Extra Dry Sake Style Saison Ale | Stillwater Artisanal Ales

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Extra Dry Sake Style Saison AleExtra Dry Sake Style Saison Ale
Very Good
177 Ratings
Extra Dry Sake Style Saison AleExtra Dry Sake Style Saison Ale

Brewed by:
Stillwater Artisanal Ales
Maryland, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed with rice and designed to mimic the subtle and drinkable flavors of sake, this low alcohol saison is the softer side of Stillwater.

Added by ConradKenney on 05-14-2016

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 177 |  Reviews: 52
Photo of XsoldoutX
3.37/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Photo of I3eer
4.06/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Chilmer
3.09/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Photo of DamienArk
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Bierliebhaber3
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
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 DasBeanstalk
4.62/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Ninja_DEN
3.32/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jrc1093
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of 71CrazyOtto
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of DenverHopHead
4/5  rDev +2.8%
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!

 606 characters

Photo of bigred89
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of GrandpaGeorg
3.37/5  rDev -13.4%
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.

 674 characters

Photo of Buffettman2018
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Hockey_Fan
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of JackRWatkins
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
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 geryeb624
4.45/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of dclewis25
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of DrewSnyc667
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Brent_B
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of coryhk
4.43/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of i4ourgot
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of nmwhitehead
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Afeo
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of amano_h
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
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."
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.
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?

 3,847 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.94/5  rDev +1.3%
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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Extra Dry Sake Style Saison Ale from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 177 ratings