HARV & DAVE’S QUICKIE REVIEW :: Bottleworks 13th Anniversary Ale

by Harvey Gold - Dave Daugherty on June 29, 2012

With their pals at Stone Brewing, who brew and bottle it, Bottleworks, a specialty beer emporium widely known in Seattle, presents this, unique by design, American Strong Ale. 11% ABV (why not 13?), the  conceit is 13 grains and 13 hops. As Dave said “ It’s like when someone says ‘They threw in everything but the kitchen sink’ and then they throw in the kitchen sink anyway.”

There’s a super sweetness in the nose. Obviously with this much of a hop involvement, there’s something aromatic coming from them, but it almost feels as if they provide an unspecified fragrant propulsion lifting the caramely malt aromas. There’s a lot of chocolate involved in the malts, but the nose should just best be described as SWEET!

The mouthfeel maintains gargantuan body, and a great deal of sweetness. I would think so much sweetness, it should be a drink on it’s own as opposed to a food pairing kind of brew. It is truly the sum of it’s parts, but we definitely get a great, sweet (apparently, this word applies to pretty much everything we have to say about this ale), bitter back end (which is why I wouldn’t even make it a dessert beer), clearly the result of the 13 hops. In this sense, the end of the sip is that of a thick, stick to the tongue Tripple Imperial IPA if there was such a thing.

But as I sit here typing, I taste the chocolate residue on my tongue. I suspect this beer won’t appeal to those who see no reason to fire out a shotgun blast of malts and hops, but I will say that, while in some ways this might be a little sticky and perhaps overwhelming… like a beer milkshake, by that definition it does smell, taste, and feel great. A really tasty, interesting and very, very vivid ale.

Last sip, sitting outside, so about 70 degrees (or more) , HUGE (as was the size of everything) dark fruit, like the organic prune juice I once had that cost me dearly… a story we won’t go into here…

13 Grains

Pale 2-R
White Wheat
Weyermann Chocolate Rye
Light Munich
Brown Crisp
Crisp Light Crystal
Crisp Amber
Baird’s Chocolate Malt
Lightly Peated
Simpson’s Dark Crystal

13 Hops
Mt. Hood

Happy anniversary, folks.

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