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Stonecutter - Renaissance Brewing

Not Rated.
StonecutterStonecutter

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BA SCORE
87
very good

64 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 64
Hads: 114
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 6.67%
Wants: 7
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 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 mrfrancis
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (703 characters)

Photo of laituegonflable
3.69/5  rDev -5.4%
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. (805 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 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 jrenihan
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
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. (920 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 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 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 mdagnew
4.36/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle bought online from Beermerchants.com

Poured a crystal clear coppery russet colour. Light tan head poured tight, thick and foamy then faded to decent wispy covering with thick edging... light carbonation drifts slowly to the surface... some patchy lacing lines...

Aroma - Roasted caramel malts, dried and alcohol soaked dark fruits (raisins, dates, figs and some sour apples), burnt nuttiness, light peaty smoke, vanilla, earthy notes, quite spicy and peppery, some oaky / scotch / rum traces, floral honey...

Taste – Lots of strong toffee malts, brown sugar / treacle sweetness, lots of peppery spiciness, (over?) ripe fruit - dates, figs, some banana. Faint smokiness, toasted bread, toffee apples, definite scotch alcohol notes coming through, very light grassy hop bitterness, nutty...

Feel - Very smooth and creamy... medium bodied... a pretty quaffable brew even at 7% although you never forget that the alcohol is there...

Overall - An excellent example of a wee heavy... perfect for a cold winters evening... recommended... (1,049 characters)

Photo of flyingpig
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
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. (554 characters)

Photo of ckollias
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours dark amber hue with ruby highlights and a large tan head that slowly dissipates down the side of the glass, leaving a decent trail and ending in a wispy lace.

S: Toffee and caramel aroma with hints of raisins.

T: Flavor comes through similar to the smell with a malty toffee and caramel taste. Hints of chocolate and raisins in the background.

M: Full body and medium carbonation.

O: Excellent Scotch Ale. Warming and rich and just enough alcohol. (511 characters)

Photo of thehyperduck
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
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. (1,704 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 heygeebee
3.15/5  rDev -19.2%
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. (350 characters)

Photo of hopsolutely
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
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. (560 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 brendan13
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
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. (514 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 impending
3.47/5  rDev -11%
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 (571 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 hunteraw
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ordered at brew quay in Auckland.

Appearance: Dark brown, rub highlights. Attractive, high head with good retention and leaving plentiful lacing.

Smell: rich and malty, with dark fruits and a hint of peat in the background. Very earthy. More and more cocoa powder as it warms, German chocolate cake comes to mind.

Taste: Well balanced malt centric beer, with enough bitterness to keep things from getting overly sweet. Toffee, roast, cocoa, raisins and what seems to be a touch of smoke.

Mouthfeel: medium body, carbonation reasonable and creamy. finishes dry.

Drinkability: very good, one of the best nz beers I have tried (628 characters)

Photo of seedyone
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

From bottle at Home. WOW! This is a big, impressive beer.

Deep bronze/copper colored liquid topped with a floating island of thick rich foam filled my glass.

The malty aroma manages to get through the one inch head. Super flavors of the malts reach out and nearly drag you in & then leave you with a slight peaty after taste. Up on the sweetness but not overbearingly so. No bite & no bitter.

The texture matches the appearance. Rich & lux.

Stonecutter, I welcome you. You're a long way from NZ & I'm truly glad you made the trip.

Without a doubt I will be watching for some of the other offerings from Renaissance Brewing.

Just saw the "type" listing: "wee heavy"? There's naught wee here, IMO. (705 characters)

Photo of TheHammer
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
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. (1,696 characters)

Photo of CanuckRover
4.41/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours near-black red... at the right angle it's a dark, dark, dark, garnet. My bottle gives off a massive, rocky, rollicking, mocha head, that puffs up out of my Duvel tulip. Lacings are thick and sticky, like an icecream float.

I don't like Scotch in the least, so the aroma of this actually has me worried. Refined, comforting smoke, like from a wood-burning stove. A bit of alcohol lingering behind the smokey malt. Actually had to check the bottle again to make sure this didn't have a shot or two in it.

Just a masterwork in malt blending. Smooth up front, ripe red fruit gradually melds with sweet toffee, which gives way to chocolate covered cherries. Smokey finish with just the slightest bitterness, not acrid in the least.

Mouthfeel is pretty much spot on, at times I think a touch too much carbonation, but I'm being nitpicky.

A brilliant go at the style. A must try for malt fiends. (902 characters)

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