Firestone 14 - Anniversary Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Firestone 14 - Anniversary AleFirestone 14 - Anniversary Ale
Liked This Beer
4.4 w/ 716 Ratings
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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Ratings: 716 |  Reviews: 302
Photo of Overlord
3.7/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'm just not sure what to make of these anniversary blends. 10 was fantastic. 11, fresh, was as good if not better. 12 after a few months was also superb. Not the hugest fan of 13, and now ... well, this was fairly meh.

Pours a dark brown with ruby/ruddy highlights. Almost no head or bubbling, just some crust around the edges of the glass.

Smells boozy with bourbon, brandy, and just straight alcohol. Wow. Lot of heat here. Tons of vanilla, oak, and ... chocolate and dark fruits in the aroma.

Taste is surprisingly fruit forward, considering it wasn't really in the nose all that much. Kind of a raisin puree base, with chocolate, more oak, tons of alcohol (bourbon and that kind of weird port alcohol flavor), more alcohol, yet more alcohol, and an interesting aged fruit liqueur flavor mixed in. It's just too. damned. hot, and the base, while flavorful, isn't strong enough to balance it out.

Mouthfeel was nice and slushy, but it was a chore to finish the entire 22 oz., and I love me some booze.

**I pulled the ingredient list out of the trash and was very surprised to see a bunch of barleywines and a double (???) pale ale featured predominantly. Okay... that's interesting ... but I'd say having three or four "lighter" barrel aged beers in the mix is probably the reason for the alcohol heat without the accompanying stronger flavoring.

I don't know ... considering the price tag, I'm tempted to be pretty harsh with this review, but I guess I'll leave the cost out of it. I'm glad I didn't buy more than the three bottles I did.

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Photo of mjn5036
3.7/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Coca-Cola brown in the pour; black whilst in the glass. Small off-white head quickly rises and falls. No visible lacing.
N: The bourbon notes seem to hit me up front, bringing with it caramel, sugar and vanilla. A combination of sweet fruit notes and righteous hops come together to create an interesting smelling brew for sure.
T: Bourbon and dark fruits seem to dominate the palate, with some bitter hops in the aftermath.
M: Big and viscous with too little carbonation to make it as drinkable as I would like.
O: A bit too boozy. While it has a lot going on I don’t think all the flavors are integrated as well as I was hoping for.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.74/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Glad to have a relatively innocuous path to this beer, so far the 11 is the only one I've had to go on an active search for, 25.4 oz. bottle,

A: Pours brown, with a moderate tan head for the so-called style, limited lace.

S: Lots of caramel, some booze. Treacle dominates, an inviting nose as all its brethen in the past have been.

T: Lots of dark chocolate, caramel and barrel. The booze is there a bit, but the overall flavour is nice. Good complexity overall.

M: Full-bodied, fairly smooth, little boozy.

D: Everyone's saying this is the best since the legendary 11, so I was real excited. It's good as they've all been, but the 12 was clearly better earlier. Like the 13 this is a beer that needs some time to find itself, it needs aging, that is my final suggestion for the 14, give it a year.

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Photo of jtladner
3.75/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of skunk242
3.75/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of ParraPalliative
3.75/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of Azrael
3.75/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of POTABLE83
3.75/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of seeswo
3.75/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of CityofBals
3.75/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of kscaldef
3.75/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.75/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of wagenvolks
3.75/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of oldfart
3.75/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of northstar23
3.75/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of Mora2000
3.76/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to mar for sharing this bottle. I have been looking forward to this one.

The beer pours a dark brown coilor with a white head. The aroma is a disappointment. It it not bad, but it is not what I was expecting. I get a lot of soy and toffee, as well as some leather. I also get something that resembles trash. Hopefully the flavor will be better.

For the flavor, I get a lot of roasted malt and chocolate, which is coupled with a lot of barrel-aging characteristics. I get a nice amount of oak and maple, as well as quite a bit of vanilla. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Luckily, the flavor was much better than the aroma, which salvaged this beer. Glad I got to try this one.

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Photo of Sean9689
3.77/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Beerness for the bottle! Poured into a Bruery tulip.

A - Pours dark brown, slightly red. Light tan-colored head, no lace and some whisps remain on top here and there.

S - Lots of booze, oak, chocolate, roast, and malts. There's a large amount of booze here, which I expected, and that stands out over the rest.

T - Booze, chocolate, barrel, caramel, and malts. The barrel character is very nice and I can tell this one is going to be awesome, with the large amount of bourbon I'm getting out of this.

M - Full, smooth and rich, light carbonation, creamy finish.

O - Very boozy, but that's to be expected. I'm going to wait another year and crack another bottle and give this another shot. While it's a good beer right now, I think in another year or so, it will be great.

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Photo of ThrewRedButter
3.84/5  rDev -12.7%
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 DaveJanssen
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

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Photo of Pencible
3.85/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A: This poured a nearly opaque dark mahogany with a bit of tan head.
S: It smelled like lots of bourbon and dark chocolate and rich coffee, with lots of oak and some alcohol.
T: It tasted like super sweet tootsie roll chocolate, with rubbing alcohol and coffee and licorice. It had a super hot and bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was thick and oily with a bit of carbonation. Nice and full.
D: This had a great scent and taste, with excellent body. But tons of alcohol made this a sipping beer only. It was surprisingly not complex, unless all the subtleties were drowned out by the heat. Aging this for a long time would probably turn it into a delicious beast. Drinking it fresh is like tasting a glimpse of its future glory.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.87/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazelnut color. Coffee bubble tan head leaves a lacey coral display consistent skim of retention. Pretty good for 12.5%.

Eathy, dare I say natural aroma of wood char, cocoa nib, blackberry brandy,and dark coffee grounds that have sat in the bodom all night because I forgot to wash it.

With multiple layers of flavor its as complex as all get out. Char, bitter bakers chocolate and brownie batter. Blackberry and black cherry buried under all the char and chocolate. Mild heat. Plush mouthfeel.

I can see what the hype is all about but it's just not my bag baby. There's almost too much going that I can't comfortably process it all. Like acid jazz in beer form.

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.87/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a blackish color with some chestnut brown hues around the color. A soft head with limited retention. Noticeable lacing though.

The nose is complex. Sweet malty undertones with some lighter oak and vanilla notes. Some minor bourbon notes but limited. Some yeasty aromas but kind of hidden by the malt. Some chocolate and toffee notes. Some hint of esters, rose peddles and plums and raisins.

The taste is sweet as well. The malt really comes out with a nice complexity but a bit muddled. Some munich-esk malty notes with chocolate and a hint of roast. Some syrupy almost molasses which lingers into the finish. The oak is light compared to the nose but the bourbon comes out more. Some spicy almost herbal tobacco notes. The yeast is mostly clean, but noticeable esters. Big plum and raisins. Some lighter cloves but limited. Some fusel.

The body is big. Sweet lingers almost on the verge of calling it under attenuated but just a lot going on. Carbonation is very limited to non-exsistant. Overall could use some more time.

 1,032 characters

Photo of JustinA1
3.87/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared with ThreeWiseMen on 11/17/10. Poured into a Brandy Snifter.

A - Pours deep brown and turns pitch black in the glass with brown edges when held up to the light. Light bubbles grace the surface with a small head around the rim. Swirls to a burnt yellow with a half centimeter head.

S - Toffee, Malt Balls, Bourbon and Dark yet Sweet malts. Roasty with a bright nose.

T - Neutralized Bourbon with a light bitter finish. Frankly, hoping for more, Alcohol comes on strong and blasts through the lighter, milder malts without giving them a chance. There's an amber trying to break free. Finishes with a slight medicinal taste and a light hop bitterness.

M - Great, chewy, coats the mouth. Carbonation takes a back seat and allows the fantastic texture and viscosity to pervade. Alcoholic burn in the finish.

D - Lot of alcohol for a fairly mild-flavored beer. I'd give it time, but I worry slightly that age may accentuate some of the negative flavors. Will definitely try again in six months, though.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.88/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 22oz bomber to Bruges hybrid glass on 1/26/12
*From notes

A: Quite a dark beer, almost stout-like in color. A good pour yields a creamy, cascading two finger head. Healthy retention and lacing follow.

S: Slightly vinous, which I credit a bit to it's year-long cellaring. Quality caramel, an abundance of vanilla and a laid back bourbon vibe round out the bouquet.

T: Complex and well put together. Strong, firm stout characteristics dominate. It's still got a hoppy bite to it, and the caramel, vanilla and bourbon roll from the nose right onto the palate. The woody profile really helps to reign in the wild flavors that overwhelm every millimeter of the mouth. Even at a year, this could use a bit more time in the cellar.

M: Creamy, yet not overly thick. It's immensely drinkable and doesn't show too much wear from it's extended barrel aging.

O: Firestone's 14th Anniversary Ale is a pretty solid blend of barrel aged delights. Not as strong as it's individual parts (specifically Abacus and Parabola), but still a worthwhile effort. Recommended, and significantly better then their 15th Anniversary effort.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.9/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


Bottle split with my girlfriend. Appears much the same as the draft version: dark brown with a small beige head. This took a while to open up, but when it did the aroma was quite nice. Notes of caramel, toffee, bourbon, earthy hops, brown sugar, and chocolate are apparent. Alcohol is a bit stronger here. Overall, it smells good, but something is missing. Oxidation seems onerous compared to the keg, and the alcohol is a bit too strong. In the flavor I find notes of brown sugar, bourbon, toffee, caramel, oak, and a strong oxidation character coupled with powerful alcohol. Compared to the draft version, the booze and oxidation are much more apparent, and somewhat distracting. The various flavor components don't seem to meld as well as I'd hoped. Overall, it wasn't exactly how I remembered it tasting on draft, and it suffered for it. Still, a less good Firestone Anniversary is still a good beer. I don't think this one will age well. It seems like it would become more disharmonious, and though alcohol heat would wane, the oxidation is already starting off pretty strong and I don't see a solid foundation for it to build on. Though, I don't think 11, 12, or 13 have really aged for the better, so this isn't a new trend in the Firestone Walker Anniversary series, for me.

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Firestone 14 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 96.1% out of 100 with 716 ratings
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