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: 301 | Ratings: 713
Photo of beerandcycling88
4.15/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a snifter.

A Pours a very dark brown that borders on black topped with a very light head that dissipated quickly.

S Very sweet almost sugary sweet nose with lots of bourbon and vanilla. Maybe a bit of fruity note in the background,

T Again very sugary sweet yet complex with more bourbon, alcohol, vanilla, a bit of chocolate, and some dark fruits.

M This bottle has a year or so of age on it and it still possess a good bit of heat. Pretty thick body that seems to coat your mouth.

Overall this is an excellent beer. Its complex with a lot of good flavors, however the heat is a bit much and I think it still needs a lot more time.

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color, but I noticed that during the pour it was a much lighter shade than what ended up in the glass. Minimal head.

The smell was like a watered down bourbon- oak and vanilla with a touch of alcohol burn.

The taste also has a lot of oak and vanilla, with additions of toffee and chocolate. I even picked up a light earthy flavor.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Carbonation is minimal but compliments the smooth aspect and the high alcohol content.

This is a very good beer. I tasted it with a little age on it and it still drank like a high abv beer.

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Photo of claspada
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown murky cola syrupy body with a light fizzy khaki head that recedes rather quickly leaving really nice, thick alcohol lacing.

The aromas begin with 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 and brown sugar.

The taste brings soft subtle aged malts, very chewy (maybe the oats) malts as well, brown sugar, light porter-like espresso roast, light chocolate, nougat, balanced by a strong vanilla and nutty presence throughout. Then you also get some caramelized sugars, dark chocolate, light booze, very complex.

Mouthfeel is a bit heavy bodied with medium-low carbonation. Finish is slick and the flavors linger forever on the palate, but none overwhelm, all are in great balance.

Overall this is a great beer, lots of dark malts, complex but amazingly drinkable. The "heft" is felt but drinks much better than the ABV would suggest. Quite complex and yet subtle in the flavor profile. This is my favorite of the 3 anniversary beers I have had from Firestone (12 & 13), which leads me to believe that I prefer these fresher rather than aged over multiple years. Either way this is an amazing beer that I am glad I have a couple more to enjoy in the near future.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.26/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark black liquid with a hint of red on the edges and a somewhat creamy tan head. The nose has the most bourbon and barrel of the series compared (11-14) and it seems a bit too present. sweet toffee and vanilla, a bit sugary. The flavor is similar, too sugary and too much barrel and bourbon. Vanilla, marshmellow, sweet toffee, light roasted and a bit of heat. Medium body, smooth and the most carbonated.

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Photo of Chaney
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After making numerous trades with this bad boy and hearing much kudos about it, I decided to unchain it from my cellar and pop the cap.

I poured this into my trusty Cigar City snifter.

A: Poured a dark, dark brown.... but not pitch black color. The mocha head was slight, but had tremendous staying power.

S: The barrel-aging was most evident indeed! It smelled like a liquified "Tootsie-Roll." Additionally, I got soft dark fruit, raw cacao, oak, and a good bit of bourbon.

T: Very coconuty... like an "Almond Joy" candy bar even, with a good bit of heat to the ending that amounted to smoke. No soy sauce on this one... this was a dessert brew through and through!

M: Pretty thick, but not like snot. Beers like Dark Lord, Darkness, Huhnapuhs, etc are much thicker, but definitely not any better. The "American Strong Ale" classification is definitely right!

O: Wow... I'm almost speechless here... except to say that this: I've heard this one referred to as one of the biggest and baddest of 2011. I humbly agree...

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured in to CBS snifter.

A - Poured dark brown with hints of deep ruby around the edges. A small amount of bubbly light brown head formed and quickly disappeared.

S - Bourbon, oak and vanilla up front. Some sweet caramel, toffee and molasses aromas are somewhat hidden in the background.

T - Bourbon, oak and vanilla up front that remain the dominant flavours throughout. The background has a complex array of dark caramel, toffee, chocolate and brown sugar flavours that are unfortunately overshadowed by the barrel again flavours. That said, this is still an excellent beer with a great flavour profile.

M -Medium to full body, silky and smooth. Low carbonation.

O - This was an excellent beer. Would have been an A+ had the barrel aging been a little less dominant.

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Photo of dgilks
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opaque, dark brown colour with a small, smooth, tan head with good head retention. Attractive.

Chocolate, brown sugar, mild coffee, melanoidin, more malt, more sugar and a hint of roast. Lots of fruitiness. Rounded, smooth vanilla oak and caramel notes. Great.

This is a rich and robust dessert beer full of caramelised sugar, cocoa, bourbon, spice, oak, melanoidin and fruit. Nutty. Really good and the blend of beers in here is really good.

Medium-full body with moderate carbonation. Good, dry finish.

I really like this. The barrel character is prominent but well integrated into the rest of the beer. The balance of nut, chocolate, caramel and other malt notes is really good and indicative of a great brewer and an even better blender.

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Photo of ptykozoon
4.02/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Basically black, spotty lacing, bits of islands.

Raisin, molasses, dark chocolate, bits of cherry, vanilla, fudge, caramel, licorice, on and on...

Aforementioned with an emphasis on dark chocolate and bitter coffee, lots of bourbon in this one.

Very nice mouthfeel, exactly how a stout like this should be - dense.

Very nice.

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Photo of keanex
4.68/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 650ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Pitch black with a creamy caramel colored head.

S: Roasty chocolate with oaky bourbon.

T: Huge oaky bourbon upfront into a chocolate raspberry flavor. Very good, reminded me a lot of WWS actually.

M: Thick and creamy with very light carbonation.

O: Very complex with a very stout like feel and taste.

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Photo of bld81
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bottle poured into a taster glass:
A: thick, dark brown pour, minimal head with no staying power
S: sweetness with dark fruit, bacon, heavy bourbon, slight vanilla
T: big, big bourbon flavor, alcohol, brown sugar, toffee, figs
M: Warms the tongue and throat with alcohol, thin to medium body
O: Fantastic blend, had this on tap when it was released and found it too boozy, after ten months of aging it is drinking perfect

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Photo of iflah45
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark dark brown with red highlights when held up to the light. Less than a one finger head that recedes to a creamy ring.

The aroma is rich and full of dark fruits, caramel, toffee, and booze! the alcohol scent is powerful yet it works. Hints of vanilla and oak from the barrels. Looks like a stout, smells like a barleywine!

The taste follows the nose with lots more vanilla in the forefront. Great smoky oak fr the barrel and a hint if cherry and dark fruit. Scrumptious!

Very low carbonation, silky smooth mouthfeel. Little alcohol kick at the end.

Such a treat. Definitely worth the price. It is a true work of art and I'm glad I found one hiding at a local store.

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Photo of YaKnowBrady
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I can't seem to get enough of this stuff, even at the high price point. Gets me very excited for FW 15, but honestly, 14 might be starting to slip...

Poured into a large snifter, served at cellar temperature. Develops a small head, which bubbles down to a pearly rim around the edge. Stout-like appearance, and follows suit with the nose. Smells of plums, pomegranate, chocolate and alcohol.

Flavor isn't far behind the aroma. You can detect the high alcohol, but it doesn't keep you from sipping further. At a warmer temperature, you and almost feel the bourbon around your palate, so it's best well above fridge temperatures. Lots of vanilla, much like FW's other barrel brews.

Looks like I'll have to go get another bottle to replace the void that this one left on my shelf. I guess I'll need to check between the couch cushions for change to afford it too...

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Photo of ehammond1
4.31/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2010)

Thanks for the gift, NoSignsOfPain!

(Aged 1 year)

Very dark brown in color with ruby red highlights near the edges. There is very little visible carbonation and no head to speak of whatsoever.

Divine aroma of toasted coconut macaroon cookies, bittersweet chocolate, mild roast, and plenty of earthy and vanilla bourbon notes. Complete. Mild hint of alcohol until it warms fully to room temperature, then more booze certainly becomes present.

Coconut, bourbon, roast, mild chocolate, and a bit of alcohol heat make for a lovely combination.

Medium mouthfeel with very low carbonation.

A wonderful blend, though I wish it would have been just a tad more carbonated (and thicker).

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

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a rich brown with a nice thick tan head that settles nicely.

Aroma is whiskey, vanilla, hints of chocolate, toffee, and caramel - complex and warm.

Taste is boozy, rich, and buttery warm - caramel, molasses, pipe tobacco, bourbon, vanilla, and rum. A little bit syrupy but OK for a slow sipper like this. Slick, coating mouthfeel.

Overall this is just a nice tasty warm brew, perfect for a cold October night and an unbelievable double-come-from-behind victory for the Cardinals in World Series Game 6.

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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 sholland119
4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Dark brown, dark dark brown, opaque, thin mocha head but good sticky lacing.

S-Sweet and boozy. Chocolate, booze, marshmallow, brown sugar. Very appealing.

T-Toasted marshmallow, roasted coffee, sweet chocolate, a nice helping of rum soaked raisins and a reasonable amount of boozy warmth. Deeeelicious! Complex, rich, tasty.

M-Medium bodied, a bit heavy, rich.

O-Yep, I am a huge fan of this one.


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Photo of amphion1065
4.44/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a Duvel tulip. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a deep eggplant purple, not quite black. Half-finger tan head doesn't last for too long. Pretty nice lacing.

What an utterly beguiling - and enticing - aroma. Toffee and figs, chocolate and a touch of coffee. Maybe I'm crazy, but there's a distinct barrel smell that reminds me of both Parabola and Abacus - house -bals, perhaps? There's a very slight woody, vanilla note, but the base beer shines.

The taste is so damn smooth. Nutty and rich, with a perfect amount of alcohol. The bourbon is there, but it's pretty mellow and there's just a small kick of booze in the back end. This is roasty like a porter, with the dark fruit flavors of a BSDA or quad, with some butterscotch and alcohol for good measure. It might be an odd descriptor for the taste of a beer, but to me this exudes a sticky sweetness very akin to figs. A really fantastic malt bill here.

Mouthfeel is great. This is smooth and rich with medium carbonation, and it's very, very drinkable.

I was so excited to find this beer after trading away the one bottle I purchased this past April. Though this bottle wasn't too old, I'd imagine the alcohol mellowed out considerably over the past few months. As it stands, this is a delicious, complex beer that I would love to try again.

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Photo of rhong187
4.59/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

served from a bottle into tulip glass

A - pours very dark, almost black with the exception of a tiny bit of light passing through the glass, with about a half a finger head.

S - definitely one of the most "bourbon-y" type aroma I've ever encountered. Bit of vanilla and sweetness up front.

T - Funny enough, it almost tastes like abacus from the start, although abacus isn't part of this blend. I picked up some toffee and caramel with a small touch of vanilla. Great tasting beer

M - medium bodied, which I found interesting given the fact that 30% of the brew consists of parabola and black xantus. medium to low carbonation.

Quite delicious and a vast improvement over the 13. This one was put together quite nicely, and makes me look forward to future anniversary ales (which the 13 made me a bit weary of).

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Photo of Treebs
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Graciously shared by ThomasHardy in line at the CBS release, Thanks! Small pour into my Deschute snifter.

A: Pours a solid black in the middle with some dark brown edges where the sun light was hitting it. No real head or lace left.

S: Smells of roasted malts, dark fruits, a slight bitterness and a faint sweetness fill the nose. Not bad at all.

T: The dark fruits from the nose really shine in this. Figs and dates are present and create a backbone for a slight alcohol presence. It doesn't burn, but it is noticable. A nice malty sweetness rounds this out as well.

M: Creamy in nature, heavier bodied with medium carbonation. A subtle fruity sweetness is left on the palate.

O: I definitely enjoyed the strong ale. This wasn't my favorite strong ale that was had this weekend, but it was still a nice blend and took on the good characteristics from each brew.

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Photo of kawilliams81
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 16 oz. Snifter.

A- dark brownish amber. Light tan thin head with large cola-like bubbles.

S- bourbon, bitter chocolate, oak, tobacco. A lot going on in the nose and the smell is amazing!

T- bourbon and bitter chocolat right off the bat. Slight toffee sweetness and a good amount of hop bitterness.

M- full bodiedm. Still a touch hot but it doesn't overpower the beer at all. Little chewy but creamy at the same time.

O- remarkable beer! Do not know why I never bought this beer when it first hit stores. I love Abacus and Parabola and this is right in between those two IMO.

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Photo of Jules11788
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Decided to crack this with johnhenryconway at our weekly tasting -- very glad I did!

A: Pours a dark mahogany-red, beautiful color when held to the light; no head, very light lacing

S: Dark fruits, raisins, figs, malt, toffee, and caramel

T: Sticky-sweet butterscotch toffee, caramel, sweet malt, roasted nutty flavor, and little hints of coconut; finishes with a nice boozy bite that warms as it goes down. I actually like the booze in this one because it balances out the chewy sweetness very nicely so that it's not too sweet, not too boozy, but just perfect. If there were less booze here this brew would probably be too sweet for my tastes.

M: Medium-thick, slightly chewy, lightly carbonated

O: This is a fantastically complex beer, and I'm glad I got 2 so that I have one to cellar for a few years

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Rich otter brown is black in the chalice. A sparse sandstone head is both weak on the hold and lace.

S: Sambuca like aroma, black licorice, highly potent, especially at warmer temperatures, alcohol fusels dominate. Mild roast coffee, dark fruit of prunes with a smooth mild aroma of medium strength.

T: Deep flavor, robust rich, yet smooth of roast and black licorice blending beautifully together. Oak, black oily coffee with an earthy bitterness is also evident. Dark fruit of prunes, sweet burnt grains upfront that finishes out with a black liquor and dark bitterness. A slight buttery roasted grains and oak is also picked up on.

M: medium bodied, smooth and buttery in texture with an earthy roast bitterness and alcohol warming the inner cheeks and tongue.

O: Overall big flavor, great sipper that leaves a warming sensation all the way down to the pit of the belly.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.36/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into two snifters. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

Bottle dated 10/25/10

A: Pours a still dark cola brown. Got a 'ffft' when I opened it, but mostly this just sits in the glass kind of lifeless. A tiny wafer of dark khaki foam retains for about 5 seconds before settling into the thinnest collar I've seen in a long while. Lacing is a non-issue.

S: Wonderful aromas of fudge brownies, chocolate covered cherries, toasted nuts, bakers chocolate, molassas, vanilla, dark chocolate chip bread pudding, and with the slightest whiff of alcohol.

T: As above, with a growing influence of rich nutty flavors, more chocolate, vanilla, coconut, and flourless chocolate cake. Dessert in a glass!

M: Pretty slick and coating with a welcome sizzle of alcohol on the tongue. If it weren't for that this would be pure syrup.

O: This was so enjoyable. Would've scored higher if it hadn't layed in the glass all ugly and lifeless. Other than that, this was pretty awesome.

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Photo of kingcrowing
4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a wine glass.

Pours a very dark black color with hints of ruby and a small ring of dark brown head. Nose is a bit sweet, but very oaky and mellow with very little booze.

Taste is amazing, super complex with raisins, dark fruit, sweet malt and sharp flavors. Very drinkable given the abv. very tasty beer.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a flared pokal.

Big thanks to the Central PA group from the Gang Bang BIF for this bottle!

Damn, just reading the blend's breakdown is making me salivate... This stuff pours a dark brown-garnet topped by a finger of sandy tan foam. The nose comprises buttery biscuits, rye bread, toffee, oak, light bourbon, maple syrup, and light chocolate. The taste holds notes of light cocoa, rye bread, toffee, brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup, light bourbon, and a kiss of booze. The body is a stolid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a lightly syrupy feel. Overall, a very tasty brew, one that, in retrospect, was probably a bit more complex than my 'buds led me to believe this time (though they went to bed happy regardless). I guess I'm just gonna haveta get another bottle...

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Firestone 14 - Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.33 out of 5 based on 713 ratings.
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