Autumnal - Stillwater Artisanal Ales

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AutumnalAutumnal

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BA SCORE
85
very good

231 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 231
Reviews: 105
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 10.88%
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:
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.

(Beer added by: timtim on 10-12-2010)
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Ratings: 231 | Reviews: 105 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of fo5s
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle served in a saison dupont glass. No dating on the bottle, and no idea when this is from.

A- pours a dark amber / brown. Big head, but somewhat thin and recedes quickly. Healthy lacing. Apparently this isn't a normal saison...

S- caramel malts, some funky. Seems like the yeast is on par with the style here...

T- quite the melange (to steal a word off the bottle notes)...a touch of caramel, some breadiness and some classic saison horseblanket fund.

M- a touch thin up front, sticky on the back end.

O- overall this is a unique beer...almost a cross between an oktoberfest (breadiness), dubbel (sweet malts / belgian yeast) and a saison (funk). I wasn't a fan at first taste, but it's grown on me throughout the glass. An interesting bridge from a summer saison to an oktoberfest - the name makes sense on this one...

Photo of Knapp85
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one poured out with a deep brown color and had a thin tan colored head on top. The smell of the beer is a little on the earthy side, some aromas of wood and spice on the nose. The taste of the beer was also a little bit on the wooden flavored side. Not a bad flavor at all really just not something I was really feeling at the time. The mouthfeel of this beer is nice, it's got a good carbonation level to it. Overall this brew was good, I would definitely drink it again.

Photo of jneiswender
3.43/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this beer at the Belgian Beer Festival in Boston. On tap and served in a two ounce tasting glass.

A.murky amber body with an off white head

S. Sweet caramel or toffee smell

t.grass. spice. Some grain

M. Medium

d. Okay. I Would drink this again. I think this would pair well with food.

Photo of brewandbbq
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle.

Pours chestnut brown with a two inch head of beige, dense foam. Plenty of ripped sheets of lacing throughout the glass as well as a solid skim coat on the surface.

Aromatics lead off with roasted nuts, cocoa, raisins, clove dust, vanilla, and dark rum.

Medium bodied with a creamy, smooth mouthfeel. Velvety, but the carbonation is a bit light for the style.

Caramel, hazelnuts, cocoa dust, and raisins start the palate. Hints of toffee, roasted malt, and brown bread follow through.

Finishes with some lingering sweet malt, chocolate, and raisins.

This is a nutty, chocolaty Belgian, but I'm not getting any Saison character. Pretty tasty albiet a bit pedestrian and certainly very costly for what it is.

Photo of pdoran10
3.28/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Autumnal pours out a deep brown color into a snifter, with two full fingers of off white head. That fade slowly and leave very nice lacing.

Smell is candied malt sweetness, with an herbal spicy hop presence. Very sweet in the nose.

Taste is big malt sweetness, slight chocolate and spice notes. Herbal and spcied hops blend with sharp slightly tart carbonation on the finish. It's almost like an Oktoberfest beer fermented with saison yeast. The flavors don't mesh well.

The mouthfeel on this beer is well done. Substantial and thick, but dry with high carbonation.

Overall a well crafted beer, and I get what they were going for, but the concept and flavors just don't mesh that well.

Photo of ncfranklin
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml into a tulip.

A: Murky brown. Very nice two finger head of tan with some thicker lacing. Quite nice looking.

S: Nose of sour fruit, cherry and apple dominant. Breadiness undertone.

T: Slightly tart, with some sour that's more medicinal than funk. Bready levels underneath. No where near the fruit the nose indicated. Not pleasant, as no flavor really shines through.

M: Well carbonated, leaves the mouth slightly dry.

D: Quite a disappointment. No real burst of flavor in the mouth, just a mash of slight sourness and grain. No where near worth the $13 bottle price tag.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lots of light fruit swirling around with a healthy dose of spice in it as well. Nice touches of coriander, lemon, hints of pepper coming through, with a touch of pears warming up to it as it came up to room temperature. The initial taste was peppery, with a rush of lemon following suit almost immediately. A wonderful sense of light fruit really just ran all over this one. I was quite impressed I have to admit. Smooth mouth feel was more the adequately carbonated and really just kept the profile popping throughout. An easy sipper, the moderate ABV lended itself well to a warm late summer evening

Photo of drpimento
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Let this warm a bit out of the fridge. Poured with a nice, foamy, frothy, fluffy, billowy, thick, creamy, fine, light tan head, that lasts forever and lots of lace. Color is a clear, brown orange medium amber with lots of tiny bubble trails. Aroma is a fresh blend of caramel, berry, toffee, and some astringency. Flavor is a less complex blend of sweet, caramel malt, bitter, carbonic tang. Body is both soft, full and yet cut by the great carbonation. Finish is like flavor and has medium lenght with a little alcohol at the end. Very easy drinking beer. Grew on me the more I "sampled" it. I want another sample.

Photo of hwwty4
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Found this sitting on the shelf at my local this weekend. Love me some Stillwater Saisons.

Poured a capped 750ml into my Tripel Karmeliet tulip. I'm really torn on the appearance. It pours a watery coffee brown with a massive 4 inch head that leaves sticky soapy lacing down the sides of the glass. I think it has to do with the trend for breweries making saison noire's. While it has the requisite massive head and sticky lacing, it just reminds me of muddy brown, coffee water. I just don't think it makes for a very striking beer. The aroma hits with a nice Belgian spiciness. Fresh ground pepper, yeasty breadiness mixed with floral hops. All of this is offset by a roasted coffee aroma the lies underneath the rest. It creates an aroma dichotomy that isn't necessarily the greatest. They don't play well with each other, it's more of a juxtaposition. The flavor hits with nice yeasty esters that's followed by a mild roasted coffee. Ground pepper and grassy hops with a bit of a floral component. The mouthfeel is yeasty dry. Like biting into a cake doughnut. In my mind, it definitely is the best aspect of the beer. Overall, I don't know if its just that I'm a saison purist who prefers light bodied, dry saisons or its just that I think the roasted malts through a wrench in the interplay of a saison but I'm just not the biggest fan of it.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stillwater Autumnal. Purchased in late spring, drinking now in early summer. "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 Mittlefruh, 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."

Dusky brown appearance, half-opaque, gorgeous head, big and billowy, lace leaving, luscious.

Aroma: there's the Belgian funk, here's the hops, and underneath the caramel malt. A twisted mix. Some chocolate here, some raisins, a little creamy, bits of nuts.

Taste: Mmm. Chocolate malt remains a minor player, mixes with dark fruit and nuts. Primarily a malt driven flavor, with mild and mellow hop character. Richness and sweetness aplenty. But never too much, great balance, great consumability.

Good spice in it, great malt, minor hops, terrific flavor.

Photo of wesbrownyeah
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Autumnal by Stillwater Artisanal ale in the Farmhouse stye, 7.2% alcohol content.

A- Pours a soda colored fluid that shows light brown in sun light. Produces a heavy off white head that leaves massive lacing on the glass.

S- Rich chocolate malts and sharp yeasty bite upfront on the nose, mild funk in the back.

T-M- Taste upfront is of dark fruits mostly plums and raisins. Mild and light farmhouse funk come to in the backbone with hay and wet blanket. Mouthfeel is watery and leaves nothing to roll it over smoothly.

All and all ok. Its drinkable with a no frills design but malt is its go to point.

Photo of mothman
3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark copper amber color. A finger of beige head.

Aroma: Apricots and fresh fruit. A light farmhouse funk. Grassy and straw flavors. Fairly light on the flavor.

Taste: Dry spice flavors. Bready malts. Some fruits, but more more malts. Straw and lemon flavors.

Mouthfeel: Spiced and dry. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry.

Overall, a decent saison, but was way too dry for me. Not refreshing like I would like it to be.

Photo of THECPJ
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark brown with orange hue and a 1 finger off white head

smell: caramel, malts, belgian yeast,

taste: malty, citrus, belgian yeast funk,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: pretty decent saison. I will be looking for more of these beers from Stillwater Artisan.

Cheers,
the CPJ

Photo of BEERchitect
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Following a common theme of black saison farmhouse ales, this dark ale carries a bold black pepper flavor and bite across an expansive carbonation and very dry finish.

Autumnal Ale pours a dark brown hue with a billowing lightly tanned head that retains very well, while showing only slight strands of lace. A very froathy and hearty look.

Peppery notes fill and tickle the nose while a malty-rich backbone takes the shape of true malt or malted milk. Light notes of charred currants, berries, and walnuts give a little variety without undue attention.

The peppery attitude continues in taste: black pepper being the dominating taste, the beer claims a spicy demeanor with the maltiness contributes a rich, but not sweet, support. Low on hops, the beer relies on the peppery sharpness and light grain tannin contributions for balance. A light, nearly vegital flavor emits from the maltiness in a very odd and creamy way. Still, heavily charred fruits give a tart and toasty vibe throughout.

Creamy early due to expressive carbonation, but the beer dries out beautifully across the mid palate and into the evaporative-dry finish. Light bite and prickle of alcohol further emphasize the peppery phenolics. Tannins give a mild astringency that hides behind the timid hop bitterness and provides the only real distraction as the beer thins out late.

Thanks bbehr!

Photo of impending
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz into a tulip. Pours a ruddy dark cola dishwater, nice towering dense cream colored head, nice lacing.

Aroma of a dubbel saison fusion, clean.

Taste continues the melding of styles. Taste begins as a dubbel then drifts into a saison with the mild wild yeast announcing at the beginning of the finish which lingers pleasantly. Medium bodied creamy mouthfeel.

Unique
Shares a sensibility with Moinette Brune.
cheers
jd

Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another of their unique "saisons". Dark brown colour, tastes like a Belgian, a dunkel unfiltered. Brown sugar. Good drinkability. Above average mouthfeel.Saison aroma.Some wood,caramel,white pepper, and European hops right there. Thanks Michael P.

Photo of liamt07
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml waxed cap bottle, shared by Sammy. Served in a tulip.

Pours maroon, with other shades of brown thrown in, some mild sediment and white head. Nose has some mild funk, citrus rind and zest and some toasted malt. A bit of yeast as well. Taste has more of a brown ale character than a saison I thought, more citrus rind and wheat. A touch of brown sugar as well. The mildest tartness finishes off the mouthfeel, and works well to balance and contrast the sweetness imparted by the brown sugar I thought I detected. Mouthfeel has a bit of spritz to it, high carbonation but not overdone. No alcohol. This one has a great refreshing feel to it, and one bottle on a warmer summer's eve would be awesome.

Photo of wisrarebeer
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

$10.99 for a 750ml

A: light copper clear, rocky head when poured and kept nice lacey head all the way
S: medium to full nose, very nice malty-yeasty Belgian qualities, slightly sweeter, caramel roasted undertones
T: very full taste, nice malty backbone with spirtzy CO2 and well-balanced yeast throughout, sweeter malt but true to type, not cloying
M: very soft, clean crisp, roasted malt, very smooth
O: very good beer, reminded me of an abbey beer

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a tulip glass)
A- This beer has a clear dense brown body with an orange glow at the base and a strong carbonation of microbubbles gliding up the side of the glass. There is a light oatmeal colored head that is creamy and sticks to the glass in sheets with each sip.

S- The earthy pale malt notes have a hint of cream and some wheat bread notes to follow. There is a rusty but no metallic aroma that comes through in the finish aswell.

T- The tart note that starts off has a grain and flinty quality to it with some dry toasted malt flavors coming through. There is a soft saison yeast hint in the finish which is very dry aswell. There is a brassy phenolic plastic flavor that blends with a spicy/tangy hop quality in the finish that grows to get in the way of other flavors.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a tight crisp fizz and no real alcohol heat noticed.

D- The tartness increases a bit to much and the rest of the flavors become a bit to muted and it starts to taste like bad breath. The tart and hop characters really don't work together in this beer and it is a bit of a mess.

Photo of lowendfrequency
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a wineglass during a bottle share. A rich deep copper colored liquid with a formidable rocky tan head. Steady lacing shows this is well carbonated.

Aroma is spicy with a distinct breadiness. Peppercorns and clove stand out but there is some caramel and plum notes showing up. Some floral hops with a slight bubblegum in the background.

Flavor is a strong toffee, spice, toasted bread and fruit. The fruit character spans the full spectrum from citrus and banana to figs and plums. This beer fools the senses into thinking it's intensely malty but finishes dry, peppery and refreshing. The mouthfeel is seriously dry, almost desiccating but without being thin and really pulls this beer together.

I enjoyed this beer immensely. It's apparent that this is a well made product and was fermented with skill and know-how. I feel that reviews of this beer are skewed by comparing it to a traditional saison. To truly appreciate this beer, pre-conceptions of what a saison is, or can be, need to be thrown out. This is a fantastic, balanced, well made beer that is deserving of it's price.

Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured with a small head of off white foam, the body is a hazy, dark brown. The head settles slowly and leaves light lace.

S - lightly sour, dark fruit with dark caramel malt.

T - Dry caramel and toffee with some dark cherry. Darker malt in the middle with more cherry that starts to taste a bit like cough syrup. Lots of caramel and chery in the finish.

M - medium thick body and a sweet finish with moderate carbonation.

D - Pretty nice. It smells great, but the flavor gets cloying after the first glass.

Photo of mltobin
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bomber at DeCicco`s in NY.

Appearance is darker than I expected, a ruby tone with a beige head, 1 finger tall, some lacing. Smell contains spice, belgian yeast, sweetness, brown sugar. Autumnal tastes of fruit, most notably plum, also sweetness from caramel, and spices including pepper and clove. MF is medium with quite a bit of carbonation. This offering from Stillwater is pretty good, but not as good as some of their other beers IMHO. However, it is an interesting twist on a saison and I am happy that I picked it up.

Photo of Spider889
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Bodega on 3/1/11.

Served with no head, yay 'dega! The beer is is dark, mostly clear maple color.

Smelled like a saison alright, lots of lemon and orange zest with some spicy/peppery yeast esters.

Very clean flavor - sort of a sweet Belgian yeast meets a German bock. Some caramel malt and slight smokiness. About midway through my pint I began to gather a browned wheat bread character, finishing with more sweet yeastiness.

Light bodied with high carbonation, pretty darn drinkable, though overall this wasn't anything super unique either. As my first Stillwater I was impressed enough to be willing to try more in the future.

Photo of JamnesCameron
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to AleWatcher for this one. An "invitational" to the Blind BIF #4.

Poured into my Duvel tulip. Pours a deep amber with a huge light tan head of over three fingers. Head is very slow to drop, leaves some nice lacing.

Aromas of caramel malt, black pepper, spicy yeast.

Flavor of caramel malt, wheat, light tobacco, pepper, soft bitterness, licorise, light roasted malts, earthy and that distinctive belgian saison yeast. Light sourness. Finish is medium, with a lingering earthy bitterness and that light tobacco flavor.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side, not watery. Mouthcoating roasty bitterness.

Very good drinkability, a little on the dark side for a farmhouse ale, but very complex with tons of little nuances in the flavor.

Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

So, this is a weird find. I want to say this guy brews at other breweries using his own recipies...Didn't read his blog all the way down far enough to know, but that's my guess. I'm probably wrong...

$9.99/750ml bottle and 7.2% ABV...this is a tad pricey...

Pours a slightly hazy amber. I always thought farmhouse ales were a tad more cloudy and also a lighter straw color. Hmmm, curious...Beautiful, soapy head persists and mellows into a creamy crown. Leaves nice lacing. Super carbonated, at least that's to style...

There's some nice sour notes in the aroma, that's to style for sure...also some of the spicier notes akin to a farmhouse..I'm getting more excited. De Ranke's H.O.P. Flower Power is my fave in the category of farmhouse, so we'll see how this holds up...So far, the aroma has given me high hopes...

Flavor is not saison-y or farmhouse-y enough for me. There's a nice, bright tang right away. This then gets very malty in the middle, and I fear too much caramel malt is being used, as that becomes the dominant flavor through the middle. The yeast notes kind of get lost, but they are still there. The finish is more to style with a long, sharp tangy note that carries and some nice, muted hop flavors. Overall, this is too Amber Ale-ish for me. I like a brighter, crisper flavor in my farmhouse ales. A nice effort, but for the price there are many better.

WHat I like most: The wonderful, clean bright aroma profile.

What I like least: The malt dominated flavor profile.

Verdict: more akin to an American Amber, this is just not saison-y eneough to justify the high price.

Autumnal from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
85 out of 100 based on 231 ratings.