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Firestone 14 - Anniversary Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Firestone 14 - Anniversary AleFirestone 14 - Anniversary Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

604 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 604
Reviews: 286
rAvg: 4.4
pDev: 8.86%


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: 604 | Reviews: 286 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of amphion1065
amphion1065

Massachusetts

4.45/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a Duvel tulip. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a deep eggplant purple, not quite black. Half-finger tan head doesn't last for too long. Pretty nice lacing.

What an utterly beguiling - and enticing - aroma. Toffee and figs, chocolate and a touch of coffee. Maybe I'm crazy, but there's a distinct barrel smell that reminds me of both Parabola and Abacus - house -bals, perhaps? There's a very slight woody, vanilla note, but the base beer shines.

The taste is so damn smooth. Nutty and rich, with a perfect amount of alcohol. The bourbon is there, but it's pretty mellow and there's just a small kick of booze in the back end. This is roasty like a porter, with the dark fruit flavors of a BSDA or quad, with some butterscotch and alcohol for good measure. It might be an odd descriptor for the taste of a beer, but to me this exudes a sticky sweetness very akin to figs. A really fantastic malt bill here.

Mouthfeel is great. This is smooth and rich with medium carbonation, and it's very, very drinkable.

I was so excited to find this beer after trading away the one bottle I purchased this past April. Though this bottle wasn't too old, I'd imagine the alcohol mellowed out considerably over the past few months. As it stands, this is a delicious, complex beer that I would love to try again.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2011 23:37:41 | More by amphion1065
Photo of rhong187
rhong187

Pennsylvania

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

served from a bottle into tulip glass

A - pours very dark, almost black with the exception of a tiny bit of light passing through the glass, with about a half a finger head.

S - definitely one of the most "bourbon-y" type aroma I've ever encountered. Bit of vanilla and sweetness up front.

T - Funny enough, it almost tastes like abacus from the start, although abacus isn't part of this blend. I picked up some toffee and caramel with a small touch of vanilla. Great tasting beer

M - medium bodied, which I found interesting given the fact that 30% of the brew consists of parabola and black xantus. medium to low carbonation.

Quite delicious and a vast improvement over the 13. This one was put together quite nicely, and makes me look forward to future anniversary ales (which the 13 made me a bit weary of).

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2011 02:50:12 | More by rhong187
Photo of Treebs
Treebs

Illinois

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

Graciously shared by ThomasHardy in line at the CBS release, Thanks! Small pour into my Deschute snifter.

A: Pours a solid black in the middle with some dark brown edges where the sun light was hitting it. No real head or lace left.

S: Smells of roasted malts, dark fruits, a slight bitterness and a faint sweetness fill the nose. Not bad at all.

T: The dark fruits from the nose really shine in this. Figs and dates are present and create a backbone for a slight alcohol presence. It doesn't burn, but it is noticable. A nice malty sweetness rounds this out as well.

M: Creamy in nature, heavier bodied with medium carbonation. A subtle fruity sweetness is left on the palate.

O: I definitely enjoyed the strong ale. This wasn't my favorite strong ale that was had this weekend, but it was still a nice blend and took on the good characteristics from each brew.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2011 13:35:16 | More by Treebs
Photo of kawilliams81
kawilliams81

Yukon (Canada)

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

Served in a 16 oz. Snifter.

A- dark brownish amber. Light tan thin head with large cola-like bubbles.

S- bourbon, bitter chocolate, oak, tobacco. A lot going on in the nose and the smell is amazing!

T- bourbon and bitter chocolat right off the bat. Slight toffee sweetness and a good amount of hop bitterness.

M- full bodiedm. Still a touch hot but it doesn't overpower the beer at all. Little chewy but creamy at the same time.

O- remarkable beer! Do not know why I never bought this beer when it first hit stores. I love Abacus and Parabola and this is right in between those two IMO.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2011 20:18:48 | More by kawilliams81
Photo of Jules11788
Jules11788

California

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

Decided to crack this with johnhenryconway at our weekly tasting -- very glad I did!

A: Pours a dark mahogany-red, beautiful color when held to the light; no head, very light lacing

S: Dark fruits, raisins, figs, malt, toffee, and caramel

T: Sticky-sweet butterscotch toffee, caramel, sweet malt, roasted nutty flavor, and little hints of coconut; finishes with a nice boozy bite that warms as it goes down. I actually like the booze in this one because it balances out the chewy sweetness very nicely so that it's not too sweet, not too boozy, but just perfect. If there were less booze here this brew would probably be too sweet for my tastes.

M: Medium-thick, slightly chewy, lightly carbonated

O: This is a fantastically complex beer, and I'm glad I got 2 so that I have one to cellar for a few years

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2011 17:16:15 | More by Jules11788
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

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

A: Rich otter brown is black in the chalice. A sparse sandstone head is both weak on the hold and lace.

S: Sambuca like aroma, black licorice, highly potent, especially at warmer temperatures, alcohol fusels dominate. Mild roast coffee, dark fruit of prunes with a smooth mild aroma of medium strength.

T: Deep flavor, robust rich, yet smooth of roast and black licorice blending beautifully together. Oak, black oily coffee with an earthy bitterness is also evident. Dark fruit of prunes, sweet burnt grains upfront that finishes out with a black liquor and dark bitterness. A slight buttery roasted grains and oak is also picked up on.

M: medium bodied, smooth and buttery in texture with an earthy roast bitterness and alcohol warming the inner cheeks and tongue.

O: Overall big flavor, great sipper that leaves a warming sensation all the way down to the pit of the belly.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2011 22:21:37 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of GbVDave
GbVDave

Illinois

4.38/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into two snifters. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

Bottle dated 10/25/10

A: Pours a still dark cola brown. Got a 'ffft' when I opened it, but mostly this just sits in the glass kind of lifeless. A tiny wafer of dark khaki foam retains for about 5 seconds before settling into the thinnest collar I've seen in a long while. Lacing is a non-issue.

S: Wonderful aromas of fudge brownies, chocolate covered cherries, toasted nuts, bakers chocolate, molassas, vanilla, dark chocolate chip bread pudding, and with the slightest whiff of alcohol.

T: As above, with a growing influence of rich nutty flavors, more chocolate, vanilla, coconut, and flourless chocolate cake. Dessert in a glass!

M: Pretty slick and coating with a welcome sizzle of alcohol on the tongue. If it weren't for that this would be pure syrup.

O: This was so enjoyable. Would've scored higher if it hadn't layed in the glass all ugly and lifeless. Other than that, this was pretty awesome.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2011 23:31:09 | More by GbVDave
Photo of kingcrowing
kingcrowing

Vermont

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

22oz bomber poured into a wine glass.

Pours a very dark black color with hints of ruby and a small ring of dark brown head. Nose is a bit sweet, but very oaky and mellow with very little booze.

Taste is amazing, super complex with raisins, dark fruit, sweet malt and sharp flavors. Very drinkable given the abv. very tasty beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2011 21:55:04 | More by kingcrowing
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

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

Served in a flared pokal.

Big thanks to the Central PA group from the Gang Bang BIF for this bottle!

Damn, just reading the blend's breakdown is making me salivate... This stuff pours a dark brown-garnet topped by a finger of sandy tan foam. The nose comprises buttery biscuits, rye bread, toffee, oak, light bourbon, maple syrup, and light chocolate. The taste holds notes of light cocoa, rye bread, toffee, brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup, light bourbon, and a kiss of booze. The body is a stolid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a lightly syrupy feel. Overall, a very tasty brew, one that, in retrospect, was probably a bit more complex than my 'buds led me to believe this time (though they went to bed happy regardless). I guess I'm just gonna haveta get another bottle...

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2011 02:07:20 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim

New York

4.1/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber poured into an oversize Southampton snifter. Had with chocolate mousse shared with schen9303.

Pours a .5 finger light coffee colored head with poor retention. Beer is a dark, almost opaque brown-black. Lacing is spotty with near no cling but incredible legs. Average for the style.

Nose is roasted malt, chocolate, molasses, brown sugar, and a noticeable alcoholic bite. Parabola and Abacus elements are very prominent in this one. Aromatic and robust. Nice.

Opens chocolate and molasses. Some roasted malt graininess at the front. Middle is a touch of ethanol and molasses mixed with a good dose of brown sugar. End more molasses and milk chocolate. Finishes the same with chocolate in the aftertaste. Complexity comes in waves with this one with very distinct flavors emerging one by one.

Medium bodied with low carbonation. Silky and smooth in the mouth and oily with a touch of heat going down. Finish is messy with a slightly lingering but pleasant aftertaste. Really drinkable.

A very solid blend but at this stage maybe still a bit young. I'd give this one another 4-5 months although its already very good at this point. Great complextiy and incredible mouthfeel. Just still a touch hot.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2011 01:29:20 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of ColForbinBC
ColForbinBC

New Jersey

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

Poured into a snifter

A dark mahogany body with a thin, light tan head that rose to a finger and then fell rather quickly. No visible carbonation.

The aroma is a little bit of everything. Heavy bourbon notes with cherries, figs, raisins, oak, brown sugar, vanilla and even some milk chocolate. The bourbon really dominates though.

Booze really takes center stage as sweet milk chocolate comes in quickly on its heels. Brown sugar, toffee, tart cherries, raisins/figs and vanilla round it all out. Once you get past the booze, you can only begin to try and break down the complexities.

Full and rich with low carbonation. The finish is lightly sweet and extremely boozey.

This beer has it all, literally. A concoction that is blended extremely well, lending the best qualities of nearly every beer in the FW lineup. One of the most complex beers I have ever tasted.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2011 21:16:06 | More by ColForbinBC
Photo of DaveJanssen
DaveJanssen

Germany

3.85/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at brouwers served in a snifter. Reviewed 2 January 2011.

Ar: Sweet chocolate, rich caramel, alcohol, burnt huints, heavy and strong caramel/toffee

Ap: Black, low light tan head, good retention, lace hints

T: Chocolate, roast, alcohol, definitely tastes like a dark barleywine was a major component, molasses, rich syrupy dark malt with slight roughness, sweet balanced, maple

M: Medium/thick body, alcohol is warm/hot, low/mid carbonation

O: good but it is too hot, not stoked on the slight roughness to the darker malt

Serving type: on-tap

08-25-2011 00:45:49 | More by DaveJanssen
Photo of doughanson78
doughanson78

Washington

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

22oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Black in color, although not pitch black. Faint deep red around edges when held to the light. Half finger mocha colored head that fades instantly and struggles to come back. Decent Lacing.

S: Huge bourbon. Just loads. Every beer mixed into this was Bourbon Barrel Aged except the Double DBA. Lots of molasses. Dark chocolate. Some light coffee notes. Dark fruits emerge as it warms, mainly figs, with some dark cherries. Very complex nose.

T: Same as the nose. Huge bourbon hits you everywhere. Nice dark chocolate throughout. The figs and other dark fruits come through big as it warms a bit. Some light vanilla. Awesome butterscotch aftertaste. My palette is much to underdeveloped for this beer.

M: Full bodied, but not super thick or chewy. Light carbonation. Awesome mouth coating, velvety. Light alcohol warmth, which is nice in this kind of a sipper.

O: Just a dream of a beer. Not a whole lot to say except for wow. If you want a beer that will make you think, this is for you.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2011 05:47:22 | More by doughanson78
Photo of azdback
azdback

Arizona

4.83/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. Dark, dark brown, edges are a much lighter and transparent brown. Light carbonation bubbles rise to the top but don't do much when they arrive. No head at all and we will see about the lace, but with the high ABV I don't expect much.

Smell is a whole lot of barrel. There is coffee and booze. Just tons of dark roasted malt.

Taste is very coffee, kind of like the coffee hard candies you can buy in the bulk section of the grocery store.. Wood, vanilla and booze. Like the smell this is a dark roasted delight!!

Mouth is perfect for a Barrel aged RIS or IS, but the greatest thing about this beer is that it isn't either of those styles. It is classified as an American Strong. What ever you want to classify this. It is very rich and silky. Great carbonation and fullness to the end. Just fantastic beer.

Overall I really enjoyed my Paso Roblesian Barrel Aged Double Imperial Black IPA. Ha Ha. This looked and drank a lot like what I just described. I think anyone that enjoys any style that this beer blended will enjoy this. A must seek out!!!

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2011 06:06:38 | More by azdback
Photo of sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

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

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Many thanks to Chris for sharing!

(A)- Pours a thick pitch black color. Produced a small cap of tan froth. Some lacing.

(S)- A rich and sweet combination of oaky booze soaked raisin and licorice. Bits of sweet molasses.

(T)- Very rich and sweet. A great overall barrel character and composition. Lots of toffee, brown sugar, cocoa, and molasses. Almost has a honey sweetness note to it at the end.

(M)- A mellow carbonation level. A nice balance too. Very rich and sweet but surprisingly has a well hidden ABV.

(D)- I like this one. Age might help it a bit, but its drinking well now. A great strong ale.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2011 00:54:31 | More by sweemzander
Photo of iadler
iadler

Illinois

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

On-tap. Served in a tulip.

A- Pitch black with a small tan head that dissipates fast. No sign of lacing

S- Toffee, molasses, dark fruit, oak, bourbon, vanilla, cinnamon, sweet milk chocolate, brown sugar and booze. So complex as the aroma develops as it warms up. I'm not able to pick up all the notes, but it smells fantastic nonetheless.

T- Follows the aroma with toffee, molasses, fig, plum, black cherry, caramelized raisins, oak, vanilla, bourbon, cinnamon and other spices, milk chocolate and brown sugar. The bourbon barreling is noticeable but not overdone.

M- Low to medium carbonation with a medium to high body. Has a slight boozy finish, but for a 12+ ABV, it is extremely drinkable.

O- Wow, this was just a really complex brew. I thought of this as a mix of an Imperial Stout, Strong Ale and Old Ale. Whatever style this really qualifies as, it's a damn tasty beer that I would love to try in the future with some years on it.

Serving type: on-tap

08-18-2011 05:14:01 | More by iadler
Photo of srandycarter
srandycarter

California

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

A - Very dark brown, very little head. Small beady lace, but not much. Some ring.

S - Hershey's syrup, light bitter and malt.

T - Chocolate theme. Mostly Hershey, CC cookies in there. Sharp heat. Good bitter.

M - Heavy, low carbed, balanced to the sweet but the bitter does try.

D - High ABV and a palate killer, but it's so tasty...

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2011 04:39:46 | More by srandycarter
Photo of cjacobsen
cjacobsen

Illinois

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

(A) Pours very dark, opaque black with a very very small head that dissipates extremely quick.

(S) Licorice and a bit of wood/oakiness. Some hops linger throughout the aroma. There's some dark fruits and a bit of cocoa that makes their way in. A slight hint of booze toward the end of the smell.

(T) Vanilla, toffee, some coffee, cocoa, some oakiness from the booze barrels. Dark fruits and some raisin enter in toward the end of the taste.

(M) Well balanced and smooth. Great medium to full body.

(O) This was a fantastically blended beer. I wish I could have another bottle or few.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2011 00:33:55 | More by cjacobsen
Photo of mcallister
mcallister

Ohio

4.7/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep chestnut bordering on tar. A faint tan head whisps away to a ring around the snifter but reveals a molten lava like round.

Wow amazing nose, soft, feminine, full of bourbon, oak, sweet pitted dried fruits, burnt sugar, caramel, mollasses, milk chocolate, coconut, toasted oak, vanilla, fig, date and on and on. Layers so soft and velvety to the ole factor.

WOW! And even better in the mouth with basically what is in the nose but with a big roasty masculine punch in the teeth. Big bourbon fruitiness, thick toasted coconut, vanilla riddled oak, milk chocolate, toffee, date, fig, cherry, charcoal, pine, earth, some hints of grass, leather, tobacco. Sweet in the middle than dried out with some hop, and wood tannins, and then an oddness how it's both sweet, but roasty, yet tannic. Love it. Velvety smooth, chewy in the middle, and rounded throughout. Just a great beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2011 23:30:47 | More by mcallister
Photo of Pahn
Pahn

New York

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

22oz bottle into a Duvel tulip. Bottled 10/25/10. Kind of dreading writing this review, since I hate my longer reviews, but there's lots to say about this one...

Appearance: Free pour yields a half inch frothy tan head that dissipates steadily and leaves a tight, short-lived ring of lacing. Pours a very dark red brown with red highlights. Looks about as good as a blend of 6 barrel aged beers could, really.

Smell: While pouring, the room fills with the smell of chocolate and coffee. Putting my nose to the glass, the coffee is gone, and I'm greeted rather with some mild oak, a hefty note of banana / raisin like malt, and a small hint of chocolate. Some foresty hops come out with warmth, as does a ton of oak, bourbon, and cookies.

With time, the smell comes to be dominated by oak, bourbon, yellow cake, and alcohol. These are four things that are very dear to me, and I'm compelled to bump the smell score up another half point.

Taste: Thoughts at first sip: "Oh my God, what a taste!" Thick bourbon, oak, caramel, toffee, ripe banana / plump raisin, with a tingly finish of coffee and chocolate. A beer that could taste like that all the way through is a beer that deserves a perfect score. The first sip of this beer is, perhaps, my ideal beer; the god beer.

At the second sip, I'm rocked back into reality by heavy hop bitterness and flavor (piny, herbal, grassy), and a hot hit of alcohol. The cookies and caramel remain, but the character is much different.

The next several sips leave me a bit confused... of course, it's not strange that the beer tastes like a big English pale ale plus English barleywine plus Russian Imperial Stout (plus a ton of oak)... but it's not quite clear that this combo works. Sometimes I get smooth, decadent oatmeal stout characteristics, others I get highly bitter, pale ale notes that seem to clash. Does this beer make any sense?

These bold flavors are all, on their own, very very good, but a) do they work together? And b) are they masking the underlying subtleties that could render this beer world class?

I'll spare you the novel that is my notes on the journey of this beer, but i will say: regarding (b), only a few years in the cellar will answer that, and on that front the beer, at the moment, fails (because those underlying subtleties are glimpsed in various sips, but far too rarely).

Regarding (a), the answer is yes, these bold flavors achieve a great harmony. The high IBUs (this is a very bitter beer, but it's all hop bitterness, no roast) and powerful alcohol heat compliment the extreme richness of the thick stout and barrel flavors. In the end, the flavor settles into a surprisingly simply but delicious, bitter mix of hops, heavy barrel, caramel, cookie influence, with some highlights of chocolate. The aftertaste hints at a greater complexity, but the main perceptible flavors work very well.

Mouthfeel: Full side of medium bodied. Notably smooth and creamy. Heavy heat, heavy hop bitterness. Long, good aftertaste.

Overall: As much as this bold, somewhat palate-wrecking beer hints at higher heights than it reaches, I really enjoyed this bottle. While it may not deliver on all of its promises, it's a surprisingly effective (and identifiable) mash-up of three styles of beer.

I can't tell if the beer's problems would be solved by age, or are rather genuine dilemmas. The heat could stand to be tamed, but wouldn't the defining barrel character also fade with time? Honestly, I doubt that time will bring this beer to its great potential. Still, a remarkable beer that I would happily drink again.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2011 01:13:09 | More by Pahn
Photo of OakedCanuck
OakedCanuck

Washington

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

22oz bottle poured into tulip.

A - Pours a nice deep brown with copper edging. Fluffy off-white head leaving sticky lacing.

S - Sweet sugars of caramel, candied sugar and molasses. Slight piney hoppiness with oak and and bourbon.

T - Grassy bitterness up front followed by the heavy brown sugar, caramel and toffee sweetness. Nice bourbon integration however it was quite alcoholic, almost burning. Oak and some smoke on the back palate

M - Sticky sipper. The alcohol burn is quite strong and hampers the mouth

O - A very good beer. I will revisit in a few years and hopefully the alcohol has settled down. But for now, great beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2011 23:05:04 | More by OakedCanuck
Photo of russwbeck
russwbeck

Virginia

4.88/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Brown pour, not particularly thick coming out of the bottle, but boy does it look so in the glass. A small white head grows up after a hard pour. Not a lot of lacing.

S: Damn this beer smells good. Lots of Bourbon Stout notes coming up (I assume from Parabola), but it's all based on what seems like a nice amount of hops. Truly one of the most complex smelling beers I've come across. Chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, oak, hops, a sweetness I can't quite place, some alcohol. Smelling this beer really sets the bar high, hope the taste holds up!

T: Oh it does. My word it does. As complex as the smell is, this has to rival it. It starts off light, a hit of malts, some chocolate, hops perhaps not not much, followed by a growing sensation of Bourbon Barrel Stout. It's like Parabola, but better if you can imagine that. Once the Bourbon flavors start I get vanilla, wood, bigger chocolate taste, a hint of booze, and the bourbon. The very back end, showing up a while after the beer has left the palate, is dry, almost like some coffee is sticking around just long enough to say hello. All mellowed and blending perfectly. This is what I dream certain beers will taste like with a few years on them.

MF: Heavy body, a little bit of creaminess, but not thick like a melted bar of chocolate. Carbonation is fine, not a lot, but not too little. A bit of a dry finish, the booze isn't offensive at all.

O: Honestly one of the best beers I have ever had. I can't believe this qualifies as an American Strong Ale. Hell I'd give this almost straight 5s as an Imperial Stout.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2011 14:53:30 | More by russwbeck
Photo of Srsly
Srsly

California

4.93/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - nearly black, some brown around the edges with very small brownish head that dissipates quickly
S - spectacularly complex, I get lots of barrel/oak/whisky type notes, with malt and some vanilla underneath. maybe some tobacco or coffee in there too.
T - Again, ridiculously good with so much going on. Definitely the barrel flavors come forward, with more coffee to go with it too. Just enough chocolate sweetness to keep it easy to sip, but no flavor really overpowers the others. A great blend.
M - On the thicker side but definitely not in any way too heavy. I'd like to say rich and smooth. For the 12.5% i got almost no harsh alcohol bite.
O - I really really love this beer. Had it on tap a few days in a row and each time I like it more. It's so complex that I find it very difficult to describe, and I worry that this review isn't quite doing it justice. Wish I had more in the cellar, you know, to really figure out each flavor. ha.

Serving type: on-tap

08-07-2011 09:13:59 | More by Srsly
Photo of jonb5
jonb5

United Kingdom (England)

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

Tasting at BraufactuM. Poured into BraufactuM beer glass. Very dark, small tanned head. Smelled malts and various hops. This is such a complex beer, every mouthful gives you something new. Hints of bourbon, tobaco, dark chocolate, orange and burned malts. For such a strong beer the alcohol was well hidden, I've had weaker beers where you got more booze in the taste. Very nice mouthful, thanks to BraufactuM for bringing this to Europe.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2011 11:06:21 | More by jonb5
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laituegonflable

Australia

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

Pours a very dark colour, just brown at the edges with pleasant ochre head, small bubbles but sparse around the edges. Lace is thin; could be better. Nice colour though.

Smell is sweet, chocolatey, rich and nutty. Lots of peanut brittle, almond and a kind of sweet battery malt to it that gives it a savoury but sweet edge. Oaky, nutty and pleasant. Man it's good.

Taste is sweet, with all the same characters of the nose - sweet, nutty, almost salty at times. Starts sweet with a barleywine complexity to it, burnt sugar and toffee that then develops dark malty roastiness with peanut butter, batter and coffee, some red wine notes as well with oak, cedar and that lovely bourbon vanilla sweetness at the back. A lovely blossoming palate full of delicious flavours; just drink it.

Full, smooth, with a hint of booziness at the back that adds a slight sharpness. Otherwise beautiful.

Delicious beer, with a perfectly drawn balance between those rich, dark beer flavours and the sweeter flavours from the booze and oak.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2011 23:45:33 | More by laituegonflable
Firestone 14 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 604 ratings.