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Autumnal - Stillwater Artisanal Ales

Not Rated.
AutumnalAutumnal

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

233 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 233
Reviews: 106
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 10.61%
Wants: 10
Gots: 12 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Stillwater Artisanal Ales visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: timtim on 10-12-2010

This deep amber hued ale takes it’s inspiration from Germany while still nodding to the Belgian farmhouse tradition. The base is comprised of German two-row, wheat, Cara-Munich, and roasted barley. Generously hopped with a blend of Perle, Spalt, and Hallertau Mittelfrüh and fermented with a rustic Belgian farmhouse ale yeast. These elements together provide a melange of earth and fruit aromas backed with hints of caramel with a dry clean finish.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 233 | Reviews: 106 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jeffreysan
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, deep, dark, mahogany color with a quarter of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved into a halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Not very aromatic at all, but I do get some notes of toasted malt, a touch of nuttiness, some brown sugar and a touch of barnyard-y hay, straw and wet blanket

Taste: Very nice flavors of toasted malt up front, imparting notes of biscuits or crackers, flowed by some dried stone fruit, such as resins, apricots, or dates, some brown sugar-like sweetness, a touch of Belgian yeast which imparted some earthy notes of leather and tobacco, finished with a touch of sour cherry.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with some good carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 7.2%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: Wow! This is another great beer by Stillwater. I’m really, really impressed with this brewer!

Photo of pigpen892
3.44/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of twillingthenoz
3.74/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of biegaman
3.08/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Autumnal does indeed have autumnal brown and orange tones but it's frustratingly hesitant to part with them; highlights are just about snuffed out by an overall complexion that's both dim and concealing. Too bad, this ale could be quite pretty, but if my LED desk lamp fails to tease out any colour then what hope is there? I might as well have poured the sediment in.

Brewed with wheat, Cara-Munich malts, and roasted barley, a trio of German hops, then fermented with Belgian farmhouse yeast, this one is, from a stylistic perspective, all over the map. From the consumer standpoint it's equally confusing; though brewed with so much, it actually smells like very little. I'm actually finding this crudely grainy, yeasty aroma off-putting.

That Autumnal doesn't resemble one beer style specifically is no surprise; the fact that it has no specific style of its own, however, is disappointing. Whatever is read on paper is only marginally tasted on the palate; there is a spiciness and dried fruit element (yeast), trace herbal bitterness (hops), and the odd hint of creamy chocolate on the finish (malts), but nothing stands out.

Nothing, that is, except maybe the 7.2%. The absence of malt allows a rough, unsophisticated, grain distillate-like alcohol presence to free reign. What little nutty sweetness is offered is not forthcoming enough to handle this kind of yeast; brutish notes of stale prune, rank fruits, and spent grain run amok in the aftertaste and really spoil the overall experience.

Autumnal proves the old adage that 'a Jack of all trades is the King of none'. Or, perhaps, it's like an intricate movie that has so much going on that you have to watch it a few times to really follow and appreciate it. Maybe - but I doubt it. If anything, this beer is a reminder of something we all learned in high school: trying too hard to be cool will not make you cool.

Photo of garuda
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of ConradKenney
3/5  rDev -20.4%

Photo of AlexFields
2.95/5  rDev -21.8%

Photo of Hellpop65
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of dipso123
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of RavenForBeer
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of threedaggers
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of justintcoons
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Appearance
Cloudy copper with reddish-mahogany highlights. Has 1/2 finger of tan head that dissipates quickly. Light carbonation with plenty of yeast sediment floating around.

Nose
Brown brad, brown sugar, hazelnut, and dark fruit.

Taste
Caramel, brown bread, and toasted grains. Notes of brown sugar and touches of hazelnut. Suggestions of dark fruit, concord grape, and black plum. Earthy hop presence with a squeeze of lemon. Light notes of hay, potpourri, and clove.

Mouthfeel
Medium-light bodied, crisp, clean, off-dry, and refreshing.

Overall
A malty Oktoberfest grain bill with Stillwater's Saison Ale yeast. Yes, please! Very tasty and hides the alcohol extremely well.

Photo of jbeizer
5/5  rDev +32.6%

One of my all time favorites. Perfect balance of malt and hops for a darker, though not dark, saison.

Photo of Jmamay22
2.95/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Pours a ruddy dark amber, closer to brown with an ecru head that dissipates to a thin collar. Sort of muddy puddle looking beer. The scent is somewhat nondescript. A general malty scent with some caramel. Hops are not distinct.

Taste is mostly malty with notes of caramel and a slight roasted flavor. Not as crisp and dry as I expect from a saison. Really, doesn't come off as a saison at all. The yeast isn't very expressive either. Lively mouthfeel and a bit thin. Relatively disappointed by this one. Rather boring, yet has no glaring flaws.

Photo of dhabersa
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of Trooper92292
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of Cynic-ale
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of bobv
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of podes
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of let8it8grow
3.64/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of sd123
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of stevehagy
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of FUwolfpacker
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

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Autumnal from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
85 out of 100 based on 233 ratings.