Firestone 14 - Anniversary Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Firestone 14 - Anniversary AleFirestone 14 - Anniversary Ale

Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
The blend consists of: 31% Double Double Barrel Ale, 29% Sticky Monkey, 27% Parabola, 7% Velvet Merkin, 3% Good Foot, 3% Black Xantus

Added by ZX6Chris on 11-02-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 300 | Ratings: 712
Photo of maxifunk777
5/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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!

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Photo of jthor018
5/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pours dark brown or black. Didn't really care. I got no head with either of my glasses.
S: Smelled delicious. Caught bourbon and alcohol.
T: Amazing. I know it is a mix of a bunch of beers but all I taste is alcohol and a stout. But better than a stout. If that makes sense.
M: Drinks like a fine wine or scotch.
D: I thought it was a sipper until I pounded that last glass like water. I could drink this all day long except it puts me on my ass.

I picked up 3 bottles of this with the hopes of aging at least one. I doubt they'll last through the week.

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Photo of Harvest06
4.93/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Consumed January 2015, 4 years and 3 months after its release in Oct of 2010. This has aged exceptionally well and appears to be at its peak. It has an amazing plethora of flavors, is mellow and well rounded, drinks like a well aged wine. Served at about 55F.

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Photo of pumptrick
4.92/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Beautiful presentation, my first 20 dollar bottle. Includes a box and a letter describing the contents. Silver pull tab and bottle cap. Poured hard into my Reidel stimless red wine glass. Dark brown with little light brown head. I was hoping for black and a little more head. (arent we all) This thing smells all kinds of wonderful, fruit like figs come to mind chocolate and whiskey. Sweet. The taste comes from the smell just the same sweet like dark fruits maybe fig, cant quite figure it out. taste is exceptional and could drink lots more.

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Photo of Srsly
4.92/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

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Photo of panicspread33
4.92/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

the numbers say it all with this beer. Had it at binnys south loop after the terrible bears game.

Appearance-dark burnt black with a touch of brown. Tan chcolate brown lace from the head.

Smell-a upfront roast similiar to a faint espresso, with a touch of earthy hops.

Taste-a touch of bourbon with a great dark fig and plum note. In perfect balance a large toasty stout note.

Mouthfeel-smooth carbonation with a nice rich silky body that slides back to an amazing finish.

Drinkability-off the charts the easiest drinking beer at that abv that I have had in a long time. Thank you firestone for coming to Chicago!

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Photo of OStrungT
4.9/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours a very dark brown color that when held up to the light just barely shows a slight dark mohogany color. It boasts a thin light brown head that fades fast, leaving no lace.

There is a lot going on in the nose on this one. I detect dark fruits up front. Figs and raisins. I get some smooth vanilla. Bourbon is present, but not overpowering. Some bitter cocoa. Sweet toffee and caramel mix in as well. You can detect the 12.5% ABV in this aroma.

This beer has as complef a flavor as it does aroma. Vanilla first, with some fig/raisin flavors. Bourbon is present, more dominate in the flavor than the aroma. It has a very sweet caramel flavor. It is damn sweet.

This beer is very full bodies. It warms the mouth, throat, and stomach on the way down. This beer is low in carbonation, fitting the style.

This beer is definately a sipper. The very aggressive flavor and the high alcohol content make this one hard to put down by myself, but I think I will manage.

Overall: I felt that the 4th of July would be as good a day to crack open the $22.95 bottle. I have been sitting on it for a while. I am glad that I opened it. It is great. Firestone Walker is quickly becoming one of my favorite breweries. This beer is great and will last all night long.

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Photo of oldsailor
4.89/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Glad we hit this one when we did as I feel that it's probably on the down stroke for flavors right now. Not as punchy as an Anniversary typically is; though this is the oldest one I've tasted. Nice sweetness to it and the tobacco/leather is very prevalent and appreciated. Overall, another great year for Firestone!

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Photo of russwbeck
4.86/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

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Photo of Bobheed
4.85/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured out of 22 oz bomber

A: Very dark brown, close to blackness but when held up to the light can see the brown. Light tan head that is fairly small, but continual lacing

S: The question would really be what do you not smell? Get a bit of everything, fig, coffee, brown sugar, slight hop presence, slight vanilla smell also.

T: The taste is even more complex than the nose. Immediately hit with alcohol presence that was nearly absent from the nose, reminded me of a good quad when it initially hit my tongue. Then fades into a nice roasted malt flavor ending with lots of smooth coffee. Parabola is very present at the end of the sip and aftertaste.

F: Very smooth, not tons of carbonation, which, to me, is perfect for this beer. Left with alcohol warmth on my tongue and in my chest a bit after the sip.

Overall this beer is godly. I'm glad I picked up more than one for aging purposes. Very complex brew and I would pick up more in an instant if I hadn't bought the last from my store.

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Photo of JamnesCameron
4.83/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tall snifter. Bottled 10/25/10 at 13:34.

Pours an inky black with a big, two fingered light tan head that drops within a few minutes. Lacing evident. Surprising for the high alcohol and barrel aging.

Aromas of bourbon (oak and vanilla), some cocoa, coffee, dark roasted malt, licorise, but oak and vanilla dominate.

First sip is of vanilla, oak, alcohol heat, not able to pick out any particular hop flavor, dark fruits, rum raisins, prunes, licorise, slightly sour. Very multi-dimensional brew. Finish is long and hot, plenty of bourbon notes, vanilla and oak tannins.

Mouthfeel is medium/heavy, with a thick, sticky, viscous, almost oily consistancy. Warming alcohol. Tannins are mouthcoating.

Very drinkable, complex brew. Almost like a sipping whiskey. Very nice effort.

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Photo of mfunk9786
4.82/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! Picked up a bottle at Joe Canals (really, how is this still on the shelf?!) when I went to get XV - I had it last year when Firestone Walker hit Pennsylvania but haven't had it since. Wow, this stuff is really really impressive. It pours lighter than a stout but blacker than a barleywine - there's some light getting through during the pour, but not much. Very little head but excellent lacing and retention. Smells like wet oak, toffee, chocolate, some faint coffee, vanilla; and of course, bourbon. After a year, alcohol is still quite prickly on the tongue. The beer tastes like an oak bourbon barrel sat in a sauna for 3 months and then was wrung out into a glass of Parabola - and as weird as it sounds, I mean that in a positive sense. The very sweet vanilla characteristics of the rather overhyped Parabola dominate, but there's a nice sharp alcohol burn and pleasantly low carbonation that provides balance to the whole experience. Wet oak, wet oak, wet oak. Some sticky toffee pudding and vanilla bean in the middle of the taste. A world class dessert beer - bravo to Firestone Walker! Can't wait to try the XV. If you have a bottle of 14, get your head out of your ass and go get it from the cellar - it's tasting mighty nice right about now and it's becoming clearer and clearer that Firestone Walker beers are best fresh, even when they're bigguns.

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Photo of lyletaka
4.82/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Again another great anniversary ale...I'll drive the 70 miles up to the taproom to get this stuff. Surprised to see other people on a Wednesday to be in line to buy this wonderful brew...and no wonder! Great taste and not as much sweetness as 13. My buddy and I enjoyed the brew and decided to play 27 holes with a sweet buzz. Looking forward to 15!!!

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Photo of elNopalero
4.82/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I tasted this as part of a flight at an epic bottle share. The review is from my notes, based on at least 1 ounce and at most 2 ounce pours. In most instances this would be an insignificant sample size but considering the fact that I could quite possibly never even see this beer again, well, I couldn’t pass it up. [This is my standard intro to my tasting notes from the series.]

The FWXIV pours a dark molasses-cola in color with thin foam. The aroma speaks of molasses and caramel, dark chocolate, and a little leather, blended with candied stone fruits, a touch of vanilla, a hint of almond. There’s a warming glow to it, with stone fruits, vanilla, and a touch of booziness as it opens, lending complexity to coffee, chocolate, and caramel characteristics. Delicious, as if that needed to be said.

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Photo of azdback
4.82/5  rDev +11.3%
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!!!

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Photo of emsoud726
4.8/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Managed to snag a bottle of this in Jersey - tough to come by in PA even though distribution just opened up here.

Poured into a Gouden Draak snifter...I think that did it justice. Poured rather dark, woody brown.

The nose was one that made you know exactly what to expect, toffee, bit of alcohol, candy sugar, bit of wood/earthiness. I'm not a huge fan of pointing out particular scents as they might change based on whatever is around you, so you be the judge.

Mouthfeel was a tiny bit boozy but nothing overwhelming. I'll comment with taste on this, but compared to say, the Bourbon Barreled Angel's Share from Lost Abbey (which was great) it was incredibly smooth.

The taste, very simply, matched the smell of this beer. Toffee, candy sugar, bit of oak (considering the fact that this was the blend of a ton of oaked beers, the 'bit' was surprising). Great stuff.

This was some awesome stuff. The brilliance of the blend is equaled by the taste of this beer. Really hope to get my hands on another bottle.

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Photo of goethean
4.8/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tiny black ring of foam. mostly flat. flavor is a blast of malt and oak. somewhat hot. not super fruity. some roasted malt and grain. a sipper at 13.5 abv. quite a bit of very dark chocolate. complex hints of coffee and whiskey. hugely full bodied (but not as much as Bell's Expedition). finish is of alcohol burn. not a hop in sight. literally sticky with unfermented sugars. with some aging, this could be frighteningly good. insanely dense and potent.

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Photo of axeman9182
4.79/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz bomber, allowed to warm some before being cracked to help ring in 2011. It was poured into my Duvel tulip.

FW14 pours black, but a shade or two lighter than most imperial stouts. The khaki colored head only rises to about two fingers in height. Retention is solid, but the lacing falls a bit short of being impressive. The aroma is an absolutely intoxicating blend of rum soaked figs, burnt brown sugar, and some citrusy hop notes. I was expecting a lot after catching the nose of this beer, but it manages to even surpass that. In addition to the previously mentioned flavors, notes of rich dark chocolate and caramel are added to the mix. The balance among all these flavors is superb, one sip might taste like burnt sugar and caramel, the next dark chocolate and grapefruit. Every component is just about picture perfect in its intensity. The mouthfeel couldn't get any better. The body is rich and full and creamy, and even a little bit silky. Carbonation is very middle of the road, enough verve to elevate the hop notes, while quiet enough to let the malty flavors shine through. This bottle of Firestone Walker 14 was consumed partly in 2010 and partly in 2011, and I feel very confident in saying it would be near the very top of the "best of" list for both years.

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Photo of ManuelHerrera
4.79/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow...Firestone, how are you today?

Potentially one of the most overrated breweries in the country, Firestone's specialty beers keep churning out incredible experiences in beer.

Firestone 14 pours a deep chocolate brown with little head and lacing. The aroma can be smelled from a mile away, and boy is it incredible. Thick toffee and chocolate aromas mixed with a smooth maltiness. It's a blend of bourbon sweetness and a big FAT oak.

The flavor is just as complex and freakin' magical as the aroma. Dark cacao bitterness laced with a singe of hop edge and syrupy malts makes this one hell of a heavy beer. Yet Firestone doesn't mess around, it made a smooth beer that challenges while going down with buttery smoothness. The beer is thick on the palate but ultimately extremely enjoyable.

Holy beer gods this one's a doozy.

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Photo of capeannbass36
4.77/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

10/23/10 date on neck of bottle held to a light

A- Rough poured into a snifter delivers the darkest possible brown without being black. Held up to a light, remarkably I can just about see through this. Not even remotely cloudy. JUST DARK. One half finger tan head disappates rather quickly. Minimal lacing throughout.

S- Sweet, strong, boozy bourbon and vanilla. Alcohol almost burns nostrils....almost. Damn this smells great!

T- Bourbon without a doubt. Some chocolate. Some caramel. Some vanilla. Delicious. Probably too damn good for my "uneducated" palate!

M- Light tingly carbonation. Slick. Warm and boozy.

O- Apparently this bottle is a couple days short of being a year old.
All I can say is...I grabbed this when it first came out...and sat on it.
I cannot get over how many times I passed over the opportunity to get a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th bottle of this.
ARGGHHH!! Kept saying "next week"...while the supply slowly dwindled and disappeared. :(
One of the best for me to date. Really cannot put into words how much I enjoyed this one!!

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.77/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

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Photo of Daniellobo
4.77/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Essentially one of the best brews I´ve ever tasted. Long, complex, and masterful sipper.

Presentation: 22 oz boxed brown capped bottle. Copper colored box with the seal of the brewery presiding it and highlighting the name. Back box label notes history of the brewery, expertise aging brews in barrels, intent of ales and blending process. Inside the box a detailed two sided page offers and extended note about the anniversary, collaboration with winemakers, detailed tasting notes, and an overview of their barrel aging program including a careful breakdown of the different components of the blend. Bottle offers a label with similar colors and presiding brewery seal. 14th anniversay: vintage 2010. Notes 12.5% Alc. by Vol. Served on a snifter.

A - Clear deep brown pour, small brown head, moderate retention, faint surface memory and hardly any lacing. Nothing great to look at but in sync with a brew of this magnitude.

S - Beautiful nose, complex reception with notes of chocolate, caramel, bourbon, dash of coffee, spice... Dash of dark fruits. Uff, pretty complex and long.

T - Taste follows and expands with mastery the nose. This defies my current range of words to describe a brew. Without a pushing note, or an overwhsdelming character it offers a long and complex sweet sense with a nice bitter hint at the back picking up the flow. Plenty of bourbon, brown sugar, caramel, touches of spices... Fruity notes of figs, prunes woven back to boozy chocolate dashes. A bit of coffee shines through occasionally, touches of vanilla/oak, woody hints, even a note of red wine woven in the fruity hints before going back to the caramel/bourbon/toffee dominant flows... And back to the other nuances.

M - Medium/full to full body, moderate to low carbonation, smooth and creamy sense with a well woven boozy presence.

D - A perfect sipper. Top notch without a reservation. If one likes this range of brews this one flows with such a complexity and synchronicity that it is outstanding.

Notes: Whoa, whoa, it has all the range, the nuances, the dexterity that makes one regret every missing sip. Yep, I was quite blown away. One of those strong memories that come back, 24 hrs later I could for an instant feel the distinct memory of the brew.

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Photo of pixieskid
4.76/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This thing was killer, glad to have tried it, enjoyed it much more than the 13th anniversary...could have been the fact it was aged a year.

Rich, creamy mouthfeel, nice carbonation.
Notes of toffee, dark and milk chocolate, espresso, hints of wood, vanilla beans, all melded together to create an excellent sipper.

Downside, a bit pricey, but enjoyed the pour I had and am glad to have tried it!

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Photo of colts9016
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

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.

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Photo of BassBone
4.73/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

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Firestone 14 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.33 out of 5 based on 712 ratings.
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