Cameron Stokes's Blog

Beer Review: Stone Bottleworks 13th Anniversary Ale

Bottleworks is a “specialty beer store” in Seattle with a large following in the local craft beer scene. It’s a small, dark place and at first glance, a bit unwelcoming but you soon get past it when you browse their selection. They get all the latest and greatest beers but also have some vintage beers in the back. While browsing you can get a pint at the bar in the back or fill up a growler. All in all, it’s a great destination for beer enthusiasts and one I always recommend.

This year is Bottleworks’ 13th anniversary and like previous years they had an anniversary ale brewed in their honor. Recent years beers have been brewed by the likes of New Belgium (10th anniversary), Big Sky Brewing (11th anniversary), and The Bruery (12th anniversary).

Bottleworks 13th Anniversary Ale was brewed by Stone Brewing and released on March 24th, 2012.

Beer Facts

Name: Bottleworks 13th Anniversary Ale

Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.

Style: American Strong Ale

Released: One Time

Availability: 22oz. bomber

Description:

When it came time to brew Bottleworks’ 13th anniversary beer, we turned to Stone to brew this behemoth. “The Matts” traveled down to San Diego in December to help create this 13-hop, 13-grain monument to our 13 years of selling great craft beer!

Hops: Bravo, Target, Columbus, Cascade, Delta, Warrior, Magnum, Apollo, Calypso, Perle, Galena, Chinook, Mt. Hood

Malts: Pale 2-R, White Wheat, Aromatic, Wyermann Chocoloate Rye, Light Munich, Brown Crisp, Crisp Light Crystal, Crisp Amber, Caramunich, Baird’s Chocolate Malt, Lightly Peated, Simpsons Dark Crystal, Oats

OG: ?

FG: ?

IBUs: ?

ABV: 11%

Tasting

Serving: 22oz. bomber into a New Belgium snifter.

Appearance: Two fingers of tan head that lingers and leaves lots of lacing. Dark but not opaque. Lets light through at the age of the glass.

Aroma: Lots of hop aroma. Smoked malts and almost medicinal, band-aid smell.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy, but not syrupy. Medium carbonation; appropriate for the beer.

Taste: Smoke is front and center. Heavy hop presence: flavor and bitterness. The medicinal, band-aid flavor is there as well but not’s not overpowering that it’s not enjoyable. Alcohol is apparent but not too hot.

Conclusion

With 13 grains and 13 hops, there’s a lot going on in this beer and it’s evident in the flavor. It’s not unbalanced but seems a bit muddled. I wouldn’t call it complex or layered, but complicated. If this was a blind tasting, I probably could have guessed this was a beer from Stone. It seems to have a bit of their house flavor. The beers grows on me as I drink it, but that could be the 11% ABV kicking in.

All in all, I’m glad I tried it and I would certainly recommend it to others. If I recall correctly, it was only $6.99, so it is certainly a deal for an 11% bomber. Given the opportunity to have it again, I’d probably pass for something else, but wouldn’t hesitate to share a bottle with a friend. This is a good beer, but not a beer that I would regularly buy.

Food pairings: Something hearty. A thick and heavy pasta would go well with this.

Cellar-able: The bottle says to age it cellar temperature (55° F) but I don’t expect age would help except to hide the alcohol a bit.

Comparable beers: Stone Arrogant Bastard and Double Bastard.

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