Firestone 14 - Anniversary Ale
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Firestone 14 - Anniversary AleFirestone 14 - Anniversary Ale
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Style:
Strong Ale - American
ABV:
12.5%
Score:
97
Avg:
4.41 | pDev: 8.84%
Reviews:
305
Ratings:
724
From:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
 
California, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  213
Gots
  542
SCORE
97
World-Class
Firestone 14 - Anniversary AleFirestone 14 - Anniversary Ale
Notes: 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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Reviews: 305 | Ratings: 724 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by AndyAvalanche:
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AndyAvalanche from Massachusetts

4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Cellar dipping big time tonight!

22 oz. bottle poured into a Duvel tulip style glass. Liquid comes out a deep, muddy, dark brown looking color. Same colors, but slightly lighter on the edges especially when you hold it up to the light. Lighter end of kaki colored head with pretty much small bubbles. Head doesn't stick around for too long but it leaves a ring and a slight skimming across the surface after about 10-15 minutes or so. There's lacing with each sip but doesn't leave anything permanently at the top of the glass. Looks like a few of the other Firestone anniversary beers or strong ales I've had in the past, pretty straight forward.

Smell is really good, has a lot going on. I haven't had Sticky Monkey, but I've had both Parabola and DDBA before and there's definitely aromas of a strong blend of those two and some type of barley wine, which is apparently the type of beer that Sticky Monkey is (of course all barrel aged). Strong notes of vanilla and sweet tobacco with hints of chocolate, molasses, hearty grain and some dark sweet dehydrated fruits.

Taste is really awesome. There's a strong grain bill here, really nice. Like a sweet hearty bread. Slight hints of citrus with molasses, tobacco, caramel, plenty of vanilla and even some slightly burned brown sugar. Outside of black and tans, I always thought the idea of blending beer was a little odd, but things like this really makes me a believer and makes you love the complexity of beer in general. Think of all the qualities of a nice stout, a nice barley wine, add a little bit of beers where hops are more noticeable and put them all together (and oh yeah, BARREL AGE IT) and this is what you get. Really tasty beer.

Mouthfeel is good, a really strong, long lasting beer with a lingering flavor, certainly full bodied. Very modest carbonation level, complex, but really well balanced. Initially an herbal/earthy sweetness that goes to a somewhat gritty bitterness in the middle then goes to a warm slightly dryer than I want it to be bitter finish Alcohol is present but not overbearing, it has a nice warming sensation. Really good drinkability, I could sip on this one all day. Really nice beer, Firestone Walker really has an amazing barrel aging operation, I like what they do and have been impressed by all their anniversary beers. This beer held up nicely with 4+ years on it.

Jan 31, 2015
More User Reviews:
Photo of xhuskr
xhuskr from California

3.36/5  rDev -23.8%
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.

Nov 24, 2010
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jhimstedt from Texas

4.5/5  rDev +2%

Feb 01, 2012
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dleiner from New York

4.5/5  rDev +2%

May 17, 2014
Photo of thebouch01
thebouch01 from Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +13.4%

Nov 15, 2011
Photo of TeamUgly
TeamUgly from California

5/5  rDev +13.4%

Nov 26, 2011
Photo of sourdog
sourdog from California

4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Dec 14, 2014
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imperialking from Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

Dec 01, 2011
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mattboyer182 from Indiana

4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Aug 11, 2013
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DCLAguy11 from California

4.5/5  rDev +2%

Aug 22, 2014
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oregone from Oregon

3.05/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle into shifter
Pours fairly low carb. A ring of lace around the edge settles in quickly from the moderate pour and light initial head. Dark brown bordering on transparent black.

Smells decent. Big oak and creamy barrel presence with some age apparent in the softness. Nothing aggressive here. Coconut. Rich maltiness.

Not so good. Stale old soft carboardy flavors. This has not aged well at all. Big hit of coconutty oak and pronounced booziness out of line. Very hot on the finish and the aggressive barrel character lingers on the finish. Some melanoiden and deep malt character fighting the stale flavor.

Nice mouthfeel. The low carb is about perfect here. Luscious, rich and decadent. Would be great if I want the flavor hanging around.

Overall, not great. Not unpleasantly bad, but not good. I'd rather look at it and smell it. I would pass if offered it in the future.

Jan 14, 2012
Photo of SolomonGrundy
SolomonGrundy from California

3.96/5  rDev -10.2%
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.

Nov 21, 2010
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Masters from Massachusetts

4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

Dec 12, 2014
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ehammond1

4.31/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2010)

Thanks for the gift, NoSignsOfPain!

(Aged 1 year)

Very dark brown in color with ruby red highlights near the edges. There is very little visible carbonation and no head to speak of whatsoever.

Divine aroma of toasted coconut macaroon cookies, bittersweet chocolate, mild roast, and plenty of earthy and vanilla bourbon notes. Complete. Mild hint of alcohol until it warms fully to room temperature, then more booze certainly becomes present.

Coconut, bourbon, roast, mild chocolate, and a bit of alcohol heat make for a lovely combination.

Medium mouthfeel with very low carbonation.

A wonderful blend, though I wish it would have been just a tad more carbonated (and thicker).

Nov 01, 2011
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roodie from Texas

4.5/5  rDev +2%

Aug 06, 2013
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wellsnb from Ohio

4.19/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Aug 24, 2015
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patmcd from New York

5/5  rDev +13.4%

Dec 09, 2011
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iflah45 from Massachusetts

4.62/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark dark brown with red highlights when held up to the light. Less than a one finger head that recedes to a creamy ring.

The aroma is rich and full of dark fruits, caramel, toffee, and booze! the alcohol scent is powerful yet it works. Hints of vanilla and oak from the barrels. Looks like a stout, smells like a barleywine!

The taste follows the nose with lots more vanilla in the forefront. Great smoky oak fr the barrel and a hint if cherry and dark fruit. Scrumptious!

Very low carbonation, silky smooth mouthfeel. Little alcohol kick at the end.

Such a treat. Definitely worth the price. It is a true work of art and I'm glad I found one hiding at a local store.

Nov 05, 2011
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Petegrieco from Massachusetts

4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

Dec 12, 2014
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ZombiesAteMyDog from Indiana

4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Aug 28, 2013
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shand from Florida

4.24/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Mmmmm, a barrel-aged blend of a bunch of beers I've never had. Firestone 14 pours a deep brown with a very small head. The aroma is sweet with a ton of bourbon, with layers of complexity that I can tell are there, but can't quite coax out. The complexity comes through more on the tongue by far, with layers on layers of flavor. Vanilla, dark fruit, chocolate, coffee, oak, caramel, toffee, roasted malt, all the flavors you want from a big barrel aged beer are here. Each sip reveals a different facet of the blend. The mouthfeel is a little lighter than I would have expected, but it's very smooth. Overall, Firestone 14 is an excellent barrel aged blend. Very tasty.

Apr 27, 2013
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Btip1969 from Oregon

5/5  rDev +13.4%

Oct 26, 2014
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dgilks from Australia

4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opaque, dark brown colour with a small, smooth, tan head with good head retention. Attractive.

Chocolate, brown sugar, mild coffee, melanoidin, more malt, more sugar and a hint of roast. Lots of fruitiness. Rounded, smooth vanilla oak and caramel notes. Great.

This is a rich and robust dessert beer full of caramelised sugar, cocoa, bourbon, spice, oak, melanoidin and fruit. Nutty. Really good and the blend of beers in here is really good.

Medium-full body with moderate carbonation. Good, dry finish.

I really like this. The barrel character is prominent but well integrated into the rest of the beer. The balance of nut, chocolate, caramel and other malt notes is really good and indicative of a great brewer and an even better blender.

Nov 16, 2011
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scottiethebody from California

4/5  rDev -9.3%

Aug 24, 2012
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Svyturys30 from Illinois

4.46/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

May 07, 2015
Firestone 14 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 724 ratings