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
Aromatic
Weyermann Chocolate Rye
Light Munich
Brown Crisp
Crisp Light Crystal
Crisp Amber
Caramunich
Baird’s Chocolate Malt
Lightly Peated
Simpson’s Dark Crystal
Oats

13 Hops
Bravo
Target
Columbus
Cascade
Delta
Warrior
Magnum
Apollo
Calypso
Perle
Galena
Chinook
Mt. Hood

Happy anniversary, folks.

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