A Saison Darkly (Import Series Vol. 2) | Stillwater Artisanal Ales

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A Saison Darkly (Import Series Vol. 2)A Saison Darkly (Import Series Vol. 2)

Brewed by:
Stillwater Artisanal Ales
Maryland, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed at Huisbrouwerij Sint Canarus in Deinze-Gottem, Belgium with Dr. Canarus. This black saison carries qualities similar to a stout with light roast and burnt sugar flavors, spiced with Rose Hips, Hibiscus, & Schisandra berries.

Added by Thorpe429 on 11-13-2010

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Reviews: 130 | Ratings: 343
Photo of dgfair
3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle in Westmalle goblet

Pours a thin dark black with a light bubbly tan head. The head stays in about a 2mm layer for the duration of the drink, but leaves no lacing on the glass. The smell is sweet raw dough, followed by some fruitiness and smoke. I get strawberry and blackberry along with a smoky wood in the background. Taste is smoky, grassy, and balanced out with dark ripe fruit. Alcohol taste is a little more than I would like in this style. Mouthfeel is big and bubbly...not bad, but foams a little too much in the mouth. Drinkability is decent, but not as good as a lot of other saisons. Obviously this is difficult to compare to others of the style since it is very different. I would consider this more of a Belgian strong dark ale than a saison. Nice brew, but probably won't be going back for more at $6 per.

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Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark murky body, with initial abundant foamy head that dissipitates. Chocolate aroma, above all else. Lactose, creamy milk chocolate taste, with some sourness in the finish. Some spices in the secondary, chipolte-like, that remain on the lips.Above-average mouthfeel, and then its gone, great dinkability.

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

dark is definitely the theme here... dark purplish black with a tan head that holds and leaves lots of pretty lace. nose is lots of dark stuff. dark malt, dark chocolate, dark flowers, red grapefruit, dark fruit (plum?), dark bread (semi-sweet and in the middle of cooking when you can just start to smell it), dark spice (black pepper mostly), and winter/fall countryside (like dark, wet, fallen leaves) with a dark brown sugar/molasses sweetness helping to balance. it sounds thick and syrupy, but somehow, all the "darkness" gets expressed fairly brightly and dryly in the taste. everything is lively, and a healthy hopping leads to a good amount of bitterness which seems to make me salivate and opens up my palate to all kinds of complexities i didn't notice before; one of which being a kind of burdock-like earthiness. another being a character of the roast that almost seems smoky. it tastes like chocolate covered rosehips with a smoked sea salt finishing at times. also very rustic. the herbs are perfectly cured and integrated into the mix like it is an old recipe and they are meant to be there. medium-full body that seems much lighter than it is due to lively conditioning. pleasant bitter is prominent and overrides any kind of prickliness although there is some tingle to it. spice and fruit associated with traditional saison hits in the finish too, drawing a familiar connection between this strange brew and tradition. makes you feel like you've been drinking it your whole life. dark and complex, yet extremely drinkable for an 8+%abv beer. this is a beer for food. can't wait to have one of these with dinner. hope i can find a couple of bottles!!!

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Photo of rtepiak
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

the pour was somewhat impressive with a nice billowing head of doughy mocha foam on a dark brown body. then suddenly dissipated with very interested large yeast dough like bubbles amongst a tight arrangement. nose is like that of a mild funk and a substantial amount of wheat and baker's chocolate. palate is like a savory dunkelweiss with a malt character of munich bitterness sitting subtly on the palate. would even say this is like a irish dry in certain ways. with the addition of the dark IPA i can see this beer short sighted by some. it does have that saison quality... but is surprisingly malt forward. there are hints of fruit in the zest... particularly strawberry. i would like to age for about a year and come back to it and see if the funk develops more of a hay barnyard.

great to see such a think coming out though. great work making something new. this will evolve into something fantastic to come with a fantome frame of mind.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.51/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle at the Bilbo Baggins event welcoming Stillwater to Virginia. Brewed in West Flanders and made with hibiscus, rose hips, and Schisandra chinensis, aka the Chinese five-flavored fruit.

Pours a dark plum color with an off white bordering on tan head and some spotty lacing. Some carbonation rings at the edges of the glass. Nose is light and creamy and has a mild tequila-like booziness. Slight notes of blueberry skin and wood.

The taste is lightly spicy and musty with a moderate berry tartness. Slightly floral and tea-like. Toward the end I get some light floral and plum characteristics. The feel is light with mild carbonation and is slightly bitter. Throughout the glass, I'm still trying to figure out what's going on. This is really quite interesting and definitely worth a try.

 813 characters

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A Saison Darkly (Import Series Vol. 2) from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
3.9 out of 5 based on 343 ratings.
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