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RATINGS: 342   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.52   EST. CALORIES: 162   ABV: 5.4%
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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 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Strykzone (5211) - Wood River, Illinois, USA - NOV 17, 2014
Bomber from Hayduke that we had together via facebook chat. This pours almost black with a tan head. That head never leaves but doesn’t really stick to the glass a lot. Aroma is grain with cocoa. Rye. The flavor brings those flavors. It has a lager feel to it. The sharp edges are taken away and are muted. Perhaps they are muted too much. This seems to have some really nice flavors that are trying to get out but just can’t. I taste citrus throughout. A bitterness that Ron called raspberries could be zest. Later a hint of tobacco emerged. This has a really nice rich smooth feel to it. This would be a great intro to craft beer. Those who say they don’t like "dark beers" should try this. It is completely inoffensive. Flavors are nice and not overdone at all. This is very unique and original. Kudos! I do wish it had more flavor but everything in here was good.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
hayduke (3534) - Eureka, California, USA - NOV 17, 2014
Shared with Strykzone on Facebook Chat. Pours a rich dark brown with a long lasting tan head. Nose is something like a Schwarzbier. Nothing like a Kolsch. Medium in body. Smooth creamy mouthfeel. Flavor is chocolate, rye, and hint of raspberry in the finish. Touch of tobacco appear as it warms. This is a very unique beer and part of the fun with this one is trying to suss out the subtle flavors under the surface. Interesting and enjoyable beer.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
pivo (2610) - GERMANY - NOV 15, 2014
Nice head. Thin body but very tasty with roasted almost charcoal taste. Not sure what this has to do with a Kölsch though. Still very good.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
maltman53 (408) - Corrales, New Mexico, USA - NOV 14, 2014
Bomber pours coffee-black, chocolatey malty nose, sweetly balanced on the palate, ending in a dry, roasted finish. Overall, a really unique beer: looks like a stout, drinks like a Kolsch.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
bigbish (576) - California, USA - NOV 9, 2014
Pours very black, thick head of fine bubbles. Nice roasted aroma. Good flavor with burnt notes and a touch of bitterness.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
bpreo (1837) - Eugene, Oregon, USA - NOV 8, 2014
A Black Rye Kolsch, or Specialty Grain beer. It tastes surprisingly good. I don’t know what that surprises me.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Boutip (4964) - Gatineau, Quebec, CANADA - NOV 3, 2014
Bottle: Poured a black color ale with a large off-white foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma consists of roasted malt with dry bitter notes with some citrus hoppy notes also noticeable. Taste is also dominated by dry bitter roasted malt notes with some light spicy rye notes with some hoppy citrus notes. Body is a bit light with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Not bad but not great either and not sure I could have said this was a Kolsch had it not been mentioned on the label.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
murphious2000 (19) - - NOV 1, 2014
It’s good, but I was a little disappointed it was a dark porter-looking beer. Any Kolsch I have had has been golden or pale amber. My brother and I shared this during a birthday and he usually will not choose a dark beer over any wheat. He did say this was okay since it is weak for a porter and not bitter like a ipa---easy to drink without sharp flavors or surprises. Decent foam, okay aroma, nice balance of roasted and rye with lighter elements. But there are more adventurous beers or true-to-the-style(?) kolsch beers out there. Won’t buy again.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 12/20
AndyW68 (1184) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - NOV 1, 2014
Dark. Nearly black with tan head. Aroma is sweet roasted malt. Taste is Smokey version of nose. Nice.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 9/20
FROTHINGSLOSH (5188) - GREENSBURG, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 27, 2014
Sampled from a 22 oz brown bottle this beer poured a black color with a large foamy brown head that lingered and left decent lacing. The aroma was dry with chocolate, anise, roasty malts, perfumey hops and cola. The flavor was dry, bitter, roasty and smoky with chocolate, perfumey hops and cola. Long finish. Moderately full bodied. Quite disappointing.

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