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

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Samuel Adams Thirteenth Hour Stout (Barrel Room Collection)Samuel Adams Thirteenth Hour Stout (Barrel Room Collection)

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

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

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Reviews: 281 | Ratings: 1,046
Photo of utfiero
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Color - deep, near black plum. Full head.

Aroma- complicated aroma including mild floral notes, spices, raisin, and hint of roastiness.

Taste- Initial thoughts with a new bottle in January 2014: Starts very sweet with prune notes, hints of spice in the mid-body, finishing calmer with a nice lingering aftertaste (perhaps a hint of the barrel aging comes through here). A bit like a fruitcake in a bottle with a hint of sourness throughout. Quirky but we like it. Drink at the recommended temperature- 50 degrees.

After aging 6 months (not cellar, rather aged at room temp)- Sweetness diminished somewhat, starting rich and roasty with coffee and fruity hints of pear and raisin, very faint hints of spice including white pepper in the middle, finishing roasted and mildly smokey with a lingering tart fruity aftertaste that is probably a combo of Belgian yeast and fruity hops.

Rating reflects the improvement with aging.

Poured from a corked 750 ml bottle into a Liefmans Goudenband glass (my preferred all purpose beer tasting glass). Purchased at Costco as part of a three bottle combo pack early January 2014.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark with ruby highlights. Nice loopy lace.

Aroma is fruity belgian yeast. Less stout, more belgian.

Taste is definitely more on the belgian side, with a hint of oak and wood alongside a touch of heat. Very subtle and complex, but most certainly a sipper.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. 4/17

Pours dark brown, almost black, with thick creamy inch head that sits atop like whipped cream. Woodsy nose with raisins. Slight bourbon nose too. Whisky oak taste, boozy, but thin for a stout. Coffee, maple, plums, all kinds of flavors intertwined. Hearty carbonation. Borders on barleywine. Robust.

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Photo of bnes09
4.04/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown, almost black. Creamy head with good retention and a few lace spots.

Mildly roasted flavor with sweet dark fruits. Assertive Brett-like tartness.

Just a hint of roasted malt suggesting dark chocolate and toasted oats. Prune and black currant sweetness. Mildly tart yeast flavor. Well balanced.

Super smooth throughout. Dense body. Plenty of tiny bubbles bring the complexities to the taste buds. Malty, yeasty texture.

Good stuff. Complex and tasty.

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Photo of stakem
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml corked and caged bottle poured into a tulip. The brew appears dark brown in color with cola clarity around edges. A tan cap fades leaving spotty lace on the glass.

The aroma includes notes of cocoa and fruit. Some mildly vinous aspects with vanilla and caramel from the barrel aging as it breathes.

The taste has some vinous to raisony/plum notes before chocolate and more raisin. A little yeasty with caramel and oak/vanilla from the barrel creates a smoothness and suggestion of sweetness.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. Interesting with some good character but nothing id get exited about drinking again.

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Photo of Bear1964
3.71/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 1PT 9.4 oz bottle into a stemmed glass showed a very beautiful dark reddish brown brew with a creamy tan head about 2" high, nice lacing hangs on as you enjoy this beer. The aroma is that of a Dark Strong Belgian Ale..a nice series of spicy notes hit the nose along with a alcohol up front cover...picked up a slight hint of chocolate and some oak from the barrels. The taste was straight Belgian Strong Ale with some nice spice, dark fruits and maybe a bitter coffee near the end. Mouthfeel is medium and right on spot, the flavors hang around on the tongue and gives a great aftertaste of spicy dark ale. Aside from being labeled A DARK BELGIAN STYLE STOUT it's listed on BA as a Belgian Strong Dark Ale...which is exactly what it tastes like, at 9% ABV it comes in where it should. This is a well made brew with a good solid flavor and would be great to share or use for a special occasion....as I did..good job and I enjoyed it.

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Photo of GeorgianBayPackr
2.47/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

Sour. And not in a good way. For me the combination of Belgian sour-style with the coffee notes of a stout just did not work. The sour flavor overwhelmed the characteristics of a stout, and allowed little of the other ingredients to reveal themselves. I was disappointed & found this beer off-putting

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Photo of cswhitehorse
3.2/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The 13th Hour Stout was a mixture between a sour, stout and maybe a BSDA. It poured a dark brown color with 4 finger foam head with tiny carbonation bubbles. The head dissipated quickly and settled into a tiny 1 mm head. The smell was brown sugar, anise and sour green apples. The mouthfeel was thin and left a semi sour mark on the palate. Overall an interesting beer but seemed to be a little off.

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Photo of polloenfuego
3.64/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From a 750 ml bottle to a snifter.

This beer pours a deep brown almost black with a full three finger head that breaks quickly leaving behind no lacing and only a thin veil of foam. The smell is interesting with a combination of anise, prunes and dark fruits and then a blast of sour or funk. The taste is more dark fruits and anise and that sourness comes through again. The feel is thin with fine carbonation.

Okay this may be one of the most original beers I have ever had. I will however say it is not a stout... Nor is it a BSDA. I don't know what it is, but I will say the sour from the Brett really comes through. I can't say I would recommend this beer, but I certainly did enjoy the adventure that was tasting it.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.17/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Black with a short brown head.

S: Chocoalte, brown sugar, coffee in the nose.

T: Starts with chocolate, followed by some brief coffee notes, then uickly finishes by dark fruit followed by tart berries and citrus.

M: Smoothish, could be smoother, full bodied, a bit creamy.

O: Not the best body, but a damn good Belgian style stout.

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Photo of ccrida
4.24/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance is dark with a creamy tan head leaving tight foamy lace.

Smell is fruity Belgian esters, robust grape.

Taste is basically strait BSDA, but with some light roast and brett notes. So, yes, definitely barrel aged Belgian stout, but really those are subtle auxiliary notes notes to the sugary malt and fruity esters. The problem is, the brett at least, is an acrid distraction. But I do like the chocolate notes of the stout.

Mouthfeel is a little thick, medium+.

Drinkability is solid overall. Definitely a nice beer, very good, not great. I seem to like it more than most here I guess, but I love a fruity BSDA. Some heat though, it's a sipper, but a very nice one.

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Photo of brentk56
3.47/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours espresso brown with ruby highlights; three inches of mocha foam cap the liquid, retaining well and leaving some strands behind

Smell: Dried dark fruit, wood and a tart, vinous aspect

Taste: The tartness from Brett beer additive juts to the front, adding a vinous grape character that masks the dark fruit, cola, banana and chocolate tones; a spicy aspect develops, in the middle, and picks up, in the finish; the aftertaste is a clash between the yeasty spices and the Brett

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; slight warmth in the gullet

Overall: Too many conflicting elements mar this beer; to call it a BSDA here is as much a misnomer as the label calling it a Belgian stout; it is a kitchen sink beer but I would say that the experiment failed

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
3.62/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - This beer is pretty beautiful, with a big tan head with some considerable staying power and lacing. Dark brown to black, mostly opaque.

S - Plums, prunes, raisins and the like come through, with a sour current, along with hints of the oak and alcohol from its time in the barrel. Very little of the chocolate and really none of the coffee elements I normally associate with a stout, but I'll grant a number of Belgian beer elements. Yeast is pretty present and offers its own bread and funk layer, as well.

T - If the the smell indicated Belgian, the taste screams it. This dark Belgian confirms the dark fruit smells, with a strong thread of sour down the middle, and a hint of bitterness mingling for the finish. There's some hint of the alcohol from the barrels, but it is definitely placed firmly in the background by other elements.

M - Thinner, and less creamy than I hoped. Again, this is less stout than straight up strong dark ale. Nevertheless, the feel is fine for a dark ale, with decent carbonation strong enough to pop the cork when I opened it.

O - I'm torn. The fact is, I was looking for a stout, and I got a Belgian dark ale. Now, I like Belgian dark ales, so that is not a bad thing, but there was really nothing particularly stout-like about this experiment. If the base starts there, by the end the other elements dominate. I enjoy the beer, but it really isn't even exceptional as a Belgian, and the barrel aging seems to add little beyond a few alcohol and wood notes.

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Photo of biegaman
3.56/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Thirteenth Hour - known as "the witching hour" - does indeed look a product of the dark arts; normally a beer so black doesn't come equipped with such a towering, foamy head. Holding it to the light we're let in on the little secret that this beer is actually concealing deep brown tones.

I expected a lot more character than this. I figured a big barrel-aged stout fermented with Belgian-yeast would have enough rich, roasted malts, coffee, and dark chocolate flavours to make this review an easy and quick one to write. Turns out, however, there's a lot to be said but little of it has to do with an abundance of flavour...

This has aromas and tastes of raisins, prunes, oak, chai spice as well as anise and clove, but nothing remotely rich or overtly 'stout-like'. What it does have is an unexpected sourness - turns out the stout is only the base beer. Thirteenth Hour is blended with Kosmic Mother Funk (a barrel- and Brettanomyces-soured wild ale).

This sourness was carefully mixed in so as to be more of a background note, but it's not exactly in good proportion to the malt; the problem is there simply isn't enough malt. It's certainly not overwhelming (nothing tart or puckering) but it's more defining than complimenting. It adds value to the beer but doesn't help the appreciation of the stout.

Sam Adams is also being a little deceiving when they say that Thirteenth Hour is brewed with 13 ingredients - the only extra ingredient in this beer is two kinds of brewing sugars (and I'm not sure why they needed to use two?). As for the rest: 7 are different malts, two are varieties of yeast, one is the hop, and one is a different beer altogether. Not quite as unique as it's billed.

While we're on the topic of being mislead, the brewery is free to call Thirteenth Hour a stout - and, to be sure, it started out as one - but it drinks far more like a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. And it's not a particularly good one at that. Indeed, this disappoints on all possible fronts - stout, Belgian dark, barrel-aged and soured beer - unable to satisfy on any of those accounts.

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Photo of Pencible
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: This poured an opaque black with thick tan head.
S: It smelled like grassy hops and spicy Belgian yeast, with some dry dark chocolate and roasted coffee.
T: It tasted like dry dark chocolate and roasted coffee, with some pumpernickel and spicy Belgian yeast. It had a clean earthy bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was watery with lots of fine natural carbonation. Fairly thin body.
D: This was a nice BSDA, but not much stout character and basically no barrel. The scent and taste were still nice, and the body was decent. The finish was smooth with well hidden alcohol, so it was pretty easy to drink. Might age well. Fresh is good not great.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Not as dark or opaque as most stouts, but certainly in the ballpark. Has a pronounced red tinge near the surface and a good amount of carbonation is visible when held against the light. A sizeable head form even on a gentle pour- promising. Pretty sticky lacing, too. The bottle shape is unique, and artwork is clean, even if it isn't eye-catching.

S: Roasted malt is where the typical stout aromas end. I'm also getting some sassafrass root, sweet cola, and I almost want to say ginger.

T: Pretty spicy, although it's offset by the cola. It has that dark malt backbone, but it's subtle. Not very dark, no coffee, chocolate, or oak like the label promised. I like it, but not what I was expecting at all.

M: It's almost like soda- pretty thin, lots of carbonation, although it is smaller and doesn't bite your tongue as much.

O: I guess it does say Belgian in style, but this still is a little off from the stout classification. Spice and herbal roots play the major roles here, not dark malt or its oak aging. If you look past that it's a good beer, but I was hoping for a thicker beer with darker flavors.

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Photo of slusk
3.96/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep ruby with a dense, long lasting tan head. Quite good lacing.

S: Wow, a lot going on here. The first smell is of dark fruits, almost wine like. Strong but not overpowering. The alcohol is buried and not present. Prune, raison, and grape notes persist with a perceptible toast coming through. There's a lot going on here.

T: The first thing that hits the palate is prune and raisin followed by an earthy, musty note. Belgian notes take a backseat in this brew but are there in the form of a pleasant spiciness. Little or no hops but a lingering tartness belies the almost wine-like presence of the oak and aging. This brew tastes like a stout that someday hopes to become a wine. It's plain to see that Sam's yeast blend transformed this brew.

M: For a stout, this beer isn't too heavy. A nice medium to medium plus body.

O: This is a great special occasion brew that has a lot to offer. There's so much going on in this brew it's hard to describe. This is a good example of what a unique yeast blend can bring to a brew. Having said that, I can't see myself drinking this but on very special occasions, once a year at best. But I think that is there intention. If you can get it, it's worth the price in my opinion.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had one of these siting in my aging fridge for several months and we opened it today for Christmas. It was excellent, and waiting was at least OK, if not the perfect thing to do.

IT opens black with loads of nice head. The aroma is a bit fruity/yeasty, per the style. The taste is a delicate blend of many nice things which all work well together. It is surprisingly light and refreshing for such a big beer, a lot like some of the best Belgians - light tasting though they are anything but. The taste is complex but underpowering.

This is a nice treat and a credit to the style and the brewer.

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Photo of Drankin
2.74/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bought in a 3 pack with some other ones.

This beer is really hard to drink. The clashing flavors are a bit too much. A stout should be a stout and a Belgian a Belgian. Smell is offputting and the taste is way too funky. Reminds me of those chocolate oranges, which i was never a fan of. Mouthfeel is oily and slick. Lucky there's no lingering aftertaste, so as difficult as it might be to finish the glass, at least it won't linger.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

As this was poured in a snifter the head took over and built a massive wall of foam that quickly ran away. The color was a tidy dark brown, maybe prune juice color.

There's a lot of scents in the nose but none of those in the label descriptions. There's a fruity prune or date, yeasts, Juicyfruit gum, wine or port and then a Worcestershire sauce like aroma.

The flavors were tart, much better as it warmed, and began to resemble a Quad. I also caught more wine and port like flavors before it ended in the Worcestershire sauce.

The feel is quite mellow and as it warmed there was more viscosity.

The Worcestershire sauce aroma and taste worries me as soy sauce flavor means a yeast issue and perhaps just a bad bottle. That flavor was light and the overall experience was better than average.

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Photo of lico
2.99/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

A: First off, the bottle this comes in is beautiful. Pours a dark brown body with a nice beige head. Good retention. I was excited to try it!

S: Tart scent, light Belgian yeast undertones and a few fruits. Not bad, but my excitement is waning. I did not expect such a dark beer described as "stout" to smell so tart!

T: As expected, this is quite tart, with light oak notes and a hint of chocolate. And of course, that unmistakable Belgian yeast. Light spice aftertaste, but it's overpowered by a sour taste.

M: This beer is smooth, with medium carbonation and a light-medium body. Appropriate for the style. Overall, it doesn't do anything extraordinary here.

O: I could drink a glass of this, but would have no interest in having it again. I've had Belgian dark ales before, but none so tart as this.

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Photo of Hibernator
3.91/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thirteenth Hour Stout
750 ML caged cork brown bottle
Served in a 20 oz tulip glass

Pours a dark mahogany with a khaki colored head on top. Thick trails of sticky lace decorate the glassware.

An interesting nose with whiffs of fermented fruit and funky yeast.

A chewy malt backbone with flavors of dark fruits, like cherries or plums. There is also a chocolate quality as well, think Cella's Milk Chocolate Covered Cherries in liquid form with a subtle funky yeast twang.

This beer is very smooth with a remarkable carbonation level. I certainly taste the distinctive belgian yeast with hints of cloves and possible banana notes. The 9% ABV is really well hidden as this beer is surprisingly easy to drink, I was expecting more of a sipper type brew.

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Photo of tigg924
4.36/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 1 inch head, reddish-brown in color, clear, high carbonation

Smell: chocolate, raisin, fig, dark bread, and dark fruit

Taste: black cherry, dark fruits, alcohol, dark bread, and slight coffee at the end

Mouthfeel: medium-high carbonation, medium-heavy body, sweet with alcohol burn

Overall: Why did it take me so long to try this? One of Sam Adams better beers in this series despite not really having a lot of oaking. This tastes like a complex quad. A sipper I will get again.

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Photo of jeff1973
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an odd-shaped 750ml bottle into a Bruery tulip. Guessing it was bottled 9/2012, so about 13 mos old. Bought at Hi Times in Costa Mesa CA for $9.30 on 10/5/12.

A - Dark brown, rootbeer color with ruby tinges on the edges. Tan head leaves good lacing.

S - Dried cherry and fig. Hint of baker's cocoa. Dark bread.

T - Big dried cherries and blueberries, also figs. A little hint of cocoa on the back end (chocolate covered dried cherries). A hint of licorice. Has the classic BSDA flavor combos. Had this fresh and remember it being a little hot. After a year it has really mellowed. No noticeable alcohol burn.

M - Classic BSDA. Medium-full mouthfeel with lively carbonation and slick feel on the tongue afterwards. A little creaminess, also. Very enjoyable.

O - Really good beer. I don't know why this doesn't get more love. I remember it being a little hot when I had it fresh and I think I also thought it was just "pretty good" and not "great". I will definitely pick up another to cellar, especially with the nice price tag.

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Photo of KelsoSaaz
3.79/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into tulip

A: Deep black with hints of mahogany when held up to light. Light-brown/khaki 2 finger head.

S: Dark fruit and dark chocolate. Oaky and spicy.

T: Dark and tart fruit up front with very bitter, almost Mexican-style spicy chocolate. Definitely can taste the oak barrels, but it’s not overwhelming. A lot of big flavors here that leave very little room for subtlety.

M: Prickly carbonation with dense, slightly chewy body. Alcohol is very present warms the palate.

O: Stout this is not, unlike Sam Adams claims. This is more of a BSDA, which is not a bad this. Sam Adams makes a Belgian style beer with firm American tones here. Big, boozy and bold, this is a good brew, but relies too much on big flavors, making it almost overwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, this is a nice beer, but if you want real high-quality American BSDA, you can do much better.

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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 1,046 ratings.
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