“Long before the wizardry of steam was invented, brewers used stone and wood to brew their daily beer. As a tribute to this ancient technique, we add wood fired stones to the kettle to rouse the boil, intensifying the malt characters of this seasonal brew. Using a selection of seven malts, the 2016 stone beer is a dark ale with a roasted cocoa aroma, this full bodied winter warmer is balanced with caramel sweetness, finishing dry.”
Served in a sniffer glass. The pour is very stout-like – pitch black with a stubborn two finger head that holds up well but eventually settles to a thin overlay that leaves some healthy decals as it ebbs. Lots of beautiful roasted aromas gushing out. Moreish wafts of chocolate, espresso, cocoa, roasted nuts, caramel, molasses, licorice and a hint of smoke has us completely reeling! Geez, you can’t ask for much more, this is simply brilliant. In the mouth it’s full and creamy with a subtle dryness developing toward the back end. The 6.5% ABV has been suppressed well as this super smooth dark ale just glides over the tongue. The flavour follows on from the aroma superbly – big, roasted and decadent notes of cocoa, coffee, roasted malts, ovaltine and a suggestion of smoke transition through the mid. A gentle alcohol warmth slides in and carries it all in to a dry, roasty finish with decent duration on the rear palate. We’ve been religiously reviewing Stone & Wood’s annual L/R Stone beer since 2013 and we must say each year it gets better. This would have to be the best beer we’ve ever had from this brewery, it’s packed full of dark malts, coffee and chocolate and perfectly balanced by a gentle hop bitterness. A bottle of this, a big roaring fire and a big steak. Heaven!