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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 JohnnyBarman
4/5  rDev +3.1%
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!

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Photo of hunteraw
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
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

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Photo of seedyone
4.5/5  rDev +16%

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.

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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 CanuckRover
4.41/5  rDev +13.7%
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.

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Photo of TubaManJack
4.01/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A 500ml bottle into a tight necked glass.
Appearance- A dark caramel brown, slight amber highlights. A nice 1/2` creamy retaining head. Slight carbonation. Appropriately limited lacing, keeping the brew for drinking and not stranded on the sides of my glass.
Smell- A real strong malt nose. There is some peat and sweet fruit notes. Maybe the slightest spice from hops.
Taste- A real strong malt body and slight caramel notes. A end note of dark cocoa and slightly sweet dates. However mostly exuded a roasted flavor.
Mouthfeel- Initially a medium bodied brew that began thick and somewhat chewy towards the end as it warms. The carbonation is appropriate. The ABV is warming and slightly present in the background.
Drinkability- Very Nice, however 500ml was perfect for me. This beer stacks up very well against the Belhaven Lines and other Wee Heavy beers.

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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 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 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 GodOfBeer
4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
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!

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Photo of bryehn
4.09/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, copper-amber colour with a medium tan head. Good retention, minor lacing.

The aroma is fantastic. Dates, wood, a slight smoky texture and caramel. Notes of berries and nuts too.

Hearty, woody taste, with nuts and milk chocolate rounding out the body. The finish is dry.

Full-bodied with a low carbonation, bread and syrup qualities on the tongue. Finish has a cigar smoke character.

Very nice sipping beer, will try again if I come across it.

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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 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 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 MattyV
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of Kartoffeln
4.09/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

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Photo of Conrad
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An excellent brew. Nice deep copper-mahogany colour, lovely foam that lasted and left fine lacing. Aroma of dark fruit and toasted malt. Taste: Good balance of malt and yeasty hops, with lots of complex notes that I couldn't name. (My palate is not as refined as some). Mouthfeel is perfect. Not too watery or too thick and creamy. Finish is long and smooth, with a voice telling me to go have another. A favourite, but too expensive to be my regular tipple. If you're going to buy me a beer, make it a Stonecutter.

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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 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 nztayls
4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very dark brown with touches of red. A medium mocha head forms, though this quickly dissipates leaving some foam around the edge of the glass.

S - Sweet toffee smell, some very faint peaked-malt aroma. Little to no hop aroma.

T - Sweet toffee malt notes with a very subtle but noticeable peaked malt undertone that immediately takes me back to thoughts of Laphroig Malt Whisky. Very little bitterness

M - Soft medium-body mouthfeel.

O - This is a very drinkable Scottish Ale that has just enough peaked malt to be noticeable - without being overbearing. A great drink to have on a cold winter night when the rain is beating down on the roof.

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