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Stonecutter - Renaissance Brewing

Not Rated.
StonecutterStonecutter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

94 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 94
Reviews: 59
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 9.92%
Wants: 6
Gots: 5 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Renaissance Brewing visit their website
New Zealand (Aotearoa)

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: VitBAficionado on 02-12-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 94 | Reviews: 59 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ckollias
ckollias

Maryland

4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

Enjoyed this bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours dark amber hue with ruby highlights and a large tan head that slowly dissipates down the side of the glass, leaving a decent trail and ending in a wispy lace.

S: Toffee and caramel aroma with hints of raisins.

T: Flavor comes through similar to the smell with a malty toffee and caramel taste. Hints of chocolate and raisins in the background.

M: Full body and medium carbonation.

O: Excellent Scotch Ale. Warming and rich and just enough alcohol.

11-19-2012 03:47:36 | More by ckollias
Photo of sonorb7
sonorb7

Australia

4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

01-07-2013 12:57:13 | More by sonorb7
Photo of CanuckRover
CanuckRover

Ontario (Canada)

4.43/5  rDev +15.7%

Pours near-black red... at the right angle it's a dark, dark, dark, garnet. My bottle gives off a massive, rocky, rollicking, mocha head, that puffs up out of my Duvel tulip. Lacings are thick and sticky, like an icecream float.

I don't like Scotch in the least, so the aroma of this actually has me worried. Refined, comforting smoke, like from a wood-burning stove. A bit of alcohol lingering behind the smokey malt. Actually had to check the bottle again to make sure this didn't have a shot or two in it.

Just a masterwork in malt blending. Smooth up front, ripe red fruit gradually melds with sweet toffee, which gives way to chocolate covered cherries. Smokey finish with just the slightest bitterness, not acrid in the least.

Mouthfeel is pretty much spot on, at times I think a touch too much carbonation, but I'm being nitpicky.

A brilliant go at the style. A must try for malt fiends.

10-11-2012 23:45:12 | More by CanuckRover
Photo of mdagnew
mdagnew

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

4.38/5  rDev +14.4%

500ml bottle bought online from Beermerchants.com

Poured a crystal clear coppery russet colour. Light tan head poured tight, thick and foamy then faded to decent wispy covering with thick edging... light carbonation drifts slowly to the surface... some patchy lacing lines...

Aroma - Roasted caramel malts, dried and alcohol soaked dark fruits (raisins, dates, figs and some sour apples), burnt nuttiness, light peaty smoke, vanilla, earthy notes, quite spicy and peppery, some oaky / scotch / rum traces, floral honey...

Taste – Lots of strong toffee malts, brown sugar / treacle sweetness, lots of peppery spiciness, (over?) ripe fruit - dates, figs, some banana. Faint smokiness, toasted bread, toffee apples, definite scotch alcohol notes coming through, very light grassy hop bitterness, nutty...

Feel - Very smooth and creamy... medium bodied... a pretty quaffable brew even at 7% although you never forget that the alcohol is there...

Overall - An excellent example of a wee heavy... perfect for a cold winters evening... recommended...

03-23-2014 19:08:32 | More by mdagnew
Photo of gizmoguy
gizmoguy


4.25/5  rDev +11%

07-07-2012 10:41:25 | More by gizmoguy
Photo of Jamestregenza
Jamestregenza

Australia

4.25/5  rDev +11%

10-03-2013 12:30:22 | More by Jamestregenza
Photo of Molson2000
Molson2000

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +11%

09-21-2012 21:20:14 | More by Molson2000
Photo of Conrad
Conrad

Ontario (Canada)

4.22/5  rDev +10.2%

An excellent brew. Nice deep copper-mahogany colour, lovely foam that lasted and left fine lacing. Aroma of dark fruit and toasted malt. Taste: Good balance of malt and yeasty hops, with lots of complex notes that I couldn't name. (My palate is not as refined as some). Mouthfeel is perfect. Not too watery or too thick and creamy. Finish is long and smooth, with a voice telling me to go have another. A favourite, but too expensive to be my regular tipple. If you're going to buy me a beer, make it a Stonecutter.

12-10-2011 02:04:07 | More by Conrad
Photo of thehyperduck
thehyperduck

Ontario (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev +9.7%

500 mL bottle from the LCBO, best before June 2012. I've had some really good wine from New Zealand - beer, not so much, but this one looks more promising than Steinlager.

Pours a muddy reddish-copper colour, topped with about two fingers of creamy, long-lasting off-white head - it takes a long time to dissipate but leaves webs of sticky lacing on the sides of the glass. This is a very attractive beer, and the aroma is very enticing as well. Nice, sweet roasted biscuit malt backbone, lots of toffee, raisins and a few herbal/anise notes. All of these together impart the brew with that earthy, peaty feel one expects from a proper Scotch Ale.

"Proper", however, is a descriptor that is far too wishy-washy to use to describe this stuff - something like "delicious" or "fantastic" would be far more appropriate. As advertised, this ale is definitely a malt bomb - plenty of nutty roasted malt character, lots of toffee alongside lesser notes of vanilla and chocolate. Raisin/prune flavours are noticeable as well. Herbal and earthy toward the end of the sip, with a bit of peat and smoke that leaves some lingering dryness in the aftertaste. The ethanol is virtually unnoticeable. Medium-bodied - a bit too light for my tastes but this is really the only criticism I can come up with. Very mild carbonation, and extremely smooth/easy to drink for the style.

A bit pricy, but this is a solid Scotch ale; a bit less intense/rough than others but undeniably enjoyable. If this had a bit more body it would probably be my new favourite for the style. This is definitely worth a try, and is enough to make me overlook the systematic suppression of the metric system, as well as Steve Gutenberg's fame.

11-08-2011 04:27:43 | More by thehyperduck
Photo of hunteraw
hunteraw

China

4.1/5  rDev +7%

Ordered at brew quay in Auckland.

Appearance: Dark brown, rub highlights. Attractive, high head with good retention and leaving plentiful lacing.

Smell: rich and malty, with dark fruits and a hint of peat in the background. Very earthy. More and more cocoa powder as it warms, German chocolate cake comes to mind.

Taste: Well balanced malt centric beer, with enough bitterness to keep things from getting overly sweet. Toffee, roast, cocoa, raisins and what seems to be a touch of smoke.

Mouthfeel: medium body, carbonation reasonable and creamy. finishes dry.

Drinkability: very good, one of the best nz beers I have tried

02-27-2010 09:24:58 | More by hunteraw
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +7%

You wouldn't suspect looking at this rusty, dark russet toned beer that it actually lights up to look almost like clamato, in both colour and consistency. The hazy beer looks heavy has a brick (which it also resembles) and has a thin head that leaves a lacing dense enough to grip the glass even as the liquid beneath it dissipates down.

The aroma has enough wood smoke and peat-y earth to convince me it was brewed on Islay. Seriously, for a moment I forgot this was actually produced on the other side of the world. And, if not for the amount of thick, sweet and chewy malt I might have forgotten that it's actually a beer - and not a scotch. This is rich stuff.

The brewery shares that they used 9 varieties of malts but what they fail to mention is how many pounds of grain must go into each batch - my guess is a lot. The beer is laced with rich, vivid elements of kettle caramelization as well as a peaty, lightly smoky flavour (like that of Islay whiskeys), lots of grain, and an abundance of raisin-y fruitiness.

I'm no brewing expert, but take it from me: this beer was made by one. No shortcuts were taken with regard to the beer's sweetness; crystal malts were used only as needed. This is bona fide kettle caramelization. And delicate use of dark malts gave the hints of chocolate and smoke without adding any harsh roast or astringency. Alcohol is hidden.

Unlike popular American renditions of the style, this Kiwi offering doesn't take any shortcuts by pushing the hop and caramel levees to their breaking points. Rather, it has textbook emulated all that is appealing and distinctive about the classic Scottish examples except to the point of, well, in my opinion, actually doing an even better job at it.

10-26-2011 05:57:06 | More by biegaman
Photo of CalgaryFMC
CalgaryFMC

Alberta (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +7%

Thanks to my buddy Mike for bringing this over last night, along with Renaissance's porter offering. These brews from antipodean climes kept catching my eye on the shelf but I never did pull the trigger and bring them home. Not sure if it was the rather fanciful labels or some other off-putting factor (or perhaps I am still suffering from a form of brain lock after spending much of the holiday season (unsuccessfully) searching for Lagunitas Sucks ... Yes, I live in Calgary, not where the craft beer falls from the sky like manna ... The homeless people in Cali probably drink more Sucks than I ever will), but it turns out I will probably still be buying them after all ... The Scotch ale exemplar reviewed here was poured into a pint glass, a nice coppery reddish-brown with a moderate degree of carbonation, sufficient to form about an inch of whitish head. Rich yet mellow aroma of toffee, dried dark fruit, and nondescript nuts greets the drinker, and a taste reveals much the same sensory experience. Is that a hint of citrus on the nose as well? Just a hint. Almost anything brewed in NZ has a little of that "twangy" hop aroma. There is some of the sour peaty smoke that you get with some authentic takes on this style but its relatively restrained and refined here, a background percept rather than a key player. Instead the sweet flavors are front and center, slightly salty burnt caramel, treacle toffee, prunes, hints of rum, and walnuts along with a little sour apple to provide additional seasoning. Moderately heavy body but smooth and creamy and remains quite drinkable in spite of the sweetness. The flavor components hang together well and there is only a little booziness. Few obvious hop flavors as per the style but there is enough of an earthy bucolic weedy character to cut some of the sweetness and provide added complexity. Well-crafted, super tasty Scotch ale weighted towards the sweet and nutty rather than the sour and smoky.

12-30-2013 18:10:00 | More by CalgaryFMC
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4.09/5  rDev +6.8%

500ml bottle, 7.1% ABV. I can't but help associate this with the Stonecutters of Simpsons secret society lore (We do! We do!). No apologies, we all get our culture from somewhere, yeah?

This beer pours a dark, yet quite brilliantly reddish amber hue, with two fingers of tightly foamy, puffy, and kind of creamy beige head, which leaves a low-lying circus tent spire array of lace around the glass as it slowly and steadily abates.

It smells of somewhat sour peat, well roasted meaty caramel malt, wet ash, a touch of smokey medium chocolate, singed dark fruit - raisin, maybe - understated anise, and sidling metallic notes. The taste is still on the smokey side, as the caramel malt, generic black fruit, less obfuscated raisin and prune fruitiness, edgy leafy, earthy hops, and seemingly loitering warming alcohol all exhibit at least a hint of it.

The bubbles are around and about, to be sure, but not really in an upfront, 'hey, look at me' sort of manner, the body a decent medium weight, and adequately smooth, the smoke taking a chink or two out of that particular armour. It finishes still off-dry, as this is indeed none other than a prototypical Scotch ale, so, um, there - the caramel/toffee malt isn't to be trifled with by any upstart, wannabe smokiness.

I don't think that this could be any more Scottish if it were actually from the auld country (hey Brewdog, how ya doin'?). Looking at the map around where this brewery is situated, this is now hardly a surprise - Scottish place names pop up everywhere. Anyways, the peat, the caramel, the fruit - this is eminently true to the style, even if its antipodean roots may not have the 'required' pedigree - meh to that.

03-06-2013 03:29:29 | More by biboergosum
Photo of nztayls
nztayls

New Zealand (Aotearoa)

4.09/5  rDev +6.8%

A - Pours a very dark brown with touches of red. A medium mocha head forms, though this quickly dissipates leaving some foam around the edge of the glass.

S - Sweet toffee smell, some very faint peaked-malt aroma. Little to no hop aroma.

T - Sweet toffee malt notes with a very subtle but noticeable peaked malt undertone that immediately takes me back to thoughts of Laphroig Malt Whisky. Very little bitterness

M - Soft medium-body mouthfeel.

O - This is a very drinkable Scottish Ale that has just enough peaked malt to be noticeable - without being overbearing. A great drink to have on a cold winter night when the rain is beating down on the roof.

04-16-2014 08:06:26 | More by nztayls
Photo of bryehn
bryehn

Ontario (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev +6.5%

Pours a hazy, copper-amber colour with a medium tan head. Good retention, minor lacing.

The aroma is fantastic. Dates, wood, a slight smoky texture and caramel. Notes of berries and nuts too.

Hearty, woody taste, with nuts and milk chocolate rounding out the body. The finish is dry.

Full-bodied with a low carbonation, bread and syrup qualities on the tongue. Finish has a cigar smoke character.

Very nice sipping beer, will try again if I come across it.

02-28-2012 05:44:42 | More by bryehn
Photo of Deuane
Deuane

Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev +6.5%

Big thanks to nyctreal for breaking this one out!

A-Dark brown with ruby highlights. Nice, creamy medium tan head. Reduced and left good lcaing.

S-Sweet caramel and roasted malts with hints of chocolate and figs. All in all somewhat muted.

T-Rich and bold roasted malt backbone with sweet caramel notes ending with a bite of bitter chocolate and dark fruits.

M-Medium body with a very nice smoothness. Just a tad on the thin side of things....wouldn't mind a bit more body

D-Nice job overall. This wasn't a hard one to like as the melding of flavours upheld the slight lack of body. Well done.

07-06-2008 05:30:33 | More by Deuane
Photo of Kartoffeln
Kartoffeln

Ontario (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev +6.5%

A: Pours a deep, opaque russet with a sizeable, fluffy head of bubbly mahogany foam. Retention is alright, shortly dissipating to scanty patches foam and leaving nearly no lacing.

S: Caramel and brown malts bursting with sweet dark fruit aromas of plums, black cherries, and candied figs. Strong chocolate and mate character with roasty undertones of biscuit malt and nuts. Black molasses, butteriness, and a whiff of ethanol round out the nose.

T: Rich, sweet, and slightly bready caramel malts blend into juicy, fruity notes of plums and raisins, then give way to biscuit malt, nuttiness, chocolate, and hints of molasses and licorice on the swallow. Finishes with toasted barley and faint floral, woody hops.

M: Full-bodied and chewy with minimal carbonation. The finish is dry and nuanced by roasty and hoppy bitterness, managing to balance the malty sweetness fairly well and encourages a follow-up sip.

D: An excellent Scotch ale that's both flavourful and well-balanced, perfect for slow sipping on a cold night even though it's relatively easy-drinking. Be certain to let it warm up a bit to get all the malty nuances.

10-25-2011 21:24:22 | More by Kartoffeln
Photo of GodOfBeer
GodOfBeer

Ontario (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev +5.7%

Pours a murky brown-amber with a thin off-white head, some slight lacing.

Smells of caramel, chocolate, roasted malts, a sweet berry-like character and some nuttiness to top it off. Interesting.

Tastes of sweet, dark fruits upfront, caramel, toffee, chocolate, finishes nutty with a nice bitterness derived from the hops. Very complex.

Somewhat of a thin mouthfeel, not as thick as I was expecting, but overall still a wonderful beer!

11-05-2011 01:28:46 | More by GodOfBeer
Photo of FLima
FLima

Brazil

4.05/5  rDev +5.7%

Brown reddish color with a huge thick beige head that would not go away.
Fruity aroma with notes of hay, smoked malts, caramels and plums.
Superb flavor with notes of peat, smoked malts, prunes, toffee, raisins soaked in rum, cocoa powder, figs, spices, earthy hops and licorice.
Full body with good carbonation which is a bit effervescent.
Very interesting and original beer, a Smoked Scotch ale with good complexity.

12-18-2013 13:24:32 | More by FLima
Photo of peensteen
peensteen

Ontario (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev +5.7%

Pours a deep ruby red colour, 1.5 fingers on off white/tan head, some lace left on the glass. Smell i s a mix of caramel, sweet mal and berries, floral, toffee, liquorice and very fruity notes round out the nose. Taste is rich malts and fruit, sweet bready notes, caramel and toffee, roasted notes in the finish with a lingering coffee/chocolate kick. Light carbonation, full body and a little sticky mouthfeel. This was very nice, I hope to try some of the other offerings from this brewery, well balanced, nice delicate and pleasing malt bomb.

10-24-2011 18:30:43 | More by peensteen
Photo of chinchill
chinchill

South Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +5.2%

500ml bottle (7%) with a BB date of 10/2014 served in a stemmed tulip glass in Ohakune, NZ

Pours clear, deep reddish-amber color with a creamy and durable light brown head. Excellent lacing.

Aroma: Sweet malts, caramel, medium roasted malts and hints of wood, dark fruits.

Flavor: unexpectedly smokey, given that this didn’t show in the nose. The peat smoke is fairly well matched by the complex malt blend. Hints of licorice, toffee, raisins and dates.

Feel: smooth, medium-full body. Excellent soft carbonation.

O: a hearty recommendation.

01-16-2014 01:25:22 | More by chinchill
Photo of MattyV
MattyV

Ontario (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev +5.2%

Didn't realize this was from NZ until I logged on to post this review... cool.

Pours a very deep copper/ruby/amber colour with great clarity. Small soapy, light beige head. Rich, malty, complex aroma of toffee, nuts, bread, and a lovely bit of tobacco/smokiness. Taste very much follows the nose, but with a more pronounced roasted malt character. ABV hidden very well. Not light-bodied in anyway, but is not as heavy as expected. A great example of the style IMO, and a style that seems to grow on me more with every beer I try.

10-27-2011 18:37:10 | More by MattyV
Photo of FadetoBock
FadetoBock

Alberta (Canada)

4/5  rDev +4.4%

10-30-2013 05:31:41 | More by FadetoBock
Photo of JohnnyBarman
JohnnyBarman

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +4.4%

Dark ruby chestnut in colour, with a billowing head that slowly recedes into a half inch layer of foam. Lots of lacing - looks great for the style!

Nose is malty and peaty, with a mild booziness. A bit of smoke and caramel as well.

A terrific wee heavy - really enjoyed this. Sweet and malty, but this is kept in check nicely. A real smoky and peaty character defines this brew and makes it a fantastic sipper. Maybe some leather as well. Finishes with a fruity sweetness.

Thin bodied, but good carbonation and nice mouthfeel.

Great wee heavy - I'd certainly recommend this as an example of the style. My first (great) beer from New Zealand!

11-19-2011 23:54:15 | More by JohnnyBarman
Photo of DannyBaldoni
DannyBaldoni

Quebec (Canada)

4/5  rDev +4.4%

06-18-2014 17:07:48 | More by DannyBaldoni
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Stonecutter from Renaissance Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 94 ratings.