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Samuel Adams Stony Brook Red (Barrel Room Collection) - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Stony Brook Red (Barrel Room Collection)Samuel Adams Stony Brook Red (Barrel Room Collection)

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BA SCORE
85
very good

694 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 694
Reviews: 240
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 15.2%
Wants: 39
Gots: 91 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 10-30-2009

Aged in oak barrels; hand-bottled corked & caged; bottled-conditioned. A greater percentage of "Cosmic Mother Funk" was blended into this beer.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 694 | Reviews: 240
Photo of russpowell
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours chestnut with a thumb of tan head. Above average lacing & head retention

S: Sourness, green apples, pineapple & white pepper

Follows the nose, some pear & peppery notes up front along, a touch of pineapple as well. Dryness, a touch of vinegar, more green apple,. some rhubarb tartness as well. More pineapple in the finish , tartness, a touch of pine & sourness

MF: Medium bodied, fairly creamy carbonation

I really enjoyed this , a very respectable wild ale, would buy this again if this became a year round / seasonal release. Drinks very easy,

Photo of bum732
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S: Tart cherries, rasberries, oak, some mustiness, earthiness, touch of vanilla.

L: Murky reddish-brown, light tan head that dissipates quickly.

T: Cherry tartness up front followed by some sweetness and slight sourness, cola like. Low bitterness, tart dryness with some leftover fruit. Oak very muted.

M: Medium high carbonation, medium bodied.

A solid wild ale, a little one noted and unrefined. But a good effort from a great brewery.

Photo of trevorpost
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Awesome, uniquely-shaped corked/caged 750 ml brown bottle, with nice painted label. Used in my carbonnade flamande for Christmas, and poured the remaining ounces into my Southern Tier stemmed tulip.

Appearane: Attractive, rich and dusky garnet brew with a large antique ivory cap. Nice looking brew.

Smell: Classic Flanders Red up front, with earthy and slight balsamic and funky-twang notes. Perhaps a bit more malt character than in a typical Flanders Red. No hint of the 9% abv on the nose. Simple, but pleasant and authentic.

Taste: Maltier on the palate than suggested by the aromas. While the aromas suggested straight-up Flanders Red, the flavors reveal that this is, actually, a big beer. Light caramel flavors with significant (but not hot) alcohol. Balsamic and red fruit flavors in the background here and, while they're pleasant, they're too faint in my opinion. I'm wondering if once the alcohol had some time to age and mellow, these flavors wouldn't come more to the fore. Very light tartness, and some toasted caramel on the finish, as well as that typical sweet-tart note. A light, slightly tannic bitterness (maybe from the oak?).

Mouthfeel: Light, ever-so-slightly puckering...par for the course, and not bad considering the 9% alcohol.

Overall: Doesn't measure up to Rodenbach or the other best examples of the style, but very few, if any, do. This is definitely a Flanders Red-style ale for those first getting into 'wild' beers. That's not to suggest that it's in any way 'bad' or subpar, but just that the 'wild' and tart flavors are more subtle than in the best-known examples. I'd be surprised if part of this isn't the fact that this is a good 3-5% higher in alcohol than many Flemish Reds. Nonetheless, the toasted caramel malty notes are nice, and this one shoud be given its due at $8.99

Strong B....85-86

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Malty aroma has a tart fruity overtone and a hint of horehound. Pours a clear, dark mahogany with a thick wheat head. Malty flavor has woody and tart fruity notes, giving it an almost wine-like nature. Smooth texture has good fizz and rather wine-like body, leaving a tart and woody finish. Distinctive, enjoyable, tasty.

Photo of BostonTriggs
3.81/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First review
!

750ml bottle poured into pint glass.

Appearance: Medium to dark brown w/ hints of amber and orange in the light. There's a slight haziness to the beer. Head pours thick and dissipates after a few moments.

Smell: Typical of a Belgian Ale. There's malt, candy sugar, Belgian yeast, and no hop scent. A slight tartness also came through, and a little bit of a wild yeast smell (might be from the oak aging).

Taste: This wasn't what I expected based on the smell. The oak and tartness come through a lot more in the taste. I expected a traditional Belgian ale based on the smell. I got a tart acidity right up front, and there was a little bit of a funk to this. The oak flavor comes at the back of the palate/end of the sip and it balances out the maltiness nicely. Like the smell, there isn't any noticeable hop taste. There is a faint alcohol taste, but not anything that upsets the balance.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation comes on strong, but smooths out quickly. The beer is medium bodied.

Drinkabilty: Considering the high alcohol content and oak aftertaste, I found this to go down very easily. I think this might be unique to me, though. I could go through a couple bottles before I wanted to stop. The beer was surprisingly refreshing.

Overall: A very enjoyable beer, but one I'll only reach for on occasion. I love funky flavors, and I wish that came through a little bit stronger.

Photo of Borgs
3.82/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark in color. Light carbonation. Thin head has almost no retention. Clear. Looks inviting, because continual rise of bubbles from the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Tart & sweet... similar yet different to a sweet tart. My tongue immediately watered with ever whiff.

Taste: Tasting the same sweet & tart from the aroma. As for balance, the sweet & tart are almost too much. They slightly trick the mouth into thinking you're drinking something other than a beer. I am a hophead by nature, but love tasting everything at least once, so I can't really say this is a negative.

Mouthfeel: It has an almost syrupy feel to it. I would consider this medium-bodied, & the taste/tartness lingers on the tongue for a few seconds after swallowing.

Drinkability: I can foresee comparing this to an IPA as being similar to comparing a dessert wine to a zinfandel. I definitely had no problem finishing the 750 mL bottle, but it's not something that I would want to drink on a regular basis... well, maybe not quite that, cuz I would never drink a 750 of a dessert wine, but you get the point.

Photo of jwc215
3.84/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours reddish amber with a nice lingering pinkish head. A fair amount of lacing sticks.

The smell is of tart cherries. Not too "wild" but enough funky sour to fit.

The taste is of sweet-tart cherries with woody notes. Sour and sweet with a hint of vanilla. Alcohol is well-integrated.

It is super-smooth. A very drinkable brew - Not as sour as some others, but the cherry-like character and firm malt backing give it a pleasant balance and smoothness while allowing the sour character to come through.

Photo of bmwats
3.84/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a tulip.

A: Dark brown. Pours about a 1 finger, bubbly, white head. Settles quickly, leaving only a beer ring. No real lacing.

S: Raspberry and bubble gum.

T: Bitter and slightly sweet combination of raspberry, pecan shells, licorice, and cotton candy.

M: Slight sweetness not overdone. More of a sweet feel. Dry bitter finish lingers throughout.

D: Sip and enjoy.

Atmosphere is pretty decent. Dark brown with a ruby hue, but not much of a head, and no real lacing. Nose is sweet. Flavor is bitter with a lightly sweet balance. Bitter finish. Overall, this is a pretty good quaff.

Photo of zeff80
3.84/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Poured out a hazy, burgundy color with a one-finger, khaki colored head of foam. It left thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of fruitiness with a tart, sour bite.

T - It is tart and sour, but at time tannic. It was odd how each sip could be spot on or slightly off.

M - It was crisp and puckeringly sharp. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This was good. I wonder how more age would affect it.

Photo of Kwilk
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice reddish brown with a creamy tan head that fades relatively quickly.

Aroma is astounding. Big cherry, tart, some woodiness, some maltiness, some earthiness.

Flavor is a little underwhelming after the nose. Not as tart or sour as you'd expect. Still very nice. Maltiness is more prevalent.

Very dry and easy to take another sip. A good beer overall, just wish the flavor was as complex and fun as the aroma.

Photo of MaltLickyWithTheCandy
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Captain_Komamura
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Ineedabeerhere
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jared for the bottle. From notes.

Pours a ruby red color with a light head, little to no retention or lacing, but a very nice color.

Smells of stewed and slightly soured fruits. Oud Bruin qualities. Raspberries and cherries come to mind along with other fruits. Some yeast character lends a spiciness along with a splash of red wine vinegar and an allusion to funk. Flavor follows suit with a nice tartness as prefaced by the aroma, combining with sweet fruits and soft oak.

A bit above average carbonation initially, but after some time in the glass, it subsided and became more pleasant. Low to medium body is aided by this carbonation. Very drinkable for it's ABV.

This is really not what I was expecting, but I actually thoroughly enjoyed it. Definitely the winner for me out of the 3 recently released barrel room beers.

Photo of BEERMILER12
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a light reddish (dark pink?) color with a decent head that fades quickly

S: Sour cherries and fruit dominate

T: Big sour cherry with bready yeast and some other fruits. The alcohol is well hidden for 9%. Some oak along with the yeast in the back. The sour cherry is definitely dominating up front though

M: Medium bodied and well carbonated

D: The sourness of this beer is a little too much for me, as I tend to prefer dry stouts or bitter DIPAs. Other than that though, it's a drinkable beer for 9%

Photo of rangerred
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip from a nicely presented 750ml bottle.

Pours a clear dark ruby with a one finger dark tan head. Head fades away rather quickly leaving just the smallest amount of lacing.

Aroma comes across as overripe cherries along with figs and dates. There is a slight tartness and vinous characteristic. A hint of oak is present along with a little bit of funk. All is somewhat subdued compared to some Belgian wild beer I have had.

The flavor hits with overripe fruit immediately with a definite cherry juice characteristic in the background. I was expecting a ton more tartness based on the smell but it is rather restrained. A really nice touch of oak that blends nicely with some barnyard funk. The funk remains in the background and is not overpowering at all. Mouthfeel is medium with a rather dry finish which is quite nice. Alcohol is completely hidden making this beer feel more like 5 or 6 percent.

Overall, this beer would make a great introduction to Belgian sours as all characteristics are subdued and smooth. This kind of reminded me of a Flanders red. A nice job by Sam Adams and a good value.

Photo of Pencible
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a hazy dark mahogany with quickly dissipating tan head.
S: It smelled like lots of funk and musty oak barrel, with some sweet brown sugar and apple cider, and a little copper.
T: It tasted like sweet brown sugar and tart apple cider, with some musty oak and copper. It had a clean and sweet and tart aftertaste.
M: It was watery with moderate carbonation. Light body that wasn't as bubbly as expected.
D: This was a nice Flanders red, but not in the top tier. The scent and taste were good but not terribly bold, complex, or delicate. The body was only ok also, but the finish was very smooth, so it was surprisingly easy to drink. Maybe age will help improve. Only average for the style fresh.

Photo of ElCommodoro
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

This was my first American wild ale, so I don't really have anything to compare it to. It was a great beer, though. Hard to drink in the quantity it comes in (750 mL bottle), but good. It has a tart fruity smell with some whiskey smell mixed in.
The taste is also very tart and VERY fruity, but it has a finish that just chalk full of fungus. Excessive in my opinion, but it's fun because I was expecting something crazy like that from this beer. I wanted something a little out of the ordinary. That whiskey barrel flavour is there too. The mouthfeel is surprisingly thin, though, and with surprisingly high carbonation. For a tart beer it makes sense, but for a malty beer it doesn't. Since this one is both, I'm inclined to just go with it even though it wouldn't be my preference if I were to concoct a funky tart red ale.
Anyway, I will probably not buy this again because of the very high cost. It was good, a very interesting foray into barrel aging. The closest barrel-aged beer I've had to this was Petrus and that was quite different. However, it's not quite up my alley enough to warrant the very high cost of this beer.

Photo of mattreitz49
3.86/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of EgadBananas
3.87/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep blood red. Can't really see anything through it but not completely opaque. There was a 3 finger of fizzy sounding head, dissipating fairly quickly to a slight foamy cap. The aroma had a medium sour/acidic smell, with some toffee notes, slight fruit notes, tinges of oak and a bit of funk. The taste had much for fruitiness to it than the aroma. It's slightly sweet and only has a touch of tartness on the back end. There's a touch of vanilla and a woody quality, though mild by comparison to the nose. It had medium carbonation, medium body, and a fairly smooth texture. Not really noticeable alcohol for 9%, making for some pretty good drink-ability.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't pleasantly surprised by this one. BBC doesn't wow most of the time, but this is a very pleasant, very well made, enjoyable wild ale and well worth the $7.99 price tag.

Photo of CloudStrife
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

25.4 oz bottle split and poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a dark ruby with a 2 finger off white head. Lots of visible carbonation. Very opaque. Head dwindles away but doesnt leave any real lacing.

S: Has the tart funky nose, some cherry kicks in. Nice dark fruits from the malt, raisin and fig, certainly grape. Malts tend to overpower a little.

T: Fairly balanced approach to a wild ale. Like the nose, more malt than sourness. Still has a nice little kick to it. Can pull though an oakiness too, mellows the malts. Sour tastes build up in your mouth as you drink.

M: Crisp, highly carbonated. Tart and puckering feel. Leaves a nice lingering taste in your mouth making you want another sip. Booze is real well hidden.

Overall a decent attempt by Sam Adams that I must give them credit for. It's great to see such a large brewery taking the time to make a wild.

Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Judging from the description of the beer on the label, I believe this beer is actually a Flemish Red and not an American Wild Ale. At any rate, poured from a beautiful corked and caged bottle into a La Fin Du Monde snifter. The pour is very nice-looking. Deep, dark reddish amber with a big head but quick dissipation. The nose is a bit faint. I get faint tones of cherries, oak, and some sour notes.

The beer has a nice medium body and a good firm, lively mouthfeel from the carbonation. You get a faint sweetness on the front of your tongue like a fruit jam. At mid-palate, the beer becomes a bit acidic and the fruit notes sour up nicely, drying things off. There is a bit of the 9\% ABV evident on the back of the palate, but it is not overwhelming or the least bit unpleasant. Flavors encountered include tart cherries, blueberries, sour apples, and white grapes. Very refreshing and appetizing, but not extremely sour.

At $6.99 for a large bottle, this beer is a bargain. It is an excellent example of a Flemish Red Ale from a brewer many are quick to dismiss. Do not be afraid of this one. It's probably not sour enough to please die-hard fans of sour beers, but it's plenty sour to enjoy drinking and might be a nice way to gently introduce someone to the wonderful (and expensive) world of sours.

Photo of ONUMello
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a tulip
A: Pours a deep red color with a one-finger head that slowly settles
S: Sour apples & cherry with a dash of vinegar
T: Sour but nice, with cherries, apples, a touch of bitter, and a lengthy citrus driven finish.
M: Light bodied, nice puckering from the sourness and a lengthy sour finish. Can't taste/feel the 9% ABV
O: I like acid so I like this, though others may not. It isn't terribly malty/hoppy, but fits the wild ale style well.

Photo of DaveAnderson
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'll admit it -- I'm not a huge fan of Sam Adams. I respect what they do, and recognize that they cleared a lot of trail for the American craft brew industry, but every time I drink one of their beers, I end up wishing they would take a little more risk. Their beers always end up on the safe side of interesting. So when my local shop told me they had a Sam Adams "Flanders Red", I was ready to take a pass.

However...

It was priced too low to blow off -- less than half the price of any other sour in the store. And the flip side of playing it safe is that Sam Adams has a high floor. At minimum, this beer won't suck, right? Only one way to find out.

A vigorous pour into a goblet produces a foamy, almond-colored head over a murky, mahogany and blood orange liquid. This quickly reduces to a thin head, leaving little lacing.

It smells like a sour. I'm also picking up cherries. And maybe it's just the power of suggestion, but now that I've written about the color, I smell almonds. This is supposed to be barrel-aged, but I'm no picking up any oak at all. As it warms, the cherry begins to take on a Ludens cough drop quality.

I don't catch any almond on the tongue. The cherry flavors are still abundant, however. And now I get a hint of the "toasted oak" promised on the label. Unfortunately, this just isn't sour enough. And I end up with a not entirely pleasant aftertaste.

If this had a more complex nose or more acid, I would probably be happy with the mouthfeel. But now I feel like being picky, so I'll say it: I wish it were more carbonated. On the other hand, it hides the 9% alcohol quite well.

I know I criticized Sam Adams for playing it too safe. With this beer, they show that they can color outside the lines just a little. It's pretty drinkable. I'm definitely going to buy some more, just to see how it ages. But for now, it's not going to replace any of my go-to sours.

EDIT: 2013-03-20
I keep finding this beer on the shelf at a price way too cheap to pass on, so I keep buying it and drinking it. It has grown on me considerably. It reminds me of before-the-best-after-date Dissident. I am nudging the taste and overall scores up a little.

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pretty ruby with a cream colored head. Some spotty lace and even a few alcohol tears.

Nose of yeast, husk, musty funk, tart fruit, some bread dough.

Toasted malt and sourness up front. Just when you expect the fruit to come forward -- it is pushed aside by alcohol and bitterness. The finish is bitter and alcoholic and lightly tart and lingering. This could use a bit of age, and I'd love to see how this does.

Tons of bubbles in the brew. Medium body.

Love the idea of this. Feels like a funky and bitter flanders red, missing much of the fruit. A fun one to try, and priced right.

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Samuel Adams Stony Brook Red (Barrel Room Collection) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 694 ratings.