Stonecutter | Renaissance Brewing

BA SCORE
86
very good
122 Ratings
THE BROS
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BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Renaissance Brewing
New Zealand (Aotearoa)
renaissancebrewing.co.nz

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by VitBAficionado on 02-12-2008

BEER STATS
Ratings:
122
Reviews:
65
Avg:
3.87
pDev:
9.56%
 
 
Wants:
5
Gots:
8
For Trade:
1
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 122 |  Reviews: 65
Photo of Zond
4.58/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ckollias
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours dark amber hue with ruby highlights and a large tan head that slowly dissipates down the side of the glass, leaving a decent trail and ending in a wispy lace.

S: Toffee and caramel aroma with hints of raisins.

T: Flavor comes through similar to the smell with a malty toffee and caramel taste. Hints of chocolate and raisins in the background.

M: Full body and medium carbonation.

O: Excellent Scotch Ale. Warming and rich and just enough alcohol.

 511 characters

Photo of sonorb7
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of wrightst
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of seedyone
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

From bottle at Home. WOW! This is a big, impressive beer.

Deep bronze/copper colored liquid topped with a floating island of thick rich foam filled my glass.

The malty aroma manages to get through the one inch head. Super flavors of the malts reach out and nearly drag you in & then leave you with a slight peaty after taste. Up on the sweetness but not overbearingly so. No bite & no bitter.

The texture matches the appearance. Rich & lux.

Stonecutter, I welcome you. You're a long way from NZ & I'm truly glad you made the trip.

Without a doubt I will be watching for some of the other offerings from Renaissance Brewing.

Just saw the "type" listing: "wee heavy"? There's naught wee here, IMO.

 705 characters

Photo of CanuckRover
4.41/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours near-black red... at the right angle it's a dark, dark, dark, garnet. My bottle gives off a massive, rocky, rollicking, mocha head, that puffs up out of my Duvel tulip. Lacings are thick and sticky, like an icecream float.

I don't like Scotch in the least, so the aroma of this actually has me worried. Refined, comforting smoke, like from a wood-burning stove. A bit of alcohol lingering behind the smokey malt. Actually had to check the bottle again to make sure this didn't have a shot or two in it.

Just a masterwork in malt blending. Smooth up front, ripe red fruit gradually melds with sweet toffee, which gives way to chocolate covered cherries. Smokey finish with just the slightest bitterness, not acrid in the least.

Mouthfeel is pretty much spot on, at times I think a touch too much carbonation, but I'm being nitpicky.

A brilliant go at the style. A must try for malt fiends.

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Photo of mdagnew
4.36/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle bought online from Beermerchants.com

Poured a crystal clear coppery russet colour. Light tan head poured tight, thick and foamy then faded to decent wispy covering with thick edging... light carbonation drifts slowly to the surface... some patchy lacing lines...

Aroma - Roasted caramel malts, dried and alcohol soaked dark fruits (raisins, dates, figs and some sour apples), burnt nuttiness, light peaty smoke, vanilla, earthy notes, quite spicy and peppery, some oaky / scotch / rum traces, floral honey...

Taste – Lots of strong toffee malts, brown sugar / treacle sweetness, lots of peppery spiciness, (over?) ripe fruit - dates, figs, some banana. Faint smokiness, toasted bread, toffee apples, definite scotch alcohol notes coming through, very light grassy hop bitterness, nutty...

Feel - Very smooth and creamy... medium bodied... a pretty quaffable brew even at 7% although you never forget that the alcohol is there...

Overall - An excellent example of a wee heavy... perfect for a cold winters evening... recommended...

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Photo of risenz
4.36/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Brilliant deep chestnut under a persistent rootbeer float quality light tan head that perches high up over the rim of the glass and leaves ledges of lace.
S: Rich malt, grainy spice, light sweetness.
T: Rich malt flavors that have a malt whiskey character. Starts sweet and then dries out on the finish.
F: Creamy, medium full body, above average carbonation.
O: A little over carbonated but other than that a very nice Scotch Ale.

 438 characters

Photo of gizmoguy
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of Jamestregenza
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of Molson2000
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of pkalix
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of thehyperduck
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle from the LCBO, best before June 2012. I've had some really good wine from New Zealand - beer, not so much, but this one looks more promising than Steinlager.

Pours a muddy reddish-copper colour, topped with about two fingers of creamy, long-lasting off-white head - it takes a long time to dissipate but leaves webs of sticky lacing on the sides of the glass. This is a very attractive beer, and the aroma is very enticing as well. Nice, sweet roasted biscuit malt backbone, lots of toffee, raisins and a few herbal/anise notes. All of these together impart the brew with that earthy, peaty feel one expects from a proper Scotch Ale.

"Proper", however, is a descriptor that is far too wishy-washy to use to describe this stuff - something like "delicious" or "fantastic" would be far more appropriate. As advertised, this ale is definitely a malt bomb - plenty of nutty roasted malt character, lots of toffee alongside lesser notes of vanilla and chocolate. Raisin/prune flavours are noticeable as well. Herbal and earthy toward the end of the sip, with a bit of peat and smoke that leaves some lingering dryness in the aftertaste. The ethanol is virtually unnoticeable. Medium-bodied - a bit too light for my tastes but this is really the only criticism I can come up with. Very mild carbonation, and extremely smooth/easy to drink for the style.

A bit pricy, but this is a solid Scotch ale; a bit less intense/rough than others but undeniably enjoyable. If this had a bit more body it would probably be my new favourite for the style. This is definitely worth a try, and is enough to make me overlook the systematic suppression of the metric system, as well as Steve Gutenberg's fame.

 1,704 characters

Photo of Conrad
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An excellent brew. Nice deep copper-mahogany colour, lovely foam that lasted and left fine lacing. Aroma of dark fruit and toasted malt. Taste: Good balance of malt and yeasty hops, with lots of complex notes that I couldn't name. (My palate is not as refined as some). Mouthfeel is perfect. Not too watery or too thick and creamy. Finish is long and smooth, with a voice telling me to go have another. A favourite, but too expensive to be my regular tipple. If you're going to buy me a beer, make it a Stonecutter.

 515 characters

Photo of azkkr
4.16/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of hunteraw
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ordered at brew quay in Auckland.

Appearance: Dark brown, rub highlights. Attractive, high head with good retention and leaving plentiful lacing.

Smell: rich and malty, with dark fruits and a hint of peat in the background. Very earthy. More and more cocoa powder as it warms, German chocolate cake comes to mind.

Taste: Well balanced malt centric beer, with enough bitterness to keep things from getting overly sweet. Toffee, roast, cocoa, raisins and what seems to be a touch of smoke.

Mouthfeel: medium body, carbonation reasonable and creamy. finishes dry.

Drinkability: very good, one of the best nz beers I have tried

 628 characters

Photo of biegaman
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You wouldn't suspect looking at this rusty, dark russet toned beer that it actually lights up to look almost like clamato, in both colour and consistency. The hazy beer looks heavy has a brick (which it also resembles) and has a thin head that leaves a lacing dense enough to grip the glass even as the liquid beneath it dissipates down.

The aroma has enough wood smoke and peat-y earth to convince me it was brewed in Islay. Seriously, for a moment I forgot this was actually produced on the other side of the world. And, if not for the amount of thick, sweet and chewy malt I might have forgotten that it's actually a beer - and not a scotch. This is rich stuff.

The brewery shares that they used 9 varieties of malts but what they fail to mention is how many pounds of grain must go into each batch - my guess is a lot. The beer is laced with rich, vivid elements of kettle caramelization as well as a peaty, lightly smoky flavour (like that of Islay whiskeys), lots of grain, and an abundance of raisin-y fruitiness.

I'm no brewing expert, but take it from me: this beer was made by one. No shortcuts were taken with regard to the beer's sweetness; crystal malts were used only as needed. This is bona fide kettle caramelization. And delicate use of dark malts gave the hints of chocolate and smoke without adding any harsh roast or astringency. Alcohol is hidden.

Unlike popular American renditions of the style, this Kiwi offering doesn't take any shortcuts by pushing the hop and caramel levees to their breaking points. Rather, it has textbook emulated all that is appealing and distinctive about the classic Scottish examples except to the point of, well, in my opinion, actually doing an even better job at it.

 1,728 characters

Photo of BYOFB
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of biboergosum
4.09/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle, 7.1% ABV. I can't but help associate this with the Stonecutters of Simpsons secret society lore (We do! We do!). No apologies, we all get our culture from somewhere, yeah?

This beer pours a dark, yet quite brilliantly reddish amber hue, with two fingers of tightly foamy, puffy, and kind of creamy beige head, which leaves a low-lying circus tent spire array of lace around the glass as it slowly and steadily abates.

It smells of somewhat sour peat, well roasted meaty caramel malt, wet ash, a touch of smokey medium chocolate, singed dark fruit - raisin, maybe - understated anise, and sidling metallic notes. The taste is still on the smokey side, as the caramel malt, generic black fruit, less obfuscated raisin and prune fruitiness, edgy leafy, earthy hops, and seemingly loitering warming alcohol all exhibit at least a hint of it.

The bubbles are around and about, to be sure, but not really in an upfront, 'hey, look at me' sort of manner, the body a decent medium weight, and adequately smooth, the smoke taking a chink or two out of that particular armour. It finishes still off-dry, as this is indeed none other than a prototypical Scotch ale, so, um, there - the caramel/toffee malt isn't to be trifled with by any upstart, wannabe smokiness.

I don't think that this could be any more Scottish if it were actually from the auld country (hey Brewdog, how ya doin'?). Looking at the map around where this brewery is situated, this is now hardly a surprise - Scottish place names pop up everywhere. Anyways, the peat, the caramel, the fruit - this is eminently true to the style, even if its antipodean roots may not have the 'required' pedigree - meh to that.

 1,687 characters

Photo of bryehn
4.09/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, copper-amber colour with a medium tan head. Good retention, minor lacing.

The aroma is fantastic. Dates, wood, a slight smoky texture and caramel. Notes of berries and nuts too.

Hearty, woody taste, with nuts and milk chocolate rounding out the body. The finish is dry.

Full-bodied with a low carbonation, bread and syrup qualities on the tongue. Finish has a cigar smoke character.

Very nice sipping beer, will try again if I come across it.

 460 characters

Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.09/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to my buddy Mike for bringing this over last night, along with Renaissance's porter offering. These brews from antipodean climes kept catching my eye on the shelf but I never did pull the trigger and bring them home. Not sure if it was the rather fanciful labels or some other off-putting factor (or perhaps I am still suffering from a form of brain lock after spending much of the holiday season (unsuccessfully) searching for Lagunitas Sucks ... Yes, I live in Calgary, not where the craft beer falls from the sky like manna ... The homeless people in Cali probably drink more Sucks than I ever will), but it turns out I will probably still be buying them after all ... The Scotch ale exemplar reviewed here was poured into a pint glass, a nice coppery reddish-brown with a moderate degree of carbonation, sufficient to form about an inch of whitish head. Rich yet mellow aroma of toffee, dried dark fruit, and nondescript nuts greets the drinker, and a taste reveals much the same sensory experience. Is that a hint of citrus on the nose as well? Just a hint. Almost anything brewed in NZ has a little of that "twangy" hop aroma. There is some of the sour peaty smoke that you get with some authentic takes on this style but its relatively restrained and refined here, a background percept rather than a key player. Instead the sweet flavors are front and center, slightly salty burnt caramel, treacle toffee, prunes, hints of rum, and walnuts along with a little sour apple to provide additional seasoning. Moderately heavy body but smooth and creamy and remains quite drinkable in spite of the sweetness. The flavor components hang together well and there is only a little booziness. Few obvious hop flavors as per the style but there is enough of an earthy bucolic weedy character to cut some of the sweetness and provide added complexity. Well-crafted, super tasty Scotch ale weighted towards the sweet and nutty rather than the sour and smoky.

 1,958 characters

Photo of Kartoffeln
4.09/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep, opaque russet with a sizeable, fluffy head of bubbly mahogany foam. Retention is alright, shortly dissipating to scanty patches foam and leaving nearly no lacing.

S: Caramel and brown malts bursting with sweet dark fruit aromas of plums, black cherries, and candied figs. Strong chocolate and mate character with roasty undertones of biscuit malt and nuts. Black molasses, butteriness, and a whiff of ethanol round out the nose.

T: Rich, sweet, and slightly bready caramel malts blend into juicy, fruity notes of plums and raisins, then give way to biscuit malt, nuttiness, chocolate, and hints of molasses and licorice on the swallow. Finishes with toasted barley and faint floral, woody hops.

M: Full-bodied and chewy with minimal carbonation. The finish is dry and nuanced by roasty and hoppy bitterness, managing to balance the malty sweetness fairly well and encourages a follow-up sip.

D: An excellent Scotch ale that's both flavourful and well-balanced, perfect for slow sipping on a cold night even though it's relatively easy-drinking. Be certain to let it warm up a bit to get all the malty nuances.

 1,130 characters

Photo of nztayls
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very dark brown with touches of red. A medium mocha head forms, though this quickly dissipates leaving some foam around the edge of the glass.

S - Sweet toffee smell, some very faint peaked-malt aroma. Little to no hop aroma.

T - Sweet toffee malt notes with a very subtle but noticeable peaked malt undertone that immediately takes me back to thoughts of Laphroig Malt Whisky. Very little bitterness

M - Soft medium-body mouthfeel.

O - This is a very drinkable Scottish Ale that has just enough peaked malt to be noticeable - without being overbearing. A great drink to have on a cold winter night when the rain is beating down on the roof.

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Photo of GodOfBeer
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky brown-amber with a thin off-white head, some slight lacing.

Smells of caramel, chocolate, roasted malts, a sweet berry-like character and some nuttiness to top it off. Interesting.

Tastes of sweet, dark fruits upfront, caramel, toffee, chocolate, finishes nutty with a nice bitterness derived from the hops. Very complex.

Somewhat of a thin mouthfeel, not as thick as I was expecting, but overall still a wonderful beer!

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Stonecutter from Renaissance Brewing
3.87 out of 5 based on 122 ratings.
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