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Craftsman - Renaissance Brewing

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

43 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 43
Hads: 85
Avg: 3.82
pDev: 18.59%
Wants: 2
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Renaissance Brewing visit their website
New Zealand (Aotearoa)

Style | ABV
Oatmeal Stout |  4.90% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ADZA on 12-15-2009

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (16) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 43 | Hads: 85
Photo of pkalix
4.81/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

super dark brown, small head on top.
smell is good chocolate.
taste is AWESOME. INCREDIBLE. I love this stuff. this is gulpable and enjoyable like a malt. yeah, I know, do not gulp your beer. but this stuff is really good, easy to drink, and easier to gulp that any of the American comparable 5% commercial brews. super smooth. and, actually, my bottle says 5.6%.... what a nice surprise! this stuff is GREAT!!!! recommended highly....

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Photo of dgilks
4.67/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A-fricken-mazing. Pitch black with a nice chocolate brown head. Nice lacing. Really tasty, milk chocolate and cocoa flavour with a hint of coffee. Well rounded flavour. Good chocolate aroma. Not a lot else there but I don't want anymore. Medium body with moderate carbonation. Tasty.

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Photo of biegaman
4.57/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What's black, white and delicious all over? Renaissance Craftsman. OK, well, not actually white, its head is admittedly as dark as some coffees. It manages an impressively foamy texture for the better part of the tasting. Opaque, onyx - this is the poster boy for stouts everywhere.

The aromatic presence of authentic, rich cocoa cannot be embellished. Holy cow! It is enlivening. There is nothing discreet about the chocolate and vanilla in this nose, one of the few that manages to feature more actual chocolate than roasted grain. Although entirely straight-forward, the bouquet is underpinned by an espresso-like sophistication. Head-spinning.

Despite boasting a deep, dark core of heavy roast coffee, cocoa nibs and vanilla pod, Craftsman doesn't pack a big punch. In fact, its broad-shouldered flavours are incredibly well-detailed and possess an ultra silky mid-palate texture (like reduced balsamic), despite the overlaying soft, sooty bitterness. On the palate it is rich, round and solidly intense without showing too much muscularity or decadence.

Craftsman is truly a stout for stout makers. Despite focusing so heavily on the cocoa, it is nonetheless a wonderfully complete recipe. It is rich and gratifying without being too heavy or astringent. It has deft traces of a dry oak-y element that accompanies the firmly structured, slowly building finish. It hovers on the palate without being too imposing. Just lovely.

The scores posted above were granted without hesitation. This chocolate-oatmeal stout has mind-blowing, broad-scaled cocoa qualities and strikes a remarkable balance between intensity and mellowness. This is only my second Renaissance Brewing offering but I'm already calling these guys 'gurus' and am now officially a card-carrying member of their fan-club, whatever the costs.

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Photo of brendan13
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured into a pint glass a very dark brown, virtually opaque with a dense 2cm tan head that slowly falls away.
S - Chocolate sweetness with some light coffee & roasted barley hints.
T - Taste mimicks the smell with a lot of bittersweet chocolate & roasted coffe qualities.
M - Higher side of medium bodied with a smooth creamy mouthfeel.
D - More please. Yes, this is a great beer.

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Photo of wvsabbath
4.4/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving Type - 16.9 oz bottle

Appearance - Dark black/tan with a monser 4+ inch head and tons of sticky lacing.

Smell - Dark roasted malts, smoke, coffee, chocolate, Molassess, dark fruits like rasin and plum. Some added brown sugars, some vanilla and oatmeal round this out. Wow.

Taste - Very roasty, coffee malts up front. Smooth, sweet and chocolate influenced. Bitter fruits add citric flavors mixed with smoke and oatmeal stout flavor. Low alcohol elminates any alcohol. Added molasses and brown sugar balances out the bitter stout/oatmeal flavor.

Mouthfeel - Tounge gets the malts, coffee and chocolate at first sip. Palate gets more malts. coffee and alot of the molasses and sugars. Afertaste is malty, sweet and smokey.

Overall - This is really tastly. The main issue is the price, way overpriced for only being just above a 12 oz beer. The Balance this beer has, along with being such a low alcohol beer is amazing. Minus the price this a world class beer and a must try for any stout fan.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.37/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark brown, almost black, with a finger of thick frothy chocolate colored head. The head fades down very slowly leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of roasted bittersweet chocolate, vanilla, coffee, oats, and a bit of dark fruits.

T - Starts off with some roasted bittersweet chocolate with a bit of vanilla and dark fruit sweetness. Through the middle, some roasted coffee flavor comes through alongside some oats. The finish is a mix of roasted cocoa and coffee with a bit of vanilla and dark fruit.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels super smooth with a sweet and chocolate finish.

D - Very drinkable. Really great chocolate oatmeal stout. The flavors are really nicely balanced with great body and mouthfeel.

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Photo of 50wolves
4.23/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - pours dark with small foamy brown head. Aroma - smells pleasant to the nose. Taste - chocolatey flavour. Feel - very silky smooth this is the most notable element of the beer. Overall - very refined beer, I appreciate this.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
4.16/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a tan head.
Nose shows chocolate, oatmeal, raosted malt, tiramisu, cocoa. Great.
Similar flavours, very tiramisu-like. coffee, cocoa, sweet oat/biscuity notes. Finishes with some dry roasted malt.
Could use a thicker body.
Pretty awesome.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle, back label says 5.6% ABV. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown/black. The head was huge, as the brew foamed up like crazy when I tried to pour it into the glass. So after letting it settle and after multiple small pours, I was able to get a mostly full glass to drink after a few minutes. The brew smells like roasted malt, milk and bittersweet chocolate, vanilla, oats and a bit of coffee. Taste is pretty much the same as the aroma, althought I think the chocolate flavor leans more towards sweet milk chocolate. There's also a bit of charred/burnt malt noticeable. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's slick and creamy, and also has high but soft carbonation. I think it's a good overall brew, I just would like for the carbonation to be lower. But other than that, I liked it a lot.

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Photo of Quartermaine
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served into a tulip glass at my local. Poured very dark, almost pitch black with no discernible colour highlights even when held to direct light. Slightly rocky head, chocolate cream colour, dissipating quickly.
The aroma is striking and delicious! Crumbled milk chocolate, more so than dark. Certainly a faint hop note. It beckons a taste immediately.
The chocolate note continues strongly in the taste, growing darker and more bitter but hold its balance. Roasty but not overpowering. Faint hints of dark dried fruit, maybe muscatels, aids in the complexity. Lingering hop bitterness certainly pushes you to another sip and aids in good drinkability. Mouthfeel is excellent for my taste, certainly weighty as provided by the oatmeal addition.

Overall a very well presented beer that tastes and smells as good as any chocolate stouts I have had, if not better.

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Photo of korguy123
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pitch black, porter like pour. Two and a half finger tan head. Thick and foamy leaving sheets of glorious lacing on the glass.

Dark bitter chocolate, dark roasted coffee, brown sugar and definite oatmeal. Brown sugar, vanilla and sight char.

Dark chocolate, burnt coffee and a wallop of delicious oat flakes. The flavor from the oatmeal really compliments the chocolate and bitter coffee presence. There is a touch of molasses with some black licorice.

Light to medium body, carbonation is a little high.

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Photo of liamt07
4.09/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from the LCBO, 500ml into a tulip.

Black, deep purple translucency at the corners. This lighter brown head, even with an aggressive pour. Some darker fruits, hints of vanilla and roasted malt notes on the nose. Taste has cocoa powder, milk chocolate, again a hint of vanilla and softer roasted notes. Quite a bit of chocolate all around, and is prominent in the finish as well. Medium feel, lower carbonation as expected from the pour but sits pretty well as is for what I appreciate in the style. Quite a nice chocolate-y oatmeal stout and thankfully avoids being as metallic as others have reported.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sample I got fizzed quite a bit, if not volcanically, so have a towel handy. It pours a warm sable with a very thick, fluffy, rather persistent tan head. Rick, smoky aroma has notes of quality coffee, semi-sweet chocolate, caramel and brown sugar with some nutty and earthy hints.. Slightly powdery texture has average body but plenty of fizz, and leaves a chocolaty, earthy finish. Overall, a well-crafted beer.

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Photo of ADZA
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew is actually labeled as a "Chocolate Oatmeal Stout" with a quote underneath on the front label stating that it is "intense,smooth and mellow" and it pours a dark,dark jet black colour with nice carbonation that leaves a two finger fast vanishing head with average lacing here and there,the aroma is very intense dark chocolate and some mellow coffee with a feint touch of hops,it has a nice weighty mouthfeel as to be expected for the style with big tastes of dark chocolate which is the predominant taste and it finishes with some nice mellow fruity hops but not overly noticable at all only to a microbrewer drinker's nose,this is definately a brew that's worthwhile a visit if you can find it and hope that i can revisit this brew in the winter as i reckon ill appreciate it way more.

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Photo of decimator
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into a pint glass. ABV 4.9%.

A - Poured a dark brown to black with a 1cm light brown head. Good lacing.

S - Dark chocolate, toasts, coffee, bit of earth.

T - Follows the aroma. Toasted grains, dark chocolate, coffee, hint of sour in the middle, bitter finish.

M - Medium carbonation, medium body, slick, crisp finish.

O - Good stout which I'll certainly procure again if possible.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - thick pitch black, short mocha head dissipated to a few random islands
S - chocolate, dusty grains, and big roastiness with just a touch of pepper
T - big dry dark chocolatey hit, complimentary roastiness, rich grainy oatmeal, light coal background
M - a big medium body, well carbonated, slight cocoa chaulkiness, finishes slightly dry but full
O - very tasty with a strong chocolate presence which I always really appreciate, approachable enough to be enjoyed by many

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Photo of spinrsx
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml Bottle from the Otttawa LCBO for 6$

Appearance - Black/Brown colour with with an average size fizzy/frothy light brown head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some great lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, nuts

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and some roasted/toasted nuts. There is also some light coffee flavour and a bit of a graininess. It ends with a chocolatey sweet aftertaste.

Overall - Like peensteen mentioned, it really tastes like a liquid chocolate bar. A really impressive beer that tastes like it was made with high quality ingredients. The price tag is a tad high but it's well worth it.

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Photo of LampertLand
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Renaissance Brewing 'Craftsman' Choc Oatmeal Stout @ 4.9% , served from a 500 ml bottle purchased for $8

A-pour is a dark brown from the bottle to near black in the glass with some ruby red peeking thru with a small tan head leaving a minimal lace along the pint

S-roasted coffee , hints of chocolate

T-rich ! smooth & creamy tasting stout with a bitter coffee finish

MF-good carbonation , feels bigger than a medium body , dry bitterness on my palate

Ov-good beer , definate dessert beer , worth looking for

prost LampertLand

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Photo of andrenaline
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pumped to find this locally, especially in the beer starved North...

A - Pours pitch black, finger of mocha head with some retention and no real lacing.

S - Scent is dominated by milk chocolate, dark cocoa, espresso and a hint of burnt tobacco.

T - Nice milk chocolate and dark cocoa notes, the leafy green hop notes and a touch of tobacco smoke. The cocoa lingers on the palette with some espresso and spent coffee grinds.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and creamy and a touch of dryness on the finish.

O - So glad this made it to Northern Ontario, a great oatmeal stout with great chocolate undertones. Loads of flavour and well worth trying to get your hands on a bottle.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared by argo0. Thanks man!

The beer is dark chestnut brown with a tall mocha head. The aroma offers chocolate, vanilla, subtle coffee. Smells nice. The flavor is smooth and easy drinking. Light sweetness throughout, maybe some hazelnuts. Sweet chocolates and roasted malt. Fairly low carbonation. Overall, this was solid.

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Photo of peensteen
3.99/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown in colour, near black, light ring of tan coloured head, no lace at all. Smell is chocoalte and roast malt, bits of smoke, vanilla and some coffee as well, quite a nice rich nose. Taste has more coffee flavour than the nose indicates, milky chocolate, some roasty/smokey flavours but really chocolatey, finishes with a light burnt/roasted flavour. Light carbonation, medium weight, smooth and satisfying across the palate. Nice easy drinking stout that goes down like a liquid chocolate bar.

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Photo of Digimaika2
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(4.5) A: Pitch black with a beautiful and creamy mocha coloured foam head. Very good retention and lacing. This appearance is what all oatmeal stouts should strive for.

(4.0) S: Bitter dark chocolate, pronounced oatmeal aroma, caramel, and dry cocoa. Quite a smooth and refined aroma that displays each individual aroma exceptionally well.

(4.0) T: Dark chocolate bar and cocoa powder upfront that leads into a moist oatmeal flavour and finishes with a herbal anise flavour on the backend. Mild citrus-like hops are present just enough to keep this light and refreshing. Very delicious.

(3.5) M: Light bodied with a moderate carbonation. Not quite as oily and rich as I would’ve preferred but still more than acceptable with a syrupy and velvet-like texture.

(4.0) D: Very glad I tried this and would definitely recommend to others. One of the best oatmeal stouts I’ve experienced to date. Not quite on the same level as St. Ambroise or Wolaver's but very close and very tasty.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Single bottle from the LCBO in Uptown. Been looking forward to something else from Renaissance after last year's release.

When I opened the bottle, what spewed forth was a foamy mess, as if I had shaken the bottle vigorously before pouring. After an emergency glass grab and a few minutes of slow pouring and waiting, I managed to pour the contents into a respectable-looking pint. After the brew settled, the result was a truly All-Black brew, with only a few hints of caramel around the edges of the glass. The foamy head survived for quite some time, forming a sturdy off-white cap. Nice lacing as well.

Nice hearty stout nose to this: roasted malt, caramel, coffee, dark chocolate, a woody tartness, a bit of fruit. It reminds me somewhat of a porter.

Nice chocolate character to this brew, though it is by no means sweet. Roasted malt, a touch of caramel, oak, dry dark chocolate, oatmeal. The body is creamy and mild, with the oatmeal character smoothing out the mouthfeel. It's a bit thin, but this might be due to that carbonation burn-off so I'll have to try this again to be really sure.

Nice stout, good chocolate flavour. A bit pricey, but certainly worth picking up!

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Photo of biboergosum
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle. It may be a hot, stuffy August day, but night has fallen, and things have cooled off. So, time for stout, methinks. No, me wants.

This beer pours a solid black, with minor basal cola highlights, and two fingers of wanly foamy, fairly bubbly beige head, which leaves a low meniscus of side-hugging lace literally around the glass as it quickly blows off.

It smells of chalky cocoa, mildly bittersweet coffee beans, lightly roasted caramel malt, milk chocolate, and earthy, leafy hops. The taste is grainy, biscuity caramel malt, a sort of Coffee Crisp coffee/chocolate candy bar sweetness, a bit of glutenous breakfast oatmeal, and a hint of licorice and vanilla cafe side bar additives.

The bubbles are pretty laid-back and inert, the body a decently hefty medium weight, and pleasantly smooth, with a timid creaminess. It finishes on the sweet side, just, as the cocoa, coffee, vanilla, and anise flavours all hitch the same ride out of town.

A pretty tasty, and generally enjoyable oatmeal stout, with enough unheralded offsets to the sweetness to make this a serious go. Not heavy, nicely representative of the style, and surely worthy of revisiting come more autumnal weather.

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Photo of bnes09
3.89/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Pitch black with no light showing through. Head looks like a tan colored mountain range that settles in a circle around the glass. Leaves a solid half finger of head behind throughout the entire drink and coats the glass in a creamy lustrous lacing that never fades.

Rich toffee, roasted oats, almonds and chocolately aroma. Very intriguing.

Dense malt backbone of toasted wheat and oats with sweet caramel and toffee. Roasted character of espresso, almonds and rich, dark chocolate. Mild earthy hop, just enough to balance.

Medium bodied with a smooth, rich feel. Then the bubbles hit your tongue. The carbonation completely ruins the entire experience with an over-the-top, harsh, cloying flash of enormous, soda-like bubbles that immediately create a layer of foam that coats the roof of your mouth, even from a gentle (and small) sip.

I have never given a beer such a low rating based on mouth feel (specifically carbonation) alone but it really is that important. Once you get past the bubbles, the aftertaste is very pleasant and balanced. Worth a try, just bare in mind, the CO2 will destroy you!

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Craftsman from Renaissance Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.