Stochasticity Project: HiFi+LoFi Mixtape
Stone Brewing

Stochasticity Project:  HiFi+LoFi MixtapeStochasticity Project:  HiFi+LoFi Mixtape
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American Strong Ale
3.66 | pDev: 9.84%
Stone Brewing
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Stochasticity Project:  HiFi+LoFi MixtapeStochasticity Project:  HiFi+LoFi Mixtape
Notes: A blend of fresh and barrel-aged ales
First Release: May 2015

A beer that pays homage to a centuries-old tradition of combining new beer with aged “stock ales.” Freshly brewed beers of the day often were very smoky and bitter tasting, and were blended with older beer that had mellowed with age to produce more drinkable libations. This modern brew showcases our brewers’ talents in blending a stock ale aged more than three months in oak foudres (large wooden fermentation vessels) with a fresh version of the same beer to create a perfect harmony spanning end to end on the taste spectrum.
Reviews: 107 | Ratings: 466 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by RBuckley73:
Photo of RBuckley73
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

More User Reviews:
Photo of CHickman
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 05/07/15: pours hazy gold color with bubbles racing up the brew to a 1-2 finger foamy off white head that was full of small bubbles, fading very slowly and leaving good spotty lacing.

Smells of grains, sweet malt, light citrus, floral hops, caramel, earthy notes, woody notes, mild spices and wet cardboard or some faint funky yeast. Oddly enough overall it smells like an America adjunct lager that has some earthy notes and peppery spices in the mix.

Arrogant Bastard sets the standard for American Strong Ale flavor and this brew deviates in a lot of ways but manages to remain tasty, interesting and well balanced. For starters, the taste is a lot less harsh and "strong" and a lot more mellow and commercial with the overall same qualities as the nose which resemble an America adjunct lager that has some earthy notes and peppery spices in the mix. That's where the basic lager aspect ends. As this beer warms I got more grape and must, white wine characteristics, fruity tartness, smoky flavors, woody notes, toasted grains, caramel and then a mix of citrus hops, orange peel and dry floral hops which unleash more mild spices. The barrel aging notes are subtle with coconut, vanilla and wood seeping through and adding complexities to the nice balance. It's a rope a dope with the flavor; the odor lulls you and makes you think this was a dud and then the flavor whacks you with a right hook of all kinds of tasty beers that seem to be shaken and not stirred. The warmer the beer gets, the better it gets, yet all the while hiding the 8.8% ABV. This beer grew on me and I enjoyed it more with each sip.

Mouthfeel is so creamy and smooth that it's almost milky and watery; seems like a cask ale which is the intent to replicate a "stock ale". This has nice smoky notes, a thick, chewy body, very mild or almost no carbonation, then woody, barrel and earthy elements bring the roasted grains and dry hops together to allow the finish to trail off a little bitter, a little funky, smoky and like a fine English ale you'd find in a pub at some downstairs pub in London which has plenty of locals.

Like a mix tape, the malt varieties and hop varieties listed on the bottle before entering the oak "foudres" produced a harmonious brew that makes a nice drinking soundtrack. I know, a corny conclusion, but this was a solid beer with all kinds of classic Stone twists and turns which made me want to pen my summary in the same narrative, designed to amuse all who care to read this review.

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Photo of SHODriver
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: poured into a snifter to a hazy orange with some floating sediment topped by a finger of dense white head that fades quickly to a collar around the edge of the glass leaving minimal lacing
S: Smells of fruits and oak with a little funk and tartness
T: Taste is fruity at the front end with some oak, funk and slight tartness. Hints of malt sweetness at times. The oak and funk kind of takes over on this one with some slight band aid flavors. Swallow is slightly tart with a good bit of oak and more funk and a slight hop oil kick toward the very back.
M: medium in body with soft and slightly prickly carbonation with a slightly dry finish
O: This is an odd beer. I'm really not sure what's going on but it isn't terrible. I honestly kind of like what it has going on but I'm not sure if this is what they were shooting for.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.24/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a deep amber orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Solid finger of off white head that settles into a thin creamy layer.

Smell: A toasty and fruity malt forward aroma with hints of fruit and oak. Toasted barley malt with hints of biscuit, caramel, toffee, toast, cracker, nuts, and yeast. Fruit hints of cherry, apple, fig, raisin, and plum. The barrel presence comes through with hints of oak, vanilla, and wood. Also some earthy hops coming through. A pretty good Old Ale style aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a toasty and fruity malt forward taste with notes of fruit and oak barrel. Toasted barley malt with notes of biscuit, toast, toffee, caramel, nuts, cracker, and yeast. Fruit notes of cherry, apple, orange, raisin, fig, and plum. Barrel notes of wood, oak, and vanilla. Earthy hops add some bitterness. A pretty solid malty taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very drying on the finish. Some heat is felt but it isn’t overly hot.

Overall: A very good twist on an Old Ale style beer. Good mix of bready and fruity flavors with a nice kick of oak. This will be interesting with some more age on it.

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Photo of Cpmitchno1
3.99/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I thought this was a very solid beer. It smelled like a hoppy ale and he taste followed through. I didn't get much of the barrel taste, but I'd didn't really expect much. All in all, a beer worth trying and in my opinion better tasting than the ratings seem to indicate.

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Photo of SDDLSK
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 5/7/15. Poured into a snifter at cellar temp

A: Dark hazy gold, good head that dissipated fast, loved the way it looked

S:Not really a lot that stands out, a little earthy, small hints of wood, I would assume from the barrels

T: Up front can taste the malt, quickly fades to a nice bite that borders on bitter. Can sense the alcohol and the wood a bit more as it warmed up

M: Very smooth, this is a beer that goes down easy for me

O: An interesting beer, pleasant to drink. One that I will prob grab again if I find one that has been properly stored and not just left on the shelf at the store

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Photo of NanookinTexas
4.18/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz. Bomber ($8.99) Bottled on 05/07/2015 8.8%ABV Poured into a Ommegang Brew Stem

Pours a cloudy unfiltered amber honey color (love the look of this), lots of yeast sediment. Looks rich. Approx. 3/4" - 1" white to slight beige colored head, made of fine bubbles. Dissipates rather quickly, leaving a thin layer of foam with lots of sticky lacing on the glass. Lots of little champagne size bubbles rising from the bottom of the stem.

Nose: No doubt about the barrel aging of this blend. Lots of malty breadiness comes through. Also, slight tinge of very ripe orange peel. Very nice. Swirl it in the glass a bit to wake up the yeast and perhaps a very subtle cinnamon or nutmeg comes through. Perhaps even a slight umami aroma.

Palate: Again, no doubt about the barrel aging in this blend, yet not overpowering. Malty breadiness mixed with bitter hoppy citrus rind, Very slight black pepper (from the barrel aging, I'm sure). There's a lot going on with this, complex. May I have another bottle, to be certain? Lol. Oakiness, malty breadiness in the front, finishing with a slight hoppy bitterness, yet clean, dry.

Feel: Very clean, not at all heavy. Alcohol cloaked very well. Not too heavy on the tungue. Very clean finish on the tungue.

Overall: Solid brew, without doubt. For me, I love the natural unfiltered look of this, particularly when the last bit of the brew is poured into the glass and the remaining sediment is mixed into the last pour. If you're searching for a brew that's got a lot of character, without the MEGA hoppy bitterness of some of the other Stone offerings, I'll engourage you to try this. Very easy to drink and, not a lot of booziness. I'll ask again.... may I have another bottle please? Lol

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Photo of Uanof
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled on 5/7/15, drank on 3/3/16 from a Stone snifter.

L - pours from an orange to dark copper with a 1/2" head that quickly dissipates into a thin ring across the top leaving short bursts of lacing behind. Bottle contains sediments so last pour was murkier than the rest.

S - aromas from acetone, yeast and tannins quickly surface. Not much presence from the smokiness.

T - not much present here asides from the alcohol burn, not overwhelming but present nonetheless. Bitter and yeast driven.

F - Surprisingly light for the alcohol percentage. If it were a blind tasting I could swear I'm drinking an ESB.

O - An interesting take on the style. While not entirely amused (probably the style wasn't the best for this experiment) it wasn't despicable either. Can't complain for buying the beer at half price!

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Photo of neurobot01
4.22/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bomber dated 5/05/15 into a Perfect Pint glass at fridge temp, allowed to warm. Side note: no idea how this ended up classified as an "American Pale Ale", which it categorically is not.

Look: clear orange-tinged light brown. Huge persistent head.

Smell: English pale ale, I guess. Reminiscent of DBA. Caramel, orange pith.

Taste: surprisingly hard to categorize. Orange creamsicle, caramel, wood, bitter.

Feel: medium thick, semi-dry. Really nice.

Overall: this probably won't be popular with a lot of people, particularly anyone expecting anything like a standard hoppy Stone offering. Closest comparison within Stone's (distro'd) catalog might be Bourbon Arrogant Bastard (which is currently one of my favorite beers) in the combination of smoothness, sweetness, and bitterness. But, this really isn't super similar to that, and I don't like it quite as much.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle. So, an American west-coast take on the venerable English publican stock ale, um, 'process'. Ok, I'll bite.

This beer pours a clear, medium golden copper colour, with two fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and well bubbly off-white head, which leaves a solid wall of pockmarked limestone lace around the glass as it gently sinks away.

It smells of grainy pale and caramel malt, sodden dark bread, musty barrel staves, muddled orchard fruit, toasted breakfast biscuits, a subtle yeasty sourness, a laid-back earthy and leafy hop bitterness, and some tame vanilla-tinged booziness. The taste is roasted caramel malt, further toasted cereal and wheat cracker notes, red apple skins, dried oranges and cherries, a bit of darker plum and prune fruitiness, wet fresh wood, and fairly bitter earthy, weedy, and gently floral hops.

The bubbles are fairly engaged, but via a low-fi (sorry), sort of prickly frothiness, the body an adequate middleweight, and somewhat smooth, the hovering, if generic, hop bitterness, along with a now probing alcohol astringency, not really doing anyone any favours. It finishes dry, bitter, and just a wee bit boozy.

While this is indeed strong, and damned capable of hiding it, the flavour is quite English all around - any American sensibilities are checked at the door (or label, if you will). So, that said, what Stone has apparently done here is imperialize an old-school pub staple, and at the same time kept more or less true to the spirit of the original (so I presume - can't say I was around then or there).

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Photo of DavoleBomb
2.86/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a snifter.

3.5 A: Murky dark orange color. One finger of creamy beige head. Retention is lacking but a short ring of lacing is left.

3.25 S: Interesting mix going on here. It's quite earthy and spicy at the same time. Coriander and some other spices I can't identify. Dirt, oaky woodiness along with some tannins and vanillins. A touch of smoke accompanies peach and pear fruitiness. The malts lean toward breadiness, but are fairly clean overall. Light earthy hoppiness.

2.5 T: The taste is surprisingly harsh given what they were going for here. Moderate to heavy bitterness. Aggressive tannic astringency with a rough smokiness. Oak and vanilla next. Pear fruitiness with distinctly bready malts this time.

3.25 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Lasting bitter finish with boozy warming.

2.5 D: This is a bit of a rough one. Based on the description, I had high hopes for this, but it just didn't work out.

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Photo of UncleEmu
4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stone Hi-fi Lo-fi Mixtape Strong Ale
serving type: mini goblet, draft at California Craft Beet, Fremont, CA (July 2015)

A: Deep deep amber with a small wispy head

S: Pale malt, some rye, green hops and bit of cherry

T: All hail the malt. Beautiful layer after layer of malt complexity. Toastiness, nuttiness, caramel, rye - you name it. The hops are the icing on the cake, adding the perfect amount of bitterness (not too much). Taste goes from sweet to toasty with hops all along the way without ever being too harsh or bitter. Don't get me wrong, it is harsh, but in a really enjoyable, intense way without going overboard with anything except flavor.

M: Tongue coating dry but not chalky

O: An extreme strong ale, but a strong ale indeed. Complex, unique, and a standout beer. A solid punch in the mouth.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.64/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of SensorySupernova
4.36/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.54/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber with a small head.
Nose shows soft sweet biscuity malt, a hint of booze, spicy hops and soft sweet oak notes.
Flavours include more woody oak, soft clean malt, an astringent character and a bit of spicy and herbal hops. Finishes with an aggressive bitterness.

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Photo of Mikus
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of ocelot2500
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber color with a tight, white head that leaves chunks of lacing.

Smells of sweet malts along with some oak.

Tastes of the sweet malts coupled with some hops and oak. Malts lead off with caramel sweetness and toasted bread. Next comes some citrus and pine hops. Oak rounds out the profile before a malty finish.

Mouthfeel is medium with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is solid, bit there is too much going on.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.87/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed from the 22 oz bomber in a snifter. This unique brew pours a hazy orange with a very nice head of white foam that settles to a thick sudsy ring, thin layer, and excellent lacing. Nose of citrus fruits, orchard fruits, sweet caramel malts, and grassy hops. Flavors follow the nose with grapefruit and caramel malts accentuated by oak and subtle grassy hops. Nice mouth feel, light carbonation with a lightly bitter aftertaste and a warming finish. A unique brew to say the least. As it warms the nuances of the old ale get more pronounced which makes this even better.

Would hope they re-introduce this one with subtle tweaks....blending is a lost art.


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Photo of Reagan1984
2.66/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Photo of brpendergast85
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of sparx1100
4.04/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of legalag11
3.94/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ClavisAurea
3.11/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Fresh bottle served in a tulip glass. Bottle dated 05/2015

Appearance: orange with a thin head and thin body. Very clear

Nose: hops, Hops and more hops. Slightly fruity, pear.

Taste: the Hops bitterness is over powering. Clean taste, fruity, no oak, doesn't even taste like any of the classic Old Ales I've had before.

Overall: in a word, disappointing. I was hoping for some oak character or a strong Malt presence but got a mouthful of bitter Hops. This one is a letdown.

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Photo of jimmygord
3.71/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of gobuccos
3.71/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Stochasticity Project: HiFi+LoFi Mixtape from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 466 ratings