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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 lordofthewiens
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
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).

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Photo of drabmuh
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Stillwater glass? You bet your ass that's what I did.

Beer is yellow and hazy with a nice white head, small and medium bubbles, some lacing, moderate lacing.

I guess I didn't realize until this point that this was a brett beer, big yeast character. Funky, a little esters / phenolic.

Beer is light in body and effervescent. A little dry finish, pretty bretty, Brett c or b character. Interesting. A pretty good beer I'd have it again.

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Photo of zeff80
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a hazy, pale golden color with a one-finger, bubbly white head of foam. It left thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled very phenolic and funky with caramel notes.

T - Good funky flavor with a nice spicy bitter bite. Nice funkiness, too.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium bodied ale with a very dry finish.

O - This is a pretty tastier beer. It reminded me of a lighter version of Rayon Vert.

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Photo of babaracas
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Considering this a brett-ed saison brewed with corn and rice. Pours a cloudy straw color, billowing soapy whit head, settles slowly to a half inch; sheet of thick lace down the glass. Smell: floral, hay, lemony and spicy, moderate amount of barnyard bouquet, hint of dough I'm the back. Taste: lemon, pineapple note, grainy...breakfast cereal, sugar cookie note, into a dry finish highlighting a big spicy and somewhat rindy hopping. This drinks light and refreshing, but the carbonation is really dialed in well to provide heft and lasting power at lower grav. Really well done...the brett adds a lot to all aspects of the beer vs Classique.

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Photo of avalon07
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a pale yellow color and a cloudy consistency. There was a big, creamy, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: Not what I expected from the aroma: Grainy, with traces of malt, hops, and citrus.

T: Tasted of malt, corn, grain, rice, light hops, and a little bit of citrus thrown in. Definitely an unusual flavor - a bit more corn than I normally would like, but still fairly tasty.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a sharp, prickly finish. Light-bodied.

O: Certainly not your typical blonde ale, but well worth trying.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

consumed on 6/30, while I was "on Hiatus." picked up locally. enjoyed from my stillwater wineglass. As the bottle is a 22ozer, must be batch 2.

a - brew poured an opaque golden blonde with visible carbonation and a thin bubbley head that dissolved rather quickly leaving a very thin skin of bubbles on the surface. there was very minimal lacing that was spotty at best.

s - i immediately pick up some brett funk/sweetness on the nose (ooh how i love brett). some other saison like qualities are there, but mostly brett and pale malts on the nose.

t - lots of brett funk begins a devilish dance with an intense amount of spicing. lots of grains, almost rye like. interesting and different...but the finish is a bit awkward and grainy. finishes almost rubbery...but i got used to the finish after a few sips. all in all rather tasty.

m - very lively and prickly carbonation. really tickles my tongue. finishes dry with an odd aftertaste.

o - overall, an interesting beer. the brett seems to be what saves the beer and makes it enjoyable, but when the brett fades on the flavor after swallowing a taste the finish is a bit rubbery and has that barnyard funkiness to it. all in all i did enjoy this beer and am very glad to have tried it. i would probably pick this up again if given the chance. pretty tasty and nice for the warm weather. rather refreshing.


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Photo of gford217
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, batch 2 presumably.

Pours a hazy straw yellow with a soapy white head that leaves some streaks of lacing. There is a thin cap on top throughout.

Aroma is crisp and clean with some spicy saison yeast as well as plenty of straw and light brett funk. There is also quite a pronounced lemon character and apricots.

Light lactic sourness up front, though very subtle, with some underlying fruity sweetness, grapes maybe. Spicy yeast and lots of grass and a very dry finish.

Mouthfeel is lively and light, almost fizzy, which makes it very drinkable. Dry finish.

Another excellent beer in the long line of Belgian-style brews from Stillwater. This is probably the lightest and most drinkable I've had from them even if it's not quite a complex and "meaty" as some of the other.

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Photo of brentk56
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Batch 1

Apppearance: Quite the gusher indeed but after cleaning up the mess, the beer poured a cloudy honey color with a beaten egg white head that left multiple strands of lace

Smell: Vague hints of lemon and chalk with undertones of an adjunct lager (more rice than corn)

Taste: Starts out chalky dry, with lemon pound cake undertones; in the middle, there is a vanilla and pepper character that contrasts with the rice flavors; the rice actually adds a bit of sweet rice pudding to the malt profile as the beer settles into the finish

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: Intriguing and probably a bit better fresh, this is still a nice example of what Brett can do to the American Blonde style to make it interesting and appealing

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Photo of TheDinger
4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler from GBX poured into a weizen glass. Nice amber pour with a ton of pillow white head. Great spoting and lacing throughout. Smell is of zesty fruits, complex notes of citrus and some wood. Taste is a great mix of hops, malts and fruits. Big bold taste with a zesty kick on the end that leave me wanting more. Feel is lively with awesome carbonation and some dry champagne on the tongue. Very interesting and a bonus. Overall- A very quality brew from Stillwater. My first experience with this outfit and I'm impressed. A very enjoyable Blonde that had so much going on with the taste and smell. Sort of Farmhouse, sort of Saison, sort of Good! Will hit another of these-

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


The body sits a light golden yellow with a foamy white cap. Great retention with lines of lace inside the glass.

The nose is strong with brett. Barnyard, hay, lemon, fruity yeast, with some pale malt holding down the back end.

Holy brett. Easily the most brett forward beer I have come across. A clean lager-like base with a sweet, cereal-like graininess and a huge dose of Brett. Heavy barnyard, straw, wet hay, lemon.

Light body with moderate carbonation. I've run in to some brett beers recently that had the carbonation turned up too high. This guy got it right. High, but yet complementary to the prickly brett qualities.

The brett hits you like a ton of bricks. What a unique base for such a heavy brett character. If you like brett, seek out this beer. Nicely done.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

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