Brontide - Stillwater Artisanal Ales

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177 Ratings
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Ratings: 177
Reviews: 51
rAvg: 3.49
pDev: 10.6%
Wants: 2
Gots: 17 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Stillwater Artisanal Ales visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Dark Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ZombiesAteMyDog on 04-06-2014

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 177 | Reviews: 51
Reviews by ColdWaffles:
More User Reviews:
Photo of dbrauneis
3.79/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours an opaque yet clear black in color with light amounts of gentle visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and some very faint dark cola brown highlights. The beer has a three finger tall dense foamy dark tan head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of roasted and chocolate malts with lighter notes of saison yeast and hints of white pepper spiciness.

T: Upfront there is a moderate to strong flavor of roasted and chocolate malts with a touch of malted milk ball sweetness. That is followed by some light notes of charred/burnt malts and just a hint of coffee. Moderate flavors of saison yeast with white pepper spiciness and just a hint of earthy hops. Light amounts of bitterness in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: An interesting brew, kind of like a combination between a porter and a saison - definitely different than anything else I have come across in the past. I enjoyed this hybrid but can easily see how others might find some dissonance in the combination of flavors/aromas. I enjoyed the complexity and the alcohol is well hidden - not a tough drink but not a beer that I could see myself having more than one of during a session.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.35/5  rDev -4%

Packaged 7/9/14.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Thin streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, char, and nut aromas. Taste is much the same with roasted malt, char, tropical fruit, and prune juice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast and earth bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer with interesting flavors that do sort of taste like Dr. Pepper or a similar soda like another reviewer mentioned.

Serving type: can.

Photo of tigg924
2.9/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: moderate-high carbonation, 1 inch head, opaque, dark brown in color

Smell: cocoa and roasted malt

Taste: cocoa, coffee, and roasted malt

Mouthfeel: slightly bitter and roasty, medium-bodied, medium carbonation

Overall:Had no idea this was a saison cause it does not drink like one. Tastes like a slightly below average roasty black ale. A lighter porter. Not bad, but similar to other beers I have had. I will pass on this in the future.

Photo of MattyG85
4.16/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. can into a tall pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a very dark blackish brown with a slight hint of ruby. Huge four finger tan head that slowly fades into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a lot of clinging lacing.

Smell: A sweet, roasty, and very creamy dark malt driven aroma with good hints of chocolate, cream, and yeast. Dark roasted malts with upfront sweet hints of chocolate, coffee, beans, caramel, toffee, cream, milk, grains, biscuit, straw, nuts, and some hints of Belgian yeast with some funk. Fruit hints of banana along with some dark fruit hints of cherry, fig, and plum. Smells like a yeasty porter. Interesting and solid.

Taste: Like it smells, a roasty, creamy, and sweet malt forward taste with good notes of chocolate, yeast, and cream. Sweet dark roasted malts with notes of chocolate, cocoa, coffee beans, cream, lactose, caramel, toffee, straw, biscuit, grains, and nuts. Notes of Belgian yeast along with some funk and fruit notes of banana. Subtle dark fruit undertones with notes of cherry, plum, and fig. A pretty solid porter/Oster stout like taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a fairly high level of carbonation. Very creamy and silky with a smooth dry finish.

Overall: A pretty interesting and solid tasting brew. More like a Porter than Saison but the Belgian element is noticeable with a nice banana flavor.

Photo of chinchill
3.08/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

12 oz can with 20 March 2014 canning date stamped on the bottom.

Poured clear dark brown but sat near black and opaque in the glass. Over-sized frohy head had good retention.

Aroma: unpleasant off-odors dominate.

Flavor: much better than the aroma. Some off-notes but mainly a rather plain roasted malt flavor.

Feel: full, creamy smooth body. Medium carbonation.

O: Quality control isue in this reasonably fresh canned beer.

Photo of Brenden
4/5  rDev +14.6%

Black it is, not thick and heavy but dark as can be nonetheless. The head is a firm, dense, creamy dark tan one that rises to just higher than one finger and stays there easily, leaving some chunky lace on the glass.
This is a very interesting beers, having many qualities of a Schwarzbier though the obvious distinction of being an ale. It's got some carob and a sort of powdery dry cocoa, some toast, and a bit of nut against a little leaf. Some easy, lighter sort of earthiness contributes as well. In the flavor, a very cola-like aspect shows. I don't get a lot of Belgian character, which would contribute more overall.
It's light, dry, crisp and refreshing in a body that isn't thin. It doesn't bite too hard and runs very clean and smooth with a little of a not-quite-mineral edge to it.

Photo of tastybeer
3.61/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very dark brown, basically opaque, with a giant light brown finely foamy head. Good fuzzy retention and sticky lace. Aroma is casually sweet and evenly malt, toasty bread, nutty coffee, faint pumpernickel, fruity floral yeast, spice, and very light floral and pine hop. Flavor is similar. Some bitterness works its way in and out. Mouthfeel is smooth and perhaps overly fluid with carbonation stirring things up slightly.

Overall this is certainly a decent beer, just maybe a bit thin. Super even....Could use some more excitement somewhere. Very easy to drink. Sessionable but I think I might get bored after a few.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.95/5  rDev +13.2%

Stillwater Artisinal Ales "Brontide"
12 oz. can, "PCKG 03/20/2014 11:58"
$2.70 @ Stinky Brklyn, 215 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY

Notes: Black in color beneath a deep tan head. Excellent head retention. Very good lacing. Aroma of soft roastiness and dark chocolate. The flavor follows suit with a bit more depth, including notes of chickory, nuts (I'm thinking mainly filberts and a little bit of peanut), medium caramel, and grain. There's also a touch of plain sugar to it, mainly found in the finish. No noticeable yeast character except that it's very subtly fruity with a touch of red berry. The bitterness is moderate, and there's just a light touch of dark malt acidity. Some lightly floral, grassy, and leafy hops come through, mainly at the swallow and into the gently lingering finish. It's nice that the roastiness is kept in check, leaving it round and smooth. Pleasant, and quaffable.

Photo of Fatehunter
2.3/5  rDev -34.1%

Pours two fingers of light tan head on a black body.
The aroma is roasted malt with a little sour (off) smell.
The taste has mild roasted malt and sour notes. Not too enjoyable.
The texture is crisp.
I won't get this again. Off flavor and smell.

Photo of russpowell
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks like this was canned 03-11-14

Pours a chestnut tinged mahogany with 3+ fingers of mocha colored head. Assertive carbonation, very good lacing & head retention

S: Faint traces of dark fruit & carob; pears pick up as this warms

T: Dryness, carob, cocoa, & faint figgyness up front, along with some pear & pineyness. Pears & a little bit of appleskin as this warms, dry as a bone, along with a little more carob. Finishes dry with a little bit of piney hops & winesap apples & more carob

MF: Medium bodied, firm carbonation, with just enough dryness & fruittyness to salvage this

Easy enough to drink, but doesn't really wow me. Sort of a training wheels Black Saison or is it a Porter??

Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%

A big thanks to the creator of the canquest, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a black color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of roasted malts. Taste is roasted malts, hops, a bit of smoke, more like an American Black Ale than a Belgian Dark Ale. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.55/5  rDev +1.7%

-can. spiegelau ipa glass.

(3.60) A: Foamy 2 inch cardboard tinted head, holds steady for a length of time. Dark rootbeer exit from the can, sits an olive black in the vessel. Sloppy, spacious patches of whispy, foam lacing.

(3.35) S: Licroice root, dark, moist coffee roast, with some dried earthy flowers. Low awareness level.

(3.60) T: Flavor of dried chocolate, some smoky, burnt coffee roast, with a hint of cocoa and malt sweetness. An earthy bitterness of dried, hop flowers, cola, mixes with a sweetness of dried fruit (black cherries). Things finish off with a hint of black oily roast.

(3.60) M: Good mouthful, medium body, some carbonation with an oily slickness for texture.

(3.55) O: BA lists this as a dark belgian, thought it was more of a black ipa. Ok drinkability,but nothing that stands out.

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.25/5  rDev -6.9%

Pours black with a large, lasting head.
Nose shows cocoa and roasted malt with some bready hints too.
Brash flavours. Some roast and a metallic note with very little supporting malt. Pretty plain.
Body feels a bit watery.

Photo of wedge
3.26/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a very dark brown color capped with a solid head of tan froth. Clean nutty malt aroma along with some fruity yeast...mild and simple. Fruity yeast and nutty malts continue into the flavor adding some very light chocolaty roast and a bit of spice into the mix. Citrus and malted milk balls. Creamy and quite dry, which helps with the drinkability. This is not a Saison and I don't see it marketed as such anywhere, so I'm rating this as an easy-going "black ale" with a slight Belgian twist. I don't know...I'm usually impressed with Stillwater, but this comes across as merely okay.

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a He'brew small shaker pint. Pours nearly black, opaque in the glass with a half finger light brown head with good retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of toasted malt with light chocolate and saison yeast, light spiciness. Flavor is light toasted malt with a hint of char, hints of coffee and chocolate, initially mellow and well integrated, light hops and char come out more in the finish. Light to medium bodied. A nice light black ale; the saison style yesst gives this a little more spiciness and fruitiness than a classic black ale. The saison influence takes a back seat to the dark malts. Nicely balanced and toasty for a session ale.

Photo of Amalak
3.46/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

There's a hint of chocolate, a dry smokiness. A medium bodied malt flavoring. Carbonated. Honestly, it's fairly basic, can be considered bland, but it's easy to drink and doesn't wreck the palate or anything. For easy drinking, this will do, but not much flavor.

It has a black color with a bubbly tan head that dissipates quickly and leave no real lacing. The smell is chocolate, malt and a bit metallic.

Photo of RonaldTheriot
2.25/5  rDev -35.5%

Brontide has an extremely thick, wildly foamy, beige head, a very dark brown appearance, and some stringy lacing left behind. The aroma is of semi-sweet malt, some char, and sea air. Taste is of charred malt, metal, and acidity. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy, and Brontide finishes powdery and mostly dry. There is not a lot of taste with this one, and what tastes I did get were not appealing. Also, there is an overriding and growing metallic aspect, here.


Photo of metter98
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Looking like a stout, the beer is black in appearance and poured with a finger high beige colored head. When held up to a bright light, the beer is clear and very dark red in appearance near the edge of the glass and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. The head died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of dark malts are present in the nose; hints of chocolate malts are also perceptible.
T: The taste has flavors of dark malts along with notes of cola and slight bits of sweetness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The smell, taste, and appearance of this beer reminds me a lot like a Schwarzbier

Serving type: can

Photo of illpass78
3.54/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. can poured into a tulip.

Appearance: Pours a solid black with some dark ruby around the edges. Big off-white head and some spotty lacing.

Smell: Smells of chocolate, yeast, raisins and some spices.

Taste: This beer has a rich, chocolatey, funky taste that also has some notes of dark fruits. Some dry dark cherries.

Mouthfeel: Pretty thick beer - stout-like.

Overall: This is one of those beers where the whole is less than the sum of the parts. It has a nice, full flavor, but some of the funky/yeasty taste is a little uninvited. It's decent, but probably a one-time affair.

Photo of drtth
3.67/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown, almost black, 2" frothy head settling to thin layer of foam with patches of leggy lacing.

Aroma malt and yeast.

Flavors, chocolate malt, almost cola like in the background. No sign of hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel on the light side of medium with some prickly carbonation. Finish begins midway and tapers of to slight cola flavor at the end.

A nice beer for sitting around with friends in an evening having a long chat and enjoying each other's company. Not particularly challenging or memorable. Stillwater has done better but this one is just fine.

Photo of cbutova
3.56/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

More Stillwater cans, more fun. Another Black Farmhouse Ale, count me in.

A- Poured from the 12oz can to my snifter with a black body that has a very dark brown hue at the very edges. A two finger light mocha cap forms with a thick, frothy texture. Retention is good. Medium ring leaves some drizzle but mostly spotty lace.

S- Luscious chocolate malts and roast come off the top with a Saison yeast beneath. Hints of citrus zest, fruity esters, yeast spice, toasted nuts and cracked grain.

T- The yeast was somewhat subdued compared to the malt in the aroma for me but levels off here or maybe even takes over just a bit. Spicy Belgian yeast profile with notes of tangerine, citrus zest, apple, pepper and herbs. Malts form a rich base of milk chocolate, toasted nuttiness, light sweetness and slight roast. Slight tartness with time.

MF- Dried out Saison body that still just feels a bit light for the roast flavors present to me. I have found this in almost all similar beers. Carbonation at a fairly high level and the body takes on a foamy, frothy texture.

Malt profile here is very nice between the chocolate and toasted nutty flavors. The yeast might dry the beer out just a bit much for me and a slight tartness doesn't mix in amazingly with the grain profile. Solid but Black Farmhouse Ales seem like a very difficult style to pull off.

Photo of atr2605
3.97/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a deep black color with a tan head with nice retention
S-coffee, dark chocolate, caramel
T-dominated by the chocolate and coffee flavors, finishes a bit dry with a mineral flavor
M-medium bodied, low carbonation, mouthfeel was a bit thinner than expected
O-pretty solid brew, drinks very similar to a porter. Definitely worth trying

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.71/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Aroma of roasted malt, light chocolate, coffee, molasses. Taste roasted malt, bitter chocolate, faint nuttiness smokeiness.

Photo of jlindros
3.3/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a huge darker colored 2+ finger head that ends exactly at the top of the goblet as I finish pouring, fluffy fizzy airy head fades semi quickly at first with big popping bubbles, then slows a bit, lots and lots of sticky mess lacing, super dark brown colored beer with a little brown light sneaking through.

Nose has some nice schwarzbier aromas, a little dusty cocoa and black malt, little roasty fudgey note, and even a touch of a coffee and a nutty espresso, mild caramel note, some grainy toasty saison malts too, decent esters and hint of phenols and spices. The dakr malts and ester/phenol/saison spice profile don't seem to meld well, juxtapositioned.

Taste brings creamy dakr malts, a little milk chocolate and creamy roast, mild caramel, a little roasted coffee, nutty coffee, with mild nutty notes and toasty grainy saison like malt characters. Then spices, mild spices like an allspice, clove, baking spices, etc, with mild phenols. Hint of a fruity note from some mild esters as well. Back end is dry lactose feel, dusty cocoa too. Finish is dry and sticky, a bit more spices and dry lactose like, more dark malts and a little saison note.

Mouth is med bod, small bubble popping highly carbonated distracting feel, and a bit creamy.

Overall this seems like the new idea, first was black IPA, then White IPA, now black saison. Not really a great idea, just seems like it should be but isn't. The different characters don't match up, it's all over the place and for that not too enjoyable, and distracting carbonation on top of it all.

Photo of woodychandler
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%

I honestly CANnot remember where this one came from. Tone77? Justin C.? Did I pick it up for furtherance of The CANQuest ™?

From the CAN: “Smooth Black Ale” and some of the most disturbing, frightening graphics that I have ever seen on a label! It looks like something out of H. P. Lovecraft. Phew.

I Crack!ed the CAN open and a snake began slithering out of the opening with its fangs bared hungrily. No, instead, I got a spray of beer from a super-full CAN. I grabbed the snake, I mean, CAN by its tail aand began an inverted Glug until the head formation became too much to allow me to CANtinue and I set it back down. The pseudo-cascade was quite evident in this one and as it settled, it formed three dense fingers of deep-tan/light-brown head with excellent retention. While I waited for things to settle, I looked about for the snake, which had seized the opportunity to slither off. Color was Very Dark Brown to Black, but not Opaque (SRM = > 34, < 44) since I could discern cola highlights at the edges. Sticky lacing had begun to form in the glass and the snake was nowhere to be found. Nose smelled strongly of bittersweet dark chocolate, underlain with a light smokiness. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was quite reminiscent of Dr. Pepper soda pop with its myriad of flavors. I got chocolate, cherries, some smoke and a little charcoal. I also got the snake back, wrapping itself around my throat, CANsricting, choking me with its evil presence. Jesus f**k! All I wanted to do was drink a beer and I am dying for it. Let’s call the finish semi-dry since the chocolate taste was more bitter than sweet and the smoke and charcoal did not change its effect. An interesting beer, to be sure, but another once-and-done for me. YMMV.

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Brontide from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
80 out of 100 based on 177 ratings.