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: 112 | Ratings: 336
Photo of LiquidAmber
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a medium orange amber with a one finger fine off-white head and lacing. Aroma of light fruit, floral elements light spicing and a suggestion of sweet caramel malt. Flavor of light fruit with peppery bitterness from the heather, develops nice floral notes in the middle to finish somewhat dry with a touch of rye sourness. A very pleasant flavor progression. Complex variety of flavors, but none dominate, allowing something interesting to develop over the taste. Although light to medium in body, it manages a bit of creaminess in the mouth feel. Another interesting and fun to drink take on the saison style. Nicely done.

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Photo of avalon07
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an orange color and a cloudy consistency. There was a massive, long-lasting, creamy head. Average lacing.

S: An unusual aroma: Kind of herbal, kind of floral, kind of spicy. Interesting.

T: Tasted of some malt, spices (cloves, et. al.), a good amount of yeast, and a pronounced herbal quality. The flavor here grew on me as it went on. Very strong forceful. Note: This beer tastes more like a biere de garde than a saison.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a somewhat harsh finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Like everything Stillwater makes this one is worth a shot. Not my favorite of theirs, but pretty solid.

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Photo of DCon
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on-tap @ The Bridge Tap House & Wine Bar in St. Louis, MO for $9. Tapped from the "Dark" Looking Tap Handle from Stillwater into a 12oz Pint Glass. Stillwater's 750mL bottles are ALWAYS over $15 so I decided to try this on-tap first.

Aroma- Tons of complexity comes from this brew. Huge spices and a fresh/fruit blend is included. Bit of clove as well. Super potent!

Appearance- Received with a 1.5 finger head that has good head retention. Has a deep golden colored body but clear. Leaves thick frothing behind.

Flavor- VERY malty and almost a deep grain flavor from the beginning. Spices then come in with a bit of pepper and then prickles at the finish with slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Light-Medium Bodied, High Carbonation, Effervescent, Sweet Spices, and then a mixed fruit flavor finishes on the palate.

Overall Impression- A decent Saison by Stillwater/Brewer's Art but not worth the price... I haven't seen this in bottle shops yet but won't be looking to purchase it. Not even taste/flavor for me. The spices were a good contribution to the beer but needed more character.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured on-tap and served in a tulip, the beer is a cloudy opaque, pale, orange marmalade coloring with a thin, filmy coating on top. Aromas of sweet honey and a blend of spicing, including a clove presence. Flavors are light, with an effervescent feel on the tongue. Subtle sweetness in the backbone carries the dynamic spice profile of nutmeg, clove, heather, and oregano on a smooth body. The aftertaste is a muted version of the flavors, doing a good job of carrying the major profiles over into the end of the palate. Quick, clean finish, with a touch of citrus sweet at the very end. Very easy to drink, and very well balanced.

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Photo of benbazi
4.58/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy orange with a nice pillowy head in my tulip glass.

smells of delicious floral, citus fruits and pepper!

tastes of fruit, earth and delicious pepper spicyness with a right on dry finish.

medium body appropriate carbonation, smooth.

overall this another winner from stillwater, i dig this beer.

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

A-golden color slightly cloudy with a decent white head and some lacing

S-lemon, floral, and herbal with hints of spice

T-yeasty, spice,floral and earthy flavors with a hint of sourness

F-light to medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp slightly tart feel

O-a decent Saison, but not in the top tier

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

big thanks to 321jeff for yet another stillwater hookup. enjoyed from my stillwater wine glass.

a - the brew poured a murky golden orange with a generous creamy head. the head hung out and left big chunky lacing on the glass. visible carbonation could be seen rising to the surface along the glass' edges. really dark color...opaque, kind of like a pewter orange.

s - as advertised...a nice rustic farmhouse. excellent spicing on the earthy base. soft hint of sweetness, but drowned out by rye and mostly belgian spicing and white pepper.

t - a bit of a let down in the flavor dept. kind of muddled and muted. fairly grainy with lots of spicing. as the beer warmed, some great citric and floral notes came out.

m - cooling and soft, prickly carbonation...somewhat dry finish.

o - overall, not a bad beer, but a bit of a let down. stillwater makes so many excellent saisons, but i found this one to be better than average, but not really at the level that i've come to expect from brian's saisons. enjoyable on a warm memorial day weekend, but lacking in the sweetness to be the perfect beverage for right now. probably more of an end of summer beer than an early summer beer.

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Photo of homebrewhawk
3.66/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle served in a tulip. Poured a hazy gold with a finger of white head. Floral aroma that I wasn't really a fan of. Also some citrus. Light bodied with plenty of carbonation. Nice and dry with some Belgian spice in the finish. More citrus in the flavor. Taste was better than the aroma. Not my favorite Stillwater.

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Photo of mltobin
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-draft at The Pony Bar.

Appearance is a hazy orange with two fingers of white head. This collaboration from Stillwater/Brewer`s Art has a a smell of of yeast, spice, honey and lemon. The taste is grains, fruit and bread. Mouthfeel is rather earthy, a musty aspect, finishes rather clean however. A nice farmhouse, that has a bit of barnyard character to it, but not too much, was easily quaffable and would be great way to introduce "newbies" to the style.

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Photo of rapidsequence
3.67/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle from Pints O'Plenty. I think it was 12 bucks. Again, nice packaging from Stillwater.

Appearance: Hazy dark yellow-orange. Fair head retention and lacing. Not too exciting, but not bad.

Smell: Fruity, earthy, floral, herbal, and clovey-spicy. I know the smell of heather or hyssop, but I smell fresh honeysuckle all the time and that smell is very common in saisons in general. This one too.

Taste: The flavor is much more toward the spicy and clovey. There's an herbal bitterness and a strong peppery flavor too. Some light fruit sweetness in the back, but this is dominated by the spice and herbs.

Mouthfeel: Very nice soft, almost creamy mouthfeel. Carbonation is appropriately high, making it feel lively. Finish is pretty dry.

Overall: I usually love Stillwater's saisons, but this one has too many funky additions. Too much spice and the herbal bitterness is too much. Still good, but not great.

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Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at DBGB Kitchen & Bar, New York, NY

A: The beer is very hazy yellow in color. It poured with a small tan head that died down and left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a ring around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of heather in the nose, along with some floral aromas and hints of spices.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has initial flavors of heather, hyssop and honeysuckle along with some notes of spices towards the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and a bit chewy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a very slight amount of dryness.
O: This beer is easy to drink and is an interesting representation of the style due to the addition of flowers and herbs.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at DBGB Kitchen & Bar in New York, NY

A: Pours an extremely hazy golden yellow to orange in color. The beer has a half finger tall off-white head that reduces to a very thin film covering the surface of the beer with a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate lacing is observed.

S: Overall the aroma of this beer is not very intense. There are light notes of florals and botanicals - including heather and what might be honeysuckle. Additionally there are some hints of spices.

T: The taste follows the smell. Upfront there is a lot of floral presence and some botanicals. The finish is full of the flavor of the rye including the expected hints of spiciness.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. There is a very light hint of dryness, but not as much as I expected for the style.

O: This beer is very refreshing and very easy to drink - I really enjoyed this beer and it is one to get another time. This beer is very much a sessionable beer and definitely one I would enjoy drinking through an entire meal. My only real critique is that I wish there was a little more dryness in the mouthfeel.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 03/25/12 notes. had on tap at Fireworks in Arlington, VA yesterday. Served in a tulip.

a - Pours a bright murky orange color with one inch of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident. Leaves some spotty lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of spices, floral hops, yeast, pepper, citrus hops, and some fruity malts. Pretty nice but heavy on the spices.

t - Tastes of spices, floral hops, Belgian yeast, earthy notes, hay, pepper, ligth citrus hops. Again, heavy on the spices.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth body.

o - Overall a nice saison, but not my favorite Stillwater beer. A bit too heavy on the spices for me. If you like spice/pepper in your saisons you may like this more then I did, but I probably wouldn't seek it out again.

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives with a clear amber color; the modest head sticks around and dots the glass

Smell: Bready, with floral honey tones

Taste: Bready, up front, with developing floral tones, though there is an herbal spice cake character that arrives, after the swallow and lingers into the finish

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body; moderate carbonation

Overall: A refreshing brew; like the spice cake elements

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Photo of elNopalero
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased and enjoyed in February, 2012.

This pours a golden-orange color with a tight layer of foam. Lovely aroma. I get a light floral ‘wildflowers in bloom’ note which accents the estery aroma. It has a zesty flavor and a real zing to each sip. There’s a light crispness to this that’s all about the flavor. It’s estery, yeasty springtime floral-ness forward. The grain bill has some interesting components but I couldn’t identify or single out some of the specifics, other than an apparent rye zest. But spelt? Heather, honeysuckle & hsyssop?

While I enjoyed this beer tremendously after tasting the Debutante and a Fantome in the same weekend I also found myself wondering if I’ve hit a wall in terms of my ability to detect some of the more subtle and unique variations, or if I’m missing out on some things.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled November 2011
A solid pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip produces a four-finger thick, pale tan colored head. The beer is a light amber hue that shows a brilliantly clear, pale amber tinged, full gold hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells floral and fruity with notes of hibiscus, red pears, perhaps a touch of floral apple and a general flower nectar that displays lots of honey-like notes. This up front character is supported by some spicy white pepper notes, touches of ginger, a touch of mustiness and a solid phenolic character that is more spice than clove (though some of the latter too).

Spritzy and carbonated up front this serves as a nice foil to the ample sweetness; much of the latter is perceived, accentuated by the ample floral and fruit notes in the flavor. Sweet fruit notes of hibiscus, Macintosh apple, some floral pear, a soft berry character, lots of flower nectar notes and of course a solid honey like character (without the medicinal sweetness that honey has though). There is a slight spiciness towards the finish that has white pepper notes, a touch of young ginger, some phenolic notes in the finish that leans towards plastic perhaps a touch of clove and a slight mustiness.

The nose and the flavor lean a bit too much towards the fruity and floral side of things; it needs more spiciness and / or funkiness to balance out this super fruit and floral character that is on show so well in this beer. This is a touch unbalanced, but in the end is pretty tasty; actually it really reminds me a lot of a Saison I made with Hibiscus, it too really needed some balancing funkiness or spiciness in it. I wonder if the standard French Saison yeast was used in here, I find that this yeast doesn’t supply the bite and balance that my favorite Saison yeasts are able to supply.

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Photo of DapperGrowler
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tried this beer out of a bottle. It was really pleasant. The beer poured out of the bottle in a cloudy orange/amber ocular with light foam.

S: Herbal, yeasty, floral, earthy, fruity (citrus)

A: Cloudy, Amber/Orange color with a thin head

T: Citrus (kinda floral on the back)

M: the beer was very crisp

O: this beer was nice to try but almost tasted like a juice.

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Photo of n2185
3.45/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy orange with two fingers of white head that fades into a thin layer with decent lacing.

S: Lots of spices at first with candy sugar and orange zest. The finish has some lightly funky barnyard aromas.

T: Similar to the aroma, lots of spices and orange zest at first. The finish has some musty barnyard flavors and a slight bitterness.

M: Medium-light body with lowish carbonation, this beer is a little watery and under-attenuated.

O: A decent saison, though a little on the simplistic and watery side. Still, it's not bad.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours out a hazed, orange-hued body with a tall, frothing, off-white head.

Smell: Modestly malty on the nose, a roundabout sniff of porridge garnished with citrus, with underlying fruity, spicy, floral notes throughout.

Taste: Lightly sweetish honeyed-hay maltiness, a tiny squirt of fresh lemon, and then some inviting, varied floral aspects as a pleasant, balancing peppercorn spiciness (from the grains, yeast, and spice additions) rolls in. Then, some ripe orchard fruits and a half-stick of Juicy Fruit. A wee pinch of nutmeg, mint leaf. Grows fruitier, more floral, and, even a bit more sweet as it warms. Drying finish, well carbonated with a bit of tarrying spice.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-high carbonation.

Overall: Good blend of flavors, categorically crisp, and no more alcohol than was ever needed, keeping it tasty and refreshing (even in late December).

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Photo of beerbiatchMD
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle into a grand bordeaux wine glass.

Appearance: Golden yellow with thick opacity. A nice finger's worth of frothy white head forms on my pour, which retains nicely. There is reasonable lacing from this white head.

Nose: Up front hay and belgian yeast hit me, as well as some spiciness and grassy qualities. Maybe a bit more strongly Belgian than other Saisons I've experienced.

Taste: Very nice. Definite Belgian spice, yeast, pretty floral and earthy as well.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, good carbonation, feels very refreshing--however I just returned from running an interval workout so maybe I'm just particularly thirsty.

Overall: A good Belgian-style/Saison. Very crisp and refreshing, certainly above average as a general ale, but I don't know that it's anything particularly special in the genre. That said, it's very good and I would recommend.

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Photo of MerryTapster
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Too dark for a saison. Head is decent. Thick and creamy, lingers. SOme lacing.

S:Funky, Spicey, Bready. Really your typical saison smell. NOthing spectacular.

T:Funky and bread. Light spice and yeast. Really didn't enjoy this as much as I thouhgt I would. Not to tasty.

M:Smooth and fluffy. This was probably the best characteristic of this brew. Goes down smooth yet crisp.

O: Ok, not the best, but not the worst. Try if you like.

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Photo of ckollias
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this 750 ml bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a hazy, golden, copper hue with a huge, 3-finger, white head that last forever, leaves a nice trail down the glass, and ends in a persistent lace.

S: Sweet spicy aroma with hints of fruit in the background.

T: Sweet flavor with a fruity tang up front. Hints of lemon and lots of spices here – heather, huneysuckle and hyssop.

M: Very strong and boozy. Medium body and HIGH carbonation.

O: Interesting beer – seemed strong then 6.4% alcohol, and tasted more like at tripel. I enjoyed it either way – but seemed off for the style.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

golden orange. Lots of haze and cloudiness here with a large two finger high head of white foam that just would not receded. Lots of carbonation coming up from the bottom to reinforce it.

The aroma was loaded with spices. Hints of lemon and cinnamon where abound here, with a rich earthy mix to it. Lots of almost a nutmeg I am picking up here. The flavor took off right where that left off. A rich mixture of lemon, fresh grass, light fruit flavors and a ton of spice. Nice hints of allspice, cinnamon and pepper here. Nice light to medium body feel capped it off very well and the overall drinkability was very nice

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Photo of woosterbill
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle into a Surly Darkness glass. Big thanks to Dan for sharing this.

A: Hazy orange body with almost no visible carbonation. Pretty flat looking, even after vigorous swirling. Disappointing.

S: Substantial malt, phenolic spice, and some fruitiness underneath light vanilla. Smells quite Belgian, but more like a Tripel than a Saison. Nice either way.

T: Follows the nose, but even brighter and livelier. Peppery, appley, bready, and a little medicinal. Somewhat boozy, but not bad on that front (although now that I see it's only 6.4% I'm less inclined to be forgiving of any booziness at all). It tastes like an awesome Tripel, so I'm very happy drinking it even as I'm a bit surprised and confused.

M: Medium body, hugely frothy. Where the heck was this carbonation in the (non) head?

O: What a strange beer. It looked like grapefruit juice but smelled, tasted, and felt like a 9% Tripel. And it's supposedly a 6.4% Saison. I'm really not sure what to score it here, since I enjoyed it thoroughly but feel that it deserves to get marked down for being completely off for the style. Oh, well, it's certainly worth drinking, regardless. One of the better Stillwater beers I've had.


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Photo of sholland119
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Small Bar, 11/11/11.

A-Pour is a hazy golden honey with a thin ring of off white head.

S-Yeasty, grassy and zesty.

T-White pepper, yeast, slightly fruity, and a bit grainy.

M-Light bodied, dry.

O-Good. Not my favorite beer from either brewery, but decent.


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Stillwater / Brewer's Art Debutante from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
3.84 out of 5 based on 336 ratings.
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