Extra Dry Sake Style Saison Ale | Stillwater Artisanal Ales

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Extra Dry Sake Style Saison AleExtra Dry Sake Style Saison Ale
BA SCORE
3.9/5
Very Good
165 Ratings
Extra Dry Sake Style Saison AleExtra Dry Sake Style Saison Ale
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#9,370
Reviews:
49
Ratings:
165
pDev:
10%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
3
Gots:
28
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 165 |  Reviews: 49
Photo of Buffettman2018
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Hockey_Fan
3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of JackRWatkins
4.23/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

 603 characters

Photo of geryeb624
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of dclewis25
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of DrewSnyc667
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Brent_B
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of coryhk
4.43/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of i4ourgot
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of nmwhitehead
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Afeo
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of amano_h
3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
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?

 3,847 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.94/5  rDev +1%
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.

 1,876 characters

Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
3.9/5  rDev 0%
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.

 216 characters

Photo of Rimbimhoot
4.04/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Passion fruit, white pepper, earthy, saison yeast

49 characters

Photo of SpaethJam
4.01/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of vfgccp
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of DanGeo
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of dshansen1184
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Blackop555
3.89/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

 305 characters

Photo of shelby415
3.84/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of dcotom
4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
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!

 547 characters

Photo of StoutHunter
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

 3,035 characters

Photo of tommy5
3.89/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Tcsox
3.61/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

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Extra Dry Sake Style Saison Ale from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
Beer rating: 3.9 out of 5 with 165 ratings