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Samuel Adams Thirteenth Hour Stout (Barrel Room Collection) - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Thirteenth Hour Stout (Barrel Room Collection)Samuel Adams Thirteenth Hour Stout (Barrel Room Collection)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

262 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 262
Hads: 978
Avg: 3.77
pDev: 29.97%
Wants: 41
Gots: 193 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 08-11-2011

Aged in oak barrels; hand-bottled corked & caged; bottled-conditioned.
View: Beers (119) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 262 | Hads: 978
Photo of vette2006c5r
3.47/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thirteenth Hour pours an almost black color with a nice long lasting lacing head. There is a very sweet aroma; lots of date notes, some oak. The taste has big oak flavors, big sweet spices, lots of dry fruits. Very complex, but nice body, a little watery. Overall lots of stuff going on here, some nice flavors, and good to sip.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

(Served in a glass tankard)

A- This beer has a black dense body with a fizzy light tan head that last a bit and is supported by a few random bubbles that glide to the surface.

S- The smell of cola and dark raisins blend with some wet wood notes and a dark malt hint. The finish has notes of green raisins, spice and rubber bands.

T- The bright dark fruit flavor is well blended with not much depth but some toffee and prune notes come though wit a slight tang quality in the finish.

M- The light mouthfeel is crisp with a scrubbing fizz in the finish and an alcohol heat that hangs on the tongue as a warmth after each sip.

O- The flavors are well blended or perhaps it just doesn't have any depth and it is pretty light aswell. It has none of the flavors described on the bottle and I wouldn't guess this to be a stout if it wasn't printed on the bottle.

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Photo of MistahBeah
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a creamy khaki head. Some visible carbonation towards the top of the glass. Healthy retention and moderate lacing. Looks like cola

The nose is of baker's chocolate and sweet dark fruits. Plums and cherries are evident. Some tart-smelling apples too. Smells very sweet. Possibly molasses

Taste is a little more tart upfront. Apples and plums. There are cherry notes as well. The rest is sweetness that lingers. Lots of chocolate. A little coffee. Sweetness is slightly cloying. Some spicy yeast rounds it out

Feels full bodied and creamy. Thick and chewy - almost syrupy. A little spice bite

Not bad overall. I was hoping for more stout qualities. A little too sweet. I think this could have used some anise to make this a little more balanced and complex. I would pick up any other Belgian strong dark ale before revisiting this but if you can't get anything else its at least worth the try

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Photo of ThaneMcC
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

App: pours dark brown, good size head of off white foam which quickly resolves
Smell: strong dark malts, fruity esters, darker fruits (prune/raisin). A lot of spices – allspice ? clove?hint of carob
Taste: though advertised as a stout, sweet malt up front with a hint of dark fruit, cherry, then a lot of spices with an odd metallic tang rather sour, finally a sweeter and palate cleansing bitter. A little earthy and strong alcohol astringency at the end
Mouthfeel: pretty thin, almost like a weakly carbonated Belgian tripel than a stout. Not terrible, but neither a good imperial stout nor Belgian tripel. For the price, its not a good purchase. I would not buy this again.

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Photo of SeamusDoyle
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown pour but black in the glass. Small tan head, no lace. Sour cherries, Belgian yeast, hint of coffee grounds, and faint roast in the aroma. Just a bit of oak comes off as it warms. The flavor has sweet, tart cherries and yeast, with a bit of toasty malts.Alcohol and the slightest bit of oak on the finish. Medium body at best, with light carbonation

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Photo of IchLiebeBier
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Appearance: Very dark mahogany, almost black; medium frothy tan head with good lacing

Smell: I can't think of how to describe this. It is very interesting, and smells good, but not like any beer I've ever smelled before. The main aroma is almost like a Black Forest cake made with black cherries; oak is there, too, and almost a rye bread aroma. I think some of it reminds me of a reuben sandwhich, maybe the thousand island sweet smell with swiss cheese funk.

Taste: this is a challenge. there's a lot going on with this one. Oak and dark fruit with the reuben sandwhich. Maybe my brain is just keyed in on the aroma.

Mouthfeel: very creamy.

Remarks: interesting overall, but not something I'd seek out again. Probably go well with, you guessed it, a reuben.

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Photo of JustinAniello
3.51/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours black with a three finger foamy head. Dissipates over a couple minutes to a light cap and some nice sticky lacing.

S - Scents of sweet chocolate, soy sauce, grapes, and mustiness. The aroma is pretty subtle overall.

T - Light sweet chocolate at first turning to a heavy yeast and mild white grape flavor. Very slight bitterness in the aftertaste.

M - Medium body and carbonation, a little light in body for what you would expect.

O - Decent, but nothing special. Off in what you would expect from a stout and the flavors don't flow well enough together to make up for it. Better options from the Sam Adams line.

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Photo of mntlover
3.52/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich dark mahogany color with a tan one finger head that falls to a ring fast. Some light lace left behind.

Aroma is little off first noted is a vinegar like note? Not sure why this is there not suppose to be a sour. Otherwise oak notes, light chocolate and coffee hints. Some light plum notes.

Taste is better, rich malts, fruit and chocolate mingled. Some tar notes before the fruit kicks in but not as tart as the nose is. Defiantly more Belgian like then stout like. Overall was hopeing for something little better.

Mouthfeel is little on light side say medium but light for a big beer.

Overall eh wouldn't recommend it not bad but plenty of stuff out there that's better including many form Sam Adams.

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Photo of Lonelyshadow
3.52/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured chilled into a beer mug.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown body with a slight brown head

Smell: A rich amalgamation of fruits, chocolate, coffee, and licorice.
Taste: Started with a raisin flavor blending into a coffee flavor, followed by a burnt chocolate flavor with undertones of licorice.
Mouthfeel: Sticky, I am not sure how else to describe it besides a sticky sensation. This was one of my least favorite parts of the beer.
Overall: I highly enjoyed this beer and would get another next time I am in the mood for a good dark beer. A word of caution though, the bottles are a tad bit too large to finish in one sitting.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of ummswimmin
3.52/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured this into my snifter to enjoy during the Super Bowl. There wasn't any metaphorical resason... just thought it looked good to sip during the game.

For a stout, this beer should have been darker. You could get a decent amount of light through this one. The smell is interesting. I would say that the bouquet is like a mix of stout and saison. There is the coffee, as you would expect. I also get some spices, sweetness, and a decent amount of sour. It is an original smell, but the balance is a little off.

The flavor is complicated and challenging. You get a lot more of the sour. There is a lot less coffee at this point. I would say that this is more like a dark/black saison.

Overall this made for an interesting experience. It wasn't bad, but t doesn't rise to the point of being a "must find" beer.

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Photo of oberon
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours into a tulip glass a deep chocolate brown with ruby highlights,a creamy one finger light tan colored head atop.Aromas were a little light with some roast, molasses and fruity yeast esters.A little sharper than expected in the mouth,a lighter feel for the style.Not as roasted on the palate as the nose suggests,black licorice is big along with dark fruit and more yeasty fruitiness.Not bad but not worth the price tag in my opinion,still it's nice to see the Barrel Room Collection here in NC now.

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Photo of fank2788
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tulip glass
One shade lighter than black with some reddish highlights when held up to a light, the head is pretty rocky with a mix of medium and fine bubbles. Smell is of dark fruit, dark roasted malts, a bit of funky yeast character and some coffee. The taste has a lot of the dark fruit and malt but I'm also getting this funky or vinous thing as well. Not much alcohol and no wood character in their either. The bitterness is very low to nonexistent as this beer remains quite sweet and syrupy throughout. There is a bit of a pepper tingle in the mouthfeel combined with medium to low levels of carbonation the finish is sweet and then dry, rather unusual actually. Overall this is a bit of a miss to me. I'm just not getting enough of the classic belgian yeast character that I would expect for a beer of this style, it is missing the wood that should be notable in a barrel aged beer and the funky flavor is a bit strange.

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Photo of TheRougeBastard
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I was expecting more of a stout, but I'm not really sure what's going on here. Way too much carbonation in my opinion. Zero "stout-esque" mouthfeel, or taste. I really don't know how to classify this one.

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Photo of gonzo000
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Beer seems to be all over the place with the fruit profile. I liked this beer, but would not go out of my way to get it again. Lacks depth of other stouts by SA, some of which are excellent.

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Photo of ilikebeer03
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 ml poured into a snifter.

Pours a very dark, brown. Not quite black. You can tell it is highly carbonated right away. It produces a fair head which fades in a minute or two and leaves a tanish, bubbly ring around the edge.
S: dark fruits up front. big time. slight tartness. a bit of chocolate too.
T: The dark fruits are very strong, in my opinion, over powering the other flavors. Tartness covers the tongue. I pick up just a bit of oak. Not too much. Less than I would like. Alcohol is masked well.
M: highly carbonated. Too highly in my opinion to be considered a stout. I would compare it to a german hefe. (which make sense because it is supposed to be a "dark belgian style stout").
O: Not terrible. My biggest complaint is too much carbonation (personal preference). Probably would not buy again. Havent sampled many of the "sour" beers, which this is supposed to be(ish) (The tag says it is blended with "Cosmic Mother Funk") to be able to give a good judge of how accurate a representation it is of the style.

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Photo of DavidST
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 MLS bottle into a tulip glass, no bottled date. This pours a dark brown, almost back color with a massive head. The smells are very strongly of Belgian yeast esters, coco, alcohol, and sweet malts. The feel is medium. The taste is a little different full of malty Belgian strong ale malts, but with weird roasted malts.

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Photo of jsulko
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a snifter glass

Pours a very darkish brown with reddish hints. Decent off white head.

Smell has dark fruits and some roasted maltyness.

Taste has the dark fruits and some coffee notes. Roasty flavor also comes through. Yeast makes itself known a bit on the finish.

Didn't wow me. Not enough going on to go out of the way for.

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Photo of brewskifan55
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter

A: Black with amber highlights. A frothy tan half finger head that lingers. Great lacing.

S: Dark fruits (dates, plums, figs, raisins, cherries), malts, light chocolate.

T: Follows nose with a bit of coffee flavor tossed in. Don't know why they call it a stout. This definately drinks like a Belgian SDA. Sweet. Smooth, rich, robust. Even better as it warms. The oak starts to come through as does the 9% ABV.

M: Medium with creamy carbonation.

O: Decent, just not exciting. Glad I tried it, but not much bang for the bucks.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: single finger head with little/poor retention on a very dark bottle with red tints.

S: very interesting aroma. toffee, belgian yeast, floral notes, light tropical fruit

T: this beer is very strange. not much in the way of stout flavors. lots of belgian character, belgian yeast, tropical fruits, toffee and brown sugar. dark chocolate and raspberry are the dominant flavors thoug.

M: medium and oily body and moderate to high carbonation.

Overall: very belgian, not very stout-y. Not a bad beer. This is much more like a belgian dark strong as listed.

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Photo of NStLincoln
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a weird barrel shaped bottle which may or may not have contributed to a really foamy pour. Dark brown color to the point of being black with light brown around the edges. Head is a light brown with good retention.

Smells of raisins and sour Belgian style ale. Complex, probably needs to warm up a bit.

I pick up the Belgian attributes of this beer first. It's got a smooth sourness to it. The stout part of the beer comes through with raisins, figs, and some spicy cinnamon action. Really hard to put my finger on what's going on here because there's so much going on.

Not the oil spill of a barrel aged stout that I'm used to but lots of interesting flavors. A beer to ponder.

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Photo of biegaman
3.56/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Thirteenth Hour - known as "the witching hour" - does indeed look a product of the dark arts; normally a beer so black doesn't come equipped with such a towering, foamy head. Holding it to the light we're let in on the little secret that this beer is actually concealing deep brown tones.

I expected a lot more character than this. I figured a big barrel-aged stout fermented with Belgian-yeast would have enough rich, roasted malts, coffee, and dark chocolate flavours to make this review an easy and quick one to write. Turns out, however, there's a lot to be said but little of it has to do with an abundance of flavour...

This has aromas and tastes of raisins, prunes, oak, chai spice as well as anise and clove, but nothing remotely rich or overtly 'stout-like'. What it does have is an unexpected sourness - turns out the stout is only the base beer. Thirteenth Hour is blended with Kosmic Mother Funk (a barrel- and Brettanomyces-soured wild ale).

This sourness was carefully mixed in so as to be more of a background note, but it's not exactly in good proportion to the malt; the problem is there simply isn't enough malt. It's certainly not overwhelming (nothing tart or puckering) but it's more defining than complimenting. It adds value to the beer but doesn't help the appreciation of the stout.

Sam Adams is also being a little deceiving when they say that Thirteenth Hour is brewed with 13 ingredients - the only extra ingredient in this beer is two kinds of brewing sugars (and I'm not sure why they needed to use two?). As for the rest: 7 are different malts, two are varieties of yeast, one is the hop, and one is a different beer altogether. Not quite as unique as it's billed.

While we're on the topic of being mislead, the brewery is free to call Thirteenth Hour a stout - and, to be sure, it started out as one - but it drinks far more like a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. And it's not a particularly good one at that. Indeed, this disappoints on all possible fronts - stout, Belgian dark, barrel-aged and soured beer - unable to satisfy on any of those accounts.

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Photo of jondeelee
3.57/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thirteenth Hour opens with a dark, spicy, fruity, complex aroma, featuring Belgian-like bananas and cloves, chocolate, vanilla, fig, Candi sugar, berries, and raisin wine. The combination makes this one of the more unique aromas in the beer world, and in fact makes this smell almost, but not entirely, quite unlike beer. Instead, it comes across more like a fine aged bottle of sherry or cognac, sat next to a steaming cup of spiced berry tea and a wedge of chocolate. The effect is intriguing, if not intoxicating, but is definitely finely nuanced and evidence of a well-crafted brew.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a Flemish-like bout of sourness, quickly joined by a blast of citrus-bright lemon-lime hops. Some vanillas and touches of oak lie beneath, as well as a continuation of the banana and clove flavors from the nose. Small chocolate and fig juice notes drift lazily about, and the whole flavor profile is overhung by a vodka-like alcohol whang. Late in the mouthful the hops add extra levels of lemon and citrus, and the aftertaste is dominated both by these and by a fresh wheat stalk grain flavor, and lasts for a long time. Mouthfeel is a strangely watery medium-light to medium, and carbonation is medium to medium-high.

Overall, the beer is oddly non-stout-like for a stout, having few strong coffee, ash, tobacco, or chocolate/black malt notes. Instead, it comes across as a slightly spiced and lightly soured Belgian, into which just a touch of coffee and chocolate malt had been added. Perhaps if this had been labelled as such, it would have been less strange on the tongue--but the stout label threw me off greatly, as did the watery mouthfeel.

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Photo of Bung
3.57/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very dark cola black pour. Finger of dark cream head. The layer retains quite well. Sticks to the glass ever so slightly.

Aroma, very fruity and figgy/raisiny. Quite a bit of estery "Belgian" notes. Some tartness.

Taste, tiny bit of grape up front. Brown sugar and molasses. There is some earthy chocolate and coffee, but really only after it warms quite a bit.

Maybe medium body, carbonation is just a tick on the higher side. A very faint warming. Drinks pretty well, just a bit thin, like most dark style Belgians in my opinion.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.57/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, cola brown color with quick rush of bubbles, gone quickly. Taste leads with an intriguing blend of dark malt, splash of fruit and some tart funkiness. First things noted on the tongue were the very cola like carbonation and sour/tart funkiness, beyond those notes, fruit and chocolate peek through the solid malts. Medium bodied, very highly carbonated. Some odd components including the carbonation and funkiness did not work well with the base beer.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.57/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

With a simplified palate and cleaner (more yeast neutral) taste, Samuel Adams' Thirteenth Hour puts on a full out display of Belgain dark ale flavor. But with a series that celebrates wood aging, where's the wood character?

Pouring a dense dark brown color with garnet highlights, the beer seems to carry a bit more visual weight and darkness than is usual in the style. A semi-turbulent pour only amounts to a medium statured sandy tan head that's less demonstrative than Belgian comparables. Low lacing, fizzy recession, and medium-short retention keeps the beer a little lackluster.

Dark fruit, candied malts, and vine ripened grapes give a substantial malt scent with a wine-like backdrop. Fruit and spice mingle in an orgy of grapes, black pepper, blackberry, cumin, cherry, clove, currant and corriander that balance the nose with little evidence of hops. Mild wood notes carry a hearty oak note that blends in well with caramel malts and fruit and come to life as the beer warms.

Dry fruit taste is coupled with peppery spice that carries the balance of the beer from start to finish. This symbiotic relationship plays out on a substrate of syrups and candy coated malty taste. Developments of cola, coffee, light cocoa nibs, and dates rise at mid palate and carry over to a simply sweet and candied finish.

Sweet textures fill the mouth with a film of sugar that never dissolves. The tack of sugar invites early creaminess that fades quickly, leaving an extended middle palate of residual malt sweetness and cola-like coat. Finishing spicy, malty-dry, and lightly acidic; the beer refuses to conclude quietly.

The Thirteenth Hour is a fairly typical Belgian-style strong dark ale that's made by a U.S. brewery with U.S. ingredients and techniques. These usually result in a sticky sweet taste with simple fruit and simple spice with little of the rustic intangibles that make authentic versions so great. A higher wood aged presence would have given a much needed complexity to make me forget about the one-dimensional sweet taste.

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Samuel Adams Thirteenth Hour Stout (Barrel Room Collection) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 262 ratings.