Samuel Adams Thirteenth Hour Stout (Barrel Room Collection) | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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very good
284 Reviews
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Samuel Adams Thirteenth Hour Stout (Barrel Room Collection)Samuel Adams Thirteenth Hour Stout (Barrel Room Collection)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States
samueladams.com

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Aged in oak barrels; hand-bottled corked & caged; bottled-conditioned.

Added by Jason on 08-11-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
284
Ratings:
1,056
Avg:
3.77
pDev:
15.38%
 
 
Wants:
44
Gots:
223
For Trade:
4
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Reviews: 284 | Ratings: 1,056
Photo of Phelps
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The thirteenth hour is also known as the witching hour -- the time of day when witches, demons and ghosts appear and black magic is most effective. The name refers not only to the dark juju created by combining the roasted flavors of a stout with the spicy character of a sour Belgian ale, but also to the 13 ingredients used to brew the beer. It combines seven different malts (Samuel Adams two-row pale malt blend, Caramel 60, Munich 10, Special B, and Carafa III, for those who care about such things), Hallertau Mittelfrueh hops, two different brewing sugars, Kosmic Mother Funk (which we'll discuss in a minute), Belgian yeast and champagne yeast for bottle conditioning.

The result? A brew that's as deathly black as the midnight hour to which it refers. In a tulip, the obsidian brew is topped with a super-frothy layer of cocoa-colored bubbles that look as thick and inviting as pancake batter. The stout-like appearance is belied by the nose, however. Dip the nostrils close and you'll get a dose of Belgian dark fruits: raisins, figs, dates. Vanilla, black pepper and a hint of acidity swirl in the rich background.

Now, back to the Kosmic Mother Funk. All Barrel Room Collection beers contain this ale that's fermented with wild yeasts and bacteria, then aged in oak tuns for over a year. The KMF is blended into the Barrel Room beers in varying amounts, lending them new layers of funky flavor. In Thirteenth Hour, this wild ale contributes herbal spice and a mild tanginess that grabs the back of the tongue.

More impactful on Thirteenth Hour's flavor is the extended barrel-aging. The "Barrel Room" name isn't arbitrary -- each beer in the collection was aged in special oak barrels originally used to make brandy. The containers traveled far to get to New England: the oak, which originated in Eastern Europe, was used for brandy-making in Italy. Coopers in Portugal took the barrels apart, then flew to Boston to reassemble them by hand. From these, Thirteenth Hour gets heaping helpings of rich, sweet red grapes and oak to blend with the underlying stout flavors of smoky peat, chocolate, vanilla and coffee. The brandy almost makes the brew seem more like a Belgian strong dark ale than a stout, in fact.

The Belgian stout is a weird style on its own, and Thirteenth Hour is a fine example of how these flavors play off one another. Pick one up if you want an interesting taste experience -- or if you're a Neanderthal like me and just want a pretty bottle to look at.

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Photo of keeganfrank
4.32/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a thick, foamy head that sticks around for ages. This beer is black as coal with some reddish tint around the edges. Aromas of chocolate and berry with wood and bread hints. Has a wonderful spiced coffee and fruit juice flavor with notes of chocolate and leaves. Body is creamy without being too thick or syrupy. This is a really well done stout.

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Photo of depechemode1983
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours black. The head is tan and has decent retention. Lacing is minimal.

S - Sweet burnt sugar, sour raisins, dark chocolate and a touch of alcohol.

T - Chocolate, figs, and an undertone of coffee. The finish is a bit warm.

M - The mouth feel is very creamy. The palate is pleased with this silky blanket of awesomeness. Carbonation could stand to be just a bit stronger then it be perfect.

O - Awesome beer from Sam Adams. I really dig the mouth fee. Its extremely smooth. The taste and smell is a little mono tone but pleasant and solid all and all. I can see myself purchasing this again. If you haven't tried it got for it. The money could be spent on worse beer..

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Photo of WastingFreetime
4.04/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours out a very dark blood-ruby color, which passes for black until I hold the glass up to a light source, it even has a nice clarity to it. A brief moment of fizzy head dies back to nothing in about a minute with no lacing. Medium body and medium-heavy carbonation.

Aroma at first impression upon bottle opening is a pastiche of blueberries, strawberries, and tart sour cherries only. As the initial burst of aroma from cork removal settles back and the glass is allowed to breathe a bit, the blueberries and strawberries retreat to background levels behind a solid sour cherries and stout coffee, dark chocolate, and lighter amounts of chicory/tobacco arise.

The flavor is at first a dark molasses / brown sugar blend that has light vanilla and MUCH less stout character than the nose. In fact, I'd even go so far as to say that the nose is of a soured stout, but the flavor is squarely within the domain of an lightly oaked Belgian Dark. Only a remnant of the tart sourness and charred roastiness of the nose makes it through into the mouth; it translates rather on the tongue as mostly raisins and toasted malts with a sweet blend of dark fruits. This schizophrenic divide between the nose and the taste may be off-putting for some, but I don't mind it too much. Light oak dryness does appear as the glass warms, but I would have preferred a touch more of it to help balance against the sweetness. This is significant to note because I *very* rarely desire amplification of oak wood qualities due to a personal dislike against excessive amounts of oak. The ABV is very well hidden. With the addition of some more dryness / coffee / tart sourness to the flavor, and a better head formation, I would be very impressed with this beer.

In the end, I'm left with a mysteriously complex beer that has the nose of a really nice example of one style, and the flavor of a really nice example of another style, and I'm perfectly fine with that. Purists beware. This is the beer that prompted me to start seeking out other bottles of the Sam Adams Barrel Room collection for trying out, and I don't regret that decision at all. It's too bad I could only get one bottle, as it would have been interesting to see if cellaring would amplify some tart pucker into the flavor.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.58/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

$8.99 for a corked and caged 1pt 9.4 fl oz bottle @ Bevco.
70 SRM, OG=21° Plato, 9.0%ABV, 290 Calories/12 oz., 17 IBU's.
Brewed with Samuel Adams two-row pale malt blend, Caramel 60, Munich 10, Special B, Carafa III, and 2 brewing sugars. Hopped with Hallertau Mittelfrueh Noble hops. Blended with oak aged Kosmic Mother Funk. Fermented with a Belgian-style ale yeast and bottle conditioned with champagne yeast

Pours out to a very dark brown, near black, forming a tall expanding light tan creamy head with superior retention and lacing. Carbonation is brisk, ~3.0 carbs, contributing to it's huge head. The aroma is nice with that cool Kosmic Mother Funk sourness..think horse blanket, rotting cherries, humid dirt cellar, and then blend that with some subtle carob and dark fruit notes. The mouthfeel is crisp and very creamy despite the brisk carbonation, not champagne like in any sense, with a full decadent mouthfeel. The taste is begins with a recap of the aroma, but the middle is so much more...carob, figs, raisins, dark candi syrup, lingering tastes of leather, horse blanket and moist pipe tobacco. Bitterness is very mild and combined with the mouthfeel, makes this exceptionally easy to drink.

I wasn't sure that I would like a soured stout, but this is amazing. The mouthfeel is decadent and unlike any other beer I've had. The combination of sweet, sour, malty, and dark fruit is amazing. I would gladly buy this in bulk, but it's all sold out locally. I consider myself fortunate to have had it though. Highly recommended.

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Photo of BDIMike
4.39/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a jet black color, even when held to the light. A thin tan head is created, but goes away very quickly.
Smell has a lot of very nice things going on. A slight bit of coffee and chocolate, but a strong, sweet dark fruit smell dominates the nose. Plums, sugars, and sweet smells took me off guard.
Taste is fantastic. The chocolate notes are stronger in the taste, but still a very sweet stout. Dark fruit tastes are very sweet raisins, with rum and spice tastes as well. Almost tastes like a liquid bread pudding.
Mouthfeel is very highly carbonated for a stout. Not what I expected, but much more refreshing than most stouts.
Drinkability is great on this stout. A ton of great tastes and with a good amount of carbonation makes this a really drinkable stout that you could drink for a long time. Also, because of all the unique and interesting tastes, this is a beer that you would want to drink a lot of on a fall day when winter is creeping in. Find a way to get your hands on this beer and try it!

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Photo of Brad007
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown/garnet with a thin head. For some reason, this isn't actually classified as a stout, despite the label description. Who to trust? I missed the belgian part. D'oh!

Oak, spice and coffee are the three primary aromas upfront. Maybe, just maybe, there's a trace of chocolate. I won't make any promises.

Starts out with oak and then finishes with toffee and cocoa notes. Neither here nor there. A bit weak in spots too.

As for weak? The body, for starters, feels dull and insipid. At least the oak is subdued enough to where it's bearable.

If the legend about Triple Bock is correct, then this beer is still a few notches above it. I would prefer more body and more prominent flavors all-around. Good try but I wouldn't buy it again.

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Photo of acevenom
4.42/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The cork came off with a loud pop and lots of smoke emerged from the bottle. Poured into a large brandy snifter. Pours dark brown with a tan head. The head does not hang around, leaving a ring of lacing on the side of the glass. The aroma of this beer is spicy with those coffee and chocolate notes. There's some dark fruits (plum and prune) in the smell as well as some alcohol. There's also some of that oak with some vanilla. But those chocolate notes from the malts are dominant in the nose. There is some tartness as well. If you took a Belgian strong dark ale and married it with a stout, this is the sort of beer you'd get. It has those familiar Belgian dark ale flavors with the spice and dark fruits. You get that oakiness from the barrels. Those stout flavors come through well too. I get that chocolate from the malt as well as those coffee notes. I get some of the alcohol, but it doesn't overpower. The tartness also comes through in the taste. The beer is smooth with a slightly dry finish. The drinkability is high. This is an excellent beer.

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Photo of raznug
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: This beer pours a dark black and is topped with 1” of light brown colored head that tends to linger nicely.
Smell: The aroma of chocolate dominate the smell of this fine brew but it is highlighted by the aromas of coffee roasted malts and oak notes.
Taste: The taste follows right in line with the smell there is a nice blend of chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, oak and a small amount of alcohol.
Mouthfeel: This is a very creamy and medium bodied stout that doesn’t have much of a bitterness to it that makes of one of the easiest drinking stouts that come to mind.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams Thirteenth Hour Stout
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
ABV: 9.00 %

LOOK: Dark brown color, little to no sediment, creamy coating of head that leaves some lace down the glass.

SMELL: Aroma of toasted malts, coffee, fruit, must, old oak. Has some dark fruits going on, with raisin, plum and fig notes.

TASTE: Rich dark fruits, candied malts, vanilla, oak and coffee are all dancing over the palate. Pretty damn tasty, with lots of sweet and savory flavors, a small tang, smooth vanilla, bourbon and coffee. As other tasters have noted, this is more akin to a belgian strong dark ale than a stout, but it is an enjoyable brew nonetheless.

FEEL: Full bodied, silky smooth, low-medium carbonation, and very nice altogether.

OVERALL: A successful brew from Samuel Adams. Lots of good flavors going on, and mostly do compliment each other. Barrel aging has added a nice touch to this beer, and it is drinking just fine right now. Would pair nicely with chocolates.

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Photo of beer2day
3.27/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark brown pour with 2-fingers of light brown head. Good retention. Not much lace.

Lots of Belgian in the nose. Bananas and apples. Light cherries. Lots of fruit. Lighter chocolate and coffee underneath.

Stronger fruit flavors. More cherries, plums, lighter apple with banana in the finish. Grows a little tart in the finish as well. While there's a lot going on here, doesn't really come together for me and stays unbalanced.

Fizzy feel that stays a bit thin.

Overall, hoping for a lot more at this price point.

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Photo of mmapes
2.8/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hint of fruitiness (apple). Coffee and stout flavors in the toasted malt. Sour/tart apple. I don't like the blend of stout/Belgian in Thirteenth Hour nearly as well as Mikeller's Santa's Little Helper, which I tasted the same day. This one clashes with itself.

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Photo of TempeBeerMan
3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

A - An absolute pitch black with a fluffy three-finger head of fizzy bubbles. Some nice lacing, but it recedes back into the glass quickly.

S - Complex aroma of dark fruits (date, plum, cherry), roast, brown sugar, Belgian yeasts, green apple, and fusel alcohol. Smells amazing.

T - Taste matches the smell with lots of dark fruit, candy apple, chocolate, raisin, and fig. Tastes pretty sweet all the way through the finish, but does pick up a yeasty taste in the backend. Hops pretty much non-existant. The taste is complex, but starts to become a little cloying after about half the bottle with no real bitterness to balance it out.

M - Vexing. Fizzy and silky at the same time. Feels full-bodied but also "light". FInishes with considerable dryness.

O - Kind of an odd duck, this one. First of all it's NOT a stout by any means; it's a Belgian DA. And while it excels in spots, it falls flat in others. Would I drink it again? A definite maybe. Glad I sampled it in any case.

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Photo of brewskifan55
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter

A: Black with amber highlights. A frothy tan half finger head that lingers. Great lacing.

S: Dark fruits (dates, plums, figs, raisins, cherries), malts, light chocolate.

T: Follows nose with a bit of coffee flavor tossed in. Don't know why they call it a stout. This definately drinks like a Belgian SDA. Sweet. Smooth, rich, robust. Even better as it warms. The oak starts to come through as does the 9% ABV.

M: Medium with creamy carbonation.

O: Decent, just not exciting. Glad I tried it, but not much bang for the bucks.

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Photo of TownDunkel
4.27/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thirteenth Hour - had to give it a shot after trying their new world beer, which rocked my socks off

Appearance - Dark and soul-less just the way it should be. Almost looks like a stout or a porter as dark as it is

Smell - Hops, Bourbon, Chocolate, and other dark earthy notes

Taste - Bam, now thats the stuff. Sour cherry with coffee after taste. Not really like anything I have had before but not so different its just plain wrong

Mouthfeel - Good carbonation and nice flavor of cherrys that hangs around for quite a while

Overall - So far I am really impressed by these specialty beers, hopefully the last one will be the best for last

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Photo of Flounder57
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

25.4 oz bottle was poured into a large snifter.

Appearance: The beer a two finger mocha head that has reduced to a thin layer. It is a pitch black color with no clarity. Some signs of carbonation bubbles near the top ring of foam.

Smell: vanilla, booze, raisins, bananas, oak, other dark fruits, chocolate, roastiness, bready notes, spiciness, and tobacco too.

Taste: All of the above. Booze is up front, super dark fruits, burning spiciness that mellows, and

Mouthfeel: smooth, a bit dry, full bodied, burning spiciness, and medium carbonation.

Overall: A nice twist to the style. I have had the bottle for a year now and happy to see it has settled and aged well. I have another bottle and will age that one a bit longer.

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Photo of russpowell
3.23/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Opens with a resounding pop! Pours mahogany with 3+ fingers of fluffy tan head. Good lacing & head retention

S: Dark fruit, faint fusel booze notes

T: Figs, raisins, dryness & a touch of woody hops up front, along with a bit of booze. Some cherry notes mix in with oakyness as this warms. Finishes boozey, dry & jammy

MF: Fairly chewy, low carbonation

An okay crack at the style at best, will probably do better some age on it. It is a little too dry & oaky to me, a little too hot still

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Photo of tdm168
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - black with a huge brown, dense, frothy head that has tremendous head

S - sweet, sugar, licorice, bubblegum, some faint yeast

T - dark fruit, yeast, raisins, faint chocolate, a hint of oak

M - medium to full bodied, a bit overcarbonated

This is a very complex beer. I'm not sure I can even capture all of the complexities. The malt is smooth and balanced. The yeast adds some complementary fruity notes. The oak was harder for me to detect. Overall, though, it's complex, delicious, and definitely worth a try.

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Photo of BeerNutz324
3.91/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

24oz split with the brohas and poured into an oversized wine glass

Ap- pours a deep dark brownish black color with a great tan/beige head that lingers pretty well.

Ar- has that typical belgian smell with some chocolate, dark fruit and coffee notes

T- smooth and tasty. The dark fruit and the belgian yeast hit first and then the coffee and chocolate notes finish the taste.

M- medium bodied and quite bubbly for a stout, but I guess that is the belgian side coming through

O- A really good beer. Didn't know what to expect crossing a belgian and a stout but this beer is delicious.

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Photo of mortarit
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've haven't tried alot of SA stuff, Boston lager and their summer seasonal.
First, like the bottle design. Itreally caught my eyes at first glance.
Beware when trying to releashing the cork, I was stardel from the pressure it gave when the cork riocet around the room. That was a first for me.
Smell of raisins which is typical of the Belgian style dark ales.
Taste them too.
What I really like is the silky texture of the head, very fine layer.
Medium in strength but light in the body.
It true to it's Belgian class
I would like to explore more of these on price points.

Overall, a winner.

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Photo of The_1084
3.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark transparent color with ruby/amber hues; has a decent head that sticks around throughout the duration of the beer; nice lacing.

S: Strong aroma of dark fruit with a hint of coffee.

T: Follows the smell; powerful taste of dark fruit with a very mild aftertaste of bitter coffee becoming present roughly 20-30 seconds after swallowing; small resemblance to a sweet wine.

M: Easy drinkability for a 9.0% ABV; full-bodied with light-medium carbonation.

O: I was hoping for stronger stout characteristics, but overall this was a good beer.

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Photo of Fatheranderson
4.8/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I picked this beer up on a whim after seeing the "Samuel Adams" name on it and figuring that while it probably wouldn't be the best beer in the world, it couldn't really be TOO bad. I'm happy to say I underestimated the brew. It's a genuinely surprisingly good beer.

Appearance: dark brown, nearly pitch black with a light red hue to it. Roughly average for a beer of this type.

Smell: warm and inviting with aromas of all sorts of dark, juicy fruits (plum, raisin, maybe even a tiny hint of grape), and a slight hint of spiciness (almost like freshly cracked pepper).

Taste: Opens with a warm and deep flavor of plum and raisin with notes of chocolate and a slightly sharp taste consistent with a mixture of alcohol and... I'm not sure. It's a very hard taste to describe, but it's definitely pleasant and a highly recommended experience.

Mouthfeel: alcohol and unidentified spiciness have a little too much bite to them, but that mellows into a warm and smooth feel that compliments the flavors very nicely.

Overall: highly recommended for anyone that enjoys dark beers. It suffers very slightly from poorly hidden alcohol, but that doesn't detract from the beer enough to damage the experience. This is a beer I could happily sit and drink in front of a warm fireplace during a snowstorm.

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Photo of claspada
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a black dense color with a fizzy light tan head that slowly recedes leaving a ring of bubbles on the surface around the edge of the glass.

Aromas begin with a huge amount of Belgian yeast influenced smells including dark dark fruits, mainly figs and raisins. As it warms there is some wet wood notes and a dark chocolate maltiness. The finish has notes of green raisins, spice and vanilla.

The tastes are full of bright dark fruit which blends with some toffee and prune notes that come though wit a slight tang quality in the finish. Chocolate and yeasty spice emerge as it warms.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium-high carbonation. Finish is fairly dry and dark fruit forward, higher carbonation is a nice change of pace and makes this surprisingly drinkable.

Overall I really was surprised and enjoyed this beer from Sam Adams. The flavors are well blended and this is exactly what a Belgian Stout should taste like. I was saving this for colder weather but just decided to crack it open on a whim and although the darker beers are better enjoyed in colder months in my opinion, the dark fruitiness and lighter body make it fine for any evening as a nightcap.

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Photo of WoogityBoogity
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 750ml into an American stout glass and Belgian goblet.

Appearance - Dark brown body, thick tan collar of foam with average dissipation. Traditional Belgian lace.

Smell - Complex malty sweetness, low on the phenols. 'Stout' profile that Sam Adams suggests is akin to burnt notes and molasses profile. Charred biscuit. Almost no noticable hop aroma.

Taste - A roasty malt character, noticable malt complexity, with strong profile of grains. Balance is heavily toward the malt. Alcohol finish provides a slightly bitter finish to low hop flavor. Dry coffee-like finish.

Mouthfeel - High carbonation with medium-light body. Low alcohol warmth.

Overall - A dark Belgian style ale with hints of a more traditional stout profile. It's not really a beer for me (though I tried to be fair in rating what it was), as I'd rather have just a strong dark ale or just a stout, but the unique character is worth the try.

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Photo of bmwats
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a tulip/snifter.

A: Black. Pours about a half finger, brown-white head. Settles fairly quickly, but a foam blanket and beer ring remains. Spotty lacing.

S: Coffee malt, unsweetened dark chocolate, and grape

T: Coffee malt, fermented caramel, black licorice, and wine grapes.

M: Full and syrupy. Sweet in the front, with a bittersweet finish.

D: Sip and enjoy.

Atmosphere is pretty good. Nice hue, head, and fair lacing. Nose is great combo of malt and dark chocolate, with a synthetic sweetness. Flavor is of malt, caramel, and sweet notes. Overall, this is a really good quaff.

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Samuel Adams Thirteenth Hour Stout (Barrel Room Collection) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.77 out of 5 based on 1,056 ratings.
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