Of Love & Regret (Import Series Vol. 1) | Stillwater Artisanal Ales

BA SCORE
85
very good
359 Ratings
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Of Love & Regret (Import Series Vol. 1)Of Love & Regret (Import Series Vol. 1)
BEER INFO

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

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
For the first edition of the Stillwater Import Series I traveled to the village of Beerzel, located in the Antwerp province of Belgium. Here I teamed up with brewmaster Jef Goetelen to craft an authentic Belgian version of my liquid interpretation of the Spring season. A recipe originally contrived a few years prior as a collaboration brew with my good friend Paul Kretzer. The base is German barley & wheat, with a touch of Belgian aromatic; accented with grassy hops and an array of spring botanicals (heather, chamomile, lavender, & dandelion). Like a fresh meadow in spring.

Added by yourefragile on 08-06-2010

BEER STATS
Ratings:
359
Reviews:
130
Avg:
3.79
pDev:
12.93%
 
 
Wants:
19
Gots:
57
For Trade:
1
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 359 |  Reviews: 130
Photo of Sammy
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Riley's in Madison. heather, chamomile, lavender, & dandelion, make for a floral and herbal taste combination that is interesting and different. Not great taste, but sippable and unique. Great generous retained head. Tad above average mouthfeel.

 257 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

in the glass, this looks like a heady belgian golden ale. clear and corn yellow in color, two inches of thick white head, and plenty of bubbles charging up to the surface. it smells simple and elegant too, more like a mild belgian yeast strain, herbal and spicy, with some grassy european hops. appetizing but somewhat generic and boring in terms of the smell. the flavor is also kind of tame for the herbs that are supposed to be in here. i would almost not know they were here, aside from a light floral quality, if you told me this was just yeast and hops, i would believe it for sure. i think the lavender is there a little bit in the finish with the hops, but the others are too mild for me. i wanted to taste them a little more, but they just arent there. perhaps its because the yeast is what it is, but they blend in well, too well. i would be disappointed that these botanicals arent more evident, but the beer tastes so good as it is. fuller bodied and quite smooth and hearty. the yeast flavor is unique, and its dry enough for how strong it is. i expected this to be a bit more dynamic, but its well done beer. maybe freshness is an issue? do these types of herbs fade quickly like hops do?

 1,202 characters

Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Knapp85
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew poured out as a nice looking bright orange color with a big foamy head on top. The smell of the beer was floral and spicy on the nose. The taste of the beer was also very unique, herbal spices mixed with some floral hoppy liveliness. Really a bright flavored brew for in the warmer months. The mouthfeel was light and refreshing feeling. Overall this brew was quite nice in my opinion.

 395 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of metter98
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy yellowish orange in color and has a high amount of visible carbonation; some yeast particles are floating in suspension. It poured with a finger high white head that quickly died down yet consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are moderate to strong aromas of herbs in the nose—heather and lavender stand out in particular.
T: Like the smell, the taste is dominated by flavors of herbs, much like you would expect from that of a gruit, although the finish has a slight amount of bitterness and spiciness.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate with a moderate to high amount of carbonation. There are some notes of dryness in the finish.
O: This is definitely a unique saison and is a beer that I would want to try again.

 777 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Stillwater's inaugural "Import" series of beers kick of by capturing a taste of Belgium springtime in pint form. With strong botanical overtones, the beer delivers saison-like underpinnings with decorated spices, fuller body, and enough malt flavor in support.

The inquisitive ale pours with hazy rust appearances. Burgundy and chestnut colorations project brown and red hues with a dense haze. The beer builds a meringue-like head that caps the beer with a strong confidence that defies collapse. The beer laces the glass beautifully and becomes a testament to the quality of the beer with each sip taken from the snifter.

All the medow-like aromas from dandelion, chamomile, and lavender swirl into a heavily perfumed nose. Its culmination reminds me of freshly picked pine needles. With its rosy alcohol scent, even a hint of juniper, gin, mint, and Zinfandel come to mind. But the nose is also balanced by the light toasty character of fresh baking breads, lightly kilned barley, and Grape Nuts cereal.

Bold flavors seem to act in reverse order from the nose. First, the starch-heavy taste of whole wheat bread, toasted barley kernels, and lightly buttered toast. While medium sweet to taste, the flowery additions rise at mid palate and give a slightly fatter taste because of the fuller herbs, spices, and botanicals. Even side notes of cedar, fennel seed, and juniper twigs weave into the varying flavor profiles. The layers of taste reveal a grassy and tea-like bitterness that supplants hop bitterness for an odd closure to taste.

The protiens from wheat keep the beer medium bodied and richly textures early on. Full carbonation emerges from the bready texture reluctantly and keeps the beer fuller, longer into the session. But the beer reaches semi-dry status late due to fleeting malt presence, growing bitterness, and rising alcohol warmth. Finishing with spicy wine-like tannin, a thin coat of chamomile seems like light olive oil on the back of the throat.

With nearly gruit-like spiciness, the beer takes a pine-heavy balance from nose to finish. The decoration of wild flowers, herbs, and spice informs the taste of pine in high form. I'm not sure if the beer represents Belgian spring, but I does take my imagination to botanical gardens in the U.S. deep south.

 2,285 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.59/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz single bottle - a much more appreciably affordable offering than the last time this gypsy brewery came knocking on Alberta's back beer door. Or something.

This beer pours a mostly clear, pale golden yellow colour, with three fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and yet somewhat fizzy ecru head, which leaves a few instances of not-yet-eroded mesa profile lace around the glass as it quickly blows off.

It smells of gritty and crackery pale malt, a lesser wheaten graininess, dried clover honey, some estery Belgian yeastiness, musty dead botanicals (don't fucking care which ones), a touch of lemon and plain orange citrus rind, and some meek earthy, leafy, and weedy noble hop bitters. The taste is semi-sweet, grainy and doughy pale malt, a hint of caramelized wheatiness, some heady mixed and matched floral essences (lavender, sure, but more department store perfume aisle characters than I particularly care for), more laid-back Low Countries yeast, and a lame earthy and weedy noble hoppiness.

The carbonation is actually quite understated in its workaday frothiness, the body a decent medium weight, and generally smooth, neither the yeast, overtly floral acridity, nor as yet hidden boozy quotient taking this as their coming-out party, as such. It finishes well off-dry, a lingering mixed maltiness keeping all those estery botanicals just at bay.

Overall, I'd forgotten what a wank-fest this brewer was after not having to endure their hegemony on my local bottleshop's shelves for such a long spell, but, in the words of David Coverdale, here I go again. Yeah, this is a Saison, underneath of it all (sounds like another potential Whitesnake song, eh?), but it's hard to tell at times, what with all the crap going on that reminds me of my late mother's always overwrought toiletry collection. Yeah, that.

 1,826 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Like the label art, which depicts a man about to stab another man who's coddling a lover. Imported by 12 Percent LLC; thank god it's not the Shelton Bastards. Product of Belgium. "Belgian Saison Ale." Cost was $6.00 at an L.A. bottle shop. Expires 08/18/17. 7.2% ABV confirmed. 11.2 oz brown glass bottle with dated gold pressure cap served into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high; I love saisons and I'm in the mood for one. Will this beat Fantome La Dalmatienne? I doubt it.

Served straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated. I left the yeasty sediment in the bottle initially and then added it later.

A: Pours a one and a half finger beige-light khaki colour head of no real cream or froth, decent thickness, and above average (~3 minute) retention for the high ABV. Body colour is a hazy nontransparent caramel orange-brown. Translucent. It's not much to look at, admittedly. Sort of a rotted peach colour. Thin light lacing as the head recedes. The colour's a bit off for the style.

Sm: I definitely get wheat and brett yeast. Grassy hop character. Heavy floral notes, but in a spicy herbal sense rather than emerging from hop character per se - though there is a separate floral hop character. I'm terrible at identifying flowers, so I won't try - but the notes here are evocative and balanced. I get muted fermented peach, probably from the yeast. Perhaps clove as well. Some earthy musty notes. Light cinnamon spice. Spicy yeast, definitely. Light apple cidre; I'm talking real farm-made rustic apple-squeezed cidre. Tea-like. Its earthy authenticity convinces me the aroma is not influenced by artificial ingredients or flavouring; I like the rustic character. A rather intriguing moderate strength aroma; I'm caught by pleasant surprise. More and more cinnamon comes through as it warms. Complex and different, though I wouldn't call it unique.

T:/Mf Heavy flower and herbal notes, with some earthy grains forming the body. Light floral hop character, but hops are mainly grassy and rustic. I definitely get a farmhouse feel from it, but the bretts are quite restrained - so much so that it ceases feeling like a saison per se. Milky caramel malts there in the body. Biscuit malt. It does have a Belgian-inspired malty build, but something's a bit off for a Belgian; maybe it's that out of place wheat. It's got a cidre-like crisp refreshing character, which I quite admire. Carbonation is good, as is palate presence. It's got a rolling smooth feel, with dryness on the climax to coax out the more subtle notes. Subtle honey. Quite perfumey and floral. Candi-like, though I wouldn't go so far as to say I get Belgian candi sugar. Light berry fruit character which really works well here. I could use more of that spicy yeast feel; the cinnamon and clove are pretty buried here. I quite like it. Well balanced and built; a different take on a saison but a rather good one. Complex and subtle.

Dr: A drinkable saison with a high price-tag, but one that's different enough to warrant trying. One of the better American (okay, product of Belgium my ass, Stillwater) "saisons" I've had, if you consider this a true saison. I'll love finishing this bottle. Hides its ABV quite well. A surprisingly good beer from Stillwater, and one that makes me want to stop skipping their beers at the store. I'd definitely pick this one up again, maybe for some light 1-2 year aging. I'd recommend it to friends, but for my money Fantome has this beat.

B

 3,605 characters

Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of brentk56
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Demerit points for the spume, the beer pours a muddy amber with a head that fritters away quickly; not much lacing

Smell: Banana spice cake

Taste: Shortbread, up front, with banana spice cake flavors building in the middle; vanilla and floral elements, after the swallow, though the banana spice cake flavors linger into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with buoyant carbonation

Overall: A very interesting take on the style with a lot of complexity; this bottle has some age on it and I wonder what it would have been in its youth

 548 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a light hazy amber color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of candy ester with light soapy notes with light sweet notes. Taste is a pretty good mix between some soapy notes with good candy-like ester notes with light residual sugar and light dry malt aftertaste. Body is fuller then average with good carbonation. This particular bottle may be a bit tired but very nice nonetheless.

 443 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of zeff80
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

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Of Love & Regret (Import Series Vol. 1) from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
3.79 out of 5 based on 359 ratings.
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