13th Anniversary Ale | Stone Brewing

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13th Anniversary Ale13th Anniversary Ale
725 Ratings
13th Anniversary Ale13th Anniversary Ale

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by seaoflament on 06-29-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 725 |  Reviews: 607
Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this one up at Liquorama in SoCal. I was a little hesitant to pick it up since you can hold it to the light and see that it is rather light colored because I am not a hop head and their darker beers tend to be more malty; however, I read the bottle and it sold me. I like that they are proponing craft brewing and thanking their "drinkers". They also go so far as to say "However, if you are outside our region and you often choose a quality craft beer that is more local, we understand." Kudos to Stone! I agree, so I bought this beer and an Arrogant Bastard glass to pour it into to hopefully propagate that mindset. Here we go...

Appearance: Pours a somewhat dark brown color with a long standing tan head that was about 1/2" thick after a slow pour. The head was still there a minute after the pour and was barely half its original size. The beer itself is pretty clear.

Aroma: Wow there are some hops in this beer! That is the main component of the aroma. I get a bit of caramel malt and some toasty notes if I try to smell through the hops.

Taste: Well...obviously there is a boat load of hops in this beer, but it mostly beats up your taste and actually lets some of the malt become noticeable in the finish. There is hops flavor in the finish, but it is not bittering so much as just residual oils sitting on the back of the throat. There is so much late hop additions in this beer that they are probably just breaking even with this beer costing $5.99. There is a lot of hops in this beer. As the beer warms up some, the bitterness is becoming more apparent...but it still manages to not get harsh.

Opinion: Well...this beer is not my cup of tea since I am a malt-head. That said, I respect that they are able to get this much hops in the aroma and still keep the beer mostly drinkable. I had a hard time drinking their 10th anniversary beer, but I will finish this one. I doubt that I will be drinking this beer again on my own nickel...and I will stick their Impy Stout, and Smoked Porter.

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Photo of beertooth
3.87/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle split between my friend and myself at Three Floyds brewpub.

A careful pour gives me a glass of dark ruby almost brown liquid with a finger of thick tan head.

The nose is full of dank citrus hops(surprise!), caramel, booze, grapefruit, pine, more booze.

The first sip gives me a ton of oily hops, sweet malt, and booze. Quite tasty!

Mouthfeel is full and creamy.

The booze is really catching up to me and very warming. Half a bottle is all I can drink at one sitting.

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Photo of sweetbrew82
3.87/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle into a pint glass

P: Dark amber with a very thick and creamy crown that stands 2 fingers tall. Showed decent retention and formed a thick collar on top.

A: All the usual suspects you would expect to find in an Imperial Red. Caramel malts, pungeant citrus hops, oily piney hops, toffee, and a little booze. Hops make this one a little one-dimensional. Reminds me of a weaker version of Tongue Buckler.

T: Intensely bitter right out of the chute with big blasts of resinous pine, and bright citrusy hops that smell like grapefruit and orange rinds. It has a nice, sturdy toasted caramel malt bill that supports and tries valiantly to provide at least a little balance. I was expected a bigger, chewier malt presence than this to be honest. As is, it just tastes a lot like a really bitter DIPA from Stone; I know, not that ground-breaking, huh? A little boozy on the palate with that same vodka-type quality that I find in fresh Old Guardian. It warms you up, that's for damn sure!

M: Medium-full bodied but still achieves a nice, thick, creaminess about it. Just not as much as I would have preferred given the huge hop bill, as a bigger malt presence would have added that chewy, lush smoothness to it that really would have tickled my fancy.

Notes: All in all, this is a pretty decent brew from one of my favorite breweries, even though it's really one-dimensional. Nothing spectacular about it, as it doesn't quite reach the greatness you would expect to find in a Stone Anniversary brew. The ethanol rears its ugly head a bit too much for me and the malt bill seems way overloaded by the hops. Maybe 6 months of age will do this one some good.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
3.87/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into big red wine glass.

Pours deep brown-red, quite hazy, with a very thin, fine-bubbled khaki head. Nice legs as every sip leaves a solid wall of lacing, though the actual lacing that sticks is actually pretty sparse.

Nose is big caramel, citrusy hops, candied orange rind, nice alcohol bite in there as well.

Taste is the high point of the beer. Taste is seamlessly melded - sharp hop bite at the beginning is big, piney, pungent, bitter orange rind coming through, and inseparable from the underlying big malt body - sweet caramel malt with toasty notes and even a bit of cocoa coming through. The malt never really emerges from the hops, though the hops are never free of the big malt body underneath either. Close to a 4.5, but doesn't quite make it.

Mouthfeel is slick, oily, full bodied, prickley both from the sharp carbonation and the hop bite. Quite nice.

Drinkability is decent, but the beer feels pretty green. Hops are a bit rough, and some age I think would turn this into a first class, super-balanced beer, perhaps even in the vein of a nice barleywine.

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Photo of imagineiii
3.86/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

disclaimer: drank this while homebrewing, and ive noticed that smells and tastes that are in the air while homebrewing can effect your palate...

A: poured into my duvel tulip. Dark brown in the glass, but BRILLIANT ruby in the light. eggshell head, several fingers thick. excellent head retention. color steals the show.

S: chocolate jumps out at me. roasted barleys. almost some espresso. hops dont show thru in the nose as much as you might think. malts rule the nose. some alcohol at the end.

T: tastes are very much inline with the nose. chocolate and coffee acidity dominate before the hop bitterness kicks in; and boy does it kick in. hop acidity cleans away almost all of the bitter and sticky malt flavors. exceptional balance considering the "size" of the beer. hops linger only slightly longer than you want them to. raisins and BOOZE join the hops in the aftertaste as this beer warms.

M: wonderful mouthfeel as this beer changes so much on your palate. carbonation is great, creamy on the tongue.

D: This beer loses on drinkability but it was probably intended that way. Theres way too much going on on the palate to keep this beer going down smooth. Beers this complex shouldnt be drinkable, however...

Overall, one of my favorite stone brews, exceptionally well done.

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Photo of CHADMC3
3.86/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The pour unveils a walnut body with copper and ruby hues lying beneath a massive, foamy, tan head that patiently subsides to leave big, sticky lacing clinging to the glass.

Big aromas consist of sweet malt and rich, herbal or piney hops. Malt likely consists of sweet caramel or toffee.

The palate has some nice character with immediate malt sweetness reflective of the nose followed by the assertive hearty, herbal hop bitterness.

The mouthfeel is medium to full in body with medium carbonation and a velvety start to a slightly drying finish.

This is a very well structured brew with nice balance in flavor and very pleasing overall. Seems like a new twist on a traditional Stone Brew.

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Photo of russpowell
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Happy to be reviewing at Stone beer after a long break (had some RIS a few months ago ) from try new releases from Stone, Cheers to chefmikeanderson!

Pours a very effervescent chestnut with 4 fingers of bubbly khaki head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Pineyness, grapefruit & figs; not much else

T: Cakeyness, dryness, grapefruit, herbal & piney hops, some figgyness hiding up front. Huge herbal & piney hops mix with boozey grapefruit as this warms, plus intense dryness & a touch of cakeyness hiding below the hops. Finishes dry, piney & grapefruitty, with detracting boozeyness, plus some brown sugar

MF: Chewy as hell with low carbonation, but turns watery as it warms skews too hoppy for the style for me at the same time...

Drinks a bit slow with uber hoppyness & some boozeyness slowing me down.. Still, this is what Stone is about IMO, in your face beers that you may not always love, but more hits than duds by a long shot. Stone, please come to Oklahoma, Kansas or Mizzou please!! This one is off base to me but would happily buy if looking for a hop fix

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Photo of HalfFull
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear reddish mahogany into a pint glass. A rocky half inch of off white head offers moderate retention that holds through the pint and yields lots of temporary sheet lacing.

Balance of a light caramel sweetness and piney hops on the nose. Bit of alcohol. Prevalent sweetness has a touch of citrus scent to it but there's lots of wood here and fresh evergreen.

Taste follows the nose but doesn't offer the body expected and isn't as sweet as expected. A peppery spice initiates. There's enough of a malt body to mask the alcohol to a large degree, but not much extra. A bit of caramel molasses and buttery citrus. Finishes with a smoky bitterness. Feel is smooth and closes with a lingering touch of caramelized sugar and with a hint of dark chocolate. Fairly drinkable for the size.

Note: I'd label this beer a 'Red IPA' as I would a few other offerings I've had locally. Fans of the style might well reject it yet it's right in line with expectations from Stone. Über hoppy for the style. I see the style has been changed to a Strong Ale from an Amber/Red Ale, a more apt description.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark red color, head was super creamy and frothy. The aroma is unique and beyond complex. Caramel up from, slight mint, spicy hop remnants, leather, chocolate, and earth. There's a big caramel, almost chocolaty note up front on the taste, some earthy, spicy bitterness still lingering from the hops, sweet malts, and a leathery finish. Full bodied on the feel, creamy.

"Do not cellar".

I never noticed that on my bottle until I decided to crack it...3+ years later.

I haven't had it fresh, which would have been nice, though I was just getting into beer at that time and Stone entered Louisiana the year after. But, this was a nice Strong Ale. Though the said "Don't cellar", I think they knew this would hold it'd own to father time.

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Photo of Grabbin2nd
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From Notes: 7/1/09
Stone Brewing Co.
13th Anniversary 2009
American Strong Ale
9.5% Abv.
22oz. Bottle into Allagash glass

Appearance= Vigorous pour yielded a fat 3 finger head. Damn my vigorous pours... Like all stone beers, excellent head retention.

Smell= Peppery, kinda smells like a cigar. Good smells when it warms up a bit. Fresh hop aromas to say the least!

Taste= Hops. Wow, hops. Some nice malt as well. It's good. A true palate bomb.

Mouthfeel= Bursting mouthfeel. Everything is very fresh. Good sticky fresh hop mouthfeel. Not thick, almost perfect mouth.

Drinkability= Drinkability is a little lower than most hoppy beers I drink. It maybe the peppery aspect of it. Don't get me wrong, I love hops but I dunno about this one. It's a good beer though. I'd say more like a American Strong DIPA if such a category existed. Hot beer, best describes it.

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Photo of jaxon53
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Happy Thirteenth Anniversary Stone Brewing Company!! Keep up the great work! Served this slightly chilled, in a pint glass, from a twenty two ounce brown bottle.

Appearance: Stone 13 pours out a deep almost ruby color that is crystal clear. What a beautiful color. A somewhat hard pour yielded about two fingers of soapy tan head. Head was short lived, fading a bit on the quick side. head dissapeared into a thin glob of foam atop the beer, and left some random spotty lace behind. Looks to have a decent amount of carbonation.

Smell: Pretty good smelling nose on this beer. A large wave of citrusy hops blast the nose first. Nice floral notes mixed with orange peel and grapefruit. Also hints of pineapple. Thick malt character cuts through the hops abit.

Taste: Definitely a big hop presence in this beer. Again citrusy (mostly grapefruit and lemon zest) but with some slight pine notes not noticed in the nose. I am also getting a dark fruit flavor that is very faint. Can't quite put my finger on what it is. The malt really shines through in the flavor surprisingly, giving the beer some balane and depth. The 9.5 percent ABV warms in the bitter, hoppy, dry finish.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is somewhere between medium and full bodied. Somewhat on the thicker side. A perfect amount of tongue tickling carbonation.

Drinkability: Pretty drinkable but strong at the same time. This brew will get you if you dont respect it. Another great brew from Stone!!

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Photo of Freshie
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

In terms of Stone, and American Strong Ales, this is just average. I mean just viewing in terms of beer, it is good. But maybe I expect more? I do not know.

Pours a brown caramel color with thin tan head.

Aroma of sweet caramel malt, and grassy/herbal hops.

Taste is strong and hoppy, with some candy sweetness. Hop mouth does set in after a bit. As drinkable as a strong ale can be.

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Photo of beerwolf77
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I found this at the back of my beer fridge and figured I better drink it ASAP.Poured into my pint glass the beer is dark cherry red with an enormus tan head that was at least 3 inches thick and could have been more if it had not billowed over the top of my glass. After some settling the head leaves a extremly thick coating of lace all around my glass. A nice cap has formed on top of the beer.

The aroma is super hoppy.It smells more like a DIPA then anything. Bitter fruits and pine are basically the only thing my nose can pick up. Not that that's a bad thing.

The flavor smoother then I expected. That may be an effect from the beer being 4 months aged. Some grapefruit and pine flavor is there but mostly smooth malt. I can't down grade too much since I'm sure this was supposed to be consumed fresh.

Creamy medium body with a decent amount of carbonation.

Overall I wish I hadn't forgotten about this beer. I would have loved to have gotten it fresh. It's still a really nice beer just not the usual Stone mind blower.

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Photo of dwilson01
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

poured from a bottle into my arrogant bastard pint glass, says "do not cellar," I chose to not take their advice. The body is a thick deep brown, cloudy with a light tan/yellowish head topping it. Dissipation is not evident, else extremely slow.

The smell emanating from this is very alcohol intensive, spicey hops shine through but all in all the esters dominate. A light brown sugar from the malt comes out to play also.

The flavors do not lend themselves to the estery scent but are very up front. The hop spices give me a slight cinnamon, bitter clove and nutmeg as well a a pine and spruce type tree flavor. The malt is there as a backbone not really imparting too much flavor, most fermented out into the alcohol content which is substantial. Interesting flavors to be sure and I respect the hell out of them but it doesn't strike my palate as being particularly amazing.

The mouthfeel is solid, dense and malty with little carbonation to lighten it at all.

Sipping beer this one is, so thick you can't really do much else unless you like chugging milkshakes ha

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Photo of TheEremite
3.84/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at The Trappist in Oakland. Pours dark brown, ruby highlights.the aroma on this thing is outstanding. Huge hop aroma of pine and citrus jump out of the glass. I didn't know what to expect but with stone, I guess I should have known. They nailed the dry hopping on this one. Flavor is good, but the buttering is a bit over done IMO. It would have been nice to taste some of the dark malts, ore anything but bitterness. It really detracts from the drinkability too.

In all, it's well worth a quaff, especially if you're a skull crushing hop head, but. Can't see myself having more than one glass.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear deep dark amber ruby color with a very light tan head that retains quite well and leaves nice lacing.

Nose is mostly hops, but some caramel malt like aromas are lurking in there. Metallic Pine like hops are prominent though.

Hmmm. Pretty interesting, but far from delicious. Certainly a decent beer, but really fairly boring. The malty base is there, but it is alot like the malt profile in an old-ass IPA. The hop profile is ok, but really just blatantly bitter, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but when there isn't enough flavor to back it up, its less enticing.

Mouthfeel is good, viscous without being overbearing. Carbonation is dead on though.

Drinkability is very good for the abv. Although, the flavor kind of detracts from it.

Overall, i am pretty uninspired and unimpressed on this one from stone. It's ok, its not a bad beer, its just so damn boring. Aside from the bitterness, this really tastes like an old DIPA. I would drink it again, but certainly wouldn't purchase it again. Meh

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Photo of mtstatebeer
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle served in a snifter glass. Pours a clear mahogany color with a decent frothy tan head, good lacing throughout. Aromas is caramel malts, pine, citrus, grapefruit and spicy hops, bread, and a hint of alcohol. Flavor is caramel malts, pine and citrus hops, a nice fruitiness, a touch of alcohol, and a hint of wood. Mouthfeel is smooth, a little creamy, finishes dry and fairly bitter. Good beer, nice and hoppy.

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Photo of grover37
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked this one up about six months ago at Buckeye Beer Engine for $8 iirc. It was already a year old at that point. I really liked this one when it was fresh in summer 2009, so I figured I'd pick a couple more up and see how it ages.

Appearance (4.5): Very dark, reddish brown with dark orange around the edges. A pretty healthy cream colored head with tight bubbles which sticks around and leaves a thick ring and a thin covering layer.

Aroma (4): Very strong, syrupy caramel from the crystal malts and slightly sweet. A touch of pine and dark citrus hops are well integrated.

Taste (4): Immediately the bitterness, piney hops and light, bready caramel flavors hit the tongue. The middle is much more of the syrupy caramel and pretty sweet and viscuous. The finish is more hoppy and not as malt forward but still a bit sweet. The bitterness lingers along with the thick sweetness of the crystal malts.

Mouthfeel (3): Thick and coating from the residual sugars. Almost overly so. I remember this being much more balanced when it was fresh so it's hard to dock it too much.

Drinkability (3.5): This isn't quite a sipper but the sweetness knocks down the drinkability. The alcohol is pretty well masked, but the syrupy caramel backbone makes it less palatable. I thought this one was better when it was fresh as it was very close to a DIPA. Not it's more of a barleywine, and a much different beast. Still not bad at all though and it's not coming back either.

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Photo of pinotboy007
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dated June 2009. Beautiful looking deep mahogany ale with a khaki-colored, dense/bubbled root beer-like cap that slowly descended to a large clump. Modest lacing.

S - Pine and mocha - more pronounced as it warmed.

T - Complex pine sap, oak, leather, malt and peat with a Scotch-like alcohol punch on the back end/finish. Not for the weak of heart and not for the novice. Those who enjoy a "hop assault" will like this very much but the heat is distracting, even when quite cold.

M - Splendid creaminess and a slight touch of fizz; wow.

D - At 9.5%? Right. This is more than a decent ale, however and worth purchasing.

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Photo of jaluria
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle of this at one of my local spots in CT.

Pours a semi-opaque ruby-brown color with a strong tan colored head. Tons of lacing is left behind in my goblet following a few sips. Aromas of dark fruit, alcohol, licorice, and sourdough seem to come out. Quite powerful in it's scent and lingering aromas. The taste follows suite and is dominated by sweet malt flavors that leave behind a smoky flavor on the back of my throat. To me this tastes like a winter warmer with sweet bready malt character and high alcohol content. A few sips in and I'm feeling the alcohol especially the warming sensation that often follows the high ABV beers.

Overall, I enjoyed this beer especially while the snow is falling outside and the temperature is dropping. However I don't plan on having this again as it seems more singular in profile and taste.

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Photo of jackorain
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

13th ann stone

Beautiful color, brown and clear with a wonderful mahogany hue when held up to the light. Nice tight, tan head of about 1 inch height that fell very slowly to a thick coat with a tall collar of about 3/8 inch in height. Some alcohol enter the nose as it warms

The nose brings huge molasses malt mixed with resiny, piney hops. Jagermeister in the nose as well. There are some dried fruits.

Malts rush at 1st. molasses, dried fruit, sweet caramel. The hops come slamming in the middle, big resinous and bitter. Pine, green and herbal. The bitterness lingers very long, way beyond the swallow. My entire mouth is tingling. Alcohol is fairly well hindden until the beers wrms considerably at whcih point it becomes quite hot.

Mouthfeel may be the strongest suit of this beer. This is one creamy, full bodied beer. Carbonation compliments the creaminess perfectly. The heat from the alcohol as it warms detracts though.

I could drink this bomber and enjoy it but I need to move on after it. I would not turn it down in the future but I don't think I would actively pursue it.

Thanks for reading

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Photo of alpinebryant
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a thick brown orange color with a small tan head along the top. Smelled spicy and malty with hops behind the stronger spice scents I first smelled.

Tastes very boozy and Licorice seemed to hit me. Maybe pepper or some other spice, but the licorice seemed to ring a bell with my tastebuds among the grapefruit. I would let this one age a little longer to let the booze settle down, but overall a very tasty brew.

Mouthfeel was nice and syrupy, a good consistency for a beer that was high in abv. Rough to drink more than one bomber of this though as it is a sipper.

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Photo of deapokid
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very excited to try my third Stone Anniversary Ale as I soak in the wonderful sentiment expressed in the essay on the back of the bottle.

Beer pours a deep, almost candied red with a thick and foamy head that leaves a lacy film on the glass as it recedes.

The smell is a big hoppy aroma, which is expected from Stone beer and packing an added citrus sweetness to the usual hop pungency.

All is as expected, until the subtle flavor kicks in. This beer is mellow and soft on the palate, refraining from the massive hop wallop of brews like the Double Bastard. Don't get me wrong, the hops are present and still resonate, but in a different way, without the tongue scraping, which has been replaced by an uncommon smoothness. The heavy 9.5 ABV is well disguised, making for a very smooth and drinkable beer experience.

This subtlety and complexity is new for Stone and it's good to see that one of the best breweries in the US is still trying new things.

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Photo of Kaiser81
3.82/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cracked open a 22 oz bottle today and poured into a pint glass. I've had this before many times on tap, but never reviewed

A - A dark caramel-red in color, with about a fingerwidth of head on the glass that dissipates after about 2 minutes. it leaves some lacing on the glass, and the head has a nice ring on top.

S - delightful. I get a sweetness of toffee, or caramel balanced by some hops on the back end.

T - Not as good as I remember it, sadly. On tap, it was so hoppy, and so fresh. It might have been the best imperial red I've had. On the bottle, it says enjoy as quickly as possible. Perhaps I didn't enjoy it quickly enough.
There is pine and woodiness galore from all of the hops in there, but it's not overkill. There's enough malt mixed in to make sure the hops don't kill your tastebuds. But it's not tasting as fresh anymore.

M - Medium bodied with some nice carbonation. A good balance.

D - Sort of lacking this late since it was released. I hope they make more of it as I absolutely love it on tap and filling my growler with it.

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Photo of charlesw
3.81/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

That's a nice looking beer. Man, is that a nice looking beer. Pours rich and thick, tiny tan bubbles in a good-sized head. That head lasts and lasts... Beautiful ruby/amber color - so deep and rich. Nice red color shines through, just a little.

Smells citrus floral and grassy. On the bitter side of citrus - grapefruit or something.

Oh. That's crazy. Interesting. Whoa. What? I guess it's like an IIPA in the mouth. Lots of different hop stuff going on but mostly subdued. Kinda strange. A tiny zap of bitterness at the end and she's done. Only, ha, fooled you! It keeps getting dryer and more bitter the longer it's been since you had any in your mouth. Thus, as with hot peppers, you're encouraged to drink more - to keep that dry, bitter aftertaste from coming on. Ha! Thankfully all of the crazy hops and bitterness and whatever have sweet maltiness to balance them out. Interestingly, my first taste was only of the malts... Like, well, it takes time for the hops to come on but they truly are like hot peppers - slowing sneaking up and then thwacking you on the head, er, tongue. And there are all kinds of hop things going on - it's not strong in citrus (that was the nose). It's not overpowering in pine but you sure get that. It's crazy. You should try it!

With a touch more carbonation, really not much, this would be spot on.

And while I've lavished all of this praise on it... I probably won't go out and buy any more. I prefer my beer more subdued and more balanced. Hey - compared to a Pliny this is Westy 12 but it's still way too hop forward and bitter especially a minute or two after you've swalled it for my taste.

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13th Anniversary Ale from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 725 ratings