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

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Of Love & Regret (Import Series Vol. 1)Of Love & Regret (Import Series Vol. 1)

Brewed by:
Stillwater Artisanal Ales
Maryland, United States

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

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Reviews: 129 | Ratings: 357
Photo of gillagorilla
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a Burley Oak snifter (4/16/14)

A: Deep straw color.

S: Smells good. Very herbal and floral. Smells like spring.

T: Extremely herbal with a lot of farmhouse flavors in there. This might be the most herbal beer that I've had, which is more pronounced due to the inherent flavors that come with it being a saison.

M: Slight carbonation and just a bit rough.

O: Interesting for sure and quite the flavorful saison.

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Photo of benloho
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

This is my first Stillwater beer. Super excited I'm a huge fan of Saisons which I know is Stillwater's niche.
From the label: Of Love & Regret, Saison Ale, Ale brewed with Lavender, Heather, Dandelion and Chamomile. 7.2% ABV

A: Pours a cloudy yellow color. There is a hint of orange brightness in the middle of the glass. A lot of floaties in the beer, which don't bother me. Beer pours a finger and a half of creamy head that slowly fades away. No lacing to be seen.
S: First smell is immediate floral spiciness. Second sniff I pick out more specifics: pepper spice, lemon, chamomile tea, and faint lavender. There is a lot going on and I can imagine there is some heather and dandelion in there too, I'm just not that familiar with them.
T: This is a definite Belgian style Saison. Delcious spiciness to it that is complemented well by a small grassy hop profile and the strong floral presence. I taste a stronger lavender presence than in the nose. Still getting chamomile and lemon grass. Excellent.
MF: Definitely disappointed in the lack of carbonation, bubbliness and crispness that I enjoy in my Belgian ales. This is the one downfall of this beer for me.
O: Everything works in harmony for this beer with flavors, yeast, hops, the creaminess of the wheat malt. Its beautiful. The mouth feel was the disappointment for me. It just lacked that zesty pop.

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Photo of cbutova
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- 12oz bottle poured to a snifter with a deeply hazy golden-orange body. A small white crown rises atop the beer but only reaches half a finger before fizzing out fairly quickly. Tiny ring leaves spotty lace.

S- Flowery floral nose one might expect considering they add four types to this brew. Spicy, herbal Saison yeast is not far behind with a light citrus. Distinct Dandelion and Chamomile but I am much less familiar with the other two.

T- I would say the flowery aspect of this beer intensifies here. Each sip brings an almost floral nectar, perfumy bite to the palate. The base yeast is still big though, as Saison yeast tends to be, with pepper, cooking herb, tart lemon zest, bread and spicy tones.

MF- Medium-dry body that is moderately thick for a Saison. Texture is foamy but joined by a creamy feel with some agitation. High end carbonation and a spicy floral bitterness on the back end.

Solid Stillwater Saison feel with a heaping bunch of added floral notes. For me it all works out well together and the floral flavors compliment the spicy base yeast.

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Photo of StaveHooks
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle served in a Prairie teku glass
Big thanks to Hopswagger for this beer.

A - Mostly clear brandy color with a thick head that vanishes very quickly.

S - Belgian yeast, old bubblegum, mild funkiness, some acidic cherries, old cinnamon candy, spicy yeast, clove, allspice, damp wood, antique furniture store, sweet ginger, has a little Wheatwine aroma to it, there's spices in there that I can't quite single out.

T - Banana taffy, old cinnamon red hots, clove, cherry/apple juice, tangy spice cake, Belgian Candy sugar. It's sweet but the spices really keep it in check.

M - Carbonation is aggressive and airy, almost to the point that it mutes out some of the flavor. The body is light and wet with a semi dry finish.

This is a very mysterious beer. Smell and taste have similarities but are totally unique. In the nose this screams Belgian farmhouse with notes of Brett and plenty of wheat malts. But the flavor is very fruity with lots of counteracting spices. The wheat is almost non existent in the flavor with the Brett really melding with the fruit. A very interesting beer indeed.

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Photo of msquared36
3.49/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rich amber in color. Thin head with no lacing.

Powerful smell of cinnamon and brown sugar.

Good malt base. Strong herbal taste, particularly rosemary. It's sharp and refreshing at first, but becomes muddled as the beer warms.

A good beer but would definitely limit to one or two because the flavor can become overpowering.

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Photo of argock
3.74/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from an 11.2 oz brown bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass. No obvious freshness date but imagine this is a bottle form this spring's batches. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Light copper hue with 2-finger nearly white tightly bubbled head with decent retention but not much for lacing.

S: Sweet caramel and candilike malt at first but quicky is overtaken by intense spicenotes of cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, and floral herbal notes chamomile and sage. Not much on the hop front and the yeast character is in the spicy character.

T: The flavor reminds me of an herbal honey laden cough drop with a big dose of cardamom and sage followed by a honeylike sweetness from the malt and finished with phenolic spice notes, almost clove but too sweet and woody to be that.

M: Very slick despite the high carbonation, easy to drink, elixir is right.

O: A pretty interesting beer that is usually not up my alley but htat I enjoyed a lot more than I thought after first whiff. Pricey but a good one try brew.

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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

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Photo of REDAMI
4.85/5  rDev +28%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from 11.2oz bottle into Chimay goblet.

A - Orange gold color, very hazy, head disappears quickly.

S - Sweet orange/peach, almost like cobbler. Yeast and funk as it warms.

T - Apricot, sweet floral, dandelion wine, springtime...yes springtime in a glass. Slightly bready aftertaste.

M - Fine carbonation, coats the tongue in a good way.

I liked this one a lot. It's not a typical saison/farmhouse ale. The grassy hay flavors have been replaced by sweet fruity florals but the spring/summer attraction remains. A great beer to have on a sunny day.

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Photo of Libationguy
4.68/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Unfiltered apple juice in color with a chill beer haze. Head is dense, off-white in color and has a moderate retention. Gentle lacing in the glass.

Highly interesting and carries a rich intensity. Gingerbread and crystallized ginger with rich, warm malt. Citrus, cardamon and bay all lingering in the nose.

Full, lush style that carries across the palate, building in intensity, all the time without becoming heavy. Pumpernickle bread, gingerbread, cardamon, nutmeg. Regal in its structure, the hops keep everything clean and supported. Great balance and length.

The medium+ body of the beer carries its richness without being heavy. The texture is almost creamy.

Utterly delicious!

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle into a New Belgium goblet.

A: Pours a reddish copper color. I like the head on this one: one fingers high, offwhite shade, and superbly creamy. Retention isn't amazing, though, nor is the body itself that attractive.

S: Ridiculously herbal. I won't go into detail identifying all of the notes, so I'll just say it smells like some utopian spring day. Allowing it to open up will reveal slight brett touches, as well.

T: It's not as dry as I expected. Wheat malt sweetness (similar to a good dunkel) both opens and closes things - with the herbal qualities sandwiching themselves into the middle. It's fairly piny, but not in a hop-derived manner. Also sneaking into the back end are some subtle brett notes. There's a good balance between the spice profile and the malts.

If the aroma made me think of spring, the flavor makes me think Christmas for whatever reason. Ah well, good brew.

M: The initial sweetness is cleaned up nicely on the finish, replaced by a prickly, lively sensation. I like the sweet/dry balance here: the sweetness simply balances out some of the potential harshness an overly dry finish could have created. Carbonation is very high, but that's expected from a saison.

O: This one doesn't blow me away, however it's an easily drinkable brew that's also mildly complex. I'd gladly drink this again.

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Photo of mverity
4.28/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance is golden brown to tan in color, with a thick light tan head and above average lacing. Smell is sweet, earthy, and yeasty. Taste is fantastic: herbaceous, woody, with a roasted barley up front; leathery and tangy sweet; all while a honey/brown sugar/banana sweetness shines through. It seems to be too sweet at times, but the sweetness yields to an earthy/yeasty spiciness.

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Photo of Ale-ienation
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy orange with a white head and minimal lacing.

S: Very herbaceous with some sweet spices; sage, rosemary and cinnamon. Belgian yeast is present too, with perhaps just the slightest touch of brett/funk. Very unique.

T: Sweet malts up front with a lot of spices; cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin, clove. Moderate yeast presence, with a clean finish where the floral notes become most apparent; sage, rosemary.

M: Light bodied with vibrant carbonation.

O: Very interesting take on a saison, and quite unique in general; the spice flavors make for an intriguing twist on a classic style.

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.39/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

People are crazy. This is more saison than spiced beer.

Pours out a brownish orange with a half inch of head, minimal lace.

I don't smell the wheat malt but barley comes through, the botanicals come next, floral and very nice. The yeast and some lime come in at the end.

Wheat, lightly toasted barley and lime start this off. Some nice floral notes and grassy hops come in the middle. A hint of yeast and spices are noticed, lime lingers in the aftertaste. Slightly high in carbonation, but still pretty smooth going down.

I could drink this everyday and be pretty damn happy! Another excellent farmhouse brew from Stillwater!

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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.


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Photo of Trilogy31
3.81/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Flip top bottle pours a red garnet hue with slight hazing. Fluffy cream colored cap that settles to a tight finger of foam. On the nose fruity esters pop, spicy belgian yeast, cardamom, apple cider, clove and a little cinnamon with slight sour barnyard notes. The taste brings brings more of the nose but a bit muddled and thin, doesn't shine on the palate the way the nose brings complexity. I pick up a little numbing szchuan peppercorn as well - interesting. Very nice until you start to drink it, expecting great ended up being just good and not worth the price.

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Photo of Prince_Casual
3.4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A: Popped the 'grolsch' top bottle and away we go... beautiful copper color with nice 1/2 inch head, pours beautifully.

S: For some reason I was expecting more of a "farmhouse" ale and I guess shame on me as expectation is the mother of all disappointments. No yeast at all, reminds me of the "natural soap" area of my grocery store... in a ???? way :-D

T: Essential oils dominate, there's a lot of herbal stuff going on here, if you like stillwater you'll like what they're working with here

M: Reminds me of drinking herbal tea with booze in it, for whatever reason. Lots of earthy notes, it's like drinking beers from a "mellower" earth.

O: A great beer to try if you like herbal teas /scented soaps/ want to step outside the <lager-ale> framework. Over the top in all the right ways.

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Photo of mactrail
3.17/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

The first sip is an eye-opener. Makes me long for a lovely, simple yeasty Farmhouse beer instead of this over-spiced pretentious concoction. It's exactly what you would expect from Dogfish Head.

The chamomile is overwhelming. I am coming to the opinion that there is just no safe level of chamomile. Not to mention the lavender. The smell is like something you'd find in your wife's underwear drawer. Taste is seriously resiny, flowery, perfumey, and overly herbal. Honey from the rosemary farm.

From the 750 ml swing top bought at Bine and Vine in San Diego for an extortionate $17.99. And then I read the fine print: "Product of Belgium."

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml swing top picked up in Ithaca, NY
the beer pours a murky, dull brown with an off-white head that slightly laces. the nose presents big notes of bread and herbs reminiscent of lavender and white sage. the beer almost smells like a perfumed soap... using the aforementioned herbs for aromatics. the taste is just as potently herbal with a sweet, malty backbone pulling everything together. the mouthfeel is medium bodied with adequate carbonation. The initial sweetness of the beer fades and finishes slightly drier with residual herbs sitting on my palate, lingering in the aftertaste. this is a tasty beer, but I'm not running back to the store to grab another bottle. it's definitely not my favorite Stillwater.

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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.

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Photo of LeRose
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very enjoyable, easy drinker. Refreshing lemonade-like characteristics without being overly fruity, although there are definite fruit notes. Some flowery aroma and floral flavor, nice hops flavor almost IPA like. Maybe a little too carbonated, but would drink again. Deep bronze color on the pour, very bubbly white head, some nice lacing. Very much alive with the carbonation - not quite "fizzy" but close. Nice hit of acid on the back.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Koningshoeven chalice. The swing-top is stamped 13/05/12.

A: Huge foam erupts upon opening and settles quickly. Pale, translucent amber.

S: Obnoxiously spicy. It smells like heather and herbs, as well as unidentifiable spices.

T: Interesting. Like a gruit. Excellent mouthfeel is substantial, titillating, lightly carbonated. Spice burns wonderfully and lingers. The flavor is heavily herbal, lightly fruity, and vaguely malty. It brightens as it warms, strangely, picking up the barest hint of citrus.

O: Overall, spicy, herbal, and lightly candied sweet with a shadow of fruit. Tentatively recommended.

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Photo of madtrixter787
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into Ommegang tulip with a very large head that develops to very nice lacing that lasts throughout. Smell is of fresh grass, very floral, earthy, some hop spiciness. Taste is very nice, a wonderful spring saison with the herbs well balanced. Great carbonation and mouthfeel hit the style quite well. Overall another delicious offering from Stillwater.

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

A: a light copper with a reddish orange hue. The creamy off-white head settles to a thin cap and last for a long time.

S: The smell is very herbal and floral with chamomile and lavender readily identifiable. There is a slight potpourri quality but the Belgian yeast still makes it though with a light orange fruity ester and a peppery note. There is a soft wheat aroma as well. I'm not getting an hops through all the herbs and tea.

T: The flavors are well balanced mainly orange, herbal and floral. The peppery phenols mix with the bitterness from the heather; if you've Fraoch Heather Ale you'll recognize it in there. The malt gives a light sweetness and an off dry finish. The balance is moderately bitter. The aftertaste is herbal and slightly bitter.

M: The body is medium-light with moderately-high carbonation. There is a light prickly astringency that can be expected with tea and spices.

O: A very interesting beer with a lot of flowery, herbal components that are well balanced. The brewer achieved the goal of a beer that captures the impression of spring. It's a bit sweet and a bit dark for a Saison, but as a specialty it works. I probably would have purchased this beer if I know what I was getting into with a beer brewed with heather, chamomile, lavender and dandelion. I really should brew up a beer with some heather in it one of these days.

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Photo of daledeee
3.17/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A 750 ml bottle

Nose is like herbal tea.

Appearance looks like stirred up mud.

Taste: Well....I could swear this tastes like some of the herbal teas I have had. I read the notes on the bottle before I review and sure enough chamoneille. I knew it. There is also some malt and yeast, but this is basically beer tea. Very organic tasting. I like different beer, but this simply does not appeal to me.

Mouth feel is medium carbonated. Didn't notice much alcohol. I don't know. This one is a little out there for me. Too minty. Actually, upset about this one. Paid $14 for a beer that really is not good.

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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.

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Of Love & Regret (Import Series Vol. 1) from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
3.79 out of 5 based on 357 ratings.
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