Contemporary Works - Surround | Stillwater Artisanal Ales

BA SCORE
89
very good
229 Ratings
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Contemporary Works - SurroundContemporary Works - Surround
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stillwater Artisanal Ales
Maryland, United States
stillwater-artisanal.com

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Imperial Oak-Smoked Wheat Stout.

Like a sound system that fills the room with audibles swarming in every direction. This massive stout overtakes your senses with aromas & flavor of dark chocolate, caramel, roast, smoke, earth & wood, It's heavy I know, but you have to drop that bass every once in a while if you really wanna get down.

Added by jhartley on 12-19-2014

BEER STATS
Ratings:
229
Reviews:
68
Avg:
4.02
pDev:
8.21%
 
 
Wants:
6
Gots:
37
For Trade:
1
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 229 |  Reviews: 68
Photo of jwat
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.46/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of biboergosum
3.62/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle - an 'oak smoked imperial wheat stout'. Yeah, about par for the course for this brewing concern.

This beer pours a solid black hole, with not even the barest of basal edges, and two fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat creamy brown head, which leaves some heady border wall (in theory) lace around the glass as it lazily recedes.

It smells of gritty and grainy caramel malt, bittersweet cocoa powder, dry cafe-au-lait, some plain dark orchard fruitiness, a further hint of toasted wheat cereal, some ethereal wet char, an equally faint generic oaken woodiness, and a sense of alcohol love unrequited. The taste is rather dry chocolate wafers, sort of reduced wheat and pale malts, a still subtle oakiness, some free-range wet ash, muddled dark stone fruit, day-old coffee, very earthy vanilla, and some fairly well-behaved big-boy booziness.

The carbonation is quite active in its perky frothiness, the body a decent medium-heavy weight, and not particularly smooth, as the char, weird graininess, and burgeoning heat all perform a negative number right about here. It finishes trending very dry, the cocoa and java notes carrying us right on out past the velvet ropes.

Overall, this is yet another offering from this outfit (one that seems to be the American version of Mikkeller - yeah, I know, San Diego, and all that - which is not a compliment), that has just too much going on to really be worthy of any sort of perceived balance or basic appreciation. I admit, I was curious upon first sussing this one out, but now, I'm not so sure.

 1,568 characters

Photo of BenBreeg
3.81/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Harrison8
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours black with a finger of dark caramel head. Head foams up fairly quick, with extremely tight foam. Retention is modest, with a little lacing left behind. Smoke, and roasted malts at the front of the aroma immediately give a dark presence. Wheat, and malted barley bring the aroma slightly out of the darkness. Flavor profile is oats, smoke, roasted malts, malted barley, and wheat. Live earthy characteristics mingle with charred and burnt earthy flavors. Finishes a little bitter. Mouth feel is a grainy, almost ash-like suspended in medium-thick liquid. Overall, smoke characteristics are strong enough to be at the forefront, and yet are not totally off-putting. Well created, with a solid, earthy experience.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

 745 characters

Photo of bushbeer75
3.89/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz brown bottle - bottled on 113:15

Stillwater Contemporary Works - Surround has an almost black body with a slight red cast. An easy pour produced a short [1/2-finger] dark tan head. Light lacing clung to my tulip glass. The nose picked up the pleasant aroma of dark chocolate, coffee, and dark fruit. The taste matches the nose with caramel, and burnt toast also noted. Grapefruit hops showed-up at the finish to provide a light and lingering hop aftertaste. The body is light-heavy for its style. The mouth feel is smooth, and a little chewy. Medium carbonation is noted.

This Imperial Stout is not too filling for the style making for good drinkability.

 671 characters

Photo of pattysykes
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle, opaque black with thick red-brown head that didn't last long. Smoke, sweet malts and dark fruits in the aroma. Tastes sweet malt, smoke, raisins and some dark chocolate. Aftertaste mostly smoke and raisins. Full body. Very enjoyable beer.

 258 characters

Photo of AccipiterofBeer
4.19/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jkn09
4.36/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Just...damn. Love this pour. Motor oil obsidian black with an angry reddish brown head of 2 fingers. Sticks around awhile, too.

Not much on the nose except for dark wheat. Lactose. Maybe a little roasted barley, a little penny. Clay.

More bitter, roasty, and smokey than anything. Absolutely zero sweetness. A crisp herbal bitterness mixes with a dark wheat malt, a hint of liquid smoke, penny, ash, bbq pit smoke. As it warms it grows more bitter and metallic.

A palate punisher. Real thick and viscous, with an ashy dry roastiness.

Overall, the zero sweetness in this stout is getting to me. Still, the roastiness is impressive and I'd recommend it for others who don't like much sweetness in their stouts.

 714 characters

Photo of ilikebeer03
3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of geodonnokepyo
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of Shane-L-Waddell
3.63/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mattsucks
3.79/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of OKbrew89
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BdM
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Momon
3.81/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of kell50
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of oberon
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours jet black into a goblet with a creamy billowing mocha colored head atop.Sweet alcohol dipped dark fruit in the nose with some mild toasted oak underneath,quite sweet.Sweet raisin/prune notes upfront on the palate with slight bitter chocolate and coffee roast underneath,the dark fruits and alcohol play a really big role.Not bad but the dark fruit and intense alcohol sweetness is just really in charge here with the smoke/oak taking a backseat....in my opinion.

 468 characters

Photo of shigg85
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of threeviews
4.77/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle (Julian BOD: 315:15 = 11 November 2015) into a 16oz Belgian ballon/snifter glass

A - Like an imperial stout should, Surround pours a viscous, pitch black with a coffee colored head reaching about 1/2 a finger before quickly disappearing. (5.0)

S - If you said this was aged on wood, I would believe you. It is a beautiful trifecta of savory smoke, oak, burnt coffee, chocolate and vanilla. (4.75)

T - The Oak-smoked malt, overly roasted coffee, bakers chocolate and some sweet vanilla dominate the flavor profile. It finishes dry and for 10% ABV, the drinkability is so high that it is absolutely dangerous. (4.75)

M - Here is where the contribution from the wheat takes effect...full bodied and luscious which coats the palate. The texture is velvety, like a liquid version of a fudge cake drizzled with a vanilla cream icing. (4.75)

O - Surround absolutely ranks not only as my favorite beer from Stillwater, but one of my all-time favorite imperial stouts, rivaling another favorite and truly wood aged beer: Palo Santo Marron. The 10% ABV is completely hidden, the flavor profile and mouthfeel are gorgeous and a 4-Pack is reasonably priced. Although a year-round offering, I just wish it was more readily available in the markets that receive Stillwater's brands. (4.75)

 1,308 characters

Photo of whatname
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Hayley_86
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Mikemcgrath4
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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Contemporary Works - Surround from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
4.02 out of 5 based on 229 ratings.
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