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Firestone 14 - Anniversary Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
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299 Reviews
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Firestone 14 - Anniversary AleFirestone 14 - Anniversary Ale
BEER INFO

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

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.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
299
Ratings:
709
Avg:
4.33
pDev:
14.09%
 
 
Wants:
220
Gots:
547
For Trade:
26
View: Beers | Events
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Reviews: 299 | Ratings: 709
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.

 775 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
4.15/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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.

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Photo of Angerhaus
4.63/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

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.

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Photo of ThrewRedButter
3.84/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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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 Beersnake1
4.73/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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.

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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 Duhast500
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured From a bomber into a La Fin Du Monde tulip glass.

The color is a dark black with maroon highlights and a finger of foamy brownish head the dissolves quickly leaving just a slight touch of lacing on the glass.

The smell has a slight porter aroma in the nose with some dark malts coming out first in the nose. There is a coffee grounds aroma here that seems to be a bit dry. There also is a slight fig and date aroma here too way in the back.

The taste is big chocolate with a huge caramel coming out and filling all four corners of your palette. It’s like a liquid candy bar with some nice creamy flavor around the middle that takes you for a ride. A very milky chocolate welcomes you then a warm caramel comes in and coats the tongue. Sweetness comes in toward the end before backing off and letting in just a shadow of bitterness at the end. There is almost a bananas foster flavor that comes out in the aftertaste. Some slight banana with a creamy flavor melded with a caramel core holding everything in place in the aftertaste.

The feel of this beer is medium bodied and hides the high ABV well. Your mind is on the taste and the smoothness of the body before you realize you’ve had a heavyweight beer. This beer is pretty drinkable with just slight moments when the boldness of this beer is seen. Just a perfect balance of body and taste that lets you enjoy this beer without being heavy handed.

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of JayQue
4.22/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Looks like I'm not the only one to age this beer for over 4 years. Pours a dense brown color with some light coming through. Minimal light tan head that fades fast and very light lacing. Aroma is impressively strong. The oak and malt are dominant but there is significant vanilla and some chocolate as well.

Flavor is more of the same. Primarily a big malty beer with significant oak flavor. The vanilla and chocolate are more subdued. This is a pretty complex mix of beers but the Parabola stout appears to be the most significant in the mux.

Mouthfeel is rich and creamy. The four plus years of aging have taken care of whatever alcohol "burn" might be present. The alcohol is mostly a warming presence.

A great slow sipper. Plan on trying "15" for next weekend's round of football games.

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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.

 259 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.4/5  rDev +1.6%

A great brew that has matured beautifully since it's release. Deep brown to cope in color and now with just a prickle of carbonation. The nose is heave whiskey barrel, and the malt of the big esb component seems to come through the most. Chocolate and roast on the front end of the taste while more fruitiness develops later on. Plums and dried dates come to mind, and the whole thing has a very brandy flavor to it. Vanilla and oak are long finishing and while the booze is back, the sweetness if the beer is robust, toffee like. Huge sticky body akin to other barrel aged beers from Firestone, silky as any too going down. A real treat to share this after all this time, I bet it could hold on a few more years, but no reason not to pop it open now if you are lucky enough to have one!

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Photo of smakawhat
3.99/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter at a tasting. Thanks to Russwbeck for the bottle!

Pretty much like it's 13th brother, mahogany brown bottle, slightly silky coming out with a chestnut hue, and a faint tan collar. Looks slightly dead and lifeless with not much going on, almost kind of sludgy.

Classic bouquet of toffee and caramel, but with less of a fruit quality than expected from previous anniversaries. Thick and sticky.

Much of the palate is classic, but with a lighter drinking body. Light toffee with more of an emphasis on caramel. Some interesting notes of black licorice/anisette qualities as well. Simple rounded body with a fairly one dimensional solid palate.

Overall pretty good and a straightforward take on their classic strong ale series.

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Photo of stephens101
2.96/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Dark brown with a pure tan head. Smells of milk chocolate, ripened cherries, plum and dark bread. Taste is limited to milk chocolate, vanilla and dark fruits. Cloying and too rich to handle with the alcohol coming in overly strong to add insult to injury. A highly rated, but simple and lopsided beer, which of course makes me question my "beersanity" but confirms my perception with another sip. Might be good in small doses, not unlike cough syrup or moonshine.

 463 characters

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.

 807 characters

Photo of megahurts4
4.57/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Firestone Walker 14th Anniversary

Appearance: dark brown, small-medium head, and some nice lacing.

Smell: molasses, vanilla, and oak among many other subtleties.

Taste: rich bodied oak, barley, light molasses, some vanilla, and other subtle sensations.

Mouthfeel: medium and full bodied smoothness.

Overall:
The initial impressions seemed like a setup for disappointment. Boy was I wrong. The Mouthfeel is fantastic and flavor is quite wonderful. The matching aroma isn't there, but it isn't lackluster. This has been aged about 2 years.

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Photo of itsiilegal
4.31/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured somewhat murky brownish black. Very thin dark khaki lacing that dissipated to a thin ring and eventually disappeared completely. Very viscous and oily looking.

The aroma is a very rich caramel, cocoa and brown sugar with faintest woodiness. The aroma of sweetness and booze has mellow very nicely with age.

Straightforward caramel hangs out for moment then a wave of brown sugar, cocoa, coconut, vanilla, coffee and rich bourbon overwhelms everything. Very rich flavors, balanced with enough intensity from the barrel, coffee and cocoa flavors.

The mouthfeel is spot on for a beer of this style. Enough carbonation has remained to let it dance on your tongue. It is also oily and mouth coating.

Fourteen is one of the most balanced barrel aged strong ales there are. Firestone, its brewers, blenders and cellar masters are very good at what they do. I enjoy this more than the other Anniversary beers (only tried 13-16). I have one more bottle and will probably open it within the next 6 months as the cap underside is showing signs of spoilage (it did not affect any flavor).

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Photo of vfgccp
4.56/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opened July 2013

A - Great, deep mahogany cola body. Light khaki head sits low. Poor retention and lace.

S - Rum raisin, huge pumpernickel, nutmeg, clove, hazelnut, vanilla. Soft, smooth, and complex.

T - Unbelievable complexity with killer staying power. Soft vanilla and booze open the profile for spiced fruit and brown breads. Cinnamon, cardamon, nutmeg, clove, anise. Dark chocolate, plum jam, and medium roast coffee beans through the center. Killer molasses, coffee, and fresh hazelnut notes through the finish.

M - Creamy, silky smooth, full body.

O - An awesome brew. It's not the 15, but then again not many beers in history have been.

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Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.09/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml bottle 12,5% Abv.
Served lightly chilled and split between a wine glass and a snifter.
2010 Vintage

Thanks to rfraga77 for this bottle.

Appearance: Firestone Walker 14 appears an ultra deep brown in the glass, with a strong back light revealing a fantastic deep red body that fades into golden amber along the edges. A rough pour yields a small tan coloured head that lasts reasonably well, but doesn't leave much in the way of lacing. A light swirl regenerates a little foam and coats the glass in some heavy alcohol legs.

Smell: The initial nose is certainly not what I was expecting from this beer and is in someway reminiscent of an aged JW Lees. Big dark fruity notes (cherries and plums) dominate alongside brown sugar, dark caramel, molasses, a little booze, a touch of roasted malt and sadly some oxidization. The barrel character is present, but is not as big as I was expecting and adds notes of sweet vanilla, butterscotch and some oak.
As the beer begins to warm, the nose becomes quite a lot sweeter,

Taste: Delicious! Thankfully the majority of the oxidization that was present in the nose is almost absent from the flavour. Notes include: Brown sugar, dark caramel, toffee, butterscotch, dark fruits (notably cherries and dates), molasses, a light vanilla bourbon note, a faint hint of roasted malt, a little milk chocolate and little booze. As the beer warms, it be comes very sweet and is actually a little much by the end of the bottle.

Mouthfeel: The body is just shy of full and lightly sticky, with a medium-high level of fairly smooth carbonation. I am sure that many would disagree, but for me this was quite overcarbonated. Thankfully it does settle down fairly quickly and is smooth enough not to be all that bothersome.

Overall: FW 14 is a great strong ale and I was stoked to finally taste it, however I have a feeling that it is not quite the beer it was when it was bottled. I would recommend that anyone holding onto a bottle drinks it as soon as possible.

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Photo of IKR
4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance:Very dark-brown coloring with a small beige head that fades to a ring.

Smell: Bourbon, browns sugar/toffee, mild vanilla, and some faint tobacco notes. The barrel elements are the prominent features in the nose.

Taste: Bourbon, brown sugar, vanilla, slight oak, mild roasted malts, some mild oak, faint tobacco, and red wine-like notes. The finish is fairly dry with some faint hop notes present in the end. perhaps it's the age but very understated alcohol presence for the listed ABV.

Mouth-feel: Medium bodied with a modest level of carbonation. Spot on for the style.

Overall: I thought time was confusing my perception of earlier FW anniversary beers, but no, I much prefer this and the earlier iterations to 15 and 16, no comparison. Great beer that makes me hope Firestone Walker goes back towards the earlier blends then those of the recent Anniversary beers.

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Photo of GonzoHomebrewer
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Opened for the third period of the B's game tonight

A Pours pitch black with a very thin mocha head, has some legs to it but also looked thin upon pour.

S- This is where the beer shines the most for me. An incredibly deep, complex blend of vanilla, dark fruits, toffee, oak, char, dark roasted coffee and caramel. really could smell this all day as it has mellowed to an icredibly well rounded barrel aged beer on the nose.

T- A more subdued version of the nose with a mild presence of alcohol heat; The brandy/dark fruit component seems to linger really long; to the point where it is reminiscent of belgian quad. Overall still very good, but the nose had promise for more.

M- creamy, yet I wouldn't really call it full, thick or luscious, which is what I wouldve preferred.

O- I was surprised at how much alcohol heat was still on this, this was pretty warming still. Good beer, could probably be aged a little longer to see if that heat goes away, but I feel as though the taste may mellow to a point that the mellowing of the flavors would negate any gain in mellowing of alcohol heat. Good beer, I'd drink my bottles now if I had any more.

 1,153 characters

Photo of shand
4.24/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

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Photo of mikeyv35
4.13/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Date: 09/26/2011
Type: 22oz. Foiled Bomber
Vintage: 2011
Glass: Free The Hops Snifter courtesy of Zach (beeruser)

Pours a deep brown mahogany in color w/ light black highlights w/ a skim coat white head that leaves little to no lacing. Aromas of bourbon, oak, cola, and caramel. The taste was of caramel/toffee/raisins up front, followed by bourbon and woodiness. Medium bodied and lush. I could not drink alot of this brew as it is very warming. This brew is best shared w/ friends.

Overall, not mind blowing, but very good.

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Photo of artoolemomo
4.48/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Very carbonated with definite rush akin to a saison or a quadrupel. The body is incredibly opaque. A dark chestnut that is almost black. The head pours under a finger and dissipates quickly. I didn't even get much to time to really look at it but was your typical darkish beige of stouts and beers of this type.

Nose- There is a lot of chocolate and raisins on the initial sniff. There is also caramel, toffee, and vanilla. None of it is terribly strong but it is quite inviting.

Taste- The first observation is that this is starting syrupy sweet but this dissipates quickly into a flavor profile reminiscent of the best imperial stouts. The first thing I notice is coconut, then cherry, followed by chocolate, oak, and basic woody. The alcohol is almost nonexistent except for a slight burn at the end. There are notions of fig and tobacco also. However, these flavors have been muted by age and bring out a more integrated beer. While I may have enjoyed the brash complexity when it was green more, this is resplendent with its charms. There are also notes of licorice.

Mouthfeel- Perhaps the least enjoyable aspect of what is proving to be a very nice beer. It's a little thinner than I would like but not so much that it really detracts from the beer much at all.

Drinkability- Could be terrifying. Thankfully, this comes at the cost of 25 dollars and 2 years so maybe I will be able to hold back?

Overall- Very nice indeed. This is an A to A+ beer- my guess is that it would have been closer to the A+ when it was younger.

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Photo of Rutager
4.26/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Tried this at a Parabola release in Seattle a couple years ago and have been sitting on a couple of these for a while. Probably should have reviewed it sooner, but with my buying habits any beer that can wait, usually does for a while...

Appearance. Pours a deep brown with a thin, light tan head.

Smell. Sticky toffee, light bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, caramel and a bit of coffee. There's a touch of dark fruit and some nice smooth booze as well. Smells sweet and decadent.

Taste. Sweet toffee again, raisins, very woody bourbon, chocolate and vanilla. There's a good amount of booze here but it's fairly smooth.

Mouthfeel. Full bodied, low+ carbonation, warming for sure.

Overall. A very nice, big sweet sipper. I'll be enjoying this one for the whole evening I'm sure.

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Firestone 14 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 299 ratings.
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