Autumnal | Stillwater Artisanal Ales

very good
113 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Stillwater Artisanal Ales
Maryland, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
This deep amber hued ale takes it’s inspiration from Germany while still nodding to the Belgian farmhouse tradition. The base is comprised of German two-row, wheat, Cara-Munich, and roasted barley. Generously hopped with a blend of Perle, Spalt, and Hallertau Mittelfrüh and fermented with a rustic Belgian farmhouse ale yeast. These elements together provide a melange of earth and fruit aromas backed with hints of caramel with a dry clean finish.

Added by timtim on 10-12-2010

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Reviews: 113 | Ratings: 269
Photo of timtim
4.65/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

another winner from stillwater. i heard it described by Brian as being like a mix between Uergie Stickebier and Saision DuPont. Pretty good description I'd say, kind of like altbier meets saison, or saistoberfest or if you've read phil m.'s book on farmhouse ales, this is one that highlights all things associated with the wonderful tradition. hazy brown with a tan head that holds. light roast hits me first in the nose followed by some fruity malty sweetness, wet rock/damp cellar and rounded/complimented by a generous hopping. call me crazy, but it all reminds me of what i would smell if i were stuck at the bottom of a well in the fall time in the country next to a hop farm and being able to smell fresh doughnuts cooking in the distance. taste is a well-incorporated, well-balanced mix of the above, and even though the hops are definitely there they just compliment and elevate the other flavors (very old-world alt-like) instead of standing out too much or really playing a main role. very masterfully done there. mouthfeel is soft and carries a medium body. i think it's near perfect actually. no pricklyness, but still light, bright and lively. the biere de guardes/farmhouse ales/saisons/real alts/whatever that i've had that have had similar grain bills have been slightly cloying or sticky, or maybe just a touch too full, and this one nails it in my opinon. im very impressed here, and loving the roasty goodness of this beer. really evokes a sense of season, really speaks to me, really does well with food and really goes down easy. i'll be looking forward to quite a few more of these! my favorite new brewer. thanks Stillwater.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.55/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a lightly hazy orange-ish to amber color with a light tan head. In the aroma, earthy and nice yeastiness, and a sweet fruitiness mixed in. In the taste, earthy, fruity, and even a small tartness. A small bite and medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry earthy and fruitiness in the aftertaste. Nice fruitiness, earthy, refreshing and tasty.

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Photo of AppalachianVntnr
4.4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Exactly as Brian says it its: "This deep amber hued ale takes it’s inspiration from Germany while still nodding to the Belgian farmhouse tradition." Cloudy, rusty brown with orange highlights. The aroma is spicy Saison with toffee and caramel backing the spice a sort of banana pudding meets spiced banana bread. The palate shows the same glimpses of caramel with a white pepper note in the back and some weight from the two-row and wheat. Dry finish.

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Photo of Valmor88
4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown pour, nice 2 fingered white head. Good retention with lacing down the glass.

S: Malty sweet odor with caramel and evergreen hints.

T: Chocolatey/caramel flavor from the malts, with some citrusy hop tones. These are followed by some fruity esters, maybe cherries? Tart carbonated finish - very clean. There are a lot of flavors going on in this beer.

M: Medium-high carbonation. Medium bodied with a very dry finish.

O: This is a very drinkable brew, with quite a few different flavors you might not always see in a saison.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

$10.99 for a 750ml

A: light copper clear, rocky head when poured and kept nice lacey head all the way
S: medium to full nose, very nice malty-yeasty Belgian qualities, slightly sweeter, caramel roasted undertones
T: very full taste, nice malty backbone with spirtzy CO2 and well-balanced yeast throughout, sweeter malt but true to type, not cloying
M: very soft, clean crisp, roasted malt, very smooth
O: very good beer, reminded me of an abbey beer

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Photo of EORS
4.3/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a sample of this during beer week and bought a bottle home to try. Poured into a highball glass.

Appearance: Medium brown with a billowy head and medium carbonation. Head retains well and laces down the glass.

Smell: Sweet caramel and raisin on the nose, with some mustiness.

Taste: Tanginess from the yeast balances the mellow, sweet malty flavor of the beer. The Belgian yeast is a great way to add a bit of balance to the beer.

Mouthfeel: Lively carbonation with a crisp finish.

Overall: Brewer described this to me as an altbier brewed with Belgian yeast, and it's a great take for that. All the flavor of an alt without the syrupiness or overly sweet character that some American interpretations of alt have. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: A nearly brilliant deep amber to light brown pour under a stiff 3” frothy and clingy cream colored foam collar. S: Dark malt, traces of maple, fruit, barnyard. T: Rich dark malt flavors, traces of maple but not overly sweet, no burnt or harsh roast flavors. F: Very effervescent producing a creamy mouthfeel and giving the fairly light body more substance. O: A great beer for early October with a big pot roast.

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Photo of justintcoons
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Cloudy copper with reddish-mahogany highlights. Has 1/2 finger of tan head that dissipates quickly. Light carbonation with plenty of yeast sediment floating around.

Brown brad, brown sugar, hazelnut, and dark fruit.

Caramel, brown bread, and toasted grains. Notes of brown sugar and touches of hazelnut. Suggestions of dark fruit, concord grape, and black plum. Earthy hop presence with a squeeze of lemon. Light notes of hay, potpourri, and clove.

Medium-light bodied, crisp, clean, off-dry, and refreshing.

A malty Oktoberfest grain bill with Stillwater's Saison Ale yeast. Yes, please! Very tasty and hides the alcohol extremely well.

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Photo of lowendfrequency
4.22/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a wineglass during a bottle share. A rich deep copper colored liquid with a formidable rocky tan head. Steady lacing shows this is well carbonated.

Aroma is spicy with a distinct breadiness. Peppercorns and clove stand out but there is some caramel and plum notes showing up. Some floral hops with a slight bubblegum in the background.

Flavor is a strong toffee, spice, toasted bread and fruit. The fruit character spans the full spectrum from citrus and banana to figs and plums. This beer fools the senses into thinking it's intensely malty but finishes dry, peppery and refreshing. The mouthfeel is seriously dry, almost desiccating but without being thin and really pulls this beer together.

I enjoyed this beer immensely. It's apparent that this is a well made product and was fermented with skill and know-how. I feel that reviews of this beer are skewed by comparing it to a traditional saison. To truly appreciate this beer, pre-conceptions of what a saison is, or can be, need to be thrown out. This is a fantastic, balanced, well made beer that is deserving of it's price.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.22/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another great beer from Stillwater. Thanks Brian! Served in my Stillwater Artisan Ale angled wine glass (I think its the saison glass) because I can.

Beer is brown and hazy with aggressive carbonation and a nice thick head that settles to a half a finger with some lacing on the walls. The head is made up of a off white to brown small bubbles with a few medium ones in there. Another saison but this one is dark.

Aroma is sweet with a hint of malts and some darker notes like toffee or a mild spice, smells great. Slightly bready with strong yeast presence.

Beer is roastier than expected but its good. Medium to light in body, finishes dry, yeast character in the midpalate. Lots of carbonation in the mouth, tastes pretty good. The sweetness on the front would be nice to accent the yeast character more. Overall its a good beer.

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Photo of drpimento
4.21/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Let this warm a bit out of the fridge. Poured with a nice, foamy, frothy, fluffy, billowy, thick, creamy, fine, light tan head, that lasts forever and lots of lace. Color is a clear, brown orange medium amber with lots of tiny bubble trails. Aroma is a fresh blend of caramel, berry, toffee, and some astringency. Flavor is a less complex blend of sweet, caramel malt, bitter, carbonic tang. Body is both soft, full and yet cut by the great carbonation. Finish is like flavor and has medium lenght with a little alcohol at the end. Very easy drinking beer. Grew on me the more I "sampled" it. I want another sample.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lots of light fruit swirling around with a healthy dose of spice in it as well. Nice touches of coriander, lemon, hints of pepper coming through, with a touch of pears warming up to it as it came up to room temperature. The initial taste was peppery, with a rush of lemon following suit almost immediately. A wonderful sense of light fruit really just ran all over this one. I was quite impressed I have to admit. Smooth mouth feel was more the adequately carbonated and really just kept the profile popping throughout. An easy sipper, the moderate ABV lended itself well to a warm late summer evening

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Photo of smakawhat
4.19/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

A real great looker of a brew. Deep chestnut red, looking like a real nice Marzen but with a classic Belgian middle column of carbonation rising through the center of the glass. Frothy and big bubble-bath foam on creation, with a solid easy four finger head, clingy and with moderate retention as it settles with soft foamy peaks and valleys. Great looking brew.

Real nice toasty malts of brown bread, with a mild sensing funk and brett. Chewy sourdough but with a darker grain bready quality that really shines. Slight herbal hop punch as well that comes out nicely, it's like a marzen saison or something, real neat.

Taste brings the goods. Malt bread basket filled with excellent brown bread flavors in the mid palate. Slight clove warmth finish on the phenol action but more brett makes it really linger. Lots of interesting bread angles, dry rye, pumpernickel, banana bread like ester with a good funky mix of farmhouse flavors. Drinks lightly for easy consumption with a supportive neutral mouthfeel that lets the flavors take turns. A mix of green earth and herb hop also pops nicely on the finish with a good farmhouse accent.

Reminds me of a real good solid bretted marzen, the best of both and works nicely. Fun and tasty brew.

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Photo of brentk56
4.13/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: A billowy gusher that pours a cola brown color capped by an impressive head that leaves plenty of lace (deduct .5 for the gushing)

Smell: Toasted brown bread, dried dark fruit, banana and a hint of vanilla

Taste: Toasted brown bread, dried dark fruit (figs and dates) and banana, up front, with a a bit of spice cake and vanilla in the middle; nicely blended through the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Altbier meets Dubbel, I am having a hard time finding the Saison in all this; having said that, my bottle has been cellared for a year or two and has likely mellowed quite a bit; still, I like the result, even if it is quite different from what it tastes like in its youth

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Photo of jayhawk73
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with a nice two finger cocoa head. Very good lacing on my CBS snifter. Light brown streaks when held to the light. The nose is really well done, roasted malts, pepper, coriander, as well as an earthy vibe to it. Really smooth, and very pleasant. The taste is a little less spicy than the nose, with the caramel malt and hops coming through to the front. Feel is medium full with a nice dry finish. Overall, this is a really nice farmhouse ale. I would definitely have this again. Cheers.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a chocolate brown in color with yellow highlights when held up to the light that had a finger of head that dissipates quickly leaving some bubbly lacing sticking to the glass. On the first whiff I got a combination of dark fruits alongside applesauce notes with slight spice and mild tart notes. The taste upfront had toasty caramel flavors with brown sugar, spices, and dark fruit accents. It did however have mild tart and nutty flavors on the backend. The brew was medium in body with a good amount of carbonation which had a slight sweet, fruity, but toasty and tart finish. It drank really good and was a nice take on a saison style brew. Definitely have to try more of these stillwater beers ASAP.

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Photo of impending
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz into a tulip. Pours a ruddy dark cola dishwater, nice towering dense cream colored head, nice lacing.

Aroma of a dubbel saison fusion, clean.

Taste continues the melding of styles. Taste begins as a dubbel then drifts into a saison with the mild wild yeast announcing at the beginning of the finish which lingers pleasantly. Medium bodied creamy mouthfeel.

Shares a sensibility with Moinette Brune.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a dark caramel color with one finger of off-white head. Sticky lacing left behind.

Aroma of floral hops, tropical fruit, bubblegum, yeast, and some maltiness.

The taste matched the aroma. Floral hops, tropical fruit, yeast, and bubblegum with a light malt and banana finish.

Medium bodied and a bit sticky with a moderate carbonation.

A very interesting Saison from Stillwater. Darker in color and with a bit more malt but still retained the Saison personality. A must try.

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Photo of Libationguy
4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy copper color with amber hues. Off-white 2-finger head with medium+ retention. Carbonation is aggressive.

Toasted malt, coriander, semi-dried black fruits, orange peel, vanilla and nugat.

Dates, coriander, citrus zest, mocha, marzipan, nugat and lightly caramelized malt.

Medium+ bodied with a clean feel to the palate. Slight bitterness in the finish is helping to keep everything clean. Beer is over carbonated though.

Interesting beer with a lot of this happening. Would like to see an easing in the beers carbonation though.

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Photo of sphmiel
4.07/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark Amber, head fades to a thin rim. Sweet malts in the nose. Nice effervescence, sweet malts followed by yeast and bitter hops. Not the typical saison, but very enjoyable.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
4.07/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in the mid-50's into a tulip glass.

Pours with a respectable 3F of beige head over a very deep amber colored body, with plenty of carbonation present. Just a touch of lacing.

Aromas are inviting - quite spicy and sweet for the style. Really nice amount of earthy/dirty thickness to it.

Mouthfeel starts off prickly up front with lots of carbonation, leading to a very vinous flavor - mostly white grape like. Floral hoppiness. Juicy sweetness. Finish has some dull/dirt qualities, which contribute to a pretty dry finish. After about 45 minutes, the carbonation mellowed, and unfortunately, it lost some of its spicy kick. But also took on a unique cocoa powder flavor and mouthfeel.

I gave this one the highest marks on drinkability, as it wasn't bone dry or terribly funky or bitter as some saisons.

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Photo of MrELovesBeer
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Two for two with Stillwater. Last try was the Our Side, the Mikkeller collab. This time the Autumnal which I had after having a mediocre rotisserie chicken...and some M&M' wasn't able to try a food pairing but I'm digging it as a post-dinner beverage just the same. Loved the ruby color and lovely carbonation. Smells like port wine in a barn, like a dark saison I guess. Caramel, pepper (or maybe I'm thinking pepper because of the aggressive carbonation?), and some bitter pith-like flavors mixing it up in here. My lager-wife loved this one, so I think it's a great crowd pleaser. Definitely would take this to a dinner party. Got enough depth but can be accessible to most drinkers.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stillwater Autumnal. Purchased in late spring, drinking now in early summer. "This deep amber hued ale takes it's inspiration from Germany, while still nodding to the Belgian farmhouse tradition. The base is comprised of German two-row, wheat, Cara-Munich, and roasted barley. Generously hopped with a blend of Perle, Spalt, and Hallertau Mittlefruh, and fermented with a rustic Belgian farmhouse ale yeast. These elements together provide a melange of earth and fruit aromas backed with hints of caramel with a dry clean finish."

Dusky brown appearance, half-opaque, gorgeous head, big and billowy, lace leaving, luscious.

Aroma: there's the Belgian funk, here's the hops, and underneath the caramel malt. A twisted mix. Some chocolate here, some raisins, a little creamy, bits of nuts.

Taste: Mmm. Chocolate malt remains a minor player, mixes with dark fruit and nuts. Primarily a malt driven flavor, with mild and mellow hop character. Richness and sweetness aplenty. But never too much, great balance, great consumability.

Good spice in it, great malt, minor hops, terrific flavor.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.02/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a medium to dark walnut brown with a one finger light khaki head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of grainy malt, saison yeast; lightly earthy. Flavor is grainy malt with little hint of caramel at the start, dates, light grassy hops, saison yeast and a touch of spicy funk. Finishes with grains and light hops. Medium bodied with light creaminess. An interesting take on a saison; quite a bit darker than traditional and with the interesting light caramel in the start, although mostly traditionally grainy and medium dry. There is a light earthiness that really does make this reminiscent of an autumn evening with dry leaves. I've always enjoyed Stillwater's saisons and this one is also very nice. This may have been the first Stillwater I ever tried, but for some reason never reviewed it until now.

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Photo of nickfl
4.02/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured with a small head of off white foam, the body is a hazy, dark brown. The head settles slowly and leaves light lace.

S - lightly sour, dark fruit with dark caramel malt.

T - Dry caramel and toffee with some dark cherry. Darker malt in the middle with more cherry that starts to taste a bit like cough syrup. Lots of caramel and chery in the finish.

M - medium thick body and a sweet finish with moderate carbonation.

D - Pretty nice. It smells great, but the flavor gets cloying after the first glass.

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Autumnal from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
3.75 out of 5 based on 269 ratings.
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