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Stonecutter - Renaissance Brewing

StonecutterStonecutter

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

86 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 86
Reviews: 59
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 9.9%


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)
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Ratings: 86 | Reviews: 59 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of


3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2011 01:16:57 | More by
Photo of JohnnyBarman
JohnnyBarman

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +4.2%
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!

Serving type: bottle

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

Ontario (Canada)

3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2011 02:09:05 | More by hopsolutely
Photo of mrfrancis
mrfrancis

Kentucky

3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2011 13:45:21 | More by mrfrancis
Photo of BBP
BBP

Ontario (Canada)

3.88/5  rDev +1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2011 02:36:01 | More by BBP
Photo of thehyperduck
thehyperduck

Ontario (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2011 13:34:56 | More by andrenaline
Photo of GodOfBeer
GodOfBeer

Ontario (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
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!

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2011 01:28:46 | More by GodOfBeer
Photo of liamt07
liamt07

Ontario (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2011 16:35:10 | More by liamt07
Photo of WeedKing4
WeedKing4

Ontario (Canada)

3.8/5  rDev -1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2011 02:23:28 | More by WeedKing4
Photo of jrenihan
jrenihan

Ontario (Canada)

3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2011 01:22:26 | More by jrenihan
Photo of MattyV
MattyV

Ontario (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Ontario (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Ontario (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Australia

3.18/5  rDev -17.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2011 06:39:10 | More by heygeebee
Photo of drpimento
drpimento

Wisconsin

4/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2011 03:47:17 | More by drpimento
Photo of impending
impending

California

3.45/5  rDev -10.2%
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.
cheers
jd

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2011 00:26:57 | More by impending
Photo of dantheman13
dantheman13

Nevada

3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2011 03:15:48 | More by dantheman13
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.88/5  rDev +1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2011 03:18:28 | More by Sammy
Photo of Mebuzzard
Mebuzzard

Colorado

3.88/5  rDev +1%
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

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2011 07:20:38 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of avalon07
avalon07

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2011 13:05:42 | More by avalon07
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2011 22:04:03 | More by oberon
Photo of BeerNemesis
BeerNemesis

New York

3.88/5  rDev +1%
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

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2011 22:04:19 | More by BeerNemesis
Photo of dgilks
dgilks

Australia

3.4/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2010 06:18:48 | More by dgilks
Stonecutter from Renaissance Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 86 ratings.