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

22oz bottle into a snifter. Pours a reddish cola brown w/ a thick khaki head that leaves a thin film of lace.

Aroma is dark roasted fruity malt, molasses, burnt sugar, vanilla, chocolate, oily nuts, and a blend of aromatic and bitter hops. Interesting. Lots going on here.

Taste continues the complexity. Some very dark roasted chocolate malt blends with fruitier caramel and pale malts. Like a blend between a stout and a barleywine. Alcohol heat in there too. Hops are just a jumbled mix, none dominant. Strongly bitter while also sweet, roasty, and boozy. Rich and complex but a little scattered.

Mouthfeel is thick, sticky, chewy. Smoky bitter finish.

Overall a unique, challenging beer to describe. So much going on here, thanks to the 13 hops/13 malts combination. This is just a beast. While I like it fresh, I think with time it might settle down and gel a little. Could be amazing in 2 or 3 years. Looking forward to revisiting this again over time with my five remaining bottles.

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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 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 GilGarp
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber served cold into a goblet.

Bottleworks 13th is a deep dark brown with good clarity. The head is think and creamy with great lacing.

Aroma is toasty, hoppy, and slightly boozy.

Flavor is intensely bitter with a huge malty body. So many malts and hops, it's hard to tell what's going on.

Mouthfeel is medium-plus bodied and nicely carbonated. The alcohol is a little heavy but I think a couple years would round it out.

Overall a solid American strong ale but sort of lacking direction.

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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 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 pmarlowe
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Tulip glass.

A: Pours a nearly impenetrable brown with a solid, two-finger block of dark brown head. Very good retention and some lacing.

S: Roastiness up front, medium roast coffee, kind of a woody/spice thing.

T: Rich dark chocolate, roasted malt, spice, blackened espresso beans, and a long, melted chocolate, slightly bitter finish. A little pine comes through as it reaches room temp, which works well. I don't know if it's the 13 different grains, but there's definite depth here.

M: One of the thickest I've had in awhile, it's like drinking straight cream. The medium carbonation level is as good as it could be.

O: Basically a huge imperial stout, nice complexity but the thickness knocks down the drinkability. Glad that the hops don't really show themselves.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Very dark brown, almost black. Nice tan head, slow to leave. Some cling lace.

S - Cocoa, warm cookies, burnt coffee/malt, sugar and alcohol.

T - Beautiful blend of all the smell attributes, focusing on the sweet and malty cocoa. Chocolate milk there too.

M - Creamy, coating, good carb, good balance.

D - Huge abv, but truly enjoyable.

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Photo of Enish266
3.51/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - dark mahogany; a nice blend between brown and black

S - boozy with a touch of grassy hops.

T - drinks like a heavy, bitter porter and reminds me of Palo Santo Marron. Starts off a little harsh with bittersweet chocolate coating the tongue nicely. The plethora of grains and hops creates a complex beer but the flavors don't quite work and clash with each other.

M - bubbly and carbonation heavy. Personally I think this detracts from my enjoyment of this beer. It helps covers up the heat a bit.

O - I could see some potential with this beer for aging. I prefer to think of it as a not-quite-as-good Stone 15th Anniversary.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

really awesome idea with the 13 grans and 13 hops, some pretty unconventional stuff on the list there. pours a a very thick dark brown into a snifter with a 1 inch tan head. the nose is interesting, i can smell lots of chocolate, rye, west coast hops, and a woody syrup very similar to the birch syrup used in sierra nevada's life and limb. in fact, the beer smells quite similar to the taste of life and limb. the taste here is surprisingly hoppy up front, followed by a mellow chocolatey earthy sweetness and a warm alcoholic finish. the beer gets downright overpowering when it warms up a bit. the 11% really comes out. feel good, full bodied on this one, which i suppose is expected with all the grains here. medium carbonation, and a booze burn. this one might have been served by a little brighter carbonation. also a beer potentially very nice to age awhile and let it settle down a bit. in any event, the idea is awesome, and the beer is pretty darn different, so check it out. for less than 8 dollars a bomber the bang for the buck is great on this one.

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Photo of Sean9689
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared at Perennial.

A - Pours dark brown, tan-colored head, thin collar.

S - Really boozy, char, sweet malts, roast, hops. This beer is confused as to what it's trying to be...sorta Imperial Black IPA + Stout + Who Knows.

T - Lots of booze, harsh, toasted malts, hoppy bitterness, syrupy sweet, toffee. The 11% is very evident and pretty in-your-face, which is not good. Lots of sweetness and lots of hops, which actually makes this beer harsh.

M - Medium body, light carbonation, harsh charred finish.

O - I was hoping for better results from his beer, but perhaps the alcohol will die down a bit with some age and allow this one to develop a bit over time. Slightly above average right now...hoping for better later.

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Photo of grittybrews
4.3/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured near-black with a finger of dark khaki head. Roasty cocoa and caramel aroma mingling with pine and a touch of boozy heat.

Moderate-to-lowish carbonation and a thick, creamy mouthfeel that finishes very smooth. Big pine up front followed by chocolate, molasses, dark fruit, and vanilla. There's some boozy warmth and then a burst of grapefruit and more astringent pine on the very bitter finish.

Quite a mish-mash of flavors but all of them are darn tasty.

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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 sukwonee
4.43/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Am I really only the 3rd person reviewing this?

This beer is amazing. I just wished that it had a bit less of "hoppiness" but the hops add an extra layer of complexity.

A: Dark (Dark) brown, almost black with light brown head... about half a finger. Nice lacing.

S: Chocolate, hops,

T: Finishes bitter (hops kick in at the end and it lingers, starts off with chocolate malts... very very complex... hard to describe... so much going on. As mentioned, I just wished hops played a bit less of a role. I can taste the alcohol, but damn this thing has 11%!! I would not have guessed.

M: sosososo smoooth~ creamy. Low carbonation.

O: This beer is awesome. Stone did an amazing job. I bought a few extra bottles to see how it ages - will re-review in a year or so.

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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 NWer
4.5/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brewed by Stone in honor of Bottleworks Beer Store 13th anniversary.
Served on tap into a tulip glass at Bottleworks.
Appearance is very dark, black, no light, minimal head & effervescence typical of a high ABV beer.
At 11%, I didn't really taste the alcohol all that much but I really felt the punch - after my second glass.
Hop forward. Then the complexity sets in. Wild flavors all over the place confusing the senses. Smooth, sweet, hops.
Should age nicely.
Will update my review when I figure it out.

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