Spotlight Series: Spröcketbier - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Spotlight Series: SpröcketbierSpotlight Series: Spröcketbier

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

660 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 660
Reviews: 122
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 10
Gots: 29 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Kölsch |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: babaracas on 04-18-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

A black rye Kölsch-style ale, brewed by Stone Quality Assurance Supervisor Rick Blankemeier and Production Warehouse Lead Robbie Chandler.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 660 | Reviews: 122
Reviews by BurgeoningBrewhead:
Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.06/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Poured into stange; deep chestnut with a nice mocha head that rises continually and fades shortly.
Smells of dark bread, nutty rye malt, crisp and clean and light with slight hints of dark malt flavors.
Tastes the same; smooth dark soft malt flavors that are crisp and easy to drink.
Mouthfeel is light and clean, smooth.
Overall this is a very interesting beer
The flavors of a schwarzbier with the feel of a kolsch. Neat!

More User Reviews:
Photo of kojevergas
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Black rye Kolsch." Okay...reviewed as a Kolsch. Expectations are low given the description and brewery.

BOTTLE: 1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass with appealing label design (Stone's marketing is fantastic, as always) and branded pry-off pressure cap acquired at an H-E-B in Austin, TX, and served cold into a Cantillon gueuze glass (it's the closest glassware to a stange I have).

5.4% ABV per the label. Bottled 03/28/14. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 2.5 fingers wide. Completely wrong for the style, but outside style conventions it's quite appealing: the creamy full rich tan colour head boasts a smooth, even consistency and a shiny soft complexion. Looks supple. Retention is excellent - ~10+ minutes. Light inconsistent lacing coats the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

BODY: Awful for the style. It's more of a schwarzbier appearance - a weak cola-black colour which is dull rather than shiny and sleek. Couldn't be less traditional.

Overall, I like the head but not the body. This is terrible for a kolsch, but when you consider they're pushing conventions it's not bad. Unique for a kolsch in all the wrong ways.

AROMA: Dry rye, rye bread, and a trace of rye's signature subtle spice. Bland schwarz malts. Pumpernickel. Faint herbal notes - maybe a hint of evergreen? Bland muted coffee. A muted hint of burnt malt. Maybe a kiss of caramel? I'm stretching here because the aroma is quite light and insipid, evoking little unless you really search.

Seems like an above average schwarzbier aroma. It's awful if you're judging it by kolsch standards - it doesn't seem refreshing or light at all. I detect no hop character - which is a surprising (but welcome) absence given the brewery responsible. Style conventions aside, the faint coffee is nice. Maybe there's a dab of cream in there too? Maybe even marshmallow? Or maybe the aroma is so tame, light, and bland that it's a blank slate upon which I can project my hopes.

No overt alcohol or off-notes are detectable. I'd call the aroma innocuous.

TASTE: Hm. I actually do find some kolsch character in there - the crisp helles malt backbone, the effortless drinkability, the minimal hop character - and much to my shock, the "dark" elements are well-integrated with notable subtlety. That said, it still comes off muted and tame. It's quite a reticent flavour profile for the style. I do like the extreme subtlety of the caramel, burnt schwarz malts, coffee, cream, and hazelnut. But must it be so unevocative and neutral? Traditional Kolschbiere could be called plain, but they're forward and open; this flavour profile feels closed-off and noncommital to its constituent notes.

Still, the balance is surprising; I'm having trouble believing Stone (at least Stone's main brewers) brewed this. Ah - then I check the label and realize that (like almost all Stone beers I actually like) - they didn't brew this, at least not alone. It was a homebrewer's recipe; no wonder. Maybe they should replace the regular brewmasters with the two cats responsible for this.

In any case, it's a nice unique take on a Kolsch, and while I do find it muted and a bit bland, I'm impressed by how well it brings dark ingredients into a traditionally light beer style without any obvious conflict. Could this homebrewer make a black IPA, please?

Depth of flavour couldn't be more shallow. Brief flavour duration. Light flavour intensity.

It's a cohesive well put together beer, but doesn't quite feel like a gestalt whole.

TEXTURE: Slightly creamy, which plays well against the slight dryness and coarseness brought about by the burnt character. It's refreshing in spite of an early second act drag on the palate. Aptly soft. Light to medium-bodied, with apt thickness. Has a fuller heavier presence on the palate than a Kolsch should, but I suppose it's forgivable.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, or harsh. I do find it a bit rough and scratchy, which does hold the drinkability back.

Overall presence on the palate is decent. This texture does a fine job at complementing the taste, but doesn't elevate the beer.

OVERALL: A unique schwarzbier-esque approach to a Kolsch. While it's not a success per se, it's far better executed than I would have guessed (especially given Stone's involvement). I'd like to see the homebrewer(s) behind this branch out and put out their own brews. Drinkable and enjoyable, but far from world-class. Worth trying if you're curious, but don't expect a good Kolsch. Just a nice hybridized experimental beer that drinks easy while delivering the dark flavours of bigger brews. I tip my hat to the brewer responsible; nice effort. I'll polish off the bomber with ease.


Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.04/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a pilsner glass. Pitch black brew with a velvety root beer colored head, fluffy, creamy, and resilient.

Aroma recalls cacao power, pumpernickel bread, and musty root cellar with a subtle fruitiness that recalls citrus soda bottle caps. Very reminiscent of a schwarzbier with added fruity esters a la the kolsch style. Loving the aroma although others may deem it unassuming and mellow.

The palate again recalls a schwarzbier/ale hybrid with rather a lot going on if one cares to plumb the depths. The dry chocolate and earthy root flavors from the nose are initially present in abundance along with subtle cherry and lemon-lime notes. Mid-way though a licorice candy and molasses element shows up and later one notices a sweet hazelnut and milk chocolate vibe that assumes the helm as the initial dry bitter elements recede. Pumpernickel and leafy greens linger throughout. A toffee-like sweetness lurks way in the background if one cares to look. Rye spice gathers steam over the course of multiple sips. A slight red berry waif peeks though.

As to mouthfeel, this is obviously heavier than your average kolsch but still retains considerable drinkability. Once more the schwarzbier comparisons are in order. Moderate to high carbonation with some welcome hop resin prickliness. Faint wood char in the dry bread-like finish. Obviously this beer is supposed to be bastardized, cutting across multiple style domains. Faulting it for not tasting like a classic kolsch seems pedantic and persnickety. In my view this is a more than worthwhile exercise in tasting gymnastics.

Photo of MattyG85
4.21/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice.

Appearance: Pours midnight black with a moderate amount of bubbles. Big two finger tan head which slowly fades into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a good amount of lacing.

Smell: A roasty and bready malt driven aroma with good hints of chocolate and grains. Roasted malts with upfront hints of chocolate, biscuit, grains, caramel, yeast, cracker, and a little coffee and smoke. Hints of spice. Earthy hops with some hints of grass. Subtle dark fruit hints of cherry, raisin, and prune. A very solid aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a nicely roasty and bready malt forward taste with good notes of chocolate and grains. Dark roasted barley malts with upfront notes of chocolate, coffee, grains, biscuit, caramel, lager yeast, cracker, and a little smoke. Dark fruit undertones with some notes of cherry, prune, and raisin. Earthy hops in the background with notes of grass and a little pine spice. A pretty good taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, silky, and pretty smooth.

Overall: A pretty solid twist on the Kolsch style. Good creamy dark malt notes. Its kind of like a porter.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black Rye Kolsch style ale, I've never had one of those before I'll try it. Pours pitch black in the glass with a thicket of tan head leaves fine speckled lacing behind. I like the abv and the fact that this was Rick & Robbie's time to shine (two homebrewers from SoCal) who won a homebrewer's contest.

Aroma clean malt driven hard to pick up classic dark beer character more just crisp grains, herbal hops, pretty unique beer. Herbal mint, clean German ale character it's weird!!!

Flavor brings spicy rye, dark roasted malts, still super easy drinking black rye kolsch style characteristics are evident...masterfully brewed and crafted. Almost creamy milk chocolate with less sweetness dry herbal hops again weaved effortlessly to dry it out, into a crisp enjoyable finish.

Mouthfeel smooth creamy textured, crisp finish balanced sturdy carbonation everything hits where it should on the palate. I know this isn't traditional Stone, but it's damn good.

Overall, this let's me know that creativity and brewing culture in America is alive and well, we will never stop innovating because we have no boundaries in our brewing styles this 5.4% Sprocket beer labeled as a black rye kolsch proves it!

Photo of Auraan
3.96/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a rich, opaque black with brown highlights on the edges of the glass when held to light. Two and a half fingers of tan head that grew as it sat and left abundant lacing down the glass. A very nice looking beer, similar in appearance to a stout. Scents of rich roast malt, dark chocolate, coffee with a bit of cream, a bit of a pretzel-like aroma, hints of grassy hops, along with spicy rye in the background. As it sits a little bit of fruitiness comes into the foreground as is common in the Kolsch style. A very nice aroma profile that is an interesting combination of a porter, a rye beer and a Kolsch. Flavor begins with a roasted flavor malt profile, with notes of black coffee and rye. This moves into further roasted flavors with notes of burnt toast, black coffee and roast malt and a hint of fruitiness that is very faint. Finish is dry with roast malt, spicy rye, black coffee and a slight tang with some fruitiness faintly detectable. Aftertaste is dry with a strong roast malt presence and hints of black coffee. An interesting flavor profile that tastes very similar to a porter or stout and is quite removed from a Kolsch. It is quite nice and the addition of rye adds a nice spice and nuttiness to the flavor. Mouthfeel is medium-light bodied with moderate-high carbonation and a smooth, creamy feel. Very nice and extremely easy to drink as a result. Overall this is a pretty interesting beer. It has a nice aroma and flavor that are more reminiscent of a porter than a Kolsch, with the nice spiciness that rye imparts. An extremely drinkable mouthfeel aids the beer and makes it quite the sessionable offering. Very well done and unique to boot.

Photo of biboergosum
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

22oz bomber, thoughtfully brought back from SoCal for me by doktorzee. Since this entry was added first, and actually used the correct name, I'll happily plant my flag here.

This beer pours a very dark, yet bright red cola highlight-tinged russet brown hue, with three flabby fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and slightly bubbly tan head, which leaves some spectral webbed lace around the glass as things duly sink away.

It smells of roasted bready caramel malt, mildly spicy rye grain, bittersweet powdered chocolate, a bit of dry black orchard fruit, soft earthy yeast, and herbal, leafy, and grassy hops. The taste is big on the gritty cocoa bitterness up front, with some smoked grainy pale and wet biscuity caramel malt, blended rye spice, muted dark fruit - maybe a bit of raisin, maybe a bit of prune - sugar-free root beer, a bland earthy nuttiness, and now turtling herbal, weedy hops.

The carbonation is fairly active in its plebeian frothiness, the body a so-so medium weight, and mostly smooth, the char stepping on a few toes here, just so y'all know. It finishes quite dry, the grain - including a more subdued than expected rye contingent - and a wee bit of blackened character coming to dominate over the various aforementioned side players.

It's dark, it's German-adjacent, and it tires more quickly than I might have initially thought - yup, that's Sprockets for me, from what I can recall. Calling this a Kolsch is sort of disingenuous at best, as all the light, crisp, and easy-drinking qualities of that style are shit all over by this venture - see American Black Ales for precedence.

Photo of brewerburgundy
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle, no visible packaging date.

The beer is a very dark brown that verges on opaque, with a generous light tan head. So, this is a kolsch, but is breaking the mold. It looks nice.

Rye, dark bready, and slightly smoky. A little chocolate. This smells like porter, nothing else. A good porter.

It tastes much like a porter as well. There is a little rye snap, a dry pumpernickel flavor, that tangy yeastiness. Chocolate powder and tart.

Light body, medium carbonation, provably the place where it comes nearest it's kolsch roots.

I like it a lot. There is a good amount of smokiness that I didn't expect. It's a hard beer to rate because it's outside it's style so much.

Photo of Roguer
3.89/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Beautiful dark black beer, with a firm dark tan head. Fantastic lacing and retention.

Ryan and malty aroma, with a hint of cherry. Slightly roasted barley, and earthy hops.

Slightly Hoppy American black ale, with a nice soft hint of cherry, and spicy rye.

Very soft mouth feel. Slick, oily, lively with no sting. Refreshing.

This is a surprisingly good beer. However, it comes across much more as a complex American Rye Black Ale; it is not, in any way, a Kölsch. I intended to hit it for that, but the truth is that, name aside, it's a very tasty beer.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.79/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a finger and half of light tan head on a black body.
The aroma has an initial roast malt smell, then just cut hay towards a barnyard, and finally a bit of citrus. Unexpected but nice.
The taste has a roasted malt sweetness tempered by lemon bitterness, some grainy flavor and finishes with a mellow citrus note.
The texture is fizzy and light with moderate carbonation.
It's nicely done.

Photo of russpowell
3.69/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours mahogany with a pinky of tan head. Good head retention & slightly above average lacing

S: Roastyness, slight peppery notes

T: Roasty, peppery, with herbal notes, some pineyness & slight smokeyness up front. Roastyness , spicy rye, & a little brown bread & more pineyness. Finishes piney, peppery, & spicy, plus roastyness

MF: Medium bodied, firm carbonation

Works better as a black IPAor hell even a porter than a Kolsch, drinkable enough. Stone is starting to get a little out there, but I like they are still trying to push some boundries. Glad I got to try this, but not really buying the concept of a Black Rye Kolsch...

Photo of HalfFull
3.03/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A black rye kolsch. Now that is a good one. Me chief black white clear cloudy day night!

Style aside, what is this beer? Pours deep brown/black with some ruby highlights and sports a thin and yet resilient cap of mocha foam. Aroma of light roasted malts and a touch of rye, but then not really. More rye evident in the flavor however. Offers a delicate hop presence amid a simple yeast character. At times this beer offers character similar to a Belgian Dubbel in context and at times it offers virtually nothing at all.

Light bodied and easy drinking. Still too much of a stray cat to confer much love.

Photo of Mongrel
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours basically black with decent head and lacing. Smell is nice and mellow, bringing coffee, roasted grains and molasses to the table. Tastes like a light porter with a really clean lager-like finish. Roasty and a little bitter with earthy noble hops in the backdrop. BIscuit-y backbone with some molasses sweetness emerging as the beer warms. Virtually no esters whatsoever -- clearly fermented with a lager yeast. Kolsch yeast would be the only possible explanation for labeling this thing as a "black rye kolsch," as it bears no other resemblance to the style as I understand it.

Overall this is a tasty brew, but not one I see myself seeking out again. They might have some success marketing this as a dark beer for the summertime, as it's fairly refreshing and sessionable.

Photo of gillagorilla
3.84/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle poured into a Burley Oak snifter (Bottled On: 4/4/14)

A: Looking straight through it appears straight black but around the edges when tilting the glass it is slightly transparent. Slightly mocha head that is very minimal.

S: Roast and Rye! Dry smelling as well.

T: I will preface this by saying that I haven't had a Kolsch in a while, but this definitely isn't your standard Kolsch. Dry with almost no hops, but mainly roast, malts, and just a bit of smoke.

M: Smooth for the most part and just only a prickly bubble that is felt sporadically.

O: This is a very tasty and sessionable beer. Roasted Rye!

Photo of beerthulhu
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%

- black rye kolsch style.

(3.80) A: Coffee exit from the bottle with a thin, but amazingly sturdy, dark corkboard colored head that had a firm cream consistency. Slow, steady streams of effervesce rise in methodical fasion as it creeps up along the vessel walls.

(3.65) S: Aroma was softy but fresh, smoothering charred wood with wet, dark roast coffee grounds and a added hint of dry pine brush. Perfumy delivery.

(3.80) T: Flavor was freshly charred wood and dark roast, earthy bitterness with a wet campfire minerality. Mid-palate showed some charred citrus hop flower, dough, and light hints of apple-plum yeast factors. A big mention of sweet burnt caramel and finish of peppery spicing with sweet burnt currant-fruitiness.

(3.80) M: Oily roast mouthful, medium body, slick, dry, decent carbonation.

(3.80) O: provides a deep dark roastiness in a 5.4% packaging which many may overlook or have trouble believing. Roasted coffee and yeasty fruitiness that drinks much bigger then expected. Nice blending. Don't expect a true Kolsch style here, with more and more breweries blurring the lines its hard to hold one accountable when it doesn't fit snuggly into one clearly defined parameter, when it clearly was never intended to be in the first place. outside the box.

Photo of MDHopster
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A) dark black with nice head
T) smoky, chocolate and fruit with rye, mild bitterness. Would pair well with beef or venison or as a dessert beer
S) smoky with hints of fruit
m) silklike smoothness, pleasantly carbonated
O) don't know if this will ever return due to spotlight series status, but if it does it could become my go to beer during its release

Photo of bluejacket74
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, stamped date on the bottle is worn off so I can only tell that it was bottled sometime in 2014. Served in a stange glass, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like roasted and grainy/rye malt, bittersweet chocolate, coffee and some dark fruit. Taste is similar to the aroma, the brew tastes like roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, spicy rye, bready/grainy malt, smoke and a bit of dark fruit, nuts and earthiness. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's somewhat dry and has moderate carbonation. This certainly isn't a traditional Kölsch, but I like it! It's a good, easy drinking brew.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Bottle: Poured a black color ale with a large off-white foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma consists of roasted malt with dry bitter notes with some citrus hoppy notes also noticeable. Taste is also dominated by dry bitter roasted malt notes with some light spicy rye notes with some hoppy citrus notes. Body is a bit light with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Not bad but not great either and not sure I could have said this was a Kolsch had it not been mentioned on the label.

Photo of ocelot2500
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a deep cola color with a tight, mocha head that leaves little bits of lacing.

Smells of roasted notes with a touch of rye.

Tastes of the roasted notes with some rye and some earthy bitterness. Roasted notes lead off with chocolate, coffee, and toffee. Some brown sugar sweetness and dark fruits come in with a bit of rye spiciness. Earthy hops come in to round out the profile.

Mouthfeel is medium with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is interesting, but not worth the price ($9.04 for 22oz). It should also not be classified as a kolsch

Photo of Wharfrat69
4.62/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Dark but light refreshing beer

Photo of smakawhat
3.31/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a stange glass. sure why not? Uh ok a black rye kolsch... sure.

Thick classic black IPA head, thick light coffee with swiss cheese like retention and easily four fingers tall. Body even in a thin stange is truly dark hints towards a very deep brown with some red edges. Looks aggressive but sure ain't looking like no Kolsch that's for sure.

Surprisingly with all the variety of ingredients on this, there's virtually no aroma off first pour. Mild roast and hint of sweet char. A strange tobacco and fruit sweetness slightly on the end which is quite unique but it's very buried, making it harder to even describe. Much of it getting larger as the beer settles and warms.

Palate provides a mish mash of oddities. Spiced malt quality finish with a big dryness and some wet roasted grain character. Watery backbone, even for a Kolsch. Muted leaf and mild aromatic hop bent with a bit of lingering mint. Not much discernable malt quality going on obviously.

This comes off like a very watered down porter, and it has no Kolsch character that I can discern, so it just comes off as just a light drinkable roasty beer, with an odd hop quality that doesn't match to style. It's clash of flavors and feel just doesn't draw me in, nothing seems to compliment, and while not offensive and easy drinkable this is not a beer I would drink again.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.56/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


22 purchased the COOP a week or so ago.. Poured tonight into my CC teku.. Thin light tan head.. wispy lacing.. not much to talk about.

Nose shows plenty of dark malt/sorta chalky maltiness... dry.. rye comes in with warmth, but calling this anything resembling a Kolsch is just idiotic.

Flavor shows dry dark burnt malt/coffee elements.. If I concentrate, there might be some yeasty fruitiness... but I am pretty sure I am wrong.

Light/medium body.. good bubble..

No doubt, this is a One-and-Done for me... Few Stone's are worth writing about anymore.. I'm sure I will continue, but I am gonna try to scale things down.


Photo of wedge
3.81/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

With a description of "black rye Kölsch," you can pretty much disregard any style guidelines right from the start. I know I can expect some German qualities, some malt, and some spiciness, but that's about it.

Pours a very dark brown, almost black color with a gorgeously thick, frothy head. Smooth, pleasant aromas of nutty chocolate, grassy hops, light rye bread, and sweetened coffee with some very light char permeating everything. Malty flavor, dry, nutty, and clean. Bready roast with some tasty fruity spice in the middle, finishing a little bitter. Some citrus and herbs to brighten things up. Light, creamy, and appropriately dry. About what I expected...a well made experimental beer that stays drinkable and doesn't try to be "extreme" beyond doing a bit of style blending.

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.04/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sester stange. Pours a very dark brown with hints of red at the margins and a three finger light brown head with great retention and heavy lacing. Aroma of bready and toasted malt, spicy rye, hints of chocolate. Really nice rye component to the aroma. Flavor is chocolatey toaste malt with light char, rye fruitiness and spiciness, finishes with nice lightly charred toasted malt, spicy rye and light grassy hops. Light to medium bodied with peppery carbonation. Flavors are quite nice, but somewhat subdued as expected from a kolsch style session beer, but with a surprisingly robust finish. Except that the flavors are toned down, this doesn't fit much with the light kolsch style, perhaps only because no one had thought to put a rich toasted malt and rye in one before. It delivers on it's name, a black rye ale that has been toned down to kolsch sessionability, without losing it's character. Interesting and well done. The first 80 degree day here this year and this is a wonderful accompaniment.

Photo of Amalak
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got from Beer Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

It has a chocolate chip cookie taste. It is very smooth. It is creamy and balanced. There is a mild rye taste. Definitely earth. Very easy to drink and while it's a tamed rye flavor, it definitely comes through and doesn't get overpowered by a metallic taste the way some black IPAs will.

It has basically a black color, but brown hints around the edges. It had a minimal off-white head and no real lacing. Beautiful rye and hoppy scent. A bit of a metallic scent.

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Spotlight Series: Spröcketbier from Stone Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 660 ratings.