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Spotlight Series: Spröcketbier - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Spotlight Series: SpröcketbierSpotlight Series: Spröcketbier

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

641 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 641
Reviews: 115
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 8
Gots: 25 | 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:
Beer added by: babaracas on 04-18-2014

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: 641 | Reviews: 115
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Quique for sharing this one at Retsinis' tasting.

Pours an almost opaque super dark crimson-brown with a foamy beige head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, rye, herb, and char aromas. Taste is much the same with char, herb, and rye flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is quite roasty and has an interesting herb presence.

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of metter98
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a short, light tan head that quickly died down, leaving a patch of bubbles in the center and a collar around the edge of the glass along with some lacing running down the sides.
S: Light aromas of dark and roasted malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, having flavors of roasted malts and bits of spicy rye along with hints of grapes.
M: It feels a bit shy of being medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is rather easy to drink and has a good amount of flavors for a beer of its drinkability. If I didn't see the label of this bottle, I would have thought that this was a porter, not a kölsch, based on both its appearance and taste. The only kölsch-like properties that I detected were the grapey flavors and the lighter body. It is an unique hybrid style.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of kylehay2004
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ok, I get the "black" and I get the "Rye" and I understand that these robust flavors play out on a delicate malt backbone, but where's the "Kolsch"?

As the ale pours a dark brown hue, its clarity is deep and mysterious with no haze in sight. Very Porter-like, its head gathers on the beer light espresso creme. Its retention is light and fingerling as the beer trails with each sip.

High coffee aromas open up and reveal a nutty, roasty and burnt toast scent. With an underlying wafer-thin sweetness, light notions of caramel and brown sugar come to mind, but in the burnt carbon way that roasted marshmallows suggest.

Tasting the high roast flavor, any notion of "kolsch" is left in the recesses of the palate and the beer tramples forward to a cocoa-laden, burnt toast, walnut and coffee-like taste. Its middle dissolves such sweetness as the ale trends drier and drier until only the taste of burnt embers and roasted sugars remain. Finishing bitter with roast, a lingering campfire whimsy remains in echoes.

Medium-light in body, the Kolsh is lost and the roasty underpinnings define its texture at once. Powdery and somewhat ashy, its dryness ensures an exposed warmth of carbon and astringency that is buffered with just enough sweetness to support its dry roastiness.

I love this beer as an "imperial": Schwarz bier or as a dry Porter. Those identifiable flavors are alive and well, but I contend, where's the Kolsch component?

Photo of SocalKicks
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

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 Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a dark rye kolsch? well this is new to me. soft but pungent too on the rye, not as peppery or as spicy, but the flavor of the grain is still quite prominent. dark coffee colored beer with a brighter carbonation accumulating an inch or so of mocha colored head. almost looks like a nitro tap with the size of these tiny bubbles. roasted barley and chocolate flavors smell strong, but the yeast and the general lightness of this dark brew are also evident. very clearly not a porter or stout. the flavor has all the rye on the front end which i like, and still feels german enough on the grain front for me to accept this as a kolsch. its lightness helps too, barely medium bodied and carbonated extremely well. the feel kind of makes it for me. i like the rye front loaded too, so the finish is still quick. a very flavorful yet approachable beer for anyone looking to try a little something different.

Photo of largadeer
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle - Lucky's Beverage World in Woodstock, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown, near black body with a few glimmers of amber when held against the light. Though not particularly tall, the creamyish, mocha-toned head is lasting.

Smell: Coffee-toned roasted malt, a gently meaty smokiness invades the nostrils, and toasted homemade German dark rye bread for an overall earthy nose. Some chocolate, some grape, too.

Taste: Roasted grain, flecks of darkened nuts and burnt rye bread. A little smoke, a little spice. Faint chocolate. Ample sweetness. A fruitiness that sneaks in hinting of grape. The smoke-induced roast and spice carry you through the end of the near-crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. A bit above medium carbonation. Smooth, creamyish mouthfeel.

Overall: Fairly satisfying. Yes, I understand this a tinkered-with, augmented Kolsch, but, I hoped that didn't mean totally tossing out the refreshing spirit of the beer out the window. Thankfully, while there is a little added heft, it remains nicely drinkable -- really, I'm just happy it didn't wander into unrefreshing territory.

Photo of biboergosum
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
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 zeff80
3/5  rDev -20.2%

Photo of JAHMUR
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.76/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a large foamy beige head that fades very slowly and leaves a very thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted rye malts, chocolate and some hops.

T: The taste starts out with a hearty roasted malt character breadiness. Then some flavors of chocolate and rye spice. Then a mild but complementary hops presence comes in and provides a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly bready.

M: Crisp and a little smooth but a bit watery, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good variation of style, it’s decent beer to drink for a while if you’re looking for something a bit different.

Photo of Jason
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quite an interesting beer. These are what experimental beers should be; at least in my book. That being said, how do you critique a dark kolsch? Ya know?

Pours a dark brown with a tan head. Kind of a malty, almost coffee nose. But, I don't think there is any coffee in this one. Kind of spicy, which I like. Even though it's a somewhat robust flavor profile, it's still easy drinking. I like this. It's a good beer, even though I don't consider it a kolsch; though there are some kolsch aspects to it that I can pick up. Anyways. I like it.

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Spotlight Series: Spröcketbier from Stone Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 641 ratings.