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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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very good

204 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 204
Reviews: 114
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 19
Gots: 16 | 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)
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Ratings: 204 | Reviews: 114 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of akorsak


3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Max's. A dark saison.

A: The ale is a caramel brown, dark with a mild radiance. A thin white head came along for a brief ride.

S: Dark malts, caramel and rye, drive the nose. The ale is very spicy, floral with a Belgian mustiness. A peppery sage aroma runs underneath the surface.

T: Herbal and fruity, this saison is unusual. The flowers were a little much at first, overpowering alongside the darker malts. As the ale sat, the sweetness emerged. Flowers and herbs are still the driving force, sickly sweet with plenty of sweet yeast by-products.

M: The darker flavors need some time to warm up, slow to emerge. When they do, the ale gets much more complex.

D: I'm on the fence. Complex? Yes but it takes a little long to get going. The Wine Source was all out of bottles, so I'm on the prowl for one to try from the comfort of my couch.

Serving type: on-tap

02-20-2011 21:02:53 | More by akorsak
Photo of lackenhauser


4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep, deep brown color with an enormous cocoa head on top that lasts quite a while. Moderate amount of roasted aroma. Mildly fruity with a deep, somewhat earthy spiciness. Great flavor-pleasant blend of moderate roasted grains, chocolate, a whisper of smoke and a certain spiciness. Nice lingering bitterness in the finish. Very smooth, almost sily mouthfeel against the bite on the back of the tongue. A great beer for sure-probably the best I have had from Stillwater.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2011 01:20:08 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of kkipple

South Carolina

3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

"Happiness, he thought, is knowing you got some beer." - pkd

12oz bottle purchased at the stalwart Brawley's Beverage in Charlotte. "Best before June 2012" on the bottle. Absolutely stunning (and clever) label art. It seems my favorite sci-fi author is getting some street cred at last, inspiring beer labels and whatnot. I would buy a poster / tacker of this, it's that nice. A+ for presentation, Stillwater!

Into my tulip it goes!

A. Massive 4 finger tall light mocha head, creamy, rocky, pitted, foamy . Thick brown-muddy beer with flashes of red clay when held to the light. Head falls to 1 finger of dense tight even capp that lasts forever. No lace.

S. Big phenolic nose, lots of unripe apple, some candy sugar, roasty-char and a little soap. Pepper, some weird herbal notes. (I see later it is hibiscus and rose hips - no wonder I couldn't place it.) Very interesting and has some real "Belgian" yeast character that I associate largley with St. Bernardus. Quite interesting and unique, though a bit too floral for my tastes - the roast is a bit lost.

T. Still big phenol notes; this is not a sweet beer. Upfront: semi-tart, weird herbal (not hops), and I suppose if you try you can pick out the rose hips. Mid layer: pleasing roasted grain, full and expansive on the palate, going all the way down to the odd, warming, roasty-ester finish. Some crabapple and cranberry notes. Pepper, earth. Cola. Yeast too, even though I left the last half-inch in the bottle. Semi-dry, the light mouthfeel makes sure the flavor pops and grows on your palate. Highly unusual - reminds me of Unibroue and, dare I say, Jolly Pumpkin's offerings (sans funk of course). Almost a wisp of smoke if you exhale. I could ponder this for a while, but alas, I'm running late for a homebrew meeting as it is. Extra .5 for audacity and twitchiness.

M / D. Full carbonation, quite Belgian-bottle conditioned-esque. Warming in the throat, finish is attenuated malt, a bit of anise, roast grain, black bread, and that bizarre rose hips and hibiscus again. Rather pleasant if you weren't expecting anything remotely sweet.

I know it's a "Saison", but frankly, this defies style so much that I would go for broke and tweak it more. Dial down the (admittedly forward) flowers and up the candy sugar for more mouthfeel / sweetness and this could be even better, in my mind. That said, "A Saison Darkly" is a VERY fun beer, rather advanced, and quite enjoyable. Did I mention the bottle art was fantastic?

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2011 00:00:22 | More by kkipple
Photo of JoEBoBpr


4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip.

A - Pours a rich mahogany with some nice dark leather brown hints. There is a large 2 inch head that forms with some nice densely packed bubbles and a nice light cream color.

S - Slight dark fruit hints and some nice spice permeate the nose. Slight clove and vanilla and some nice slight caramel and brown sugar hints mixed in as well. There is also some slight funk on the nose.

T & M - Taste starts off with some bready grain notes. Some nice chalky yeast notes as well. The bread notes are intense and meld well with some slight caramel sweetness. This malty aspect of the beer is then cut and balanced well by some nice crisp and clean spice notes. Some slight vanilla an woody hints and some slight pepper notes are present. There is also some slight roasted malt notesThe mouthfeel is light and fluffy with some nice clean flavors and carbonation.

D - Quite surprised by this offering. Very nice mix or balance between an Belgian Dark Ale and a Saision.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2011 02:55:36 | More by JoEBoBpr
Photo of farrago

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A moderately aggressive pour fills half the glass with extremely delicate tan brown microfoam, so gossamer it's hard to say it has a steady dissolve. a little more lacing than you'd think given the character of the head. Dark brown colored liquid with a fair degree of murkiness to it, yellow aura, given its darkness the bubbles must be brawny and active because they are clearly visible. The nose displays a thickly constructed cocoa toast, very chocolaty, blending in orange peel, ginger spice, creamed coffee and lighter mintiness, the black cherry, blackberry, apricot fruit scents are nothing spectacular, however, there most of the time. Medium-bodied, the carbonation is tight and active from the first sip, brings a lot of energy to the show. Brings on all that cocoa, mocha, chocolate, more toast than roast so less coffee. Has a more sour side here, tart grasses as well as more biting orange, lemon citrus. Less baking spices, here more stuff like sage, basil or thyme, almost oily. Its dryness helps separate and highlight the various components. Parts fit together well, understated complexity. Just pour it way before you want to drink it.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2011 02:55:21 | More by farrago
Photo of number1bum


3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown color with a quickly rising semi-dark tan head. Head is on the fizzy side and settles rather quickly. Doesn't leave anything on the sides, but does keep a pretty full, thin lace.

Smells of dark malts, roasted and some dark chocolate in particular, with some earthy spice as well. As it opens up there is a bit of must and more spice, although I'm hard pressed to say what the spices are. There is a hint of tartness and some dark fruit on occasion as well.

Taste is even more roasty than the nose, with the dark chocolate there as well. The nose was heavy on the malt and the taste is more so. Very stout like. There is a subtle fruity flavor, an even more subtle mustiness, and then some black pepper and other indistinguishable spice in the finish. Pepper starts to build on the palate. As it warms an anise flavor becomes more apparent, as well. I am searching, in vain unfortunately, for more yeast character here.

Mouthfeel is a well carbonated medium body. It's pretty clean and finishes on the dry side.

This is the best of the 3 Stillwater beers I've had so far, but it's still not a great one. The Stateside Saison I found to be pretty bland, and the Existent was overly roasty. This has more character than the Existent, but still I have a hard time calling this a saison. I know that's a loose style designation, but I don't find any of the Stillwater beers to have much yeast character at all. I think the yeast strain is so important in a saison that to not even be able to find it is disappointing. This is more like a Belgian stout or something like that in my opinion. A pretty good beer from a brewery that, so far, produces only mediocre and pretty good beers.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2011 01:31:49 | More by number1bum
Photo of metter98

New York

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2011 03:16:43 | More by metter98
Photo of Arenbeer


3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A- Pours black with no light coming through with a huge khaki head that's loaded with carbonation. No lacing

S- Really strong fruity Belgian yeasts that gives off a nice banana and bready aroma with loads of spice up front. Slight coffee and roasted notes in there for sure but are very subtle. A good amount of citrus fruits in there as well, don't want to say lemon but maybe some orange peel, pepper, and some floral hops.

T- Woooah, crazy combination of strong roasted coffee and sweet Belgian yeast up front that is followed by a nice spice profile and sweet chocolate. alcohol is non excistant for %8

M- Medium to lighter body with moderate carbonation and a nice wet crisp finish.


Serving type: bottle

01-26-2011 23:15:43 | More by Arenbeer
Photo of CHADMC3


4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown body, almost resembling root beer with a foamy tan head that is very quick to dissipate and leaves no lacing behind.

Traditional saison aromatics are present which after the pour I was skeptical about. Yeast, pepper, citrus and other spices dance from the glass. There is also something floral to this beer and if it's possible, I think you can even smell the carbonation, or at least it lights up your nose.

The flavor features generous citrus and pepper-like spice as well as yeast and even a tough to identify sweetness that is slightly boozy and may even be vinous, likely a result of the berries. As it warms, some of the roasted aspects you would expect visually seem to appear. This beer really changes from start to finish and is quite unique.

Generous carbonation and a light, and almost tart body that is a touch drying at the finish.

Clearly not your typical saison, I think this is a quality beer where the consumer can appreciate what the brewer was going for. I really enjoyed this and will be looking for it again.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2011 01:31:55 | More by CHADMC3
Photo of djt06001


4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours nearly black with a light brown head. Foam is soft and retentive.

S: Smells of dark malt and spice up front with a floral, almost wine-like finish, very inviting.

T: Begins with sharp roasted notes leading into a coffee and chocolate midpoint, and ends with a dry and crisp finish.

M: Much different than what I'm used to in a dark ale, very clean and with sharp carbonation. Loved it.

D: Definitely best aspect of this ale is its supreme drink-ability, almost all of the alcohol is hidden and the stronger notes don't accumulate on the palette. The crisp, dry finish is outstanding.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2011 06:53:03 | More by djt06001
Photo of Neffbeer


4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown color hinting at black with a tan head. Brimming foam with excellent pillow-like retention.

S: It smells very herbal and floral. There a notes of chocolate and bread along with some notable fruitiness. A bit of funkiness lingers at the end of the whiff, very interesting.

T: The roasted flavor is much more pronounced than the smell. Chocolate and caramel are present with a hint of berries. The herbal/floral character surfaces in the middle and it finishes dry and slightly funky.

M: Light and bubbly, it expands magnificently.

D: This is a really interesting brew from Stillwater that I would not hesitate to pick up again. It is a bit of a style bender for sure!

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2011 03:45:28 | More by Neffbeer
Photo of JohnQVegas


4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

333ml bottle into The Bruery tulip.

Pours deepest brown, bordering on black, with a towering, 4-finger rocky light tan head. Very nice retention as the head takes a long, long time to settle into a creamy cap, and excellent lacing as it does.

Nose is quite interesting; the lightest edge of roastiness, dry, sits on top of a nice mix of musty red fruit and a bit of a floral quality as well lending a bit of a light tartness, almost savory. There's a light sourdough yeast note as well.

Taste is really beautifully put together. Notes of light chocolate and a light, almost mead-like sweetness mix it up with a melding of spicy alcohol, floral, and tart notes. Very little in the way of bitterness. Wow, what an interesting beer - the floral qualities tend to leap out at you and dominate the finish, with the mild tartness that they bring along as well, though notes of cocoa sit underneath the entire time.

Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy and mild, with excellent drinkability - alcohol is almost entirely hidden except for just enough spiciness to add some complexity. Floral notes may be a bit overdone, but still, beautifully done.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2011 20:06:32 | More by JohnQVegas
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!

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2011 16:29:14 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of craytonic

District of Columbia

3.35/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Very dark pour with an enormous head, no lacing or retention.

Smell: Wet leather, dark fruits, tobacco juice, tea and plum.

Taste: Mirror of the aroma, tobacco juice, bakers chocolate, wet leather, blackberry, black cherry and plum. Very wintery and a bit muddled.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, good carbonation

Drinkability: I wasn't crazy about this one.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2011 02:59:16 | More by craytonic
Photo of dirtylou


3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
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

Serving type: on-tap

01-05-2011 01:13:03 | More by dirtylou
Photo of Gobzilla


4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very very dark brown that is probably black but its pretty hard to tell with the lighting in the room. It did have a big 2 finger khaki colored head with good retention and left lots of bubbly lacing sticking to the head. Upfront there was lots of dark fruit notes in the nose with slight bretty funky character alongside mild apple pear, and spice. There was some chocolate flavor in the taste that I did not detect on the aroma with roasty, mild apple, slight bretty, and malty accents; real tasty. The brew was medium in body with a good amount of carbonation which had a sweet, chocolatey, roasty, mild fruity, and slight dry finish. It drank better than your average saison and took the style to another level. Really tasty beer and glad I got to try it.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2011 07:16:52 | More by Gobzilla
Photo of callmemickey


3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep brown with hints of muddy-red. Large fluffy khaki head that quickly died with only the slightest bit of soapy lacing left behind.

S: Dark fruits and lots of roasted malts combine with a slightly spicy/earthy yeastyness.

T: Like the nose, this beer is chock full of dark fruits, blackberries, and raisins. Healthy dose of spice and earthy notes doesn't quite come together as well as hinted at by the nose.

M: Big bodied with good, even carbonation. Nice controlled finish as the flavors linger but aren't washed out.

D: All things said, this was solid. I am not the hugest fan of dark saison/farmhouse beers, but this decently fit the bill.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2011 19:35:46 | More by callmemickey
Photo of GbVDave


4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a Loterbol tulip.

Best before June 2012

A: Pours a murky, dark chestnut color (nearly black) with about three fingers of creamy, khaki colored foam on top. Lots of active carbonation streams help the head to retain for ages, but no lace was left behind.

S: Mildly fruity right in the beginning. Blackberry, black cherry, and lemon. Spices, grassy hops, and roasted malt round out the smell.

T: Mild dark berry, peppery bakers chocolate, earthy/grassy hops, fudge, ripe dark fruit, blackened malt, and loads of prickly spices.

M: Starts off with an amazing fullness that shows off bits of sweet and fruity. This quickly becomes very spicy and earthy during the middle before trailing off with a finish that's full of white pepper and oily hops.

D: Fantastic! This was only my second Stillwater beer and already I'm hooked. I loved how there's a bit of a spice rack thing going on here, but none of the traditional/typical Saison spices. Come to think of it, calling this a Saison is a bit of a stretch, and I loved it for that!

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2010 13:58:03 | More by GbVDave
Photo of DaveHS


3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours mahogany with 1 inch of dark khaki head. Leaves light, soapy lacing.

S-Jolly Ranchers, caramel, orange zest, earthy sweetness.

T/M-Roasty chocolate malts, grassy, earthy hops. The mouthfeel is smoother and richer than the average saison. No too earthy or funky. Fairly full bodied for the style.

D-Worth trying, but their regular release saisons are better.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2010 23:01:20 | More by DaveHS
Photo of oglmcdgl


4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- a massive three fingers of tan head build from a hard pour that settles rather quickly to a cm of two of creamy dense head. Dark brown in color with a bit of a red brown glow at the edges.

S- interesting nose. The combination of roast and very herbal hops is aggressive and almost off putting at times. Burnt bread, caramel, a bit of coffee. Earthy undertones.

T- vegetative hops, musty yeast, dark roasted malts that bring a cocoa powder and espresso hit. The hops come back and round things out.

M- on the thinner side of medium in body with a big bold carb that keep things light and crisp against the roasty flavor profile.

D- the whole is far better then its parts. I really enjoyed this beer and it paired amazingly with an herb rubbed pork roast.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2010 01:26:27 | More by oglmcdgl
Photo of pmlondrigan

New York

4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The initial appearance is better then the later. Black, with a puffy white head. No lacing, and only a faint rememberance of a head. Really nice aroma, yeasty, saisony, musty, basement, and faint spice, a real gem. There is also very faint roasted malt and chocolate, but just a whisper. Flavor contains lots of spicy phenols, some coriander and cinnamon, a bit of citrus, grassy hops, musty dry basement. A real treat. I can't believe an american brewery is making this saison. This is what a dark saison should taste like.
Lovely mouthfeel and drinkability. Well attenuated, dry, slightly spicy but not too much.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2010 03:39:11 | More by pmlondrigan
Photo of BARFLYB


4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle from Whole Foods into a Tulip glass winding down the weekend. Let's hope this is better than volume 1.

A- Saison Darkly pours out with a dark brown appearence kinda looking black and somewhat of a purpulish tint up towards some light. A light pour yielded about 2 1/2 fingas of bubbly suds condensing into a tight knilt bunch. Very lively looking beer but no lace at all.

S- Very malty for a saison and kinda in the BSDA category for the belgian yeast in the back as well as dark fruits, grapes, plums, slight fig etc. Some Belgian yeast creating a bready effect and some sense of flowers with warming. Not your average saison.

T- Again mix of BSDA with saison in the back. Dark fruit up front countered by belgian bread. I get grape, plums, apple. In the middle comes the saison action with yeast and lighter fruit taste with a earthy hop bite (in this fresh bottle). A light flower thing going on. After waking up three hours later after passing out, this was at room temp and some caramel slight chocolate came out.

M- Right about in the range I was expecting, this is a big medium with a somewhat robust feel with smooth maltiness. Darkly ends with a somewhat tangy finish that I of course dig. This is nice and carbed up, not dead at all.

D- I drank it and liked it. This is one of those experiments gone right and I would like to see this come out again. I would of downed another bottle of this if I had one. The bottle says this can go for two years and I can see interesting results within that time. A dark saison, whew, what's next, a purple DIPA, I'll be waiting.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2010 00:33:26 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of Halcyondays


4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a dark brown with a huge off-white head, no lace.

S: Notes of winter spice, licorice, grass, anise.

T: Lots of direct dark malt flavours, the yeast makes an appearance for sure. Bittersweet chocolate, figs, with a hint of olive and ethanol.

M: Very smooth carbonation, robust - a big beer.

D: My first impression is a good one from these guys who just showed up in the Southland, I'd certainly like to try their other saisons.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2010 04:03:14 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of Billolick

New York

4.33/5  rDev +11%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2010 01:14:16 | More by Billolick
Photo of dgfair

North Carolina

3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle in Westmalle goblet

Pours a thin dark black with a light bubbly tan head. The head stays in about a 2mm layer for the duration of the drink, but leaves no lacing on the glass. The smell is sweet raw dough, followed by some fruitiness and smoke. I get strawberry and blackberry along with a smoky wood in the background. Taste is smoky, grassy, and balanced out with dark ripe fruit. Alcohol taste is a little more than I would like in this style. Mouthfeel is big and bubbly...not bad, but foams a little too much in the mouth. Drinkability is decent, but not as good as a lot of other saisons. Obviously this is difficult to compare to others of the style since it is very different. I would consider this more of a Belgian strong dark ale than a saison. Nice brew, but probably won't be going back for more at $6 per.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2010 22:07:58 | More by dgfair
A Saison Darkly (Import Series Vol. 2) from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
87 out of 100 based on 204 ratings.