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Stonecutter - Renaissance Brewing

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

64 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 64
Hads: 115
Avg: 3.88
pDev: 12.63%
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.
View: Beers (16) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 64 | Hads: 115
Photo of heygeebee
3.15/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours mahogany, half a finger head, dies quickly. Zero lace.

Malty on nose, dry, earthy. mrs heygeebee described it as a 'matte' aroma, not glossy.

Taste is dry malt, a little bitterness, lacking something.

Mouthfeel light/watery, thin for ABV.

Overall, better as it warms, but really so middle of the road flavour wise it just doesn't stand out.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.17/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tried at the Local Taphouse's Kiwi SpecTapular. Part of my ongoing effort to write up my reviews from that event.

Pours a deep bronze colour, with a fine head of white that sits strong and robust to begin with, but turns filmy rather disappointingly. Light body. Not a strong look for a scotch ale.

Nose is rather mild, with some cracked grain and a whiff of dry lucerne. Some biscuity characters, but not a lot else. It's quite mild, and very underwhelming.

Taste is light and reminiscent of an English Pale Ale. Mild and light, with a little toffee on the finish, that is indeed too little, too late. No hint of the 7% ABV, but giving a hint of it would have stopped this from being quite so insipid.

No, I'm afraid I'm not a great fan of this one. Too weak to be a proper Scotch ale.

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Photo of Timadae
3.4/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a deep garnet red colour with a head that fades quickly.

S- Aromas of toffee, nuts and brown bread with a hint of sweet single malt scotch.

T- Rich palate with initial prune and toffee notes running in to a dark chocolate and brown sugar note on the end. Fresh effervescent slightly dry finish with a metallic tang.

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Photo of dgilks
3.45/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Moderately strong toffee aroma with notes of toasted nut, milk chocolate and coconut. Nice.

Fairly clear, amber colour with a big, long lasting light tan head. Quite creamy in appearance.

I'm not so keen on the flavour. The big toffee flavour is slightly muted and feels a bit empty. There is a touch of oxidation and an emptiness to the whole beer which lets it down. Not as complex as it should be.

Medium-full body with moderate carbonation. Reasonable.

A reasonable attempt at the style. Unfortunately, there is no date on the bottle so I don't know how old it is but for a beer of this strength it tastes just a bit too oxidised given it has to be less that 18 months old.

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Photo of impending
3.47/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500ml into a tulip. Pours an opaque midnight mahogany, dense tan head is minor but retains well.

Aroma is complex. Charred bittersweet chocolate, nicely roasted backed by toffee, very nice.

Taste is a meld of a scotch ale and an imperial stout with a strong emphasis on the stout. The charred malts lead to a simply minor bitter aftertaste which lingers on the tongue a good while. The complexity of the nose is not carried through the taste which is relatively simple. Light bodied mouthfeel. If unbeknownst to me, I would never guess this was a scotch ale.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured an amber color ale with a medium size foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma of dry caramel malt with light cereal notes is pleasant though not as rich as I would have expected. Taste is also dominated by cereal notes with dry caramel grainy notes. Body is about average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Not bad though I prefer scotch ale sweeter and with bigger malt profile.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.52/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 1 | overall: 4

Pours brown with a large, growing head.
Nose shows chocolate, sultanas, caramel, and nutty malt. Pretty moreish.
Flavours include more caramel and chocolate alongside nutty malt. Quite sweet.
Spoiled a little by the excessively high carbonation though.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

500ml brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Disneyland thistle glass (it's the only thistle glass I have!) in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.

A: Pours a three finger head of great cream, nice full thickness and foam, and great retention. Colour is a solid black.

Sm: Heavy toasted malt, caramel, and biscuity bready notes. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Pleasant warm toasted malt alongside biscuity caramelized malt notes and a bit of bready cream. Rich and balanced, if a bit simply done for the style. It's everything you'd expect from a Scotch Ale, but it doesn't rise above expectations. Built well. An enjoyable Scotch Ale.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but with some hefty thickness that limits the drinkability. Suits the flavours well, and is to style.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable for the style. It's everything you'd expect, but nothing more. Fans of the style would do well to try this one.


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Photo of flyingpig
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle from Good Spirits Co, Glasgow (£5.80):
Quite a nice first beer from Renaissance Brewing for me, I'm never quite sure about Scotch Ales going in due to the fact that most of the mass-produced Scotch Ales out there are quite poor and loaded with alcohol, at least in my experience anyway but this one was a pleasant beer to sip away at. There was a lot going on, particularly with the smell but the beer had a good balance that stopped it from seeming overly sweet or sickening; good stuff but probably not one I'd be likely to pick up again.

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Photo of VitBAficionado
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown with deep red highlights at the edges. Medium creamy tan head. Nose of roasted malts, chocolate and liquorice. Taste is dominated by a grainy roasted malt backbone accompanied by sweeter caramel notes and some chocolate. Bitter raisin giving way to slightly alcoholic finish. A bit thin. A little too unruly but not a bad brew at all.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.69/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a rich red colour. Head is beige, whispy, really, with disappointing lace. Good colour, bit underwhelmed by everything else.

Smells malty. Lots of English toffee with slight vanilla notes. Cedar wood and pine add some interest, and decent scotch ale smell anyway.

Taste is quite scotchy, really. Lots of caramel fudge and toffee upfront, gets boozey midway but enjoyable woody notes and a slight burnt sugar character that verges on bitter late. Pleasant, not too heavy, not too sweet either.

Lots of body as one would expect, but not too syrupy. Decent.

Yeah, I can't feign a great fondness for the scotch ale style, and I think Renaissance have done a good job toning down the potentially more extreme aspects, just leaving the nice aspects, the sweet booziness without the hot syrupy aspects.

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Photo of oberon
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another New Zealand brewery now available here in NC.Poured into my Isle of Arran glass a mix of ruby and russet with a one finger toasted almond colored head.Aromas are kinda muted,some light peat smoke and cocoa powder are what I picked up on most.Somewhat different on the palate than expected,its quite earthy and dry,cocoa powder in the finish,seems to be almost American in its rendition.It does have a full chewey feel but it lacks the deep fruity flavors that I like in the style.Its a good beer but maybe a bit off on the style in my opinion.

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Photo of REDAMI
3.74/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 16.9oz bottle into Chimay goblet.

A - Hazy, medium to dark brown pour with thick, highly-laced, souffle-like head.

S - Peaty malt, funky yeast, bread, toffee, raisins.

T - Rum raisin, toffee notes, smoke and peat.

M - Smooth, rich, but not cloying. Thins on the palate to a dry finish.

More complex than many of the scotch ales. An interesting and intriguing beer overall. Not the best, but worth trying.

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Photo of brendan13
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a dark brown with ruby red highlights when held up to light. A 2cm beige head falls away fairly quickly and leaves a bit of lacing.
S - Smell is all about the dark fruit and is backed up by some caramel maltiness.
T - Dark fruit also comes through very strongly in the taste and has some caramel sweetness as well as a herbal/earthy touch.
M - Medium to full bodied with a fairly low carbonation.
D - Not something I'd drink heaps of but a fairly decent beer and example of the style. I'd drink it again.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On-tap 12/1/2014 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a medium brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains brown sugar, caramelized malts, some vanilla, some fruit and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel and vanilla that are quickly followed by a significant smokiness. There are some background flavors of fruit and caramel. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle to brandy snifter.

A - Medium to dark amber with only a very small amount of light passing through around the edges. A huge amount of thick, foamy cream coloured head formed on the pour and quickly receded to about a finger's width.

S - Dark caramel, toffee and a very light peat aroma. There is a slight metallic aroma in the background that is a touch off-putting.

T - A big sweetness up front that gives way to whisky, smoky and stone fruit flavours (raisin/dates/figs). Plenty of sweet dark caramel, burnt sugar and toffee notes. The alcohol is slightly warming and cuts through the sweetness very well.

M - Medium to full body with a very nice chew. Moderate carbonation.

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Photo of WeedKing4
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark reddish amber with a decent amount of head. Tastes of toffee, slight caramal and a heavy malt backbone. Interesting flavour up front, but it could use a little more on the finish. Drinks pretty smooth overall though, and there is no hint of the 7%. Interesting scotch ale.

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Photo of jrenihan
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best before June 20, 2012.

Pours a very dark ruby red. With a vigorous pour, I get a moderate sized off-white head. Pretty good retention. Decent lacing.

Smell is very big. Burnt toffee, caramel, raisin, prune, smoke, wood and bread. Booze is noticeable as well, thought it is not an overly strong beer.

Taste is a bit more subdued than the smell, though still very flavourful. Smoky burnt toffee flavours are upfront, peaty. The dark fruit (raisin/prune) from the nose is greatly reduced. Caramel malt. Alcohol is quite noticeable- would have pegged it at higher than 7%, as the booze is more present than in many stronger beers. Some chocolate flavours are present.

Pretty full bodied, but feels lighter than expected from the big smell. Moderate carbonation. Rather chewy.

I have not had many scotch ales, but this is pretty good. The smell a bit more exciting than the taste, but definitely an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of tbeckett
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a hazy dark amber colour. Bright with strong carbonation coming up. A great two fingers of fluffy eggshell head. Great thick rings of lace coating the glass. Half finger of thin retention.

S - Amazing dark fruits with strong plum obvious. Slightly weak whiskey.

T - Lot's of caramel, a rough yeast character, fruits, less dark fruits. More mild, less interesting fruity notes than the aroma.

M - Nice carbonation, good coating with a medium body.

O/D - Good up until the taste really. Not that it wasn't good, just nothing I would really seek out. Nice to drink and tasty, but nothing to write home about.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml Bottle

Appearance - Slightly hazy reddish/copper colour with a small size fizzy beige coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some faint lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes.

Smell - Malts, caramel, butterscotch, raisins, leather

Taste & Mouth - There is a low amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel and butterscotch. There are also notes of dark fruits such as raisins and maybe some dates. There is also an earthiness and a touch of leather and chocolate. It ends with a dark fruit and malty sweet aftertaste.

Overall - There is quite a bit of taste going on with this one. It keeps it interesting throughout the glass. It's not my favourite style of beer, but I'm glad I gave it a try.

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Photo of hopsolutely
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A cloudy red-brown amber, with clear red highlights at the glassfront but opaque when held up to light. Limited cappuccino coloured head. Carbonation level is pleasant and mouthfeel leans towards oiliness, albeit without a "coating" feeling afterwards.

Aroma hits the style dead-on, very malt-heavy with the oak, peat, bourbon and barrel notes associated with "Scotch ale". Flavours follow suit with a smoky, bitter finish. The beer's 7% ABV warming alcohol is great for a cool night.

Not my favourite style, but I'd consider this an excellent example of it.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Farmers' Cabinet, Philly, PA

This will go down as my first beer from the fine nation of New Zealand, and I'm glad to have had it on tap. Dark mahogany-maroon color, almost gem-like, with a small cap of off-white head that receded to a thin ringlet. Aroma is basically caramel malts and a touch of smoke. Smooth on the palate, caramel, wort, smoked malts, dark fruits, mineral, cocoa powder, toasted wood. Body was about medium, and it went down smooth with really nothing to offend the senses.

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Photo of TheHammer
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Who controls the British crown? Who keeps the metric system down? I really expected to see that Stonecutter double claw hammer for this beer as the label. Oh well.

Appearance: Solid two fingers of head that produced decent lace and retained very well. The body is a dark ruby color whose body boasts steady carbonation but quite a bit of fine sediment as well.

Smell: There is a lot there but it's subdued. Warming really is a must here. A powerful thick caramel malt dominates the nose with dates, berries, walnuts and tea with a note of smoke.

Taste: Rich caramel malt with fruity berries and dates that give way to a somewhat overly powerful smokey roasted chestnut taste with a touch of plum and raisins. The smoke consistently stays around as a kick of rather bitter tea and slightly peaty hops finishes it off.

Mouthfeel: It does start to cloy a bit on the back of the tongue after a while, and the bitter hit at the end doesn't know when to leave. Sweet malt burps and nice carbonation and nice, almost sweeping transitions offer a good tradeoff though.

Drinkability: The cloying needs to go, and while it's left me burping, the after effects are pleasant. It's medium bodied so I wouldn't pack it away all night, but certain a good jumping off point or finishing touch. I can really see this going well with lamb.

Final Thoughts: Who keeps Atlantis off the maps? I'll stop, but much like this line of the song, this beer is surprisingly off the map it would seem, which is a shame because it is quite good. It's certainly not one of my top beers, but it's pretty solid all around. Good job New Zealand, I really hope this beer wasn't brewed to make me crave New Zealand lamb though.

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Photo of BeerNemesis
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stonecutter | 500 ml. | 7.0% ABV | Q4 2010

Brewer: Renaissance Brewing
Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
Glass: Pint glass

|---<~>---| APPEARANCE |:
It pours clear maroon with a lackluster head.

|---<~>---| AROMA |:
Thick and rich, roasted malts predominate, backed by a chocolate powder and dark fruit scent.

|---<~>---| TASTE |:
A roasted malt base--toasted grains, caramel, and hints of chocolate come through--sits under a thin layer of jelly preserve--plum or cherry, plump raisins, and a sprinkling of dry spices. Hops are light, provided only the slightest edge of bitterness.

|---<~>---| MOUTHFEEL |:
Medium-bodied and crisp. It has a balanced feel in the mouth.

|---<~>---| HARMONY |:
It's quite enjoyable as a sipping beer. It's chalky sweetness is nicely balanced with bitterer flavors and the aftertaste is pleasing.

Would I get it again?:
No. It's fine, but I've had better Scotch Ales.

Bottled: ?
Served: January 31, 2011

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.86/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I love the bottle and the label; states it's basically a malt bomb. Can't wait.

Nice looking beer. Dark brown, rich off-brown head. A bit murky, but overall fairly clean.

Aroma is malt, smoke, caramel and some soft earthy spice. The malt is sweet and smoked, some chocolate, some caramel. Sweet bread, almost sticky.

While this is not a malt bomb, it sure isn't shy with the malt. I think it's just right---for my taste--with perhaps a bit of a short fall on the sweetness. Smoke and caramel dominate without being over the top, this is a Scotch ale after all. Baked cocoa and a bit of green twig. The smoke is noticeable throughout.

The mouthfeel is a bit thin, which belies the malt a bit. Not as chewy as I had hoped. Nonetheless, this is a very nice beer

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