1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

247 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 247
Reviews: 115
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 247 | Reviews: 115 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bpc24
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Bpc24, Jul 07, 2014
Photo of BEERchitect
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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.

BEERchitect, Jul 07, 2014
Photo of crbnfbr
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

crbnfbr, Jul 05, 2014
Photo of LightnerLiquorKS
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

LightnerLiquorKS, Jul 04, 2014
Photo of meanmutt
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

meanmutt, Jun 28, 2014
Photo of barczar
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear deep brown with garnet highlights and a frothy khaki head that dissipates to nothing.

Initial aroma is bubblegum, chocolate, and flowers. I get the rose hips, but hibiscus is a stretch. There's a bit of funk.

One of the drier saisons I can recall, likely accentuated by dark malt. More bubblegum, a little funk, floral notes, and a light tartness. Mint emerges late.

Body is moderate, with moderate carbonation and noted alcohol warmth.

I like the sour notes and funk, but that dark malt doesn't jive well for me as it warms. One of few beers I'd advise drinking on the cold side. Very intriguing.

barczar, Jun 25, 2014
Photo of seanchai
4/5  rDev +2.3%

seanchai, Jun 24, 2014
Photo of elec
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

elec, Jun 22, 2014
Photo of fehrminator
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

fehrminator, Jun 21, 2014
Photo of mrjbrown27
4.75/5  rDev +21.5%

mrjbrown27, Jun 20, 2014
Photo of Dirtinabottle
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Dirtinabottle, May 14, 2014
Photo of henryclay_
4/5  rDev +2.3%

henryclay_, May 10, 2014
Photo of woemad
3.74/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12.7oz/375mL bottle purchased at the Total Wine on the northside of Spokane. I forget what I paid for it. Unlike the example pictured on Beer Advocate, this bottle's label does not feature a batch number or any boilerplate about it being part of an "Import Series," but does state that this was “brewed & bottled by Twelve Percent, Westminster, MD.”

Poured a dark brown color that looked black once it was settled in a St. Bernardus glass. Big, creamy light tan head that stuck around for a while. A goodly amount of sticky lace was left on the sides of the glass.

Aroma was of raisin-like dark fruits, initially. As it warmed, some fruity esters and a muted spiciness reminiscent of a Belgian yeast made their presence known, but it seemed a bit low key.

The taste starts out with some dark fruit flavors, but are quickly mated to a modest, dry grassiness and some low intensity cocoa notes that increase in the fadeout. There’s also some fruity flavors floating about in the background that remind me of pears and Granny Smith apples.

Good carbonation, but a little too full-bodied for the style, in my humble opinion – but not to a crippling degree. Mouthfeel is where so many ersatz Belgians come up short, and this is no exception.

This is an interesting “dark” saison – my second of this unofficial style (the other being Selkirk Abby’s St. Thomas), and it’s more fruity and full bodied, but I think it loses a little in drinkability. I can’t see myself having more than one, though at 8% abv, that’s probably a good thing. At the right price I would drink this again.

woemad, Apr 27, 2014
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

zestar, Mar 21, 2014
Photo of Bunuelian
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Bunuelian, Mar 21, 2014
Photo of ToddHolder
4/5  rDev +2.3%

ToddHolder, Mar 04, 2014
Photo of Eighty
2.25/5  rDev -42.5%

Eighty, Feb 24, 2014
Photo of Kurmaraja
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Kurmaraja, Feb 24, 2014
Photo of WhiskeyMax
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Very Dark, I could barely see light through it. 1 finger of head lasted for 45 minutes

Smell: Dried fruits maybe a little musty wood

Taste: Nice dark ale flavor not too sour on the palate, but still noticeable.

Mouthfeel: smooth, and very easy to drink

Overall: A very good Saison that I hope my store has more of. I will definitely pick up a couple more.

WhiskeyMax, Feb 06, 2014
Photo of Fantalek
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Fantalek, Jan 20, 2014
Photo of Proclarush
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Proclarush, Jan 19, 2014
Photo of bauermj
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

bauermj, Jan 17, 2014
Photo of david18
2.25/5  rDev -42.5%

david18, Dec 29, 2013
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
A Saison Darkly (Import Series Vol. 2) from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
88 out of 100 based on 247 ratings.