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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

111 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 111
Reviews: 32
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
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Ratings: 111 | Reviews: 32 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of carlos_fleico
3.98/5  rDev +9.6%

355ml bottle poured into a wide-mouth snifter.

A: Pours a black, dark color, similar to a porter, but thinner, not nearly as viscous. About three fingers of an off-white head with low retention - dissipates quickly, leaving some lacing behind. Just by looking at it you can tell it isn't a stout or porter, because of the firmness of its head. (3.75)

S: Smell is very pleasant. Some roasted malts (less than you would expect for a beer this color), wheat cereal grains, a very refreshing and delicate tart citrus-like aroma, hints of cocoa. Hints of earthy hops, herbal and yeasty. (4.75)

T: Follows the nose on many aspects. Roasted malts right upfront, but not nearly as aggressive as it is in stouts or porters. The saison funkiness (a little stronger than usual) kicks in right after, with a spicy, peppery touch. The hints of cocoa are definitely noticeable in the taste as well. (3.75)

M: Light-bodied, high carbonation, dark sweet bread aftertaste. Very crisp and fizzy. (4)

O: Very interesting beer. Its "saisoness" comes pretty much all from its tartness, because the citrusy hints are very subtle, pretty much limited to the aroma paired with some tartness. I'm glad I tried this brew. (3.75)

carlos_fleico, Yesterday at 09:25 PM
Photo of mscudder
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

mscudder, Thursday at 06:41 PM
Photo of smlmeyer
4/5  rDev +10.2%

smlmeyer, Sep 02, 2014
Photo of YalovaIA
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%

YalovaIA, Aug 30, 2014
Photo of jlindros
2.75/5  rDev -24.2%

Bottled 7/01/13, more than a year old, not surehow it got so old, between store and my cellar I guess.

Pours a smaller fizzy darker head that disappears pretty quickly, mild lacing, dark pretty much pitch black beer. 3.75

Nose some dark malts, a little cocoa and roast like but not much, black malt like, into saison with some grainy wheat and toasty malts, even a touch of pilsner like, with nice saison yeast, peppery phenols and touches of chemical phenols, spices and herbs, esters, faint herbal earthy hops. 3.5

Taste brings more phenols, all over phenols, chemical almost paint thinner like phenols but not quite that chemically, hot tingly acidic phenols, and peppery spices with the phenols. Mild saison yeast herbal notes and spices, into herbal spicy hops as well, little vegetal and oily feel too, almost rancid oil. Flashes of darker malts that sour a bit. Finish is spicy hop note, herbal vegetal like, more chemical phenols lingering too. Probably should have been enjoyed a year ago. I'll have to try it again I think. 2.5

Mouth is a bit chemical burny, sticky almost slimy, over carbonated as well, and touch oily like. 3

Overall either not very good beer, or way too old, probably both though seeing the fairly high rdev and lower ravg. So need to try again if I can, but not very good. 3

jlindros, Aug 25, 2014
Photo of Pleasure
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Pleasure, Aug 21, 2014
Photo of pheelingIt
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

pheelingIt, Aug 21, 2014
Photo of Jadjunk
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

No label information. Small Black is brewed in the style of a black saison. Available in 12 oz. bottles.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a tulip glass. Served above 53º Fahrenheit.

Small Black pours a frothy fizzed milk chocolate head over a deep dark brown body with slight crimson highlights. Retention is good, lacing is moderate and stringy. The aroma is similar to a standard Saison, with a pale malt and caramel body, hints of banana and clove amongst a spicy, effervescent yeast nose. Expect a hint of chocolate and some faint roast to mark this different from standard Saisons. The flavors of this beer are quite different, with a significant funky sourness joined by the fruitiness and spice of the yeast profile cruising over an unsweetened cocoa powder and soft cold roast body for a very unique blending of flavors that merge surprisingly well. Texture is silky, slick and moderately acidic with a soft carbonation for a delicate, mildly crisp mouthfeel. Body is medium for the style, medium overall. The balance is slightly acidic and tart over sweet. Alcohol presence is low. I'm not certain if the high acidity and funk in the flavor is intended or not, as earlier reviews do not seem to call to this, it is possible that some batch infection has set in with a few select bottles, mine included. Overall, this was a very interesting and enjoyable beer to try. I recommend it to anybody with a deep appreciation for the Saison style looking to expand into hybrid styles. Small Black should not disappoint.

Stillwater Artisanal Ales'
Sensory Series V.2 - Small Black
3.75/5.00

Jadjunk, Aug 19, 2014
Photo of ChrisKayler
4/5  rDev +10.2%

ChrisKayler, Aug 13, 2014
Photo of bernat1971
3/5  rDev -17.4%

bernat1971, Aug 10, 2014
Photo of Wrex68
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Wrex68, Aug 10, 2014
Photo of Necronomad
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Necronomad, Aug 08, 2014
Photo of Carl_R
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Carl_R, Jul 28, 2014
Photo of socon67
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.

socon67, Jul 13, 2014
Photo of Mojo
3.71/5  rDev +2.2%

12 ounce bottle -> snifter

A - opaque black with foamy two finger head, great retention, and minimal lacing.

S - oranges, lemons, grasses

T - very strong lemon taste with a crabapple tartness, bitter but dry finish

M - thick body with a very slight aftertaste

O - easy to drink, not something I would seek again.

Mojo, Jun 20, 2014
Photo of Fatehunter
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.

Fatehunter, Jun 15, 2014
Photo of livingtodie
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

livingtodie, Jun 04, 2014
Photo of timoteo833
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%

timoteo833, Jun 02, 2014
Photo of afsdan
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

afsdan, May 22, 2014
Photo of doowhat
4/5  rDev +10.2%

doowhat, May 11, 2014
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Sammy, Apr 28, 2014
Photo of ericlawton007
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

ericlawton007, Apr 14, 2014
Photo of BeerWithMike
2.65/5  rDev -27%

Sampling right now on 4/11/14. Bought this single 12 ounce bottle for $3.29 last night. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees in my beer cooler and poured in to a handled glass stein.

Pours a pitch black in color with a almost 2-finger head that settles down after a while to around 3mm that covered the top. Spotty lacing is seen that clings to the glass. The aroma is of dark roasted malts with a spice, maybe coriander (?) The taste is bitter right up front from a sour roasted malt. At first I thought I had a bad brew but couldn't read the date that looked like 'Dec.--, 13'. I checked some reviews on this one and others wrote that this is sour. Very close to dumping it out but seen to just get a tad better BUT not much.

BeerWithMike, Apr 12, 2014
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.39/5  rDev -6.6%

Bottled 7/1/13.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of roasted malt, grain, earth, spice, and yeast aromas. Taste is much the same with slightly sour roasted malt and fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer with an interesting sourness in the taste that clashes somewhat with the roast aspects in my opinion.

UCLABrewN84, Apr 08, 2014
Photo of rolltide8425
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

rolltide8425, Mar 25, 2014
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Sensory Series V.2 - Small Black from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
82 out of 100 based on 111 ratings.