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Stillwater / Brewer's Art Debutante - Stillwater Artisanal Ales

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Stillwater / Brewer's Art DebutanteStillwater / Brewer's Art Debutante

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BA SCORE
86
very good

291 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 291
Reviews: 100
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 10.7%
Wants: 14
Gots: 28 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Stillwater Artisanal Ales visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
Bière de Garde |  6.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: StaEva on 06-14-2011

It’s my pleasure to present a collaboration with The Brewer’s Art. A Baltimore institution that helped to pioneer the Belgian beer movement in the States. Brewed with a combination of Spelt & Rye, accented with a blend of Heather, Honeysuckle, and Hyssop. The result is a rustic farmhouse ale displaying earthy tones & floral characteristics while maintaining intricate balance.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 291 | Reviews: 100
Reviews by jaydoc:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Fatehunter
3/5  rDev -21.7%

Pours a thin head on a hazy straw body.
The aroma has lots of honey and a nice floral smell.
The taste starts with a malty sweetness, moves to an even bigger honey sweetness, finishes with a mild lemon bitter note.
The texture is light and crisp.
It's on the sweet side for me but still tasty.

Photo of StoutHunter
3.96/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Stillwater's Debutante a couple weeks ago for $3.09 at Holiday Market. I'm a fan of Biere De Garde's and this one caught my eye and I thought I would take a chance on it, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a tulip.

A- The label looks nice, I like the design and it's got that typical Stillwater style to it, it's a little eye catching. It poured a nice cloudy bright golden color that took on more of an apricot color when held to the light with just about two fingers worth of off white head that quickly died down to a thin ring that left a little bit of spotty lacing behind. This is pretty nice looking beer, but I wish it had some better head retention and lacing,

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness with the yeast being the first to show up and it imparts some nice funky farmhouse aromas with some musty and wet straw like aromas coming through and it's followed by nice a fruity aroma with a lemon like aroma sticking out the most with some berry like aromas showing up in the background. Towards the end comes a light grainy, sweet malt and spelt like aroma along with some floral and grassy hop aromas. This beer had a good aroma that's pretty inline with the style.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma, but just a little lighter and it starts off with a medium amount of sweetness with the yeast still being the first to show up and they impart the same funky farmhouse like aspects that they did in the aroma and they seem to be just a little lighter. Up next comes that nice fruity aspect that I got in the aroma, but this time it's the berry like aspects that stick out the most and they are followed by a light floral and grassy hop flavor. On the finish comes this nice yogurt like flavor that goes good with the berry aspect and a slightly higher amount of light bitterness with just a slight bit of tartness and it had a nice berry yogurt and farmhouse yeast like aftertaste. This was a good and unique tasting Biere De Garde, I like it.

M- Smooth, fairly crisp, slightly refreshing, a little dry on the finish, on the light side of being medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. This beer had a pretty nice mouthfeel that worked well with it.

Overall I thought this was a good beer and good example of the style, it had most of the aspects that I look for in the style while still being fairly unique and I thought that made this beer memorable. This beer had good drinkability, it was smooth, fairly crisp, slightly refreshing, a little dry on finish, not filling and the taste did a nice job at holding my attention, I think two or three of these would be my limit, it's pretty easy drinking and I think it makes for a nice Fall time beer. What I like the most about this beer was the taste, aroma and drinkability, they were all good and worked well with this beer. What I liked the least about this beer was the head retention, but in the end it wasn't that big of a deal. I would buy this beer again when in the mood for the style and I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of the style. All in all I was happy with this beer, it was just a nice Biere De Garde and I enjoyed drinking it. It isn't my favorite of the style, but it was one of the better ones I'e had and it's one of the better beers I've had from Stillwater. Good job guys, this was a tasty beer that was a little unique, keep up the good work.

Photo of biegaman
3.46/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Débutante definitely looks suited to high society; not only does it have the colour and complexion of gold but also shares the same prickly bubbles and beaded collar as Champagne. Back-light reveals phenomenal highlights that intensify that "aristocratic" image.

Brewed with spelt, rye, heather, honeysuckle, and hyssop, you can forgive me for saying that I have no clue what to expect. The bouquet isn't yet prepared at this point to reveal much, but with an ingredients list like that I can't imagine it not having unique aromatics... unfortunately, apart from unearthing a subtle floral honey note, warming does little good.

Equally as disappointing as the near void bouquet is the lack of distinguishing flavour. The sweet taste of cereal grains and the musty yeastiness that's typical for a Bière de Garde is present, but none of our star ingredients make noteworthy impressions. Perhaps it leans a bit more floral, but overall this is still the yeast's show - and stinky, spicy phenols dominate as per usual.

With ingredients like heather, honeysuckle, and hyssop I expected something much brighter and more colourful. A naive thought perhaps on my part - knowing full well that Bières de Gardes are characterized by a musty, moldy, farmhouse-like quality - but this really failed to deliver the kind of interesting and unique herbal and floral elements I had hoped for.

I've largely been a big fan of the Stillwater offerings I've tried, but Débutante really failed to impress. In hindsight, I would have been much happier with any of the other 4-packs on the shelf from this brewer. Oh well, they can't all be winners. Anyone who enjoys the style might as well try this but those only curious about the exotic ingredients, just save your money.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a Sam Adams pint glass this was a really good-looking beer. Gold in color, fairly large white head that persisted, and excellent carbonation, almost like a vortex.

Sweet, fruity aroma. Earthy/floral. A bit of spice.

Malt taste up front, rye mostly. Sweet, honey. A little citrus. Tang of spice. Herbal hops.

Nice beer. I liked how the spice lingered on.

Photo of Beaver13
3.01/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle. Pours hazy golden yellow with a huge fizzy bubbly white head that retains well and leaves some lacing.

The aroma is toasted straw malts with some fruit, floral notes and funky yeast.

The flavor is sweet wheaty malts, some spices (coriander, pepper), a little fruit and earthy yeast with a bit of dry bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with sharp carbonation.

Overall, an OK sweet and spicy saison.

Photo of kingcrowing
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Lions Pride poured into a chalice.

Pours a very bright gold with a good one finger fluffy white head with nivethin lacing. Nose on this is crazy - egg whites, tart and malty and there's something else I can't put my nose on...

Taste is as unique as the nose, very sharp and crisp with a unique tart and bready yeast flavor. Mouthfeel is creamy and full, very rich and a bit bitter overall its very good and somehow very different.

Photo of Libationguy
4.04/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy medium straw color with orange and copper hues. Pillowy off-white 2-finger head with medium retention.

Clean nose that still has a strong sense of carbonation even after the beer has sat in the glass fior a few minutes. Orange zest, coriander, lemon zest, light grains, lemon zest.

The palate has a wonderful density: rich lightly roasted malt, roasted hazelnuts, cashews, lemon peel, coriander, white pepper. Just enough bitterness to balance any sweetness from the malt.

Medium+ bodied, with a warm richness and a very mild warmth from the alcohol. Very slight wateriness on the finish. Bitterness becomes a little more exposed in the aftertaste, but is not at all unpleasant.

Very enjoyable. Carbonation softens a little on the palate. Five minutes in the glass before starting on this beer helps.

Photo of chinchill
3.3/5  rDev -13.8%

12 oz bottle. Complex floral and herbal flavor is more appealing than the rather yeasty/funky aroma. Medium-full body with good carbonation.

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a hazy golden color with a slightly off-white head that leaves solid lacing.

Smells of light malts with solid amounts of crisp pears and lighter amounts of musty hops and breadiness. Also present are very slight phenolic spices.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Light and mildly bready malt flavors up front are joined quickly by equal amounts of pears and lemon rinds. Midway through a slight spiciness comes into play, fading out into a mildly bitter ending. Mouthfeel is good, with solid carbonation.

Overall I enjoyed this beer but it was nothing to write home about. Worth a shot for the saison-lovers out there.

Photo of biboergosum
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

750ml metallic salmon foil capped bottle. Artsy Greco-Roman seeming imagery adorns the label, but is in all likelihood more retro southern culture on the skids in nature.

This beer pours a rather cloudy, medium burnt golden amber hue, with two fingers of tightly foamy, and by default, creamy off-white head, which renders a few swaths of Cat in the Hat abode lace around the glass as things quite literally slink away.

It smells of sassy soaked cereal grains - barley, rye, and some sort of adjacent hippie affair - honeyed apple mush, a zippy earthy floral character, subtly spicy cloves, yeasty banana, and a tardy wheat astringency. The taste is more yeasty, grainy multitudinous malts - the usual suspects, well aided and abetted by a further earthy, musty, back forty weirdness, where the crop just ain't quite normal, is it? Earthy, floral, and perfume counter citrus add to the mix, along with a mild dry nuttiness, a bit of white pepper and coriander spiciness, and soft earthy, leafy hops.

The bubbles are nice and frothy, at first, the body medium-light in weight, and generally smooth, aided or hindered, it's kind of hard to tell, by the tiny, tiny bubbles that seem to be damned near everywhere. It finishes off-dry, the grainy, generally familiar maltiness and apple fruitiness more or less carrying the day.

A tasty enough saison, 'amped' up by the side-stepping grain, and mostly hard to discern floral adjuncts. Another weird, and limited in its wonder Belgian-influenced ale from Stillwater. I grok what they're doing as a gypsy brewer, and avid promoter of (their) local culture, but that hardly blows my skirt up, up here, so between that and the um, beer, it's a big fwuh, and if not that - meh.

Photo of benbazi
4.58/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy orange with a nice pillowy head in my tulip glass.

smells of delicious floral, citus fruits and pepper!

tastes of fruit, earth and delicious pepper spicyness with a right on dry finish.

medium body appropriate carbonation, smooth.

overall this another winner from stillwater, i dig this beer.

Photo of russpowell
3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours an slightly hazed effervescent amber with a thumb of cream colored head. Great lacing & head retention

S: Wet cereal, pears & appleskins & honeysuckle

T: Pears, whitegrapes, appleskins & spelt up front, ever so slight pineapple flavor. Damp grain, pineapples, lemons & pears as this warms, with some grapefruit boozey notes & leafy hops. Finishes dry with pineapple, white grape, apricots & leafy hops

MF: Slightly coarse, soft carbonation light bodied

An alright Saison, but not close to one of the better ones from Stillwater as far as overall drinkability & taste goes. Had the potential for greatness...

Photo of nickthetick
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: pours a clouded, opaque over ripened orange into an American shaker with a half finger of white head.

S: sweet oranges, pineapple, butterscotch lifesavers, golden apples, a tiny bit of spice a good malt sweetness.

T: a bit tart, light apples and sweet oranges. A good malt backbone and not as much spice as I am used to in a saison. The sweet yeasty flavors linger on the tongue nicely.

MF: medium body, smooth but good effervescence. A bit sweet but not overly so.

O: a good saison from two home state brewers, but there are many better ones I would search out first

Photo of bum732
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

S: Wheat like funk, slight spiciness, some bright fruitiness, some honey and cooked mushrooms.

L: Cloudy amber orange, off-white head with good retention.

T: Some wheat and rye grainy sweetness with some white pepper spiciness. Prominent cereal cracker like tastes prominent throughout. Spicy, medium bitterness leads to a drying in the back of the throat from the rye.

M: Medium full body, medium high carbonation.

Interesting Saison, the spelt and rye are pretty prominent. Not sure how much i liked the spelt, added a strong cereal graininess that i didn't care for. Not one of Stillwater's better efforts, but not bad either.

Photo of pleasewearpants
3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured on tap at my campsite into a hollowed out pineapple. Aroma is very pineappley. Haha. Grainy, cat piss, wet grass. Nice hazy burnt orange color. Light pepper aroma. Flavor is very mild. Nice saison. A little more body than most. Drinking this at a campsite from a hollowed pineapple

Photo of akorsak
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jecker shared this with me originally. Didn't take notes so a 750 mL from State Line will suffice.

A: The saison, an American saison per the label, is golden and hazy, a deeper hue that verges on all-out orange. A huge head, over five fingers on the first two pours, doesn't leave any lace behind.

S: The nose is very floral, enough to nearly induce a seasonal allergy attack. While that's a bit of an embellishment, the ale doesn't skimp on the fresh aromas. Fresh cut flowers and chalky aromas are strong, sage and pepper come through later.

T: Chalky, the powdery feel coming from the spice profile. Much like Stillwater's other saisons, the unusual spice profile makes the ale work. Citric flavors mix with the flowers, all overwhelming and yet subtle at the same time. Citrus hops are present, especially closer to the finish. Pepper and sharp spices dominate the finish, sharing the stage with pineapple and more spices. The complexity is right on par with Stillwater's best, this one veering into an equally experimental result. The ale is very lively as well, plenty of carbonation to keep the taste on a path of evolution.

M: The mouthfeel is very lively, packed with more flavors than most saisons put together. The dusty flavors segue nicely into a formidable saison body. Hops near the finish seal the deal with citrusy zest. Well done. I'd say its just a hair behind Cellar Door and Stateside.

Photo of CrazyDavros
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Pours amber with a large fading head.
Nose shows bready malt, spicy farmhouse yeast and some soft grainy honey notes.
Flavours imitate a honey saison with amber malt. Some spicy hops and caramel. Finishes gently but well-balanced.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a cloudy bright golden color ale with a super large foamy head with good retention and some excellent lacing. Aroma of rye and spelt malt is easily detectable with some good notes of rustic ester and light residual sugar notes. Taste is a complex mix between some fruity ester with good notes rustic malt with spicy notes of rye malt and light residual sugar notes. Body is full with limited filtration and good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very well brewed with excellent level complexity while retaining a very nice level of drinkability.

Photo of n2185
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy orange with two fingers of white head that fades into a thin layer with decent lacing.

S: Lots of spices at first with candy sugar and orange zest. The finish has some lightly funky barnyard aromas.

T: Similar to the aroma, lots of spices and orange zest at first. The finish has some musty barnyard flavors and a slight bitterness.

M: Medium-light body with lowish carbonation, this beer is a little watery and under-attenuated.

O: A decent saison, though a little on the simplistic and watery side. Still, it's not bad.

Photo of ocelot2500
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy burnt orange with a tight, white head that leaves not much lacing.

Smells of a bit of bright fruits with grassy and flora hops.

Tastes of some sweet fruits with hop note counters and a bit of spice. Notes of pear and apple lead the way with a bit of grape and lemon zest. A moderate amount of sweetness that I find pleasant. Some bread comes through in the middle and adds body. Ends with grassy notes and spice that counter the fruits. Spicing is a little light for me. Finishes fairly dry.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a smooth amount of carbonation. I prefer saisons with a more crisp, light feel.

Overall, this is a solid saison, but the price is prohibitive ($11.00 for a 750).

Photo of smakawhat
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

A dull amber and orange muddy yellow appearance, with a soapy off white head and tiny bubbles is made off the pour.

Nose smells like a mix of Belgian Tripel style and Witbier. Mild sour lemon but mostly sweet candy and yeast. Slightly grassy and floral.

Taste is sharp saison bite with punching yeast, and a candy like finish. Very stinging carbon dioxide like palate on the tongue. Chewy malt. Just a bare hint of funk but not much.

Overall a different take, if you are looking for a bretty or funky sour saison this isn't it, but I like the other qualities of this brew considerably on the flipside.

Photo of alaskannomad
3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Nice farmhouse characteristics. Beautiful color. But I don't taste the adjuncts at all, as the flavor comes entirely from the yeast and the malty grain.

Too sweet. Tastes like a dessert wine - almost like a 'barley sauternes". Add some hop character to increase bitterness, and this could be a real winner.

Photo of wedge
3.54/5  rDev -7.6%

Slightly hazy gold with a decent head that quickly fades to a patchy covering. Interesting nose of heather, apple, flowers, honey, earth, cracked pepper, and some malty sweetness. Flavor is peppery and earthy with some floral notes, rustic graininess, and apple. Dryness keeps the sweetness at bay and there's a general mustiness that adds some character. Medium-light, creamy feel, with a dry finish. Decent, but not my favorite Stillwater beer.

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a medium orange amber with a one finger fine off-white head and lacing. Aroma of light fruit, floral elements light spicing and a suggestion of sweet caramel malt. Flavor of light fruit with peppery bitterness from the heather, develops nice floral notes in the middle to finish somewhat dry with a touch of rye sourness. A very pleasant flavor progression. Complex variety of flavors, but none dominate, allowing something interesting to develop over the taste. Although light to medium in body, it manages a bit of creaminess in the mouth feel. Another interesting and fun to drink take on the saison style. Nicely done.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

golden orange. Lots of haze and cloudiness here with a large two finger high head of white foam that just would not receded. Lots of carbonation coming up from the bottom to reinforce it.

The aroma was loaded with spices. Hints of lemon and cinnamon where abound here, with a rich earthy mix to it. Lots of almost a nutmeg I am picking up here. The flavor took off right where that left off. A rich mixture of lemon, fresh grass, light fruit flavors and a ton of spice. Nice hints of allspice, cinnamon and pepper here. Nice light to medium body feel capped it off very well and the overall drinkability was very nice

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Stillwater / Brewer's Art Debutante from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
86 out of 100 based on 291 ratings.