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Premium - Stillwater Artisanal Ales

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

64 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 64
Hads: 184
Avg: 3.9
pDev: 23.33%
Wants: 18
Gots: 14 | 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 (32) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 64 | Hads: 184
Photo of shand
4.01/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of akorsak
4/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of EgadBananas
4/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of Etan
4/5  rDev +2.6%

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.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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Photo of fmccormi
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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Photo of metter98
3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of VaTechHopHead
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
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

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Photo of Axnjxn
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a snifter.

light straw color..huge, huge head. horizontal pour required. smell is massively dry..may have fallen off. taste is terrific, dry with a great lemon kick. ooh! mild body, high carbonation.

overall great! very recommended

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Photo of nickfl
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with one and a half fingers of white foam on top of a hazy, straw colored body. The head sinks down slowly and leaves decent lace on the glass.

S - A slightly sulphury aroma of yeast, grainy malt, and earthy Brett.

T - Clean, earthy malt up front with notes of hay. The Brett comes out in the middle with notes of wet dirt and lemongrass. The beer finishes with lots of earthy hops and matching funky straw and dirt yeast character.

M - Medium body, high carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Really interesting. The funky notes play perfectly with the earthy European hops and make for an odd but endearing little beer.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of XicanoBeerRun
3.9/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of Tone
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
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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Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours moderately hazy golden straw color with a 2 finger dense and rocky white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice dense soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of tart lemon zest, pear, apple, cracker, bread, hay, straw, grass, herbal, clove, black pepper, musty funk, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/funky yeast, pale malt, and earthy hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of lightly tart lemon, pear, apple, cracker, bread, clove, black pepper, hay, straw, grass, herbal, musty funk, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Light earthy tartness and moderate yeast/hop spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of lightly tart lemon zest, pear, apple, cracker, bread, clove, black pepper, hay, straw, grass, herbal, musty funk, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity and balance of fruity/funky yeast, pale malt, and earthy hop flavors; with a great crisp malt/yeast/hop balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and light-medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with zero warming present after the finish as expected of 4.5%. Overall this is a very nice saison style. All around good complexity and balance of fruity/funky yeast, pale malt, and earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Doppelbockulus
3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Photo of FondueVoodoo
3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Photo of srhoadsy
3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured chilled into a fluted tulip.

Blonde is beautiful. This beer pours an amazing light blonde color with an inch plus of white airy head that slowly recedes leaving a moderate surface layer and moderate to heavy lacing.

Strong aromas of lemongrass and spice.

Taste follows through the aromas with a lot of sourness and funk from the yeast. Very complex; sour, sweet and musty all at the same time.

Light to medium bodied with crisp, dry finish and moderat to heavy carbonation. Lingering aftertaste.

Overall a great looking beer that may have been just a touch to funky for me. Would definitely like to try again and reassess the flavor profile.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a lightly hazy looking yellow color. The head was white and a little on the fizzy side. The smell of the beer was made of mostly corn aromas and bready yeast. Smells very much like a very generic ale. The taste is sweet with some corn and grainy flavors. The mouthfeel was well carbonated with a decent body to it. Overall this beer was pretty good, I understand the style that was being attempted here and I think it's pretty good. I found this beer to be pretty refreshing actually.

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Photo of Viciousknishs
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a hazy golden hay color with a finger and a half of creamy white head. Pretty good retention.

S- dry cracker like malt with that touch of corn sweetness hits the nose at first. Thankfully the yeast and hops soon take over. Leafy hops with notes of sweet mint and floral characteristics flesh out. Fruity eaters and a white pepper note from the saison yeast blend with a musty earthy Brett character on the finish.

T- crisp grainy malt on the front end. Hops and yeast again take over. Fruity white stone fruit and a musty earthy Brett character with notes of wet hay and light barnyard hit mid palate. Nice leafy grassy hop bitterness with a slight minerality and spicy characteristics hit on the finish with a mild funk and crisp hop flavor lingering in the aftertaste. Super crisp and refreshing.

MF- slick creamy mouthfeel with a light body with average carbonation.

D- one of the most drinkable beers out there.

Overall a very good brew. Who knew Brett, saison yeast and hops could make corn and rice taste good.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 02/11/12 notes. Poured into a tulip.

a - Pours a murky yellow color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of citrus, spice, Belgian style yeast, brett, and earthy notes. Lightly funky nose, pretty nice.

t - Tastes of pepper, Belgian yeast, spices, citrus hops, floral hops, earthy notes, grass. More pepper then the nose, a step down.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty easy to drink.

o - Overall a pretty nice beer from saison. Taste had a little too much pepper for me, but the nose was very nice. Would try it again.

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Photo of Kadonny
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from tap at TJs in Paoli PA into a tulip style glass.

A: A medium golden color with a one finger white fluffy head. Full glass lacing sticks.

S: Nice brett smells of barnyard, hay, straw, lemon and yeast. Some floral herbal hops as well.

T: The brett yeastiness really shines through early on to mix with the lemon tartness to yield some funk of wet hay, straw and barnyard. I get some subtle sweetness, but the beer really mostly stays tart. Herbal and floral hops keep some bitterness going and the finish is tart and dry. Nice brett beer, easy to drink!

M: Light and tart, no alcohol.

O: I was pleasantly surprised by this one. I really loved the brett and how it lasted through the entire tasting experience. This is a very drinkable beer that I will seek out again.

One of the easiest most flavorful drinking bretted beers I have had to date. You can have a few of these and really enjoy each one. Nice.

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Photo of beergoot
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Very hazy, light straw colored body; thick, fluffy, white head. Spicy, peppery aroma; cut wet grass; lemons. Taste mimics the aroma; tart and acidic; powdery yeast notes. Soft, medium bodied; dry finish.

There was non-stop oozing foam upon opening the bottle, yet once the contents settled down, the beer proved decent and enjoyable. The looks, flavor, and aroma are more inline with a farmhouse/saison styling than an all-malt grain ale. Regardless of its classification, this brew is worth a try.

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Photo of BeerKangaroo
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Into a pint glass:

A: light golden-yellow colored body with a two finger frothy white head. The head fades into some valleys and leaves some nice lacing around the sides of the pint glass. Lots of carbonation is seen rising through the body

S: mixture of corn, citrus hops, lemon peel with some pepper in the background

T: peppery tartness up front making a bittery/zestiness with a good pop on the taste buds.

M: light to medium with a good balance between wet and dry. There's some harshness on the tongue, but its expected due to the style. I would say this is very drinkable.

O: though this is my first one by Stillwater, I would say I'm mostly pleased, but would fault myself for having this one this time of year because I think this one would probably show its aspects better in the warmer months of the year. I'll be looking for it next summer. Though, I will say its nice to see this in Maine.

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Premium from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
87 out of 100 based on 64 ratings.