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RATINGS: 295   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 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
planky84 (2105) - , Greater London, ENGLAND - AUG 15, 2014
Bottle at RBESG, 2014’s Grand Tasting at the Moncada Brewery. Dark brown pour with an off-white head. Aromas of aniseed, licorice and black treacle. Flavours of aniseed and licorice. Dry-sweet finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
glennmastrange (2255) - hobe sound, Florida, USA - AUG 11, 2014
Bottle. Moderate to heavy malt aromas of toasted and mild coffee, light herbs and resin for the hops, faint leather for the yeast, with wood, smoke and just a hint of vinegar. Head is small to average, tan, with spotty lacing and is mostly diminishing. Color is very dark brown. Flavor starts slightly sweet and lightly acidic, then finishes lightly acidic and moderately bitter. Palate is light to medium, watery with a lively carbonation. A good drinking Specialty Grain Beer with a bit of boldness. in it.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Scopey (6865) - Croydon, Greater London, ENGLAND - AUG 11, 2014
Bottle shared at RBESG 2014 Grand Tasting. It pours deep brown-black with a tiny beige head. The nose is toasty, bitter-sweet, spicy, brown bread, liquorice, salted caramel and toast. The taste is roasted malt, toast, earth, spice, caramel, cola, pepper, cocoa and cheap chocolate with a dry, sweetish finish. Medium body, moderate carbonation and foamy mouth-feel. Nto a whole lot of depth or definition to it. OK.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Suttree (5144) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - AUG 11, 2014
Black, with hints of red around the edges. Smells like toast with Rye, then maybe some fruity notes. Taste is...blueberry? Raisin? then burnt toast and coffee. Weird.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
RichTheVillan (2921) - West Midlands, ENGLAND - AUG 11, 2014
Bottle during RBESG; almost black pour thin beige head, vegetable stew aroma, taste had vegetation mixed with some chocolate and roasted malt action, some spice, found this difficult to drink.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
popkow (286) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - AUG 10, 2014
Robust black body with tab head was a cool fusion of black lager with kolsch finish. Rich but drinkable malt with nice spice finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
jandd1983 (2572) - Florissant, Missouri, USA - AUG 10, 2014
It poured a black color with a tan head. The aroma was of roast, dark chocolate, coffee malts and rye malt notes. The taste was of dark malts with light malt bitterness and medium hop bitterness. It had a medium body and moderate carbonation.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
harrisoni (13733) - Ashford, Kent, ENGLAND - AUG 9, 2014
Bottle grand tasting RBESG14. Dark brown lasting beige head. Toffee chocolate aroma. Soft in mouth. Touch of spicy rye. It’s the best black kolsch rye beer I have had. Soft chocolate sponge with a spice edge. Ok

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
Niall73 (1783) - Greater London, ENGLAND - AUG 9, 2014
Bottle at rbesg. Pours a dark reddy brown. Choc, light coffee aroma. Light body, medium carbonation. Light cola, caramel, very wishy washy... Poor. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
FlacoAlto (3800) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - AUG 9, 2014
Sampled May 2014
A steady pour into my New Belgium globe glass produces a three-finger thick, richly browned, dark tan colored head. The beer is a rich black color that is almost opaque when held up to the light, but does show a clear, rich, dark black-purple hue if held up directly to the light. The aroma smells of spicy, blackened whole grain up front, but this is backed by a fruitiness that leans towards, berries or perhaps a touch of apples (though not really). The malt is quite the dominant note in the nose though, spicy rye, bitter roasted cold coffee, burnt, browned, whole grain toasted, brown grain bread.

The body is light up front, but picks up a fullness towards the finish that allows it to have a creamy sort of texture to it. Bitter roasted grain husk notes, the beer is actually quite dry, an almost oily black malt character, bitter concentrated coffee notes, and some smoother, rounded dark malt notes that adds a richness, some burnt smokiness, and a bit of tartness from the ample roast character.

This is a simple, roast focused beer that is quite expressive in its burnt character; if you like that sort of thing, which I do, it manages to remain well balanced despite the simple focus, and there is enough layering to it that it remains interesting.

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