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Thirteen | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

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very good
247 Reviews

Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.60%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Belgian Inspired Imperial Stout.

Added by woodychandler on 04-27-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 247 | Ratings: 307
Photo of wurensh
5/5  rDev +25%

A very long story to the acquisition of a case of this fine brew... I am on two bottles left (now 6 years+ in age) - I've been opening one every once in a while and just relished in the development of it's complexity and richness over these years. An incredible brew, and likely my favorite of the anniversary brews (as an Arizonan, I am proud to say that I have tasted each - Starting with the first - Decadence...). Anyway - a top-class Imperial Stout. HOWEVER... a little hint... If you pick up a bottle of Weyerbacher's Tiny (http://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/392/56274/)... if you have a bottle... check the number of "stars" in the upper right of the label... Check the description under the title "TINY"... count the number of words in that description... Hmmm... I was told by a reliable source at Weyerbacher that this number (13 for those of you who don't have access) is no small coincidence...

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Photo of JTSbeerislife
4.86/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Vintage 2008, traded for 2010 DFH WWS to Sean T., thanks!
Has “rested” in temp controlled condition for 9 months or so.

Poured into a DFH Signature glass

Pours a thin head, dark tan in color with no retention or lace, probably to be expected of Ale of this age.
Black opaque color and has dropped a good amount of sediment.

The aroma has no noticeable hops, but does have a huge, exceptionally deep, rich, roasted, nose of vinous black malt, hints of anise, cocoa, vanilla, spicy, and I get oak/wood. Very complex!

The malt is what hits the palate, big bold, extraordinarily rich flavors of dark unsweetened chocolate, roasted malt, vinous, distinct yeast, black farmhouse bread, cocoa, hints of aged bourbon and vanilla wood. Again very complex!
Still has a nice crisp acidity, very full body, viscous, and superb, balanced, fine carbonation. There is just a hint of sweetness but not overdone.

Exceptionally long finish of yeasty, vinous, aged, roasted black malt, that lasts forever.

Wow! What an experience! More akin to drinking a fine aged Port than Ale. Very complex flavors envelope the palate, change with every drink, and just will not let go. The over 13% ABV is not at all noticeable. Hard to believe that this is 4 years old. This was my only bottle, but I suspect that this Ale has several more years of life left.
A privilege to drink. Again thanks Sean!

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Photo of techdiver
4.82/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep, dark, dense pour. Minimal head in appearance and existence.

Phenols evident over the heavy malt base.

Awesome stuff, no evidence of alcohol. Chocolatey with faint cherry.

Great mouthfeel, a definite sipper with great drinkability despite the high ABV. Scary!

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Photo of daythree16
4.77/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a snifter. Jet black with absolutely no head on the first pour. With the second glass, I went with a very vigorous pour, and the resulting head was the weirdest I've ever seen on a beer. Reminded me of ginger ale. Lots of active bubbles that crackle and pop and fade very quickly.

Smell is chocolate covered raisins. Also has some really winy aromas, with dark fruit and whatnot. Taste is delicious. Sweet up front and almost port-like but without a big alcohol burn. Has a big burnt, roasted malt finish.

Mouthfeel is thick and silky. The bottle says 13.6% ABV, but it's pretty well hidden. Definitely has some warmth to it, but it's not overpowering by any means. For the style and ABV, I'd say drinkability is just about perfect. I finished the whole bomber with no problem...and a pretty nice buzz.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.75/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 0z. bottle > Brandy snifter

Totally opaque, the sun has been denied! seriously dark, and bold look, viscous-thick pour. the head is an activ but dense creamy-brown with darker brown tints mixed throughout.

The nose is full of roastie chocolate malt, cherries and big fruits, sweet Hershey's chocolate syrup runs through the malt aroma. Herbal balance and a slight wet-cardboard scent, but it's very subtle. The aroma only gets stronger as time goes by with even more malty aroma's popping out like grahm crackers.

Wow, I must comment on the feel before th flavor; it's a giant-full bodied beast with a very smooth feel, but also includes the up-lifting Belgian feel, snappy and peppery but smooth and thick,,,oh yeah. Brownies and spicey herbs is the first two flavor's I get, thick, rightous malt with a killer belgian-yeast complexity! The large 13% abv. does not come off as "hot" at all, it's very well-hidden, which means the rest of the brew is bad-ass enough to handle this big abv. and not only handle it, but it hides it! The malty complexity is as good as I've ever had, including RIS's like Darklord. Giant amounts of oats Oakie-wood and cedar smoke, chocolate and vanilla in the malt, they come in thick layers of flavor, one after the other! My lips are very sticky from this stuff. A sweet, wet-bready taste in the finish, crisp, peppery but coffee-smooth.

Briliant brewing, adventurous and bold but with balance. I'm simply loving these Belgian-inspired big Stouts.

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Photo of asabreed
4.74/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bomber into a Chimay chalice.

Appearance: Jet black, dark mocha-colored head which dissipates too quickly. Could be the glass since it hasn't been washed in a while, though I did a thorough washing as much as I could to make sure if anything seemed odd it wasn't because of the glass. That said, the jet black color is great, but the head retention isn't much, and it takes a fierce pour to get any kind of a substantial foaminess going.

Smell: Visceral and powerfully boozy at first, but a warranted booziness, and a heady one, with hints of sherry and scotch. Then the aromas start to come in, the dark berries, with raspberry being seemingly prominent, along with rich chocolate mousse, bursting vinous red wine complexity, almost pinot-like with its dark fruits, then there's some maple flavors and some pure vanilla extract. All around complex, very rich and balanced, with so much going on from the beginning until it warms to room temperature.

Taste: A fantastic combination of rich dark chocolate, bold vinous flavors, and heady booziness. Initial flavors of dark chocolate malts and big fruit flavors, raspberry and maraschino cherries, slides into rich chocolate mousse and chocolate cream, along with hints of scotch, maple, and minor coffee mocha flavors, as a nice touch without becoming too mocha or coffee-like, as some bigger stouts can often lean toward. Long finish with heavy malt flavors, but as it finally warms to room temperature there's some citrus hops mixed with darker berries to become the icing on the cake. One of the best stouts I've ever had as far as complexity, and this is in the "green" state, which for Weyerbacher, most of the time, for me, is not really a term, as I can't imagine this getting any better.

Mouthfeel: Richly huge and chewy, with still a lighter edge, which doesn't make it cloying and makes it easy to sip like a fine scotch or bourbon. Pretty great.

Drinkability: Around $7, which was nothing for me, as I was waiting to get a hold of this guy for a while. I wish I had a case of this for the future. Hands down one of my favorite stouts of all time. The Eagles / Cowboys game is now over, and as a Giants fan, I knew that someone had to lose. The game was great, though, and this was the perfect accompaniment with its hugeness. Complex as hell, not for the faint of heart, but then again, it's so balanced that even someone who's not used to such stout heaviness would be able to appreciate the subtleties and nuances of such a brew. Bravo, again, and seemingly as always, Weyerbacher. I can't wait to see what happens next.

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Photo of jimbomill
4.7/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My sisters scored me a case at the Friday the 13th unveiling.
This poured a true-stout-like black, with reddish tinges. Although this is called an American Strong Ale, under a blind taste test, I'd have to call it a stout, so forgive me.
The smell was a deep, penetrating inhale, less coffee-ish/toffee-ish than many a stout. Perhaps this is the American Strong Ale portion emerging?
Taste was OMG. I was lucky enough to enjoy a FFF Dreadnaught and 2008 Dark Lord from FFF with friends friday night. This taste was the true equal of the DL. Mouthfeel was likewise on top of the chart - a richness and complexity that shouldn't have been there for such a recent brewing. I scored drinkability high - I preceeded the XIII with one of my 12 oz bottles of Decadence. I like strong beer. The XIII, may be the top offering yet from Weyerbacher. The High ABV for most may warrant a lower drinkability rating, but I am good with mine.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.7/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I know that this is a little bit of cheating as Thirteen will not be commercially available until July 2008, but Dan likes me to get the word out, so I know that he won't mind if I post an Early Bird review.

First off was the color. It was a very deep, dark brown beer that did not allow for any light penetration. It initially produced a very thick, dark brown head that reduced to a ring around the circumference of the glass. The nose was full of dried fruits (think prunes, raisins, and dates). The mouthfeel was surprisingly medium as I had girded my loins for some thick, chewy concoction. Better yet, it was not at all hot, unlike last year's anniversary release. It had a slight citrus tang on the tongue, accompanying a fruity, dark chocolate flavor. The finish had a definite citrusy zest. Do keep an eye out for this one upon its (limited) release.

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Photo of PatronWizard
4.7/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to adamharbaugh - this may have made up for some of your trespasses.

XIII pours seriously thick. Pitch black. Thin beige head tries to make an appearance but the 13.6% says oh hell no.

Smells yummy. Some strong coffee, strong dark chocolate. Smoke. Maybe some dark fruits. Maybe cocoa. Smells friggin great.

Taste is like a punch to the mouth. Everything in the nose is represented here. Tons of flavor. Then the blessed alcohol drops in for an extended hello. This son of a bitch is BUSY! The more I drink, the more the fruit profile emerges. Awesome beer!

I want to pound it back, but it just will not allow that. Demands to be sipped. Lots of sips in rapid succession that is.

And now let's talk about the 13.6%. First of all... YES!!! A terrific tasting big winter warmer, damn near like sipping whiskey. Oh so smooth. 6 oz and I got a fever already. Delicious. My wife gave back her customary taster because the ABV is too high for her. YES!!! I get 11.5 oz of this 12 oz bottle.

Popped this at about 11am in response to an otherwise frustrating day and man, I may take a nap after lunch. And have beautiful dreams of fig trees and date festivals where the only beer served is XIII and the beer pussies of the world lay knocked out next to the tilt-a-whirl whilst I collect cup after cup from their cold dead hands before hitting every balloon I throw a dart at and taking down some bar-be-qued teriyaki chicken and being declared motherfucking man of the hour.

A lot of beers come in under my expectations, but this baby exceeded them. I need more. I want a few for the cold winter nights and a few to age. This will always be on my wants list no matter how many I own.

Overall: a fucking masterpiece

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Photo of bhutch
4.68/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was absolutely amazing. The pour was thick and rich with a brilliant head. Taste was remarkable, with heavy roast caramel and hints of vanilla and slight coffee. Being 13% abv you wouldn't have guessed it.I have had about 9 of these and I'm still trying to find more. Overall one of the best beers I have ever had

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Photo of markman
4.67/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Weyerbacher XIII:

As big and bad as they get. Nice balance of roasted malt, Belgian yeast, and off the freakin' charts strength...dangerously so. This is a beautifully constructed brew. Not overdone in any way, but still and assault on the palate; oily-chewy-lovely. Veeery nice, and quite appropriate for an anniversary ale.


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Photo of mikesgroove
4.65/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Purchased a ten ounce pour into a snifter glass from Barley's in Greenville. Consumed on 07/19/2008.

I was thrilled to find out that this gem was on tap upstairs when I went by for dinner on Saturday night. I have yet to see the bottles floating around, so this was actually even better and my first chance to try this gem. The pour was beautiful. Rich and dark, like an abyss to which no light could escape, with a huge four inch high billowing head of chocolate that took what seemed like a year to be able to come down and even give me a decent pour. Once it finally settled down to around two inches, it stayed that way throughout the rest of the session, depositing rich and sticky brown lace all the while.

The aroma was simply amazing. Rich notes of chocolate just came creeping up off of it. Rich nose of alcohol hidden in there too, but the real magic was once it started to warm up, as that's when it really started to get going. Thick Belgian yeast aroma now mixed in, really nice touches of dark fruit, figs, prunes, mixed in with loads of vanilla and hints of coffee. The flavor was what dreams are made of. This is honestly what I expected from Black Albert when I had it. Rich and decadent with a luscious smooth and creamy full bodied feel, this was just off the wall good. Opened up with rich notes of coffee and chocolate, hints of licorice and a subtle vanilla touch. Definitely a young beer as the alcohol was still noticeable, but very well blended into the fold. As it warmed some more of the yeast pushed through offering glimpses of figs and plums, run soaked raisins and a touch of spice. Beautiful finish left me with a long lingering taste of sweet chocolate and spice that just would not fade. This was the quintessential sipper. It was hot out, near 100 degrees, but somehow this just tasted soo damn good.

Overall I was blown away with this one, it was just an amazing collection of flavors here, near perfection for the Belgian Stout style. I really need to pick up a couple bottles of this one to really appreciate how good it was.

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Photo of rye726
4.65/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark oily color with a thin tan head.

Nose has lots of piney hops over peppery alcohol, roasted malts, chocolate, ripe pitted fruits and herbal Belgian yeast.

Taste has cocoa, dark fleshed fruit, molasses, spicy yeast and floral hops. Delicious.

Full, creamy body has a subtle yet crisp carbonation. Rich, lasting finish. Alcohol very well hidden.

This is my second favorite Weyerbacher brew after Double Simcoe. Hugely complex stout with a unique Belgian influence.

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Photo of rapidsequence
4.64/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 22 poured half way into a perfect pint glass, multiple times. 2008 bottle.

Appearance: Its nice, almost completely opaque. There's a nice dark brown head that fades (quickly) to almost nothing. The lace doesnt last-- its almost 14%!

Smell: My first thought was raisin bran. Lots of dark fruit and spicy bread from the yeast. At the same time you get that nice stouty chocolate roasty smell. Oh yeah.

Taste: I hate to pass out 5's. The situation is this-- this beer tastes exceptional. It is an exception. Whether this is an imperial stout with belgian yeast or a belgian dark with dark roasted malts, the taste is out of the ordinary, delicious, and amazing. Its not the best imperial stout or the best belgian dark-- but it is exceptional. Rich, chocolately, roasty, spicy, bready, yeasty, with lots of sweetness and dark dark fruit. There is hops that provides nice balancing bitterness. The finish is long, smooth, bready, wonderful.

Mouthfeel: It remains nicely carbonated and continues to feel full bodied for a stout. It coats nicely without being overly syrupy.

Drinkability: If you kept giving me this, I would probably drink myself to death the way a goldfish eats all the food you give it. Its 13.6%, so its not an everyday drinker, but I can't grade it down just because it wrecks me. I love combining styles. I think a belgian stout done perfectly can be the best beer in the world. This isn't perfect, but excellent.

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Photo of maximum12
4.62/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Someone please explain to me how the fuck there aren't any Weyerbacher brews in the BA top 100. They make at least four deserving beers, & another four that ought to be voted on by the Veteran's Committee. IMHO, this is the most underrated brewery in the U.S.A.

Anyways, thanks for sholland119 & milwaukeeclassic for putting this Weyerbacher brew in my hands so I can add it to my tasty collection.

This beer is big, complex, & makes my toes tingle with happiness. The smell...oh, the smell. I hope this smell is what they smear all over me at the gates of heaven, chocolate & booze & malt. The taste follows the same river-bed, with a throw-in of a Belgian dark ale-style undertow. Wow. I'd swear there's a touch of bourbon in there too, but maybe I'm projecting.

XIII is thick & slick & coats my palate with its dark goodness. I could drink this until I was falling up the stairs, beating my chest out in the snow, or doing keg stands of Miller Golden Lite.

Great beer. Great brewery. Give me more!

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Photo of Hojaminbag
4.61/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Black to very dark brown body with about a finger of brown head. I didn't get any lacing; hardly any retention.

Smells wonderful. A nice, dark fruitiness like cherry with dark chocolately, charred malts underneath. Rather boozy in the end.

Tastes great also. The fruitiness comes up once again, reminding me of cherries, and oddly banana. The middle of the flavor is some chocolately malts. The finish has some vanilla in it, with lots of whiskey/boozy flavor that you can feel in the back of your nose. Great beer, mouthfeel is medium bodied with fairly low carbonation.

I have never found a stout that is this high in ABV with such great drinkability. Very nice.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.58/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a tulip, this beer was a very dark brown, almost black, color with a thin orange/tan head. A tiny bit of lacing. It had a coffee and milk chocolate aroma. Intriguing taste. Coffee and milk chocolate, kind of alternating with coffee bitterness here and sweet chocolate there. Wonderful. The alcohol was well-hidden, but at 13.40% ABV, this beer is meant to be sipped and savored.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.58/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love to split hairs: label says 13.6%, and the name of this beer is probably XIII. Whatever, let's get to the stuff that really matters...

Glugs out syrupy, oily black, and the head, while modest, is a very dark brown. Looks like they roasted the living crap out of everything including the hops! Big and dark, beastly and black.

Interesting to get such vinous qualities from the nose of a big-ass stout, but that's what's happening here. Must be the Belgian yeast strain. Raisins, graham cracker and chocolate lie just under the surface in this very grape-y, yeasty aroma. Not nearly is roastified as the looks suggest. Alcohol intrudes just a tad too much with warming, the only thing keeping me from giving it a higher mark.

Flavor brings on a huge glowing wave of chocolate, Concord grape, other dark berries, vanilla, cherry, graham cracker, toasted pumpernickel, cola, marshmallow. It lasts and lasts and lasts. The alcohol shows up and lays down a bed for the flavors to do their thing, nothing more than a supportive warm glow. The finish is as long as the flavor, spreading out forever and bringing cola, chocolate and Concord grape with it.

Mouthfeel is both full and bright, with a good bit of carbonation while also being sticky. This is sensibly carbonated, and that means it doesn't overwhelm in a soda-like way as some other Belgian-style stouts do. Seems perfect for the flavor profile.

Belgian-style stouts are tricky. They're often too carbonated, and some don't come close to tasting like a stout. This one brings together aspects of an imperial stout and infuses Belgian character while never dominating it. It remains a stout. A big, bold, unique, delicious stout. Now, I don't get "drinkability." I need to review BA's meaning of that, because I consider this highly drinkable. It's delicious, it has no glaring faults, it's delicious, and I just want to keep sipping and sipping. Slowly. And it's delicious. Forget session-ing, this is a superb beer that deserves your palate's full attention. Wish I'd bought more than one, as I'd love to see how this ages...

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Photo of rkcrozier
4.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16.4 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Read good things about this beer so decided to pick one up and see for myself.

A - dark, dark, very dark...almost like car oil; very syrupy consistency when pouring; head disappeared very quickly; minimal lacing

S - strong fruit smell: black cherries especially - didn't expect the smell I got when noting its appearance; chocolate

T - chocolate; cherries; minimal alcohol

M - awesome, a little burn/fizzing as it passed over my tongue

D - exceptional beer

I actually ate a chocolate brownie when tasting and it accompanied it very well. I would definitely buy this beer again.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a thick, jet black beer that lets absolutely no light through. the head is dark mocha colored, thin and a little bubbly. very little retention however it coats the glass as the lace creeps down the side.

S-the nose is nice but not huge. it brings a ton of molasses, hints of dark chocolate and licorice, and just a faint nose of sweet dark fruit malt.

T/M-extremely thick, full bodied, smooth, highly carbonated. big tastes, light molasses, some roasted dark chocolate and licorice and then huge dark fruits. plum and raisin mostly. some notes of alcohol towards the finish.

D-this is an extremely drinkable Imperial Stout. big bold flavors right on the spot, nice roasted malts up front then taken over by a great dark fruit sweetness. signs of alcohol; but not much and at 13%, its very well hidden!

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Photo of atpben
4.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes taken at the Richmond downtown capital ale house. 22oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a wonderful black color with a dense head that slowly comes down. This beer has great aroma with hints of cherries, raspberries, molasses, and some coffee. The beer definately gets better as it warms up. Full bodied taste with medium carbonation and great mix of espresso, chocolate, raspberries, caramel, and some raisins. Finishes nicely with a warm alcohol finish that lingers. Wow do I love this beer. They should brew this year round. If anybody has this beer I will be willing to purchase from them at a good price. Awesome.

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.53/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2-26-09 On Tap - I have had a sixtel on tap now for over a month. This beer blows me away. Complex as hell, tasty as heaven. On draft - perfectly bodied for a 13.6% ABV beer.

7-27-08 bottle - Pours black with a motor oil like consistency with a small caramel/tan colored head. Smells of coffee, chocolate, and pears. First sip is complex as the coffee and chocolate are fighting off supporting flavors for all the attention. A lovely coffee bitterness finishes with hints of prunes and other fruits. In a fresh bottle - surprisingly light body for a 13.6% ABV.

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.52/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thank'n paulthebeerguru for the opportunity to consider this one!!!

Pours an opaque darkness with a big loose foamy dark brown head that fades to cover the surface, leaving spotty patterns of Belgian lacing in it's wake. The smell is altogether aggressive and has a really wonderful mix of that chalky, ever-so-lightly roasted malt NECCO chocolate and a boozy barrel aged berry-vanilla character. After that there's no doubt where this one's going. The complexity and variation of the aroma as it warms is noteworthy. Coming out of the chill the mouth is incredibly creamy. Full bodied, with that killer 'coating' thing going on. As it warms more and more boozy notes are unveiled. Full flavored, the chocolate-berry taste is best with the slight chill. A bourbon thing begins to take over as it warms...so i appreciated the beginning of the bottle a bit more (note to self). A really easy drinker; the 13.4% ABV is a player without being distracting. Best consumed with a slight chill...i usually leave the second pour out..but in this case i would throw the second serving back into the frig. I'm a big fan of double stouts. This one has a bit more complexity than Alesmith Speedway...otherwise i would rank these neck-and-neck, even though they are really different interpretations of the style. Highly recommended.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue VII:

Anniversary beers should be all about doing it up big time, and looks like Weyerbacher has that goal with this 13.6-percent abv Belgian Imperial Stout, whichis brewed with five malts and a touch of oats, and fermented with an Abbey yeast strain.

The black liquid pours on thick with tiny bubbles struggling to move through the viscous mass in the glass. Eventually it forms a proper two fingers of thick light-brown head. Extremely aromatic with dark milk chocolate, mild espresso, faint Madeira wine and black currants. Full, nearly syrupy body with a very deep creamy smoothness. Big roasted flavor, little acrid, but more just a charcoal flavor. Alcohol is a bit pushy, and it should be for it strength, but it never becomes unruly as it was a deceiving slow warmth to start but soon drops a spicy peppercorn flavor and mild heat on the palate. Light on the hops. Yeast tries to break through but is pushed down by the roasted malt character, slight oat sweetness and burnt caramel flavor in the semi-sweet roasty finish.

An epic ale for their 13th, the only drawback about this beer is that it is a limited edition. To hell with getting one bottle to give it a try. Go for the case to stock your cellar this winter.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, what a stunning beer! As soon as I poured it and the dark brown and orange tinged head started to rise I knew I was in for something really rich. I was expecting an Imperial stout but what I got was so much more. I initially found lots of dark malt flavors with chocolate and roastiness and burnt sugar and dark fruit. I was thinking that it was an Imperial stout, and that I was tasting "burnt currant" but the fruit didn't go away, and in-fact became clearer and more dominant as it warmed. It was berry-like, and very much like dark red grapes... even vinous. It was also a bit estery, and a subtle touch spicy. It reminded me of Flying Fish's Abbey Dubbel, and then it hit me, it's the same yeast. It's 'Chimay' via White Labs or wherever, and it works really, really well. The dark-skinned vinous fruit and subtle spice cut through the malt, keeping it drinkable. Although there's a bit of alcohol that might be helping with that too! (I didn't notice it until 2/3 through an Imperial pint though). The bitterness is restrained, and the carbonation is kept in check to leave it smooth but still lend a little zest to the tongue. In the finish some hop flavor is present, and it's leafy/floral and perhaps a bit grassy as well as being moderately spiced (or is that the yeast or alcohol?). And surprisingly, it fades rather easily for such a big beer. I mean, it's still there, it doesn't just disappear, and in fact it lingers on quite nicely, but in a mild way, without completely coating or becoming sticky in any way.

In conclusion, I found it to be a really unique beer. It's kind of like a quadruple, but with more chocolate to it. Or should we call it a Belgian-style Imperial stout? Regardless, it's super rich and satiating, and complex enough to nip at for 3, or even 4, small glasses. I didn't have any cheese to try it with, but I did have some crusty sesame seed bread and that made a really great combination.

If there's any flaw to this beer, it's one of two things - head retention, which is obviously hindered by the high alcohol; or the actual appearance of the alcohol in the flavor. However, a very rough pour will bring up a marvelously thick head of creamy mousse that holds for quite some time. It still doesn't stick to the glass real well, but it looks good just sitting there! AND, at 13.4% it's pretty impressive that you can drink 6 or 7 ounces before the alcohol really makes itself known; and it seems to fit in quite nicely. There are beers that almost require the alcohol to show, and this is one of them.

Very nice! Superbly done! A brilliant anniversary beer, and absolutely worth seeking out!

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Thirteen from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
4 out of 5 based on 307 ratings.
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