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Stonecutter - Renaissance Brewing

Not Rated.
StonecutterStonecutter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

104 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 104
Reviews: 61
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 9.61%
Wants: 6
Gots: 6 | 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: 104 | Reviews: 61 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Sammy, Jun 07, 2011
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.89/5  rDev +1%
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.

UCLABrewN84, Nov 10, 2014
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

Phyl21ca, Jun 11, 2012
Photo of oberon
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

oberon, Feb 12, 2011
Photo of biboergosum
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

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.

biboergosum, Mar 06, 2013
Photo of Rifugium
3.85/5  rDev 0%
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.

Rifugium, Jun 09, 2012
Photo of kojevergas
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

B

kojevergas, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of wrightst
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

wrightst, Nov 11, 2014
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.15/5  rDev -18.2%
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.

lacqueredmouse, Jun 18, 2011
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
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

Mebuzzard, May 26, 2011
Photo of biegaman
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

biegaman, Oct 26, 2011
Photo of chinchill
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

chinchill, Jan 16, 2014
Photo of dmorgan310
4/5  rDev +3.9%

dmorgan310, Feb 28, 2012
Photo of Latarnik
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Latarnik, May 28, 2014
Photo of liamt07
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

liamt07, Oct 29, 2011
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

TheSevenDuffs, May 26, 2012
Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

avalon07, Mar 01, 2011
Photo of spinrsx
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

spinrsx, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of dgilks
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

dgilks, Jun 14, 2010
Photo of tbeckett
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

tbeckett, Dec 17, 2011
Photo of laituegonflable
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

laituegonflable, Jun 01, 2011
Photo of mrfrancis
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

mrfrancis, Nov 09, 2011
Photo of drpimento
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

drpimento, Aug 18, 2011
Photo of CrazyDavros
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

CrazyDavros, May 06, 2012
Photo of williamjbauer
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

williamjbauer, Aug 15, 2013
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Stonecutter from Renaissance Brewing
87 out of 100 based on 104 ratings.