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RATINGS: 341   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.05   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 360   ABV: 12%
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We are extremely honored to present to you our 13th Anniversary barrel aged blend! This is our fourth barrel aged release and each year is another adventure into the flavor unknown. Our oak aging cellar continues to grow and so do the blending possibilities. We peaked at just over 120 barrels in our program this year, yet only 53 barrels made this year’s final blend. We have stayed true to our original goal of making straight ahead strong ales and letting them rest in wood barrels to mature and develop flavors slowly and naturally. We again met with some of the area’s best wine makers and allowed them to guide us to the finished product. Most of the beers that are in this blend are old friends who we know well. Dark and ominous Parabola along with the rich and complex Bravo Brown were brewed again this year and together became the center piece of this blend. Other beers like the Rufus and Opal along with Sean Paxton’s Saucerful of Secrets are still tucked away in the cellar in their original first generation form, gaining character with extended aging. Velvet Merkin has established itself as a real barrel loving beer, although it is only 6%, it carries barrel qualities beautifully. A new beer, that was created this year by our Cellar Master Ali Razi, is Double Double Barrel Ale and it found its way into this blend as well. In the end, this year brought us seven wine makers and seven beers to counter balance our lucky thirteenth year of brewing beer on the Central Coast. The brewery is alive and well and oak is as much a part of our program today as it was back in 1996!

As a finished beer, 13 is more sublime then last year’s blend. It is all about the subtleties and quiet tones. It has deep dark chocolate notes and is accented with dried fruit and licorice. There are hints of molasses and even a little cherry in the middle complimenting the vanilla and coconut notes brought in by the oak. These barrel qualities are very well integrated and meld well with the roast malt and caramel undertones. It is best enjoyed in a half filled brandy snifter or wine glass. Allow it to warm to 55F to fully enjoy the pleasing and complex aromas. If left in a cool dark place, I suspect that this beer will age well. It was a pleasure in the making and I truly hope you enjoy our fourth oak- aged blend!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
mixmasterob (881) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - DEC 25, 2012
Bottle from bhensonb. Dark brown almost black pour with a small off white head. Aroma was full of dark cocoa, bourbon, oak, cherries, bits of licorice and molasses. All over the place, lots going on. Gorgeous. Favors were smooth and incredibly rich. Good bit of caramel sweetness, bourbon, wood, vanilla, somewhat vinious. Mouthfeel was big and viscous with light carbonation. Velvety smooth. Top notch.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
DesertDevil (487) - Arizona, USA - DEC 23, 2012
Bottle, part of a vertical (thanks, daknole). Pours darker than 12, but not quite black. Fairly heavy bourbon on the nose. Still quite hot, but very smooth complex blend, with notes of licorice, molasses, and dark chocolate-covered cherries.  Medium palate with a prickly finish.  

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
phredrik (1010) - Copenhagen (formerly Aalborg), DENMARK - DEC 23, 2012
Bottle thanks to RasmusOtt patrone. Aroma is complex and influenced by different kinds of barrels. Lots of black currant notes probably originating from red wine barrels, sweet liquorice from the malts. Dark cherries and chocolate, a savory note, vanilla and berries in the finish. Familiar to a fruit-heavy Syrah. Taste is full of black currants and berries - both as in sweetness, but also in the sense of a tannic edge from the oak. Tobacco notes, a healthy amount of liquorice notes. It puzzles me that at the same time, it has the liquorice that is closely related to roasted malts, but there is not a hint of roasted malts. It is very resemblant to a european Syrah, because of the fruitiness, the tannic elements and the heavy berry note. Low carbonation and bitterness, making the resemblance even more evident. Nose is incredible - taste is Very unique and entertaining, and most of all; delightful!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
TimE (3086) - Tokyo, JAPAN - DEC 22, 2012
tons of bourbon, cherries, caramel, chocolate, dark fruit and tons of vanilla beans. A touch sweet, vanilla oak bourbon, caramel in the mouth but the alcohol us so well hidden. Smooth as hell. Loving it all the way.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
pushkinwow (1953) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 15, 2012
Bomber but can’t remember from whom. Black with a dark brown head. Mexican chilli chocolate, sweet malts, bit of vanilla, some oak and whisky, butter, pepper, coconut. Full body and mild carbonation, sweet with an alcohol bite, hint of anise, long tasty finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Steve_0 (2523) - Denver, Colorado, USA - DEC 1, 2012
Pour from bottle at Zwanze Day 2012 at the Barrel Cellar. Appearance is deep brown, almost black with no head. Big whiskey, wood, prunes, coconut, a touch of raisins, and earthy hops in the aroma. Taste is dark fruits, raisins, prunes, a touch of chocolae, oak, and bourbon with a very smooth finish. Sticky mouthfeel with little-to-no carbonation. This one has really held up well and is really smooth for such a high ABV. Seriously good stuff!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
jethrodium (362) - Berkeley, California, USA - OCT 31, 2012
650 ml bottle generously shared by colonelforbin. Thanks Mike. Pours a very dark brown with small tan head that has good retention and leaves some light lacing on the glass. The aroma is roasty with bourbon, oak, a light mineral note, a bit of vanilla, and some some coffee. The initial taste has a light sweetness. There is lots of roastiness, a bit of bourbon, some oak, a bit of vanilla, and some light coffee. The finish is fairly dry with a lingering roastiness. Medium-light body. Low carbonation. Great beer. It might be my favorite of the anniversary beers.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Marheb (1940) - Montréal, Quebec, CANADA - OCT 28, 2012
Bombe absolu de vanille et de caramel. Le corps est entre mince et moyen avec une effervescence qui rend sa buvabilité pas mal au-dessus de sa grosseur. Je suis satisfait mais pas impressionné.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
beerguy101 (5274) - Newark, California, USA - OCT 3, 2012
Sampled on 9/2/2012 during an FW 11-15 vertical. This American Strong Ale pours a dark brown color from a 22oz bottle. Small to no head. The aroma is caramel, fruity and sweet. A medium bodied American Strong Ale. The malts are caramel, fruity and sweet. The hops are herbal and earthy. A touch sweet, a little boozy. Kind of thin tasting and very different from both the 11 and 12. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet. An interesting tasting. The group consensus was that the was not a whole lot of difference between the 11, 12 and 14, but that the 13 was thin and tasted so different from the others we wondered if they changed the recipe.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
TURDFERGUSON (3928) - Carrboro, North Carolina, USA - OCT 1, 2012
Bottle shared by JCB. Thanks bro! Pours darker brown with a sudsy light tab head. Nose is rich and conplex, various sweeter smelling barrels, chocolate, light roast, leather, vinous and dark fruits, light port. Flavor is similar, sweet and slightly boozy but like the 10-12 and 14 it manages to make a drinkable complex sweeter beer. Always a treat.

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