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Autumnal - Stillwater Artisanal Ales

Not Rated.

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

221 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 221
Reviews: 103
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 10.85%
Wants: 9
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 221 | Reviews: 103 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wesbrownyeah
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

wesbrownyeah, Jul 02, 2011
Photo of mothman
3.35/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

mothman, Jun 07, 2011
Photo of THECPJ
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

the CPJ

THECPJ, May 24, 2011
Photo of BEERchitect
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
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!

BEERchitect, May 17, 2011
Photo of impending
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

Shares a sensibility with Moinette Brune.

impending, May 09, 2011
Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Sammy, May 08, 2011
Photo of liamt07
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

liamt07, May 06, 2011
Photo of wisrarebeer
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
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

wisrarebeer, May 01, 2011
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

rhoadsrage, Apr 12, 2011
Photo of lowendfrequency
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
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.

lowendfrequency, Apr 04, 2011
Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

nickfl, Mar 25, 2011
Photo of mltobin
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

mltobin, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of Spider889
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

Spider889, Mar 20, 2011
Photo of JamnesCameron
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

JamnesCameron, Mar 15, 2011
Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.25/5  rDev -14%
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.

SolomonGrundy, Mar 07, 2011
Photo of GRG1313
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper with an off-white firm head.

Nose has sum "saison toast" character. Smells like a traditional saison with with a hit of toasty and malty hops and fruity character.

Mouthfeel is clean, crisp and inviting, albeit thin.

Flavors are "herbal-grassy saison" with a dose of light coffee and peaches. Not real "saison like" but pleasing. Flavors are light fruity citric coffee that goes to a bit bitter green character that goes to a more traditional green herb, celery salt white pepper and green pepper/celery character.

Finish is "green" and a bit funky with a bitter pepper finish. Drinkable even though it's a bit schizophrenic.

GRG1313, Feb 28, 2011
Photo of scruffwhor
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown in color with a thin tan head that doesn't last very long. The color is off for a traditional saison, but lets see how the rest of the beer turns out.

The aroma is a dry, mild roasted brown aroma with a little dry, dark fruits. Smells more like a dry dubbel than a saison. Still smells good, just not to style it seems.

The taste has the dry palate of a saison but is lacking that carbonation pop that I love in a saison. Roasted malts, and yeasty fruit seem to point this beers taste more towards a dubbel or Belgian strong dark ale.

This is a good beer, but the style designation seems to be off.

scruffwhor, Feb 26, 2011
Photo of popery
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's earthy and yeasty with some darker notes, and the beer comes together nicely, despite not quite fitting a style. It pours medium dark brown with a dissipating tan head. It has a lot of caramel and a touch of coffee/chocolate, but it also has that yeasty saison flavor. There are also lemon and good dark fruit flavors. It stays a bit sweet for a saison, but the bitter earthiness pulls it in a bit. The mouthfeel is smooth with a bit of stickiness in the finish. It's a good beer and drinks easily.

popery, Feb 13, 2011
Photo of farrago
3.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

farrago, Feb 05, 2011
Photo of kbutler1
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

kbutler1, Feb 04, 2011
Photo of JohnQVegas
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

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.

JohnQVegas, Feb 03, 2011
Photo of weatherdog
2.85/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

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.

weatherdog, Jan 24, 2011
Photo of bluejacket74
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

bluejacket74, Jan 22, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

womencantsail, Jan 17, 2011
Photo of petacutlasaurus
3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

petacutlasaurus, Jan 16, 2011
Autumnal from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
85 out of 100 based on 221 ratings.