Firestone 14 - Anniversary Ale
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Firestone 14 - Anniversary AleFirestone 14 - Anniversary Ale
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From:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
 
California, United States
Style:
Strong Ale - American
ABV:
12.5%
Score:
97
Avg:
4.4 | pDev: 8.86%
Ratings:
724
Status:
Retired
Rated:
Mar 21, 2021
Added:
Nov 02, 2010
Wants:
  213
Gots:
  543
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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Ratings by ThrewRedButter:
Photo of ThrewRedButter
3.84/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
by ThrewRedButter from Massachusetts

L - Pitch black with dark brown edges and less than a finger of khaki-colored head

S - Bourbon is still big and sweet after all this time. Also some cherry ,oak, and coffee.

T - Fluffy milk chocolate and strong bourbon, but that's about it. Noticeable lack of other flavors that pop. Also appears to have some oxidation with some black licorice and Sherry-like qualities. Subtle roasted malts and coffee too.

F - Velvety, smooth, and thick. Lack of carbonation is obvious as is the absence of alcohol.

O - FW Anniversary Ales are not meant for aging. Drink them fresh.

Nov 26, 2015
More User Ratings:
 
4.5 by brittanylicious from Indiana on Mar 21, 2021
Photo of GuyFawkes
3.25/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25
by GuyFawkes from Illinois

2010 vintage; drank 2/26/15 @ Harvest Hop Haus.

Rusty brown/orange appearance.

Minimal khaki head; no lace.

Marshmallow, milk chocolate & mild booze heat in the nose.

Medium thick, sticky mouthfeel.

Booze heat, caramel & faint pickle juice flavors.

Drinkable but not enjoyable; clearly past its prime.

Jan 01, 2020
 
4.62 by Hangryginger from Connecticut on Dec 23, 2019
 
4.46 by SadMachine from New Jersey on Dec 01, 2019
 
4.21 by QuakeAttack from California on Jun 03, 2019
 
4.33 by prototypic from Ohio on Apr 13, 2019
Photo of LiquidAmber
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by LiquidAmber from Washington

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, appearing opaque black in the glass with a thin brown head that dissipates to patches with slight lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt, molasses, dates, vanilla, oak and a little oxidation. Flavor is dark toasted and caramel malt, vanilla, milk chocolate, dates, a little coffee and whiskey. Medium bodied with light creaminess. As always with this fine ale, the stout and barleywine characters are dominant, but well balanced. I get clear notes of Sticky Monkey too. Age has mellowed everything into a dark and malty whole with lots dark fruit flavors. Probably aged this a little beyond the pale, but it has held up beautifully. I'm not sure there is any reason to age these any longer. I'm going to be digging out my 15 and 16 too in the next few months. This is one of the great blended strong ales anywhere.

Feb 25, 2019
Photo of stakem
3.82/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by stakem from Pennsylvania

Bomber into a snifter appears dark brown with khaki head.

The aroma includes caramel, vanilla, molasses, raison and booze. Overall mostly a sweet malty nose to this.

The taste is sweet caramel, vanilla, molasses, raison and slight papery oxidation in the aftertaste.

This is medium in body with light carbonation. Overall this was much better than I was anticipating.

Jan 08, 2018
 
4.31 by WormGod from New York on Dec 11, 2017
Photo of rudzud
4.13/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by rudzud from Massachusetts

Picked this up at Russell's in Amherst almost 6 years ago.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a nice deep dark brown almost black with a thin half finger fizzy mocha head that fades very quickly to leave a thin, thin halo and light wispy blanket.

S- Aromas of dark fruits, caramel, coconut, toffee, some light malt sweetness as well as some leather like aromas. Little bit of raisins. No discernible alcohol.

T - Taste is similar to the nose. Still a little hot alcohol wise. Sweet dark fruits, raisins, nice chocolate notes, like dark chocolate covered raisins. Some sweet caramel and toffee, almost sticky sweet. Maybe some coffee notes, I almost get a little flash of apples. Very little vanilla and oak.

M - Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, alcohol is light. Finish is a bit sticky.

O - Overall this was a solid beer. The age has really mellowed this beer out, but at the cost of it becoming very sticky and on the sweet side.

Serving Type: Bottle

Aug 30, 2017
 
4 by Erik-P from Canada (BC) on Aug 03, 2017
 
5 by wiescins from Illinois on Jun 05, 2017
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.37/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

Firestone Walker Brewing Co. "14th Anniversary"

I actually had this with David Walker at Capone's Restaurant in Norristown, PA on 13 April 2011. I can't remember if it was draft or bottle and it's not listed in my notes, but I believe it was on tap. He explained to me what was in the blend it was made up from but I wasn't aware of any of those beers at the time so it didn't mean anything to me. But I told him I was aware of Double Barrel Ale, and that I used to drink that quite often. "But how's that possible?" he asked, "They haven't been available until now" - it was the Firestone Walker release party as they'd just started distribution in PA. "Ah, when you're traveling." he said, beating me in answering his own question, but no, I countered, that wasn't it. I had to think about it - "Ah, yes, I used to have to go to Maryland to get it. State Line Liquors." Which was actually traveling, but not in the same sense he'd meant it. He remembered. Apparently, State Line was the only place in MD that distributed it back then. Anyway...

Appearance: Brown -black body beneath a short head of tan that holds fairly well and leaves some minor spots and splashes of lacing behind.

Aroma: Alcohol, caramel, oak, coconut, toffee, vanilla, chocolate and light dark fruits.

Flavor: Mainly malty with creamy coffee, bittersweet chocolate, dark fudge, milk chocolate, a touch of oak, and molasses. Some fruitiness makes its way through with apple, sweet red cherry, and some fig and prune. It finishes dry with some alcoholic heat and nuttiness. The flavor fades quickly but the heat goes on.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied. Moderate carbonation. Velvety. Creamy. But with some heat.

Overall: Impressive. Quite a rich beer. I can forgive the alcohol a bit given it's greater qualities.

Mar 03, 2017
 
4.5 by Casey3236 from Pennsylvania on Nov 13, 2016
 
4 by suckaj from Florida on Oct 27, 2016
Photo of StraightNoChaser
4.66/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by StraightNoChaser from Georgia

6 years old. A gift from a generous pal.
look: very dark, nearly opaque ruby. A modest tan head on the pour that mostly dissipates. Some transient lacing. Tick, viscous legs.
smell: Rich, complex, decadent nose. Dark fruit, vanilla, chocolate, coconut, oak, a hint of booze.
taste: Holy shit. All the flavors of the nose but instead of the sipper i was expecting, it is paradoxically rich, decadent, but easy drinking and mellow. It's, well....perfect. I wouldn't change a thing.

Jul 31, 2016
 
3.98 by Stinger80OH from Ohio on Jul 25, 2016
 
4.18 by GraduatedCashew from California on Jun 22, 2016
Photo of colts9016
4.75/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
by colts9016 from Idaho

A very dark beer with a creamy darker tan one finger head. The head has some retention. The beer has some legs on it.

A rich boozy nose with char, chocolate, caramel, toffee, dark roasted coffee, bourbon, vanilla, wood, earth, honey, and hint of citrus.

The beer is rich with toffee, vanilla, dark roasted coffee, milk chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, wood, earthy, yeasty, bready, biscuit, caramel, char, honey, floral, and some citrus.

The mouthfeel is creamy, slightly carbonated, chewy, coating and the finish lingers pleasantly.

This beer is magnificent. The beer has taken to age very nicely, the flavor meld so well together and finishes on a phenomenal note.. Leaving my mouth salivating for another sip. Well worth the wait to age it. Just incredibly delicious.

Jun 16, 2016
 
4 by Can_has_beer from Texas on Jun 06, 2016
 
3.94 by charrel from Texas on May 14, 2016
Photo of rodbeermunch
4.15/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by rodbeermunch from Nevada

The darkest in the history of the FW anniversary beers, this one drops black. Light tan head 1/4". So much bourbon and sweet cracker jack toffee nose stylings.

Another great blend, easy drinking despite the heavy malt and abv. Bourbon still heavy but not hot. You want complexities, jeez, chocolate, bourbon, oak, syrup, rum, brandy, smoked malts and wood. Strangely, not viscous, thinner than its appearance would suggest. Throw in some dark sugar notes to smooth it out with oatmeal.

Aged quite nice.

Apr 29, 2016
Photo of Angerhaus
4.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
by Angerhaus from Rhode Island

Per the information sheet in the box: "The blend consists of: 31% Double Double Barrel Ale, 29% Sticky Monkey, 27% Parabola, 7% Velvet Merkin, 3% Good Foot, and 3% Black Xantus. As a finished beer, 14 is brimming with amazing flavors and textures. DDBA leads the blend lending American toasted oak, English caramel toffee and light leather nuances. Newcomer, Sticky Monkey, folds in the taste of brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, ginger and ripe figs. Parabola brings the familiar flavors of bitter dark chocolate and cherry pit. Velvet Merkin carries silky bourbon soaked chocolate cake goodness to the party while a touch of Black Xantus teases coffee and tobacco. Last, but not least, Good Foot brings the hops... hints of citrus zest and tangerine, which adds a pop to the aroma and nice finish to this big, sexy brew."

The coffee and hops have, of course, walked away like Sam and Frodo taking the one ring to Mordor. The flavor that I felt most survived is that of the figs and cherry. Those dark fruits hit you in the nose and follow on the tongue in a manner that reminded me a lot of smoked bourbon. Beyond that, the nose was such a pleasant mix of bourbon, dark fruits, and molasses that my birthday celebrators and I had a conversation about just that for almost 10 minutes.

Like many superior blended beers, it was dangerously drinkable. While we sometimes like to hoard our good stuff, I was glad to have a few friends with which to share this. Having it alone would have left me blitz out of my mind, and I don't know that I would have felt right drinking a bottle like this without some friends to enjoy it with me. I realize that such a statement is not the greatest way to empirically describe a beverage, but sometimes the intangibles are what help us to enjoy what we're drinking. Honestly, think to yourself about the beers you've celebrated in the company of good friends, only to find that they didn't have the same level of enjoyment on your own. This is not to say that I would not have found FW14 delightful on my own, merely that this goes into a class of beer that is best enjoyed with people that help you smile, people that help you laugh, and, quite simply, people that deserve to share your best bottles.

Mar 23, 2016
 
4.5 by thinwhiteduke from Illinois on Mar 19, 2016
 
4.31 by JamesStreet from Louisiana on Feb 28, 2016
 
4.16 by rab53 from Washington on Jan 23, 2016
 
4.96 by hopazoid from Minnesota on Dec 26, 2015
 
4.25 by jrob21 from Georgia on Dec 24, 2015
 
4.37 by ChristianSmith from Oregon on Dec 04, 2015
Photo of PhilKeller
4.72/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by PhilKeller from Oregon

Ha ha ha

Dec 02, 2015
 
4.21 by qchic from Maryland on Nov 27, 2015
 
4 by w5baron from Pennsylvania on Oct 21, 2015
Photo of maxifunk777
5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
by maxifunk777 from California

All most five years old and fantastic on all levels this was a wonderful beer drinking experience!
I now truly understand what long term cellaring does for a Great beer! Firestone Walker just might be the best barrel age beer makers in California and that is a huge statement!

Oct 08, 2015
 
4.19 by wellsnb from Ohio on Aug 24, 2015
Photo of Beersnake1
4.73/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by Beersnake1 from California

Poured from cellar temp to tulip. Very little carbonation and jet black. The smell immediately permeates the air. Divine. Smells of molasses and licorice with some deep barrel notes. The taste is absolutely incredible. Five years from bottling (almost), and it's incredibly smooth. The licorice is very dominant. Some sweet, dark fruits are also very strong. Blackcurrant, cranberries, blueberries, vanilla, and a bit of citrus peel. Some heat in the aftertaste. Has held up really well over the years, and I'm glad I cracked it now and not later. Incredible beer from Firestone.

Aug 16, 2015
 
4 by akang from California on Jul 18, 2015
 
4.6 by Kmat10 from Canada (AB) on May 13, 2015
 
4.46 by Svyturys30 from Illinois on May 07, 2015
 
3.99 by kplooki from Illinois on May 03, 2015
Firestone 14 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 724 ratings