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Sensory Series V.1 - Lower Dens - Stillwater Artisanal Ales

Not Rated.
Sensory Series V.1 - Lower DensSensory Series V.1 - Lower Dens

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

126 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 126
Reviews: 31
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 9.23%
Wants: 5
Gots: 10 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Stillwater Artisanal Ales visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
Herbed / Spiced Beer |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ThePorterSorter on 12-29-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 126 | Reviews: 31
Reviews by MusicaleMike:
Photo of MusicaleMike
4.53/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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.

More User Reviews:
Photo of MadScientist
3.66/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: A hazy golden colored beer. The head doesn't last that long and is is made of white, rocky and big soapy bubbles.

S: Orange, earthy spicy, pepper and and an herbal aroma dominate. The herbal is sort of a tea and floral type of quality mixing in with a low soft, floral alcohol aroma. There is a low honey sweet aroma in there. There is some citrus peel and a light smokey character. There is a more fruit than just orange also a little dark cherry-like.

T: The taste reflect the aroma with mostly light fruit and earthy spice, a moderately-low herbal and floral component with a smokey undertone. There is a medium-low bitterness that seems partly hop derived with a bit of s citrus peel character. There is a low malt sweetness making for a balance that is slightly bitter. The finish is medium with a lingering pithy, bitterness and a slightly smoke flavor in the aftertaste.

M: A light bodied beer with strong carbonation and a slight prickle on the front and sides of the tongue.

O: A complex Belgian that's not quiet a Saison and not a wheat with a fair amount of an herbal component backed up with fruit and spice and mixed with a little smoke. I'm not sure what to make of the beer but I'm eager to seek out another sensory series beer whenever one is released after having this one. It's a good beer, not great but defiantly different.

Photo of kuishinbo_tantei
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of Beerswag
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of xdefeatsy
4.25/5  rDev +9%

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

375ml bottle. Indulging by listening to a Lower Dens Youtube video while doing this. We'll see how it goes. Illuminati-approved label.

This beer pours a cloudy medium golden yellow colour, with two fingers of tightly foamy, somewhat fizzy, and if my imagination isn't kidding me, faintly pink-tinged white head, which leaves some swaths of fuzzy grotto arch lace around the glass as things duly settle.

It smells of sweet, grainy wheat malt, a lemon, peach, and apricot orchard fruitiness, earthy yeast, a subtle red herbal floral essence (hibiscus represent!), a bit of zingy white pepper spice, wet straw, mild black tea leaves, and faintly grassy, earthy hops. The taste is more semi-sweet, lightly biscuity wheat and pale malt, tart and fruity cherry and lemon, a dark red perfumed floral character, tame green yeast, and earthy, musty, and dried hay hops.

The carbonation is rather frothy, but in a pleasantly gentle manner, the body medium-light in weight, and actually quite smooth, the hops and fruit doing well to leave us alone at this juncture. It finishes off-dry, said fruit and the equally lingering blended malt carrying on like a twelve minute song.

A decent saison-style ale, with the added hibiscus flowers, which are more perceptible here than the previous three hibiscus-infused offerings that I've had to date, combined. Yet they still get lost in the other fruity, floral yeast and hop notes, which is hardly a surprise to me, for this brewer. Anyways, enjoyable enough, as was the 'In the End is the Beginning' song, one that's starting to grow on me - sort of reminiscent of a Radiohead/early Pink Floyd vibe.

Photo of Griffith
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Sammy
3.74/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of DougT
4.01/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of waddellc2
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%

Pours amber with a large head.
Nose shows saison yeast, soft spicy, floral and pear notes.
Flavours include a stronger hibiscus note along with a bit of orange marmalade. Some farmhouse yeast notes remain. Finishes very dry.
Carbonation is much too high.

Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of BKArmstrong
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

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

Poured into a Unibroue tulip glass. Pours a hazy golden amber with active carbonation and a fine three finger off-white head with great retention and pillowy lacing. Aroma of wheat, Belgian yeast, light fruit (apple and pear); spicy. Flavor of wheat, pepper, pear juice, lightly astringent and herbal spicing, lightly floral. Finish is dry with light hop and spice bitterness. Medium body with a nice mouth feel from active carbonation. Another interesting and fun to drink Belgian influenced ale from Stillwater.

Photo of ScaryEd
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of metter98
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is relatively clear yellow in color and has a moderate to high amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger and a half high white head that took a long time to die down and left a thin head covering the surface and a thick coating of bubbles down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of lemony hops and hibiscus are present in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell, except that there seems to be more flavors of hibiscus compared to lemons. Faint hints of bitterness are perceptible.
M: It feels light-bodied and a little airy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. A bit of dryness is noticeable towards the finish.
O: While the light-bodied nature of this beer could make it go down in a breeze, the interesting aromas and flavors make this a beer that is also good to sip and savor.

Photo of dsshuck
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of Dreamer
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of FUwolfpacker
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.21/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Kickbacks in Jax. Poured into a snifter. White head, moderate retention on a hazy golden body. Clear and soapy lacing sticks to the glass. Aroma is jumping up out of the glass, very flavorful. Includes green apple, pear, some sweet malt, honey and quite a deliciousy yeast like smell. Taste includes the above but I would add some percimmon, and green grape. Lovely beer.

Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of StoutHunter
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Stillwater's Lower Dens, version one of their Sensory Series, last month for $6.49 at The Lager Mill. This is my first beer from Stillwater Artisanal Ales, I don't really know much about this brewery but, I'm interested in seeing what this brewery is all about, so lets see how it goes. Released December 10th 2012. Poured from a brown 12.7oz bottle into a Belgian tulip.

A- I like the label of this beer, it's got some cool artwork that reminds me of some drawings for the cd booklet of a Tool album, I like it and I really like the fact that this bottle says that the sensory series is all about pairing new senses with their beer and this one was inspired by the band lower dens with a QR code that links to a music video of theirs to listen to while you drink the beer, I think that's a nice and unique concept, I like it. It poured a nice light orange golden color that took on a nice hazy orange color when held to the light with three and a half fingers worth of fluffy white head that died down to a thick ring that stayed till the end and left lots of nice lacing behind. This was a very good looking beer, I really liked the color and the head and lacing were both very good.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness followed by a some classic saison aromas with some earthy, straw, and wet hay aromas followed by some spcy white pepper like aromas and a nice mixture of herbal aromas. Towards the end I get some citrus rinds with a light cherry aroma to finish it off. This beer had a good aroma, it was true to style with some nice herbal and fruity aromas, it was nice.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness that had a real light honey flavor to it and was followed by some earthy, grassy, wet straw and real slight barnyard funk like flavors. After that comes some spicy white pepper along with some herbal and slightly floral flavors that show up on the finish with pretty much no bitterness just a lighter amount of tartness with an earthy, herbal and citrus rind like aftertaste. This beer tastes good it had all the flavors I would expect from the style with some extra citrus, herbal, and floral flavors, I enjoyed it.

M- Pretty smooth, clean, crisp, prickly, refreshing, medium bodied with a higher amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel was good, the prickly higher carbonation worked well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a good a beer and a good example of the style, the addition of the hibiscus didn't change the beer too much, it had some subtle herbal and floral flavors that blended well with the traditional saison flavors. This beer had good drinkability, it was smooth and refreshing with some nice and clean flavors that did a good job at holding my attention, I could probably drink a couple of these during the summer, I think it would make a nice and refreshing saison to have on a warm summer afternoon. What I liked the most about this beer was how balanced the flavors were, nothing seemed to be too overpowering and the appearance was really good. What I liked the least about this beer was the price, it's a good Saison, but I think it's very expensive for what you get, it's a good beer, but I don't feel like it's worth the money. I don't think I would buy this beer again, I have another bottle sitting in the cellar to see how it develops over time, unless it transforms into something truly awesome I don't think I would buy it again anytime soon unless they drop the price. I would recommend this to anyone who like Saisons. All in all I have to say that I was happy with this beer and I thought it was a good example of the style with a little extra complexity. I really like the concept behind the Sensory series and I wish more brewers would think out of the box and come up with unique ideas like this, but I wasn't a fan of the music that went along with this beer, it was a little to weird and rambling for my taste, but I kind of liked the way the video was shot, it's a cool concept none the less. This beer made for a good first impression for stillwater and I'm interested in checking out more of their beers, good job guys.

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Sensory Series V.1 - Lower Dens from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
87 out of 100 based on 126 ratings.