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

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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 | website

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
Reviews:
247
Ratings:
751
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
14.81%
 
 
Wants:
43
Gots:
114
For Trade:
2
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Reviews: 247 | Ratings: 751
Photo of gr0g
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy, reddish brown in appearance. Big bottle-conditioned head with good retention. Spotty lacing with a few curtains left on the Ommegang tulip style glass. The first whiff yields a tartness with a slight barnyard funk. Sour apple and other tart, fruity notes. Some faint oak barrel notes on the back end. BBC has done a good job of crafting a complex aroma.

Tartness from the nose is not as prevalent on the palate, but the flavor profile leads with it then turns to an oaky finish. Body is quite malty, especially toward the finish. Fruity esters of apple and golden raisins. A faint trace of musty cellar. Taste and smell are fairly impressive, but the mouthfeel suffers a bit due to an overly soft carbonation that fades too quickly. Despite the big 9% ABV for the style, the alcohol is in total stealth mode.

Along with their Tripel, Stony Brook Red is another Sam Adams Barrel Room Collection offering that holds its own against well-entrenched Belgian offerings. While not among their equals, it's quite tasty and worthy of praise.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750 mL corked and caged bottle, no date that I can find. Poured into goblet

appears a medium brown color, with ruby highlights, thin head that fades. smell is vinegary sourness, a bit funky. sour cherry. as it warms, the puckering sourness of the taste increases. but finishes drier. vinous. the oak is in there too. thin to medium body. tingly carbonation on the tongue.

overall - fairly close to the Belgian standards.

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Photo of Lemke10
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This pours a medium brown color with a decent, beige head. There is a decent scent of yeast and fruits. The taste is very Belgian with a complex mixture of citrus, other fruits, and yeast. The texture is quite nice and very this beer makes for very easy drinking. Very smooth and well made!

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Photo of LeRose
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Liked this a lot. Tart enough to be interesting, some funky moldy bread aroma.flavor kind of reminded me a little of sourdough bread. A little oaky, some red berry/fruity flavors. The carbonation was nice - a bit of a tingle but more or less soft on the tongue. Solid beer, would get some more.

From notes...

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Awesome, uniquely-shaped corked/caged 750 ml brown bottle, with nice painted label. Used in my carbonnade flamande for Christmas, and poured the remaining ounces into my Southern Tier stemmed tulip.

Appearane: Attractive, rich and dusky garnet brew with a large antique ivory cap. Nice looking brew.

Smell: Classic Flanders Red up front, with earthy and slight balsamic and funky-twang notes. Perhaps a bit more malt character than in a typical Flanders Red. No hint of the 9% abv on the nose. Simple, but pleasant and authentic.

Taste: Maltier on the palate than suggested by the aromas. While the aromas suggested straight-up Flanders Red, the flavors reveal that this is, actually, a big beer. Light caramel flavors with significant (but not hot) alcohol. Balsamic and red fruit flavors in the background here and, while they're pleasant, they're too faint in my opinion. I'm wondering if once the alcohol had some time to age and mellow, these flavors wouldn't come more to the fore. Very light tartness, and some toasted caramel on the finish, as well as that typical sweet-tart note. A light, slightly tannic bitterness (maybe from the oak?).

Mouthfeel: Light, ever-so-slightly puckering...par for the course, and not bad considering the 9% alcohol.

Overall: Doesn't measure up to Rodenbach or the other best examples of the style, but very few, if any, do. This is definitely a Flanders Red-style ale for those first getting into 'wild' beers. That's not to suggest that it's in any way 'bad' or subpar, but just that the 'wild' and tart flavors are more subtle than in the best-known examples. I'd be surprised if part of this isn't the fact that this is a good 3-5% higher in alcohol than many Flemish Reds. Nonetheless, the toasted caramel malty notes are nice, and this one shoud be given its due at $8.99

Strong B....85-86

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Photo of Uniobrew31
3.05/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice color and appearance. It tasted more like a barley wine but I could attribute that the the barrel aging. It wasnt what I expected it to be but it was a good beer. I was thining it would have more of a abbey style taste with a big sour punch but the punch was more of a oak aged flavor. The first sip brough to mind a real oaky wine flavor. i might try this again with some friends. I dont think it was meant to be served in a 14 oz. glass. A solid effort by sam, But be prepared it is real real boozy.

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Photo of bump8628
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, saturated mahogany hue. Mild carbonation yields a thin khaki head. Light, balanced tartness with a sneaky musky funkiness poking through. The base beer is a big, smooth amber ale - warm, toasted, and caramelly. Big, coarse, woody oak note on the finish that is a bit jarring at the beginning but is really quite pleasant when it's all said and done. Really smooth at 9% ABV. Don't expect a traditional Flanders Red. The sourness is pretty subdued, but there is plenty of complexity and the big maltiness and 9% ABV make it a nice sipper. A great value at $4.99/750mL. Enjoyable enough to convince me to try the other 2 beers in the barrel room series.

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Photo of Ogre
3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Discovered this on the shelf next to Rodenbach Grand Cru, and at $9/22.4oz, figured why not give it a go?

Pours a dark caramel brown with a healthy, creamy head. Aromas of bananas and light vanilla are dominated by...cherry throat lozenge?

Tart and sour flavors are on the lighter side. The taste, especially the aftertaste, has a medicinal, sweet-y, yes, throat lozenge quality. An interesting brew, and great to see another American brewer giving a swing at this style, but not something I'll be picking up again.

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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 Tilley4
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a lone bottle on my last venture out... I've seen it around for a while and I figured I better give it a try...

The first thing I get from the aromas is the vinous aspect for sure... Some oakiness and earthiness as well... some nice sweet malts... definitely some funk... Very unusual... Not overly tart aromas but there's enough there to keep me interested for sure... I'm curious to see where this one goes... I am getting a touch of booze off of it as well...

Lot of fruit present in the first sip and while it's not overpoweringly sour, it's nicely tart with a good earthy quality to it... The oak is loud and clear as well... The malts are more obvious than in other brews of the style and give this a slight sweetness not usually found in wilds.... It's a unique quality and one that I found sort of appealing. It gives the beer a little body and seems to cut the carbonation a little. I like this... I'm surprised at how drinkable it is...

I liked this beer... Very drinkable as the tartness isn't overwhelming and the sweetness of the malt helps to cut the carbonation and make this a nice drink...

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep reddish color ale with a large off-white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of light tart notes with hint of cherries and light oak notes. Taste is a low acidity mix between tart cherries with light oak notes and subtle vinous notes. Body is about average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Easy drinking sour with some complexity.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

More of a Flemish oud bruin than a red, at least by color and malt presence. The American wild ale may be most appropriate, as this is not brewed in Belgium at all. Sam Adams' Stony Brook Red is not as enjoyable to me due to its moderate tartness. This is, however, not overly sweet, and I appreciate this gesture towards not pacifying Americans' sweet tooth. The major flavors and aromas are caramel-like sweetness tempered by modest acidic tartness and cherry-like esters. Not a bad beer by any stretch, one that I wouldn't mind aging for three years and checking on its progress.

Pours a 1cm head of light tan foam, made up of dense, small bubbles. Retention is above average, lasting several minutes before settling to a thin cap atop the body of the beer that remains throughout the entire glass. Head leaves significant, attractive lacing along the sides of the glass: a mixture of large lines and circular clumps. Body is a hazy, dark brownish amber, with visible and modest carbonation. Light brings out a brighter brown-orange hue to the somewhat opaque body.

Aroma opens with caramel-like sweetness and a faintly tart, acidic, vinegary scent behind this. Next wave of scents settles out towards the end of an inhalation, with fairly faint tart cherries underneath and even more modest ethanol. Fairly complex, though perhaps a bit too subtle for its own good; would have liked to notice more of the barrel-aged and acidic qualities of the beer.

Tasting opens with caramel malt sweetness that has been slightly touched by acid-producing bacteria, yielding a minor tartness and cherry flavor. Mid-palate finds caramel malts with a bit of oak character and increased cherry character with tartness equivalent to that encountered upfront; ethanol also appears, though very minor. Back of palate detects cherry flavors with slightly more tartness than found at the front of the palate, modest sweetness, and more noticeable ethanol. Lingering aftertaste of toasted malts with oak characters and a slight, very subtle, tart cherry edge. Tartness is, overall, fairly mild, making this a good introduction to the style, perhaps.

Beer is medium bodied, through and through, with modest carbonation, creating a smooth, slightly foamy mouthfeel. Finishes dry, with very little residual stickiness on the palate.

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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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Photo of BeerCon5
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, cloudy reddish color with about one finger of fluffy khaki head that doesn’t last long.

The scent is dominant of tart cherry, vinegary, underlying sweetness.

The taste is mainly the tart cherries with vinegar, some toasted malt and vanilla is noticeable.

Medium body, smooth and lightly crisp, moderate carbonation.

Overall this was a pretty nice beer, good flavor and the alcohol was well disguised.

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Photo of rangerred
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip from a nicely presented 750ml bottle.

Pours a clear dark ruby with a one finger dark tan head. Head fades away rather quickly leaving just the smallest amount of lacing.

Aroma comes across as overripe cherries along with figs and dates. There is a slight tartness and vinous characteristic. A hint of oak is present along with a little bit of funk. All is somewhat subdued compared to some Belgian wild beer I have had.

The flavor hits with overripe fruit immediately with a definite cherry juice characteristic in the background. I was expecting a ton more tartness based on the smell but it is rather restrained. A really nice touch of oak that blends nicely with some barnyard funk. The funk remains in the background and is not overpowering at all. Mouthfeel is medium with a rather dry finish which is quite nice. Alcohol is completely hidden making this beer feel more like 5 or 6 percent.

Overall, this beer would make a great introduction to Belgian sours as all characteristics are subdued and smooth. This kind of reminded me of a Flanders red. A nice job by Sam Adams and a good value.

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Photo of Rhcp1072
2.88/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had been looking forward to trying the line of Sam Adams Barrel-Room beers, and after trying the Thirteenth Hour, I was eager to try another. I poured it into a tumbler.

A - Very nice hazel color, with a hint of dark red. A good inch to an inch and a half of head complimented the beer into making it look very presentable.

S - Once I got a whiff of the SBR, I immediately knew that there was a big tart fruit smell (just like the bottle says). It honestly took me aback at first, seeing as this was my first "sour" beer, but it wasn't too overpowering.

T- Here's when it hit me. I was definitely not expecting this wine-like resemblance to be so prevalent from the get go. And it didn't let up; I was hoping to become acquainted with the newer tastes, but I just couldn't get used to it. To me, the fruit aspect and the Kosmic Mother Funk (the hops used for the Barrel Room beers) in this beer were too overpowering.

M- One of the better aspects of this beer was the way it did feel. I was expecting a thicker feel to it, seeing as the New World has a thicker aspect to it, but it was very smooth. The perfect balance of the carbonation and other ingredients made it a very enjoyable feel, just not so much on the taste. No sticky residue was left either, which was a plus.

O- Overall I think this beer is, well, average. It might be because I'm new to the whole "sour" beer, or it may just not just float my boat. Will I buy this beer again? Probably not, for the $10 it cost me, I could pick up a stout or something more enjoyable to me.

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Photo of cjoc83
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy mahogany color with maybe a fingers worth of a light khaki head that doesn't stick around for long and leaves little to no lacing.

Tart cherries hit the nose along with generous amounts of oak and vinegar, with an underlying sweetness rounding things off.

Again, tart cherries are the first thing that jump out at you, but are quickly followed by toasted, woody oak, some barnyard funk, and some vanilla sweetness on the back end to balance things out. There's some very slight alcohol warmth as well, as to be expected at 9% ABV. A really nice take on a Flemish red. Reminds me of the Duchess quite a bit.

A surprisingly crisp mouthfeel, even though carbonation is low. Dry. Leaves a nice oaky, tart aftertaste.

Overall the Stony Brook Red was an excellent interpretation of a Flemish red ale. Great balance between the tart cherry flavor and the oak, vanilla, and funky Brett characteristics. I'm not the biggest fan of Sam Adam's regular lineup, but I've always (mostly) loved their Barrel Room Collection. This one is no exception, and in fact might be setting the new standard for the BRC. At $12 a bomber, you better believe I'll be picking up a few more of these guys!

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer is copper hued with crimson highlights and a soft off-white head. The aroma offers oak, sour cherries, vinegar, red wine, yeast. Smells nice. The flavor is decent. A bit heavy and sweet for my liking, though the finish delivers sufficient tartness. Lots oak and a touch of vinegar. A heavy Flanders style brew. Better than I expected. I'd like to see more offerings like this from Samuel Adams.

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Photo of Phelps
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into my new Petrus goblet.

Deep burgundy, thinner, lighter and clearer at the edges. The thin, fizzy tan head pops away after just a minute.

In the nose: Balsamic, tart cherry, good amount of toasted oak. Vanilla and sweet berries.

Not as sour as expected, but lighter in the flavor, as expected. The cherries are sweeter, good toasted oak notes of caramel, vanilla, toffee.

Silky medium-light body with soft fizz. Crisp.

Solid. Great blend of the barrels in here. Could be just a touch more sour, but good flavor.

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Photo of tlazaroff
3.17/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Slightly sour cherry aroma with some earthy undertones and maybe a hint of vanilla.

Beautiful deep ruby red in color and perfectly clear albiet a bit dark. There was a slight tan head but it disappeared very quickly and provided no lacing.

Tart right up front, and a bit funky. I taste no hints of a barrel, but I get that it was wildly fermented. It transforms into something slightly sweet, with a nice malty finish. Moderate body, lip puckering, and a medium-low dose of carbonation. I probably wouldn't buy it again. Sad face.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep, rich looking muddy copper with a fluffy tan head that dissipates down to a thin blanketing quickly. The nose is fruity, with specific notes of bing cherries and prunes, and also slightly tart. There is a distinct acetone that lingers on my olfactory as well. The taste is surprising, as it hits with the initial sweet-tartness of an oud bruin, but finishes bitter, like a hoppy red ale. There is a great yeast presence and the beer is relatively balanced/drinkable with my simple dinner. The mouthfeel is a little off, but I can't place my finger on what I don't like. I would recommend letting it warm a touch to let the full flavor profile shine through. Overall, this is actually pretty tasty and an uncharacteristic beer to come from the standard Sam Adam's line-up. I enjoyed the big barrel saison as well. I'd like to see how this beer does after a year in time-out...

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Photo of TheRealBigC
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish-brown color. Very bubbly - nice big head even with a light pour. Smell of sour cherries. I really wish the taste was more sour than it ended up being. It was only slightly tart, with a certain Belgian character coming through. I enjoyed it, but it wasn't amazing.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured chilled in snifter on my birthday.

A: cloudy, dark red color; thin but frothy head; modest carbonation
S: very vinegary; promises the wild ale/lambic side of things
T: Very complex flavor; oaken flavor; sour grape/cherry underlines a strong malt profile; hops are relatively subdued; boozy; very nice

Really nice after-dinner beer

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Photo of keeganfrank
3.27/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep red-brown ale with a sudsy head. Aromas of cranberry, bread and spices. I can smell the oak barrel's influence as well. Tart berry and spices hit the palate first, followed by nutty whiskey and subtle vegetable flavors. The flavor is complex but a little underwhelming, this one's not as enjoyable as the barrel room stout.

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Photo of ThePaleRider
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Very dark red/brown. Looks like black tea. Nice two finger head. Color of the head is very close to tan.

S - Very sour smell. Tangerines, cranberry, raspberry, and grapes. Very aromatic.

T - Lots of barrel aging flavors. Not as sour as I was expecting. Chocolate, dark cherries, alcohol, wood, and green apples. Very sweet with a little bite of tart on the front.

M - Lots and lots of carbonation. Smooth transition from tart to sweet to warming.

O - Very unique and super complex. Every sip left me guessing what was next. Sometimes I forget that Sam Adams is a real brewery because of their commercial appeal, but this beer is pretty amazing.

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Samuel Adams Stony Brook Red (Barrel Room Collection) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
87 out of 100 based on 247 ratings.
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