1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Sensory Series V.2 - Small Black - Stillwater Artisanal Ales

Not Rated.
Sensory Series V.2 - Small BlackSensory Series V.2 - Small Black

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

107 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 107
Reviews: 31
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 1
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Stillwater Artisanal Ales visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: dbrauneis on 07-23-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 107 | Reviews: 31 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by GRPunk:
Photo of GRPunk
GRPunk

Michigan

3.65/5  rDev +0.6%

Bottle (dated 07/01/13) poured into a Duvel tulip.

A- 2-finger, brown head. Near black body. Head drops to a foamy lace. Consistent bubbling in the middle apparent only at the surface due to dark body. Little left on the glass.

S- A little powdered chocolate at first. Some berry-like sweet and tart characteristics. Hints of raisin? Licorice? Some black pepper.

T- Raisin and licorice are in there. Some chocolate, maybe even coffee-like. A little sweet and tart cherry/raspberry.

M- medium body. Slightly chalky. Moderate-light carbonation.

O- These crossover beers are hit or miss for me. As a fan of traditional saisons, this beer veers a bit too much for my tastes and becomes too stout-like. Taking expectations out of the equation, it's very drinkable. Maybe I'm not going to buy it again, but glad I tried it.

01-27-2014 00:57:17 | More by GRPunk
More User Reviews:
Photo of chinchill
chinchill

South Carolina

3.7/5  rDev +1.9%

12 oz bottle, date stamped on neck as bottled in July 2013, served in a Belgian snifter.

This hybrid ale poured wth a minimal tan head over a clear, very dark brown body.

A number of odd hybrid coming out lately, some of which seem questionnable or prove to be less attractive than the conventional components. This "schwarzbier / saison hybrid" sounds like it might fall in this group, but Stillwater succeeds in making a compelling case for this particular innovation. The saison side, being a more powerful variety anyway, does dominate the black beer, but doesn't enitrely mask its sweet dark roasted character. I found the result to be less challenging and easier drinking than an average saison. Certainly more complex and interesting than the average schwarzbier.

Feel: medium+, lively carbonation in a medium body.

02-26-2014 00:05:08 | More by chinchill
Photo of ianjsullivan
ianjsullivan

Maryland

3.86/5  rDev +6.3%

ST: 12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Black with red tints, root beer foam, spotty lacing.

S: Lemon, orange, stone, funk, maybe a light hint of smoke.

T: Lemon, grapefruit, stone, smoke, burnt, hoppy.

M: Medium, dry, coarse.

O: The aromas of a saison are noticeable as soon as the cap is off the bottle, an interesting counter to the black color of the beer. The pleasure of disjointed sight and smell does carry through to the flavor. Most of the elements of a saison are upfront though muted, citrus, stone funk. The flavor continues to lose some of the zipp of a typical saison as some smoky malt takes over, finishing with a hint of hop.

10-23-2013 19:43:38 | More by ianjsullivan
Photo of dcbeers
dcbeers

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev +10.2%

08-17-2013 19:44:59 | More by dcbeers
Photo of CloudStrife
CloudStrife

New York

3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled on July 1, 2013

A: Pours a clear dark brown appearing almost black in the glass with a slightly tanned head. Head is fairly quick to dissipate. A few spots of lacing on the glass.

S: Mild farmhouse aroma blended with roasted malts. Yeastiness comes through nicely adding some depth. Bit of sweetness and hints of chocolate.

T: Yeast is in the forefront of this beer and carries the flavor. A solid dose of chocolate compliments the roasted malt. Banana flavors a fairly strong.

M: In the middle between feeling watery and having a creaminess from the yeast. Low to moderate carbonation. Finish is a touch sticky.

Overall its a well crafted beer just not what I normally expect from Stillwater. Seems to be a bit lacking in what it could have been.

11-08-2013 03:15:26 | More by CloudStrife
Photo of Tuckersmth
Tuckersmth

California

3.25/5  rDev -10.5%

08-05-2013 16:02:44 | More by Tuckersmth
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

04-28-2014 02:25:05 | More by Sammy
Photo of alphagnome
alphagnome

Iowa

3.93/5  rDev +8.3%

Appearance:
This is the first beer of this style that I have personally had that is pitch black. I get absolutely no light penetration with this one! Crowned with an airy, beige, finger-thick head that settles with time. Light carbonation & minimal lacing - it almost looks like a Pepsi.

Aroma:
The aroma on this one is a thing of beauty - generous roasted malt provide a backbone to pepper, lemon peel, plum, a nice amount of yeast, and earthy spices that I can't quite identity but coriander is definitely in attendance. It's impossible to stop smelling, there is so much here - each time I take it in I pick up something new. I'm in love!

Taste:
Roasted malts, fig, plum make up a very nice, refreshing saison that is haunted by the faint presence of coffee and hints of black Licorice and bitter cocoa. As this one warms, black Licorice becomes more noticeable.

Mouthfeel:
Carbonation hits you quick with this one, it's dancing from the second it hits your lips until you swallow. Body wise, this is pretty light with plenty of bubbly and finishes semi dry.

Overall:
This is an interesting take on the style and I would happily grab this one again, if I were lucky enough to find it!

09-05-2013 03:04:46 | More by alphagnome
Photo of socon67
socon67

New York

3.7/5  rDev +1.9%

A - Black pour with visible carbonation. Dark cola brown color with a thin foam head.

S - Smells of lemon and berry. Some sour notes in the aroma.

T - Tastes of tart citrus with some bready yeast in the finish. Some dark malt is detected. Many subtle notes to the is beer including some berry flavors as the beer set.

M - Carbonation is a little high for the style. Light bodied beer. Perhaps a tad watery as well. Leaves a pleasant tart bite in the finish.

O - Stillwater is one of the banners of the saison style. Decent beer, but I've had better from them. I've yet to really embrace the dark saisons as compared to their traditional cousin.

07-13-2014 17:15:42 | More by socon67
Photo of Fatehunter
Fatehunter

Oregon

3.21/5  rDev -11.6%

Pours a finger of tan head on a black body.
The aroma is milk and roasted malt, but nicer than that sounds.
The taste has a dull bitterness that borders on metallic with a roasty malt profile towards the end.
The texture is crisp with a lot of fizzy carbonation.
It has a good flavor but the carbonation level was too high.

06-15-2014 01:40:16 | More by Fatehunter
Photo of jbhollis1180
jbhollis1180

Connecticut

4/5  rDev +10.2%

02-03-2014 16:19:04 | More by jbhollis1180
Photo of T-Leb
T-Leb

Missouri

4/5  rDev +10.2%

09-24-2013 20:59:09 | More by T-Leb
Photo of Dcunicelli
Dcunicelli

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

01-10-2014 18:22:32 | More by Dcunicelli
Photo of Squidly
Squidly

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

01-15-2014 02:59:16 | More by Squidly
Photo of jaydoc
jaydoc

Kansas

3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

11-10-2013 20:01:44 | More by jaydoc
Photo of foxyaardvark27
foxyaardvark27

Washington

4/5  rDev +10.2%

09-06-2013 21:49:38 | More by foxyaardvark27
Photo of GreesyFizeek
GreesyFizeek

New York

3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

08-04-2013 02:49:11 | More by GreesyFizeek
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber

Washington

3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a very dark mahogany brown with a fine one finger light brown head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of saison yeast, toasted malt, mocha, light citrus. Initial flavor of toasted malt that quickly changes to dry citrusy saison with mild citrus rind, earthy spicing; finishes dry with light spice and hop bitterness. Light bodied with peppery carbonation. The combination of toasted malt and saison yeast is interesting and worked pleasantly, but the flavors were subdued and the finish was a bit stark from the promise of the initial taste. Stillwater doesn't seem to make anything that is not well crafted, but this one was not that exciting.

10-29-2013 03:08:21 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of syndelee
syndelee

Georgia

3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

09-26-2013 00:59:15 | More by syndelee
Photo of minterro
minterro

Colorado

3.78/5  rDev +4.1%

Bought at the Perfect Pour in the Source for about $3. Cool label as always with stillwater. Poured into a pint glass (almost a full pint, bottle was super full), paired with popcorn.

Bottled: 07/01/13

A&S: Fizzy light tan head fades very quickly retaining just specks. Beer is a lighter black and lively, but still opaque. Primary sour complemented by some background mild roast tones.

T&M: Initially not much taste (and overall not very intense), but as it warms roasty qualities come forth. There is a solid peach like fruitiness and pepper spice that comes through in the mid-taste. The finish is ever so slightly dry and slightly smokey. Very drinkable. Body is light and carbonation is medium to high.

Overall: I know it is a black saison so it's going to be different, but to me, it just didn't contain the enough presence of the traditional saisons qualities. Not a bad beer and I'm not upset cause it was worth 3 bucks, but I wouldn't buy it again (not one of my favorites I have tried so far from them).

02-11-2014 04:26:54 | More by minterro
Photo of mendvicdog
mendvicdog

Maryland

3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

09-10-2013 13:40:30 | More by mendvicdog
Photo of jmaharaj
jmaharaj

Maryland

3.14/5  rDev -13.5%

Looks nice, black with two finger, dense head, but that disappears quickly. not as rock as I would have expected. Smells pretty good too, some Belgian esters, blend nicely into a restrained roast, there is a tough of spicy hops. strong cardamom. taste is weird, slightly tinny and not very complex. mild debittered roasted malts and that's kind of it. mild sour note on the finish. Unpleasantly thin. Im usually happy with my Stillwater beers, but I don't like this.

08-22-2013 06:00:54 | More by jmaharaj
Photo of Timmy13T
Timmy13T

New York

4/5  rDev +10.2%

08-03-2013 05:32:26 | More by Timmy13T
Photo of ZoomanCru
ZoomanCru

Colorado

2.28/5  rDev -37.2%

App: Very dark, more in line with a stout. Small amount of reddish hue towards the outside of the glass. Thick head of small bubbles, again more in keeping with a stout, dark head however that fades quickly.
Smell: Dark earthy notes but not without that certain saison sharpness.Not nearly as floral, definitely leaning towards the malt end. Slightly sour aroma with notes of wet wood and figs.
Taste: Dark roasted malts in the beginning, giving way to a crisp but mild saison finish. Lacks the floral wallop of most saisons. Slightly bitter throughout with a mild metallic sharpness that's off-tasting. Repeated sips yield stronger but no more complicated flavors. Saison sourness with almost no sweetness. Smokiness never really harmonizes with yeast flavors.
Mouth: Slightly over carbonated. A bit stinging at first, only serving to mask the initial deep roasted malts. Thin without any mentionable body.

12-02-2013 06:45:04 | More by ZoomanCru
Photo of Supergenious
Supergenious

Michigan

3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

12-20-2013 00:33:10 | More by Supergenious
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Sensory Series V.2 - Small Black from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
82 out of 100 based on 107 ratings.