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Firestone 14 - Anniversary Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Firestone 14 - Anniversary AleFirestone 14 - Anniversary Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

678 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 678
Reviews: 296
rAvg: 4.4
pDev: 8.86%
Wants: 212
Gots: 563 | 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:
Beer added by: ZX6Chris on 11-02-2010

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
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 678 | Reviews: 296 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.33/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

Served into a glass snifter.

A - Very dark. Medium-brown head. Slight carbonation.
S - Explosion of bourbon with sweet, subtle hints of coffee and chocolate.
T - Very complex. Less bourbon taste than expected (from the initial nose), with a profound, hot finish and sweet, malty, smoke-like linger. Sweet flavors apparent, but very subdued.
M - Full-bodied, syrupy.
D - Limited release, so potentially hard to come by. High ABV, overall hot beer. Despite this, very complex and highly recommended -- especially if you like thicker beers and bourbon.

Photo of kzoobrew
4.32/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review input from notes, enjoyed 12/09. Big thanks to Carleton for the bottle. Cheers buddy!

Pulled from cellar poured into Darkness snifter.

Moderate pour down the middle produces a one finger malted milk colored head. Body is a dark chestnut color. Limited retention though the lacing is a bit impressive.

Aroma is full of darker scents off the bat. Chocolate, coffee, dark fruits and toffee. Bourbon is the dominate spirit flavor though the brandy can be noticed. These darker scents fade with warmth and a sweeter sticky buns breadiness begins to emerge.

A lot of complexity without muddling the flavor. Sweet malt and caramel transition to a coffee, chocolate and toffee flavors before ultimately winding its way back to caramel. Booziness moves from bourbon to brandy. Warming bite to the alcohol. Vanilla is laced through out though stronger towards the rear of the palate.

Medium bodied with soft carbonation. Finish is moderate though much drier than I expected.

A great beer, I am very impressed. The blend was masterful and the final product is a beauty. A sipper without a doubt but each sip is welcomed and enjoyed. The price could sway some but you owe it to yourself to pick up a bottle if it is within reach.

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

22 oz. bottle in the traditional fantastic FW Anniversary presentation tradition, purchased for $23 at Greenwood Gourmet in Crozet, VA. Poured in to a tulip.

Appearance: Pours a bronzed, burned bistre, hazed at the pour and around the edges but a deep enough shade that it's practically opaque. It's a surprisingly still looking beer, capped by one finger of moderately tanned and unspectacular head, which fizzles out of existence pretty quickly, unsustainable in the high abv environment with only a few faint streams of carbonation attempting to replenish it. The lacing is similarly average, with a few dashes and streams managing to stick to the sides of the tulip but most slinking back to the morass about as quickly as they emerged, slippery and glittery. It's a decidedly average looking beer, but it's an average looking beer with a 12.5% abv and a ton of barrel aging character, so I have to give it a little credit where it's due.

Aroma: Hoppy notes dominate when colder, but this one turns in to pure alcohol notes when it warms, and is likely this beer's weakest component. Parabola dominates the nose, particularly as this one hits room temperature (which is where I am now - for some reason, I usually review the aroma last) - slightly burned malts, toast, and bittersweet cocoa mingle with dark fruits and vanilla. A little leathery around the edges, transitioning well enough though a little roughly in to some spicy, tobacco-like hop notes and a few lighter fruit nuances.

Taste: Sweeter than the previous FW Anniversary beers, though with enough of a hop kick to balance it out a little. But first, this beer. First impression is that it's much lighter and more syrupy than I would have expected - the DIPA component dominates here (unsurprisingly, given the % of the blend that it represents), rendering the malt base very honey-like, with a strong caramel compliment. The malts increase in depth and roastiness, and it's a fairly seamless transition - toffee, brown sugar, molasses, cocoa, toast, coffee, faint burned astringencies (likely courtesy of the Sticky Monkey and Parabola, primarily). It's a complete if top heavy malt base, and is complimented nicely by the malty dark fruit notes contributed by the Parabola (dark cherries and raisins, fresh in my mind from the fresh Parabola I had last night) and the lighter, daintily tropical notes (peach, mainly) that I presume come from the barleywine.

More hop balance than usual (required and expected from a beer this much sweeter) provides a nice, bracing bitterness but also a slew of tobacco and tropical and citrus fruits - mango is strong, as are grapefruit, orange, nectarine, and the aforementioned peach (which is one of the few fruits I get from both hop notes and malt notes). Toasted, even charred coconut mingle with both green and smoky oak notes as well as leather, and the barrels contribute a nice - but not anywhere near overpowering or even prominent - vanilla. The barrel notes are - as always - prominent, and they develop nicely as it warms (as does the rest of this beer - I'd recommend 58 to 62 degrees as the optimum serving temperature). Bourbon dominates, spicy, sweet, roasted, and earthy, and most of the brandy is lost in the heat, sweetness, and barleywine malt and hop fruit notes, though I can sort of detect where I imagine it fits in to the flavor profile here.

Mouthfeel: Initially, this one was perfect or at least nearly perfect - viscous and chewy, but remarkably smooth, creamy, oily, and even. It becomes a little more erratic as it warms, oddly - typically, you'd expect the opposite, with the dying of the carbonation rendering the body smoother - but it's still pretty nice, one of the beer's better aspects.

Drinkability: I've had four of the five now (the four you expect), and I'll echo what seems to be the community sentiment - they're going a little downhill. This one was just a little too hot and sweet, and though I accept that part of that is probably youth, part of it is also a result of a blend, with the lighter "base" beer not being able to withstand the booziness while fresh. I imagine age will both decrease the residual sweetness as well as blend and subdue the alcohol notes, but the definition of a world class beer is one that's great fresh and great aged. So while this beer may be great with some age on it (and I imagine it will be), right now it's a little rough around the edges (and not worth the $23 I paid for it to drink fresh).

But part of this is expectations and quibbling, because I think I speak for many BAs when I say that these FW Anniversary beers are some of the best, most cutting edge, enjoyable beers around. And if past history is any judge, the fact that this beer wasn't amazing doesn't mean for an instant that FW15 won't be the single most amazing beer ever produced for human consumption. And with what I know these guys are capable of, I wouldn't be surprised if that were the case.

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.77/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of Mora2000
3.76/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to mar for sharing this bottle. I have been looking forward to this one.

The beer pours a dark brown coilor with a white head. The aroma is a disappointment. It it not bad, but it is not what I was expecting. I get a lot of soy and toffee, as well as some leather. I also get something that resembles trash. Hopefully the flavor will be better.

For the flavor, I get a lot of roasted malt and chocolate, which is coupled with a lot of barrel-aging characteristics. I get a nice amount of oak and maple, as well as quite a bit of vanilla. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Luckily, the flavor was much better than the aroma, which salvaged this beer. Glad I got to try this one.

Photo of Gfunk720
4.35/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh bottle out of my Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Tulip.

A- Dark brownish black, slightly opaque. Light brownish-tan head, but fades with no lacing.

S- Nice and balanced. Coffee, chocolate, hops, and malt.

T- Sweet and chocolatey, hints of brown sugar and molassas. Just the right blend of bourbon, and a touch of hops.

M- Great. Nice and creamy, good blend of all flavors. Not a lot of carbonation, which is a good thing

D- This stuff was very tasty, and easy to drink. Me likey...

Photo of xnicknj
4.52/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into snifter glass - big thanks to phan869 for sharing this.

Pours dark mocha with some brighter cherry red tones towards the bottom of the glass. A small head fades out into film with a nice collar of spotty lacing.

Complex nose with chocolate, coffee, toffee, oak, vanilla, bourbon, tannin, leather. Is there anything else?

Ultra smooth sweetness with milk chocolate and toffee. Molasses and syrup sweetness. Rich bourbon with vanilla and smooth oak. Notes of piny hops. Leather and warm alcohol towards the end with some dry bitterness. Finishes with touches of smooth sweetness and light boozy warmth.

Excellently smooth and velvety around the mouth. Drinks really well, especially considering the alcohol, alongside great flavor throughout. A fantastic bal aged beer.

Photo of Phelps
4.19/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed during a vertical (diagonal?) tasting of FW Anniversary 12, 13 and 14 with tlay10. This one was poured from the bottle into a snifter.

Light mahogany, like Dr. Pepper in color. A little clear, ruby highlights when held to a light. A half finger head of khaki fizzles out quickly, leaving a super tiny head behind, and no lace.

This smells like chocolate truffles. Pretzels, vanilla, heavy coffee, dark cocoa powder, cabernet, a bit of oak and dark cherries amidst well-incorporated alcohol.

The flavor begins sweet and tangy. Maraschino cherries, dark chocolate, vanilla, plum sauce and maple all make appearances. Then: an oddly tangy and drying finish, leaving lingering coffee flavors. There's a good amount of alcohol singeing my nose hairs, and a bit pops out in the flavor as well. All in all, it's very comparable to FW 12, but fruitier.

Medium carbonation creates a moderate fizz. The alcohol burn is a little too big, giving me some heartburn-like warmth in the chest. The body, however, is medium in fullness, with a nice velvet smoothness.

Surprisingly, 14 holds its own against past anniversary beers; in fact, I may have enjoyed this the most during our little vertical. Having tried this vintage both on tap and in the bottle, I have to say I like it in this format better. It seemed sweeter and more complex, somehow. Another year or two could improve it greatly.

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

Ah... It's Christmas eve, family has gone home, time for a late night treat.

Pours a dark brown with a nice brown head that quickly fades.

Aromas are nutty, with booze, oak, and some dark fruits notes. Smells nice, but a bit overpowering.

Taste is very complex, but not a huge powerhouse like the nose suggests. Dark chocolates, stewed fruits, coconut, booze and oak. Finish is warm from the alcohol, has some caramel sweetness and earthy bitterness.

Mouthfeel is nice, full and smooth, with just enough carbonation. Would like more body though.

Drinkability is quite good. Another superb Firestone Anniversary beer. I think with a couple of years in the cellar, this one might smooth out nicely. Probably my least favorite of the series, but as my scores indicate, this is still a wonderful brew. Congrats on 14 years Firestone!

Photo of calir1
3.65/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

So I must say that I appreciate the barrel aging thing, but this beer is like a beer whiskey. It looks good, smells like a bourbon barrel and tastes like whiskey covered in beer. It tastes great, but sip after sip of this taste gets to me. The first few were really good, but it seems I missed the beer part of this and drank a diluted beer induced bourbon. I get that this beer was aged in these containers, but I assume it takes on the flavor and not be the flavor. It is good, but way to much alcohol flavor for me.

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

From notes of review 12/17/10.
22oz bottle from Huck's in Spokane for $20.
Poured from bottle to snifter multiple times.

A: Pours a tarry black which cannot be penetrated by light of any kind. The loosely packed burnt cream foams fades out quickly and we are left with a ring of lace edging the glass. Nice, sticky lacing down glass. Can agitate a hedging of bubbles with a stern swish of the glass.

S: It's obvious winemakers had a hand in the blending here. Strong, sexy backbone of sweet toasted malts are accentuated by the fine flavors of toffee, caramel, coffee, figs, cocoa beans, and all this is reminiscently embodied by American oak. I strongly suggest letting this one warm to 55-60F, the multiple layers of nose love will continue to bloom.

T: Coffee, with strong flavors of cocoa, caramel, fig. A slight taste of candied Bing cherries moves in and and seems to hint at a amaretto influence here. A slight resin still remains from the hops, giving a hint of a bite, which helps to cut the heat from the alcohol that is still present on the palate; time will remedy that issue.

M: Lively bubbling as I swish over tongue, the beer converges into a light meringue texture before returning back to it's thick, sticky base. This is a great feature as it allows for nuances of the nose to come out over palate.

D: This was my first Firestone Anniversary, and the beer lives up to the hype. It's a steal at $20/bottle, if you consider I spent two and a half hours drinking a single bottle. This beer is great for cold weather, cigars, and should not be paired with a meal. You could pair with some salty and/or pungent cheeses, maybe a beef tartar. This beer is something to be had, and will be had by me over the years to come.

Photo of sprucetip
4.29/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From recent notes.

Pretty much looks like a stout, with just a little bit of lightness around the edges when backlit. Thin tan head falls and leaves a ring and patchy lacing. A good looking brew.

Wow! Booziness is undeniable but blends well with other influences. Chocolate, caramel, and some roast. Great synergy among the components may be what is so extraordinarily delightfully about the aroma.

A bit hot, but I suspect that will improve with time. Chocolate, toffee, malty richness, and woody barrels. Some burnt bitterness.

Low carbonation, creamy, strong warming, smooth, full body feels just medium-full. An alcoholic sting detracts a bit from the feel, but this may fade with time. Put one away if you can.

A great beer that is likely to get better! Pricey (I paid $18 for a 22oz bomber), but worth it. I'd suggest getting 2 if you can, one for now, and one for some point in time down the road.

Photo of emagana
4.53/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured in a snifter at the buelton tap house.
Now this beer I've had several times and I felt like I can give it a better review now.
Dark black and a small brown head
Aromas of oak and cinnamon. Oak and chocolate also cone out. Really not a big chocolate presence but spivey for sure.
Starts sweet an oak-ey. Roasted smoke malts and sticky on the pellet. This beer is awesome.
Finishes with oak and sone heat.
Not sure but this is one of my favorite beers.
I personally think this one is peaking in a year. Tasting pretty well and very complex.

Photo of Pencible
3.85/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A: This poured a nearly opaque dark mahogany with a bit of tan head.
S: It smelled like lots of bourbon and dark chocolate and rich coffee, with lots of oak and some alcohol.
T: It tasted like super sweet tootsie roll chocolate, with rubbing alcohol and coffee and licorice. It had a super hot and bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was thick and oily with a bit of carbonation. Nice and full.
D: This had a great scent and taste, with excellent body. But tons of alcohol made this a sipping beer only. It was surprisingly not complex, unless all the subtleties were drowned out by the heat. Aging this for a long time would probably turn it into a delicious beast. Drinking it fresh is like tasting a glimpse of its future glory.

Photo of BARFLYB
4.12/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

On tap at blue monkey tavern in somewhere nj.

A- comes to me with a finger or so of loose sudsy tan head that settles rather quickly leaving a nice amount of cascading lace on the glass, a solid ring and a faint skin on top. Very dark brown in color with almost no light coming through.

S- yowza! That is one hell of a deep and complex nose. Coffee, chocolate, bourbon, smokey oak, deep dark roasted malts, some raisins and dates, underlying booze.

T- opens up with chocolate liquor and kaluah. Bourbon soaked vanilla, brown sugar, a bit of molasses. Dark roasty malts, candied stone fruit, dates and raisins. Every sip I just fond more and more and to be honest I'm almost lost at times.

M- on the fuller side of medium in body with a light carb just enough to keep things moving but still let's the brew sit on the palate and blow your mind. Slight and I do mean slight hint of heat.

D- this is hands down the most complex beer I've ever had. Its almost to much to wrap your head around at times. That being said its absolutely fantastic and one I'm really happy to have tried on draft. Now I must find a bottle and lay it down for a bit to see where it goes.

Photo of DaveHS
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a beautiful mahogany with 1/4 inch of chocolate milk colored head.Leaves moderate, sticky rings of lace.

S-Bourbon, vanilla, cherries, dark sweet malts, milk chocolate, fried bananas.

T/M-Lots of bourbon up front, but it comes in on a silky, rich mouthfeel. It becomes thinner and boozier mid-palate, bringing notes of banana, vanilla bean and cocoa nibs. The finish is warming and boozy. A little chocolate chip cookie sweetness on the back end.

D-Very nice, but not my favorite year for the FW Anniversary series. Might need a few months to mellow out, but not much more than that.

Photo of drabmuh
4.32/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler of FW 14 served in a vertical epic tasting glass from Stone...close enough.

Beer is black with weak carbonation a low head and some legs of alcohol are left on the glass from the swirl.

The aroma is sweet with liquor and malts, smells pretty good.

Beer is medium bodied with lead off sweetness and booze. The finish is dry and mildly bitter from roasted malts....not much else. The beer is flavorful, some plum and more malt in the midpalate. Its a heavy beer though, a sipper for sure. A growler is a slight miscalculation, fortunately a tasting killed about 2/3 of it.

Photo of zimmerbloke
4.79/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to both hopsbreath and johndoe8 for sending me bottles. I'm drinking one fresh on recommendation. Split a bomber three ways and poured into a New Belgium globe glass; review from notes.

A: Almost opaque sticky, dark brown pour. One finger light khaki head which fades quickly. No real lacing to speak of, just the faintest hind of sticky residue as the head fades.

S: Fresh booze, vanilla and oak. A little bit of burnt sugar, roasted malts, coffee and dark chocolate. Stellar.

T: Sweet vanilla and -bal flavors dominate. Velvet Merkin makes a strong appearance here; the very dark, smooth roasted malts and dark chocolate flavors comprise an excellent base for this beer. More than anything, I can't get over how well blended and balanced the flavors are. This is really just knocked out of the park.

M: Thick, chewy and smooth. Sticky, but not unplesantly so. A dessert beer, to be sure.

D: High, for what it is. I couldn't make my pour last long enough.

Really excellent. There are certain beers that play to "guilty" pleasures I have--booze heat, a little bit of over the top sweetness, etc... and while it's easy for those to go wrong, this one was excellent and really enjoyable in that fashion. Jason and Richard, thanks for sending these. Really looking forward to seeing how this ages.

Photo of jnn4v
3.53/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark mahogany / espresso brown color. Barely translucent. Very little head that is a surprisingly light color - almost white. No visible sediment or haze.

S: Smoke, grainy sweet dark malt, molasses and sorghum. Bourbon, vanilla and oak. Cocoa powder.

T: Very sharp alcohol burn. Very hot - singes the back of my throat and hot burn on the tongue in the aftertaste. Cocoa powder, molasses and a hint of licorice.

M: Relatively thin mouthfeel. Not terribly much carbonation. Seems reasonable for the genre, albeit a bit less body than I'd prefer.

D: Moderate drinkability. Seems to be challenging to drink at both the cold and warmer temperatures.

Photo of alcstradamus
4.09/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a near black with a quarter finger of head. Aroma is a beautiful mix of chocolate and toffee sweetness. Some boozy heat.

The flavor is boozy cocoa and vanilla. Emphasis on the boozy. This one is is going to be fantastic in a couple of years, but is a little too bold right now.

The body is medium and carbonation is a bit too high and stinging. Overall this beer has incredible potential but is a bit young right now. Stock up and enjoy the riches in 2 years.

Photo of paulozanello
4.1/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at pizzeria paradiso in DC.
It poured a dark brown, almost purple color, very muddy with no head whatsoever.
Smell is of dark fruit (plums, figs, cherries and grapes ), mollasses and some booze. It also has a portwine character. After it warmed up a bit all this wonderful vanilla flavors started emanating.
Taste is very nice with lots of mollasses, candy sugar, dark fruits, raisings, chocolate, some vanilla, some oak and a big alcohol finish. Aftertaste is mildly bitter with faint herbal hops.
Body is very full and carbonation is medium to high.
Mouthfeel is silky. Drinkability is medium to low due to the high abv and huge body. Really warms you up after each sip.
Overall a great sipper, very robust and full of complex flavors. It is very much like a quad. I'd love to see what this tastes like five years from now.

Photo of jminsc76
4.3/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this on tap at Selma's and per bottle less than one week apart. For the purposes of my previous review (of F13), I will primarily describe the features of the bottled version. Just know the tap version I had at Selma's was delicious, exhibiting an overall old ale flavor profile with plenty of chocolate, roasts, and earth.

Into the same wide-rimmed, non-stem wine glass, pours a large foamy head atop an orange-meets-mahogany body. Didn't quite notice whether the head reemerges well upon agitation as I was already feeling fine from F13. No complaints on the visuals though.

Aromas are fruity, with some dried apricots, tangerine, dark fruits such as figs and dates, and slightly old ale characteristics of tobacco and earth. Medium-strength in intensity, with an overall fruity bouquet.

Fruity in the flavors as well, with plenty of malty bitterness, slights quantities of booze (nothing major), brown sugar, and the aforementioned fruits of dried apricot and figs. Doesn't exhibit a lot of the chocolate and roasts I experienced with the tapped version at Selma's, but to get an idea of the difference between this year and last: if F13 pairs lovely with blue cheese and chocolate cake, try this with some aged gouda and feel your palate sing the praises of caramelistic quaffability. Not since a proper goat cheese and Hefeweizen pairing have I experienced a match as heavenly-made as this.

Mouthfeel is thinner yet fairly soft considering the small quantity of heat.

Overall, I can only imagine how amazing this will be in six to eight months. It's highly drinkable now, and with some age I am betting won't even require an appropriate cheese to enhance the flavors and bring balance to this tour de force.

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

A: Poured a rather dark brown with a small head that dissipated quickly.

S: Vanilla, chocolate, and caramel with some bourbon. A bit of dark fruit hidden underneath the earlier mentioned flavors.

T: The taste is very similar to the beer's aroma. It does have a slight alcoholic warmth but considering the abv, I would say the alcohol is pretty well hidden. Just a solid beer.

M: Right amount of carbonation with a very smooth and creamy feeling. Thick and full bodied.

D: The awesome flavors plus great mouthfeel make this beer drinkable. If I could, I would have been drinking this, and only this, all night.

Firestone 14 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 678 ratings.