Sensory Series V.2 - Small Black - Stillwater Artisanal Ales
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Ratings: 108 | Reviews: 31 | Display Reviews Only:
3.39/5 rDev -6.6%
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.
04-08-2014 02:27:02 | More by UCLABrewN84
4.1/5 rDev +12.9%
Served in a snifter at Firkin.
More dark saisons need to find their ways to taps 'round here. Just sayin'. This one pours a dark ruby-highlighted black-brown topped by a finger of khaki foam. The nose comprises cocoa powder, toasted wheat, a pinch of clove, and a bit of candied orange peel in the distance. The taste brings in more of the same, the focus being on cocoa-laden wheat, but some Belgian-style yeast, some clove, some black pepper, and some banana peel making some major waves in the glass's industry. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, one of the better dark saisons I've had in a while. True story. Get some.
08-15-2013 20:48:13 | More by TMoney2591
3.85/5 rDev +6.1%
Extra from SourAddict. Thanks! Served in a DryHop taster pint.
A - Generous tan foam settles to a thick, creamy cap, leaving behind stray splotches of lace. Body is very dark brown, verging on black, with some dark ruby transparency when held to the light.
S - Roasted malts, with hints of dark chocolate and caramel. Phenolic and peppery yeast presence is there; but I would probably guess Belgian Stout if asked to label this. There's perhaps a hint of stone fruit in the, and perhaps some floral hopping lingering after nearly four months in the bottle.
T - The taste is significantly more Saison-esque; there's more doughy and yeasty farmhouse flavors. Some under-ripe peach and apricot. Roast and dark chocolate show up later, imparting a mild bitterness. Flavor combination is surprisingly successful.
M - Grainy medium body, with active carbonation that manages to avoid being harsh. Clean finish that is more evocative of a Schwarzbier than a Saison. No alcohol, not that I expected any.
D - A really easy to drink beer that I enjoyed on the whole. There's an odd disconnect between the aroma and the taste, but not in an unpleasant way. Drinks more like a farmhouse schwarzbier than a black Saison. Liked this more than the similar 8% offering from Stillwater.
10-26-2013 01:26:07 | More by MasterSki
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
08-25-2014 01:54:11 | More by jlindros
3.51/5 rDev -3.3%
definitely not the best from Stillwater here, a paper thin acidic black saison that never really picks up. thought it would be good for Halloween, but its to small, more than the name implies. its watery dark brown in color with a pretty solid off white head that fades out after just a few minutes. nose of light chocolate malt and roasted barley, whiffs of saison yeast, but in the background. very acidic feel and finish, overcoming the roast character and amounting to very little as far as aftertaste and takeaway. cola style carbonation makes the whole thing move too fast, and with the odd mix of flavors and textures, this one misses for me. its short of being a sour, but is almost trying to be. its all or nothing, not on the fence, and this one just doesn't commit. I wont hold it against Stillwater though, who has done nothing but impress me heretofore. ive got the cellar door in the fridge, so second chance is immediate!
11-01-2013 00:33:30 | More by StonedTrippin
3.88/5 rDev +6.9%
A: Pours a very dark cola brown in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation and some faint ruby red highlights. The beer has a half finger tall fizzy light beige head that reduces to a large patch of very thin film and a slightly more than thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.
S: Moderate aromas of dark malts with some dark fruits (plum and fig) as well as some hints of spices and an earthy yeast.
T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of dark malts with some notes of dark fruit (plum and fig) and spices - coriander and a touch of orange zest. There is also some earthiness from the yeast. Minimal amounts of bitterness in the finish.
M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with slightly heavier than moderate amounts of carbonation. Hints of dryness in the finish.
O: Overall this is a very interesting blend of the saison style with the dark malts. Nice and light on the mouthfeel and easy to drink.
07-23-2013 01:07:26 | More by dbrauneis
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
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
3.8/5 rDev +4.7%
12oz bottle from the Belmont Station. It's been a while since I've had a Brian Stillwater beer. Bottled 1st July 2013.
Pouring a very dark brown (black, essentially) with a dense, brown head with good retention and a little lacing, this is a nice looking saison. The nose is solid, with a moderate roasted malt character, a mild smoke note, a very nice (continental) floral hop character with mint and grass. Yeast isn't super expressive here, I gather this is supposed to be a saison/schwarzbier hybrid, and based on this sample, the schwarz is winning. A rather clean yeast character is present with minimal phenols. Very nice
The palate opens moderately roasty with a little bit of smoke and a very nice bittersweetness. This really does taste more like a schwarz than a saison, especially since the yeast is very clean and the blend of minty and mildly lemony hops with the malts bring exactly that style to mind. Grainy bitterness/acidity is minimal, and there's a very enjoyable grainy fullness to the palate. Medium-light in body with a roasty, chocolatey finish, this beer has a high levelof creamy carbonation. Very enjoyable
08-26-2013 06:23:02 | More by DefenCorps
Sensory Series V.2 - Small Black from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
82 out of 100 based on 108 ratings.