Stonecutter - Renaissance Brewing

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StonecutterStonecutter

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BA SCORE
87
very good

64 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 64
Hads: 114
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 6.67%
Wants: 6
Gots: 7 | 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:
Beer added by: VitBAficionado on 02-12-2008

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 64 | Hads: 114
Photo of bryehn
4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (460 characters)

Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (1,958 characters)

Photo of Kartoffeln
4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (1,130 characters)

Photo of nztayls
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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. (657 characters)

Photo of GodOfBeer
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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! (437 characters)

Photo of peensteen
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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. (545 characters)

Photo of chinchill
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (551 characters)

Photo of Deuane
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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. (598 characters)

Photo of MattyV
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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. (530 characters)

Photo of FLima
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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. (419 characters)

Photo of TubaManJack
4.01/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A 500ml bottle into a tight necked glass.
Appearance- A dark caramel brown, slight amber highlights. A nice 1/2` creamy retaining head. Slight carbonation. Appropriately limited lacing, keeping the brew for drinking and not stranded on the sides of my glass.
Smell- A real strong malt nose. There is some peat and sweet fruit notes. Maybe the slightest spice from hops.
Taste- A real strong malt body and slight caramel notes. A end note of dark cocoa and slightly sweet dates. However mostly exuded a roasted flavor.
Mouthfeel- Initially a medium bodied brew that began thick and somewhat chewy towards the end as it warms. The carbonation is appropriate. The ABV is warming and slightly present in the background.
Drinkability- Very Nice, however 500ml was perfect for me. This beer stacks up very well against the Belhaven Lines and other Wee Heavy beers. (861 characters)

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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! (645 characters)

Photo of LampertLand
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Renaissance Brewing 'Stonecutter Scotch Ale' @ 7.3% , served from a couple of 500 ml bottles purchased for $6 each

A-pour is a dark cola brown from the bottle to glass with a medium size tan head leaving a sticky lace along the pint

S-lots of roasted malts , caramel , toffee , chocolate

T-sweet tart start , gives way to dry lingering finish

MF-ok/good carbonation , full body

Ov-good beer , lots of complexity

prost LampertLand (436 characters)

Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a brownish color with ruby tints and a slightly hazy consistency. There was an inch of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: Aroma consisted of lots of malt, caramel and some grains.

T: Tasted of malt (a good deal of it), caramel, a slightly grainy quality. This is a solid flavor, just what you expect from a Scotch Ale. gets better as you go along.

M: A generally well-carbonated beer with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

D: An all around, well made, drinkable beer. (528 characters)

Photo of andrenaline
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a slightly hazy ruby red colour, finger of head with solid retention and sporadic lacing.

S - Sweet cherries, caramel and toffee, leather and some musty hops.

T - Unique flavour going down, reminiscent of a cider with sweet fruit and bourbon notes. The finish is superb with the peat flavours lingering alongside some caramel and tobacco.

M - No problems in this department, solid carbonation level with a smooth finish.

O - A tasty Scotch Ale with some unique flavours that I've yet to encounter in the style. Props to the LCBO for procuring this stuff because it was certainly a worthy ale. (606 characters)

Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a cloudy ruby with a touch of brown and a big finger of frothy tannish head. The head fades down slowly leaving behind some good lace.

S - Aroma is a mix of caramel malts, dark fruit, and chocolate with some black licorice, and a bit of smoke.

T - Starts off with some sweet caramel and toffee malts with some raisin, prune, and dark fruits , with a bit of black licorice. Through the middle, some brown sugar and chocolate malts come through with a bit of smoke. The finish is a mix sweet caramel and toffee malts, dark fruits, chocolate, and a bit of black licorice.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet and lightly fruity finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nice balanced scotch ale. Good malty profile. (751 characters)

Photo of GONZALOYANNA
3.99/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle. Tumbler glass. Enjoyed on may´12. Dark amber in color, dark ruby to the light. Light beige, creamy froth. Brief crown. Caramel malt, toasted malt aromas, toffee & licorice hints. Gentle but intense malty sweetness upfront & fruity tea-like. Suntuous mouthfeel. Fruits –grapes & plums- & bitterness in the middle linger into the finish. Full body, moderate carbonation. Well balanced flavors & ABV just felt at the end. Such an smart beer! (455 characters)

Photo of drpimento
3.99/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

At last, a decent beer after a series of duds. Let this warm a bit out of the fridge. Poured with a nice, full, billowy, foamy, frothy, light tan head that lasts a while and lots of lace. Color is a hazy garnet brown. Aroma is mineral and malt at first, then getting richer with traditional scotch ale characteristics and a little fruit. Flavor is similar and is like the description on the label. Body is full and soft with some high points and good carbonations for the style. Finish is like flavor and of medium length. Session beer. (536 characters)

Photo of
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - ruby-brown with a tan head that fades to a persistent ring.

Smell - Dried fruit and malt predominate and are complimented by barrel character and a slight herbal quality.

Taste and Mouthfeel - On the fuller side of medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. Flavours of dried fig and molasses, oak, and herbal bitterness on the finish. (348 characters)

Photo of liamt07
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from the LCBO, 500ml into a tulip.

Pours a matte dark brown/mahogany, with a finger of light brown head. Little retention and good lacing. Nose has vanilla, brown sugar, toffee, light chocolate notes and some dark fruits, mostly resembling raisins. Taste has chocolate, rich brown sugar and molasses notes, nuts and maybe more dark fruits again. Some roasty flavours as well. Medium heavy mouthfeel, but carbonation could be dialed back a bit (as I did, with a few swirls). Light tartness in the finish which takes away more than it complements I thought. Good drinkability with a touch of alcohol at the end. A nice beer, and ideal for this time of the year. (667 characters)

Photo of mintjellie
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Mahogany brown and murky looking. Definitely unfiltered. Stonecutter is topped by a massive, retentive, and lacy pale tan head. Mild, pleasant aroma of freshly baked shortbread cookies, brown sugar, and raisins. Sweet and malty up front with notes of biscuit and treacle toffee. Raisin, plum, and faint hints of cacao in the midpalate. Finishes with a mild bitterness and light alcohol warmth. Raisin comes back in the burp. Medium-full body, medium carbonation. Could use a bit more heft. Nice beer to curl up with after a long day of classes, on the rare night I'm homework free. (581 characters)

Photo of irishevans
3.91/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- pours a dark ruby/brown, lets a good amount of light through when held up to it. the head foams up to a dark tan, but quickly dissolves into nothing, and leaves NO lace at all.

N- LOTS of caramel, toffee, and licorice. there is also a faint berry fruitiness to it.

T- Heavy licorice and caramel flavors. there is a hint of the berry taste toward the middle of the mouthful, and a hint of alcohol also that seems strongest on the finish.

M- Very smooth and malty. just what one would expect from a wee-heavy.

D- doesn't hide it's "7%"(right Andy?) very well, not a session ale, but none the less a good winter warmer. (624 characters)

Photo of BGDrock
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: huge effervescence; dull red/brown like strawberry juice; cloudy and almost opaque

Aroma: sweet caramel malts; fruity; mild

Taste & Mouthfeel: starts with roasted malt and hints of coffee, and finishes with a smokiness that is balanced by very dry, hoppy bitterness; the smokey flavour is assertive, bringing to mind a single malt - even feels like the peat is there; smooth, with a medium body; dark caramel flavour comes through as it warms

Overall: love the smokey touch and interesting malt flavours, but the finish is almost too dry; makes you want to be sitting in a dark, rustic pub by the fire (616 characters)

Photo of dantheman13
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Disclaimer: I have no idea what I am doing with Scotch Ales at this point...

A: Pours a dark, rich looking reddish brown. Not much clarity, but thick and inviting. The head is small, maybe half of a finger, but constant in my tulip glass. The bubbles are small and creamy. Lots of carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass.

S: First impressions were light alcohol notes, followed by lots of breadiness.

T: Malty, very lightly bitter. Also slightly sweet, but the sweetness wears away as the beer is enjoyed. There is no presence of alcohol in the taste. As I drink this, I can really enjoy the rich malty flavor, combined with a proper amount of bitterness. The malt flavor in this beer is really well crafted. The bitterness lingers on the finish. With the bitterness and carbonation, the light sweetness finishes well with only an aftertaste, which I find enjoyable. I detect just a slight hint of vanilla in this, although that could be due to the wonderful mouthfeel of this beer.

M: This is perhaps my favorite thing about this beer. The mouthfeel is thick. The malt is sweeter than other styles, but too sweet at all, and so this thickness in the mouthfeel is quite enjoyable. It also contributes to the aftertaste of this beer, which I think is finely crafted.

O: Although this isn't my favorite style of beer, and there is nothing particularly special about this beer that stands out, it is very enjoyable. I would consider this to be a very casual beer, but flavorful enough to keep the pallet interested. (1,528 characters)

Photo of BBP
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish chesnut hue with a head and carbonation that doesn't give up. Some light lacing enhances the already solid appearance.

The aroma is fruity and malty at the same time. There's about half malt character and half seems to smell like apple and raisin.

The flavor seems fairly close to the aroma. The only addition I'd make is that the malt is far more dominant in the flavor especially in the aftertaste. The peat and spicy hops nearly bury the fruitiness in no time.

The mouthfeel is a bit light, but considerably full. Carbonation is very gentle and somewhat in the background. The finish is moderately dry and moderately sticky.

Overall, this beer exceeded my expectations a little. I thought a light Scotch Ale could very well be an accident waiting to happen, but this provides enough flavor to not let you down. I wish it did have a bit more intensity, but for a 7% beer it does alright. The fruitiness was also quite interesting. I'd recommend checking it out. (986 characters)

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Stonecutter from Renaissance Brewing
87 out of 100 based on 64 ratings.