Extra Dry Sake Style Saison Ale | Stillwater Artisanal Ales

Extra Dry Sake Style Saison AleExtra Dry Sake Style Saison Ale
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Average: 3.91 | pDev: 9.97%

Reviews: 59 | Ratings: 193

Belgian Saison | 4.20% ABV

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

Notes: Year-round availibility. Brewed with rice and designed to mimic the subtle and drinkable flavors of sake, this low alcohol saison is the softer side of Stillwater.
BA SCORE
88
Exceptional
Extra Dry Sake Style Saison AleExtra Dry Sake Style Saison Ale
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Reviews: 59 | Ratings: 193
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.21/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Das Beer Garden. Very pale clear yellow. Smells of fruity and sweet grain and slight yeasty funk. Tastes of more yeastiness in the form of earthy and spicy notes, a faint bit of citrus, and the slightest bit of grain. Very light and well carbonated. Seltzery feel to it. It's a very drinkable beer, but almost no grain presence, so it's hard to say it's all that good.

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Photo of mactrail
2.92/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Hazy pale amber with a dissipating wisp of foam in the Kasteel chalice. Moderate fizz on the tongue. Mineral taste followed by a bitter, yeasty, and very long aftertaste. Aroma is something like a little cucumber.

There are just the slightest wheaty or malt flavors. Other than that, the taste is mostly just bitterish yeast. It seems more bitter with the lack of any sweetness. You could gulp this down on a hot day, for sure, but then you'd want potato chips or something to take the taste away. From the can purchased on the West Coast.

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Photo of NYRunner
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a can into a pint glass.

Light apricot-yellow with nice head retention. Not much odor: slightly malty-citrus.

The taste is slightly hoppy with a citrus-mango undertaste, rather thin mouth feel with either a hop bite or perhaps it’s the carbonation.

Not a bad session ale, though I don’t know if I’ll seek it out.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.31/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Cloudy platinum; cucumber, lemon-pepper, and Sorachi-type herb; oyster cracker, light lemon, some saltwater, herb + grassy end; snappy, light + dry.

4 4.25 4.5 4 4.25

Bright, oily nose. Fluttery flowers with some novel notes - never had anything quite like it. I like this one.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.72/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

(13 oz draft pour)

Is this just a variation on Beer Table Table Beer, or whatever twas called?... yes, its dryness is immediately apparent... the funk of it stands out ahead, and that's about it... bit of a musty, sweaty gym sock soaked in pils malt slurry... the 'sake' element news to me as the bar only advertised this as 'Stillwater Extra Dry', no description on the menu (sorry, don't have phone to check untappd or beer menus description)... not off-putting, not unique, not something I would get again at that price

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Photo of GpompsMadomps
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great hop aroma and dry crisp finish. Great table saison type beer. Hazy hoppy light saison that is great for drinking lots of or sipping with a nice meal. Great everyday beer to keep in stock. Stillwater really excels with these types of beers.

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Photo of HorseheadsHophead
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

L: Hazy translucent straw with a big soapy white head. Medium-poor retention. The head fizzles away rather quickly, but leaves a thin film that leaves splotchy lacing.

S: Pear, lychee, pineapple, white grape, lemon, apple, oats, cracker malt, vanilla, clover.

T: Big pear, lychee, lemon, pineapple, and white grape/wine. Soft cracker/white bread malt. Soapy floral notes. Crisp, clean, and lightly dry finish with a light grassy bitterness.

F: Light, but not watery. Well-carbonated. Super clean and refreshing.

O: A really nice, flavorful, low-abv saison. Unique, and super refreshing.

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Photo of Bierliebhaber3
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This sake style saison pours a slightly opaque straw yellow color with a medium fizzy white head. The smell is surprisingly fruity with citrus notes including orange and lemon. There is also a faint grain scent. The citrus translates into the flavor and melds with pear, white wine, a bit of pepper, and yeast. As advertised there is a crisp, extra dry snap in the finish. The body is light. The carbonation is quite high. Though dry, crisp saisons are definitely an established subset of this category, this is still unique among those. It is not my favorite style of saison, but it is fairly complex and quite tasty. It would be terrific in summer.

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Photo of DenverHopHead
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16oz can with a best by date of 7/29/18; into a tulip.
Appearance- very cloudy yellow with scattered champagne bubbles; medium thick, soapy white head that doesn’t recede and leaves decent lacing!
Smell - pear and champagne are the notes I pick up the most.
Taste - mirrors the nose, but with more profound pear flavors and more mildly sweet champagne; I’ll definitely have a few of these!
Feel - light, highly carbonated with a dry finish; just a touch of sweetness that makes this an easy drinker!
Overall- a fun light beer to kick back with and not have to worry about having too many!

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Photo of GrandpaGeorge
3.37/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I wanted to like this one. The words "Dry Beer" in katakana on the can was an eye catcher. For the style, I believe it's not too bad, but it wasn't quite what I expected. Straw yellow (slightly hazy) in the glass, with some foam; a bit bubbly for my liking. Bright sour highlights in the nose with a fairly pronounced sour taste that didn't soften much as the glass emptied. I'd like to have tasted some hops bitterness and a bit more malt, but the sourness was a tad bit cloying; and I found myself liking the beer less and less as it went down. Definitely worth a try. It's different and, perhaps, something for the right palate. For me, however, likely a one and done.

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Photo of JackRWatkins
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: pours a fairly clear golden color, with a rich, frothy, three finger head, well attenuated.
S: Very clean, with estery notes, hints of lemon and pepper, something zesty that borders on cucumber without quite being cucumber.
T: Wonderfully clean with an understated bitteress. It's definitely a saison, the classic saison yeast profile is here albeit in a reserved manner that chooses its expressions very carefully. Citrus and a touch of pear, the bitterness marries perfectly with the peppery notes of the saison yeast.
M: Extra, dry.
O: By far the best Stillwater beer I have had. Damn fine beer.

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Photo of amano_h
3.96/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I'm still yet undecided as to how I feel about the genre of "Experimental Beer." Whereas I do enjoy a variation from the old routine, or a curveball in between three-seam fastballs every now and then, it's somewhat hard to get behind something when all it does is try to stand out, or if the tried and true mantra craft brewer maxim were to be applied and paraphrased, something which claims: "we only brew beers that we like to drink, and your palate isn't refined enough to appreciate it."
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Save for the now cult classic Gose Gone Wild and its many debatably unsuccessful variants, Stillwater never quite left an impression with me as a company whose products I particularly wanted to try; that is until I started seeing pictures of a can with the letters ドライ inscribed on a white and cyan surface popping up every now and then on instagram, which admittedly only caught my eye because I initially thought it was an Oxbow brew.

Nevertheless, a "sake-inspired saison" at its core to me is both insulting and intriguing. I know I ramble on about nomenclature and taxonomy ad nauseum, but more-than-a-small part of me dies every time someone refers to the alcoholic beverage produced primarily on the Japanese Archipelago, brewed with polished rice, Aspergillus oryzae, water, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae as "Sak[é]," which literally just means "alcohol" in its native language. An even bigger part of me dies when people around me pronounce it as "Saki" and corral me to take "Saki Bombs" with them while eating "California Rolls" at an "Authentic Japanese Restaurant" but that's a rant for a different time and place.

I'm assuming when Brian Strumke calls something as being inspired by dry nihonshū, that he means he modelled it after some cheap Gohyakumangoku honjōzō karakuchi he must have drunk by accident in Golden Gai somewhere, because the current trend in Japan is heavily gravitating toward nihonshū brewed with high quality rice (e.g. Yamadanishiki) with insane polishing ratios that smell like it's half-way in between báijiǔ and white wine, and this is as far a departure as you can get from it.

Insulting/confusing classification and semantic nuances aside, the brew is actually not half bad and pretty much lives up to the name it contestedly takes up after. Cheap grainy sakamai, lemon pledge, coriander, orange peel, wheat, and hints of white pepper comprise the aromatic fabric of this brew. For clarification on what "cheap and grainy sakamai" smells like, find a paper carton of nihonshū nearest you, (it'll usually be either Ozeki, Gekkeikan, or Ganbare Otōsan) pour out the entirety of its contents, and smell the inside of the paper carton.

The taste matches the aroma pretty well, with subdued orange peel and coriander composing the main body, decorated by a pinch of lemon, a dash of wheat, and dat cheap sakamai stank. Actually, the grainy sakamai flavor begrudgingly blends well with the other subtle spice-heavy, yeast-derived flavors, which all together imbue the palate with a gentle wave of flavor that seemingly evaporates into thin air within mere seconds of its occupation of the mouth. It's actually not all that different from drinking cheap honjōzō karakuchi, except this one doesn't have that odd fusel alcohol "burn" you experience at the end from all the added brewer's alcohol.

Light-ish body, with a smooth crisp overall mouthfeel. The carbonation presents itself vibrantly at first, but fizzles down to a more manageable level throughout the drinking experience. The finish is pretty much as dry as it can get.
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All in all, an interesting experiment/thought process executed fairly well that both gets you drunk and promulgates an ignorant misnomer of a celebrated Japanese traditional beverage. What more could you possibly ask for in a beer?

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Photo of woodychandler
3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I am now working on my CAN backlog as the Bottle Backlog has been greatly reduced to the point of manageability. New Beer Sunday remains a CANsideration, but if I do not have enough of a backlog/stash to perform a brewery horizontal, I will just chip away like I am doing now.

From the CAN: "Extra Dry Sake Style Saison Ale"; "Vatten, Mältat Korn, Skull Ris, Humle, Jäst (Water, Malted Barley, Sake Rice, Hops, Yeast)"; "Beer/Birra/Starköl/Øl/Cervesa/Øl".

I see that my local, in-person CANtrader, tone77, has reviewed his, so now it is my turn. A couple of CANsiderations went into my Crack! & Glug of this beer: 1) CANflicting reports in reviews as to its clarity & 2) it came in a pint CAN, which usually spells trouble if I try to CANduct an Inverted Glug. I went with a nice, gentle Glug which produced two fingers of foamy, bone-white head with decent retention all on its own. No in-glass swirl required. The color was an oh-so-slightly-hazy Yellow-Gold (SRM = 4 - 5), suggesting that I might have been able to do a little better, but not by much. It also tells me that this may be unfiltered, so if you like a hazy, or even cloudy, beer, you could be more aggressive in your pour. Nose had a slight, not overly pronounced funkiness, which was fine by me. The funk is one of the main reasons that I am not a huge fan of Saisons. Mouthfeel was full of carbonation, making it kind of creamy, but also a little prickly on the tongue. Hmm. The taste was tending towards tart, kind of lemony, but also sort of restrained. My initial thought was lemon biscotti, but that would be imprecise. The tart funkiness only told part of the overall story as there was also a light, drying hay-like quality also, along with a lemon zestiness. Finish? When they say "Extra Dry", you had best believe them! It was as though I had sprinkled powdered alum in my mouth! 8=* Mymymy.

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Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It pours a shade of light gold, with very little in terms of head and head retention. The aroma is yeasty with notes of sake. The flavor is similar but overall very mild. Light carbonation. A nice sessionable Saison.

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Photo of Blackop555
3.89/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours light hazy, yellow. Foamy, medium, white head that lasts a little with light lace.

Smells lemongrass, Citrus, light Funk, spice and light herbal.

Taste Orange Peel, lemon, herbal, light yeast, Bready malt. Finishes dry with a short Citrus in East linger. Lighter body and fizzy medium carbonation.

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Photo of dcotom
4.28/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 16-ounce can into a tulip glass. Pretty golden yellow in color, slightly hazy, with a snow white one-finger head that settles into a thin ring. Not much aroma until the beer reaches cellar temperature, when faint notes of banana, coriander, and bitter lemon begin to come through. These are present on the palate as well, although quite subdued. Very pleasant bitterness on the back of the tongue. The finish is very crisp and dry, as advertised. This is a pleasure to drink, and makes an absolutely perfect pairing with sushi. Kanpai!

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a can of Stillwater's Extra Dry for $2.39 at The Lager Mill. I've been meaning to try this one, so let see how it goes. 2017 Vintage. Poured from a tall 16oz can into a stemless tulip.

A- The can looks good, it's got a good design and it's eye catching. It poured a hazy golden yellow color that took on more a pale yellow color when held to the light and it had a little over a two fingers worth of fluffy white head that died down to a thin ring that eventually faded away and it didn't leave much lacing behind. This is a pretty nice looking beer, but I wish it had some better lacing.

S- The aroma starts off with a lower amount of sweetness with a nice stone fruit like aroma being the first to show up with some pears seeming to stick out the most and it's followed by the saison yeast which imparts a typical estery and slightly spicy saison yeast like aroma with some citrus rind aromas also showing up. Up next comes the malts which are on the lighter side and impart some light grainy, biscuit, cracker and rice like aromas. This beer has a pretty nice aroma, it lives up to it's description.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma and it starts off with a lower amount of sweetness with the stone fruits being the first to show up, but they are much lighter than they were in the aroma and it just imparts a generic stone fruit like taste this time and it's followed by the yeast which is noticeable and it imparts all the same aspects that it did in the aroma, but it's also lighter than it was in the aroma. Towards the end comes the malts which imparts all the same aspects and they show up just about as much as they did in the aroma, On the finish there's a lighter amount of medium bitterness with a bitter and slightly hoppy aftertaste. This is a pretty nice tasting beer, they pretty much nail what they are going for.

M- Fairly Smooth, crisp, very dry, on the lighter side of being medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel pretty nice and it works well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a pretty nice beer and it was a nice and unique example of the style, it was pretty much just as described and they weren't playing around when they call this beer extra dry. This beer had ok drinkability, one is enough for me, it's almost too dry for me to drink more than one. What I like the most about this beer is that it lives up to it's name and description, it's just as described. What I like the least about this beer is the drinkability, I wish it was a little more drinkable. I'm not sure I would buy this beer again since, I don't normally like my beers this dry and I would only recommend it to someone who wants a beer that's pretty dry. All in all Liked this beer, but i didn't love, but that doesn't take away from the fact that Stillwater nailed what they were going for. It's not a favorite Stillwater beer and it's a nice and unique example of the style. Nice job guys, this is one unique take on a saison, keep it up.

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Photo of CTHomer
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A: slight haze; pale gold in color; 1 finger finely pored white head that receded to a splotchy cap; little lacing;

S: citrus with Belgian yeast in the background;

T: lemon up front; lightly tart in the middle; slight herbal note on the finish; mildly bitter in the middle - a little less bitter on the finish;

M: light bodied; moderate prickly carbonation; moderately dry from the middle through the finish;

O: not my style, but a very interesting concept; well made;

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Photo of josanguapo
4.52/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From Bierkraft. In Goose Island glass. Playing 12 Labours of Hercules 4. Great combination of light saison funkiness with very refresghing citrusy / lemongrass notes and a nicely zesty carbonation, all packed in a low abv

2 Sep 2017. From Miguel. can. At lunch, with fried potatoes + eggs and meatballs. As good as I remember or even better

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Photo of Parmesan
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Slightly Hazy straw gold color with a medium white head and some fingers of lacing on glass.

S: Lemon grass and citrus, a little funk, some pepper and slight rice in the nose.

T: Tart citrus, peppery and spicy, some funk, and a slight bit of rice. Finishes very dry. Not an overly strong taste, very restrained.

F: Very light body, higher carbonation.

O: This is a nice summer beer, very restrained but nice and drinkable.

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Photo of EMV
3.46/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a tallboy can into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Mostly clear light golden pour. 3 fingers of foamy white head. Falls quickly. Moderate lacing.

S: Citrus and lemongrass... a bit herbal.

T/F: Not much in the way of malt character. Dry and citrusy. Lemon and orangepeel. Peppery... some herbal notes... a bit mineral and medicinal. Not a lot of yeast complexity for a saison. Thin in body... zesty carbonation. Finish is lemon/citrus.

O: A citrusy session level saison. Not a ton of yeast character but not terrible. Would be great for a hot summer day/yardwork. Not much reason to reach for this when you're craving something really flavorful.

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Photo of sjdevel
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look: Very pale straw color - light pilsner like. Started off with a 2 finger head out of a 16oz can. The head increased and it gets very active. It looked like it was raining upwards. Head recedes quicker than expected, but leaves some active lacing and a ring around the glass.

Smell: Very hoppy. Sweet and fruity - apple/peach/pineapple. Some cracker and malt.

Taste: A blast of bitterness and only a quick passing of sweet malt and bread. Hop flavors are very prominent. Dries out quickly and continues to dry out throughout. Some tart fruit flavors and slight funk. Nice Saison/Belgian yeast spice and other flavors. Nice biscuit, cracker, and citrus aftertaste.

Feel: Light bodied and thinner than I had hoped for. It does stay effervescent and there is still some interest.

Overall: Decent beer. I expected it to be more like Sake and more like a Saison. It is Belgian-like, but to me just tastes like a Belgian IPA / White IPA. It is a low ABV beer and would be very refreshing on a hot day.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.86/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap:
Pours a light golden, clear with visible streams of bubbles. Head is full, and provides a cloud-cover ring at the top of the glass (spotty beneath.

The nose is light, with impressions being all I get: peach or apricot, a little watermelon, and a rice sweetness (thinking of the nose of the container opening from take-out).

Taste has a little grainy opening, but not exactly. I am guessing the rice is the difference, but couldn't say I can tell. I have had sake before, and this note reminds my slightly of it.

Beyond that opening is a dry grass note with a light squeeze of lemon, lightly bitter, on a crisp, very clean feel. Body is light as expected. A little sweetness, like that of orange zest or a kumquat (without the sour) peaks just past mid-taste and disappears. The end is fairly dry with very light peppery tingle.

Appreciated this beer more for analyzing it. Not complex, but nuanced is how it came across to me. A light beer you could drink fast, or one you can sip an think about and enjoy.

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Photo of bobv
3.96/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Moderate pour yields a one inch white head over a golden/straw body with minimal lacing. Nose of slight funk, citrus, and spice. Taste follows with extreme dryness. Nice feel and overall this needs to be paired with some fish right now!

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Photo of bark
3.49/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The colour is straw yellow; the liquid almost clear. The three finger head is white and airy, it sinks down to a tin lid leaving no lacing.

The smell is sweet and spicy with phenolic notes of allspice and coriander. Hints of rubber, rice balls, lime juice, bubble-gum and pistachio nuts.

The taste is dry with spicy-yeasty flavours. Tart dry oily flavours of fresh citric peels. Passing oranges. Lemon cookies, some coriander and green tea. Light to medium body. Surprisingly thick alcohol in the aftertaste as well as nutmeg, clove and lemon peel. Oily nots of young sake. Long phenilic finish with some bubble-gum.

The liquid is smooth and somewhat sticky. The carbonation is strong, the many very small bubbles are fresh and long-lived.

An odd beer: I recognize the spicy-yeasty saison flavors, but not the oily notes. Not bad at all.

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Extra Dry Sake Style Saison Ale from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 193 ratings