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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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very good

104 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 104
Hads: 309
Avg: 3.84
pDev: 18.23%
Wants: 13
Gots: 31 | 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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Reviews: 104 | Hads: 309
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.72/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a murky honey orange with a foamy tan head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, earth, spice, yeast, and floral aromas. Taste is much the same with malt, spice, yeast, and caramel flavors on the finish. There is a very mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with the special ingredients only really coming through in the smell for me.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at DBGB Kitchen & Bar, New York, NY

A: The beer is very hazy yellow in color. It poured with a small tan head that died down and left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a ring around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of heather in the nose, along with some floral aromas and hints of spices.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has initial flavors of heather, hyssop and honeysuckle along with some notes of spices towards the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and a bit chewy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a very slight amount of dryness.
O: This beer is easy to drink and is an interesting representation of the style due to the addition of flowers and herbs.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.52/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

i was very excited for this ancient grains type saison with all these botanicals in it, but it came across way too sweet for me, malty vanilla and not quite robust enough saison yeast define the nose and taste of this beer. clearish caramel color with a big bold white head, good looks. so much sweetness here i can't really get any of the botanicals or herbals i was looking most forward to. not sure what the spelt or rye contribute either, all i really get is residual sugar, light like honey, but still pervasive. feel is bogged down by it too, but its very well carbonated. some may enjoy the sweetness, i don't mean to make it sound like a pure sugar bomb because its a lit more interesting than that, the sugar just blocks the most interesting features of this beer for me.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up at Whole Foods on P St. NW in DC. Served in a Mikasa tulip.
Pours a mostly-clear light orange-ish color with a 1.5-finger white head and some good spotty lacing on the way down. The nose carries quite a bit of saison yeast and accompanying spice plus a little bit of citrus and light malt. Flavor has a touch of malt as the backing plus spice and citrus; light pepper and herbs throughout. Light to medium body with good carbonation. Nice brew, but not my favorite from Stillwater. Still, definitely worth a try.

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives with a clear amber color; the modest head sticks around and dots the glass

Smell: Bready, with floral honey tones

Taste: Bready, up front, with developing floral tones, though there is an herbal spice cake character that arrives, after the swallow and lingers into the finish

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body; moderate carbonation

Overall: A refreshing brew; like the spice cake elements

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Photo of Knapp85
3.61/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured out with a nice rising white head and a cloudy yellowish gold body. The head had a good retention but the lacing wasn't really doing much. The smell of the beer was grainy and didn't really have to much of a farmhouse aroma to me. The taste of the beer had some light spicy notes and some sweet grainy malts that was pretty tasty I thought. The mouthfeel was light and well carbonated and it really when down easy. Overall its a very drinkable beer, it tasted good and left a good impression on me, I would more than likely drink this one again.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

As the taste of the European farmhouse extend from Belgium and into France, the character turns more lager-like, maltier and softer with the fruit and spice. While its Belgianesque balance remains intact, it takes a softer and more mellow turn.

Its stern malty pour suggest a bready weight with its swirling haze and milky straw hues. As its creamy head builds, it reveals the flowery character of honeysuckle, heather and mint. Its mellow flavors sooth the early palate with a doughy-sweet introduction.

Its rich cookie dough flavor and feel is given a creamy lift with and abundance of carbonation to keep the taste light and marshmallowy. But with certain grain spiciness, there's a husky earthiness that rides up against peppercorn and pecan skins but without becoming an overly spicy beer.

With a minty and pepper taste gaining steam, the ale's firm texture wavers enough to suggest a malty-dry finish. Any spicy, woodsy or grainy bite is buffered with residual bread texture while its floral bouquet continues to swirl above the palate, extending lightly into aftertaste.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
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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Photo of womencantsail
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On-tap at Beachwood Brewing

A: The beer pours a fairly clear golden orange color with a finger of white head.

S: Very fruity, much more than I was expecting. There's a bit of pineapple and perhaps some passion fruit. Really heavy on the bubblegum and yeast. In fact, it's a bit like Juicy Fruit.

T: The flavor is very much the same as the aroma. Lots of bubble gum and sweet fruitiness to the flavor. Juicy Fruit once again comes to mind. A bit of bread and tropical fruit with a moderate yeastiness.

M: Medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation.

O: Though I've liked some of the Stillwater saison, this was a bit too...estery for me.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours out a hazed, orange-hued body with a tall, frothing, off-white head.

Smell: Modestly malty on the nose, a roundabout sniff of porridge garnished with citrus, with underlying fruity, spicy, floral notes throughout.

Taste: Lightly sweetish honeyed-hay maltiness, a tiny squirt of fresh lemon, and then some inviting, varied floral aspects as a pleasant, balancing peppercorn spiciness (from the grains, yeast, and spice additions) rolls in. Then, some ripe orchard fruits and a half-stick of Juicy Fruit. A wee pinch of nutmeg, mint leaf. Grows fruitier, more floral, and, even a bit more sweet as it warms. Drying finish, well carbonated with a bit of tarrying spice.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-high carbonation.

Overall: Good blend of flavors, categorically crisp, and no more alcohol than was ever needed, keeping it tasty and refreshing (even in late December).

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Photo of oline73
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap at Max's, poured into a sample glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, light golden/amber color with a mild amount of white head and just a little lacing.

Smell: A bit sweet from the malt with a herbal yeasty note and some fruitiness.

Taste: Mildly sweet malt with strong fruit and floral notes. There is a herbal flavor in the background with a slight bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with aggressive carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: The fruity notes were very pleasant and the flavor was quite well balanced. I would have this again in the future.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to jecker for sharing this with me -enjoyed from the 750 poured into a tulip.

The color is dark golden with some sunny aspects and moderate amount of haze which fits the style(spiced saison), the bead is small and the cap is light tan. This has that fresh yeasty, creamy wheat infused aroma I like in certain saisons, the yeast influence brings a slight funk, but mild in comparison to the earthy spice and slight toastiness from the wheat with light fruit ester. The smooth spiced feel is great with a gentle creamy body and slight spiced bitter middle, the edges have some funk from the yeast to keep things interesting, but mainly in the peripheral taste with a light dry texture and gentle yeast fruit with only a slight amount of sweetness from the malt.

This Saison has a lot of yeast driving the flavor, the presence is full on with mild wheat flavors which come off as lightly bready and fresh toasted with slight pear and light funkiness giving an earthy flavor from the yeast. The hops give a light herbal accent bringing out some complexity in the spice additions and the mild bitterness helps to lighten the taste a bit. The toasted wheat presence is high, perhaps there is some oat in the malt too since it is so silky smooth with creamy yeast element in the finish. Overall I found this to be a very high quality and quaffable saison, the spice notes are not out of place and the collaboration is nothing short of excellent which you would expect from two American brewers who know their way around the Belgian styles. A great example of what can happen when inspiration ignites between a couple brewers. Very nice take on the style.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Pinocchio's, Media, PA

Poured into a pint glass, a cloudy bronze with a foamy white head that lingered through about half of the drinking session. Big aroma of Belgian yeast, hay, orange, banana. Taste is almost like a dubbel, following the smell a lot, with bready Belgian yeast up front, hay, grass, moss, wildflowers, orange zest and banana peel, mild peppery spice. Medium mouthfeel, pretty drinkable, but a little too much of the yeasty dubbel taste for me, which I'm learning more and more I have to be in the mood for to enjoy.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first beer from Stillwater. Looks nice. Smells nice. A good profile of flavors, but not really pushing it or trying to be obnoxious. And that's the key I think. Do it right and do it well, but don't try to be out of control with things. A very well done brew.

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Photo of russpowell
3.87/5  rDev +0.8%
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...

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

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 5/23/2014. Pours fairly crystal clear deep golden color with a 1 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of lemon zest, apricot, pear, apple, light banana, honey, rye bread, herbal, floral, grass, clove, pepper, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/earthy yeast, bready malt, and spice notes; with good strength. Taste of lemon zest, apricot, pear, apple, light banana, honey, rye bread, herbal, floral, grass, clove, pepper, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Fair amount of earthy yeast spice on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon zest, apricot, pear, apple, light banana, clove, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity and robustness of fruity/earthy yeast, bready malt, and spice flavors; with a great malt/yeast balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, and lightly bready mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice Biere de Garde style. All around great complexity and balance of fruity/earthy yeast, bready malt, and spice flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 03/25/12 notes. had on tap at Fireworks in Arlington, VA yesterday. Served in a tulip.

a - Pours a bright murky orange color with one inch of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident. Leaves some spotty lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of spices, floral hops, yeast, pepper, citrus hops, and some fruity malts. Pretty nice but heavy on the spices.

t - Tastes of spices, floral hops, Belgian yeast, earthy notes, hay, pepper, ligth citrus hops. Again, heavy on the spices.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth body.

o - Overall a nice saison, but not my favorite Stillwater beer. A bit too heavy on the spices for me. If you like spice/pepper in your saisons you may like this more then I did, but I probably wouldn't seek it out again.

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Photo of chinchill
3.22/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle.
Complex floral and herbal flavor is more appealing than the rather yeasty/funky aroma.

Feel: Medium-full body with good carbonation.

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Photo of orangesol
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jecker aka Josh for bringing this one to our IPA day party.

A - Pours hazy golden yellow with a nice one and a half finger tall white head leaving little to no lace down the glass.

S - Smells of spicy yeast, light funk, grassy hops, blackboard chalk, and some light fruitiness; mostly pear.

T - Starts off with a big dose of spicy yeast slowly giving way to a mix of grassy hops, light fruit, musty basement funk, and some chalk dust. The finish is a mix of chewy/spicy yeast and some light funk, lingering on the pallet for some time.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Spicy, smooth, feel with a bit of funk toward the very end that lingers on the pallet for some time.

O - Not too bad. I still prefer some of their other saisons but this one was still ver good. Glad I got to try it. Thanks again Josh!

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Photo of drabmuh
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Split with my wife the other night. Served in Stillwater wine glasses. Beer is orangish / amber with a haze and a thin white head that leaves some lacing behind, mild to moderate carbonation.

Aroma is strongly yeasty with a mild bitterness and an estery sweetness.

Beer tastes really nice, I like it a lot. Medium in body, sweet on the front end and throughout is a nice yeast character. The esters make a nice forward palate, sweet, banana, mild bubble gum, the finish has a subtle bitterness that I really enjoy a lot.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at DBGB Kitchen & Bar in New York, NY

A: Pours an extremely hazy golden yellow to orange in color. The beer has a half finger tall off-white head that reduces to a very thin film covering the surface of the beer with a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate lacing is observed.

S: Overall the aroma of this beer is not very intense. There are light notes of florals and botanicals - including heather and what might be honeysuckle. Additionally there are some hints of spices.

T: The taste follows the smell. Upfront there is a lot of floral presence and some botanicals. The finish is full of the flavor of the rye including the expected hints of spiciness.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. There is a very light hint of dryness, but not as much as I expected for the style.

O: This beer is very refreshing and very easy to drink - I really enjoyed this beer and it is one to get another time. This beer is very much a sessionable beer and definitely one I would enjoy drinking through an entire meal. My only real critique is that I wish there was a little more dryness in the mouthfeel.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled November 2011
A solid pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip produces a four-finger thick, pale tan colored head. The beer is a light amber hue that shows a brilliantly clear, pale amber tinged, full gold hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells floral and fruity with notes of hibiscus, red pears, perhaps a touch of floral apple and a general flower nectar that displays lots of honey-like notes. This up front character is supported by some spicy white pepper notes, touches of ginger, a touch of mustiness and a solid phenolic character that is more spice than clove (though some of the latter too).

Spritzy and carbonated up front this serves as a nice foil to the ample sweetness; much of the latter is perceived, accentuated by the ample floral and fruit notes in the flavor. Sweet fruit notes of hibiscus, Macintosh apple, some floral pear, a soft berry character, lots of flower nectar notes and of course a solid honey like character (without the medicinal sweetness that honey has though). There is a slight spiciness towards the finish that has white pepper notes, a touch of young ginger, some phenolic notes in the finish that leans towards plastic perhaps a touch of clove and a slight mustiness.

The nose and the flavor lean a bit too much towards the fruity and floral side of things; it needs more spiciness and / or funkiness to balance out this super fruit and floral character that is on show so well in this beer. This is a touch unbalanced, but in the end is pretty tasty; actually it really reminds me a lot of a Saison I made with Hibiscus, it too really needed some balancing funkiness or spiciness in it. I wonder if the standard French Saison yeast was used in here, I find that this yeast doesn’t supply the bite and balance that my favorite Saison yeasts are able to supply.

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Stillwater / Brewer's Art Debutante from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
86 out of 100 based on 104 ratings.