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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

288 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 288
Reviews: 124
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11%
Wants: 19
Gots: 25 | FT: 0
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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Ratings: 288 | Reviews: 124 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Chou
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of wesley14
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.72/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

Photo of JxExM
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of DIM
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a: This was a deep, dark chestnut brown. It poured with a large, stubbornly long lasting thick head.

s: Hints of fruit (berries and plums), tea-like minerals, faint sugar, coriander, and musty hops.

t: Dry overall with some lightly trat fruit up front. Some tea-like spice and mineral flavors come next. The finish is strong spice with some fairly strong bitterness.

m: Spritzy carbonation.

o: Enjoyable, but the finish seemed a bit off to me.

Photo of cburns48
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of JohnK17
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of ksimons
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-dark chestnut brown with visible sediment seen. Head is about three fingers worth of a very nice creamy looking tan

S-a nice lightly roasted malt backbone with light chocolate and spices

T-taste is a nice roasted malt, roasted coffee, chocolate, a spicy chipotle like flavor, and Belgian spices. Very interesting tasting.

M-very nice mouthfeel, medium body, excellent amount of carbonation, leaves a nice roasted feeling in the mouth

Overall I am very impressed by this beer. Very balanced and easy to drink.

Photo of Lob
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of twelveinches
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of busternuggz
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.2 oz bottle into a bordeaux glass. "Best before" date of Oct 2013.

Pours a nearly opaque dark brown with a ridiculous 3" puffy, solid, coffee colored head. A little dark sediment. Head recedes to a creamy 1/2" and holds shape well, leaves thick lacing.

The smell comes on first with herbal and floral qualities, then light burnt sugar, roasted malt, raisins, and some cocoa. There's some subtle earthy/soily funk in there too. Different notes but they come together fairly well.

The taste starts with bitter roasted malt and baking chocolate, a little coffee bean, and ends somehat astringent with saison funk, medicinal herbs, and grassiness. There's a touch of some slightly sweet fruit in the middle, can't put my finger on it; burnt dates and dried cherries? Long, bitter finish.

Very light bodied and highly carbonated, a bit too much maybe. Smooths out a little as it warms. Ends dry and a little slick.

Not my favorite effort from Stillwater but interesting and complex, and manages to bring together the disparate stout and saison qualities pretty well. The astringency can be a bit much and it's kind of weird, but well made.

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours very dark, opaque brown with a massive light tan head, allowing only half a bottle pour. Good retention and lacing. Interesting aroma of toasted malt, Belgian yeast and spicing, a bit of mineral funk. Interesting flavor of dark malt, faint chocolate with a distinct saison light fruit, mild funk and a peppery finish. The floral elements are not noticable. An unusual combination of porter and saison elements that I thought worked quite nicely. Light to medium bodied. I enjoyed this ale. Sint Canarus is a brewery for which I already had quite a bit of fondness and this collaboration turned out well.

Photo of natemort13
3.71/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer pours a deep deep opaque brown with a wicked amount of tan fluffy head.

The aroma is phenolic with some floral spice characteristics. Smooth cardamom and some light brown sugar. After warming and a swirl I get some sweet light grassy notes.

Taste starts with the spices prominent overlaying a roasted malt presence. Slight hint of cherry. Finishes with some effeverescent cinnamon, bunch of toffee.

Mouthfeel is effervescent with a medium light body.

Decent saison, makes me think of a spiced quad. Not bad, but wouldnt pay the 5 bucks for a bottle again.

Photo of Rickythejeweler
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Typical annoying 4 finger off white head atop a dark brown-black liquid with yeast floating around. Little lacing.

S - Floral hops and spices, yeast, light roast.

T - Starts with dark candi sugar, roasted malts; middle is belgian yeast, spices, grass; finishes with light mixed berries and char.

M - High carbonation, medium-full body.

O - If this beer was brewed without the hyperactive yeast it would be so much better.

Batch #3, bb Oct. 2013

Photo of flagmantho
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 330mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: nearly impenetrable dark-brown hue with three fingers of creamy tan foam atop. Not bad at all.

Smell: aroma has a light saison-ey funk along with some roasted malt. The roastiness is almost over-done, though, with a hint of bitter burnt aroma. Still, it's interesting.

Taste: big flavor is surprising after the mild aroma -- a light but nice funk, a nice sourness and a nice alcoholic fruitiness. Chocolate malt adds a hint of dessert flavor which works well. I like it.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a great big carbonation and mouth-filling creaminess. I like it.

Overall: quite a nice dark saison. Perhaps a bit pricey for what you get, but I still like it.

Photo of smakawhat
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Batch #3 best before October 2013. This is one of the neatest labels I've ever seen.

A real light cocoa tan head very foamy and soapy quite large off the pour but settles nicely. Body color is truly darkly, very dark walnut, the few places the body gets thin it actually looks purple edged. This is neat looking. Later examining the bottom of the bottle has a huge chunk in it.

Bouquet is a real nice sense of purple grape without a big sweetness at first. THat sensation though doesn't return. Some small sugars, faint wild yeast maybe? and milk chocolate powder. Sort of reminding me of a porter saison mix.

Extremely classic crisp saison palate. Nice hot yeast feeling, and the senses on the nose come just as expected. Rolling milk chocolate with a high to medium carbonated feel that gives off a nice powdered cocoa sensation. Crisp maltyness gives a nice char, mixing in with bitter dark chocolate.

Overall, real interesting beer here, I am digging this, love this bitter dark chocolate angle hitting with saison crispness and bitterness. Real nice.

Photo of duceswild
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of GTB
4/5  rDev +2.3%

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.

Photo of eerbayman
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of larryi86
4.29/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz batch 3 best before 10/2013 poured into a tulip

A- Murky brown with a four finger dark tan head.

S- Earthy spices, pepper, light fruits, some tartness, figs, some chocolate.

T- Roasted malts, pepper, earthy spices, yeast, dark fruits, some chocolate, good complexity, very enjoyable.

S- Smooth, medium body.

O- I have not had another beer like this and really enjoy the black pepper notes. Very happy that I was finally able to try this and will be getting more.

Ranking the Import Series, I would go Jaded, A Saison Darkly, Debauched, Rule of Thirds, Of Love & Regret.

Photo of Bendurgin
3.26/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a tulip. This one pours a dark cola brown with a light khaki head. Not gonna lie. This looks like a coke.

Yeasty aroma with a little bit of a floral hop aroma. A little bit of spice and some black pepper. Good dark fruit aroma like plumbs or figs. Belgian yeast on the pallet with dark fruits and some floral hops.

The body is medium with good carbonation. Overall this one is drinkable and I'll enjoy it but it doesn't hit the mark for me on the saison front.

Photo of John11486
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of dcloeren
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch #2 - Best before Oct. 2012

Poured a cola like brown with ruby edges when held up to the light. Got a mountainous 3 fingers of light khaki head on this one with a smooth pour down the middle... Slowly receded to a thin film.

Getting some yeasty bread notes with a little funk, raisons/dark fruit, some really nice spicy qualities, roasted malt, a touch of chocolate and maybe some figs...

Most of the same notes as the nose but some in a different order... Getting Dark fruits and raisons right off the bat with some spice that carries out throughout the taste. Nice toasted bread notes giving the taste some body and a little bit of chocolate coming in to round off the finish.

Medium body with an ample amount of carbonation (which is appropriate for the style IMO). This one goes down insanely smooth. Slightly sticky dark fruit aftertaste lingers on the tongue.

Overall, this was a nice treat that I picked up while I was in Chicago. I also picked up Pepe Nero while I was there and this blew it out of the water. The flavors really come out once this had a chance to warm up. Highly recommend picking up a bottle if you happen to come across it.

Photo of cosmicevan
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thank you jahuneyc for this bottle!!! enjoyed in my stillwater wine glass.

a - poured a dark brown/purple with a generous yeasty head. foamy and frothy and creamy looking. head eventually shrank down to a lid on the surface.

s - spicey. some roast and toastiness...some chocolate/coffee flavors, but the spiciness makes things extremely unique. candied spiciness...like nothing i've ever smelt, but good.

t - starts off with roasted cocoa then again goes into some unknown territory of sweet and spicy all at the same time. finishes with some tingling. dark fruits are in there as well, but the potpouri of spices make it something different. kind of burnt, but not charred...and also very belgian from the yeast.

m - semi-creamy. nice carbonation. not all that full and the alc seems tucked away nicely in this brew aside from the tingle it leaves.

o - overall, this might be the most unique and different beer i've ever tried. it is quite good, but not very farmhouse. not very any style. in a class of it's own. brian makes some interesting and unique beers and this is no exception. seems like how i would imagine a belgian porter to be.

A Saison Darkly (Import Series Vol. 2) from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
88 out of 100 based on 288 ratings.