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Bottleworks 13th Anniversary Ale | Stone Brewing

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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 DoubleJ
3.51/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

You have to be a special beer store in order to be able to convince Stone to brew a beer for....your 13th? 13th Anniversary?! That's an unusual year to celebrate, but at least there's a theme going on; 13 different grains and 13 different hops. 22 ounces coming my way. On to the beer:

If you like your beer to look dark, you are sure to like the appearance. The beer is, well, dark, polished obsidian, topped with a short head with solid retention. A creamy lace remains on top. The nose offers a soft hoppy fruitiness, malts that don't really lead to a straightforward note, and a few whisper of rubber (infection). I now apporach the beer with caution....

That infection thing is not found in the taste. The overall flavor is strong, not much of a surprise given the beer's 11% ABV. Passionfruit flavor is rampant throughout the beer. The sweetness from the malts yields some toasted sugar, fudge, and roast. The alcohol is hidden nicely, showing some appearances by warming the throat. What started up as a hop explosion has turned itself into a friendly duet of malt and hops.

What had the sign of infection turns out to be a beer that's fun to drink. If you like a bittersweet experience, now is the time to drink it.

On a side note, maybe Stone can brew Bottleworks' 17th Anniversary with a 17 theme. Monolith Ale anyone? http://www.stonebrew.com/cool/articles/pr/monolith/index.html

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Black Raven pint glass. Pours an opaque dark brown. Attractive two finger light brown head with good retention and lacing. Aroma dominated by roasted and chocolate malt with faint hops. A wow beer; on first sip, I tried to tease out the flavor elements but could only say wow. With a bit more effort, discerned roasted malt, chocolate, a hint of coffee. Seems to be leaning in the direction of a stout, but has an underlying sweet, dark and light fruit body that makes the strong ale description accurate. Very complex and well integrated. Finishes with hints of coffee and non-herbal hops. Alcohol makes its presence known, but is well hidden by rich flavor. Medium to heavy bodied and creamy, nice mouth feel. I think this is going to age beautifully, but it is very rich and enjoyable right now. This is hard to describe, but excellent.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle, missed this on the first release, but found some bottles now,

A: Pours a deep mahogany with a small light tan, leaves solid lace.

S: Definitely some peatiness which is always fun, has the Scotch ale thing going. Some notes of fig, lots of malt.

T: The label lists all the malts, I really get a lot of peated malt and chocolate malt from this. Clear smoky flavour with molasses and dark bread, some grapefruit and pineapple on the back end.

M: Full-bodied, lush and creamy with a very mild tartness which I really liked.

O: A very nice big beer which is good now, but I think could be amazing in 2-3 years. A fun beer to delve into.

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Photo of Zorro
3.71/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Viscous pour this really looks like motor oil when you first pour it.

Clear dark brown colored beer with a tall brown colored head.

Smells strongly of patent malt and medicinal hops there is a distinct carrot aroma to it. Chocolate and toasted bread. Scents of mint and menthol.

Starts out sweet and thick with a chocolate and mint taste. Chocolate is really strong in this mildly bittersweet the malt really keeps the bitterness in check. Warming in the chest from the alcohol but there is the cooling effect of the mint. This probably needs aging to bring out more flavors, as it is it is this is a monster of a beer.

Mouthfeel is milkshake.

Overall a big beer that needs to age a bit.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


A: Dark brown with an inch of beige foam. Solid retention with scattered lacing.

S: Piney and earthy with a smooth roasted malt profile. Caramel blends with chocolate and a light nuttiness.

T: Upper moderate piney bitterness with lighter notes of grapefruit and orange. Lots of earth and chocolate with a firm roasted malt presence. The finish is a bit astringent with an increased level of bitterness and evident booze.

M: Upper medium in body with matching carbonation. The mouthfeel is smooth, creamy, and sticky.

Overall: A solid beer. Not particularly memorable. Comes across as an everything but the kitchen sink beer and somewhat unfocused. Props to Stone on pricing this at $6. That's very fair.

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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 rhoadsrage
3.96/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(Served in a tulip)
A- This beer pours a jet black body with a thin cocoa tan head that is supported by a slow microbubble carbonation that slides up the sides of the glass.

S- The plastic aroma and dubble yeast esters lead to a stout earthiness and a finish of some woody dank hops that are dark aswell. There is a roasted black malt bite and a hop bitterness in the finish.

T- The sweet crystal malt and circus peanut esters blend with an alcohol taste the mixes with the dark hops in the finish. There is a roasted black malt bite and a hop bitterness that lingers after each sip. Some chocolate malt and dried fruit esters come through as it opens aswell.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has a creamy texture and an alcohol warmth in the finish.

O- This beer is complex but a bit chaotic with flavors all over the place. Some plastic and other odd flavors are in their but most ore nice layers of malt and hops and esters.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. Aroma is pretty nice, it smells like roasted malt, chocolate, pine and citrusy hops, coffee, and some dark fruit. I like the taste too, it tastes like pine and citrusy hops, roasted malt, milk and bittersweet chocolate, coffee, dark fruit and some anise. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's slick and coating with moderate carbonation. I thought this was a good brew overall, and it's definitely worth trying. $8.99 a bottle.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.62/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Saint Somewhere wine-style glass. No freshness date.

A- Pours a nearly opaque black color with a 1/4 inch tan head that bears little retention before subsiding to a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a bubbly patch of surface foam. Light but resilient lacing.

S- Sweet and roasty aroma with notes of cocoa and cream. Also a touch of toffee. Not as much of a booze scent as one would expect from an 11 percenter.

T- Ah, but you can sure taste the booze. A barrage of malt flavor and then a swift kick of alcohol is what I get with every sip. And sip is all I can do. Notes of dark chocolate, rum and a hint of smoke.

M- Bitey feel with a chewy texture and medium-low carbonation. Also a bit syrupy.

O- I think some aging would definitely do this beer better justice but I don't have the proper storage facilities at this time so I went ahead and reviewed it fresh. All in all, it's not a bad drink, just all over the place with the 13 different malts and 13 different hop varieties.

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Photo of avalon07
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a cloudy texture. There was an inch of creamy, off white, long-lasting head. Excellent lacing.

S: Definitely an interesting aroma here: Coffee, hops, citrus, and malt.

T: Tasted of hops (a fairly large amount), coffee, citrus, and a bit of caramel. A different kind of flavor to say the least. While not a home run, it's generally successful.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Certainly one of the odder beers I've tried recently. Probably wouldn't go back to this beer, but it was definitely worth a shot.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle poured into a tulip. Thanks Chris!

(A)- Pours a pitch black color. Some brown froth & lace.

(S)- Lots of baked bread, raisin, cocoa, and molasses. Dense and rich. Very subtle smokiness to it.

(T)- A rich and dense combo of raisin, cocoa, bark(oak?), and that same subtle smoky peat on the finish I noticed in the smell too.

(M)- A mellow carbonation level. A nice balance, though quite rich and thick.

(O)- Very big and rich, but balanced well and dynamic/complex enough to keep you interested. That subtle smoky peat in the background is really interesting in combination with the rest of the beer's profile.

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Photo of Brad007
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'd like to think of 13 as my lucky number. Case in point, this beer has 13 hops and 13 malts.

Dark brown with a red hue and a frothy head. This should be interesting.

A smorgasboard of hops that project a flowery-citrusy juggernaut. They're not so apparent though. Malt has hints of rye, wheat and chocolate among others.

Whoa mama! An amazing cocktail of citrus and pine hop resin followed by chocolately, creamy malt underneath. The anti-stout because it's not as dark. Sweet, peppery and spicy all at once. Again, a melting pot of flavor!

Lingering alcohol heat followed by raisin, cocoa and citrus in the mouthfeel. Very diverse.

Be careful with this one as it's a definite palate wrecker! If you like to sample 13 different malts and hops in one beer, this is for you.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 3.27.13
Once on tap, this is my second bottle.

A - Pours a dark brown with a large two inch fine dark tan head with great retention.

S - Classic Stone maltiness, bready, wheat, rye, toffee.

T- Smooth burnt carmel with a touch of hop bitterness.

D - Silky smooth, then bitter finish. Good carmel aftertaste, Good carbonation, with a medium body.

O - A year has helped this one in my opinion.

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Photo of Bung
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. Pretty solid black, some light around the edges. Very light tan head, retained well enough.

Aroma, a lot of pine and citrus still. Some anise and cocoa. Definetely potent smelling.

Taste, There is a lot here almost gets in its own way. Similar to the Schmalz offerings, sort of. Much more stone fruit and citrus here. Equally as much roast and grainy malt. finish is quite dry, cocoa is very prevelent.

It is warm, the ample carbonation doesn't help the slight harshness either. Probably best a sharing sipper.
Guessing this will be like Double Bastard in that it is best after about 2-3 years.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.26/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into a 25oz snifter, pours opaque and near black with a tall, foamy tan head that holds great retention and leaves lacing on the side of the glass. Malty and earthy nose has notes of anise, chocolate, peat, soil, woodsy, boozy as it warms. Tastes are complex with dark chocolate, pine, wood, earthy, smoky, roasted malt, vanilla, burnt caramel, and booze. Mouth-feel is chewy and viscous, full-bodied, creamy, velvety smooth with ample carbonation. Finishes bitter with roast and pine. Overall, I thought this was excellently put together. Great complexity, great balance, awesome!

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Photo of Rutager
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance. Pours a deep dark brown with a finger of light tan head that fades to a ring pretty quickly.

Smell. Sweet caramel, big piney and earthy hops, some booze, roasty malts and a little cardboard.

Taste. Sweet raisins and caramel, pretty big piney and floral hops, a little chocolate and booze.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body with medium-low carbonation. Quite warm.

Overall. Some nice flavours going on but the hops seem a little strong and the alcohol is a little bit harsh. Would like to try again with a couple years on it.

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

22oz bottle - bottleworks 13

appearance: served in my ale asylum chalice - dark body - ebony with garnet hues, 1/4" foamy tan head with minimal lace

smell: heavy roast, char, sweet dark fruits, booze

taste: layers of complexity - takes some detective work by the palate to find it all: smoke and charred malt are prevalent, disagree with other reviews and feel the alcohol is quite hot especially in the finish, heavy roasted malt, coffee, dark fruit, big cherry presence, a moderate bitterness, hops present but not a major factor. I dunno - really a bit charred and overpowering for me right now.

mouthfeel: creamy medium body, bitter, smoky, charred

overall: complex and layered, but pretty rough in the early stages

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Photo of ccrida
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, Bottleworks 13th Anniversary Ale is a dark brown with a small tan head that leaves very scattered, foamy lace.

Smell is sweet malt, caramel, mish-mash, touch of smoke, char, and fairly pungent over-ripe grapefruit hops.

Taste is better than I expected with the kitchen sink ingredient list. There's some sweetness to the malt, rich caramel as the main component, with a little chocolate, hint of smoke. Nice punch of hops. Not in CDA territory or anything, but it's a notable flavor component, some fruity, sweet and sour citrus, with a bit of fresh pine on the finish.

Mouthfeel is oily, medium-heavy bodied.

Drinkability is pretty good for a big, somewhat thick beer. I actually thought the alcohol was reasonably well masked behind the cacophony of flavors. Paired well a big Nicaraguan cigar (La Perla Habana Rojo perfecto).

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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 twiggamortis420
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber courtesy of fthomasl pours a dark brown color with a nice, creamy beige head. Nice retention and lacing.

Nose is a wonderful mix of fruit, roast and cocoa powder. Fair amount of hops that seem to be lightly tropical and piney.

Tastes really nice too, the hop flavour is awesome and the malts even better! A smooth, roasty chocolate aspect with the perfect amount of sweetness. I actually wish the beer leaned more in either the hoppy or malty direction, as the hop flavors are a bit clashing...maybe a few months in the cellar would bring forth the malt. Still a very good beer and I am thoroughly impressed. Id like to find a couple more of these for future consumption.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into tulip.

A: Pours a deep raisin brown with a huge, dense, and oily dark tan head that slowly faded into a thick and rocky film leaving streaks of lace down the glass.
S: Complex nose of malts and hops. Definitley hard to nail down any one element. Smells like a combination of styles, but I would say it reminds me the most of a black IPA.
T: Boozy. Definitely boozy. It works well with the potent mix of flavors though. I get a malt profile that tastes like a mix of a brown ale and a smoked porter, with a leafy, grassy and piney hop profile that doesn’t overpower the grains. The finish is slightly sweet, but the aftertaste is lightly smoky and definitely bitter. I get hints of caramel, toasted marshmallows, cocoa powder and rye. Potent, grainy, spicy, boozy and hoppy all around.
M: Thick body, thick, chewy and greasy mouthfeel, with smooth and slick carbonation. Booze is warm and a bit distracting though.
O: A bit of a clusterfuck. This beer is potent and boozy. I think I like it, but it takes some getting used to. There is definitely a lot going on. Worth a try. Cheers.

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Photo of Gmann
3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep dark brown color with a tight creamy tan head that slowly disipates into a light cap.

The aroma is quite malty. A big toasted brown bread base that has notes of toffee, brown sugar, raisins, lightly charred wood and a hint of coffee. Some alcohol vapors. The hops didn't really come through for me.

The malt is dominate in the flavor as well. Again big brown bread base, toasted, with a burnt caramel and brown sugar sweetness. There is some raisin and cherry juice fruitiness. Some roasty, peppery and charred wood notes. The hops are earthy and bitter which provide a needed offset against the sweet malt. The beer still leans on the sweet side. There is a noticable belly burn and alcohol flavor which is a tad unpleasant.

The feel is moderate with active carbontion, has a semi-soft feel to it. Sweet on the palate and slightly sticky. Almost gets cloying but the roasted malt and hops barely keeps it in check. Big alcohol presence.

A big flavorful brew which balances the line of becoming too sweet. The alcohol is too noticable

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Photo of argock
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap in a nonic pint at Downtown Johnny Brown's (San Diego, CA). Reviewed from notes.

A: Very dark brown with short cap of light beige head with a few spots of lace.

S: A very dark malty aroma crossed with almost overbearing herbal, earthy hops.

T: The dark maltiness is substantial and carries a fair amount of bulk to match the prune and raisin sweetness. The hoppiness is very herbal, almost grassy, with an earthy feel. Not bitter but a little indistinct in all the flavors.

M: The full body was enjoyable with low carbonation and a creamy, smooth feel.

O: A one-off that, while not bad, should probably stay that way,

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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 Wowcoolman
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Quaffed down from draft pours at a Stone event at Steingarten LA. This beer certainly is a beast but the malt profile does stand up to the hops, not sure I would say "balanced" but we're talking about a Stone beer here. Pours dark like a stout (or was the lighting dark?). The taste is reminiscent of some of the flavors you get from a dark IPA- roasted malts with a surprising herbal mintiness, but everything is amped up here and we get extra sweetness from the chocolate and crystal malts. Reminded me a little of girl scout cookies (think thin mints). As the beer warmed the hop flavors began to take over and seemed to compete for dominance, an experience far less enjoyable.
To enjoy this beer try to get as fresh a pour (or bottle) as you can, and take smaller pours so it doesn't get too warm. I do not recommend aging, the wonderful hoppy mintiness will subside and the beer will lose an integral part of its character.

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