A beer that started out as an April Fool’s joke has become Stone Brewing Co.’s next release in its Stochasticity Project series.

Sales sheets show that Stone has begun shipping Master Of Disguise already, ahead of its Nov. 17 release.

“After we brewed Stone 11th Anniversary Ale, a black IPA, someone on the brewing team joked that our next beer should be a golden stout,” said Mitch Steele, Stone brewmaster, in the sales info.  “We then used that joke for an April Fool’s gag one year, and I’ve been wondering if we could pull it off ever since. The resulting beer here is a rich strong ale with prevalent coffee and cocoa notes.”

The Escondido, Calif.- based brewery’s Stochasticity Project Master Of Disguise is an “imperial golden stout” that comes in at 9.7 percent ABV and 55 IBUs. The beer uses both liberty and nugget hops, three different types of malts and is brewed with cocoa, coffee beans and flaked oats.

Stone Stochasticity Project Master Of Disguise

On the bottle, there’s a bit of an explanation behind the idea.

Things aren’t always what they seem, but not all deception is devious. Some illusions and misnomers lead to life’s most delightful surprises. Case in point—this beer, the yang to the yin that is the black India pale ale. Once revolutionary for its onyx appearance, it is now an accepted and beloved member of the India pale ale family tree. Thus we took the spirit of a dark beer—the time-honored stout—and applied a similar science of thought, brewing it to be golden-hued. That is what this experimental series and its latest creation are all about.

Master Of Disguise is the fifth release in Stone’s Stochasticity Project series, which is a “special and unpredictable series of beers where exotic notions, ingredients and ideas coalesce at an interesting and often unexpected endpoint.” The series also includes Varna Necropolis, a bourbon barrel-aged gold Belgian ale; Quadrotriticale, a Belgian quadrupel brewed with triticale grain; Hibiscusicity, a Belgian-style ale brewed with hibiscus flowers; and orange peel and Grapefruit Slam IPA, a double IPA brewed with grapefruit peels.

The beer’s formal release date is Nov. 17. It will be available in both 22-ounce bottles and on draft in the 40 states Stone distributes to, as well  as the District of Columbia.