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Autumnal - Stillwater Artisanal Ales

Not Rated.

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

212 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 212
Reviews: 101
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 10.58%
Wants: 9
Gots: 11 | 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: 212 | Reviews: 101 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of BeerImmediately
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

BeerImmediately, Jan 12, 2011
Photo of nas5755
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

nas5755, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of avalon07
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

avalon07, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of callmemickey
3.15/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

callmemickey, Jan 01, 2011
Photo of Halcyondays
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Halcyondays, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

Billolick, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of Gobzilla
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Gobzilla, Dec 25, 2010
Photo of jorg2619
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

jorg2619, Dec 22, 2010
Photo of lackenhauser
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

lackenhauser, Dec 19, 2010
Autumnal from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
85 out of 100 based on 212 ratings.