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Stonecutter - Renaissance Brewing

Not Rated.
StonecutterStonecutter

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

95 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 95
Reviews: 59
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 9.66%
Wants: 6
Gots: 5 | 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: 95 | Reviews: 59 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mintjellie
4/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

mintjellie, Feb 10, 2012
Photo of
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

, Feb 03, 2012
Photo of KevinSP
3/5  rDev -21.7%

KevinSP, Feb 01, 2012
Photo of beerhunter13
2.5/5  rDev -34.7%

beerhunter13, Jan 25, 2012
Photo of kojevergas
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
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 spinrsx
3.83/5  rDev 0%
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 WeissBoy
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

WeissBoy, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of tbeckett
3.75/5  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.

tbeckett, Dec 17, 2011
Photo of Conrad
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

Conrad, Dec 10, 2011
Photo of falcon1
4/5  rDev +4.4%

falcon1, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of jsnoek
4/5  rDev +4.4%

jsnoek, Nov 23, 2011
Photo of RedAleMan
4/5  rDev +4.4%

RedAleMan, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of JohnnyBarman
4/5  rDev +4.4%
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!

JohnnyBarman, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of hopsolutely
3.83/5  rDev 0%
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.

hopsolutely, Nov 10, 2011
Photo of mrfrancis
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
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 BBP
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

BBP, Nov 09, 2011
Photo of thehyperduck
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

thehyperduck, Nov 08, 2011
Photo of andrenaline
4/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

andrenaline, Nov 05, 2011
Photo of GodOfBeer
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
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!

GodOfBeer, Nov 05, 2011
Photo of liamt07
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
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 WeedKing4
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

WeedKing4, Oct 29, 2011
Photo of jrenihan
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

jrenihan, Oct 28, 2011
Photo of MattyV
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

MattyV, Oct 27, 2011
Photo of biegaman
4.1/5  rDev +7%
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
Stonecutter from Renaissance Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 95 ratings.