Archive for American Strong Ale

51 – Stone Brewing 13th Anniversary Ale

I apologize for this being late. I picked up a contract to work on yesterday so my blogging has been delayed all over the place but notice its YOU I’m taking care of first. That’s right, because there is beer involved.

I had this last Friday on tap at the Bocktown Beer Dependence Day Celebration which we recorded at and published as Episode 53 of Should I Drink That.  Give it a listen but not until you’re done reading this of course 🙂

Stone Brewing 13th Anniversary Ale
brewery: Stone Brewing –
beer website:
style: American Strong Ale
serving size: 22oz
glass used: snifter

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.

What I think
Deep red? Understatement. Hop bomb? absolutely. The flavor profile is completely different from when I had this on tap. I love hops and this isn’t mouth puckering but I’m having a difficult time getting into this. The aroma is medium to strong hops with a punch of citrus. Appearance is very dark red and closing in on a deep brown. I’m guessing if you can get the lighting right this would be some kickass beer porn. The taste is dry to start with a medium carbonated body that refuses to carry past the front and finishes rough and tough (hence the high IBU’s). The lingering chinook hops are really beating this up for me. I took a little break and enjoyed sipping this for a few while watching TV and as it warmed up a bit more the bite from the hops wasnt as bad and this became one smooth ass beverage.

This is a one time buy for me out of the bottle but a must if I find it on tap.

Spoon’s rating: C+

Comments (2)

26 – Southern Tier Cuvee Series One (Oak Aged Series)

Two weeks in a row with Southern Tier! I have a hard time justifying a bottle of beer priced at $17 so after some research I decided to pick it up. The results were, well, read on…

Southern Tier Curvee Series One
Southern Tier –
style: American Strong Ale
serving size:
glass used:
price: $17

This is the first part in a limited series from Southern Tier Brewing. Series One was released this month with Two following in February 09 and finally Three in June 09. For more information check out the beers page of the Southern Tier website.

What I think
When I put money into a beer I have a certain level of expectations. In this case it came in a cardboard box with simple yet effective artwork and the bottle itself was impressive. Unfortunately the beer wasn’t. Not a fan of it. It tasted like the brewers were standing in front of the boil and said “Reginald, go open your lunch from mommy and lets see what we can use! Scurry! Scurry!”. It did pour a delightful copper color but had little aroma to be desired. The taste was a bland strong ale and got me to wondering if I had a bad bottle. Slights hops, little malt and quite frankly just a boring beer. Utterly disappointed but willing to revisit down the road. It was still an average strong ale which is why I give it the following grade.

Spoon’s rating: C-


11 – Samuel Adams Utopias MMII


Don’t rub your eyes, it’s not a mirage. That right there is the holy grail of beer. The rarest of rare (IMO at least). I present to you the 2002 Sam Adams Utopias. Currently on ebay this is going for $400 a bottle. Yeah, 1 bottle. This limited edition beverage was supposed to be a one time deal and each bottle is numbered.

I need to thank Drew for this one. He bought it when it was first released and while on his way here to visit me last week said “there’s no one else I’d rather drink it with who would appreciate it.” Imagine my amazement. Drew and I lived across the hall from each other at Pitt so we have a long history of beverages together.

“Truly the epitome of brewing’s two thousand year evolution, Samuel Adams Utopias® offers a flavor not just unlike any other beer but unlike any other beverage in the world. Its warm, sweet flavor is richly highlighted with hints of vanilla, oak and caramel. With an alcohol content of 27% by volume, its complexity and sweet, malty flavor is reminiscent of a deep, rich vintage Port, fine Cognac or aged sherry while being surprisingly light on the palate. And like the world’s finest after-dinner drinks, Samuel Adams Utopias is not carbonated and should be served at room temperature.”

Normally i’d type my review but guess what? Oh we’re not done, there’s VIDEO!


This is posted on the You Tube page for the SIDT podcast since we’re releasing it through the show. It’s almost 10 minutes long so crack open a beverage and enjoy!

OH! Also check out Episode 33 – Kiss our Blarney Stones which was just released also!

Sam Adams website
Beer Advocate profile
Rate Beer profile