Stillwater Artisanal Ales

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Brown Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #113
Ranked #45,280
3.51 | pDev: 10.83%
Stillwater Artisanal Ales
Maryland, United States
View: Beers
Reviews: 54 | Ratings: 198 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of GuyFawkes
GuyFawkes from Illinois

2.92/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Canned 3/20/14; drank 7/27/14 @ the Yarchives.

Poured from the can into a glass.

Brown/black hue.

HUGE khaki head (careful pouring!); frothy lace.

Mild mocha, chalk & fresh dirt nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

Oats, milk chocolate & pickles in the flavor...underneath an iron curtain of metal. A gross mess.

Dec 23, 2016
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mlockman from Indiana

3.49/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A huge head that dissipates quickly reflects what is initially an incredibly foamy mouthfeel that ultimately yields milder carbonation. With a definite tartness about it, this beer is as its can suggests: a "smooth black ale" with a definite Belgian flare. I am sad to say I know not how fresh it is at the time of consumption, as the store manager knew not how long its dented and battered can had been in the cold-case. Nonetheless, an enjoyable and light black ale for any occasion.

Nov 13, 2015
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ParnellJoseph1138 from Minnesota

3.67/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz can.

Pitch black Belgian dark ale. A thin tan head and moderate carbonation. The beer delivers dark earthy malt flavors with coffee and a hint of chocolate. It also offers smokey taste but I don't taste much Belgian character. It's pretty much a straight up dark ale. The malt character isn't deep and complex as I would expect.

Sep 26, 2015
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pat61 from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: A nearly black liquid flows from12 oz. can poured into an ale glass and produces a 3” sudsy tan foam collar that dissipates to a thick, clingy film. S: Earthy hop and dark roast aromas. T: Several layers of malt flavors ranging from light and grainy to caramel to light roast. Chocolate and espresso flavors are restrained and moderated by the Belgian yeast flavors. No harsh or burnt flavors. F: Medium body and creamy, fine soft carbonation. O: A very drinkable Belgian Dark Ale with interesting layers of flavor.

Aug 10, 2015
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ordybill from Georgia

4.09/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 OZ can into a pint glass. This is a dark brown beer with a tan medium sized head. The flavor is malt and cocoa. Overall, this is pretty good and I would recommend this beer to fans of dark ales and stouts.

Jul 16, 2015
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drtth from Pennsylvania

3.67/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown, almost black, 2" frothy head settling to thin layer of foam with patches of leggy lacing.

Aroma malt and yeast.

Flavors, chocolate malt, almost cola like in the background. No sign of hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel on the light side of medium with some prickly carbonation. Finish begins midway and tapers of to slight cola flavor at the end.

A nice beer for sitting around with friends in an evening having a long chat and enjoying each other's company. Not particularly challenging or memorable. Stillwater has done better but this one is just fine.

May 20, 2015
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Moose90 from Washington

3.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz can

A – Pours a deep translucent black, head is tan in color and quite tall. Lacing is sticky and spotty.

S – Malty, yeasty, estery, sweet chocolate, bitter.

T – Light chocolate and coffee, stark yeasty bitterness, dry.

M – Medium, a little thin if anything, quick drying finish.

O – Not bad, quite muted flavors, but tasty nonetheless.

Apr 26, 2015
Photo of zeff80
zeff80 from Missouri

3.84/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz can. Poured a hazy, dark burgundy color with a small, foamy, light brown head. It smelled malty and somewhat fruity. There were notes of candy sugar, as well. It had sweet biscuity malts with some candy sugar sweetness coming through. Good spiciness and yeasty kick.

Apr 22, 2015
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IowaBiertrinker from Iowa

3.66/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Black indeed. The look is the best part of this beer. Like the can as well, maybe that is what drew me in to this black hole. I know this has a few months on it as well, and maybe it was a bit more balanced when fresh.

Apr 15, 2015
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metter98 from New York

3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Looking like a stout, the beer is black in appearance and poured with a finger high beige colored head. When held up to a bright light, the beer is clear and very dark red in appearance near the edge of the glass and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. The head died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of dark malts are present in the nose; hints of chocolate malts are also perceptible.
T: The taste has flavors of dark malts along with notes of cola and slight bits of sweetness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The smell, taste, and appearance of this beer reminds me a lot like a Schwarzbier

Serving type: can

Apr 07, 2015
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mactrail from Washington

2.82/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Aroma is somewhat musty. Attractive foamy cap in the wine glass. Tastes rusty. This really reminds me of those light and not very pleasant Belgian brews like Palm. Not that there's much Belgian flavor. Some hints of cocoa and some dirty herbs.

I seem to be on a roll of not really liking Stillwater bews. Actually I wish they would make their labels more legible and informative. From the 12 oz can purchased at 4505 Burgers & BBQ in San Francisco.

Jan 22, 2015
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pschie1 from Tennessee

2.95/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Looks like a porter. Smells like a watered coffe. Tastes like watered coffee. Feels like light carbonated water. Will not buy again. Especially for $18 for a 6 pack.

Dec 19, 2014
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.75/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

surprised to see this rated so low, it was a very enjoyable can of beer. i think ive seen this artwork on their beer before, but i am all for recycling. i like this one, although there isnt a whole lot that i found belgian about it, even though it is listed as such. for me this was a well hopped and well carbonated drinkable dark ale that showcases the best of both a distinct hop structure and fun dark grain that doesnt bring much bitterness to the mix but gleefully provides a roasty base. the yeast was almost nondescript for me, really unadventurous and certainly lacking the belgian qualities, but i dont wish for more yeast taste here, i like the way the grain is predominant, not chocolate or burnt barley, but somewhere in that happy dark medium. the beer is also remarkably low on the tannin front, which for me here allows for a mire drinkable dark brew, less harsh and textured than others, its actually quite light in feel with fine carbonation even though the head doesnt last long. when i first got introduced to these guys, i loved everything the made. since then, i have been let down but several, but its nice to see them continue to push in new directions. i think this one is a success, and maybe judged a little harshly on here.

Dec 17, 2014
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Lemke10 from Wisconsin

3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

This pours a very dark brown color with a thick foamy head. The aroma is bold with lots of toasted and roasted malts and grains. The taste is heavier than most porters with lots of dark fruits and grains. It finishes with a lingering toasted caramel flavor. Overall, it’s quite good and interesting. Very appealing to those dark beer lovers!

Dec 14, 2014
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Fatehunter from Oregon

2.3/5  rDev -34.5%

Pours two fingers of light tan head on a black body.
The aroma is roasted malt with a little sour (off) smell.
The taste has mild roasted malt and sour notes. Not too enjoyable.
The texture is crisp.
I won't get this again. Off flavor and smell.

Dec 13, 2014
Photo of illpass78
illpass78 from Maine

3.54/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. can poured into a tulip.

Appearance: Pours a solid black with some dark ruby around the edges. Big off-white head and some spotty lacing.

Smell: Smells of chocolate, yeast, raisins and some spices.

Taste: This beer has a rich, chocolatey, funky taste that also has some notes of dark fruits. Some dry dark cherries.

Mouthfeel: Pretty thick beer - stout-like.

Overall: This is one of those beers where the whole is less than the sum of the parts. It has a nice, full flavor, but some of the funky/yeasty taste is a little uninvited. It's decent, but probably a one-time affair.

Dec 12, 2014
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smcolw from Massachusetts

3.82/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Large head. Slow to recede. Surprisingly little lace (a couple of streaks towards the end). Dark brown color where even bright light doesn't pass on the edge.

Mildly chalky with a sweet chocolate nose. Some notes of alcohol.

Darker tasting where the chocolate is closer to bitter dark. The body is notably thin and the carbonation elevated. Good bitter hop pop in the swallow leaving an aftertaste of unsweetened cocoa.

Nov 30, 2014
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beerthulhu from New Jersey

3.55/5  rDev +1.1%

-can. spiegelau ipa glass.

(3.60) A: Foamy 2 inch cardboard tinted head, holds steady for a length of time. Dark rootbeer exit from the can, sits an olive black in the vessel. Sloppy, spacious patches of whispy, foam lacing.

(3.35) S: Licroice root, dark, moist coffee roast, with some dried earthy flowers. Low awareness level.

(3.60) T: Flavor of dried chocolate, some smoky, burnt coffee roast, with a hint of cocoa and malt sweetness. An earthy bitterness of dried, hop flowers, cola, mixes with a sweetness of dried fruit (black cherries). Things finish off with a hint of black oily roast.

(3.60) M: Good mouthful, medium body, some carbonation with an oily slickness for texture.

(3.55) O: BA lists this as a dark belgian, thought it was more of a black ipa. Ok drinkability,but nothing that stands out.

Nov 04, 2014
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diechipmunk from Massachusetts

3/5  rDev -14.5%

Pours beautifully, dark mahogany with a thick brown head. Not great after that, roasty nose isn't bad, but the taste is thin and the roast is dominant. Not enough malt or caramel sweetness to balance the roast and bitterness. There is also a metallic tang, reminiscent of the stolen sips of Narragansett or Schaefer from my youth.

Another reviewer astutely called it "like a combination between a porter and a saison". I think that is spot on, but that just doesn't work for me.

Oct 25, 2014
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CrazyDavros from Australia

3.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Pours black with a large, lasting head.
Nose shows cocoa and roasted malt with some bready hints too.
Brash flavours. Some roast and a metallic note with very little supporting malt. Pretty plain.
Body feels a bit watery.

Oct 07, 2014
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tobelerone from New Jersey

3.21/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

A pretty odd beer and not a particularly outstanding one at that. The dark brown, near black body is capped by an impressive tan head with great retention and lacing; the appearance and the smooth creaminess of the middleweight body are this beer's strongest attributes. Moderate carbonation aides the smooth feel but the watery nature of this beer keep it light enough and easy to drink. The aroma is pretty mild, with a touch of roastiness and some faint esters that hint at a Belgian yeast profile without actually delivering. The flavor follows suit; very light roast, hints of spice from the yeast, low hop bitterness. A touch of metallic-mineral character and unsweetened cocoa powder. Something reminiscent of the wateriness of a diet soda left out too long and flattening quickly.

Honestly this was a bit of and a dissapointment; recommended to me as a schwarzbier but it's hardly that. Not really a Belgian dark ale either. Guess it pays to check BA sometimes before buying!

Oct 02, 2014
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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.35/5  rDev -4.6%

Packaged 7/9/14.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Thin streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, char, and nut aromas. Taste is much the same with roasted malt, char, tropical fruit, and prune juice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast and earth bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer with interesting flavors that do sort of taste like Dr. Pepper or a similar soda like another reviewer mentioned.

Serving type: can.

Sep 17, 2014
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RonaldTheriot from Louisiana

2.25/5  rDev -35.9%

Brontide has an extremely thick, wildly foamy, beige head, a very dark brown appearance, and some stringy lacing left behind. The aroma is of semi-sweet malt, some char, and sea air. Taste is of charred malt, metal, and acidity. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy, and Brontide finishes powdery and mostly dry. There is not a lot of taste with this one, and what tastes I did get were not appealing. Also, there is an overriding and growing metallic aspect, here.


Sep 13, 2014
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

I honestly CANnot remember where this one came from. Tone77? Justin C.? Did I pick it up for furtherance of The CANQuest ™?

From the CAN: “Smooth Black Ale” and some of the most disturbing, frightening graphics that I have ever seen on a label! It looks like something out of H. P. Lovecraft. Phew.

I Crack!ed the CAN open and a snake began slithering out of the opening with its fangs bared hungrily. No, instead, I got a spray of beer from a super-full CAN. I grabbed the snake, I mean, CAN by its tail aand began an inverted Glug until the head formation became too much to allow me to CANtinue and I set it back down. The pseudo-cascade was quite evident in this one and as it settled, it formed three dense fingers of deep-tan/light-brown head with excellent retention. While I waited for things to settle, I looked about for the snake, which had seized the opportunity to slither off. Color was Very Dark Brown to Black, but not Opaque (SRM = > 34, < 44) since I could discern cola highlights at the edges. Sticky lacing had begun to form in the glass and the snake was nowhere to be found. Nose smelled strongly of bittersweet dark chocolate, underlain with a light smokiness. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was quite reminiscent of Dr. Pepper soda pop with its myriad of flavors. I got chocolate, cherries, some smoke and a little charcoal. I also got the snake back, wrapping itself around my throat, CANsricting, choking me with its evil presence. Jesus f**k! All I wanted to do was drink a beer and I am dying for it. Let’s call the finish semi-dry since the chocolate taste was more bitter than sweet and the smoke and charcoal did not change its effect. An interesting beer, to be sure, but another once-and-done for me. YMMV.

Sep 11, 2014
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Brenden from Ohio

4/5  rDev +14%

Black it is, not thick and heavy but dark as can be nonetheless. The head is a firm, dense, creamy dark tan one that rises to just higher than one finger and stays there easily, leaving some chunky lace on the glass.
This is a very interesting beers, having many qualities of a Schwarzbier though the obvious distinction of being an ale. It's got some carob and a sort of powdery dry cocoa, some toast, and a bit of nut against a little leaf. Some easy, lighter sort of earthiness contributes as well. In the flavor, a very cola-like aspect shows. I don't get a lot of Belgian character, which would contribute more overall.
It's light, dry, crisp and refreshing in a body that isn't thin. It doesn't bite too hard and runs very clean and smooth with a little of a not-quite-mineral edge to it.

Sep 07, 2014
Brontide from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
Beer rating: 80 out of 100 with 198 ratings