Firestone 14 - Anniversary Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
95
world-class
715 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Firestone 14 - Anniversary AleFirestone 14 - Anniversary Ale
BEER INFO

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

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
Ratings:
715
Reviews:
301
Avg:
4.33
pDev:
9.24%
 
 
Wants:
218
Gots:
545
For Trade:
25
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 715 |  Reviews: 301
Photo of Sammy
3.97/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown, some lace, a moderate sized head. Some sugr, tasty, drinkable, a dry finish. Bourbon in the aroma, lots of roast, alcohol burn. An imperial dry stout.
Fuller mouthfeel. A very nice sipper, though I do not seem to have enjoyed this as much as other anniversary editions.

 281 characters

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -19.2%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.24/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Wowcoolman for sharing this one at the Firestone Walker night at Steingarten LA in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that fades to nothing. No lacing on this one. Smell is of roasted and toasted malt, vanilla, caramel, toffee, toasted coconut, slight cocoa, cookie dough, and some wood and alcohol aromas. Taste is the same but the flavors are balanced and complex with a woody finish and not too bad of an alcohol kick on the finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer that seems to be holding up quite well at this time. To me this one tastes great and has become a tasty and dangerously drinkable beer at this time.

 764 characters

Photo of spycow
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

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!

 787 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of djrn2
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of emerge077
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep ruby/garnet hue in the light, otherwise appears black. Initial pour summoned a half inch of tan foam, which subsided fairly quickly into a thin ring and spotty lace.

Aroma was really nice, fried plantain, brown sugar, plum, dates, and figs. Rich and slightly sweet, with a slight trace of alcohol when swirled and deeply inhaled.

Sweet and sticky with a medium heft to it... long lingering aftertaste with oaky presence. Rich flavors of dark fruits: fig and plum, dry oak tannin in the back, with a bit of bitter dark chocolate from the Parabola. Vanilla surfaces from the bourbon barrel, and there's a bit of distinct bourbon flavor faintly in the back too. The blend is well done, it's very smooth and one to sip for an hour or more. Booze is in check, though certainly present. Overall very nice, hope to also try on tap before it's all gone.

 853 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a rich, mysterious brown color; while there is not much head and what there is doesn't last long, there are plenty of trace elements lingering around the chalice

Smell: The oaky barrel dominates the aroma, with Bourbon and vanilla, but underneath there is nougat, nuts, caramel and that German Chocolate Cake character

Taste: The German Chocolate Cake character is apparent right from the outset, with the chocolate, coconut, caramel and nut flavors dominant; by mid-palate, the boozy Bourbon and vanilla flavors build and after the swallow, the blend comes together; there is a bit of hop character that emerges in the finish, as well

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, with moderate carbonation and warmth, not only in the gullet but in the belly

Overall: I always look forward the the Firestone anniversary series and this one is no exception

Thanks, mrmiles, for the opportunity

 894 characters

Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of SocalKicks
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of zeff80
4.12/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, dark burgundy color with a small, off-white head of soapy foam. It had some brief retention but left sudsy trails of lace.

S - It smelled of bourbon, malt and touches of vanilla. The was a mild oakiness.

T - It had a nice blend of bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate and toasted caramel malt. A nice bittersweet flavor.

M - It was smooth and crisp. A medium to full bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a really tasty ale from Firestone Walker. Yet another great one!

 499 characters

Photo of largadeer
4.12/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at Toronado.

Firestone's new anniversary blend looks much the same as the previous two vintages: a blackened, nearly opaque amber-brown. The head shows surprising longevity given the style and high alcohol, though it does eventually dissipate completely.

What an outstanding aroma. There's an abundance of toasted coconut and vanilla, rich caramel, oak, a hint of milk chocolate. Despite 1/3 of the blend being comprised of neutral barrel Double Double Barrel Ale, there's no lack of bourbon and brandy character here.

Firestone's anniversary beers usually have some heat and harshness to them when they're fresh, but that's not the case with XIV; the alcohol is very reserved. I had this side by side with Parabola and Abacus, and to my surprise, XIV showed greater depth and less heat.

There's a strong caramel and bittersweet chocolate presence on the palate, with subtleties of vanilla, coconut rum and brandy shining through. Oak contributes light tannins that cut the sweetness slightly, though it remains a rich and heavy beer. Alcohol is nicely integrated, a mild heat that balances rather than detracts.

Carbonation is at a lower-moderate level, just enough to give the palate a light scrubbing. The body is full, but not syrupy by any means; Firestone is excellent about making rich beers that aren't cloying.

While I still need to try this from the bottle to get a better feel for it, numerous glasses on tap leave me with the impression that this is one of the better anniversary blends.

Addendum: A better beer on tap than out of the bottle, though bottles are fairly good.

 1,599 characters

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of mothman
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Peter for sharing this one!

Poured into stone snifter. Pours a light layer of khaki beige head. Color is a deep copper hued brown.

Aroma: Oaky and vanilla. I definitely smell the black xantus. Chocolate and roasted malts. Some coffee. Very sharp. Whiskey or bourbon flavors.

Taste: Oak and bourbon here. Lots of chocolate and cocoa. Roasted malts and coffee. Some dark fruits. Vanilla. Parabola and Black Xantus flavors. A bit of heat.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and roasted. Velvety. Full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends a bit dry and roasted.

Overall, this was a pretty solid anniversary beer. Very enjoyable. I like the barrel flavors. Nose was a bit weak, but the taste made up for it.

 709 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

 1,786 characters

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

Photo of Thorpe429
3.92/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Galaxy Hut. Served in a snifter.

Initial pour (to near the top) is nearly black with just a few tan bubbles around the edges. No head. We'll see how it does with a good swirl or two after I drink a bit of it down. Judging from 11 through 13, I don't think that'll be a problem. Nose off the fairly-cold brew brings some nice bourbon, molasses, and fruit notes. It's not going to get any more fragrant this cold, so I might as well drink some...

First impression is a bit of light booze along with some rum-soaked dark fruits. As it warms in my mouth I get a touch of prickly carbonation on the back of my tongue. There's also some bourbon, light vanilla, and oak. Some roast there as well.

Body is medium with good carbonation and some definite booze. Drinks well enough but--at least at this point--doesnt reach the level of earlier versions.

 856 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light fizzy head over very dark brown murky coke syrup colored beer.

Nose has tons of aged malts, light porter roast, light booze, lots of soft aged dark malt flavors, light oak, a nice bourbon aroma, light fluffy nougat, brown sugar, toasted syrup.

Taste brings soft subtle aged malts, very nice malt profile, chewy malts as well, brown sugar, little nutty, light porter like roast, light chocolate, light earthy grassy hops even, fluffy nougat again, little minerality from the roast, syrupy caramelized sugars, dark chocolate light oats, light booze, very complex. Definitely age-able. Finish brines a slight sweetness but a bit dry as well, a nice long finish, fluffy aged malts, more spicy hop bitterness, coffee, roast, touch of dark chocolate and a little chalky and slight boozy.

Mouth is a bit heavier bodied with decent carbonation.

Overall a good beer, lots of dark malts, complex but drinkable, booze is there but drinks much better than 12.5%, little syrupy but smooth mostly, lots of aged malts and a bit of a nice spicy hop character, tasty beer that will age well.

 1,092 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Firestone 14 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.33 out of 5 based on 715 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.