Purchased at Pangaea Bottle Shoppe ($8.99/22 oz. bottle) and poured into mini globe glasses.
This “black rye kölsch” is the first entry in Stone’s “Spotlight Series,” the winner of a blind tasting contest whose entries were sourced from Stone’s own brewers. It pours a glossy, minor key black with a mid-sized sawdust head, and offers a welcoming nose of chocolate-y coffee, licorice, and black bread. Sprocket Bier is surprisingly light and crisp on the palette, and also quite thirst-quenching, with the coffee and roasted nut bitterness riding in only on the finish. The yeasty brightness of the kölsch is counterpointed by the beer’s dark and roasted qualities, and the whole thing is harmonized by the presence of rye, which also adds a nice snap to the aftertaste. It is an excellent intersection of chocolate, coffee, yeasty dark bread, rye, and nuts, and it consistently maintains a light and lovely mouthfeel.