Thursday, July 31, 2014

Stillwater Brontide

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1140) - Albany, New York, USA - JUL 31, 2014
I poured a 12oz can into a goblet. There was no freshness date and it cost $3.20 ($0.27 per ounce).

Appearance: Opaque black body with dark red highlights. Pours to a large, brown, soapy head, but it evaporates quickly and leaves no lacing on the glass.

Smell: Slightly mild nose of dark malt and a general sweet scent.

Taste: Usually, those guys at Stillwater make some really interesting interpretations of classic styles. However, with “Brontide” - their take on a Schwarzbier – they seem to play it straight. It has a rather strong roasted malt flavor, but a significant sweetness as well. Whether it’s made with ale or lager yeast is irrelevant, since it has that je ne sais quoi character you always find in a black lager.

The first swig was robust with a strong roasted malt flavor. It was akin to a stout… but only at first. As I drank on the dark malt was joined by a light milky flavor (oatmeal? Lactose sugar?). Maybe even a faint hint of cherry somewhere on the finish. Not much in the way of hops, though, but that’s normal for the style. The roast character re-emerges on the finish, before fading away completely. Overall, it’s a tasty, interesting beer – what’s not to like?

Drinkability: What made Stillwater Brontide all the more enjoyable was its easy drinkability. That seems to be the goal as it’s labeled as a “smooth black ale” on the can. The mouthfeel is thin, but crisp like a lager. It’s a fairly light beer at only 5% ABV, though it tastes like something stronger, but feels like something lighter. Sessioning this wouldn’t be a bad idea. 
Grade: 8/10

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