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)
1,073 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,073 |  Reviews: 289
Photo of DruC4
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of SadMachine
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of ScaryEd
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of smalenberg
3.79/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark with a small head, slight hints of red near the edges

S - Sweet candied fruits and malt

T - Candied fruit (raisin and plum) and strong caramel with hints of the alcohol strength and subtle peppery notes.

M - Smooth but with slight bite from the alcohol.

O - Very nice. Not the best among these special barrel editions, but very enjoyable.

 352 characters

Photo of ridgeline23
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of SABERG
3.62/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into modified tulip glass. Initially chilled but allowed to warm.

A - Deep dark, a bit of ruby coloring. Head was prolific, lacing was very good.
S - Currants, cocoa, leather, subtle spice notes, quite pleasant.
T - Vexing, some sweetnes, a little spice, dried fruit, alcohol hidden in the mix.
Spiciness as the glass warmed. This is a hard brew to pin down.
M - Medium across the palete, nice carbonation level. A moderate linger where some of the alcohol warms.
O - I waited to try this and am glad I did. This is a challenging beer to review. The brewery keeps up the fine work, while challenging our palates.


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Photo of Scotchboy
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Corked and caged 750ml split with the portion poured into a Jackie O's tulip...

A: Dark brown pour with a tight two-finger light khaki head...foamy lacing typical of bottle-conditioned light shows through the brown body of the beer.

S: Belgian yeast and spices unfold on the nose, followed by darker fruits (big time raisins and plums) and oaky smoothness...light peppery sensation and distant vanilla, with suggestions of cocoa.

T: Even more diverse than the nose. Belgian yeast characters still dominate the palate, followed by plums and dark cherries...fairly hefty roasted malt backbone with a moderate mixture of dark chocolate and roasted coffee notes. Creamy vanilla, earthy oak, peppery herbal undertone. As it warms the chocolate shows up a bit more, as well as some vinous red wine notes and brandy warmth.

MF: Creamy bottle conditioning takes a hold of the mouthfeel...moderate body is nearly full, soft and velvety with an appropriate amount of dryness.

O: A nearly perfect example of the style (Belgian Stout/Strong Dark) and a very respectable Sam Adams offering.

 1,109 characters

Photo of ONUMello
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a tulip glass
A: Pitch black overall with a bit of amber around the edges. Initially a two-finger head that settle to a lingering one-finger head.
S: Light malts, light coffee, a hint of tropical fruit.
T: Quite sour overall. Some light malts, a hint of coffee but the overall flavor is sour citrus/tropical fruits, almost overwhelmingly so.
M: Fairly light-bodied. Quite acidic.
O: An interesting and overall enjoyable brew. I would prefer a bit more malt & less sour, but this was still nice.

 520 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep ruby-tinted brown in the Saint Martin tall tulip. A nice foam with a brown tint. Faultless carbonation with a nice spritz on the tongue.

The first taste is something like licorice. Very dark malt flavors dominate with a sweet, roasted chestnut flavor. Barely a hint of burnt sugar. Lots of dark caramel. Fig jam fruitiness. Tastes like Christmas candy with a hint of cinnamon. Really intriguing flavors. The Belgian flavors are fairly under cover, with just a little of the dry aftertaste showing up.

Rich and more of a dessert drink, but another intriguing and well-made beer from Sam Adams. From the 750 ml bottle bought at Liticker's in San Diego.

 658 characters

Photo of Phelps
4/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

 2,491 characters

Photo of davidtarantino
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%

Photo of guinb
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of keeganfrank
4.32/5  rDev +15.8%
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.

 357 characters

Photo of depechemode1983
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
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 +8.3%
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.

 2,290 characters

Photo of Yodo
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%

Photo of atone315
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of TonyTalon
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of mrosenfeld32
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of Peglegtim
2/5  rDev -46.4%

Photo of Mitchster
4.58/5  rDev +22.8%
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.

 1,544 characters

Photo of HoppyHoward
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%

Photo of Nightrain87
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of gritz147
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of BDIMike
4.39/5  rDev +17.7%
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!

 1,008 characters

Samuel Adams Thirteenth Hour Stout (Barrel Room Collection) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.73 out of 5 with 1,073 ratings