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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)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

128 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 128
Hads: 326
Avg: 3.9
pDev: 16.92%
Wants: 22
Gots: 35 | 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:
Beer added by: Thorpe429 on 11-13-2010

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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 128 | Hads: 326
Reviews by jlindros:
Photo of jlindros
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge fizzy head of 3+ fingers forces me to stop pouring at the end, but it fades pretty quickly but then slows, over very dark almost black colored beer, hints of brown light sneaking through the edges.

Nose is interesting, some darker malts, hints of roast and black patent even, some creamy caramel malts, with a light spicy saison like aroma, with hints of spices, a light earthy farmhouse rustic malt aroma, and slight hints of fruit.

Taste starts with smoked malt flavors, with a bit of roast and black patent again, a nice smoke flavor that I wasn't expecting, almost chewy with the malts, some darker crystal malts again with a bit of caramel and hint of molasses and slightly creamy. There are saison spices again but muted compared to the darker malts and the nose even. Saison rustic farmhouse like flavors but light, with hints of spices and fruit. Fairly dry at first, then gets quite dry on the finish, very dry actually almost like its sucking the life out of my tongue. Then bitter hops hit as well, fairly bitter finish with a bit of spicy hops and spicy spices, as well as a bit of lingering malts.

Mouth is med bodied, decent carb, hint of warming and tingly booze.

Overall really interesting. The dark malts take the front stage, but the interesting rustic and spicy saison flavors come through in a complete juxtaposition for it. Some smoked malts really surprised me as well, and the booze is there but not heavy. It was actually kinda fun to drink, complex and tasty.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +2.6%
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

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Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

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Photo of henryclay_
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of BenHesk12
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark coffee black similar to a frothy porter. Smell is malty and yeasty. I think for the style this is an excellent beer. Nothing truly knocks you out flavor-wise but I must say that it's a great mix of a mild saison and a mild porter. Mouth feel may be the best part, extremely soft with a faint but not wimpy carbonation. Overall I'm drinking a well balanced mix of an elegant saison with some roasty porter flavors and dark color, I like it.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

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.

 307 characters

Photo of bpfrush
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of dogfishandi
3.69/5  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.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.24/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

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Photo of sourdog
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of jtladner
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of SPRichard
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of Schlafly33
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with a half of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Good, earthy aromas of bready, toasted malt, imparting notes of freshly baked French baguettes, as well as Belgian yeast, candied sugar, licorice, and a touch of dark molasses.

Taste: Delicious! Toasted malt up front, followed by lots of Belgian yeast, candied sugar, some licorice, black pepper, a touch of some dried stone fruits, such as apricots and dates, finished with a touch of piney, hoppy bitterness. An interesting aspect of this beer’s flavor is that it is really short up front, almost non-existent, but really long on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and pretty effervescent as there is quite a bit of carbonation. With an ABV of 8.0%, there is no alcohol on the palate, as it is very well masked.

Overall: This is another damn good beer from Stillwater. Highly recommended.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.88/5  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.

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Photo of kingkevz
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of marmstrong1212
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Griffith
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

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Photo of cfadams17
3.96/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
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!

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Photo of dirtylou
3.72/5  rDev -4.6%
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

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A Saison Darkly (Import Series Vol. 2) from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
87 out of 100 based on 128 ratings.