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Spotlight Series: Spröcketbier - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Spotlight Series: SpröcketbierSpotlight Series: Spröcketbier

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

120 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 120
Hads: 666
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 7.83%
Wants: 10
Gots: 32 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 120 | Hads: 666
Photo of allengarvin
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a standard pint glass, this is an opaque very dark brown with a thin tan head. The nose is very faint: just some lightly toasty black patent scent. Nice taste, but I don't get anything more than dark, lightly roasted malt, maybe with a little toffee. Blind tasting, I'd just call it a stout, and move on. It's not bad, but a "black rye kolsch"? Sounds gmimicky. (373 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.61/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap in a chalice glass

Appearance – The beer is served a nearly pitch black color with a one finger head of off white foam. The head has a moderate level of retention fading slowly to leave some streaky lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is heaviest of a darker roasted malt smell mixed with some char and chocolate, bringing both a slightly burnt but somewhat sweet aroma to the nose. Along with these aromas are other malty smells of rye mixed with a little bit of a pine hop smell.

Taste – The taste begins with a nice roasted malt flavor mixed with a rather decent sum of a char and a light cocoa flavor. It begins rather dry with it gaining a little bit of sweetness as the flavor advances with some caramel and chocolate coming to the tongue. These sweeter flavors are later dampened as flavors of a light rye bread and some charcoal and smoke come to the tongue toward the end. In the end, with all the flavor transitions that had occurred on the tongue, one is left with a mostly dry and somewhat roasty and charred flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is rather light with a carbonation level that is rather high. Fairly good for the easy drinking feel of the brew, but a little weak for the smoky, darker, and rye flavors, so overall just OK.

Overall – A decently charred and toasty tasting brew with a lighter palate and easy drinking feel. A pretty nice kolsh. (1,441 characters)

Photo of MDHopster
4.25/5  rDev +11%
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 (353 characters)

Photo of JAFoley
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Dark, nearly opaque body with nice tan foamy head. Retention last forever and lots of nice lacing.

S - Nutty, chocolate, and cherry.

T - Nice bitter citrus hops upfront help cut the deep smokey malts, chocolatey and cherry.

M - Full body with moderate carbonation. Incredibly smooth, slick, and very drinkable.

O - So many great flavors and so drinkable, especially for a heavier beer. I thoroughly enjoyed this. (421 characters)

Photo of plaid75
4.19/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On draft at The Lark, East Northport, NY.

Poured a black hue with a one finger frothy tan head. There was Goid retention and very good lacing.

The smell featured roasted malts, charcoal and an herbal hop.

The taste was likewise roasted with a cleansing hop spice.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side of the style.

I don't know what the hell this beer is, but it is good. (385 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.62/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Described to me by the bartender as a Black Kölsch. I'm not sure if such a thing is possible, but here it is, near black where only the faintest of light passes. Good, lasting head with excellent blanketing lace.

Smells like watered down coffee. Certainly the black patent and chocolate malts predominate the nose.

Similar in body and taste to a watery stout. This is a thin dark beer with ample carbonation. The flavor is of burnt toast and little else. A bit two dimensional for my tastes. Although Kölsch is typically low hopped, this beer is begging to have some peppery spice to the tongue.

Interesting, but for me, a miss. (636 characters)

Photo of utfiero
3/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Color- near black. Huge thick cream coffee head.

Aroma- toasted rye bread. A strange, smokey, meaty brew

Taste- mildly smokey, gentle black brew. Hops and pecans make a slight appearance in the mid-body, fishing charred but slightly hoppy. Would pair well with BBQ.

Overall, this is one of the more lackluster brews from Stone.

Poured from 650 ml bottle into a Liefmans Goudenband glass (my preferred all purpose beer tasting glass). Tasted on 5/23/14 and 6/22/14. Purchased at Costco in Austin. (501 characters)

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$ 8.99 at Lager Mill, 22 oz bottle dated but unable to read; at 45 degrees into imperial pint
Aroma of roasted malt, probably rye since its aroma is different from the normal roasted barley, some peaty smokiness
Head large (7 cm), light brown, creamy with rocks, quickly diminishing to irregular 1 – 2 mm layer
Lacing starts poorly with hardly any presence, but with the second pour lacing becomes good, forming nearly complete rings 2-3 mm thick and 1+ cm wide with mostly small bubbles
Body is dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor begins with roasted malt bitterness, slightly smoky, slowly edging into sweetness. The smokiness remains as the aftertaste. No alcohol, diacetyl, or hops.
Palate is medium to full, slightly creamy, carbonation is lively (749 characters)

Photo of thecheapies
3.76/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Very dark, almost black. The head is tan in color and laces well.

Nose does remind me a little of that of a kolsch, but roastier. Picking up a bit of the rye. Just a hint of lemony brightness. Not so Germanic in the malt bill, really Americanized. Some yeastiness that is more nutty than musty.

Huh... tastes like what it is. It's a black rye kolsch. The hops are German, it seems. Lightly bitter and somewhat herbal. The rye adds gruff to what might have been a bland beer. Instead, it's not. Mild lemon tails the middle and there is a clean wheaty flavor beneath it all.

Really easy feel. Perfect for slinging back. Good balance between light-medium body and medium carbonation.

I like this beer more than I would consider it authentic. I'm not trying to kill it, overall, but my score is compromised based on execution to style. (835 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.27/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

Dark amber-brown with an exemplary head in the narrow Kölsch glass. Plenty of suds in the mouthfeel. Starts out sweet, grainy and tangy. The bitter hoppiness is not far behind. The rye taste is quite distinctive. The resiny richness goes well with the charred malt. Some burnt sugar with the rich malt, but the aftertaste is on the dry side.

The bitterness becomes tiresome Brewer's notes say this is made with Magnum and Hersbrucker hops. Some aromatics with a piney, fruity smell. This is quite interesting but gets harder to drink after a while. When it warms up I find it undrinkable.

This is nothing like a Kölsch, and I don't get why a rather specific historic style should be used as a catch-all category, like American Black Ale, where this would fit with the whacky recipe. But this is so strongly rye flavored, why do we have a Rye Beer category if it's not used for stuff like this? From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Trader Joes. (946 characters)

Photo of HalfFull
3.03/5  rDev -20.9%
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. (606 characters)

Photo of DrJay
3.79/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Black with clear ruby edges and highlights and a short, thick cap of tan/brown foam. Good head retention, lots of sticky lacing. Dark malt aroma, a little burnt and roasted, char with bitter chocolate, faint hop character. Soft on the palate, light bodied with modest carbonation, smooth and a bit dry from the dark grains. Malty with moderate bitterness up front, chocolate and a hint of toffee/hops mid-palate, finishing on the bitter side. Lingering citrus/lemon bitterness. Overall, pretty good. Fairly refreshing, but with some real character from the dark malt. (567 characters)

Photo of CHickman
3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black color with a big creamy 2 finger tan head with tons of bubbles popping on top that faded slowly, leaving excellent sticky foamy lacing clinging to the sides, rings as it went down and a layer on top.

Smells of charcoal, herbs, cocoa powder, burnt coffee, rye, chocolate, roasted malt, light floral hops and roasted notes that almost seem nutty with some sweetness mixed in. Very burnt rye bread toast with herbal hops and some chocolate or coffee grinds sums up the nose, with nice charred notes that make this seem like a very sweet smoked porter and nowhere near what other Kölsch beers smell like. Hops are just accents in this brew.

Tastes of roasted chocolate malt, burnt coffee grinds, charcoal, herbs, cocoa powder, rye, tea leaf, floral hops, pine cone, roasted nuts and some sweetness mixed in with the smoke essence. The roasted malts are dominant and really smoky and very much like a smoke beer or smoked porter, with the cocoa powder sweetness that has a hint of vanilla, dark chocolate and spices like rye or spruce. The finish is incredibly dry and leaves a smoky aftertaste after the complex malty flavors fade leaving only the rye taste and mouth dry.

Mouthfeel is light and watery, with almost no carbonation, a light to medium body and general smoky taste that fades with a little bitterness and sweetness the dries up almost clean. Not a Kölsch, but a damn tasty beer that was fairly easy to drink if you are a fan of roasted malts and cocoa. The bottle said to drink this fresh, so I did, and now is ze time on Sprockets vhen ve daance… (1,584 characters)

Photo of Sludgeman
4.06/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A black rye kolsch. $9.99/22 oz at Arrow Wine. #087161807. Poured into a chalice.

Breaks all the style rules. A refreshing beer with the kolsch lightness and the flavorfulness of the black beer and rye grains. If I reviewed this beer strictly to style it would have a below average rating, but its so good, I can’t do that to this beer. 4

A – Pours black with garnet highlights and a three-finger tan head. Average lacing. 4.5

S – Biscut, spicey rye, slight burnt roastiness, maybe even a bit smokey. 4

T – Roasty, coffee, maybe a tiny bit of spice from the rye. Can taste the influence of the kolsch yeast. 4

MF – Medium-light body, dry finish, creaminess in the finish. 4.25 (691 characters)

Photo of delta490
4.06/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep brown, almost devoid of light. It has a thick creamy tan head that has great retention and lacing. The aroma is distinct dark roasted malt. The taste is mostly schwarzbier with a peppery note from the rye and an earthy hops profile. The mouthfeel is is silky, with a nice weight to the body, but not too heavy. This is a tasty and unique beer. (357 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.76/5  rDev -1.8%
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. (797 characters)

Photo of MaineBrewing
4.51/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured slow with no head, so upped the vigor and before I new a massive tan 3.5 finger head formed. Body is absolutely opaque, dark as the darkest RIS. Head was thick and creamy, took a while to dissipate. Left a good amount, atleast .5 finger the whole time, tons of sticky lacing... this looks amazing.

S - Aroma of roasted barley, chocolate, big malt notes, bready, toasted almond, peppery yeast. slight piney hops notes.

T - Taste was surprisingly great deluge of porter and kolsch style. It has a porter like malt taste, with tons or roasted barley, smoke, chocolate, even some coffee grinds, but also has a light crisp kolsch-esque malt body in mix... this really melds well. Hops take a back seat but are very prevalent, nice piney up front and very bitter in the back, but not too bitter.. the roasted barley taste lingers long after the sip making me want more

M - This poured thick, but didnt feel too thick, what I would expect for carbonation for the style, finish is crisp but slightly on the sweet side.

O - This has a ton of flavor for 5.4%, and is very crushable. The appearance is amazing, the head never completely dissipated for me and always was present. I don't get much of the rye flavor, maybe in some of the sweetness. Great beer all around. (1,276 characters)

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, with the bottled on / enjoy by date chipped away and unreadable, but the local beer store just got bottles of this. Not sure why there are two listings for this beer, but this one seems more accurate. A black rye kölsch style beer, not entirely sure of what to expect with this one.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Pours a dark sludgy chocolate; opaque black in the glass with about a finger and a half of creamy chocolate mocha head. Leaves behind some scattered spotty lacing. Looks pretty damn nice.

S - The smell is unique and very interesting also - mildly citrusy / lemony, but more grainy, rye, burnt / charred sort of roastiness going on also. Mild coffee notes. Lightly metallic on the finish. Very nicely balanced aromas.

T - Taste follows the nose - very nicely balanced grassy / herbal / citrus elements with the mild roast / char. Mild chocolate / coffee notes again. Not really getting much in the way of rye on the taste, mostly just char / malt roastiness.Only a very mild bitterness on this one, but this is still definitely not your standard kölsch style beer.

M - The feel is extremely smooth, frothy, and creamy. Medium bodied, with crisp carbonation. Lightly dry, chalky, and bitter on the finish.

Overall, an interesting beer from Stone, a lot different than their typical ridiculously hopped up fare. Still, I probably wouldn't label this beer as a kölsch. I'm not entirely sure what I would describe it as. I guess a rye beer if I was able to detect any. Either way, recommended and worth the try.

Stone Spotlight Series: Rick & Robbie's Spröcket Bier ---4/5. (1,618 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
3.79/5  rDev -1%
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. (393 characters)

Photo of ONUMello
3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass (dated March 2014 though the exact day in March is not readable)
A: Pours a pitch black color with a one-finger tan head
S: A lot of malt, quite toasted, even a bit of grill char. Noticeable earth and cocoa as well
T: Matches the nose: earthy with very roasted malt along with cocoa/chocolate and a bit of coffee
M: Medium-bodied, a bit bitter
O: Not my favorite from Stone but certainly well made and worth a try (450 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Bert's
Pours a solid dark brown bordering on black with faint garnet at the edges and a decent sized tightly bubbled light tan head that persists forever. Aromas of chocolate, earthy hops, light spice and fruit. The flavor follows the aroma quite well. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation. Extremely flavorful easy to drink ale. Reminds me of a cross between a schwarzbier and a black IPA. I really enjoyed this one. (441 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.69/5  rDev -3.7%
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... (634 characters)

Photo of gillagorilla
3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
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! (621 characters)

Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked this up a week or so ago at the Bottle King in Livingston. I never saw a dark Kolsch before and as soon as I poured this out, I knew it was different. This was certainly a session beer and a good one at at, as the low alcoholic and hop content made this go down easy. There was just enough to enjoy here in terms of the flavor but like other lighter examples of this style, it was just a hair too light for me, in terms of the consistency and mouthfeel.

Quite a dark pour to this, as it resembled a Porter from start to finish. The head was tan, thick, and stuck around for a while before leaving its mark on the side of my pint glass one frothy ring at a time. The appearance was somewhat like Guinness, but this certainly wasn't as thick or as creamy. Some dark bread in the nose that reminded me of pumpernickel, while the taste had a roasted and rye tilt to it. Not chewy or cloying, the thin mouthfeel of this beer was what reminded me of the style that it fell under. Just a slight burnt aftertaste was all that lingered after each sip and I was surprised at how easily this went down.

I can't say that I've had a beer in a bomber go down this easily before and it's been a while since I polished off something that big in such short a time. This reminded me of a Porter in so may ways but it's a testament to Stone that they brewed a Kolsch and had me thinking that it was something else. The carbonation was present enough to make this light, like the idea behind this beer. This was a good-natured beer that was easygoing from start to finish and unlike anything else that I've ever had before. Props to Stone for pushing the edge and giving me a new appreciate for what a Kolsch is capable of being! (1,719 characters)

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Type: 22-oz. bottle
Glass: Lagunitas mason jar
From: Costco in in Mission Valley (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $5.99
Purchased: May 12, 2014
Consumed: May 13, 2014
Misc.: Bottled on April 21, 2014

Poured a black color with two fingers of cloudy tan head. Good amount of layered lacing along the sides of the glass. Very good retention on the top of the glass.

Smelled chocolate, chocolate milk, toffee, dark chocolate, faint smoky fire, caramel, coffee notes, roasty nuts, espresso and some unknown dark spices.

Tasted even darker than the smell. Got dark chocolate, fudge, coffee beans, roasted nuts, toffee, chocolate milk and smoky fire.

Medium body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Long, warming finish.

This was just a pretty good beer. I was even a bit surprised as I wasn’t expecting much. (806 characters)

Spotlight Series: Spröcketbier from Stone Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 120 ratings.