Bottleworks 13th Anniversary Ale | Stone Brewing

very good
118 Reviews
Bottleworks 13th Anniversary AleBottleworks 13th Anniversary Ale

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial 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!

13 Grains
Pale 2-R • White Wheat • Aromatic • Weyermann Chocolate Rye • Light Munich • Brown Crisp • Oats • Crisp Light Crystal • Caramunich • Baird's Chocolate • Lightly Peated • Simpsons Dark Crystal • Crisp Amber

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

Added by NWer on 03-27-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 118 | Ratings: 328
Photo of ArrogantB
1.72/5  rDev -54.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

This was truly an awful beer and I don't say that often. It actually tasted offensive. Dark black color, short head. Smells a little odd, like plastic and malts. The taste was downright awful, burnt rubber, tires, gas station, malts and a hint of pine. I was really disappointed in this beer, one of the worst beers I've had and probably the only bad Stone beer I've had. Disgusting.

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Photo of bum732
1.99/5  rDev -46.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

S: Lot going on, fruity esters, some tropical notes, chocolate, liquorice, touch of pine, nutty, a lot alcohol as it warms.

L: Very dark brown, light tan, creamy head that dissipates slightly.

T: Roasty chocolate with an odd grassy hoppy backbone. Medium-high herbal and bitter citrus peel like bitterness leading to a mixture of fruits with a prominent roastiness. Anise, rosemary and bitter nuttiness also on the palate. Some cappucino.

M: Medium full, creamy body, slight alcohol detectable. Medium carbonation.

Really messy, couldn't finish it. I get the gimmick, but throwing everything but the kitchen sink in the mash is fucking stupid. Why professional breweries do this and then charge this amount is mind boggling.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.12/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Big thanks to drabmuh for the chance to try this one. Served in a mini snifter. Pours a moderately-dark caramel brown color with a decent off-white/tan head. Nose carries some sweet malts and a cornucopia of hop character. This is just a mess. Flavor doesn’t go in any direction. What’s the point in having such a gimmicky ingredient list? No one cares and it doesn’t smell or taste very good. Nothing is defined and the best words to describe this beer are "hops" and "malt." Maybe alcohol too. Not recommended.

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Photo of jethrodium
2.23/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

650 ml bottle. Pours a dark brown with a small tan head that has decent retention and leaves some light lacing on the glass. The aroma is light roast, some coffee, earthy hops and a strange plastic note. The taste has a light sweetness with some roastyiness, some coffee, earthy hops, and the same strange plastic note. A bit of alcohol on the finish as well as some light bitterness and a bit of astringency. Medium-light body. Medium carbonation. Strange beer. Disappointing.

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Photo of oline73
2.48/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours an opaque reddish brown with a finger of tan head that gores away completely. The color of this beer reminds me of Dr. Pepper.

Smell: Quite sweet and malty. I'm getting some roast and dark fruit as well. This beer also has a fruity black cherry like quality to it along with some alcohol. Caramel and some mild smoke as well.

Taste: Fairly muddled to be honest. Not as sweet as the smell indicated. Some roast from the malt. The bitterness and fruit notes combine with the alcohol and it reminds me of bitter cough syrup.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thick side of medium and a bit syrupy. Tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This beer had way too much going on. I appreciate the effort, but it didn't work for me. Oh well.

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Photo of ehammond1
2.59/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Bottle (2012)

Holiday Wine Cellar
Escondido, CA

Cloudy dark brown and dark mahogany with a small light brown head that lingers for some time, eventually leaving the glass oily and spotted with stick.

A big kitchen sink of aroma: definite hoppiness coming in waves of pine and earth, though this is decidedly a big, sweet, and roast malty aroma, with some big notes of alcohol heat as well. It has everything, sure, but too much isn't necessarily a good thing.

The flavor suffers from a similar fate: there's just too much going on here to be pleasantly complex. It's piney and bitter, sweet, roasty, full of caramel and bread, some char and ash, and big booze notes.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. A bit prickly.

I didn't care for this one. A beer brewed on novelty: 13 different hops and 13 different malts celebrating 13 years of business. That's all well and good, until you drink the beer.

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Photo of AlexFields
2.61/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Shared by CurtisMcArthur at TN whales tasting 3/16/2013.

Looks like room temperature black coffee with a few bubbles.

Smells like dusty gravel and wet cardboard.

Taste is typical Stone hop profile but greatly diminished and confused, some decent smoky malt character, this is okay but not great, probably a little better when fresh. Can more or less enjoy a small pour but wouldn't care for any more.

Mouth is a little undercarbed but not awful.

This tastes like someone put about 13 grains and 13 hops into a beer and then sat on it too long before opening it--oh wait.


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Photo of ChadQuest
2.65/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Color is a dirty brown, not opaque, but dirty in color. There is a finger of head and light lacing.

The aroma is unique, it has some elements i normally note with Black IPAs, like the combination of Roast and Big Cascade/Chinook hops along with some peat and raisin.

The flavors are a lot to work through, there is a lot of overlapping and things going on. I really notice Chocolate and Rye like spices, the Rye spice notes seem to really pop out, but some of that might be the healthy amount of noble hops in here, and the Piney Cascade are prevalent also. All of that space between the hoppy spice shin dig is the malt fest that turns this into an interesting dark holiday fruitcake of a beer, so much going on and a lot of it doesn't add much positive, sort of a mess.

Well, it was an affordable bottle, but falls into the same fate as Bells 10,000 of using simpy too much.

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Photo of kawilliams81
2.68/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Alesmith Horny Devil snifter.

A- pours a dark brown with a 1 finger light beige head. Small waves of lacing cling to the glass.

S- some peat, chocolate, toffee, and pine.

T- molasses, ash, chocolate, slight sourness, and very bitter astringent pine.

M- medium body and carbonation. Slight dryness and with huge bitter, chemical aftertaste.

O- this beer is just a mess. There's really nothing I can pick out from this beer that I like. Whatever they were going for was missed wide right! Worst Stone beer ever.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
2.93/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a Dogfish snifter. The ultimate "whatever the hell else we have left" beer...

A- pours black with a robust, three finger tan head. Lighter and fluffier than your typical stout head...

S- the hop aroma from this is interesting...light pine, and light citrus. There's also a little bit of a bready quality from the ton of malts in this one. Hmmm...not sure how I feel

T- this is....extremely weird. The bitterness is very low, and I'm getting an odd piney/citrus's not that pleasant

M- thin body. Whatever

O- this is a mess. A complete and utter mess. It can't be classified as anything. Ugh.

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Photo of beerandcycling88
2.95/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

From notes. Poured into a snifter from a bomber

A Pours a deep brown topped off with a thin off white head.

S A bit of smoke, some sweet chocolate and alcohol. Also some faint pine hops.

T Booze, smoke, chocolate, and an unpleasant metallic note which really hurt the taste for me.

M Pretty thick which works well with this one.

Overall this is a bit of an unimpressive boozy mess fresh. I think that with a bit of time it might turn out to be a nice complex sipper though.

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Photo of beagle75
3.03/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

A: Opaque, dark brown color showing some transmission of brown light at the edges, with one finger of mocha-tinted foam head. Light lacing remains on the glass.

S: Very spicy, like pink peppercorns, resulting from the aggressive hops that also provide noteworthy herbaceous and pine qualities. Malt is inseparable from volatile aromas, but provides a layer of chocolate pudding. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins very off-dry, with heavy crystal malt that is affected by brief dark citrus before being overwhelmed by strong monotonous pine. Acidity is moderate into the middle where black pepper and herbaceous spice really take over, persisting to the moderately bitter end. Other flavors include late roasted malt and mild spirituousness throughout.

M: Thick viscosity, creamy and slightly acidic on the palate, with brisk carbonation.

D/O: Not only is this strong ale a beast of a beer, but it is also a schizophrenic mess. Hardly a malt-bomb, it drinks like some brewer's dare to make a black IPA that exceeds Stone 15th anniversary ale in terms of sheer size. While smell is true to this notion, it falls apart midway through the flavor profile. Definitely not a gateway beer.

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Photo of bashiba
3.11/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a deep dark brown with some clear mahogany highlights. Had a nice bit of tan head with mild retention.

The smell was strong with alcohol, had some hints of dark malts sneaking through.

Seems kind of a big mess, there some chocolate and anise mixing in with sweet alcohol and malts then a big shot of juniper and earthy bitter hops. Goes from very sweet to very bitter very quickly leaving a long lasting medicinal hop residue.

The mouthfeel is thick and syrupy with a lot of hop oils.

The flavors in this beer just don't seem to come together very well. Not terrible, and very flavorful, just wasn't it for me.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.18/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured like a infected or young gusher. Jet black with brown foam flowing like lava from the top and down the sides, literally half the bottle is flowing out. Into the glass it pours sordve thin for a beer this big, big brown cap whch dissipates fastleaving a small brown foam cap and minimal lacing

S: First whiff is dark chocolate, charred wood, burnts marshmellows, funk and light dark fruits with some booze

T: Immediate infected funk presence going on. The phenols in this beer really wreck it; band aids, rubber and medicine. Bitter dark chocolate, burnt marshmellows, caramelized sugar, charred wood. The finish is bitter cocoa, hops, charred and thin. This beer may be a bit to young. It was very gassy and left me belching. There is a very odd burning sensation, like unnatural solvent like burn

M: Big bodied, but it becomes thinner toward the back end of the beer. NOT nearly as hefty and complex as it should be. The gassy, young feel matched with a light funk is just to much to take

O: Either a seriously troubled beer or an infected 22oz hand grenade in the future.
A: Poured a deep, deep brown with a chocolate colored head. The beer gushed once again as I opened the bottle but stopped after a minute or so.

S: Dark bitter chocolates, wood, booze sting, some dark fruits

T: Upfront was an immediate bitter chocolate presence with some sugary sweetness, heat, roastiness. The back end of this beer is rather harsh. Lingering bitterness, sharp persistent booze and bitterness

M: Bigger bodied, harsh on the palate after about three seconds.

O: This beer needs some time to round out and hopefully lose that harshness on the backend

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Photo of prototypic
3.23/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottleworks 13th Anniversary pours a darker mahogany color. It’s almost opaque. Backlighting shows some burgundy highlights throughout. Not bad at all. It’s topped with a tan head that rises to almost a finger in height. It recedes pretty quickly. I suspect the abv was just too high for it to survive. Lacing was a little sticky, but on the lighter side.

The nose is interesting. It smells pretty good. It’s definitely quite diverse. It starts out with a rather strong dark fruit scent. Smells like plums and prunes. It’s definitely malty. Sweet caramel and chocolate are definitely noted. Hops are definitely in the mix. Primarily, the smell earthy and grassy. There might be some light citric notes, but it’s tough to tell. There’s a lot going on in there. On the tail, it smells very herbal. I’m getting some tobacco and tea. Alcohol is there, but doesn’t overwhelm. Not bad.

The flavor’s pretty average. It’s okay, but there’s honestly too much going on. The malt base is and features caramel and cocoa flavors predominantly. It does have a strong dark fruit presence. Plum and prune are easily noted. It reminds me of fruit cake. Not my favorite thing. There are some hop flavors, but they’re very subdued by the malts. They’re a little piney and grassy. It’s not all that bitter. It does have some herbal flavors of tobacco and tea that emerge late. Alcohol is definitely there and comes through a bit too strong. It’s boozy. Finishes malty, herbal, and a bit warm.

The body is on the heavier side of medium. Carbonation is light and soft. It feels relatively smooth. Definitely a sipper though. It’s big, strong, and tough to drink. I can almost guarantee I won’t be able to finish the bomber.

Bottleworks 13th Anniversary is just okay. I honestly expected more from Stone. It’s not terrible, but it’s not good either. The flavor is convoluted and not very satisfying. It’s also strong and boozy. It’s not very enjoyable or easy to drink. It might be worth a try, but I wouldn’t suggest picking up multiple bombers.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Served on-draught into a Leffe goblet at The Daily Pint in Santa Monica, California. Reviewed from notes. Expectations were average given the brewery, which I find to be rather overrated. Cost was somewhere in the neighborhood of $7.00 USD plus tax and tip.

Not paired with food.

A: Pours a two finger head of nice cream, good thickness, and great retention (~3 minutes or more) considering the high ABV. Colour is a nontransparent solid black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Cream, vanilla, roast, coffee, and chocolate. Well-rounded. Fairly subtle. A mild to moderate strength aroma.

T: Chocolate, roast, coffee, hints of vanilla, cream, and a dark malt foundation. The balance is okay, but far from ideal. The flavours ring rather distinct because they don't mesh well together. They compete for attention, to the flavour's detriment. Built okay. Complex but misguided. Not as subtle as the aroma suggests. Some layering is present, but still the notes can be found in isolation. Too bitter. Too much coffee, negatively impacting the balance.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Somewhat thick, but awkward. Adequately carbonated. Doesn't complement the flavour profile in any appreciable sense.

Dr: Drinkable but unremarkable. I wouldn't have it again. It's above average, yes, but it's quite overpriced. A disappointment in the style. It does hide its ABV well, to its credit. Another mundane brew from Stone.


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Photo of brystmar
3.28/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle shared by blatantdream.

Nice appearance, good head & lace. Smokey / roasty aroma, boozy, dark. Taste follows suit, finishing boozy and slightly smokey in the back of my throat. Kinda jumbled, doesn't seem to know its direction. Not good, also not bad. Glad to tick it though.

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Photo of DavidST
3.29/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass, unknown freshness. This pours a pitch black color with a good size mocha head which leaves a lacing. The smell is a little disappointing, no great dominate smell, a little roasted malts, some bread malts, some caramel and some hops, a weird mesh of smells. The feel is medium to thick. The taste is okay but also a little off, some roasted malts, some hops, no real dominate flavor and I'm not sure where they're going with this one.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
3.35/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour is a deep murky brown with no head (well whats there is bright white). The smell is loaded with toffee and caramel, with a dominating herbal/medicinal hop presence. Theres an odd mix of Barleywine sweetness and ESB medicinal bitterness that Im not fond of.

The flavors arent all that great, and dont really mesh to well together, until its way above room temperature. then it turns into an English Barleywine with toffee dominating almost too much.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.36/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

650 mL bottle. No bottle date. Thanks to iHEARTbeer247 for this bottle.

Appearance - Deep chocolate body with an ample thick and dense mocha head. Murky looking beer. Great retention.

Smell - Smells like... brown beer. Chocolate malts and other malts. Nearly impossible to distinguish other flavors. Pine and somewhat herbal hops in the background.

Taste - A little more concentrated on the chocolate malts. Not to a stout proportion, but definitely pushes it toward the stout end of the spectrum. Nothing terribly interesting, again, but good tasting. Some of the smoked malts come through a bit in the end, but not much. Bitter finish, as expected from Stone.

Mouthfeel - Viscous. Really nice texture. The mess of flavors linger nicely and it's well carbonated. Heavy, but not boozy.

Overall - Well, it's Stone, so it's certainly not bad. But it's uninteresting. Quite dull. I shared this bottle with a friend who described it as going to a Mongolian barbeque and adding a little bit of every ingredient before cooking it. It still tastes like Chinese food, but not good Chinese food.

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.46/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a deep brown pour with a half inch of creme colored head, nice retention and patchy lacing.
initial smell is of sulfur.. kind of off putting. hints of roasted caramel, sweet malt.
the taste has a weird earthy/oxidized taste up front but is then masked by a booze heavy earthy bitterness. spicyness/dark roasted grains, the hops barely pull through all the bitter roasty flavors but are somewhat present as spicy/bittering hops. that sulfur is back with a finish..
medium-full body, very heavy, very creamy. mildly carbonated, this strong ale masks the high alcohol content fairly well with its bitterness.
I feel like this would be way more enjoyable fresh. feels like it oxidized in the bottle maybe, just had a weird off putting sulfur-like overall taste and it ruined it for me.

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours pretty much black with a thin light brown head. Thins to a light cap over the beer but the retention is good.

S: Roasted malt, some dark chocolate, rye, cola nut and some bread. Much darker than I expected.

T: Waaay more malt than hops. Chocolate and caramel with a good amount of rye and a touch of sticky citrus hop resin. The sweetness coupled with the syrupy mouthfeel was a bit wearing. Not bad but I don't think I'd go for this again.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.49/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased the local store?! Didn't realize this was being distributed! Served in a Hill Farmstead tulip.

A - Tan foam settles to a thick collar, near-complete cap, and spotty lace. Very dark brown body.

S - The aroma is pretty much what you'd expect from the listed collection of hops - tons of pine, herbs, grassy, dandelion, earthiness, and touch of dank. There's a mild amount of dusted cocoa that lends some sweetness, but this smells quite bitter and astringent.

T - The taste has better balance, with more chocolate, toasted grains, and nebulous sugars mingling with the herbal and piney hop flavors and bitterness. Alcohol is pretty well-hidden, which is a positive.

M - Smooth, medium-full body, with pleasant, soft carbonation. Reasonably well-hidden alcohol, with mild lingering stickiness.

D - A strange beer. I'm puzzled by the emphasis on highly bitter and herbal hops, and the end result is a fairly middling aroma. Certainly gets better as it warms up, and may end up being more enjoyable on Bottleworks' 14th Anniversary. Still, a disappointment after an impressive four-year run.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mahogany color with a finger of tan head. The nose is sticky and sickly sweet. Some decent hop notes, mostly pine with a little bit of citrus, but just an overwhelming maltiness. A mild chocolate note, too. The flavor is quite sweet, especially as it warms. Very muddled in terms of the flavors, just way too many different malt/sugar notes going on. Lightly phenolic, as well. Not really much in the way of the hops on the palate. Not sure why brewers continue to think this kitchen sink beer idea is a good one.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into snifter. Appears deep dark blackish brown with a bit of light passage. Small amount of white head with nice amount of retention. Minimal lacing present. Nose is very malty with notes of molasses and grape. Some deep dark syrupy chocolate is present followed by earthy hops character. The taste starts off very sweet. I almost feel like all the hop and malt varieties are overdone as the result is somewhat messy. The finish is a bit boozy and very sweet. The hops just don't cut into the thick malt profile. The mouth feel is thick and the carbonation is mild. Overall, this beer is lacing in the balance department.

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Bottleworks 13th Anniversary Ale from Stone Brewing
3.75 out of 5 based on 328 ratings.
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