Stillwater / Brewer's Art Debutante | Stillwater Artisanal Ales

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Stillwater / Brewer's Art DebutanteStillwater / Brewer's Art Debutante

Brewed by:
Stillwater Artisanal Ales
Maryland, United States

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
It’s my pleasure to present a collaboration with The Brewer’s Art. A Baltimore institution that helped to pioneer the Belgian beer movement in the States. Brewed with a combination of Spelt & Rye, accented with a blend of Heather, Honeysuckle, and Hyssop. The result is a rustic farmhouse ale displaying earthy tones & floral characteristics while maintaining intricate balance.

Added by StaEva on 06-14-2011

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Reviews: 113 | Ratings: 337
Photo of Hat_Fulla_Beer
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355ml bottle poured into tulip.

Pours a hazy burnt orange with a thin cap of loose foam that leaves scattered blobs of lace as it recedes.

Smells of stewed apples and pears, spiced honey, wildflowers, lemon and orange zest, sweet grain, soft barnyard funk and leafy herbal hops.

Tastes of apple crisp, honeyed peach, more juicy orange and lemon, trail mix dried apricots, breakfast cereal, fresh bread, mildly funky yeast and more tea-like hop bitterness.

Feels soft and round. Hefty medium body with silky carbonation. Finishes sweet and citrusy.

Verdict: Highly recommended. Doesn't look like much, but it's a very pleasant evening sipper.

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Photo of mothmanscott
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque gold producing 3+ fingers of finely bubbled shaving cream like, lasting, white head that leaves a thin wash of streaky lace. Aroma is floral, spice, musty yeasty & heavy to white fruits, with a hints of wheat, pepper, bananas & faint clove. Unless the rye is manifested in the spice I'm missing it. Taste is floral, smooth cream, bready wheat, pale malts, lemon, spice, Belgian yeast notes of peach & pear with a dry hoppiness, bitter (heavily so for the style) & lightly sour flavors from just after mid-sip & lasting well into the aftertaste. The bitterness may come from the heather & rye more so than the hops. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, moderate to high carbonation, creamy smooth with a peppery finish. Lasting bitterness on the tongue. I'm not sure about what I should have picked up from the from the hyssop & honeysuckle but the brew certainly has some strong floral notes.

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Photo of ordybill
3.05/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a murky bright golden yellow color with a medium sized off-white head. The aroma is sweet fruit and yeast with some grain added. The taste is very close to the nose. Did not work for me.

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Photo of REDAMI
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 750ml bottle into Orval chalice.

L-Copper-gold color, no head, minimal foam.

S-Very faint nose, sweet/sour grain, must.

T-Grassy and floral on the front end with a slight spice, mellows into rye and bready notes.

F-Sharp, crisp carbonation, dry on the palate.

A crisp, summery beer. One of those unique chances to actually taste all of the ingredients used rather than having them muddled into something else.

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Photo of Emersonio
4.21/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pour: 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Appearance: Light gold or straw in color. Mostly clear but also has some slight haze. Scant amounts of carbonation. Slight white head which reduces to a ring around the glass after settling. Slight amounts of lacing on the sides of the glass. Aroma: very nice balance of light malt aroma mixed with hints of yeasty and earthy elements. On the swirl, there is a fair amount of flowery aromas and slight traces of alcohol. Taste: Reverse of the nose in order of ingredients experienced. The funky and yeasty notes make themselves known immediately. After, a slight tartness, which is balanced nicely by the malt is found. Very nice and balanced. Aftertaste: More pronounced malt on the back end as the tart and funky yeast elements recede. Also revealed is some subtle stone fruit notes. Somewhat peach-like. Notes: Excellent balance between the yeast and malt. Result/ Rating: Very good. 4.21 out of 5.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from the 12 oz bottle in a snifter. This nice Biere de Garde pours a rustic brownish amber with a modest head of off white foam that settles to a thick ring and thin layer with light lacing. Nose of earthy, musty, yeast laden funk with sweet light honey and herbal notes. Flavors exceed the nose with breaded yeasty goodness that hits on the front, sweet honey and light stone fruits of peaches on the middle, and herbal notes of rye that gives a light white pepper flavor rests soundly on the back and finishes moderately dry and highly quaff-able. A solid beer to keep style that has an artists touch. Great mouth feel, moderately carbonated and easy to sip. Excellent.


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Photo of CowsandBeer
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into a Funkwerks oversized snifter. Sipped on while Rembrandt Pussyhorse played in the background.

Apperance: Pours a thin cap of quickly dissipating head atop a golden brown body. Hazy body though there is no yeast floating around. Almost no lacing and just the thinnest of rings.

Aroma: On the nose light peppery phenols and pearish fruity esters. Fresh baked bread biere de garde maltiness under a herbal honey sweetness. Knowing rye and spelt was used in the beer you notice a grainy, almost minty maltiness. Good balance between the sweetness and herbal notes complementing each other.

Taste: Opens with more of that light white pepper note before going into a deep pear skin juiciness. The malts finish out with a lingering floral honey flavor. Snappy yeast and herbs clean up after the sweetness. Mental image of a honey jar label (flowers/beers).

Mf: Medium full body with a lower carbonation. No heat. Sweet and almost creamy.

Overall: A tasty and unique beer that plays well off the biere de garde style. I wouldn't mind a bit more carbonation. If you like a full, sweet slightly peppery beer with botanical notes this is probably for you.

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Photo of GrumD
3.76/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours cloudy and with little carbonation. The head soon disappears leaving it looking a little lifeless. Almost banana-like nose, perhaps from the yeast. The initial taste is of spice, but nothing overwhelms or impresses. It is also a little sweet for this style (I prefer the French versions, although they too are varied!). The finish is sweet and could perhaps benefit from a little bitter hop hit.

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Photo of constantine_272
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Orange and clear with very low carb and head. Looks flat. Smells of earth, hay, musrooms and musk. Taste kicks off sweet with honey and malt and wheat and quickly gives way to a wide fatty earthy midsection. The middle pallete is big and wide with earthy fermented oats and wheat along with apricot and golden raisin. A decomposing and fermenting green grass finishes tangy and salty in the back of the tongue. Feel is great starting off rich and fatty while a tangy herbal vinegarry grass sharply contrasts and balances. Overall I really like this beer, but its but pretty. I want a little more carbonation and then I'll buy a case of this stuff.

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Photo of LAp
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tumbler. Pours a honey-amber color with a quickly dissipating head. Nose is of malt, slightly floral with some underlying spice. Taste is muted Belgian spice up front, giving way to a yeasty finish. Almost none of the sourness that accompanies some of the other beers (like Jolly Pumpkin's) in this style. This beer is certainly sweeter than I anticipated, and the "heather, honeysuckle, and hysop" in the description are certainly hard to pick out. That said, overall, I like this beer a great deal. Very reminiscent of Belgian ales, but the Belgian yeast and spice are not too aggressive, and lend just the right amount of complexity when mixed with the subtlest of subtle floral notes.

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Photo of maedhros09
3.86/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Look: Amber-gold with fairly anemic head that dissipates to nothing pretty quickly
Smell: Acidic fruit nose - pear, apple, floral
Taste: Moderately sweet gentle floral and fruity, a bit acidic. Very mild finish
Feel: Light body, slightly undercarbonated.

Overall: Not knowing the style, it's hard to decide how well the Debutant fits. In an absolute sense it is a pleasant and flavorful fruity belgian ale with a gentle finish - Pretty enjoyable if somewhat unremarkable. The main disappointment is the lackluster head and seeming undercarbonation, though it's not a dealbreaker. However, after being fairly impressed by the Stateside and Cellar Door saisons it was a bit of a letdown.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hazy gold pour with a thin cream colored foam cap. Light lace. Fruit and light dried fruit nose with some light floral notes. Rich fruit, dried apricot palate with some bubble gum in the background. Moderate herbal bitterness. Above average carbonation and a medium body. No one element stands out but they all fall together very well.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.79/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a cloudy orangish yellow body with good head and left a lace ring. Aroma has notes of yeast and spices but is pretty non-descript. Spicy, crisp body, light and easy to drink, there is some rye that comes across as giving off a little dryness. Slightly offbalance but still has tropical fruit sweetness along with a touch of citric acidity that adds sharpness to finish.

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Photo of cbutova
3.72/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- Golden brew with just a bit of haze to it in a snifter from the 12oz tall bottle. Foamy white head rises to about one finger eventually falling to a medium belt. Lacing is somewhat rare.

S- Feels like some of the other Stillwater Saisons with a spicy and floral yeast profile but this delivers an especially floral aroma probably from the added plants. Coriander, pepper, heather, flowers, herbs, lemon oil and herbal tea.

T- As with the nose the floral and somewhat herbal earthy aspect of this brew is massive but still compliments the coriander, pepper and citrus zest from the base. Orange peel, vanilla type sweets, pears, apricot, cooking herbs and pale grapes. Pale grain sweetness, caramel, cereal and bready malts.

MF- Fairly creamy and right about medium overall thickness on the palate. Carbonation is moderately high with a spicy bitterness on the back end.

For me the biggest standout is the floral additions and the great base yeast once again from Stillwater.

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Photo of alaskannomad
3.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Nice farmhouse characteristics. Beautiful color. But I don't taste the adjuncts at all, as the flavor comes entirely from the yeast and the malty grain.

Too sweet. Tastes like a dessert wine - almost like a 'barley sauternes". Add some hop character to increase bitterness, and this could be a real winner.

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Photo of biegaman
3.46/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Débutante definitely looks suited to high society; not only does it have the colour and complexion of gold but also shares the same prickly bubbles and beaded collar as Champagne. Back-light reveals phenomenal highlights that intensify that "aristocratic" image.

Brewed with spelt, rye, heather, honeysuckle, and hyssop, you can forgive me for saying that I have no clue what to expect. The bouquet isn't yet prepared at this point to reveal much, but with an ingredients list like that I can't imagine it not having unique aromatics... unfortunately, apart from unearthing a subtle floral honey note, warming does little good.

Equally as disappointing as the near void bouquet is the lack of distinguishing flavour. The sweet taste of cereal grains and the musty yeastiness that's typical for a Bière de Garde is present, but none of our star ingredients make noteworthy impressions. Perhaps it leans a bit more floral, but overall this is still the yeast's show - and stinky, spicy phenols dominate as per usual.

With ingredients like heather, honeysuckle, and hyssop I expected something much brighter and more colourful. A naive thought perhaps on my part - knowing full well that Bières de Gardes are characterized by a musty, moldy, farmhouse-like quality - but this really failed to deliver the kind of interesting and unique herbal and floral elements I had hoped for.

I've largely been a big fan of the Stillwater offerings I've tried, but Débutante really failed to impress. In hindsight, I would have been much happier with any of the other 4-packs on the shelf from this brewer. Oh well, they can't all be winners. Anyone who enjoys the style might as well try this but those only curious about the exotic ingredients, just save your money.

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Photo of mick303
3.86/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a tulip glass. An orangey gold colour with a solidly creamy cap of white head, showing nice lace and retention.

S- lemony citrus and intense floral tones, earthy heather notes, mild spiciness with a rustic rye spice, has a pleasant malt character to it, complimented by a really nice earthy and herbal quality that is all balanced really nicely.

T- start is sweet and malty with a growing herbal quality, rustic malt and toffee then a herbal and slightly slick evergreen, heather for sure, oranges, white pepper, growing toward a balanced bitterness with spruce and earthy floral notes, Meyer lemons, still a bit sweet on the finish, but with a lot of flavour. Becomes more developed as it warms.

M- moderate body and appropriate carbonation, not too assertive with a slick sweet character to it. Balanced well and a satisfying sipper but shows some alcohol warmth I find.

Overall I did think this was quite impressive, the ingrediant additions really shined on the aroma but I think became a bit buried in the herbal oily and sweet character on the palate. A very interesting beer though and it is well proportioned to give you a good display of some complex flavours and remain balanced. I think some small alterations would fix some of the balance critiques. Very nice.

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Photo of gregcordle
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Awesome example of a bier de garde. I wish more people embraced these styles. Musty, spicy and lemon zest come through. Very crisp with high carbonation.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3/5  rDev -21.9%

Pours a thin head on a hazy straw body.
The aroma has lots of honey and a nice floral smell.
The taste starts with a malty sweetness, moves to an even bigger honey sweetness, finishes with a mild lemon bitter note.
The texture is light and crisp.
It's on the sweet side for me but still tasty.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Stillwater's Debutante a couple weeks ago for $3.09 at Holiday Market. I'm a fan of Biere De Garde's and this one caught my eye and I thought I would take a chance on it, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a tulip.

A- The label looks nice, I like the design and it's got that typical Stillwater style to it, it's a little eye catching. It poured a nice cloudy bright golden color that took on more of an apricot color when held to the light with just about two fingers worth of off white head that quickly died down to a thin ring that left a little bit of spotty lacing behind. This is pretty nice looking beer, but I wish it had some better head retention and lacing,

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness with the yeast being the first to show up and it imparts some nice funky farmhouse aromas with some musty and wet straw like aromas coming through and it's followed by nice a fruity aroma with a lemon like aroma sticking out the most with some berry like aromas showing up in the background. Towards the end comes a light grainy, sweet malt and spelt like aroma along with some floral and grassy hop aromas. This beer had a good aroma that's pretty inline with the style.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma, but just a little lighter and it starts off with a medium amount of sweetness with the yeast still being the first to show up and they impart the same funky farmhouse like aspects that they did in the aroma and they seem to be just a little lighter. Up next comes that nice fruity aspect that I got in the aroma, but this time it's the berry like aspects that stick out the most and they are followed by a light floral and grassy hop flavor. On the finish comes this nice yogurt like flavor that goes good with the berry aspect and a slightly higher amount of light bitterness with just a slight bit of tartness and it had a nice berry yogurt and farmhouse yeast like aftertaste. This was a good and unique tasting Biere De Garde, I like it.

M- Smooth, fairly crisp, slightly refreshing, a little dry on the finish, on the light side of being medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. This beer had a pretty nice mouthfeel that worked well with it.

Overall I thought this was a good beer and good example of the style, it had most of the aspects that I look for in the style while still being fairly unique and I thought that made this beer memorable. This beer had good drinkability, it was smooth, fairly crisp, slightly refreshing, a little dry on finish, not filling and the taste did a nice job at holding my attention, I think two or three of these would be my limit, it's pretty easy drinking and I think it makes for a nice Fall time beer. What I like the most about this beer was the taste, aroma and drinkability, they were all good and worked well with this beer. What I liked the least about this beer was the head retention, but in the end it wasn't that big of a deal. I would buy this beer again when in the mood for the style and I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of the style. All in all I was happy with this beer, it was just a nice Biere De Garde and I enjoyed drinking it. It isn't my favorite of the style, but it was one of the better ones I'e had and it's one of the better beers I've had from Stillwater. Good job guys, this was a tasty beer that was a little unique, keep up the good work.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Pours amber with a large fading head.
Nose shows bready malt, spicy farmhouse yeast and some soft grainy honey notes.
Flavours imitate a honey saison with amber malt. Some spicy hops and caramel. Finishes gently but well-balanced.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Stillwater Débutante has a thin, off-white head, a semi-clear, yellow-gold appearance, and fervent bubble streams. The aroma is of varied, funky spices and white bread, and the flavor is the same. Bitterness is low, here. Mouthfeel is medium, and Stillwater Débutante finishes not so dry and pleasant.


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Photo of barczar
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%

Grain, pear skin, honeysuckle, heather, and lemon pith. Flavor is briney, with echoes of pear taking away that odd flavor, carrying into a dry, powdery finish.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

As the taste of the European farmhouse extend from Belgium and into France, the character turns more lager-like, maltier and softer with the fruit and spice. While its Belgianesque balance remains intact, it takes a softer and more mellow turn.

Its stern malty pour suggest a bready weight with its swirling haze and milky straw hues. As its creamy head builds, it reveals the flowery character of honeysuckle, heather and mint. Its mellow flavors sooth the early palate with a doughy-sweet introduction.

Its rich cookie dough flavor and feel is given a creamy lift with and abundance of carbonation to keep the taste light and marshmallowy. But with certain grain spiciness, there's a husky earthiness that rides up against peppercorn and pecan skins but without becoming an overly spicy beer.

With a minty and pepper taste gaining steam, the ale's firm texture wavers enough to suggest a malty-dry finish. Any spicy, woodsy or grainy bite is buffered with residual bread texture while its floral bouquet continues to swirl above the palate, extending lightly into aftertaste.

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

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 5/23/2014. Pours fairly crystal clear deep golden color with a 1 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of lemon zest, apricot, pear, apple, light banana, honey, rye bread, herbal, floral, grass, clove, pepper, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/earthy yeast, bready malt, and spice notes; with good strength. Taste of lemon zest, apricot, pear, apple, light banana, honey, rye bread, herbal, floral, grass, clove, pepper, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Fair amount of earthy yeast spice on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon zest, apricot, pear, apple, light banana, clove, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity and robustness of fruity/earthy yeast, bready malt, and spice flavors; with a great malt/yeast balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, and lightly bready mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice Biere de Garde style. All around great complexity and balance of fruity/earthy yeast, bready malt, and spice flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Stillwater / Brewer's Art Debutante from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
3.84 out of 5 based on 337 ratings.
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