A Saison Darkly (Import Series Vol. 2) - Stillwater Artisanal Ales
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Ratings: 217 | Reviews: 114 | Display Reviews Only:
3.78/5 rDev -3.1%
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.
12-09-2010 04:09:04 | More by Sammy
3.53/5 rDev -9.5%
Poured from the bottle at the Bilbo Baggins event welcoming Stillwater to Virginia. Brewed in West Flanders and made with hibiscus, rose hips, and Schisandra chinensis, aka the Chinese five-flavored fruit.
Pours a dark plum color with an off white bordering on tan head and some spotty lacing. Some carbonation rings at the edges of the glass. Nose is light and creamy and has a mild tequila-like booziness. Slight notes of blueberry skin and wood.
The taste is lightly spicy and musty with a moderate berry tartness. Slightly floral and tea-like. Toward the end I get some light floral and plum characteristics. The feel is light with mild carbonation and is slightly bitter. Throughout the glass, I'm still trying to figure out what's going on. This is really quite interesting and definitely worth a try.
11-13-2010 15:47:07 | More by Thorpe429
4/5 rDev +2.6%
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.
02-01-2011 03:16:43 | More by metter98
4/5 rDev +2.6%
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
06-16-2011 01:04:22 | More by brentk56
3.78/5 rDev -3.1%
Resisting what the contemporary style makers try to prescribe about "farmhouse ale," Baltimore's Stillwater saison makers are tempting those modern notions with rustic, artistic and rudimentary tastes that show that these ales are so much more than a style- they are a culture.
A Saison Darkly pours with a dark rust color, equipped with a hazy amber to suggest depth and darkness. Yet not brown or black, its color even challenges what saison should be. And all that manifests in a toasty, peppery and dry grain aroma which is further backed by the dark fruit and hard candy sweetness that follow.
Flowing over the middle, its expressive carbonation bounces off the tongue carrying with it the taste of kettle-caramelized toffee and maple. With its bready wheat and malt underpinnings, a notion of french-toast with pepper and light char are easily understood. Heading toward finish, a tinge of grilled blackberry, red grape and black cherry suggest a winy tone.
Its dry and toasty finish does inherit a thin candied sweetness to balance its vinously tart alcohol tone. While pepper and char dance about its periphery, even they aid in the beer's overall drainable dryness. A quick finish that's indicative of wine trials with grilled plum and berry with recurring flare.
07-07-2014 05:15:32 | More by BEERchitect
4.15/5 rDev +6.4%
So it began. Hobo tasting No. 7 commenced at Ingles on an overcast and slightly damp day. It was an impromptu event that really was not solidified until a couple hours before, but none the less went off without a hitch. As me and Calton chilled for a good hour enjoying some of the finer craft offerings in our multitude of glassware and bottles and growlers, one could only wonder how much better it could have gotten, enjoyed during a hell of a good time on 04/21/2011.
Caltons offering to the table this was one I had chased for a while but had missed on a couple of occasions, and was glad to finally put a notch in the belt for. Poured out a nice dark brown with light ruby highlights that popped up around the outside and edges of the glass when held up. A nice sized tan head pops up on the top of the glass and sits there for a nice bit of time before settling back down and leaving a good amount of lacing around the sides.
Aroma is dominated by raisins and dark fruit early on. A really nice blend of light spices, roasted malts and almost a Smokey note start to permeate the air as it warms up and starts to come around full circle. Light notes of chocolate even find their way into the mix along with earthy malt notes and touches of figs. This carries over very well into the flavor as the first sips just spill dark fruits and spiced run notes all along the palate and a rich roasted malt note really starts to let itself be known. Really nicely done and a great blend of flavors. Especially as it starts to warm and fully opens up. Small hints of dark spices finish off the flavor as it rolls off the tongue and a nice and smooth, clean finish is the result.
Overall really nicely done. Dark, fruity, hints of sweetness sprinkled in, just exactly what I would have wanted and very, very well done.
04-22-2011 22:40:14 | More by mikesgroove
3.63/5 rDev -6.9%
Bottle: Poured a dark black color ale with a large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of solid rustic malt with light funky ester with some light spices notes also easily identifiable. Taste is a somewhat unique mix between some roasted malt with dry notes with light funky yeast ester and some spices also discernable. The hibiscus and berries were quite hard to distinguish. Body is quiet full with great carbonation. Interesting experiment with good balance between different ingredient but not something I would necessarily seek on a regular basis.
03-26-2013 16:06:22 | More by Phyl21ca
4.18/5 rDev +7.2%
A: two finger head with excellent retention on a very deep brown amber body.
S: very nice full nose with belgian yeast, corriander, herbal hops, and peppercorn.
T: raisin, chocolate, belgian yeast, herbal hops, peppercorn, spices, and roasted malts
M: medium body and fairly high carbonation. semi dry, a little over carbonated even for the style
Overall: this is a very good dark saison. balances the saison belgian character with roasted/chocolate malt notes.
11-30-2012 04:50:39 | More by kylehay2004
4.22/5 rDev +8.2%
This beer poured out as a nice deep brown color. Plenty of head on this brew. It's creamy looking and tan in color. The lacing I found to be pretty attractive. The smell of the beer had elements of a normal Saison as long with some dark wheat beer elements too. Some aromas of clove, grains and soft fruits. The taste of this beer was pretty good, lots of earthy flavors and spice throughout the beer. The mouthfeel was very smooth and had a decent thickness to it. Overall I enjoyed this a lot, I found this dark Saison to be much better than the Tom Foolery from Terrapin.
07-07-2011 17:05:05 | More by Knapp85
3.89/5 rDev -0.3%
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.
06-11-2013 01:59:53 | More by biboergosum
4.5/5 rDev +15.4%
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!
01-14-2011 16:29:14 | More by NeroFiddled
4.1/5 rDev +5.1%
A - Pours with two fingers of off white foam on top of a nearly opaque, black body. The head settles slowly and leave nice lacing on the glass.
S - Vanilla, pepper, mango, clove, and a touch of chocolate.
T - Dark sugar up front with notes of toffee and light molasses. Spicy notes of clove and black pepper I'm the middle with a finish of clove, mango, dark bread and a lingering mocha note.
M - Medium body, moderately high carbonation, and a dry finish.
D - Nicely done, the roasted malt is just light enough to work with the strong yeast character. Lots of spice and fruit without becoming cloying or harsh.
11-30-2012 04:51:59 | More by nickfl
3.53/5 rDev -9.5%
Batch #2, best before October 2012. Served in a Struise cervoise.
A - A few fingers of tan foam settle to a thick cap, leaving a few spots of lace. Opaque dark brown body with reddish highlights.
S - Lots of spice, smoke, and peppery yeast. There's some chocolate, cherries, and stones fruits in the periphery, but this is dominated by the yeast character. For more flavor depth, let this one warm up a bit. Maybe some alcohol too.
T - Taste is more chocolate-heavy. Farmhouse yeast, peaches, and thankfully less pepper and spice. There's some unpleasant herbal flavor in the finish. I liked the taste better until I got to the finish and aftertaste.
M - Lower carbonation, chewy medium-full body, some mild alcohol warmth, sticky finish. Could use a bit more spritz
D - Not a big fan of this one. It's not a bad beer by any stretch, and it delivers exactly what it promises - just not anything I was interested in trying in the first place.
08-24-2011 00:03:12 | More by MasterSki
3.15/5 rDev -19.2%
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.
03-08-2012 14:56:17 | More by Kegatron
3.96/5 rDev +1.5%
I had this on tap at John J Jeffries served chilled in a taster.
The color is dark brown with medium brown at the base with thin light beige head and tight bead. The smell is very nice mix of cocoa, raisin and slight nutty malt esters with some spice from the yeast. The feel is moderately creamy with spice in the back and mild toasted grain texture with a low sweetness level and mild alcohol.
The flavor follows the nose - nice blend of saison yeastiness and dark toasted grain with some raisin elements and light cocoa with mild nutty flavors and the yeast adds a mild pepper quality which adds to the complexity with mostly dry flavor as it finishes. Overall I like this a lot a very fresh tasting and complex take on the dark saison style with plenty of saison character yet the drinkability of dark belgian ale mixed in .
06-05-2013 17:24:22 | More by Slatetank
4.1/5 rDev +5.1%
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.
10-11-2011 02:23:38 | More by jlindros
3.5/5 rDev -10.3%
First had: bottle from Pinocchio's beer garden, Media, PA
Poured a dark chocolate color, not quite opaque, with a nice off-white head. Smell was of mildly semisweet chocolate and roasty malts. Taste was similarly of roasty dark malts, grains, perhaps hazelnut, and light sugar, causing this beer to somewhat resemble a dunkel or light-bodied porter more than a typical saison. Just a mild alcohol sensation came through. Medium bodied, and pretty easily drinkable, especially if you like the dunkel style.
06-28-2011 12:53:03 | More by Rifugium
A Saison Darkly (Import Series Vol. 2) from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
87 out of 100 based on 217 ratings.