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Premium - Stillwater Artisanal Ales

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BA SCORE
85
very good

182 Ratings
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Ratings: 182
Reviews: 63
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 13.95%
Wants: 16
Gots: 12 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Stillwater Artisanal Ales visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
American Blonde Ale |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 01-10-2012

A ’Post Prohibition’ style ale brewed with Pilsner malt, corn, and rice. Hopped at 2lbs per BBL with Cluster, Northern Brewer, and Saaz and fermented with a farmhouse ale yeast and 2 strains of brettanomyces to weigh in at 4.5% ABV.

Batch 1 750ml
Batch 2 22oz
View: Beers (40) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 182 | Reviews: 63
Reviews by DeanMoriarty:
Photo of DeanMoriarty
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 750ml capped bottle in a trade with Dawson's Liquor in Severna Park, MD and poured it into a Odell branded tulip glass - thanks fellas!

A: Hazy straw-like hue with a thick white head that gives way to tons of lace with continuous effervescence similar to champagne.

S: Sour funk and biscuits, peppercorns, green apples, citrus zest, and musty earthiness.

T: Similar to the nose - even bigger Bret though (much more noticeable than the smell) big funk - wet leather and woody weirdness, also some bitter hop that is really nice, fruit is light - green apples and dried tropical fruit - very well balanced.

People claiming corn - WTF???

M: Lighter side of medium-bodied, vigorous carbonation that works well with this one, dry and clean like a fine champagne with some lingering bitterness from the hop that is really nice.

Man this beer is tip top - well beyond average - only wish I was a baller so I could drink it all the time - at $15. a 750 milly i'd go broke otherwise!

More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A fun beer.
It was a hazy pale yellow color with a thick white head that lasted quite a while. There was a little bit of lace.

Funky brett aroma, lots of floral hops. Also some citrus.

Yeasty taste, some sour lemon. Very floral.

Crisp and tasy. I could drink this beer all day (and at 4.5% ABV probably could).

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a chalice)
Batch #1
A- This beer is just a bit of a gusher pouring a thick rocky white foam that takes up most of the glass. It slowly settles down to a slightly hazy bright yellow body with a violent carbonation of tiny bubbles.

S- The earthy wet rice and strong grapefruit aromas of brett give way to some pithy green notes in the finish that could be hops or brett. There is an interesting lavender soap hint that comes through as the beer opens.

T- The touch of malt sweetness is followed by grapefruit brett character and a full pungent pithy hops in the finish. The green grapefruit flavor lingers for a bit after the dry finish. As it opens up there are some hints of slightly over ripe fruit.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a gentle scrubbing fizz and compliments the hops nicely.

O- This beer really has a beautiful brett character that is full in the aroma with some nice bright flavors supporting it in the taste. There is a touch of tartness that grows and more depth comes with each glass.

Photo of biboergosum
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. More ornate, withered Victorian manuscript label imagery, very 'artisanal'.

This beer pours a very, very, very pale cloudy, almost white straw 'colour', with a tumultuous rising mass of thinly foamy, whipped cream head, which leaves broad swaths of chunky, splattered fuzzy lace around the glass as it genially abates. It is blonde, in the American sense, this much is certain.

It smells of funky, sort of cheesy yeast, a sour lemon and cherry fruitiness, grainy pale malt, soft earthy spice, and a sassy grassy hoppiness. The taste is tart lemon and mild white vinegar, a paler Brett funkiness than that of the nose (but still kickin' it), gritty pale malt, a touch of cornmeal, some understated black pepper mill detritus, and still prominent wet hay and grassy hops.

The carbonation is obviously quite the showman up front, and mostly keeps at it with a sharp, sometimes fizzy nature, the body medium-light in weight, maybe a smidgeon thin, but generally smooth for such a hoppy, modulated acidic brew. It finishes off-dry, the sweetness of the rice/corn kind of shouldering its way in, while the bitter hops and sour/funky combo just sit back and smirk.

A tasty enough pale wild ale, I don't quite grok the insistence on placing this in the Blonde Ale classification, even if said category, as a whole, is loosey-goosey at best. So a few niggling points off for that. And did pre-WWII beers in America really rely on wild yeast and bacteria for their fermentation? Maybe I've got some further reading up to do.

Photo of Sammy
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The farm smell is right there wafting through and after the pour. Really funky. Above average mouthfeel. Nothing exceptional taste wise, a little pepper, drinking of hay, but drinkable. Some rice as in saki, as in roast and toast rice. Worth a try for something different.

Photo of Doppelbockulus
3.87/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased this bottle in the first week of January 2012. It debuted at the Charleston Beer Exchange, they were chosen to be the first store to sell the beer, I watched them open the first box, and I purchased the first bottle. Here goes....

Pours a very light golden color with a substantial head that settles after a few minutes. In the glass it is hazy like an unfiltered hefeweisen.

Very fragrant with a sourness very close to that of a framboise, there is a raspberry character. It also reminds me of tropical sour fruits.

Taste is not fruity, it is like a dry tripel or saison. No sweetness, faint lemongrass, and a mild hop character with a tart note. It is kind of refreshing though.

mouthfeel is kind of like a champagne beer, bubbly, but dry, dusty and tart.

Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle signed by the brewer! Batch #1! Served from bottle into a Duck-Rabbit nonic. Poured a slightly hazy pale golden yellow with three finger pure white fluffy head that subsided to one finger very slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, earth, banana, fruit, spices, earthy funk, and horseblanket. The flavor was of sweet malt, fruit, spices, earth, and massive funk. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a good brew. The brett going on in this one definitely took a front row seat in both the aroma and especially the flavor. The brett plays a really nice role in this style as it can stand out and dominate the brew. The aroma is quite nice on it as well. An absolute must try if you have not done so already. You won’t regret it at all.

Photo of akorsak
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 750 mL capped bottle; from the Wine Source. In a DuClaw snifter.

A: Light, pale, golden, and straw-like. The haze gives the ale a post Prohibition Belgian look, somewhere between a saison and a tripel. A white head, not much lacing, follows.

S: One thing you can always count on: Stillwater bringing the intense saison nose. This is no exception, musty and fruity with the brett adding a lively dirtiness. Pepper and lemons provide spicy heat. Smells very nice.

T: The brett brings depth to the ale, dirty and funky without acidic tartness. As the brett fades, the pale malts and and saison yeast kick in. The breadiness is soft; the saison is spicy. In particular, freshly cracked peppercorns, lemons, and pale candi sugars. The light malt brings a sweetness that comes through at the end of each sip. The brett sucks much of the moisture out of the ale, leaving it dry (but not jarringly so). The first glass was very bubbly, effervescent to the point of brut. It has since settled down but was worth noting.

M: The late-sip pairing of sweet malts, Belgian spices, and Brettanomyces is a game changer, sweet and funky and lively. Not quite a full-on saison, although it is this close {indicates mere millimeters with thumb and pointer finger}. The ale feels heavy though, perhaps my only significant complaint.

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Pours pale straw with a large head.
Nose shows funky, goaty Brett, soft lemon, light malt, grassy cow shit. Smells like a bloody farm. Intriguing.
Some of the farm characters transfer through as flavours, along with dry saison notes and grainy malt.
Massively high carbonation.
This one grew on me, despite the cow shit.

Photo of Barrelista
1.7/5  rDev -55.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Tasted of hominy, with hints of SPI Code 5 plastic and woodsiness.

Smells of grass, the plastic of baby diapers, air of the Coastal California Redwoods, and hominy.

Light, acidic mouthfeel; bubbles are agressive and a burn to the tongue.

A light, staw color with low foam.

Overall this beer argued too much with my sensibilities. The result? I could not appreciate it.

Photo of EgadBananas
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 2, 22oz bomber. Surprising price of $10.99 per.

Fits the bill nicely as a blonde. Hazy blonde, with a finger of bright white head.

The aroma is quite funky, hay-like, barnyard, slight wheaty, almost grainy note.

Taste is rather funky, with a bit of apple skins, and citrus peels. Pale malts, grains and some grassy hops.

Light, crisp, somewhat bubbly, almost effervescent. Good feel for the style.

Not much a fan of blonde (ales), but the Brett funks this thing up and makes it a beast.

Photo of smakawhat
2.72/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Poured from the bottle into a wine like snifter glass. Much thanks to Lea and the DC bottle share gang.

A real nice pale lemon body, even throughout, with a thin foamy off white head that is quite bright in appearance. Looks more like a saison.

Nose hits with a huge reeking sense. Hops and must and yeasty stanky quality. Dirt. Burnt leaves and herbs. Must. Mulch. Compost. Farmhouse gone overboard, quite off putting for me.

First sip is quite bitter on the palate. Huge notes of flowery and garden earth qualities. Fairly noticeable peppery finish hinting at farmhouse yeast components, but also with a tin metal box tinny aftertaste to match. Sharp. Jarring. Qualitiy aromatics and flavors but overkilled.

Overall the brew feels incredibly unbalanced and too out of kilter on the funky sense. This isn't for me, this feels like it went for broke and burned everything in it's path to get there.

Photo of XicanoBeerRun
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked this up at the Davis Beer Shop, and it was worth the haul.

Pale, slightly hazy, straw-colored yellow. Mellow sour smell. Lots of carbonation, but it smooths out when you drink it.

Taste: slightly medicinal (plastic?) on the palate, faintly bitter, baking soda. I know this does not sound flattering, but it is really good. You pick up on some of those saison qualities (I think the brett made me think this was a saison like the other Stillwaters I have had), but it is not as strong or up front. It is almost like a saison light. I love this trend towards tasty, complex craft beers that are lower in alcohol. Jester King is doing it in Austin, and I have read about some others. This is a fantastic, refreshing session beer.

I’ll have another.

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Black Raven imperial pint. Pours a slightly cloudy pale yellow amber. Healthy three finger head and active carbonation leaving chunks of foam on the side of the glass as it slowly dissipated. Looked great! Aromatic aroma of Belgian yeast and spicing, light fruit and citrus, slightly sour and funky. Flavor dominated by citrus, mostly lemon, and brett funk. Light grain and sweet malt. Astringently bitter finish, but supported by the fruit from the citrus. I'm not a big fan of brett, but I have to admit that the low level in this ale along with the refreshing lemon flavor was quite nice. Light to medium bodied. Not my style, but I enjoyed the whole bottle. Good job, Stillwater.

Photo of metter98
3.96/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is clear light straw yellow in color and has a moderate to high amount of carbonation. It poured with a two finger high bright white head that took a very long time to die down but never completely faded away, consistently leaving a thin head covering the surface as well as lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: The Brettanomyces yeast imparts light amounts of sourness to the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste is a little sour and also has notes of lemon citrus and grassy hops. Hints of peppery spices are noticeable in the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and a little clean on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This would make for a really easy to drink beer for someone that is just getting into sour beers because the brett is not overdone. I really liked how the brewer used a little sourness to make a beer brewed with adjunct malts that doesn't taste bland. It's extremely drinkable given its low alcohol content.

Photo of fmccormi
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Of Love and Regret in Baltimore, MD. Received a 6oz half-pour in a small snifter-lookin’ kinda glass. They have nice glassware at that bar, for realsies.

Appearance (5.0): The body is a light straw-yellow, just barely hazy and extremely pretty. One finger of fluffy, white head, with very good retention, comes off of the pour but it leaves unbelievable lacing all around the sides of the glass as the beer goes down—as in, it literally coats the sides of the glass. Unreal.

Smell (4.5): There’s a very light, pale grain scent mixed with the sweet notes of corn-based, classic adjunct malt and the light crispness of rice that you get from AALs when you dig into them. Peppery brett notes are equally strong. Apparently, the malt composition of this beer is identical to Natty Boh and Old Milwaukee, so in that light the scents of the malt profile make perfect sense. Moderately fruity, musty character is also evident. Very fragrant, lightly citrusy with apple and pear notes.

Taste (3.5): Well, brett. Plain and simple, in all its weird glory. There’s that familiar mix of peppercorn and soft cheese-rind funk coming out of the finish, with a modest peppery character coming before it. The malt is pale and crisp, as would be expected from the nose, and washes down easy to leave the brett to shine in all of its peppery, musty glory. That dank, musty character that personally I prefer in a brett-forward beer really takes a backseat to that peppercorn/cheese rind phenolic funk, however. Some modest, lemony bitterness is present throughout.

Mouthfeel (4.0): This has an excellent feel, with very smooth and lush carbonation, devoid of any prickling. Clean finish, light bitterness, light-to-medium weight body. Very dry finish.

Overall (4.0): To be honest, I have mixed feelings about this beer. I get what Brian’s going for, and I think that he probably did an excellent job in creating that beer, but it’s not quite what I was hoping for and is definitely not for everybody. Admittedly, I’m a bit picky when it comes to brett funk: I like the musty, dank, and fruity characters, but get a little sensitive when the spicy, phenolic side of brett becomes more prominent. In this beer, the latter is definitely the case. But, it looks, smells, and feels fantastic, overall—it's just the prominence and balance of different brett notes that I'm somewhat at odds with. My understanding is that Brian wanted to create a very clean, very drinkable brett beer, and using brett in primary with the malt base he did, he did exactly that.

Photo of oline73
3.46/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on-tap at Max's. Served in a sample glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy yellow with a layer of off white head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Light malt and a slight tartness. The overall smell is rather yeasty.

Taste: Light and slightly bitter. I'm picking up some herbal and yeast flavors, especially in the finish. Mild and rather refreshing.

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

Overall: There is a ton of flavor in this beer given the abv. I thought it was interesting and would have more.

Photo of Etan
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Funny I haven't review this yet. Bomber into a willi becher.

A: Pours clear, light dull straw with a spongy white head. Certainly looks like a relatively unimpressive blonde ale.

S: Aroma is musty, yeast, bit of lime and chalk, fresh grain.

T: Lots of dry brett in the taste, with some must and very light citrus acidity, sawdust, nice wave of euro-hop bitterness at the end, biscuit.

M: Light-bodied and quaffable.

O: Sort of an odd beer between the brett and the Saaz, but ultimately quite enjoyable and preferable to "clean" blonde ales.

Photo of FondueVoodoo
3.87/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a hazy almost milky pale straw with massive pillowy head. Almost immediately it begins to crater and lump up with giant soapy bubbles and leave lacing trailing around the glass.

S: Wheaty biscuits with wet hay and funky bretta. Lemony tartness and a solid wet leather finish.

T: Round kick of bretta straight to the mouth. No mistaking it for another style. Ripe bananas are detectable with wet horse blanket, pithy lemons and limes and wheaty chewiness. Forward on the funk meter and not for the faint of heart.

M: Snappy carbonation with a light dry and sour mouthfeel.

O: This beer feels true to the claim of being styled in prohibition times given its cloudy unfiltered, almost milky appearance. Its sour wild taste and smell is raw and upfront. Worth given it a try should you find it in your area.

Photo of shand
4.01/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was really excited to pop this beer open, because I honestly had no idea what to expect from it. Stillwater Premium pours out a pale golden yellow color with a large white head. The aroma, at first, smells like an adjunct lager with maybe a touch more bright citrus. As either the beer warms or I get closer into the glass, more subtle aromas come out. The musty aspects from the Brett start to take over, as well as a bit of spicy/earthy hops. The taste is, again, really interesting. It has the clean, crisp, and citrusy lager taste there, but it's subverted by a heavy amount of very musty funkiness that cuts right through the lager base like a knife. The Brett funkiness has a fun time interacting with the citrus and hops in the beer. I don't know how to really describe the feeling of the funk hitting in this beer - it almost feels like the mouthfeel gets thicker when the funk comes rolling through, even though it obviously doesn't. It's probably due to a strong dryness from the Brett that fights against the crisp, bright, and light lager base. Premium might not be a beer that completely succeeds on all levels, but it's interesting enough that I can't help but recommend it.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.18/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Churchkey. Served in a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a slightly-hazy straw color with a really nice white head and some good lacing on the way down. The nose brings a slight bit of grain along with some faint floral hops. Light earthy notes as well. The flavor has a nice grainy base along with good hop and yeast notes. The Brett shines through in the finish, which is quite dry. Light, crisp body. Really nice.

Photo of Rifugium
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at ? (I think TJ's, Paoli, PA)

Not a bad beer for a style I'm not a huge fan of. Poured a light, golden yellow, pale and slightly hazy, with a small cap of white bubbles for a head; minimal retention and lacing. Aromas of pale malts, musty grass, and a distinctive Belgian yeast quality that puts this on the border of a saison (typical Stillwater fare). More of the same in the taste, bready pale malts, yeast, grass, light herbal hops. Light-medium body and quite good for the style.

Photo of VaTechHopHead
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very light yellow in color and definitely hazy. Big solid white foamy head

S - light funk from the Brett and a sweetness from the corn. Nice barnyard and hay aromas and a slight Belgian sugar smell as well

T - starts off bland but quickly picks up a very nice hay and corn flavor. The Brett is semi-sour and has a light tang. Aftertaste has a light dryness but fades quickly

M - light body with good carbonation. Light flavors and good use of adjuncts and Brett. Quick fading aftertaste and easy to drink. Overall an interesting and fun beer to drink

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint, the beer is a bright, crystal clear, honey-yellow coloring with a ton of carbonation throughout and a tall, foamy, frothy, bright white head. Aromas of toasted grains, floral highlights, buttered bread, cut grass, and subtle hints of honey and cracker. Flavors are grassy up front, with hints of evergreen and honey, on a cracker backbone. Effervesced and light body, with a roasted and toasted character towards the end of the palate. The aftertaste is more of the toasty and grainy characteristics, with hints of sweetness. The finish is frothy and effervesced, with a lingering grassy and tangy sweet character. Different take on the style, and definitely refreshing on a hot day.

Photo of Tone
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy amber color. 2/3 inch head of a white color. Good retention and great lacing. Smells of grapes, hops, yeast, hint of floral, hint of grass, and a hint of sweet malt. Fits the style of an American Blonde Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and thick, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of slight alcohol, grapes, slight grass, hint of yeast, slight floral, and a hint of sweet malt. Overall, good appearance, decent aroma, feel, and blend.

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Premium from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
85 out of 100 based on 182 ratings.