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Autumnal - Stillwater Artisanal Ales

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

203 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 203
Reviews: 100
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 10.32%
Wants: 8
Gots: 8 | 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: 203 | Reviews: 100 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of farrago

New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev -4%

Gives you a solid, close to two fingers of light tan foam, while almost exclusively tiny bubbles does dissolve quickly, for lacing presents an unbroken sheet down the glass walls, like armor mail, finally breaks into non-sticky rivulets. The nose is earthy unto a bit dirty, peat moss, tree bark, mixed grains, the orange citrus has a powdery, candied character, freshly picked and then cellar dried aspect to the apple, pear, peach scents, more weightless concentration than sugariness, light honeyed glaze and cocoa powder lend the needed sweetness, ends with elevating herbaceousness and pepperiness, especially if allowed to warm some. Close to full-bodied, fuzzy carbonation gives it a looser mouth feel. More upfront chocolate and mocha pretties up the mouth entry with a concomitant emphasis on dried apple, apricot, peach, pear fruit, touch of banana as well. More toast than roast, some coffee notes. The orange to lemon citrus a presence throughout while not looking to solo, brings sourness at moments. The earthiness less arch and more floral than green here. The spices don't achieve clarity, except maybe for the white pepper. Studies a lot to make up for lack of innate ability.

02-05-2011 03:29:59 | More by farrago
Photo of kbutler1


3.58/5  rDev -5.3%

Bottle. Poured into a tulip glass a darker clear reddish mahagony color with a very big and lively offwhite head of at least 2 fingers. Some fruit like notes in the nose of apple and pear, minimal spice, along with a touch of alcohol. Starts off with a sweet caramel like flavor with fruit, spice, banana, and only a minimal alcohol flavor. Also has some bread like notes. Lingering banana and mild bitterness. Medium/light mouthfeel. I really thought and wanted this to be better.

02-04-2011 01:07:35 | More by kbutler1
Photo of JohnQVegas


3.68/5  rDev -2.6%

750ml bottle into The Bruery tulip. Gorgeous bottle art, as always.

Pours dark, murky red brown with a creamy, dense, rocky off-white head of 3 fingers towering on top. Very good retention as the big head takes the better part of half an hour to settle into a dense, thick cap. Decent lacing.

Nose is interesting. Faintly musty, brett stands out clearly, traces of barnyard, a bit metallic, bright citrus underneath. Light, nutty roastiness barely perceptible underneath. A bit less impressive than most of Stillwater's beers, too one-dimensional.

Taste is surprising, very complex. This feels like a big brown ale fermented with farmhouse yeast. Bright lemon and a bit of barnyard hidden under a thin, musty layer, all wrapped around a dry, nutty, lightly roasty, bready malt body. Straddles the borderline between roasted and deeply toasted notes. Floral overtones, as found in almost all Stateside's beers. Light breadcrust, hints of coffee, and a bit of herbal bitterness on the very back end. Fairly clean, a bit of a metallic note in there. Could be in the very earliest stages of oxidation, hard to tell. Unexpected - I know many haven't been enamored with this effort, but I find it rather pleasant. Perhaps it's my unadulterated love of English brown ales, but I rather enjoyed this one.

Mouthfeel is good - has the trademark unfiltered fullness of all of Stillwater's beers, with a moderate bite to the small-bubbled carbonation.

Fairly drinkable, though not in the same league as the truly great renditions of the style. The complexity kept me coming back, however.

02-03-2011 19:45:36 | More by JohnQVegas
Photo of weatherdog


2.85/5  rDev -24.6%

750mL bottle poured into a Leinenkugels Big Eddy snifter

It pours a deep brown, nearing chestnut with a billowing tan head, the head dies down into a scattered layer of bubbles along the surface of the beer, no lacing on the sides of the glass.

The nose is really malty for a saison. I'm getting a hint of oxidation as well. Not much signature spice but a little roast is in there. I'm just not loving the mash up of a brown ale and saison they seem to be headed in.

The taste is even more malty brown ale-like with a bit of bitterness present. There seems to be a lack of a good saison/farmhouse character and the yeast have lent a more fruity ester profile akin to a warm fermented homebrew. I'm just not a fan of a the mildly roasted/ malty brown ale with some fruity esters. I've had much better dark saisons.

The body is teetering on the medium heavy side which doesn't compliment the intended style although carbonation is on the high side which is expected. It's just not very drinkable to me as the estery flavor is too distracting from what the beer should be. I'm sadly disappointed in my first beer from this brewery. A brewery of which I've heard really good things from.

01-24-2011 02:03:20 | More by weatherdog
Photo of bluejacket74


3.83/5  rDev +1.3%

750 ml bottle. Served in a tulip glass, the beer pours a hazy amber/brown color with about an inch and a half off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both decent. Aroma is sweet spices, caramel malt, dark fruit and some grain/bready malt. Taste is similar to the aroma, with the addition of some earthy hops, peppery spice and yeast. Mouthfeel/body is medium, and it has a lot of carbonation, a bit too much for me. Drinkability is decent, it's not a hard brew to drink at all. I don't think this is quite as good overall as the other Stillwater brews I've tried so far, but I do like this beer and would try it again in the future.

01-22-2011 21:58:17 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of womencantsail


3.68/5  rDev -2.6%

A: The pour is a dark amber color, maybe chestnut, with a big khaki colored head.

S: Lots of yeast is there right away. There's some definite spiciness, particularly pepper and something else I can't quite identify. A surprising amount of roast and maybe even some coffee. Slight dark fruit and lemon zest aroma is here, too.

T: Roast and coffee are (shockingly) at the forefront. Fairly bitter with some floral hops. Seems to be a little bit of tea flavor. A bit of a dark chocolate thing going on as well. Definitely some more spice, but not nearly as yeasty or fruity.

M: The body is medium with a fairly high level of carbonation.

D: I thought this was pretty good. Not as good as Stateside, but not as bad as some of the others.

01-17-2011 01:58:33 | More by womencantsail
Photo of petacutlasaurus


3.38/5  rDev -10.6%

Kind of like a belgian dubbel, those were my first thoughts - a brownish, amber beer that felt less like a saison. I really enjoyed it, but not as much as the existent or cellar door. It wasn't as exciting, maybe not as off-beat, but still really enjoyable.

01-16-2011 22:54:29 | More by petacutlasaurus
Photo of BeerImmediately


4.08/5  rDev +7.9%

Served in the mid-50's into a tulip glass.

Pours with a respectable 3F of beige head over a very deep amber colored body, with plenty of carbonation present. Just a touch of lacing.

Aromas are inviting - quite spicy and sweet for the style. Really nice amount of earthy/dirty thickness to it.

Mouthfeel starts off prickly up front with lots of carbonation, leading to a very vinous flavor - mostly white grape like. Floral hoppiness. Juicy sweetness. Finish has some dull/dirt qualities, which contribute to a pretty dry finish. After about 45 minutes, the carbonation mellowed, and unfortunately, it lost some of its spicy kick. But also took on a unique cocoa powder flavor and mouthfeel.

I gave this one the highest marks on drinkability, as it wasn't bone dry or terribly funky or bitter as some saisons.

01-12-2011 00:26:19 | More by BeerImmediately
Photo of nas5755


3.6/5  rDev -4.8%

A brownish beer with amber hues, a nice head with great retention and lacing. Spicy with some light notes of dark fruit and fruit and caramel. Dark fruits, raisins and figs in the sense of a quad or dubbel but subdued with more a very light hop presence right before the dryness and spice acts on the palate. The spice acts without the pepper notes, I commonly associate with a saison, and there is a touch of heat in the throat. A very pleasant experience with very unique qualities. Even without a very high rating this is a beer that is recommended for complexity lovers.

01-09-2011 23:09:37 | More by nas5755
Photo of avalon07

South Carolina

3.78/5  rDev 0%

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a brown color and a thick, cloudy consistency. There was a huge, creamy, long-lasting head. Above average lacing.

S: A nice aroma of malt, caramel, and some yeast.

T: Tasted mostly of malt, with hints of Belgian yeast, grain, and caramel. A decent flavor. Not exactly what you expect from a saison.

M: A well carbonated beer with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: On the whole, a solid, drinkable beer.

01-03-2011 13:04:25 | More by avalon07
Photo of callmemickey


3.15/5  rDev -16.7%

A: Amber-brown body. With a hearty off-white head. Good retention and spotty lacing.

S: Spicy yeast, grain, and a bit of residual sugar sweetness.

T: Mostly spicy, astringent yeast notes. Grainy body. Not stillwater's best offering too date.

M: The yeast gives this beer an astringency and off-feeling on the tongue. Medium bodied with sufficient carbonation. Semi-dry finish.

D: Just not in the same league as some of their other offerings. The components from the yeast just drown out the malt and any hops here.

01-01-2011 19:29:44 | More by callmemickey
Photo of Halcyondays


3.58/5  rDev -5.3%

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a deep dark amber to brown with a medium white head, some lace.

S: Fair bit of nuttiness, malt, black tea, intriguing hop characteristics but hard to describe.

T: Roasted flavours, almost stout like with a hint of chocolate. Bitter at times, dry leaf flavour which wasn't great, but interesting enough. Good hoppy finish was pleasing.

M: Medium-bodied, full carbonation appeal on the palate, lingering flavour.

D: A solid though very American tasting saison. Wish there was some more yeast character to it.

12-29-2010 21:07:20 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of Billolick

New York

3.88/5  rDev +2.6%

Large bottle from Decicco's in Ardsley, NY, no freshness info offered.

Pours murky darker brown, the head is loose, light mocha and while initially huge,fairly quickly departing. Thin collar and some fine lacing left on the glass.

Sniff reveals some tea and Belgian like yeasty notes.

More tea, caramel malts, ripe fruit on the tongue. Some peppery spicing...not sure what to make of this one, another different and interesting/odd ball sort of saison from Stillwater. Worth a try, quality American take on a much loved Belgian style brew, through a German filter...go figure

12-29-2010 02:07:09 | More by Billolick
Photo of Gobzilla


4.1/5  rDev +8.5%

Poured a chocolate brown in color with yellow highlights when held up to the light that had a finger of head that dissipates quickly leaving some bubbly lacing sticking to the glass. On the first whiff I got a combination of dark fruits alongside applesauce notes with slight spice and mild tart notes. The taste upfront had toasty caramel flavors with brown sugar, spices, and dark fruit accents. It did however have mild tart and nutty flavors on the backend. The brew was medium in body with a good amount of carbonation which had a slight sweet, fruity, but toasty and tart finish. It drank really good and was a nice take on a saison style brew. Definitely have to try more of these stillwater beers ASAP.

12-25-2010 06:44:51 | More by Gobzilla
Photo of jorg2619


3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Got this beer at Abes in Bethlehem.

Autumnal pours a very dark brown with some dull red hues coming through my tulip glass. There is some good off white head that settles to a thin line across the top of the beer. The smell is mild, with hints of malt, grass (possibly hops) and not much more. This is a smooth and unremarkable tasting Saison. I tasted some mild malt flavors very little hops and a got almost a bitter coffee hinted ending. The mild nature of this beer really hides the 7% of booze. I like the beer it seems more like a brown ale than a Saison. I am no expert on the style but I was expecting the mixture of german and belguin ingredients along with the phrase "generously hopped" as on the bottle to mean a strongly flavored ale. I did not encounter this ale.

12-22-2010 22:05:58 | More by jorg2619
Photo of lackenhauser


3.83/5  rDev +1.3%

Somewhat of a fuzzy, reddish hue. Big foamy head at first. Peppery, roasted and somewhat earthy aroma. Mild roasted flavors. Yeasty and peppery spiciness to it. Mild hop flavors as well. Body is a tad thin. Overall an enjoyable beer. I thought their Stateside saison was better. Still worth a shot overall.

12-19-2010 23:38:09 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of Daniellobo

District of Columbia

3.58/5  rDev -5.3%

Intriguing take of farmhouse ale with a German inspiration.

Presentation: 750 ml brown capped bottle. Brown label with red dashes with an image of an antique cartographic chart presiding it. Side narrative notes intent, main ingredients, and general characteristics. Lacks bottling or freshness date. Notes Alc. by Vol. (7.2%). Served in a tulip glass.

A - Ruby brown pour, pretty dark, with a generous head, fair retention and lacing.

S - Good nose, albeit not too stimulating. Malty sense with an earthy touch, dash of Belgium yeast.

T - Fairly malty-roasty for the style, spicy touch, touch of dark fruits. rather compact.

M - Medium to medium-light body, with low carbonation and with a light dry finish after the malty roundness.

D - Nice but a bit too hefty for my expectations.

Notes: Good stuff, but maybe the least appealing ale I've tried so far from Stillwater.

12-17-2010 04:46:29 | More by Daniellobo
Photo of Patrick999


3.15/5  rDev -16.7%

Poured into a tulip. Cloudy brown with a persistent two-finger head.

I got a whiff of O-fest-like malt when I popped the cap. Has kind of a musty doughy aroma in the glass.

I see the ingredients listed on the bottle. Seems to be a bock or festbier done up with a saison yeast. Interesting idea, but seems to come up a bit short. Dry and peppery with hints of grape. Occasional German-style bready malt. Almost comes off as a really dry Belgian Dark, or a dubbel that's too light on the malt. Not a bad beer, but comes a few steps short of the farmhouse.

Decent spritz here, not overly crackly. Accentuates the dry finish.

To me, not the greatest farmhouse ale, but ultimately, not an undrinkable beer by any stretch. I'd probably give it a higher overall rating if it didn't say "farmhouse ale" on its label. I won't have the slightest problem finishing it.

12-08-2010 22:34:45 | More by Patrick999
Photo of Brad007


3.33/5  rDev -11.9%

Pours a mild amber hue with ample carbonation and a slight bit of graininess. Leaves a decent two-finger head.

The description claims that this is a Belgo-German ale. It's a bit hard to tell at first. The aroma of spicy yeast mingles with german 2-row malt. There is just a slight bit of sweetness.

Taste is full of spicy belgian yeast that doesn't seem to fit well to the malt bill. There's actually a bit of sourness here as a result. Very conflicting taste-wise.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering sweet malt and spicy yeast. Again, the malt just doesn't seem to hold its' own against the yeast.

I don't think that this worked out well. It's overpowered by the choice of yeast, drowning out any flavor that should be present. I'm not a fan.

11-20-2010 01:07:02 | More by Brad007
Photo of akorsak


3.88/5  rDev +2.6%

A 750 mL bottle from The Wine Source.

A: A saison sombre. Dark caramel colors, brown and orange-red shades throughout; definitely not noire. Autumnal indeed, with the look of a warming cooler-weather brew. Several fingers of head, at least two, filled up my tulip quickly, leaving only a few ounces of beer in the glass. No lacing to report though.

S: A yeasty aroma, mild fruits and a powdery presence. Pears and apples, along with black pepper, sit atop darker malts that are bready with caramel.

T: Darker malts, strong with bready notes, start the ale off, a mildly-roasted flavor. Belgian flavors, soft at first, get more confident with each sip, releasing darker candi sugars and pale fruits. A dash of black pepper, thank you very much yeast, breaks up the malt-fest nicely. Fruity and spicy but quite bready.

M: The mouthfeel runs rampant, bready to spicy to bready all in one sip. It's a Belgian-style fest beer that packs enough spice to keep me interested.

D: As novel as it is, it has the distinction of being my least favorite Stillwater offering. That's no slam, it's just up against heady competition.

11-14-2010 18:30:40 | More by akorsak
Photo of thain709


3.48/5  rDev -7.9%

A - The beer was served with a brown body that had some nice ruby higlights...the head was thin and had a tan tint to it...some decent lacing

S - The aroma wasn't strong but I could pick out the saison funk along with roasted malts

T - Flavors mirror the aroma...a slight sweetness and roastiness from the malts...both fade quickly and slide into the earthy, saison funk...I much preferred the initial sweetness because after the funkiness was gone I was left with a sour, hoppy finish

M - Medium bodied...low carbonation, sour, funky

D - This was kind of a roasted saison...at least that's what I was picking up...I enjoyed the roasted malts and the initial sweetness they gave off...what I didn't like was the saison funk and sourness at the end of the beer

11-14-2010 16:37:32 | More by thain709
Photo of John_M


3.58/5  rDev -5.3%

On cask at Max's today. Poured into an imperial pint glass.

The beer pours a reddish brown color with good head retention and decent lacing. The nose is fairly attractive, showcasing some light rootbeer, roasted malt and earth. The flavor profile replicates the nose, in what I assume is this brewer's interpretation of an Oktoberfest marzen meets Belgian saison. The beer has some modest sweetness from malt, as well as some noticeable (though certainly not overdone) spice. The spice seems to counter the modest sweetness fairly well, and certainly this beer does not come across as excessively sweet or rich. The beer dries out slightly on the finish, and the mouthfeel is fairly light, soft and inoffensive. Drinkability is pretty good, with the alcohol completely unnoticeable. In fact, if tasted blind, I would have assumed I was drinking a beer with considerably less alcohol.

One word sums up this beer pretty well... mehhhh... while there's nothing wrong with it, this has to be one of the more unexciting beers I've had in some time. Really sorry I ordered a full glass of this instead of a sampler.

10-31-2010 19:25:05 | More by John_M
Photo of 321jeff


2.83/5  rDev -25.1%

Pours a murky looking deep amber, kind of like a dark tea with about a finger's worth of off-white head.

Aroma is strong but not overpowering, very sweet with caramel, fresh dough, some dark fruits, and some "wintertime" spices, pretty complex.

Taste is a little odd, some dark fruits and hints of spices and some sweet caramel. I also seem to be getting a strong yeast element in there as well. Overall a little on the sweet side.

Medium in body with some mild carbonation and a slightly dry finish. An interesting interpretation that's worth a try, but I doubt I'll seek it out again.

10-28-2010 01:38:54 | More by 321jeff
Photo of mdfb79

New York

3.9/5  rDev +3.2%

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a dark amber color with one finger of white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of lactic, sour fruit, and spices and fruity malts.

t - Tastes of sweet fruity malts, spice, caramel malts, and bready malts.

m - Light to medium body and low carbonation.

d - A pretty good saison. Would definitely try again.

10-24-2010 00:51:10 | More by mdfb79
Photo of drabmuh


4.2/5  rDev +11.1%

Another great beer from Stillwater. Thanks Brian! Served in my Stillwater Artisan Ale angled wine glass (I think its the saison glass) because I can.

Beer is brown and hazy with aggressive carbonation and a nice thick head that settles to a half a finger with some lacing on the walls. The head is made up of a off white to brown small bubbles with a few medium ones in there. Another saison but this one is dark.

Aroma is sweet with a hint of malts and some darker notes like toffee or a mild spice, smells great. Slightly bready with strong yeast presence.

Beer is roastier than expected but its good. Medium to light in body, finishes dry, yeast character in the midpalate. Lots of carbonation in the mouth, tastes pretty good. The sweetness on the front would be nice to accent the yeast character more. Overall its a good beer.

10-21-2010 02:44:35 | More by drabmuh
Autumnal from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
85 out of 100 based on 203 ratings.