Sunday, January 29, 2012

Boston Beer Company – Thirteenth Hour

Boston Beer Co. is best know for Sam Adams Boston Lager and they are the largest craft brewer in America.  One thing that I appreciate about Boston Beer Co. is they do experiment with many different styles and they have a huge offering to the public.  The Barrel Room Collection features four Belgian-inspired beers and I had the New World Tripel last year – it was very good.  Thirteenth Hour (9% ABV and 17 IBU) is a Belgian Stout that is aged in oak barrels.

Belgian Strong Dark Ale – “On the same path as the Belgian Dark Ale but obviously higher in alcohol with more of an all around character. The alcohol character can be deceivingly hidden or can be very bold and in your face. Look for lots of complexity within a delicate palate. Hop and malt character can vary, most are fruity and may have mild dark malt flavors. Phenols will range from minimal to high and most will be light on the hops. All in all most are spicy and alcoholic.”  Beeradvocate

Appearance – Black with a white head that takes some time to dissipate.
Aroma – Dark fruit, chocolate, oak and spice - maybe a hint of vanilla.
Taste – Chocolate and dark fruit with subtle oak and vanilla and a Belgian-yeast taste.  It does not taste like a stout, as the roasty malt is subdued. 
Overall – B – If you are looking for a stout, look elsewhere, 13th Hour is more of a Strong Belgian Dark.  I think New World Tripel is a better beer.

Website description – “The thirteenth hour is the witching hour and refers to the mysterious combination of flavors in this brew.  We've combined the roasted chocolate and coffee flavors of a stout with the spicy character of a Belgian ale aged in oak.  The combination of 7 different malts creates a brilliant black brew that's full bodied and smooth with rich notes of coffee, chocolate, and dark fruits like raisins and plums.  The dark roasty, and slightly sweet flavors of a stout are blended with the unique, spicy and sour character of our Kosmic Mother Funk (KMF), an ale that's been aged in oak tuns for up to a year.  The KMF gives the beer an added complexity with notes of black pepper, oak, vanilla, and a hint of acidity.  Enjoy this beer now or age it to further develop unique flavors.  We recommend pouring the beer gently into a traditional glass.  Take care not to unsettle the fine layer of yeast that rests at the bottom from the bottle-  conditioning, a process which creates an extra smooth and balanced flavor in the beer.”

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