Samuel Adams Thirteenth Hour Stout (Barrel Room Collection) - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
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Ratings: 701 | Reviews: 227 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by Phelps:
4/5 rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
The thirteenth hour is also known as the witching hour -- the time of day when witches, demons and ghosts appear and black magic is most effective. The name refers not only to the dark juju created by combining the roasted flavors of a stout with the spicy character of a sour Belgian ale, but also to the 13 ingredients used to brew the beer. It combines seven different malts (Samuel Adams two-row pale malt blend, Caramel 60, Munich 10, Special B, and Carafa III, for those who care about such things), Hallertau Mittelfrueh hops, two different brewing sugars, Kosmic Mother Funk (which we'll discuss in a minute), Belgian yeast and champagne yeast for bottle conditioning.
The result? A brew that's as deathly black as the midnight hour to which it refers. In a tulip, the obsidian brew is topped with a super-frothy layer of cocoa-colored bubbles that look as thick and inviting as pancake batter. The stout-like appearance is belied by the nose, however. Dip the nostrils close and you'll get a dose of Belgian dark fruits: raisins, figs, dates. Vanilla, black pepper and a hint of acidity swirl in the rich background.
Now, back to the Kosmic Mother Funk. All Barrel Room Collection beers contain this ale that's fermented with wild yeasts and bacteria, then aged in oak tuns for over a year. The KMF is blended into the Barrel Room beers in varying amounts, lending them new layers of funky flavor. In Thirteenth Hour, this wild ale contributes herbal spice and a mild tanginess that grabs the back of the tongue.
More impactful on Thirteenth Hour's flavor is the extended barrel-aging. The "Barrel Room" name isn't arbitrary -- each beer in the collection was aged in special oak barrels originally used to make brandy. The containers traveled far to get to New England: the oak, which originated in Eastern Europe, was used for brandy-making in Italy. Coopers in Portugal took the barrels apart, then flew to Boston to reassemble them by hand. From these, Thirteenth Hour gets heaping helpings of rich, sweet red grapes and oak to blend with the underlying stout flavors of smoky peat, chocolate, vanilla and coffee. The brandy almost makes the brew seem more like a Belgian strong dark ale than a stout, in fact.
The Belgian stout is a weird style on its own, and Thirteenth Hour is a fine example of how these flavors play off one another. Pick one up if you want an interesting taste experience -- or if you're a Neanderthal like me and just want a pretty bottle to look at.
Serving type: bottle
11-06-2012 21:16:11 | More by Phelps
More User Reviews:
3.18/5 rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25
The 13th Hour Stout was a mixture between a sour, stout and maybe a BSDA. It poured a dark brown color with 4 finger foam head with tiny carbonation bubbles. The head dissipated quickly and settled into a tiny 1 mm head. The smell was brown sugar, anise and sour green apples. The mouthfeel was thin and left a semi sour mark on the palate. Overall an interesting beer but seemed to be a little off.
Serving type: bottle
02-20-2014 16:40:25 | More by cswhitehorse
Samuel Adams Thirteenth Hour Stout (Barrel Room Collection) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 701 ratings.