Stone 13th Anniversary Ale | Stone Brewing

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Stone 13th Anniversary AleStone 13th 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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Reviews: 607 | Ratings: 723
Photo of edmedina
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's been a while since I wrote an official review. For tonight's review I am going to give my thoughts on the latest anniversary brew from Stone Brewing. This is the 13th Anniversary beer that was recently released. One thing I noticed on the bottle is that they suggest consuming this now and not aging it. Kind of makes me wonder, what an aged version of this beer will taste like.

The 13th Anniversary is listed as an Imperial Red Ale. It's pretty unusual to see a big red ale like this but hey I'm game.
Aroma: First thing I noticed is the grassy/piney floral hop character. If I had to guess they aroma hop they used, I would say Simcoe (which when I checked on their site it states they used Simcoe and Centennial). The aroma is a nice surprise.
Appearance: It's a dark copper/amber color. I got about 1 - 2 fingers worth of head. Outside of a slight chill haze the beer itself is pretty clear
Taste: Immediately you taste the bittering hops (their site states it is Chinook hops) and even some of the aroma hops. However, that is immediately balanced by the sweet malt character. You really get much of anything else in this beer.
Mouthfeel: Two words really bitter and dry. Nothing else is present in the mouthfeel.
Overall impression: I am sort of torn on this one. When I think of an amber/red ale I think more along the lines of Troeg's Nugget Nectar and Bud's American Ale. Both are good examples of two extremes of the style. What you have here is a red ale on steroids. This is great to give it a try once having more than that, well that would be hard for me to do.

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Photo of blackie
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: into my piraat snifter with a frothy two-finger beige head, the beer is a deep chestnut brown in color, nice retention and light lace

s: first is an onslaught of green pine backed by fresh tropical fruits - monstrous West Coast C-hops, notes of grapefruit and fresh pine bough being most dominant with some mango and passionfruit, malts try to make a stand but ultimately skulk in the background providing smooth nutty aromas and dark toffee dusted with cocoa, mild ethanol peeks out only after warming considerably

m: smooth carbonation around medium level, medium-full body

t: almost all hops on the tongue - big tropical flavors turning towards pine bitterness almost immediately, the malts are felt more than tasted - lending some dark sugars and flavors of nut-roll or dark breads, a wonderfully oppressive bitterness lingers in the long finish, too unbalanced for a higher score but a great experience for the hop fiend within

d: an easy sipper but one that demands respect, a nice beer overall but I would like to see some more malt coming through the wall of hops

bomber from Norm's, Vienna, VA

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Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- The head is a very creamy khaki color that likes to hang around a while. The beer itself is a very dark burnt red color.

S- This smells like an orgy of hops in a glass. This smells very tasty. Reminds me a lot of Pliny the Elder. Lots of citrus and grapefruit notes with a nice caramel background.

T- This is a very hop forward beer with lots of caramel malty goodness in the background. The hops are always present, but this sweetness from the malts is also there, it has great harmony between the two. I'm also getting a nice spicyness to this as well. The taste is great.

M- Good mouthfeel, but this is a total pallet killer.

D- Very easy to drink, and great brew from a company that has a "go big or go home" attitude.

Despite the fact the bottle says don't age, I bet the malt profile will come though as the hops fade and this beer will be a completely different beast. I can only imagine what that would be like.

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Photo of erikm25
4.49/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a combination of both cola and darkened crimson colors. Like caramel glazed black cherries. Head creeps up with some slight bubbles. Moderate retention with a trickle of lacing. Sits in the glass with an attractive thickened rustic hue.

S: Citrus hops aromas with some fresh pine and cinnamon spice. Cantaloupe sprinkled with ginger then dipped in spearmint and vanilla. Fresh smelling with an underlying honey sweetness.

T: Generous helpings of both sweetening and bittering tastes. Orange and grapefruit juiciness. Brown sugar and toffee help to compliment the floral and fruitiness. This is like drinking in 4-D. Even with prominent tastes that stand out it is still a smooth beer.

M: Heavy ended medium mouth feel. Slightly oily with a rich syrupy quality. I love the way this beer finishes.

D: A hopped up amber with a good kick. Very drinkable. I would like to try this along side AB as this one kind of reminded me of a psychedelic and stronger version. Again, and as we all know, this brewery continues to put out some high quality craft beer.

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Photo of snpub540
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep mohogany color that had some scarlet highlights when held up to the light. Tan head that stuck around for a very long time and leaves some very beautiful lacing.

Smells very hoppy!! Grapefruit, floral, and pine give off a very enticing hop aroma. Also a malty sweetness lingering in the background.

Honestly one of the best hoppy beers I have ever had. Still has a caramel sweetness at first and flows into a symphony of hop flavor. I get a lot of Chinook presence from the bitter grapefruit taste, followed by a dry piney aftertaste. Very delicious. As it warmed it just got better!

Mouthfeel is silky smooth and it has the same flavor profile as AB but isn't as harsh. A definate success from Stone and I will have to go back and get more to enjoy very soon.

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Photo of dqderrick
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served at 49°F.

A - 4.5
Dark reddish-brown, semi-transparent with a nice 1/4" head that sticks around. Swirling reveals minimal lacing sticking to the sides.

S - 4.0
Reminds me of a fresh Nugget Nectar by Troegs. Sweet malt, pine citrus, malty. Lovin' the pine citrus.

T - 4.5
Tastes dark and deep brown ale. Hops are on the high end of being balanced... teetering on overkill... very well done. The overall balance continues to surprise with each sip. During each sip, I sense the flavor go full throttle and then let back to nicely coat my palate and make it beg for another.

MF - 4.0
Nicely carbonated and feels very smooth on the tongue. Almost overwhelming... but stops short. Excellent BIG beer!

D - 4.0
For this style and comparing it to something like the Tongue Buckler (is that fair?), this is extremely drinkable.

I've had an older and aged Decadence by AleSmith that I believe was close to this style that was better... which makes me question how this would age. However, the ominous "Do not cellar. Enjoy in 2009." makes me consider otherwise.

I plan to have at least one a month of these. And yes, I'll probably lay a few down... against Stone's bottle labeling. Why? Maybe because I'm an Arrogant Bastard... that's why.

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Photo of Casey10
4.52/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into St Bernadus glass.

A - Dark cherry red 1 finger head from warmed bottle.

S - Complex fruity nice stong smell

T - Strong taste, copper, some fruit

M - Foamy strong alcohol,

D - Tough to say this beer is hot and a lot might be a bad thing.

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Photo of erz316
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1pt 6floz bottle into s. smith pint glass. Triskaidekaphobia sufferers beware...

A - a very heady beer, even a gentle pour sends it into a rage of head madness. body is a diphanous brown, a little lighter than cola, though still retaining the red notes. big frothy head retains damn well and makes clings onto the sides of the glass for dear life. head has a crackly uneven surface, like a cloud or something.

S - smell is overpowering, even as the bottle is just opened. hop notes are clearly from dryhopping, the fragrant oils abound in the nose. notes of pine are evident, and some lemon zest. not a trace of the malts in my case. a relatively simple, but overpowering nose.

T - initial tastes are just as bold as the nose: evident malt presence now, along with the bitter hop oils. malts come out as a sweet note and mingle quite well with the hops, they make this initially confusing taste of what appears to be some sort of floral bitter fruit. the blended malt presence quickly subsides to the bitterness of the hops. the finish presents some alcohol warmth. the aftertaste is initially a burst of alcohol followed by the blended malt/mixed sweetness flavour, and then subsiding into subdued hop oils.

MF&D - large-scale abundant carbonation with a not-too-thick body makes for a good balance. the body is thick and rich, a good coupling for the abv and overpowering taste. neither, of course, deters me from having more of these (save my distaste for such highly dry hopped beverages), as it does the job quite well. Though as a last remark I would probably just go for the x2 bastard.

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Photo of LibraryTom
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is an Imperial Red IPA clocking in at 9.5%. They have used more hops per barrel than any previous beer made. They hop it during the boil, then dry hop it once it cools, and then they dry hopped it one more time just before filtering, for good measure I suppose.

The hops come through, but the beer surely has a sweet, malty side as well. When poured it has a deep red, mahogany color with a rich, creamy tan head. The crystal and amber malt flavors shine through in the mid palette. The hops have a bitterness up front, and then carry on through the palette and stay for a long finish.

I would say that this beer is much more malt driven than most of the West Coast IPA's out there. There is a real quality to the expression of malt character in this beer. I am never sure what flavors, other than barley, to equate the "red" malt to, but this beer has a lot of it with tons of layers. The alcohol shows a bit too much, which is characteristic of Stone's beers, but is not offensive. Maybe a bit out of balance, but it is easy to tell that there was a great effort put into this beer.

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Photo of Anthony1
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured 1/2 into perfect pint, then loosely recapped and left the 2nd 1/2 to warm up a bit more as i enjoyed the first glass.

Pours a dark amber with a reddish hue. nice tan head that was thick and fluffy. sticking around, allowing to bask in its aroma.

This beer had a very strong smell. Smelled of floral up front, with hops, malt, some fruitness. The floral aroma closely resembled fennel with a dry mint leaves. The flavor was a bouque of tastes, earthy, with hops and malt mix. Full bodied bliss with a hit of carbonation.

At frist, i was worried, once i smelled the beer, i knew it would be a hit or miss with its strong aroma. At first, i loved the beer's taste, then began to second guess the flavor. as the beer began to warm up, the floral aroma began to bloom and i immediately got hooked. It was a strong flavor and taste not for the weak hearted, but man, i got hooked.

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Photo of slayer3604
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Deep crimson with a white/beige head, sticky lacing and a swath of bubbles emitting from the depths of the glass.

S-Absolute hop. A stinging sensation on your nose, because of the sheer hoppiness of this beverage. Moist pine bark, the mist coming off of an orange as you peel the skin off, caramel, toffee and a rush of booze.

T- up front malt that levels into a universe of pulsating hop orgies with tawney port, cracked pepper corn, pine, mint, and victory in the background.

M- Lathery, suddy, the glass says it all, the head is stuck to this mother like no tomorrow.

D- This is the fifth time i've had this beer and the first time i've reviewed selling stone beer by far that we've ever carried as well.

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Photo of Murchmac
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Always look forward to this annual offering from Stone. 13 is a mystical number for many cultures, not in the beer culture.

Pours a big foamy tan head. Dark colors, brown, ruby, brilliant cherry mahogany, big foamy lacing. There's a bar in San Francisco called Lucky 13 I like.

Smells of ground fresh hops at first, pepper, spice, nice malt profile kick in later. In some countries, the number 13 is considered unlucky and building owners will sometimes purposefully omit a floor so numbered.

Big Hops, Big Malt, peppery, bitter, Big Citrus, Big Red Alcohol. It does't quite work for me though. Apollo 13 was the only unsuccessful mission by the United States of America intended to land humans on the moon.

Alcohol and hops burn down your throat like the 10th anniversary, but this one wasn't as smooth. Pretty good beer, a victim of their own success as it didn't live up to the hype. Haven't been this disappointed since Jim Carrey's 23.

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Photo of possumfollower2
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into the 2nd quaff. Appearance is pretty much opaque with a hint of red seen through the glass. Head's off amber. Mouthfeel is oily with only a slight stickiness. The girl says it's too bitter for her. I agree that the bittering is very aggressive. Definite pineapple is present at the back. The malts are even-keeled for something so dark, not too roasted or nutty. For a strong beer like this there's not a huge alcohol kick at the end. I did appreciate the "Do not cellar" warning. It was very considerate from our friends at Stone, otherwise a lot of guys, including myself would have tried to keep it too long and would have been deeply disappointed.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aah, the anticipated Imperial Red. In true Stone fashion, this beer is flavorful, challenging, and aggressive as hell.

Begins with a sturdy dark amber hue (boardering on crimson) with very good clarity despite such dark red colors. Great foamstance and retention with malt-stained yellowish foam. Tough to knock the appearance from perfect.

Aromas are that of true Stone beers- floral, citrusy, piney, and pungent all the way. A background of malts and sunkist barley rise and give complexity to the hops. A lot going on here, could be mistaken for a Barleywine.

Flavors are extremely strong and obviously begin with the heavy dose of hops throughout. Flowery and fruity even with the onslaught of alpha acid flavor. Heavy malts come in with a toasty, toffee flavor and heavy breads (think beer breads) with molassas and sorgum. Also comming in at mid-palate is the flavors from the alcohol that deter from the malt-hops blend because of a nail polish remover taste and aggression.

The feel is equally as bold with ultimate bitterness that is tempered nicely with the bready and well attenuated malts. Not much sweetness, just malty as hell (similar to Arrogant Bastard). But again, the alcohols become quite abrupt and keep the beer from reaching full potential. Bitey and bitter the finish suffers a bit from the vodka-like alcohols.

The beer reminds me a lot of Arrogant Bastard. The hops are re-tooled and the beer seems to be a bit more caramelly and toasty instead of the simplified melanoidin notes. Still, a Stone-worthy beer indeed.

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Photo of HeyItsChili
3.71/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Picked up a bomber of this from the Charleston Beer Exchange. Poured into a proper pint glass. Pours garnet with radiant amber highlights and a supercreamy khaki colored head.

S - Mild, hoppy, little earthy malt in there, brown sugar, but overall very subdued.

T - Bitter, hoppy, red ale with a superbitter pine aftertaste that assaults the tastebuds before rolling over and falling asleep on them (i.e. bitterness lingers). White pepper spiciness in there.

M - Medium bodied, a little creamy.

Notes - A wonderfully made beer, just not my preferred hop balance.

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Photo of hooliganlife
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours deep deep amber. dark enough that its hard to see through. light creamy head.

light scents of sweet floral hops and sweet malts. did i mention sweet?

i do notice alcohol. hop bitterness really sticks out from start to finish. hops are very citrus themed. floral hops are in the back. malts are there but not as pronounced as i would have thought. not as sweet as i would have thought from the scent.

pretty full bodied, lots of carbonation and lots of bite.

good overall. it was hoppy as they had announced it would be but very bitter hoppy. i would have liked to have seen deeper floral hops flavors and maybe a stronger malt backbone.

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Photo of mikey711
3.45/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a bomber into a pint glass. A deep mohagany beer with a very nice lacey off white head.

Very aromatic, citrus, piney, spicey, earthy. Tends mostly to the citrus hops, lemony and pineapple. A very faint smell of malt sweetness comes through in the end.

It tastes a bit more on the piney side than I had expected and then the sweetness comes in. I would have liked a little more balance in terms of hops and malts, as I feel the two taste don't meld together as well as they could. The pine notes also linger for a while on my tongue than I had hoped.

The mouthfeel is slightly creamy and I don't think I could or would want to drink more than one. I am a little dissappointed as I have such high expectations for stone. Perhaps I just wasn't in the mood for a beer like this, but other than the appearance and smell this beer was just average. Another go around may be in order, but I am glad I tried it.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 22oz bomber from Lone Hill Liquor in Glendora, CA and split it with my brother-in-law. Poured into a couple standard pint glasses.

Appearance was a rich dark amber color topped with a thick off-white head which never fully faded away and left successive lace rings down the glass walls, kind of like tree rings recording my progress in polishing my share.

The nose was heavily laden with pine resins and grapefruit; very nice. Underneath were the aromas of caramel with hints of fruit and a touch of vanilla. However, the hops easily outpaced the malt bill here.

The taste was an immediate blast of hops oils on the tongue, scouring the tastebuds with pine needles and grapefruit peels. The malt platform of sweet caramel applied a decent counter to the hops but there was no doubt as to which element was in charge. A slight warming was felt at the finish courtesy of the high alcohol content. The feel was full, rich and creamy with the aforementioned alcohol burn.

Overall, a great brew from the folks at Stone. I only knocked drinkability due to the fact that the high ABV got me rocked faster then I would care for. Nonetheless; this is a wonderful beer, one I plan on getting again and heartily recommend.

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Photo of GarrisWH
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a deep, rich reddish-amber color with a thick, sticky off-white head that recedes very slowly, leaving a nice solid cap throughout drinking. Also leaves nice lacing.

S - Pungent, bitter hops are dominant in the aroma of this one. The hops lean mostly towards the pine, but a bit of citrus and spiciness in there as well. Sweet, fruity malts in the background with a hint of alcohol as well.

T - Intense, bitter, and resinous pine and citrus hop flavors rock the taste buds up front. Somewhat balanced by some sweet, toffee-like malt in the background, but definitely leans very heavily towards the hop side of things. Crisp, and rather bitter finish. Really tasty and full of flavor. I can definitely detect a bit of alcohol in this brew, but it doesn't really detract.

M - Full bodied with fairly resinous feel. Almost makes the tongue tingle with the combination of intense hops and alcohol.

D - An interesting and tasty offering, but pretty intense overall. The heavy hops and alcohol presence make this a one bomber sipper for me, but it is solid nonetheless.

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Photo of seanbhudson
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper color with a large light brown head. Lots of sticky lacing.
Big aroma of dark fruit, toffee, citrusy hops and hint of pepper.
An assault on the tastebuds. Citrusy hops, sweet malts, dark fruit (cherries), and a bit of an alcohol finish. Grapefruit like bitterness lingers on the tongue for a long while.
Full bodied slightly syrupy texture. Soft carbonation. My mouth actually tingles for awhile.
Wow, this is a serious beer but has a nice balance of bitter and sweet. It felt like a rollercoaster ride. I could not drink a lot of this because the bitterness also the alcohol went straight to my brain. I have never been so buzzed off one 22 ounce bottle of beer.
NOTES: BBCSD-0906-Patrick

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Photo of therealnod
4.8/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Already had several of these, just like every year. 22oz bomber into an Old Guardian chalice.

A: Dark, clear red. Very nice.

S: Lots of pine backed by dark cherry. Some light citrus with a hint of caramel. Complex nose.

T: Wow, where to begin? Begins with the very bitter pine...sometimes...other sips start with the sweet cherry taste. Depends on whether or not you let the last taste finish. Kinda reminds me of Old Guardian blended with Double Bastard. As always, every range of bitterness and maltiness rears it's lovely head at some point. In short, this tastes exactly like a Stone beer, which is a great thing. Balanced, smooth, and delicious. I can't get enough of this, really.

M: Thick and creamy...just right for this brew.

D: Didn't notice the alcohol, but I'd bet you wouldn't survive many of these, though you'd want to. Knocked me around pretty good.

Notes: I'm certainly impressed, and I'll be sad when this is no longer available. IMO this is better than everything they have brewed outside of Old Guardian and Double Bastard. Decidedly recommended.

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Photo of ReDave
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark crimson red, brown, but with a light shining behind, it has the red glowing through it.

I have to say, the last two Anniversary Ales haven't made me giddy. The tenth was beyond perfection, and I even still have several in the fridge. [they are maybe beyond peak, but still way great]

back to the present...

the nose isn't quite there... some pine and something else, but not what i think it should be for something off the truck....

Nice frothy head, not quite the tiny bubbles, but nice slightly tan head. Sticky lace down the sides...

Interesting taste... bitter then malt, then sweet... not sure how they do it... um, this is my um... 4th bottle over 6 days, and I've gotta say this is pretty good, but not quite the 10th...

However, if they want to keep this with the 10th and along of course with ruination and the rest, well I'm all for it. lol...

I am curious how this will be in a couple of weeks...
OK, I'm all for this being a keeper, I'm going back for another case!

[edit stupid chrome no spell check and i cant count!]

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a big, deep reddish brown with a lots of thickness to it. Looked like a big beer. Nose is a little different than what I expected. Big hops, some citrus, pine and grass. Taste is burnt sugar, alcohol and bitterness. Piney and citrus notes too. Mouthfeel is nice and thick. Outstanding.

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Photo of jpro
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

First off, the "American Amber / Red Ale" listing is a bit of an understatement! This is a heavy, hoppy brew - would you expect anything less? It pours a lovely, deep ruby color with a thick, rocky, beige head. The aroma is pretty outstanding: grassy, big-time piney hops, hints of burnt brown sugar, a little roasty, with a bit of alcohol that zings the nose. Taste is big: piney hops introduce this beer to the palate; the roasted malt flavor is noticeable toward the dry, bitter, bitter (bitter) finish; alcohol is definitely noticeable. The mouthfeel for this one is heavy / full-bodied; carbonation is just right; one hell of a bite! Drinkability... yikes, the alcohol is fairly prevalent (you definitely know its 9.5%) and I don't know if I could handle much more than this bomber!

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Photo of beersujit
4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is damn good..I haven't tasted this kind a beer since long time.... This feels like beer.... a original beer.. this beer made my day a better one. don't ever drink without any food.. first timer...have a snack ready before u drink this beer... i think u will love it as u go long with it. no way to start beer tasting with this,... but i love beer so I tried it.. its good

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Stone 13th Anniversary Ale from Stone Brewing
4.06 out of 5 based on 723 ratings.
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