Firestone 14 - Anniversary Ale
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Firestone 14 - Anniversary AleFirestone 14 - Anniversary Ale
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Style:
American Strong Ale
ABV:
12.5%
Score:
97
Avg:
4.41 | pDev: 8.84%
Reviews:
304
Ratings:
720
From:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
 
California, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  215
Gots
  540
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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Reviews: 304 | Ratings: 720
Photo of largadeer
4.12/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

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Photo of Destral
4.45/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance:
I picked up several of the new 14 bottles earlier tonight and decided to crack one open. It poured pitch black and opaque into a DFH goblet. A thin, tan head quickly dissipates but moderate lacing remains.

Smell:
Toffee sweetness dominates. There is some faint vanilla amd oak aroma, but not nearly the vanilla as the 13. There is some noticable alcohol on the finish.

Taste:
I get a lot of oatmeal stout flavors from some of the base beers (Velvet Merkin and Parabola). The beer is very nutty and creamy. Toffee isnt as strong as the aroma, but definitely noticable. Oak flavors become more apparent as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel:
The 14 is very smooth and silky. The light carbonation and full body really make for a creamy feel.

Drinkability:
Overall I think the alcohol is very well hidden. I really enjoyed the amped up oatmeal stout flavors that were present instead of just big boozy RIS flavors like i've recently been enjoying in Black Tuesday and GI BCS. 1 bottle was just right for a good evening.

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Photo of gregshead
3.65/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Jet black with little carbonation. Swirled it and had very little in bubbles stick to the side of the glass.

S: Mmm. Vanilla/Oak overwhelms my smell.

T: Oak taste dominates my palate. Other more suttle tastes are hard to pick out. Very well blended but lacks a complexity

M: Smooth with little but some carbonation.

D: A solid blended aged beer but it didn't blow me away. Lots of oak taste.

Maybe my palate is not ready for this masterpiece but it seems like it just didn't have the complexity I was hoping for in a blended beer like this. Overall a good beer but not amazing.

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Photo of 2LCrew
4.16/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thank you to the Firestone people for bringing their beer to Stone. I had a 4 oz. pour of 14 at the outside bar. It was a packed house and everybody was enjoying Parabola, 14, 13, etc. A great time.

A- When poured from the tap, it was dark brown and I couldn't see through. The head was minimal.

S- I gave it a smell and there was not much there. I do not know if it was the air outside or what but I was expecting a little more.

T- Amazing. For a blended beer, I liked it a lot more than I thought I would. Had a little bit of alcohol taste to it, but it wasn't bad.

M- Smooth.

D- I could enjoy a glass or two of this.

Depending on the price of the bottle, I may pick up a bottle.

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Firestone 14 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 720 ratings