Stochasticity Project: Master Of Disguise
Stone Brewing

Stochasticity Project:  Master Of DisguiseStochasticity Project:  Master Of Disguise
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Stout - American Imperial
3.81 | pDev: 12.86%
Stone Brewing
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Stochasticity Project:  Master Of DisguiseStochasticity Project:  Master Of Disguise
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 196 | Ratings: 938 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by RKing44:
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RKing44 from Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Apr 28, 2015
More User Reviews:
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kemoarps from Washington

3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

I have no idea what to do with this. It's pretty: a crisp clear light amber with a big finger of thick white foam topping it off. That's all good and well, but how do you rate that appearance as a stout? I mean I realize that that's the whole point, I guess...

Aroma is all burnt coffee beans. Some other burnt grains. Reminds me of some black saisons I've had. I was underwhelmed by them, as I am here.

Taste starts out with an interesting split bringing forth the sweet/biter dichotomy right away. The burnt coffee provides the bitter, while the sweet almost starts off like honey at first, before taking more of a sweet cocoa turn. Creamy and smoothe. Good level of carbonation. Still has a bit too familiar of an alcohol twinge tot he end, though, could be better folded in and hidden. Overall though, seriously creamy and thick and smoothe and delcious in that regard.
Ultimately it feels like there's something missing. As I drink and think, it feels like the roasty/burnt flavours you typically find in a stout are missing, and the bitter burnt coffee is an attempt to cover for that. The coffee can bring the high notes, but can't fully compensate for that which was necessitously omitted for this gimmick to work.
I'd drink it again, and it's enjoyable enough, but I probably won't pick another one up, and it seems like it was made more for the novelty of OOH! GOLDEN STOUT! than because there was a truly interesting flavour profile to explore or anything. And that's OK. Just know that's what it is.

Nov 23, 2014
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ZachKelly from Virginia

2.73/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

this was the most disappointing beer I've had from Stone. I was skeptic of it to begin with, but to me the overall flavor I got was burnt, cold coffee. That unpleasant flavor dominated my palate through out and washed out all the pleasantry I got from the coffee and malt aroma.

Jan 08, 2015
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bomberqueen from California

4.7/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle aged for one year.

Pours golden and light, with a tan/white thin head.
Smells of light bodied coffee, hints of cocoa.
The golden color tried to play a trick on my senses, but it was very true to an aged stout.
Sweet almost caramel-like aftertaste.
Creamy, velvet mouthfeel.
VERY drinkable for 9.7% ABV
So unique, left me wanting another! A shame it was only brewed once.

22 oz from Tap and Bottle in Tucson, AZ.
Poured into a Nonic glass.

Oct 26, 2015
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Ristaccia from Nebraska

2.89/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Unpleasant over the top roast.

Jan 10, 2015
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CaliforniaJohnson from California

3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

This thing really fooled me. pours like an IPA. head is like an IPA. looks like an IPA. nice and clear with a orange-gold hue. Head retention was poor (no pun intended).

This is where it gets interesting. The flavours don't seem to work well together. something just isn't right here. Smells kinda like puppy breath and burnt ants... really, i suggest picking one up just to prove me wrong.

The coffee really took over here. At first it's kind of sour, like an espresso, then the aftertaste kicks in, resembling more roasted notes. It's hard to pick up much of the hop flavours but I can certainly notice them with the bitterness. Wasn't so enthusiastic about the mismatch on the flavour and the smell.

FEEL (5)
Feel was a perfect score in my book. It's everything I look for -- A bubbly kick with a nice zing on the roof of the mouth. effervesced off the tongue. the ABV was a nice little gift as well.

OVERAL (3.25)
an interesting beer for sure -- worth picking one up just for the experience. Definitely will not pick another up unless it was for a tasting night and wanted to confuse some friends. For those who really enjoyed this, I'm sorry, I just think it was more gimmicky than anything.

Nov 30, 2014
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MDHopster from Maryland

3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Not sure what I drank here, not a stout, but has characteristics of an imperial stout. Poured slightly cloudy orange with white and quickly disspating head, moderate lacing. Nose is muddled and indistinguishable between flavors, maltiness prevails over other muddled aromas. Taste is of oatmeal and coffee, cocoa remains muddled in flavor. Coffee lingers on. Mouthfeel begins with slight softness but alcohol burn. Between the lingering coffee aftertaste and alchohol burn, this is reminiscent of Xocovesa without the peppers.

Feb 01, 2015
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ThickNStout from Georgia

2.5/5  rDev -34.4%

22oz bottle from Sprayberry Bottle Shop (Marietta, GA). 7.99. Released 11/2014 with no bottling date (despite Stone making a huge deal over freshness in their Enjoy By series). Served in a goblet.

Pours a brilliant transparent golden amber with almost two fingers of pale head. Maintains a thin layer and a small halo pf froth. Laces quite well.

Aromas of black coffee, cocoa and somewhere in the background there is a vague sweetness.

Huge flavor of roasted coffee smacks the palate right up front. That bitter coffee pretty much dominates but I catch other flavors of dark cocoa, mild caramel and a healthy dose of alcohol. I can't say this tastes like a stout as much as a boozy coffee beer.

Creamy feel with a body on the lighter side of medium. Soft carbonation. Super bitter finish of that roasted coffee and an almost vegital note of unprocessed cocoa beans.

In a way I admire Stone's effort here but Master Of Disguise just did not agree with my tastes. If you happen to like their particular brand of coffee then this woild likely be great, seeing as that is 80% or more of the flavor. This was an interesting experiment but after sacrificing most of my bottle to the drain I won't be looking to ever repeat the experience.

Nov 29, 2014
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angrybabboon from Massachusetts

3.37/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Review from notes dated 12/24/14

A: More of a golden amber than I would describe as "golden," but it works - a lot of orange tones with some burnt orange gold at its core - pours with a small, white head, fades to a few wisps and leaves minimal lacing

S: Roasty, with a lot of chocolate and coffee, and some hops - plenty of citrus with orange, grapefruit flesh, and zest - cocoa nibs are interesting, combined with the citrusy aromas this smells like a chocolate orange... dipped in coffee - roasty coffee beans, with an emphasis on the beans - cooked pale malts, caramel malts, amber grains - slight hint of booze

T: Some nice chocolate and coffee, but a stout, this is not - roasty cocoa nibs, dark chocolate, baker's chocolate - coffee, lightly roasted - earthy and kind of astringent - moderately hoppy with some candied orange and ruby red grapefruit - moderately bitter overall - cooked, caramelized malts, pale grains, caramel - finishes earthy, fairly hot, and boozy - becomes less and less endearing as it warms

M: On the heavy side of medium, smooth, low carbonation, finishes boozy

O: Perhaps a master of novelty

The notion of a golden stout was entertaining to the extent that I actually purchased this beer. The result has some hints of greatness, but it gets old quick. It really just tastes like it is lacking something... Perhaps some chocolate malts... It's really unfair to compare this to other imperial stouts, but I suppose I have little choice.

Dec 31, 2014
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datalager from Connecticut

3.11/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 2.75

This one didn't work for me. I'll have to give it a try again, but other than being an attractive beer, aromas and flavors were a mix of adjunct lager-ish sweetness combined with old coffee grounds and stale cigarettes. Definitely the most disappointing ale I've ever had from Stone. On a positive note, I'll give them props for trying something completely different.

Jan 31, 2015
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jordanmckell from Texas

2.92/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

I give the brewers credit for pulling off a visual switcheroo, but in the end that's the problem. Looks great but the taste has a definite funky quality that I did not enjoy.

Jan 05, 2015
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cbutova from Massachusetts

3.24/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle picked up last night. Full review done to phone at time of consumption.

A- Orange bodied pour to a few pint glasses with a two finger white cap. Creamy head has pretty good retention leaving a creamy band at the edges. Spotty sparse lace.

S- Coffee and some cocoa but not much else for me. Some fruit hints and caramel as well.

T- Took a few sips to get used to but eventually robust medium roast coffee comes out with dirty earthy cocoa nibs. Caramel, raisins and bitterness.

MF- Creamy and somewhat chewy overall texture to the medium body. Carbonation fairly high presenting that smooth texture. Coffee bitterness on the back end.

A decent attempt at a Golden Stout. The coffee flavor is actually quite nice but I think it badly misses the roasty grains to cushion it all.

Feb 07, 2015
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Tom-Peters from California

3.37/5  rDev -11.5%

Nov 25, 2014
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turbotype from California

3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Nov 18, 2014
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LouZ from Washington

3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

We don't get a lot of Stochasticity Project beers in my area, so I picked this up when I had the chance. Was interested in the concept of a light stout, and my reaction to this was that is was ... interesting. Golden color but definitely a creamy stout feel/flavor. Not a bad drink, but not one I would choose over other options either.

Nov 29, 2014
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Apellonious from North Carolina

3.61/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bomber poured into a tulip glass.

A- Clear, golden amber with a one finger head that dissapates to a thin lace.

S- Burnt coffee, roasted grains.

T- Somewhat like drinking out of an ashtray. Smoke, burnt grains, faint cocoa or chocolate.

M - Very thin, watery. Carbonation is moderately low.

O - Not afraid to miss the mark. Gotta respect Stone for that.

Dec 14, 2014
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neckbracesub from Indiana

4.4/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Mar 02, 2015
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ArsMoriendiOU818 from Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Dec 08, 2014
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JustinBrousseau from California

3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Dec 07, 2014
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RiceOwls27 from Texas

4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Apr 06, 2020
FACEMEAT from California

2.5/5  rDev -34.4%

Pours a crystal clear medium amber. Even with an aggressive pour, the head was anemic and disappeared completely within a few minutes.

smell is dominated by the aroma of stale, old diner coffee and honeyed oatmeal.

Mouthfeel is medium and carbonation is lacking.

After smelling, I wasn't very excited about tasting this. I should have listened to my intuition. It's rather sweet up front and finishes with what can only be described as the lingering taste of a smoked cigarette. I detect none of the cocoa that's supposedly employed. I can't go on. Do not want. Drain pour.

Nov 18, 2014
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ScottP from New Hampshire

4.23/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Feb 15, 2015
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T-34-85 from New York

3.57/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Very interesting delivery with this beer. Impressive looking beer in disguise.

The aroma of this stout has something uniquely different from your more traditional stouts, but I can't put my finger on what it is.

The taste has a lot of the typical stout notes, but there was some flavor in there that was a little off for me with a "harsh" residual bitterness.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this to those looking to try different stouts. It is an interesting example worth a try.

Jan 10, 2015
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SackBlabbath from Kentucky

4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Feb 02, 2015
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jaydoc from Kansas

3.9/5  rDev +2.4%

Dec 12, 2014
Stochasticity Project: Master Of Disguise from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 938 ratings