Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Samuel Adams Thirteenth Hour (Barrel Room Collection) - Gus #15

Happy day before National Stout Day to everyone!  Today's review comes from a very large craft brewery out of Massachusetts   The Boston Beer Company has put out tons of different beers throughout the years and have many rotating seasonals.  This brew is a little different.  It come's from a separate batch if you will.  Today's beer review is of Samuel Adams Barrel Room Collection: Thirteenth Hour.

How it rates with others:

ratebeer review:
Information from their website:

Samuel Adams Thirteenth Hour

"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."

There is a ton more info about the history and brewing of the brew.  Check those out on the website.  Here is a bit more information about the brew.

Flavor:  A combination of chocolate with raisin, rum, and oak and notes of spice and dark fruit.
Color:  Brilliant black, 70 SRM
Original Gravity:  21 degrees Plato
Alcohol by Vol/Wt:  9.0%ABV-7.0%ABW
Calories/12 oz.:  290
IBUs:  17
Malt Varieties:  Samuel Adams two-row pale malt blend, Caramel 60, Munich 10, Special B, and Carafa III
Hop Variety:  Hallertau Mittlefrueh Noble hops
Special Ingredients:  Two brewing sugars and Kosmic Mother Funk
Yeast Strain:  Belgian-style ale yeast and bottle condition with champagne yeast
Availability:  Year round
First Brewed:  2011

I poured this brew from a cork and caged 750ml wine bottle into a long stem wine glass.

Appearance:  Very dark pour with a  big two finger tan head.  Larger bubbles in the head but that probably comes from the bottle conditioning with the champagne yeast.  The brew isn't completely black.  There are some reddish hues on the edge of the glass.  Maybe hints of some dark mahogany or brown as well.  Very good carbonation.  Bubbles racing up the sides of the glass.  Actually, the cork flew across the room when I popped the top.  Very surprising ha ha.  Head retention was pretty good for a 9% ABV brew. Decent head lacing and some hints of alcohol legs as well.

Aroma:  Fruity esters big on the nose.  Right off the bat you get the hints of dark fruits.  Raisins, black cherries and prunes, and then maybe a hint of fig in there.  Definitely has a breadiness to it.  Some of the spices starting to mix in there too.  Very little bit of like a coffee bitterness.  Not too much chocolate.  At the end there is an oak-y aromas in there with it all.

Taste:  At the front of the tongue, on the first sip, I did pick up some of the coffee.  Then hints of spice and the dark fruits start to come out.  Really noticed the carbonation as it felt like a light mouthfeel.  Same to match the aroma big notes of dark pitted fruits, some raisins, more of that fig flavor in the taste than in the aroma.  On the back end there is a dark chocolate flavor mixing in.  Some oakiness that almost gives way to a smokiness as well.  Really getting a lot of those Belgian characteristics from this.

Verdict:  It really is like there are two different brews in there entirely.  The stout maybe overshadowed by the Belgian ale a bit.  But you do get some solid stout characteristics out of it.  I really enjoyed the lighter mouthfeel with all the big flavors it had to offer.  If you are not a fan of Belgian style ales I don't know if you would like it.  But if you are a fan of them and looking for a little stout hint mixed in, definitely give this one a try.  It really is more of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale than anything.  I'm going to give it an A.  I enjoyed it a lot.  And you have to give credit to Sam Adams as they have so many lines and produce so many beers.  They keep them all rather constant.  That is a huge challenge to overcome.  This is a solid take on a not very popular style of brew.  It's not bad priced either, I think I got this one for less than $10.  Pairings for this are kind of tough.  I'm gonna say a nice steak.  Right off the grill would be really good.  Maybe for dessert you could have it with cheesecake topped with raspberries or possibly even strawberry cheesecake.  I'm on a cheesecake kick lately.  May be a sign I need to have some.  Anyway....

Remember to comment below and tell me what you think, if you have had this brew.  Also subscribe and let me know if there is a brew out there you want me to review.  Thanks for reading.