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RATINGS: 391   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53/5   EST. CALORIES: 162   ABV: 5.4%
Rick Blankemeier & Robert Chandler’s Sprocketbier Black Rye Kolsch Style. We’ve been brewing together for the better part of three years. Rick is an amazing homebrewer and always has at least one spare recipe hidden somewhere in that magnificent head of his. Robbie, on the other hand, is the Igor to Rich’s Dr. Frankenstein (but with less hunchback and more beard). Armed with only a four-letter acronym (KISS) and a mission to make a beer that was balanced and complex but still sessionable, Rick jotted down a recipe on a sticky note that would impress even the most seasoned brewmaster. Out of 19 amazing beers brewed by 19 teams of the best brewers at Stone Brewing Co., Steve Wagner (Co-founder & President), Greg Koch (Co-founder & CEO), and Mitch Steele (Brewmaster) chose this one after a blind tasting of the top nine beers. As we write this, we are honored and humbled by the decision to select our beer for the very first Stone Brewing Co. Spotlight Series release. Our original goal was to pay tribute to the SNL Sprockets skit by creating a beer that even Dieter would think "is dark and easy to drink," and we’re pretty sure we succeeded (Dieter’s not around to ask). We love this beer and can’t wait to share it with beer geeks and Stone fans around the country. Before you delve into this Impressively Dark and Amazingly Balanced beer, let us propose a toast to the ones we have lost, and to those of us who will never let their memories be forgotten…… Cheers, Prost, Salud and Good Memories to all!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
oldrtybastrd (5003) - Fort Walton Beach, Florida, USA - APR 19, 2016
Pours a goldenblack with small fizzy head. Aromas of citrus peel, hops, and a touch of grain. Flavors of hops, malts with a spicy finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
GarrettB (1461) - San Diego, California, USA - APR 5, 2016
May 7th, 2014 - Auto-correct is convinced that Bier is Beer, but whatever the name, this is a gripping kolsch. It’s a style I don’t see much, and it might catch a break and be trendy one year, like today’s gose or yesterday’s black IPA, but for now, it seems to live in relative obscurity. Stone’s Sprocket is a great reason to bring it out into the light. Dark and still, it looks like a lake at night, with an aroma defined by heavy sugary molasses notes. Second and third sniffs take in hickory smoke and jerky too, with lots of aromas to remind me of grilled meats, charring and turning into something special through the magic of the maillard reaction. The flavor is equally delicious and appetizing, though a little sweeter, especially cold and fresh from the bottle. Carbonation helps activate the flavors, too, though softens considerably in the aftertaste, where I can focus on the bits of flavor that remind me of burnt ends. Quenching yet flavorful, this is a surprising but excellent beer, and has pointed me to the rich possibilities of the kolsch style.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
altonbrownd (5659) - Chevy Chase, Maryland, USA - FEB 23, 2016
Bomber from The Wine Specialist. Dark brown body with thin tan head. Nose is malty, caramel, sweet. Taste is malty, spicy, caramel. Creamy texture. Smooth finish. Some citrus notes.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Jado (773) - Camp Hill, AUSTRALIA - FEB 21, 2016
750 ml bottle. Mostly black body (red highlight at the very edge) topped with a cappuccino like foam. Aromas of coffee, hay, cocoa and caramel. Taste is gentle grassy notes at first but then a surprisingly firm black coffee bitterness emerges. Creamy body with a rich chocolatey aftertaste. Can kind of see the kolsch angle but it really drinks more like a porter than anything else.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
Clarkdvm (456) - Florida, USA - JAN 22, 2016
Bottle poured into crappy 8oz plastic hotel cup. Malty coffee aroma. Dark, nearly black. Flavor is diff, but as intended, I think. Coffee, burnt malt with a hint of cola? Interesting. Good one time purchase

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
DavoleBomb (1867) - Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 10, 2016
Poured into a snifter. 3.75 A: Black color. Two and a half fingers of frothy beige head. Retention is good and plenty of spotty lacing is left. 4.0 S: This smells great! The kolsch is certainly there with a sweet grassiness and mineral earthiness. In addition there’s a moderate roastiness, cocoa powder, and caramel sweetness. 4.25 T: Tastes like it smells. The grassy hay sweet maltiness works wonders with the roastiness. 4.0 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Supremely smooth. 4.5 D: This shouldn’t work, but it does. I hope this sticks around. ★ 590 characters DavoleBomb, Oct 18, 2014

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
daleharshman (1043) - Escondido, California, USA - DEC 21, 2015
Bomber purchased 18 months ago at the BevMo in Escondido ($7.49). Pours dark brown and almost black with the faintest of red highlights along the edges and one finger of dark beige foam. AROMA of wet dog (weird), dark roasted malts, dark rye bread, and black coffee. FLAVOR of dark roasted and kind of burnt malts, sharp rye, burnt dark bread, a little bit of sour grains, and some hints of coffee. Thin mouthfeel and light body with a dry finish. I suppose the brewers succeeded in what they intended to do here, but I don’t really think I need to experience a black rye Kolsch again. (365, 995)

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
bulldogops (2250) - Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA - NOV 19, 2015
Rating #1293 - 21.10.2014 - Stone launch @craftbeeryeg. This was a dark brown/black coloured pour with a mild tan foam that faded to a ring. Nose was teddy graham cookies, chocolate, toffee, and vegetable oil. Mild alcohol warmth and carbonation (well disguised at 6.6%) Taste is lagery, a mild peppery smokiness from the rye grain, mild toffee and caramel malt sweetness, but a load of noble hop grassiness. Finishes smooth, and super light - the dark roast malt notes coming through clean, crisp, kolsch-esque. Strange.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
corby112 (2804) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 19, 2015
Pours a cloudy dark chocolate brown color that appears pitch black and completely opaque in the glass. Two finger pillowy beige head that very slowly settles into a thick, lasting ring. Good retention, taking a while to settle and leaving streaks of soapy lacing in it’s path. Slightly earthy, robust dark malt aroma with a nice balance of roast, spice, grassy hops and sweet malt. Delicate smoke character with hints of charcoal, burnt toast, dark chocolate and deeply roast coffee bean. There’s also some subtle spicy rye in the nose but this is overpowered by the strong malt presence. The earthier/hoppier kolsch notes come through, however, with some grassy saaz character, pine needle and dank resins. Smells more like an American black ale and I probably wouldn’t have been able to guess that this was a kolsch if I didn’t read it on the bottle. Fuller bodied than expected with a bit more of a kolsch flavor profile but the prominent dark malt bill, resinous hops and subtle spice make it feel more like an experimental ABA. Strong hop presence with sticky hop oils, earthy pine needle, grass and spruce tip flavor that linger throughout into a bone dry finish. Slightly acrid but the roast isn’t as extreme as in the nose. Hints of charcoal, burnt toast, coffee grounds and bittersweet dark chocolate countered by sweeter malt flavors and faint spicy rye. Again, the rye is subtle but it nicely compliments the earthy hop bitterness. Decent balance with low ABV and light mouthfeel make this beer pretty easy to drink. Nothing too out of the ordinary but it’s an interesting take on the style.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
voncrease (90) - - OCT 18, 2015
Tasted from keg at The Hop & Berry, Liverpool Road, Islington, London, United Kingdom.

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