Stone Brewing Company has a new line of beers (a recurring theme with them) called the Spotlight Series, which appears to be the result of a company-wide competition to come up with a new recipe. The first beer in the lineup is what they dub a “black rye Kolsch,” otherwise known as an American Black Ale with 5.4% Alcohol By Volume (ABV) called Stone Sprocket Bier.
Stone Sprocket Bier is a black bodied beer, nearly opaque with just a dim mahogany color showing through when held up to a light source. A large foamy tan head tops it off, with quite a bit of lacing adhering to the glass.
The nose is mainly sweet malts, lightly fruity, with hints of spicy hops.
The taste starts off with sweet malts, hints of spicy rye, accented by black malts, delicate lighter fruit notes in the transition, with citrus and spicy hop notes rounding things out. Mouth is a touch fuller than medium bodied, smooth and creamy, medium-low astringency, with a bit of carbonic bite.
Stone Sprocket Bier mirrors the delicate balance of a traditional Kolsch with a uniquely Stone-esque twist. The roast is thankfully very low, allowing the sweet malts to mingle with the yeast and hops, resulting a nice drinkable and tasty brew. Think Schwartzbier with a Kolsch yeast.
Stone Sprocket Bier : B
Beer Reviews by Prof Sudz