TBA | Stone Brewing

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Very Good
605 Ratings

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.10%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Collaboration with Bear Republic Brewing and Fat Head's Brewing

Added by MasterSki on 01-14-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 605 |  Reviews: 209
Photo of snailman22
2.75/5  rDev -27.1%

Photo of Booner818
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of primrose54
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of DavidK
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.52/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Its perplexing that a Texas Brown Ale would be initiated by three brewers in Stone, Bear Republic and Fat Heads have no breweries in Texas. (ok, not all that perplexing) Yet, the beer pays homage to the southwest days of exploring ale ingredients that grow in those anorexic areas.

Dark amber in color, the ale shares ominous bark brown low lights. With a translucent glow, the ale shows ribbons of garnet and ruby. A quick froth rises from the body with an creamy ivory stain to last the session and to lace with defined rings at each sip. An IPA in froth but a brown in body.

Sharp hop aromas are a focused grapefruit scent. Bright zesty and spicy to the nose, the hop dominance is partially balanced with molasses, toast, brown sugar and pepper. There's a sense of dryness to the beer just by its scent.

And as expected, the beer's initial palate is all about the taste of molasses, brown sugar and toffee but without the associated sweetness of those flavors. Its dry malt taste is lightly starch and creamy and is the perfect springboard for hops. Bitter white grapefruit reigns supreme in the middle as the undeniable taste of pith, peels and oils provide a gripping bitterness in finish that easily overshadows the toast, nutty and coffee-like malt contributions. Its spicy, grassy and stemmy finish is oddly herbal- as if in sassafras teas.

Its dry malt taste translates easily to a malty-dry texture. Somewhat arid and spicy, the beer quickly turns warm and mildly astringent, aided by toasted malts and high rate of attenuation. Its fleeting finish is further dried by hops and toast char.

Its an inquisitive ale that's the precursor of more hop-forward American Brown Ales like Dogfish Head's India Brown Ale. But its spindly heritage gives the beer's taste and texture a rustic and unrefined taste that's commonly associated with Anchor Steam Beer. Its an endearing ale with quirks and a "winging-it" kind of spirit. Kinda like driving a Model-T after getting out of a Cadillac.

 1,995 characters

Photo of KJ2013
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of SadMachine
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of maximus_rebel
3/5  rDev -20.4%

Photo of DustinSWB
3/5  rDev -20.4%

Photo of Hopswagger
3.91/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

P: Beautiful pour. Dark murky wake of brown swamp water with a multitude of floaters. Dense frothy khaki head that jiggles like pudding. Great retention and intricate lacing.

S: Sweet syrup, molasses, brown sugar, maple, toasted toffee and caramel, spicy hops, clove, trash bag funk. Dark fruits, timid smoke, traces of smoldered wood chips. Spices are tingling my nose.

T/M: Huge taste of ground spices cooked in molasses to the point of burning. Burnt toffee, grains and wood gives off the signature Stone smoke presence. Earthy and spiced hops deliver a rustic flare. Dark fruits soaked in spiced rum and brown sugar. Busquity yeast and hidden funkiness in the background. Syrupy body with a gentle massage of bubbly carbonation. Finishes dry and earthy. Touches of oxidation.

O: I was worried that this would be bad from the reviews I read since it was old but I was really impressed. I loved the rugged flavors and spice profile against the sugary sweetness. This could be a meal in a glass. The hop profile was nice and complimenting and not overly bitter. I wish I could have tried this fresh.

 1,106 characters

Photo of Amberluvsbeer
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of AgentMunky
3.01/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Served in a tasting glass at the Bear Republic brewery. From notes. Reviewed 28 April 2012.

A: Clear amber beer; good head retention.

S: Smoky chipotle, slightly metallic. Interesting.

T: Smoky metal and awkward hops. I don't think it works very well. Chipotle and lemon? Roasted endtaste.

M: Meh, the warm it gets, the flatter it goes. Not very good.

O: Not recommended. It's an awkward mishmash of flavors.

 413 characters

Photo of CityofBals
2.25/5  rDev -40.3%

Photo of MinorThreat
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of bluestar0828
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of RedneckBeerz
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of pkalix
3.56/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

cloudy brown, more rusty-brown... super creamy head.
lots of hop smell, but something else distinct in the aroma. would it be the brown sugar/molasses?
twangy kind of bitterness at the beginning. more sipping produces a funky odor in my nose....

interesting little note on the bottle. DRINK FRESH DO NOT AGE. hmmm, upon searching the bottle, THERE IS NO DATE ON THE BOTTLE, how can I know if i'm getting it fresh? how can I know i'm getting good product? it's a COLLABORATION brew so that means it's only brewed ONCE, right? so I scroll down the BA page and see reviews from AUGUST 2012 ? ? ? ? crap. I got a bad brew. that explains the funkiness. not UNdrinkable, but definitely enough funk to cause me to research it. I believe I got this at Baycrest Liquor in Costa Mesa...

oh well.... that's my review.
i'm sorry. I AM throwing it down the drain. the 4.5 on appearance is still well-deserved, though. beautiful pour...

 924 characters

Photo of bmmortale
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Sammy
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of RinZo
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of talahrama
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle purchased from Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA.

Pours a cloudy brown hue, burnished to reddish hues some places at the edges. Head is frothy and pleasant: quite fine and slick and pale beige in colour. It forms pleasing rings of lace as it goes down as well. Body is fluid, but it has some heft to it. Looks pretty good overall.

Nose is also good. Pleasant brown malt characters giving it a richness and some sweetness, while the spices lend undertones of fennel and caraway, which work well with the malt. There's a faint resiny hop character, that also veers into aniseed, like the fennel. Overall, it's also pretty good.

Taste is smooth and solid, while perhaps losing a bit of it's structure and its uniqueness. Here, all the characters have been sanded down to remove all the rough edges: it's very coherent and integrated. However, the edges, the spices and the uniqueness were what made the nose interesting, so while it's solid stuff, it's also a little bit more pedestrian here on the palate.

Feel is smooth, but with a weakness on the back.

Overall, this is decent enough, but it promised more than it could deliver. There were plenty of pleasant things about it, and it integrated them all well into a genuinely solid package. But it didn't go beyond that, and I feel as though it really could have.

 1,334 characters

Photo of warnerry
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes from 7/2012

A - Pours murky brown with almost two fingers of dense, creamy looking tan head. Head has nice retention and leaves great lacing.

S - If I didn't already know from reading the label, this is definitely brewed with molasses, and it comes through in the nose. Also brown sugar and some citrus hop aromas. Smells good.

T - Hops come through even more in the taste, and offer a nice bitter balance to the sweeter malts. I think hoppy brown ales are more enjoyable than black ales and this one works very well.

M - Medium mouthfeel, with creamy carbonation and a dry bitter finish.

Between this and More Brown Than Black, I would love to see Stone do a year-round hoppy brown ale. Vary tasty.

 710 characters

Photo of InfragilisBrew
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of bmjivi221
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

TBA from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 3.77 out of 5 with 605 ratings