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Beer – #1024 – Epic – Thirteen

Epic Thirteen , the worlds first Quadruple Brut IPA, a beer recommended to drink at ‘cellar temperature’ so I had to look that up.

as pale as possible

“Your strong beers (like barleywines, tripels, dark ales) will be their happiest at room temperature (55-60F), most of your standard ales (like bitters, IPAs, dobbelbocks, lambics, stouts, etc) will be at cellar temperature (50-55F)” For the Metric amongst us  that is somewhere in the 12-16c range, which is NOT room temperature.

Which i all fine and dandy but I don’t have a temperature device, and it’s around the 28C outside at the moment. And then because the magic of time between I now have a temperature device, so I’m about to have hilarity with that.

This is a 500m bottle of a beer that is an outstanding 15% ABV, which is about 450 calories a serve size, this has 85 IBU things and is 5.92 standard drinks in NZ. To bring that into a perspective a  bottle of 5% ABV beer , eg Heineken, Budweiser, etc, is 1.3 standard drinks

Epic Thirteen fit into a style that is of an  IPA – Imperial / Double. It is brewed for Epic Brewing Company (NZ) By Steam Brewing Company in Auckland.

‘Brut’ is also the new black, and so far they’ve been a real mixed bag of hit and miss.

 2018 was the 13th anniversary of Epic Brewing Company.  We released 13 new beers in a year that had 13 full moons.  With February having no full moon.  To celebrate we have made the worlds first Quadruple Brut IPA.  In Epic

Teen beer.

style, we have delivered this incredible boundary-pushing beer.  It has a bone dry finish that is balanced with the alcohol sweetness.  Don’t chill it too cold as the bitterness can become out of balance.

Did someone say the strongest IPA that Epic has ever made? How can that be possible when they just released their Triple Alpha at 11.1%? Well folks, they’ve done it and bought out a Quadruple Brut IPA sitting at a whopping 15% to celebrate their 13th birthday. Luke was aiming for the 13% mark, but over shot it just a little, and now we’re looking at one of the strongest beers produced in NZ

So we thought rather than starting over we would just be thankful that the THIRTEEN is so EPIC. To keep the beer as pale as possible we have use a large proportion of Pilsner malt. After we had dry hopped the beer, the high alcohol, and dryness, needed way more hops, so we added the same amount of dry hopping again. Double Dry Hopped. For a beer that is 15% it is surprisingly easy to drink.

Try it, we dare you

It is also double dry hopped – because you’re worth it.

So, What could possibly go wrong?

It has a lovely sweet aroma on opening, I really mean a lovely aroma, sugar sweetness with a hint of hop green. Glorious start.

Lovely looking in the glass a golden orang brightness about it, and I’m going to forgive th lack of head. The colour is almost glowing, like many things about this beer it’s a bit. er. different.

The temperature from the fridge is a disappointing 48f, a long wait….  in just a couple go minutes it’s moved to 50f so that’s winning. Plus I get a sneaky little sample from the probe, probably not hygienic mind, but hey it’s just me and I know where my mouth has been.

Right, then, here we go, probably still too cold at 53f (that’s 11c) but I can’t wait

So completely obsessed with temperature I forgot the aroma in the glass thing, and it’s a big glass so there’s plenty of time for it to form and become itself I think.

It’s a boozy steeped dark fruit note that I pick out most, there’s also a marzipan the thing in there too.

That’s a monstrous mouthful of a beer. An almost indescribable thing. A complete slam of things, none of which are easily picked out.

Mostly Alcohol tang is what I get, and I’m trying hard to pick amongst it, but it isn’t easy and gentle as you want to be this is not an easy beer. Not undrinkable but not welcoming and inviting.

A beer you have to take the time to drink, it’s not quaffing beer, it’s hardly sipping beer.

The harsh part of me thinks that this is a beer that isn’t what they intended and they’ve double down on the bluff and gone all in on something, because you know fans be fans and that. It’s really hard to imagine the committee sitting around giving the full tick, that alcohol lead is really difficult.

The harsh part of me thinks that this is a beer that isn’t what they intended

Perhaps the most uncomfortable and unenjoyable beer I’ve had in a long long time, it’s hard to like a beer like this, although I’m sure there are some die-hard people with different palate that thinks this is the ducks nuts.

The beer is at 60f now, so in that sweet spot, and to be honest I’ve got myself to blame. The burn hasn’t lessened and the faint notes that this could be a Quadrupel are still hiding.

This is audacious and extreme even if it’s not great of brilliant, it’s at the edge of something, madness probably, and if it is ‘as intended’ then all well and good, but that nagging doubt that this has been in some way rescued does not escape me.

Finally as it warms to optimum this becomes almost impossible to enjoy and each mouthful is a trepidation.

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 7 of its things from the thing. Honestly this is not a good beer, and it’s not even a showcase of showing off. I really think that this beer was good on paper but not so good in a glass. A pity as I generally liked Epic beers who go all in on a flavour point or peak and generally hit it.

The double dip review

  • Where did I get it? I got mine at a Liquorland but with looking you’ll find one.
  • Am I enjoying it? No, this is not  beer you enjoy.
  • Would I have another? No, it’s hard to image a scenario where I would.
  • Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights?  It’s probably yes, because this is audacious and extreme even if it’s not great of brilliant, it’s at the edge of something, madness probably, and if it is ‘as intended’ then worth appraising without distraction.

Music for this:  Olympic Girls by Tiny Ruins on the Spotify

Local Beer, local music Tiny Ruins are a musical ensemble from Auckland, New Zealand


Imperial IPA, Double IPA or DIPA is a strong, often sweet, intensely hoppy version of the traditional India Pale Ale. Bitterness units range upward of 100 IBUs and alcohol begins at 7.5% but is more commonly in the 8.5-10% range. The flavour profile is intense all-round. Unlike barley wines, the balance is heavily towards the hops, with crystal and other malts providing support.


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This entry was posted on February 8, 2019 by in Beer Review, Craft Beer, Critic and tagged , , .

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