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Spotlight Series: Rick And Robbie's Sprocket Bier - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Spotlight Series: Rick And Robbie's Sprocket BierSpotlight Series: Rick And Robbie's Sprocket Bier

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

333 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 333
Reviews: 78
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 10.03%
Wants: 8
Gots: 16 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Kölsch |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: babaracas on 04-18-2014)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 333 | Reviews: 78 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Corson
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of flagmantho
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a clear mug.

Appearance: extremely dark brown with a fair bit of haze to the body and a thick finger of frtohy tan foam. Completely nontraditional for the style, but a good looking beer.

Smell: lightly roasty and sweet with just a hint of lagery yeastiness. Reminds me a lot more of a schwarzbier than a Kölsch, but still a nice aroma.

Taste: a little smoky at first, which I like, with a roasty middle and a slightly caramel finish. Whatever the style, it's damn tasty.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a decent carbonation and creaminess.

Overall: whatever this style is supposed to be, that hint of smoke puts me firmly onboard. I dig it.

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3.85/5  rDev +1.6%

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3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

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3.6/5  rDev -5%

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4.14/5  rDev +9.2%

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4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

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4.36/5  rDev +15%

Photo of Skyjmpr
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of RavenForBeer
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of Boozecamel
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of tyjudd
4.88/5  rDev +28.8%

Photo of rphx88
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of Mlawrence
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of kojevergas
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
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.


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4/5  rDev +5.5%

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4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of willjschmidt
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of titty_mcbitty
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

A: Did not expect this at all. Black as night! Medium, bubbly tan head. Very cool.

S: Smoke and malt. That's really all I can seem to get.

T: Okay so at first this was OKAY. Then as it warmed it was pretty good. Smoke, light wood, some tartness, sweet corn, grain, yeast, and hops. Very interesting - almost like a light porter or something.

M: Light side of medium. Carbonation is definitely there.

O: Cool beer. Very creative style and nice flavor!

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3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

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3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

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4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of barczar
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%

Certainly the darkest kolsch I've seen... Aroma is dominated by roast malt, coffee grounds, dark chocolate, and nutty, deeply roasted notes. Flavor reveals a base of kolsch yeast fruitiness, which becomes roasty mid palate, turning nutty and fairly bitter at the smoky finish. More bitter than I prefer, but the kolsch yeast does shine.

Photo of finz2thestout
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

dark dark, hoppyish coffee. swoon.

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Spotlight Series: Rick And Robbie's Sprocket Bier from Stone Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 333 ratings.