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RATINGS: 364   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!

HonusWagner's rating

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
HonusWagner (1872) - Florida, USA - JUN 9, 2014
Calling this a Kolsch seems heretical, since it’s basically more like a rye-infused schwarzbier with light roastiness and some spice notes. Tasty.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
bulldogops (1402) - 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 (2722) - 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 (88) - - OCT 18, 2015
Tasted from keg at The Hop & Berry, Liverpool Road, Islington, London, United Kingdom.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
rouhlas (1769) - GREECE - OCT 16, 2015
650ml bottle shared at the Hoppy Pub, Thessaloniki, thanks to Constantin. Dark brown almost black color with beige brown head. Malty aroma, light roasted, chocolate, caramel, light licorice, some smoked notes, light fruity. Sweet and light bitter taste like aroma. Medium oily body with soft carbonation.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
AgentAle (1238) - Alberta, CANADA - OCT 16, 2015
Aroma is roasted smokey malts. Transitions is tanin I and clove. Still quite complex and the taste is deep roasted malts that settle quickly.some tanin and clove notes in the notes. Some caramel and molasses here too. Appearance is black with a thin pearl head that retains fairly well.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
islay (1712) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - SEP 13, 2015
Approximately 3 oz. pour from a 22 oz. bottle. Consumed on 9-10-15. Pours a dark brown with taupe head. Dark chocolate-covered raisin, plum, and burnt caramel scents. Nice, stout-like taste. Roasted malt and dark fruit flavors. Crisp and lively in the palate, presumably owing to the kolsch yeast. Light to medium body. Good, fluffy, frothy, lager-like palate. Better than I expected. Another winner from Stone.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
ElGaucho (2329) - Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA - SEP 10, 2015
Bomber. Rich aroma. Black body. Huge flavor for only 5.4%. Nice finish. Really impressive.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
TheEpeeist (3608) - Media, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 31, 2015
22 oz bottle. Dark brown with beige froth. Nose is caramel, molasses and spicy rye. Medium body with moderate carb. Taste is toffee, coffee and cola with hints of rye. Interesting hybrid.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
tcon25 (336) - Duvall, Washington, USA - AUG 25, 2015
Bottle pour at home, nice dark pour, very thin head. Coffee malt aroma, little bitter taste, mostly coffee, kindof a rye malt taste. As expected. Solid beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Martinus (4285) - Baarle-Nassau, NETHERLANDS - AUG 14, 2015
Brown colour, beige head. Aroma of malts, chocolate, lager, sweet malts and caramel. Sweet, caramel flavour. Finish caramel, chocolate, quite sweet.
(from bottle @ RBESG ’14 London Grand Tasting, Moncada tasting room)

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