Sensory Series V.1 - Lower Dens - Stillwater Artisanal Ales
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 108 | Reviews: 29 | Display Reviews Only:
3.8/5 rDev -3.3%
375ml brown bottle purchased from Leura Cellars.
Uncaps with a fizz and proceeds to froth over the countertop. After a little time, it pours rather sedately, in fact, a clear golden hue with a surprisingly minimal head of white. Stacks of carbonation though feeding it, and it rushes through the rather light body.
Nose is pleasant. Mild, dry white wine acidity, with a touch, perhaps, of the hibiscus lending a little fragrant sweetness. Some earthy tones come through as well, especially as it warms. Pretty nice.
Taste has a slight soda acidity on the front, developing into a rather dry mid-palate laced with a little funk. Musk and earth towards the back, with a chewy finish that's sweeter than I expect. Feel is rather pleasantly subdued. Despite the seemingly robust carbonation, there's a smoothness to the fizz that stops it from getting too aerated.
Overall, yep: this is another solid beer from Stillwater. Clean and bright facade with earth and funk hiding underneath it. The hibiscus is only subtle, but it does add a little twist to add some interest to it. I think it's fair to say though that this is mostly just another solid beer in the same style Stillwater always does.
07-05-2014 02:22:17 | More by lacqueredmouse
4/5 rDev +1.8%
375 ml bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy bright gold color with a 2-3 finger fairly dense and fluffy white head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings around the glass, with a large amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of lemon zest, pear, apple, white grape, black pepper, hibiscus, wheat, cracker, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, pale malt, and hibiscus/hop notes; with good strength. Taste of lemon zest, pear, apple, white grape, black pepper, hibiscus, wheat, cracker, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Moderate yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon zest, pear, apple, white grape, black pepper, hibiscus, wheat, cracker, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast, pale malt, and hibiscus/hop flavors; with a great crisp malt/yeast flavor balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and fairly prickly mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice spiced saison style. All around good complexity and great balance of fruity/spicy yeast, pale malt, and hibiscus/hop flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.
06-02-2014 01:01:51 | More by superspak
4.51/5 rDev +14.8%
This beer was released over a year ago, in December of 2012. It is bottle conditioned, so there is hope that is has held up to the expectations of the brewer. This is the first beer in Stillwater's Sensory Series, a concept that allows him to partner with musicians and create flavors and aromas to accompany the sights and sounds of particular music videos and artists. This beer is matched with Lower Dens' video "In the End is the Beginning," a true mixture of shoe-gazing, tone poem, and grungy guitar. I picked this bottle up from The Greeks in Narberth. A 375ml bottle, poured into a ballon glass, and served at room temperature.
In the glass is is a bubbly, airy looking beer. The bubble collect, rise, coagulate, and eventually pop and die away. The liquid this white head sits on is a hazy field of pale golden wheat. Bright yellows, and some golden orange highlights.
The smell of this beer is incredible and unique. The base of the aroma is a saison that delivers a fresh cut grass and hay field aroma, but on top of that, and more present and distinguishing is the aromas from the herbs and spices used in the process. I'm not sure if there is anything in here other than hibiscus, but that aroma comes with a beautiful profile, lending floral and minty notes, and some spiciness as well, but with a certain sweetness to it as well, like cinnamon. I find it elegant, and appetizing.
Brian hits the target here: "White, but not bright". He succeeds in creating a very light bodied beer by making it quite effervescent and with a dry finish, but offering the drinker flavors that are earthy, floral, and at times even spicy. A slight amount of bitterness keeps the beer together, but what steals the attention on the palate is the hibiscus flavors, with notes of curaçao, rosewater, and a light cocoa flavor.
The concept for this beer is great, and the 12 minute song is just long enough to allow the drinker to capture the "flavor" of the sound, and find the inspiration for the taste and aroma of the beer. It's a hazy sort of post-modern tone poem, based more in feeling than in structure....and this parallels the beer perfectly. A good opening beer for the series that focuses on what Stillwater is known for, and making some alterations to fit in with the feeling of local band Lower Dens. Absolutely is something I would buy again, especially for a revisit to this series.
04-02-2014 03:28:00 | More by MusicaleMike
3.75/5 rDev -4.6%
a saison brewed with hibiscus flowers. i didnt go all the way with the music download part of the sensory series, im not much for pop culture, but i enjoyed the beer a lot in spite of all that. i expected more of a jolly pumpkin io clone, but its nothing like that masterpiece unfortunately, very little funk for the style. it pours golden and shockingly clear for a saison. good white head on it too, but it fades out. the nose is a little perfumy on the hibiscus, but its got a little tartness that really helps. its the same saison yeast in nose and taste as most stillwater stuff, very familiar, lighter, but effective in this brew. the hibiscus is lighter in taste than smell, but influences this beer well, floral and bright, fun and summery, subtle, and i like it. the flowers done impact this like the jolly pumpkin one, so dominant, but that has rose hips too. this one it just compliments a really light grain bill and that yeast. well carbonated as they come, and extremely light in feel. i am frustrated by how expensive this is, six or seven bucks a bottle for a beer i feel like i want four or five of you know? if these were ten bucks a sixer, i would buy it all the time, but this just left me wanting more. a bit pedestrian, but a cool brew.
edit: with a little more time on this, it gets a lot different. brett has started to develop a little bit, and the floral hibiscus thing has largely faded to bitterness. this may not be aging real well, so go ahead and drink up sooner rather than later i advise.
03-14-2014 16:04:03 | More by StonedTrippin
3.95/5 rDev +0.5%
Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy goldenstraw with a two inch ivory cap; quite a few dots of lace line the tulip glass
Smell: Wheat bread, yeast and pear with faint lemon and floral tones
Taste: Bready, up front, with pear fruit developing; subtle lemon, herbal and floral tones interplay in the mid-palate; a little tart, a little bready and rather dry in the finish
Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation
Overall: A nice Saison; perhaps the floral flavors were bolder when the beer was fresh as they are very subtle now
02-02-2014 01:15:19 | More by brentk56
4.24/5 rDev +7.9%
Bottle poured into belgian tulip
A - deep straw with excellent carbonation, solid head that dissipates into a consistent thin cap that leaves excellent lacing.
S - Sweet doughy malt bill with a touch of spicy Belgian yeast character.
T - The hibiscus really comes out, touch of lemon grass and funk in there as well.
M - Light, airy and refreshing, with a drying finish. Makes you want to take another sip like a great Saison should.
O - Really phenomenal example of the style. Another knockout from Stillwater.
01-10-2014 02:42:52 | More by Zach136
4.08/5 rDev +3.8%
Poured a hazy, golden color and produced a fluffy, creamy, rocky, white head. Lemon drops and wet grass smells; some faint esters in the background. Delicately sweet flavor with a lightly bitter backdrop. Medium bodied, soft and delicate; dry finish.
I wasn't sure what to expect when trying this beer, but I was pleasantly surprised at the subtle complexity and depth with this beer. The bottle says it was brewed with hibiscus, which probably explains some of the delicateness, yet there is also a nice complement of wheat smoothness (I don't know if wheat was used) and an interesting, light-handed citrus/floral hop presence. Well, whatever the ingredients, the brewers did an outstanding job producing this easy drinking beer.
12-29-2013 23:47:55 | More by beergoot
Sensory Series V.1 - Lower Dens from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
88 out of 100 based on 108 ratings.