Stochasticity Project: Master Of Disguise | Stone Brewing

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935 Ratings
Stochasticity Project:  Master Of DisguiseStochasticity Project:  Master Of Disguise

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.70%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
First Release: November 2014
Some illusions and misnomers lead to life’s most delightful surprises. Case in point—this beer, the yang to the yin that is the black India pale ale. Once revolutionary for its onyx appearance, it is now an accepted and beloved member of the India pale ale family. Thus we took the spirit of a dark beer—the time-honored stout—and applied a similar science of thought, brewing it to be golden-hued. Cocoa and coffee beans impart roastiness sans darkening to this brew, while flaked oats provide an enveloping mouthfeel. The result is a stout that looks more like a blonde, but is a raven beauty at heart.

Added by DeanMoriarty on 06-26-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 935 |  Reviews: 194
Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.93/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A 22oz bottle with no visible BB date. Purchased ages ago from the Brewdog webshop and stored in a box. Hopefully still in good condition - let's see what this golden stout is all about....

A: Poured into a Duvel tulip. Possibly bottle conditioned. A deep marmalade-orange hue with light carbonation and flocculent, gelatinous sediment that floats lazily in the glass. Yields a very small head of creamy white foam that settles almost immediately to a patchy surface layer.

S: Aroma of rich roasted coffee with hints of bitter cocoa, caramel malt, mild barley sugar, ale yeast, earthiness and faint leafiness. Stouty without the stout - very nice.

T: Tastes of intense roasted coffee with notes of bitter cocoa, espresso, caramel malt, subtle barley sugar, ale yeast, earthiness, mild floral hints and a vague leafiness. The booze is well hidden. Slightly sweet, followed by a powerful coffee-driven bitterness upon swallowing.

M: Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with soft carbonation and superb body. Rich and creamy. Somewhat astringent; dries the palate. Aftertaste of fruity roasted coffee, bitterness, cocoa, mild caramel malt, subtle grain, earthy yeast and faint leafiness.

O: Another stand-out effort from Stone; age leaves this undimmed. Looks great, while the aroma and flavour are a superb blend of coffee, cocoa, caramel malt and ale yeast. Great body. Interesting to note how the coffee makes an excellent substitute for the dark malt in a typical imperial stout. Rich, complex and very tasty - well worth sampling should you be lucky enough to come across a bottle.

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Photo of brittanylicious
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of heysuz
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of 1971bernat
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of GarrettB
4.07/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

March 6th, 2015 - Before it was the stochasticity project, this was simply Stone's Master of Disguise. Furiously red and almost orange, it looks like an angry beer, and the aroma seems to confirm my suspicions. Spicy and with some chili and vegetal elements, it has enough malt to support the exotic scents. A little marshmallow sweetness binds all the aromas together, letting the paradox of a blonde stout precipitate into reality. The flavor is more emphatically a stout, with a sticky and foamy palate, and abundant malt in the body. A graham cracker sweetness feels very appropriate here too, with a slight hop touch that lasts well into the aftertaste. It's a curious style, and no doubt the product of a drunken dare (or an adventurous conversation at a brew club) but the result speaks for itself: spectacular in its self-contradiction.

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Photo of bigred89
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of macrosmatic
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery tulip glass.

A: A clear burnished gold – just a touch of chill haze – with a two-finger white head and a fairly low amount of visible carbonation.

S: Big coffee, unroasted coffee beans and some green peppers. Hints of cacao and a minimal light malt body.

T: Coffee - again some green coffee but there's some darker roast character here as well, and some bitter baker's chocolate. A light bready malt, and no roasted character to the malt bill. A slight hop bitterness near the end, with the lingering coffee. As the beer warms, it does develop more dark roast flavors to the coffee, as well as some more cacao flavor.

M: A light body for the "style" (but who knows what that’s supposed to be). Low carbonation sensation overall, and the alcohol is noticeable but not overly hot.

O: This was weird, and certainly worth a try. Compared to true Imperial Stout, it falls short especially in mouthfeel and the lack of roast malt character. But it's certainly not a bad beer. It’s very coffee-forward, though does develop some of that green pepper flavor. Then again, some vintages of FBS do so as well. But it’s enjoyable enough.

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Photo of SkyyNapalm
4.04/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of TerribleTaste
4.75/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This was my first ever craft beer that I had ever tried.... And It spoiled the fuck out of me.....
After a heavy phase of drinking hard liquor through high-school and college I stopped drinking for almost a decade.
Then in 2014 A friend of mine offered me half of his 22oz Master of Disguise bottle and I agreed without much thought, I was never really a beer person but I didn't want to be rude and refuse him.

Those 11 oz beer changed my life.... I had never experienced so many unique flavors in one single mouth full. I was so impressed at how the chocolate, vanilla and coffee swirled around with each other. At the time I was not 100% able to understand just exactly what I was drinking, But I knew that I absolutely loved it simply from the pallet of flavors I was getting!

Since drinking that beer I have gone on quite the rampage looking for a beer to match the complexities of this offering.....Still have yet to have a beer that floored me like this one did.....

If anyone has a bottle of this stored away, I will buy it from you for a decent price....I can't find anyone who has it and I have been asking A LOT.

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Photo of EmperorBevis
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled and a gift from my side of the road, and I will be forced to take a look at the moment, but I am still proud to be a small recipient of such a fine ale

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Photo of tylerstravis
3.24/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This could have been cool if they used good coffee.

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Photo of Cuervo_PCB
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of dag1991
4.57/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of calcnerd
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of stevoj
3.61/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Aroma initially is coffee, and body resembles a stout (except for color). Taste brings in some more flavors, overall very complex. ABV is in there, sneaks up on you.

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Photo of Newport_beerguy
3.72/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Delmarvabeer
1.67/5  rDev -55.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Bottle date: 11/13/2014, bought from a store on 4/14/16

Chilled and poured into a regular pint glass.

L: Nice golden/amber hue almost the color of an iced tea where the ice has melted just slightly.

S: A yeasty almost moldy smell with some earthy scents. Almost smells like freshly dug dirt.

T: Very medicinal, some hints of bourbon but it really reminded me of Listerine. Also a very overpowering liquid smoke type flavor. Making this very unpalatable. I could not finish more than a quarter glass of this.

F: Carbonation is fine, not too fizzy or flat. Slight slickness.

O: I generally don't like to toss beer, but this is probably one of the worst I have drank in a long time and I generally enjoy Stone (love their imperial porter). Maybe this was just a bad batch, got skunky at the store or in transit. Either way this was a Master of Disguise for sure.

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Photo of sprat1960
3.02/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Look: Amber color with hints of gold; cloudy, opaque. Pours with a less than 1 finger off-white head that dies down leaving a very thin, uneven layer of foam on the surface of the beer. Lots of small bubbles from the carbonation.

Smell: Lots of coffee; chocolate; malt. Slightly boozy and medicinal.

Taste: Coffee; cocoa; whiskey with a medicinal bitter finish.

Feel: Medium body; fizzy sensation from the carbonation; slight pucker at the end.

Overall: Unique but not to my taste. The bitter finish was too much for me and ruined it for me.

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Photo of TheRougeBastard
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

How do you enjoy an imperial stout when it looks like an IPA????? You drink that's how! I'll admit, it was odd, I mean aren't stout supposed to be thick and black as night? The stout taste was there, but mouthfeel was more subduded...a little more carbonated than a true stout, but enjoyable nonetheless. As another reviewer noted, "too bad it was only brewed once", as this is something I could get used to!

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Photo of DrAnnaNemis
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of hop_junkie
3.64/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Bung
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of searsclone
2.76/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Photo of Sabtos
4.06/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Wow, I was not expecting this at all, the appearance of a Pale Ale, and the aroma and flavor of a Stout! What a fun novelty. Not sure it will stick around but nice work bending the rulebook.

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Photo of JVan
3.82/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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Stochasticity Project: Master Of Disguise from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 3.78 out of 5 with 935 ratings