OhHoppyDay (9) - USA - AUG 21, 2009 does not count
3.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
APPEARANCE: A dark beautiful ruby red color that borders on a rusty red. A thick, two finger tan head, that dissipates into a beautiful lacing that hugs the side of the glass gently sliding down with each drink.
AROMA: Right off the bat you smell the hops in this big Imperial Double Red Ale. The first note is a very heavy citrus, nay grapefruit, scent. I am guessing this is from the Chinook Hops in the brew, but it could also be the Centennial that are used in the dry hopping. There is also just a hint of pine in there. The beer has a smell that can only be described as resiny, (forgive me) ‘dank’ and beautiful.
FLAVOR: BIG! This beer is all about the hops, and has just a touch of an alcohol heat. The first thing I notice is the wonderful hoppy grapefruit/grapefruit rind flavor of the hops come through. There is slightest malt finish to it that is, in my mind, almost as if it were an afterthought.
PALATE: There is no doubt that this is a full-bodied beer, and definitely not for the beginner, or those into ‘fizzy yellow beers’ as Stone would say. There is a good deal of carbonation to it, which I noticed from the pour, but it is not overly carbonated. It has a slight but very noticeable heat to it, which isn’t surprising to me at 9.5%. The heat does seem to become more noticeable the further I get into the second half of the bottle, and the closer it gets to room temperature.
NOTES: I am a total hop-head. A freak for the beautiful bitterness that can only come from Humulus lupulus, the hop plant. This definitely delivers. For this special release, Stone hopped the brew at four pounds of hops per barrel, more hops per barrel than any other beer they’ve produced. As mentioned it is a big 9.5%, which you can feel. I was getting a warmth from this beer half way through the 22 oz. bottle. It is available as a limited release in 22oz. bottles, and (very) limited tap. I would love to find this on tap somewhere just for the comparison. The 13th Anniversary Ale was released 06/29/2009, and is available while supplies last, so you have to get it when you see it. I was going to buy a few to cellar, but wrote Stone after seeing a note on the label, “Do not cellar. Enjoy in 2009.” When I received word back from Stone, this is apparently because the flavor profile cannot be guaranteed to last. They did not say it, but I am willing to throw out the guess that it is due to the amount of hops they are using in the beer, and the fact that the hop character is bound to mellow over time. All this said, I will be sad when I get the last drink of the final bottle of Stone 13th Anniversary. This was yet another great brew from the guys at Stone.
seanroto (8) - Maryland, USA - JUL 21, 2009 does not count
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
22oz bottle pours dark blood red with full tan frothy head and lace. very nice Deep pine aroma. Taste is very good. nice mix of both Malt and hops and sweetness. pine resin stickiness really comes out as I found myself licking my lips after each mouthful. pleasant bitter aftertaste
NewGuardian (7) - Texas, USA - SEP 10, 2009 does not count
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Aroma: notes of caramel and eclectic mixes of toffee and assorted treats; Appearance: gorgeous deep amber color with a very full and tan head; Flavor: hoppy beginning with embodied malt in the middle, as well as a citrus finish; Palate: crisp with a retention of solidity and warmth; Overall: bold, robust flavor that endures.
Fissell (7) - Somerville, USA - OCT 25, 2009 does not count
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Singularly caramel colored, thick, rich head with some of the longest lasting lacings I’ve seen outside of Imperial Stouts. Color is representative of the head, as it’s got a gloriously hazy burnt caramel tone that stymies the eye beyond a few millimeters. A warm aroma that wakens to the toasty, yeasty, spicy hidden citruses of the hop. Sour sip that opens on the palate to a heady flavor of crusty breads and fancy British toffees that backended by a very nice piney hop that is entirely unexpected. Quality ASA, drink it soon!
ZeroSignal (7) - Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 20, 2009 does not count
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
22 oz Bomber: Aroma is full of pine and some citrus. This beer pours a reddish mahogany color; very impressive looking. Hops is the predominant flavor, with some light malt in the background that balances it out slightly. The warmth of alcohol is present on the back of the palate and in the aftertaste. This beer has a nice mouth feel; hoppy, but not chewy. Overall an excellent beer.
p00lshark95 (3) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - JUL 2, 2009 does not count
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Shoprite Hoboken NJ. Bottled. Very nice nose. Pine mixed with cherries and chocolate. Nice head. Very hoppy, although the malts bring out enough sweetness to balanced and contrast the bitterness. Taste is same as the nose just a tad bit sweeter than i would have thought from the aroma. Good Beer!
pbts (2) - New Jersey, USA - JUL 6, 2009 does not count
3.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Like a mellowed-out Arrogant Bastard. A good beer, but in my opinion, not worth the price.
erjohn (2) - burque, New Mexico, USA - JUL 27, 2009 does not count
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
stellar offering from stone. worthy of a self righteous reissue at a later date. lots of pine hop character. much better as it warms. thank you stone. you keep my belly happy.