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

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

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BA SCORE
82
good

117 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 117
Reviews: 32
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 10.16%
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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: dbrauneis on 07-23-2013)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 117 | Reviews: 32 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Supergenious
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Kerrie
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of dar482
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Photo of jwhancher
2.68/5  rDev -26.4%
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.

Photo of ZoomanCru
2.28/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.25

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.

Photo of MacQ32
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a deep mudied brown/damn near black with a nice finger of light mocha colored head, decent retention, strong lacing.

S - Some sweet but mostly roasty/slightly smokey malts, lots of sweet caramel, minimal cloveyness.

T - Decent roasty with hints of sweet malts, caramel, light dark fruit, yeastyness

M - Light bodied, relatively thin, good carbonation, very drinkable

Photo of garuda
3.39/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

Super deep ruby, nearly black. Thick, fluffy off-white head retains and laces well.

I'm getting a yeast funk typical of saisons up front, then it gets a little spicy with a dark fruitiness in the smell.

Yeast, lemon flavors first, rounded out by a vague, dark fruit sweetness with a touch of chocolate. Earthy pine hops in the finish, but only a slight bitterness is detected. There's some depth of flavor, but it doesn't seem to meld very well for me. Not really digging the dark fruit flavors after getting that saison funk. Mostly sweet and dry with a very light body and delicately high carbonation. Stays smooth across the palate.

Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of xungmound98
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of buckyp
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of bmur112
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of mconner666
2.25/5  rDev -38.2%

Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of MacStinson
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

Photo of MarkyMOD
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of CloudStrife
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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.

Photo of dcollinsOX
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.51/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

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!

Photo of QuentinCall
3.09/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Initially ineffectual Coca-Cola collaboration.
That with exposure, moments of hands,
Warmth, an incalculable number of minutes
(for further perception's sake),
Became basically pleasant.
Though, unwarranted or impenetrable in a way
That is merely black so as to be black,
And not in the charge of nuanced virtue or spirit.

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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.

Photo of twelveinches
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of MasterSki
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of petermethot
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of ianjsullivan
3.86/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Mphis
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Sensory Series V.2 - Small Black from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
82 out of 100 based on 117 ratings.