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.