Sensory Series V.2 - Small Black | Stillwater Artisanal Ales

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Sensory Series V.2 - Small BlackSensory Series V.2 - Small Black
BA SCORE
3.62/5
Good
128 Ratings
Sensory Series V.2 - Small BlackSensory Series V.2 - Small Black
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stillwater Artisanal Ales
Maryland, United States
stillwater-artisanal.com

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by dbrauneis on 07-23-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
37
Ratings:
128
pDev:
10.22%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
0
Gots:
5
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 128 |  Reviews: 37
Photo of Jadjunk
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

No label information. Small Black is brewed in the style of a black saison. Available in 12 oz. bottles.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a tulip glass. Served above 53º Fahrenheit.

Small Black pours a frothy fizzed milk chocolate head over a deep dark brown body with slight crimson highlights. Retention is good, lacing is moderate and stringy. The aroma is similar to a standard Saison, with a pale malt and caramel body, hints of banana and clove amongst a spicy, effervescent yeast nose. Expect a hint of chocolate and some faint roast to mark this different from standard Saisons. The flavors of this beer are quite different, with a significant funky sourness joined by the fruitiness and spice of the yeast profile cruising over an unsweetened cocoa powder and soft cold roast body for a very unique blending of flavors that merge surprisingly well. Texture is silky, slick and moderately acidic with a soft carbonation for a delicate, mildly crisp mouthfeel. Body is medium for the style, medium overall. The balance is slightly acidic and tart over sweet. Alcohol presence is low. I'm not certain if the high acidity and funk in the flavor is intended or not, as earlier reviews do not seem to call to this, it is possible that some batch infection has set in with a few select bottles, mine included. Overall, this was a very interesting and enjoyable beer to try. I recommend it to anybody with a deep appreciation for the Saison style looking to expand into hybrid styles. Small Black should not disappoint.

Stillwater Artisanal Ales'
Sensory Series V.2 - Small Black
3.75/5.00

 1,593 characters

Photo of ChrisKayler
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of Wrex68
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of Necronomad
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of Carl_R
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of socon67
3.71/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A - Black pour with visible carbonation. Dark cola brown color with a thin foam head.

S - Smells of lemon and berry. Some sour notes in the aroma.

T - Tastes of tart citrus with some bready yeast in the finish. Some dark malt is detected. Many subtle notes to the is beer including some berry flavors as the beer set.

M - Carbonation is a little high for the style. Light bodied beer. Perhaps a tad watery as well. Leaves a pleasant tart bite in the finish.

O - Stillwater is one of the banners of the saison style. Decent beer, but I've had better from them. I've yet to really embrace the dark saisons as compared to their traditional cousin.

 650 characters

Photo of Mojo
3.74/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle -> snifter

A - opaque black with foamy two finger head, great retention, and minimal lacing.

S - oranges, lemons, grasses

T - very strong lemon taste with a crabapple tartness, bitter but dry finish

M - thick body with a very slight aftertaste

O - easy to drink, not something I would seek again.

 320 characters

Photo of Fatehunter
3.23/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a finger of tan head on a black body.
The aroma is milk and roasted malt, but nicer than that sounds.
The taste has a dull bitterness that borders on metallic with a roasty malt profile towards the end.
The texture is crisp with a lot of fizzy carbonation.
It has a good flavor but the carbonation level was too high.

 323 characters

Photo of zkoehn
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of timoteo833
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of afsdan
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of doowhat
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of ericlawton007
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of BeerWithMike
2.69/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Sampling right now on 4/11/14. Bought this single 12 ounce bottle for $3.29 last night. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees in my beer cooler and poured in to a handled glass stein.

Pours a pitch black in color with a almost 2-finger head that settles down after a while to around 3mm that covered the top. Spotty lacing is seen that clings to the glass. The aroma is of dark roasted malts with a spice, maybe coriander (?) The taste is bitter right up front from a sour roasted malt. At first I thought I had a bad brew but couldn't read the date that looked like 'Dec.--, 13'. I checked some reviews on this one and others wrote that this is sour. Very close to dumping it out but seen to just get a tad better BUT not much.

 725 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Bottled 7/1/13.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of roasted malt, grain, earth, spice, and yeast aromas. Taste is much the same with slightly sour roasted malt and fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer with an interesting sourness in the taste that clashes somewhat with the roast aspects in my opinion.

 605 characters

Photo of rolltide8425
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of micropale
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of sd123
3/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of chinchill
3.69/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle, date stamped on neck as bottled in July 2013, served in a Belgian snifter.

This hybrid ale poured wth a minimal tan head over a clear, very dark brown body.

A number of odd hybrid coming out lately, some of which seem questionnable or prove to be less attractive than the conventional components. This "schwarzbier / saison hybrid" sounds like it might fall in this group, but Stillwater succeeds in making a compelling case for this particular innovation. The saison side, being a more powerful variety anyway, does dominate the black beer, but doesn't enitrely mask its sweet dark roasted character. I found the result to be less challenging and easier drinking than an average saison. Certainly more complex and interesting than the average schwarzbier.

Feel: medium+, lively carbonation in a medium body.

 827 characters

Photo of PPOmaha
3.67/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Aroma: Roast with just a bit of sourness. Red wine grapes and stone fruits. No diacetyl, No DMS.

Appearance: Dark brown with mahogany highlights. Slightly off white head that falls quickly.

Taste: In line with the aroma, very slightly tart roast malt. Finish is like unripe stone fruit, tiny bit of tannic quality.

Mouthfeel. Medium body with medium carbonation. The finish is slightly drying.

Overall: OK beer has the classic dry and tart saison yeast finish but not much stands out here. Maybe the roast malt drowns out some of the subtlety of the style.

 563 characters

Photo of kmos27
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of minterro
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bought at the Perfect Pour in the Source for about $3. Cool label as always with stillwater. Poured into a pint glass (almost a full pint, bottle was super full), paired with popcorn.

Bottled: 07/01/13

A&S: Fizzy light tan head fades very quickly retaining just specks. Beer is a lighter black and lively, but still opaque. Primary sour complemented by some background mild roast tones.

T&M: Initially not much taste (and overall not very intense), but as it warms roasty qualities come forth. There is a solid peach like fruitiness and pepper spice that comes through in the mid-taste. The finish is ever so slightly dry and slightly smokey. Very drinkable. Body is light and carbonation is medium to high.

Overall: I know it is a black saison so it's going to be different, but to me, it just didn't contain the enough presence of the traditional saisons qualities. Not a bad beer and I'm not upset cause it was worth 3 bucks, but I wouldn't buy it again (not one of my favorites I have tried so far from them).

 1,018 characters

Photo of Lunny777
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Braseltonage
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%

Sensory Series V.2 - Small Black from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
Beer rating: 3.62 out of 5 with 128 ratings