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

500ml bottle poured into a duvel glass

Deep red amber with a large rocky beige head. Very decent retention and lacing.

Aromas of shortbread, uncooked bread dough and toasted malt. A little subdued here.

The palate is a little more promising with toffee and chocolate bursting forward. Blueberry jam and salted caramel aswell.

Mouthfeel feels a little thin and watered down.

Solid beer. Renaissance seems to do really nice malty beers. I would buy this again.

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Photo of Sammy
3.87/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A pleasure to have this beer, spot on the style. Reddish brown, no head in sight. A nose of fruit, chocolate, sherry, mild booziness. Soft mouthfeel; rich malting. Very drinkable, hops are felt mid-sip through the finish. Lovely.Bottle from Premiere Gourmet.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.87/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle pour at Shelton Brothers The Festival 2014 held at Crafted in San Pedro, CA.

Pours a hazy dark orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, and nut aromas. Taste is much the same with smoke, malt, and caramel flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of smoke bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that has a nice mix of smoke and caramel aspects.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of BBP
3.88/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of mrfrancis
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep ruddy amber with a compact, creamy beige mousse.

S: Very malty and fruity on the nose with aromas of toffee, heavy cream, plums, and cocoa readily discernible.

T: Notes of toffee, brown sugar, heavy cream, coffee, cocoa, leather, plums, chestnuts, and peat are underscored by a subtle hoppiness. The finish is extremely rich and malty with toffee, cocoa, leather, and cream notes.

M: Full bodied and chewy. Carbonation is very gentle and not all that noticeable unless you're looking for it. Off-dry, but neither oily nor sticky.

O: This is a very good take on the classic Scotch ale/wee heavy style that sets itself apart by demonstrating a delicate balance of malt and hop flavors.

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Photo of BGDrock
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
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

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Photo of dantheman13
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of irishevans
3.91/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of mintjellie
3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of liamt07
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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