did on the aroma while coffee bitterness stays very noticeable. Thankfully the soy sauce from the aroma stays in check and doesn't run wild like on some other high gravity, roasty, stout-type beers.

This has the makings of something that could turn out to be excellent but at the moment this is well short of FW 13 when that beer was as fresh. Based on this experience with the tap verson I'd recommend giving the bottles some time, this beer's pedigree makes it likely to improve nicely.

Serving type: on-tap

11-23-2010 01:58:08 | More by berkey
Photo of John_M


4.25/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Galaxy Hut. Would have given long odds that this is one beer I'd never see on tap here on the East Coast (thanks for the heads up Dyan).

Poured into a 12 ounce brandy snifter, the beer is a dark brown color with very good head retention and considerable lacing. The beer was a bit on the cold side initially, but as it warmed I picked up a wonderful melange of light coffee, chocolate, plums and prunes, cherry, molasses and light bourbon. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely in this moderately sweet beer, and I appreciate the long, lightly bitter finish. The bourbon barrel aging comes out a bit more on the palate, and undeniably the beer is a bit on the boozy side. Still, I thought drinkability was pretty decent in this beer, at least considering the 12.5% abv. Mouthfeel was full and fairly long, with the sweetness nicely balanced by the light hoppy bitterness on the finish.

Would be curious to see what a year or two of aging does for this beer, though certainly it's pretty tasty right now. Very nice...

Serving type: on-tap

11-22-2010 11:59:41 | More by John_M
Photo of blackie


4.1/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: small goblet, translucent black in color, very little head but most likely a result of the serving than the beer itself

s: big sugary aroma, dark fruit puree - black fig and raisin most notasble, bourbon fruitcake, rich chocolate and roast compliment s of the stout side of the equation, nice vanilla, dark sugars, perfect booze presence, smells great and thoughtfully blended

m: lightly carbonated, with a full, slick body, sticky sugars lingering after the swallow

t: thick with sweet flavors of dark fruits - fig and raisin, well integrated barreling with smooth bourbon and oak, chocolate and roast, vanilla, heavily caramelized sugars, mildly hopped, warming alcohol, complex and satisfying

d: drinks very well for the abv

draft at Galaxy Hut, Arlington

Serving type: on-tap

11-22-2010 01:34:47 | More by blackie
Photo of SolomonGrundy


3.98/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2

Really excited for this one also. Got the slow-roast pork going and Football Sunday so figured we'd break it out. A whopping 12.5% ABV, at a whopping $17.99/bomber, so this oughtta be interesting...Pours an inky brown with hints of ruby red at the edge. Not a lot of carbonation, and a very short cap of foam settles on this. Looked oily and thick on pouring, so probably a sweeter beer. Beautiful, complex aromas spill out of this - lots of semisweet chocolate, some bourbon cask and char, brown sugar and/or maple syrup, chocolate covered cherries. Yum. Huge, enormous, robust flavor. Like their Parabola, this is just almost overpowering. Not a sessionable beer by any means. Creamy smooth texture, and the flavors in the barrel-aging are fabulous. It is fairly sweet, but not cloying. Lots of espresso and chocolate notes, as would be expected. Alcohol hits near the finish and is very warming. The mouthfeel on this is incredibly rich, smooth, velvety and thick. Very awesome. Not enough carbonation, in my opinion, is one of the two minor flaws. The second being a finish that carries a tad too much alcohol. All-in-all, this beer defies real easy classification, but I would call it a wonderful accompaniement to Winter and a cigar.

What I like most: The incredibly rich, robust mouth and flavors.

What I like least: the price.

Verdict: Unreasonably expensive, but almost worth it. Absoultely worth tracking down and trying now, and maybe cellaring a few.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2010 21:34:11 | More by SolomonGrundy
Photo of DefenCorps


4.25/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Galaxy Hut tonight. And then, again. And then again, to make it a nice, round liter of this fine beverage.

Pouring a very dark brown with reddish brown highlights, there's a dense, brown head with good retention and lacing. The nose is outstanding. Clearly, this is different from the previous blends, the lack of Parabola is obvious. The base is clearly a barrel aged brown, there's toffee, maple, nougat, and plenty of bourbon. Vanilla, brown sugar are present, but there isn't much oak. The malt character of this blend is arguably a little disappointing. More or less simple, with a blend of sugar, brown sugar, there's a lack of a deeper complexity here. Initially, I am struck by the strength of brandy here, but the more it warms up, the more bourbon comes out.

The palate opens with a big, bourbon character, vanilla, oak and some brown sugar. Again, the lack of malt complexity translates to the palate here, I find mostly a simple blend of sugars present. The barrel expression is excellent. Bourbon and brandy are present, but really, the lack of roast and a balancing bitterness makes this less than excellent. Mildly drying on the finish, there's some oak and tannins present, but not too much. A touch of bitterness is present as well. The mouthfeel is sublime. Medium with mild carbonation, the flavors on the finish are excellent. Brown sugar and vanilla in moderate amounts, this allows for enjoyment of the flavors. I did drink 3 12oz glasses, and could have gone for more. This is quite excellent.

Serving type: on-tap

11-21-2010 03:57:05 | More by DefenCorps
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97 out of 100 based on 624 ratings.