Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Stillwater Stateside Saison

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (927) - Albany, New York, USA - JUL 30, 2013
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. There was no freshness date. This was one of many freebies I got at #BBC13.

Appearance: Banana-skin yellow hue. Cloudy body but plenty of visible carbonation. Forms an average size, bright white, frothy head which mostly dissipates but leaves minor lacing.

Smell: Classic saison aroma of spice rack dust, some lemon peel and a hint of hay.

Taste: Seems like everyone’s brewing a saison these days, but everyone is also trying to make the world’s most novelty saison. Stillwater Stateside Saison isn’t gimmicky, it’s a by-the-book brew that’s quite zesty and robust, but the taste that’s there is enjoyable.

The palette opens with typical saison flavors of black pepper, lemon peel and dry bitterness. Interestingly enough, the middle is the most refreshing part. The flavors seem to clean up and turn slightly juicy and sweet. Whereas the beginning was lemon zest, the middle is akin to lemonade but without the tartness. Though that itself is pushed aside as the finish reverts back to beginning’s liquid spice rack sensation. Some citrusy hops also appear imparting a hint of orange. The aftertaste is dry, but not starchy. This is a surprisingly enjoyable beer considering its intensity. Probably not an ideal starter saison, but veteran drinkers will likely enjoy it.

Drinkability: I personally had no trouble getting down Stillwater Stateside Saison, but I can imagine others might. The flavors are strong throughout, the carbonation is high, the finish is a little abrasive, and the aftertaste can be cloying depending on your tolerance level. Thankfully, it seems lighter than it 6.8% ABV body would otherwise indicate. Not refreshing per se, but an ideal beer to pair with the right meal. 
Grade: 8/10