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A Saison Darkly (Import Series Vol. 2) - Stillwater Artisanal Ales

Not Rated.
A Saison Darkly (Import Series Vol. 2)A Saison Darkly (Import Series Vol. 2)

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BA SCORE
88
very good

256 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 256
Reviews: 119
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11%
Wants: 20
Gots: 22 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Stillwater Artisanal Ales visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Brewed at Huisbrouwerij Sint Canarus in Deinze-Gottem, Belgium with Dr. Canarus. This black saison carries qualities similar to a stout with light roast and burnt sugar flavors, spiced with Rose Hips, Hibiscus, & Schisandra berries.

(Beer added by: Thorpe429 on 11-13-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 256 | Reviews: 119 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by jamie2dope:
Photo of jamie2dope
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one came recommended to me by Joe at Gordon's in Watertown. I have to admit that I am not crazy about all these traditionally lightly colored styles being brewed dark, but oh well. It pours out an extremely dark brown color, a shade or two away from being black. A small ring of lacing rises up, and stays throughout tasting. Pretty complex nose here, with some cola, brown sugar, maple syrup and ripe melon. Fairly spicy flavor, with many of the aforementioned smells showing up in the taste. The yeast and carbonation make this a pretty lively beer, with the body being somewhere in the middle. Alcohol is also well hidden, giving it extra points on drinkability. Any negative comments I made earlier, I take back. This is a damn tasty brew reminiscent of some of the best Belgian Strong Dark Ales out there. I will make it a point to try more stuff from Stillwater.

jamie2dope, Mar 07, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very dark brown (near black) in color and poured with a finger high off white head that quickly faded away and left a ringer of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of dark fruits and spices in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and also has some flavors of chocolate malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate to high amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is relatively easy to drink considering its strength because the alcohol is well masked from the taste.

metter98, Feb 01, 2011
Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Looks like a Belgian stout, what with an opaque chocolate color and a tightly bubbled foamy head; outlines the glass with a streak of lace

Smell: Roasted grain, filberts and unsweetened baker's chocolate

Taste: Opens with the roasted grain flavors and moves in a toffee and filbert direction by mid-palate; after the swallow, the unsweetened chocolate adds depth but the finish was very dry

Mouthfeel: Medium body with gently, but frothy, carbonation

Overall: While I liked the beer I cannot help but think that something was missing, and that something was the interesting yeast character that I look for in a great saison

brentk56, Jun 16, 2011
Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 ounce bottle, Best Before June 2012 on the right lower portion of the label.

Pours near black, under a larger then large and billowing medium mocha head, that stays and stays, leaving a thick collar, low sheeting and heavier bean shaped blobs of lacing.

Nose of vanilla, sweets, powdered sugar and toasted maple malts.

Delicate and complex, more lighly toated malt, maple, marshmellows, then some light chocolate shows its face and joins the party. I get some sort of a lightly perfumed or flowery note. Strawberries picked up, but not sure if I could have put my finger on this unusual taste without looking at a few earlier reviews...
Different, interesting, strangly refreshing. Well worth a try. Worth the splurge for Belgian style beer lovers.

Billolick, Dec 14, 2010
Photo of henryclay_
4/5  rDev +2.3%

henryclay_, May 10, 2014
Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Malty dark dried fruit – fig to date – dominate the nose. the beer ours brilliant deep chestnut with a 1” off-white foam cap.
The palate is big and fruity with dark dried fruits predominating over background grain flavors.
The beer is very creamy with a medium full body and medium high carbonation.

pat61, Wednesday at 08:21 PM
Photo of bpfrush
4/5  rDev +2.3%

bpfrush, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of dogfishandi
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

375ml bottle at fridge temp poured into a tulip. Not freshness info.

Pours out almost black, actually a dark ruby red in the light. Small layer of light tan colored head with some average retention. No real lacing. A decent amount of streaming carbonation bubbles.

Aroma is a bit lackluster. Lots of fruity and yeasty esters, some plum/ sugar plum, the slightest hint of alcohol. As it's warmed up you get a slight hint of a creaminess typically associated with the French saison strain of yeast.

Kind of comes together a bit more in the taste. Lots of sugar plum. Fruity yeast esters, a bit phenolic, a bit of a brown sugar sweetness, the tiniest hints of spice on the back of the palate. Finishes clean.

Has a nice effervescence and a strong carbonation, a touch of a sweet sticky feel that let's you know this is a dark saison. Feels like you would expect a Belgian dark ale to feel.

A pretty good beer, not really sure if I would buy this again, mostly due to the price tag, but it's worth one try. This could easily pass for a Belgian dark ale.

dogfishandi, Dec 28, 2013
Photo of MattyG85
4.24/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. Bottled on 05/19/14.

Appearance: Pours a dark blackish brown with a lot of bubbles. About two fingers of tan head that quickly fade into a thin patchy layer. Leaves some decent lacing.

Smell: A yeasty, spicy, and roasty dark Belgian style aroma with hints of chocolate and funk. Belgian yeast with some hints of clove, black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, and funk. Also some hints of the rose hips and berry. Dark roasted malt with hints of chocolate, dough, biscuit, caramel, toffee, grains, and straw. Dark fruit hints of cherry, grapes, raisin, and plum. Sweet hints of brown sugar. Also some subtle earthy and floral hops. A pretty solid and interesting aroma.

Taste: Like the smell, a spicy, yeasty, and roasty Belgian style taste with good notes of sweet chocolate and funk. Belgian yeast with some upfront notes of clove, black pepper, funk, cinnamon, and ginger giving a winter like spice taste. Subtle floral and fruity notes come through from the added berries and rose hips. Sweet dark roasted malt with notes of chocolate, cocoa, biscuit, dough, caramel, toffee, straw, and grains. Dark fruit notes of raisin, plum, grapes, and cherry. Background notes of earthy hops. A pretty good taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a fairly high level of carbonation. Spicy and somewhat prickly with a drying finish. Alcohol heat is minimal.

Overall: A pretty solid twist on a Belgian style Saison. Good mix of Belgian and winter like spices with some dark malt.

MattyG85, Jul 25, 2014
Photo of sourdog
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

sourdog, Aug 18, 2014
Photo of jtladner
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

jtladner, May 18, 2013
Photo of SPRichard
4/5  rDev +2.3%

SPRichard, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a slightly hazy chestnut brown color with a cream-colored head that leaves decent lacing.

Smells of dark malts with hints of roastiness. Also present are moderate amounts of spices – allspice and cardamom – and slight dark chocolate aromas.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Slightly dry dark malts up front are joined quickly by slight amounts of medium fruits and spices. Midway through the flavor profile dries out further after roasted malts come into play, carrying through to a mildly bitter ending. Mouthfeel is good, with smooth carbonation.

Overall this is another solid saison from Stillwater, but I’ve yet to have a dark saison that I really enjoyed. This one was one of the better that I’ve had though, and is worth a shot.

glid02, Jul 22, 2011
Photo of Schlafly33
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

Schlafly33, Jul 28, 2014
Photo of biboergosum
3.89/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

375ml bottle. Spiced with rose hips, hibiscus, and Schisandra berries. More weird Asian fruit ingredients - cool.

This beer pours a hazy, very dark reddish brown colour, with two fingers of thinly foamy, fizzy pale beige head, which leaves a few upward strands of sea plume lace around the glass as things drop away.

It smells of grainy, somewhat roasted biscuity malt, medicinal dark fruits - cherry and prune - a spicy rye sweetness, mild barnyard funk, paint thinner, spent yeast, overripe apples, mildly herbal cloves, and a bit of crumbling forest-floor woodiness. The taste is lightly toasted bready, grainy malt, brown sugar, edgy yeast, softly sour red berries, a hint of stale black coffee, earthy anise, faint musty funk, a fading medicinal fruitiness, a tame floral, ethereally perfumed alcohol warming.

The bubbles are decently supportive, and a tad spritzy, the body an adequate medium weight, with a rising metallic edge that more or less precludes smoothness. It finishes off-dry, the sweetness fairly tempered by yeast, spice, and roast.

A pleasant enough experiment, the base saison pretty overwhelmed by the roasted character, as well as the fruit and floral notes. It all comes together for the most part, another step on the road to new style attainment, which seems to be a specialty of this particular gypsy brewer.

biboergosum, Jun 11, 2013
Photo of kingkevz
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

kingkevz, Jul 26, 2014
Photo of marmstrong1212
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

marmstrong1212, Sep 05, 2014
Photo of Griffith
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Griffith, Sep 09, 2014
Photo of Sammy
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark murky body, with initial abundant foamy head that dissipitates. Chocolate aroma, above all else. Lactose, creamy milk chocolate taste, with some sourness in the finish. Some spices in the secondary, chipolte-like, that remain on the lips.Above-average mouthfeel, and then its gone, great dinkability.

Sammy, Dec 09, 2010
Photo of cfadams17
3.96/5  rDev +1.3%

cfadams17, Aug 23, 2014
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Import Series Vol. #2: Dark Saison Ale
brewed and bottled by Stillwater at Huisbrouwerij Sint Canarus in Deinze-Gottem, Belgium.
Imported by 12 Percent, Brooklyn, NY

The "dark" saison is surprisingly dark, pouring a black body that allows no light to pass through it. Atop, a frothy head of tan drops steadily from a finger thick crown to a thin creamy cap. the head retention is amazing, and it will maintain a solid surface covering throughout the entire glass.

The aroma is also surprisingly dark, delivering an edge of roastiness and a bit of dark chocolate along with some sweet golden caramel. Some soft red fruitiness is present as well, along with a subtle touch of spice.

In the flavor the dark malt dominates, although a bit of cardamom seems to be appearing as well. There's a nice, soft dark chocolate note to it, and the sweet golden caramel note found in the nose reappears across the middle as it warms a bit. It then it becomes slightly bitter before a flash of dark chocolate roastiness leads it into a dry, short-lingering finish.

In the mouth it's medium-light bodied, and the moderate natural carbonation leaves it velvety smooth across the palate.

Rather nicely done. It's not the first dark saison I've tasted (although it is the darkest), but it's certainly one of the most balanced and rounded. It's quite rich without being overdone; and I wonder what foods this would pair with. Well worth seeking out!

NeroFiddled, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of dirtylou
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on tap, paradiso - georgetown

paired with a a stout-cherry pizza topped with duck

appearance: to my surprise, this arrives in a vessel presenting a dark mahogany beer. i saw the saison description but didnt read the word "darkly"

smell: roasty, cocoa, spice, anise

taste: I'm not a dark-saison enthusiast really - i just feel like a saison should be light and funky, not dark and roasty. This offering features a decent amount of spice, anise, cocoa, roasty flavors, light yeast, touch of dark fruit. it's a fine beer, but it's just not what i look for in a saison

mouthfeel: light, roasty

drinkability: good

dirtylou, Jan 05, 2011
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330 mL bottle poured into an RR -tion glass. Batch #2, best by October 2012.

Appearance - Pours a murky dark brown with a bit of a head that's gone in a flash. Looks a little lifeless after a few minutes.

Smell - Chocolate malts on showcase, but all sorts of strange aromas in the background. They struggle to come through, though. Brighter fruits, but I couldn't specify. Maybe a touch of banana.

Taste - Less dominated by the chocolate malt, but it's still quite present. More yeasty than the aroma. Woody in flavor. Again, it's all very difficult to pin down. Brief fruit flavors that yield to bananas again.

Mouthfeel - Creamy, but light and easy to drink. Not a lot of carbonation, but enough.

Overall - I don't think I love it, but it's pretty good. Interesting more than it is good. More defined flavors would help a lot.

Alieniloquium, Jun 23, 2012
Photo of Kegatron
3.15/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle into a wine stem.

Pours a deep, dark amber/brown, with a couple fingers of fizzy mocha head. This peters down pretty quickly, retaining with mostly gentle foamy edging that leaves back a light cascade of spotty lacing. The aroma smells of ripe dark fruit, spice, and then a roastier malt presence across the back. This is mostly dark fruit and spices though.

The taste is similar, with dark malt, darker fruit, and an earthy hop presence. Plenty of spice is present too, which hangs strong in the finish along with a touch of dry bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and while mellow up front, this prickles up with some strength on the tongue. This has a pretty lively feel to it that matches up well with the spice.

I didn’t really get this one. Fruit, dark malts, and spice are what stood out to me the most here but the overall profiles just had a flat feel to them that didn’t get me excited in any way. I do like the label on this though and it’s basically what made me take a chance on it. I guess it did its job.

Kegatron, Mar 08, 2012
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A Saison Darkly (Import Series Vol. 2) from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
88 out of 100 based on 256 ratings.