Samuel Adams Stony Brook Red (Barrel Room Collection) | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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86
very good
761 Ratings
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Samuel Adams Stony Brook Red (Barrel Room Collection)Samuel Adams Stony Brook Red (Barrel Room Collection)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States
samueladams.com

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Aged in oak barrels; hand-bottled corked & caged; bottled-conditioned. A greater percentage of "Cosmic Mother Funk" was blended into this beer.

Added by Todd on 10-30-2009

BEER STATS
Ratings:
761
Reviews:
250
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
15.06%
 
 
Wants:
44
Gots:
115
For Trade:
1
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 761 |  Reviews: 250
Photo of mattkoon
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this is the last of the three barrel aged sam adams beers i bought the other day. this "stony brook red" has a really nice red color. the smell is sweet and dry. the flavor is also sweet and sourish. all three of these beer have had dry sweet wine characteristics but this one, to me, was the most close to a sherry. its really dry and sweet. this beer is a very interesting drink. i love the experimentation that has been going on in the beer world. and this barrel aged stony brook is right up there with some of the other good results the experiments have yielded.

 567 characters

Photo of BostonBrewins
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a tawny reddish brown. Small tan head laces the glass all of the way through.

S - Smells fruity and a bit yeasty. Aroma is pungent but not overpowering.

T - Fruity, tart, and sour. Toasty maltiness is there too, almost bready. Flavors are sharp and aggressive. There is a sweetness that provides a nice contrast to the sourness. Some nice complexity. Dry finish.

M - Fairly light bodied and extremely smooth. Just the right level of carbonation. Very pleasant mouthfeel.

D - Very flavorful and easy to drink. This would make a nice dessert beer.

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Photo of Kinsman
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby red with a slight bit of haze. Bubbly tan head rises quickly to fill the upper third of the glass but settles a little quicker than I would have liked.

Nice aroma on this one. Good bit of cherry notes with some oak and lactic acidity as well. Hints of vinegar as well.

Taste is fairly simple and straight forward compared to similar beers. Nice tart cherry flavor and sweeter oak notes coming through. A bit of a musty character starts to show up as the beer warms. Not quite as impressive as the aroma but solid nonetheless.

Mouthfeel is live and bubble with crisp medium body feel and just a bit drying in the finish. Overall, SA Stony Brook Red is a nice change of pace from the usual lineup of Sam Adams. Nothing crazy here but a solid wild ale with a nice subtle brett character. All for under $10... not a bad deal at all.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark red with a small white head. A bit of lacing and little retention.

Aroma features a bit of vino quality. A little acidic with some oak and other funk as well. A little bit of caramel malt.

A little bit of fruit/berry sweetness up front in the flavor. Not terribly sour although there is a bit of acidity and tartness, but more earthy/funky than straight sour. As with the nose, it is heavily oaked. Maltiness is a bit on the sweeter side although not overly so.

Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Very dry finish.

Pretty impressed by this one. Not great, but tartness and funkiness are balanced with a lot of oak. I wish it were a tad less sweet, but otherwise solid effort.

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Photo of TrappistJohnMD
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark mahogany red with off-white head.

Smell is sour with hints of tart fruit and hints of worcheshire sauce.

Taste follows smell well but with a little less tart character. Not as sour as I expected and makes appearance more toward the finish. Good fruit flavors and hints of worcheshire sauce. Very complex.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied. Prickly carbonation.

Overall this was good. Not as tart as I would like to see.

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Photo of Stillyman11
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of sisuspeed
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a red wine glass. Pours with a lively off-white head that quickly reduces to a few patches across a maroon body with red/orange hues. Almost no lacing.

Sweet malts mixed with some acidic red grapes, light cherries and strawberry. Further swirling and sniffing pulls out a blend of Belgian spice and oak on the nose. Quite pleasant.

The taste is filled with oaky sweet malts and dark red fruit soaked in a touch of vinegar. Grapes, grape skin, a hint of cherry and again some strawberry. One of the few beers where I actually pick up some strawberry. Just a touch of spice, possibly cinnamon.

Mouthfeel is smooth, slightly foamy with adequate carbonation. Not too heavy. A touch of acidic tartness.

Drinkability is good. This is one of the best Sam Adams beers I've had to date. The 9% ABV is well masked and the overall beer is well done. I'd like to see them continue with similar projects. Worth picking up a bottle.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Amber body with some deep ruby tones. Head disappears quickly and leaves a very thin layer of tan bubbles on top.

S- A musty aroma is noticeable initially, with some cherry and grape notes as well. Hidden in the back is some oak and a hint of spice.

T- Sour, with a musty grape taste up front, followed by some sweetness and a cherry taste along with some oak.

M- The start is thin and the finish is very dry.

O- All in all, a complex and interesting beer. Tastes could mesh a little better, and may over some time in the cellar. I would definitely give this one another shot.

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Photo of brewskifan55
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass

A: Opaque dark amber with a tan one finger head that quickly dissipates. Nice lacing.

S: Dark fruit (apricot, dates, pears), Cloves, earthy.

T: Lambic tartness to start, then a cherry-like flavor pops in. Pepper, oak. Chocolate. Fruity, sweet, with a wine kind of finish. Unusual, but I like it. The 9% slides in to relax the senses. Better cooler.

M: Medium with creamy carbonation. Love how it sits on the tongue.

O: Glad I tried it. Different, but tasty. A great ale to sit on the back porch listening to the rain with. Relaxing. If you're a lambic fan,this is a pleasing beginning to a fine sipper.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle was poured into a large Duvel glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that has reduced to a thin layer. It is an amber red color with little clarity and bubbles coming up the edges of the glass.

Smell: Oak, tart fruits, sourness, and bready notes. The beer almost smells like a Flemish red. Very interesting.

Taste: Very tasty and delicious. The tart aspects of the beer blend well with the smooth parts of oak.

Mouthfeel: very dry and almost champagne like the bottle states, medium to full bodied, a little chewy, and medium to high carbonation. The beer smooths out after a while too.

Overall: Is this a wild ale or a Flemish red? Anyways, it tasted very good. Reasonably priced too @ $10 a bottle. Delicious and enjoyable.

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Photo of mlockman
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very tart; strong flavors of oak and Belgian yeast. Reminded me a lot of Upland's oak-aged Belgian quad. Really high quality beer from Sam Adams, inspires me to try more of their barrel-aged brews.

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Photo of philbe311
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - A tad bit more than a finger's worth of audibly fizzy slightly off-white head that displays near zero retention... Don't blink or else you'll miss it.. No lacing to speak of, just a couple of stray bubbles along the rim of the glass... The color is a deep warm burgundy with some light brown notes... There is a richness and depth of color... There is a very subtle murkiness... Still with no discernible carbonation...

S - A huge aromatic nose that is uber appealing... Loads of rich toasted oak... Notes of vanilla... Loaded with bing cherry notes... Hints of raspberries and pomegranate... Candied apples... A light warming holiday spiciness as well... A very subtle earthiness lies beneath the surface... Layers of depth and complexity... I really wish that they made air fresheners that smelled half this good... Fantastic...

T - A slight departure from the nose... Much of the anticipated fruity sweetness is missing in action... Instead, there is an earthy woody character that permeates throughout... A slightly tart acidic presence... Some light red wine tannin notes... Some very faint vanilla notes... Some underlying notes of warm holiday spices...

M - Lots of bubbling carbonation... On the lighter side of medium bodied... Exceedingly dry from the get go... Turns even drier with each and every sip...

D - An interesting brew... A bit of a mixed bag... The aroma is world class... The rest of the beer is intriguing, but no better than slightly above average... Another interesting offering from the Samuel Adams Barrel Room collection... Curious BAs will find this interesting enough, but I'm not sure it's something I would invest in again in the future...

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Photo of HattedClassic
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The beer pours some light head that dissipates very quickly. The head is an off-white color and has a foamy texture. The beer itself is a clear ruby red. The beer has a strong tarty smell with a slight oak and vanilla note. The tart is a dark cherry tart with dark fruit notes. The other notes enhance the tart and compliment it well. There are also some dark fruit notes but they get lost in the tart smell. The taste notes are similar to the smell. The taste has the same funk taste but the dark fruit notes are much stronger. The oak and vanilla notes are still there but they come at the end of road. The lighted toasted malts make an appearance in the taste. The beer has thick and sticky feeling. The beer is medium bodied with biting carbonation. Overall, a decent beer.

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Photo of Celtics17
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is a great way to get into sour beers, but once you've had some great ones. This leaves you missing big flavors. I wanted more cherry, or fruit forward sourness coming through. It lacked a big vinegar backbone. It had very little "funk".

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Photo of selecter70
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've been quite happy with the whole Barrel Room Series, making a good name again for local Brew superhouse, Sam Adams. I snagged this one at the local Foodmaster (yep, a supermarket with liquor license...decent beer & wine and only getting better...and carpeted!). I wondered, what kind of red ale it might be, like a bland Irish red...wondered what the waters of Hyde Park might have spawned beneath the cork & cage...A hearty pop of the cork later released an aroma that I initially took for spoilt, as the sour funk escaped. The pour was a wet dark red with a fluffy off-white head of 2 fingers that soon sunk down to little, though some lace stuck around throughout. The aroma definitely pushes the funky farmhouse thing, evoking cherry & ripened green apples. This holds true with the flavor: sweet & tart, cherry-rose hip-apple with some hefe-like yeast & rich malts all work together so that not one thing overpowers. A bit lacking in body and mouthfeel for something akin to a Belgian farm ale, but still mighty fine.

 1,026 characters

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, 2012 bottling. Pours fairly crystal clear deep ruby red color with a 2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of tart cherry, cranberry, green apple, raisin, plum, red wine vinegar, hay, straw, oak, clove, pepper, leather, caramel, toast, light chocolate, musty funk, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good complexity and balance of fruity/funky yeast, oak barrel, and malt sweetness; with good strength. Taste of tart cherry, cranberry, green apple, raisin, plum, red wine, oak, clove, leather, funk, light vinegar, hay, straw, herbal, caramel, toast, light chocolate, light vanilla, and yeast earthiness. Fair amount of fruity/earthy tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of cherry, cranberry, green apple, plum, raisin, red wine, oak, clove, leather, funk, light vinegar, hay, straw, caramel, toast, light chocolate, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity and robustness of fruity/earthy yeast, oak barrel, and dark malt flavors; with balanced sweetness/tartness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a smooth and fairly slick/acidic mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice wild ale. All around good complexity and balance of fruity/funky yeast, oak barrel, and dark malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,625 characters

Photo of albern
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a pretty decent Belgian style Flemish ale. Not bad really, much better than I expected. It pours a rubyish color with a small slightly fizzy head out of the bottle with a touch of retention around the rim. The nose starts out really boozy and not at all enticing. As the beer warms, and you need to let it warm, it segues into a pretty nice slightly tart and vinegary and cherry vinous aroma. The nose is good, but you have to let the beer sit.

The taste has that nice combination of sweetness, tartness, ABV, and cherry flavors. There is a touch more vinegar to this beer than I would have liked, and for that I'm keeping the beer out of the A range, but it really is refreshing, sweetish, cherry tartness, sweet malts, floral, with a slight mouth puckering acerbic punch. The wild yeastiness brings the vinegary flavors to the fore. I think the yeast needs to be tamed a bit. Flemish reds are my favorite style, and this beer certainly doesn't detract from my preferences. L'Chaim.

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Photo of BEER88
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Chris_Gannon
3.89/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of TheMultiYeast
3.89/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark reddish brown with two fingers of head that fades away.

Tart cherry fruitiness in the nose, very malty, sweet, earthy sourness, some barrel.

Less sour and more malty than nose. Earthiness is there, sweetness, dry sourness.

Nice level of carbonation from bottle conditioning. Makes me want another sip.

Overall this beer exceeded my expectations. Pleasantly tart and dry.

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Photo of CloudStrife
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

25.4 oz bottle split and poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a dark ruby with a 2 finger off white head. Lots of visible carbonation. Very opaque. Head dwindles away but doesnt leave any real lacing.

S: Has the tart funky nose, some cherry kicks in. Nice dark fruits from the malt, raisin and fig, certainly grape. Malts tend to overpower a little.

T: Fairly balanced approach to a wild ale. Like the nose, more malt than sourness. Still has a nice little kick to it. Can pull though an oakiness too, mellows the malts. Sour tastes build up in your mouth as you drink.

M: Crisp, highly carbonated. Tart and puckering feel. Leaves a nice lingering taste in your mouth making you want another sip. Booze is real well hidden.

Overall a decent attempt by Sam Adams that I must give them credit for. It's great to see such a large brewery taking the time to make a wild.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Judging from the description of the beer on the label, I believe this beer is actually a Flemish Red and not an American Wild Ale. At any rate, poured from a beautiful corked and caged bottle into a La Fin Du Monde snifter. The pour is very nice-looking. Deep, dark reddish amber with a big head but quick dissipation. The nose is a bit faint. I get faint tones of cherries, oak, and some sour notes.

The beer has a nice medium body and a good firm, lively mouthfeel from the carbonation. You get a faint sweetness on the front of your tongue like a fruit jam. At mid-palate, the beer becomes a bit acidic and the fruit notes sour up nicely, drying things off. There is a bit of the 9\% ABV evident on the back of the palate, but it is not overwhelming or the least bit unpleasant. Flavors encountered include tart cherries, blueberries, sour apples, and white grapes. Very refreshing and appetizing, but not extremely sour.

At $6.99 for a large bottle, this beer is a bargain. It is an excellent example of a Flemish Red Ale from a brewer many are quick to dismiss. Do not be afraid of this one. It's probably not sour enough to please die-hard fans of sour beers, but it's plenty sour to enjoy drinking and might be a nice way to gently introduce someone to the wonderful (and expensive) world of sours.

 1,307 characters

Photo of Child_Pugh
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ONUMello
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a tulip
A: Pours a deep red color with a one-finger head that slowly settles
S: Sour apples & cherry with a dash of vinegar
T: Sour but nice, with cherries, apples, a touch of bitter, and a lengthy citrus driven finish.
M: Light bodied, nice puckering from the sourness and a lengthy sour finish. Can't taste/feel the 9% ABV
O: I like acid so I like this, though others may not. It isn't terribly malty/hoppy, but fits the wild ale style well.

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Photo of DaveAnderson
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'll admit it -- I'm not a huge fan of Sam Adams. I respect what they do, and recognize that they cleared a lot of trail for the American craft brew industry, but every time I drink one of their beers, I end up wishing they would take a little more risk. Their beers always end up on the safe side of interesting. So when my local shop told me they had a Sam Adams "Flanders Red", I was ready to take a pass.

However...

It was priced too low to blow off -- less than half the price of any other sour in the store. And the flip side of playing it safe is that Sam Adams has a high floor. At minimum, this beer won't suck, right? Only one way to find out.

A vigorous pour into a goblet produces a foamy, almond-colored head over a murky, mahogany and blood orange liquid. This quickly reduces to a thin head, leaving little lacing.

It smells like a sour. I'm also picking up cherries. And maybe it's just the power of suggestion, but now that I've written about the color, I smell almonds. This is supposed to be barrel-aged, but I'm no picking up any oak at all. As it warms, the cherry begins to take on a Ludens cough drop quality.

I don't catch any almond on the tongue. The cherry flavors are still abundant, however. And now I get a hint of the "toasted oak" promised on the label. Unfortunately, this just isn't sour enough. And I end up with a not entirely pleasant aftertaste.

If this had a more complex nose or more acid, I would probably be happy with the mouthfeel. But now I feel like being picky, so I'll say it: I wish it were more carbonated. On the other hand, it hides the 9% alcohol quite well.

I know I criticized Sam Adams for playing it too safe. With this beer, they show that they can color outside the lines just a little. It's pretty drinkable. I'm definitely going to buy some more, just to see how it ages. But for now, it's not going to replace any of my go-to sours.

EDIT: 2013-03-20
I keep finding this beer on the shelf at a price way too cheap to pass on, so I keep buying it and drinking it. It has grown on me considerably. It reminds me of before-the-best-after-date Dissident. I am nudging the taste and overall scores up a little.

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Samuel Adams Stony Brook Red (Barrel Room Collection) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.85 out of 5 based on 761 ratings.
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