Review - Stone Brewing Company's 13th Anniversary Ale
"Stone 13th Anniversary Ale pours brilliant deep red with a light tan foam. Up front, the aroma is all piney, resinous and citrus hops. Upon tasting, the hops are still on the front, and they are balanced with the malty, toffee like flavors contributed from the blend of crystal and amber malts used in the brewhouse. The finish is deliciously bitter, with a touch of warmth provided by the 9.5% alcohol. Bitterness comes in at 90+ IBU." -- Stone Brewing
Pours a dark amber color producing a very healthy two-finger head with a tan colored frothy head with excellent retention. Body is very hazy with almost a grainy-like appearance. The initial aroma consisted of a strong citrus hop presence - dominant and harsh. The alcohol presence was quite noticeable and slightly stinging. The harsh hops and the light yeasty presence dominated the aroma, making the malt notes difficult to detect. Initial taste is right down the middle with a blend of hops and malt, but the hop bitterness quickly dominates and takes over the finish with a healthy dose of sweet floral notes, along with all subsequent sips. The medium to thick body, drank down easy with a nice creamy and smooth texture. The alcohol presence was quite dominant and left a warm - almost hot - feeling on our mouth. The hop bitterness, which caused us to pucker from the sour citrus notes, left our palates dry- asking for more (trouble that is). Overall, our palates were left in a semi pleasant state (only slightly thrashed), but our whole body started to warm up quick from the heat.
Very reminiscent of the Arrogant Bastard, the anniversary ale is large and in charge. Not a beer for the weak or faint of heart. The alcohol presence in this beer could drop a moose to his knees. I feel like I need to slap by face (once on each side) to wake up, after having the 13th Anniversary.
Reviewed on September 7th, 2009.