Craftsman | Renaissance Brewing

BA SCORE
85
very good
92 Ratings
THE BROS
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CraftsmanCraftsman
BEER INFO

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

Style: Oatmeal Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ADZA on 12-15-2009

BEER STATS
Ratings:
92
Reviews:
48
Avg:
3.83
pDev:
12.79%
 
 
Wants:
1
Gots:
3
For Trade:
0
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Ratings: 92 |  Reviews: 48
Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

LCBO Maple Leaf Gardens bottle.
Big chocolate and roast aroma. This is a dry stout, with cocoa, and fine for a porter. Slightly above average mouthfeel, though dry finish. Dark chocolate looks with lots of lace. Drinkable, likely better with dessert.

 250 characters

Photo of metter98
3.74/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a finger pillowy high tan head that died down, consistently leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of chocolate and cocoa are present in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of dark malts along with notes of cocoa.
M: It feels light-bodied and rather airy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. Some bits of smoothness are noticeable.
O: This beer is very light and airy for an oatmeal stout and seems to take away from the inherent smoothness from the oatmeal, but it is extremely easy to drink and doesn't taste at all filling.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle. It may be a hot, stuffy August day, but night has fallen, and things have cooled off. So, time for stout, methinks. No, me wants.

This beer pours a solid black, with minor basal cola highlights, and two fingers of wanly foamy, fairly bubbly beige head, which leaves a low meniscus of side-hugging lace literally around the glass as it quickly blows off.

It smells of chalky cocoa, mildly bittersweet coffee beans, lightly roasted caramel malt, milk chocolate, and earthy, leafy hops. The taste is grainy, biscuity caramel malt, a sort of Coffee Crisp coffee/chocolate candy bar sweetness, a bit of glutenous breakfast oatmeal, and a hint of licorice and vanilla cafe side bar additives.

The bubbles are pretty laid-back and inert, the body a decently hefty medium weight, and pleasantly smooth, with a timid creaminess. It finishes on the sweet side, just, as the cocoa, coffee, vanilla, and anise flavours all hitch the same ride out of town.

A pretty tasty, and generally enjoyable oatmeal stout, with enough unheralded offsets to the sweetness to make this a serious go. Not heavy, nicely representative of the style, and surely worthy of revisiting come more autumnal weather.

 1,198 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.31/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle: Poured a light black color stout with a large light brown foamy head with average retention and some good lacing. Aroma consists of light black chocolate notes with some bitter roasted malt notes also noticeable. Taste is a mix between medium black chocolate notes with light bitter roasted malt notes with a light touch of coffee in the aftertaste. Body is too light with not enough of a creamy texture but with some very good carbonation. Not bad overall but I would think that a fuller body would improve the drinking experience.

 540 characters

Photo of Boone757
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of chinchill
3.19/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Ratings with a slight adjustment (but certainly not enough) for an old and infected bottle.

Unappealing vegetal aroma. Some of this carriers over to the flavor. At least the smooth body is better than average.
Actually the flavor is decent if not as good as it should be. Good level of chocolate.

 301 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.81/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours on opaque jet black in color with light amounts of gentle visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and some faint hints of dark cola brown highlights. The beer has a three finger tall pillowy dark tan head that very slowly reduces to a medium finger tall cap in the center surrounded by a very thick film and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of dark roasted malts, bittersweet chocolate, and freshly ground espresso.

T: Upfront there is a slightly heavier than moderate flavor of dark roasted malts (almost burnt) with a light to moderate flavor of espresso (freshly brewed). There are light to moderate flavors of bittersweet chocolate in the finish. Light to moderate amounts of bitterness which slowly fade away.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Light and airy.

O: Enjoyable if you like some pleasant (not overly aggressive) bitterness in the flavors of your stouts. Easy to drink with a light and airy mouthfeel - a nice brunch beer.

 1,068 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.38/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

500ml bottle - $7.99 at Mink's Package Store in Marietta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours an opaque, very dark brown body with ungodly tall, sea foam-like, beige head.

Smell: Roast-edged malts, bitterish dark chocolate, a puff of smokey and some espresso grounds. Unfortunately, there's a noted, disagreeable vegetal tone that shows up in the flavor, but is a bit more prominent here. Pity.

Taste: Roast, dark chocolate and a smokey shot of espresso. Hint of licorice. Medium-light sweetness. Slight dark berry accent. Touch of something from the garden. Minor bitterness. Drying, roasty, chocolaty finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Sharp carbonation.

Overall: Rather over-carbonated. Craftsman never reaches the potential hoped for it.

 740 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared by argo0. Thanks man!

The beer is dark chestnut brown with a tall mocha head. The aroma offers chocolate, vanilla, subtle coffee. Smells nice. The flavor is smooth and easy drinking. Light sweetness throughout, maybe some hazelnuts. Sweet chocolates and roasted malt. Fairly low carbonation. Overall, this was solid.

 324 characters

Photo of JAHMUR
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of rolltide8425
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into an English pint glass, the appearance was a dark brown color with a finger and a half's worth of white foamy head that slid off in a nice appeal. Light messy lace ran about the glass appropriately.
The aroma had a nice blend of sweet to bitter milk and dark chocolate portions. Underscored by some light coffee and sweet oats, gentle roast and a hint of dark bread.
The flavor was a mix of the sweet to the bitter and roastiness pulling the chocolate to the coffee and the dark bread. Pretty smooth aftertaste of the chocolate and the coffee and oats.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a decent sessionability about it. Carbonation felt fine, somewhat low. ABV felt appropriate. Exceptionally smooth along my tongue.
Overall, what this brewery does for the "oatmeal style" every brewer should be doing as the oats do exactly what they're supposed to do. Hoping to get some more of this for football games this Autumn.

 938 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.82/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours pitch black with a fine one finger light brown head with great retention and tons of lacing. Nice aroma of dark toasted malt, good chocolate, hints of coffee and hot cocoa. Flavor is toasted malt with light char, dark and milk chocolate, light vanilla, day old coffee. Coffee, light chocolate and a bit of char in the finish. Light to medium bodied with good carbonation. A flavorful stout with a lighter body and less intense flavors than expected from the dramatic black color and full chocolate head. It may be becoming difficult for me to fairly evaluate lower ABV stouts because they do not emphasize the flavors as well. This one has nice complex, good chocolatey taste, but it leaves me wishing for more. With a bit more intensity and fuller malt body, this could be amazing. The flavors that are present are good and I enjoyed the entire bottle. If I was looking for a session stout, this would be near the top of the list.

 974 characters

Photo of liamt07
4.09/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from the LCBO, 500ml into a tulip.

Black, deep purple translucency at the corners. This lighter brown head, even with an aggressive pour. Some darker fruits, hints of vanilla and roasted malt notes on the nose. Taste has cocoa powder, milk chocolate, again a hint of vanilla and softer roasted notes. Quite a bit of chocolate all around, and is prominent in the finish as well. Medium feel, lower carbonation as expected from the pour but sits pretty well as is for what I appreciate in the style. Quite a nice chocolate-y oatmeal stout and thankfully avoids being as metallic as others have reported.

 609 characters

Photo of biegaman
4.57/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What's black, white and delicious all over? Renaissance Craftsman. OK, well, not actually white, its head is admittedly as dark as some coffees. It manages an impressively foamy texture for the better part of the tasting. Opaque, onyx - this is the poster boy for stouts everywhere.

The aromatic presence of authentic, rich cocoa cannot be embellished. Holy cow! It is enlivening. There is nothing discreet about the chocolate and vanilla in this nose, one of the few that manages to feature more actual chocolate than roasted grain. Although entirely straight-forward, the bouquet is underpinned by an espresso-like sophistication. Head-spinning.

Despite boasting a deep, dark core of heavy roast coffee, cocoa nibs and vanilla pod, Craftsman doesn't pack a big punch. In fact, its broad-shouldered flavours are incredibly well-detailed and possess an ultra silky mid-palate texture (like reduced balsamic), despite the overlaying soft, sooty bitterness. On the palate it is rich, round and solidly intense without showing too much muscularity or decadence.

Craftsman is truly a stout for stout makers. Despite focusing so heavily on the cocoa, it is nonetheless a wonderfully complete recipe. It is rich and gratifying without being too heavy or astringent. It has deft traces of a dry oak-y element that accompanies the firmly structured, slowly building finish. It hovers on the palate without being too imposing. Just lovely.

The scores posted above were granted without hesitation. This chocolate-oatmeal stout has mind-blowing, broad-scaled cocoa qualities and strikes a remarkable balance between intensity and mellowness. This is only my second Renaissance Brewing offering but I'm already calling these guys 'gurus' and am now officially a card-carrying member of their fan-club, whatever the costs.

 1,816 characters

Photo of Hayley_86
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of spinrsx
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml Bottle from the Otttawa LCBO for 6$

Appearance - Black/Brown colour with with an average size fizzy/frothy light brown head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some great lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, nuts

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and some roasted/toasted nuts. There is also some light coffee flavour and a bit of a graininess. It ends with a chocolatey sweet aftertaste.

Overall - Like peensteen mentioned, it really tastes like a liquid chocolate bar. A really impressive beer that tastes like it was made with high quality ingredients. The price tag is a tad high but it's well worth it.

 737 characters

Photo of PEIhop
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Photo of bluejacket74
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle, back label says 5.6% ABV. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown/black. The head was huge, as the brew foamed up like crazy when I tried to pour it into the glass. So after letting it settle and after multiple small pours, I was able to get a mostly full glass to drink after a few minutes. The brew smells like roasted malt, milk and bittersweet chocolate, vanilla, oats and a bit of coffee. Taste is pretty much the same as the aroma, althought I think the chocolate flavor leans more towards sweet milk chocolate. There's also a bit of charred/burnt malt noticeable. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's slick and creamy, and also has high but soft carbonation. I think it's a good overall brew, I just would like for the carbonation to be lower. But other than that, I liked it a lot.

 808 characters

Photo of jzlyo
4.07/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Aroma is chocolate/dark chocolate, dark malts and mild oak/BBQ. The flavor is oak/slight barbecue, dark chocolate dark malts, dark fruit and a mix of smoky and acidity in the finish.

 183 characters

Photo of dgilks
4.67/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A-fricken-mazing. Pitch black with a nice chocolate brown head. Nice lacing. Really tasty, milk chocolate and cocoa flavour with a hint of coffee. Well rounded flavour. Good chocolate aroma. Not a lot else there but I don't want anymore. Medium body with moderate carbonation. Tasty.

 283 characters

Photo of andrenaline
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pumped to find this locally, especially in the beer starved North...

A - Pours pitch black, finger of mocha head with some retention and no real lacing.

S - Scent is dominated by milk chocolate, dark cocoa, espresso and a hint of burnt tobacco.

T - Nice milk chocolate and dark cocoa notes, the leafy green hop notes and a touch of tobacco smoke. The cocoa lingers on the palette with some espresso and spent coffee grinds.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and creamy and a touch of dryness on the finish.

O - So glad this made it to Northern Ontario, a great oatmeal stout with great chocolate undertones. Loads of flavour and well worth trying to get your hands on a bottle.

 674 characters

Photo of pkalix
4.81/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

super dark brown, small head on top.
smell is good chocolate.
taste is AWESOME. INCREDIBLE. I love this stuff. this is gulpable and enjoyable like a malt. yeah, I know, do not gulp your beer. but this stuff is really good, easy to drink, and easier to gulp that any of the American comparable 5% commercial brews. super smooth. and, actually, my bottle says 5.6%.... what a nice surprise! this stuff is GREAT!!!! recommended highly....

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Craftsman from Renaissance Brewing
3.83 out of 5 based on 92 ratings.
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