Nick Carr on August 31, 2015 0 Comments Quick Characteristics Brewery: The Boston Beer Company Location: Boston, MA Style: Specialty ABV: 9.0% IBU: 17 Appearance: Deep blackness and dark tan head Aroma: Heavy & complex with tart, dark-like fruit; Notes of spiciness & oaked vanilla creep in Flavor: Bold & Complicated; Reminiscent of a fruit, tart stout; Oak & vanilla notes up front leads Belgian funk mid-palate; Finish is warming, fruity and oaky. Hops: Hallertau Mittelfrueh Malts: Samuel Adams 2-row pale malt blend, Caramel 60, Munich, Special B, & Carafa III Special Ingredients: Two brewing sugars, Kosmic Mother Funk Shelf-Life: Unlimited Best-By-Date: Unlimited Suggested Glass: Tulip, Snifter Serving Temp: 50°F—55°F Availability: Year-Round / Barrel Room Collection Pairs With: Steamed Mussels, Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Burrata Cheese, Chocolate covered cherries It is late when I get home. The streetlights are humming, some blinking to the jittery beat of sub-par wiring, dropping pieces of the street into gloomy darkness every few seconds. I park in the back and go in the side door. Silence in the house. I throw my briefcase on the kitchen table and open the fridge. The florescent bulb sends shadows retreating, but leaves them unconsumed, waiting, edging at the brief halo of soft light. I reach in pull a beer from the rack and head for the porch. Relaxation calls, and I am fully intent on answering. I plop down, open the beer and take a long swig. Cold, refreshing, but lacking in the flavor department. I make a mental note to pick up something new. The neighborhood is quite, a smattering of stars break the stiff competition of the streetlights, putting full effort into their crystal glints showing forth on the earth. The moon though, it’s the kicker, and no help to the stars. Having just risen above the treetops its full glory shines down on my front porch like a lighthouse beacon. Shop for Samuel Adams Glassware on Amazon I sigh letting the long hours of work drain out of me and watch the moon on its imperceptible journey. Then something flies in front of it. I sit up. My mind trying to make sense of the brief glimpse of… of what? A thumbing, and the hollow thunk of something hitting the car. I turn to the sound, but something inside stays movement. I watch the corner of the house, just off the porch. A peaked shadow suddenly appears, a soft translucent hand snakes out, and before I can move it has vaulted the porch rail, settling lightly into the seat next to mine. A broom leans against the railing. I can’t move, but for my mouth slowly dropping open, and hanging there like a marinate gone slack-jawed by the loss of fingered commands. “Oh, shut your mouth John. It’s uncivil to greet a passing visitor with so little restraint.” The voice is low, but sing-song, filled with mirth. The moon’s silver light puts profile to the shadow. The outline of a pale face. Black, high-collared dress. A tall, anglular hat, also black. “A witch.” My voice trying to unravel the vision before me. “Of course I’m a witch, silly. What is this the first time you’ve seen a witch?” She waits, then continues. “Here now. What time is it?” My head lowers slowly until my watch floats into my vision. “One thirteen.” “Ah, very good. The thirteenth hour. So, I look down and what do I see? This guy drinking dregs, and it’s the witching hour. Shame on you.” I look down at the beer in my hand. “Yes.” She nods at the bottle. “That which has brought me low.” The witch begins to sing: “Of dregs be drunk any time but now.Drink now of Cosmic Mother Funk and Stoutly kiss placed.Wash the thirteenth hour so darkly shaded with cauldron’s pitch and bits of Belgian lace.” She thrusts a stone cup into my hand, pours from an old bottle. A black liquid pools. New smells rise. And in a whirl she is gone. The broom expertly whisked away with the shadow. I sip. The cup cradled, heavy in my hand. Notes of tart fruit, coffee, oak. A bewitching brew. A shadow flirts with the moon and I smile. I sip again. Pour and Aroma: Pours a deep blackness, with only slivered highlights when held in the sun. A dark tan head builds to the height of two fingers before settling back to a respectable finger. You can’t see the carbonation, but drop an ear close and the beer will whisper to you. Aroma is heavy and complex with tart dark fruit- the likes of plum, cherry, and grape. Spiciness and oaked vanilla subtly push complexity. As it warms it takes on slightly boozy undertones, almost rum-like, but for the fruitiness. Mouthfeel and Taste: Lighter than expected, but still respectable, medium-full body with no real discernable alcoholic warming. Though this beer clocks in at 9% ABV it hides it well. It is quite effervescent which helps lighten the body some. *Some alcoholic warmth did build as it warmed. Taste is bold and complicated… a hybrid, playing like a stout turned fruity and tart. Oak and some vanilla up front before the Belgian funk and fruit hit mid-palate. Dark dried cherries, prunes, and raisins combine with the tart. The backend brings hints of coffee, more oak, and bitter chocolate before dropping away into a warming, fruity, and oaky finish. Finishing the Impression: Samuel Adams oak aged series continues to impress. Each of their oak aged series is blended with Kosmic Mother Funk (Samuel Adam’s grande cru). Blended with a roasty stout they’ve created a beautifully unique and complex beer in Thirteenth Hour. The name “Thirteenth Hour” evokes the witching hour (when strange things happen… or get brewed), but also calls attention to the thirteen ingredients used (I count 11… bat wings and lizard tails maybe). The body surprised me just a bit. I thought it would be fuller, maybe chewy, more stout-like then it was. This, along with its effervescence, made it pleasantly drinkable, especially for the amount of alcohol. This is one for cellaring, with such a complex and heady flavor and aroma profile it would be interesting to see how it changed in a year or two. My suggestion, get a couple bottles; one for immediate enjoyment and one to save. Cheers!