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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

113 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 113
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: 113 | Reviews: 32 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.39/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

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
Photo of micropale
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

micropale, Mar 11, 2014
Photo of sd123
3/5  rDev -17.4%

sd123, Mar 11, 2014
Photo of chinchill
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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.

chinchill, Feb 26, 2014
Photo of PPOmaha
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Aroma: Roast with just a bit of sourness. Red wine grapes and stone fruits. No diacetyl, No DMS.

Appearance: Dark brown with mahogany highlights. Slightly off white head that falls quickly.

Taste: In line with the aroma, very slightly tart roast malt. Finish is like unripe stone fruit, tiny bit of tannic quality.

Mouthfeel. Medium body with medium carbonation. The finish is slightly drying.

Overall: OK beer has the classic dry and tart saison yeast finish but not much stands out here. Maybe the roast malt drowns out some of the subtlety of the style.

PPOmaha, Feb 14, 2014
Photo of kmos27
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%

kmos27, Feb 12, 2014
Photo of minterro
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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).

minterro, Feb 11, 2014
Photo of Lunny777
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Lunny777, Feb 10, 2014
Photo of Braseltonage
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%

Braseltonage, Feb 09, 2014
Photo of BierJager89
4.08/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours black with a mocha head.

S: Peach, orange, a touch of roasted malt and fruity Belgian yeast esters in the nose.

T: Peach, malt, a touch of roasted malt, pine, lemon and citrus peel.

M: Medium bodied and smooth.

O: This is a good dark saison, but it doesn't quite blend the dark, roasty flavors with the light fruity flavors as some others do. Recommended.

BierJager89, Feb 06, 2014
Photo of jbhollis1180
4/5  rDev +10.2%

jbhollis1180, Feb 03, 2014
Photo of GRPunk
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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.

GRPunk, Jan 27, 2014
Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

zestar, Jan 22, 2014
Photo of Focusf111
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Focusf111, Jan 18, 2014
Photo of Bsetz
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Bsetz, Jan 16, 2014
Photo of Squidly
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Squidly, Jan 15, 2014
Photo of kguard
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

kguard, Jan 12, 2014
Photo of Dcunicelli
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Dcunicelli, Jan 10, 2014
Photo of Zach136
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Zach136, Jan 06, 2014
Photo of xnicknj
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%

xnicknj, Dec 31, 2013
Photo of Supergenious
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Supergenious, Dec 20, 2013
Photo of Kerrie
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Kerrie, Dec 16, 2013
Photo of dar482
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer comes in a black color with a slight bit of ruby coming through in the light. It has a tan head. Looks similar to a porter/stout.

The aroma has a hint of tartness, plum peel, saison character of lots of breadiness. Roasted malt. A good amount of phenolic note from the yeast. Some spices, licorice.

The flavor has a stout character with roasted malt and chocolate, it moves onto this complex gentle tartness of plum peel. There's a breadiness and continues with a phenolic saison flavor. The finish is slightly dry with roastiness and licorice.

Lots of carbonation on this one.

Tons of flavor for a 5% ABV beer and does the Belgian stout/black saison style really well.

dar482, Dec 15, 2013
Photo of jwhancher
2.68/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Picked up a bottle at Pinnoccio's in Media on Thanksgiving day. Bottled on date reads 7/1/13. Poured into snifter for review. Appears black with large tan head. Smell is really dormant. Some earthy tones but overall nothing that really pops. Maybe some really subtle phenols but pretty BLAH for any saison standards. Tastes like a stout that was fermented at higher than normal temps. Mouthfeel is about medium. More on the bitter side as dryness along with the dark malts completely mask any residual sugars.

Overall, this one is a dud for me. My first Stillwater brew for me. I hope their lineup is much better than this.

jwhancher, Dec 08, 2013
Sensory Series V.2 - Small Black from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
82 out of 100 based on 113 ratings.