I poured a 12oz can into a mug. It was canned on 6/16/14 and cost $3.20 ($0.27 per ounce).
Appearance: Bright lemon skin yellow hue over a hazy body. Plenty of
spastic carbonation can be seen. Pours to a large, bright white, soapy
head which mostly dissipates and leaves little lacing.
Smell: Lemon fruit/peel/grass/pith, etc. A hint of hay or grass.
Taste: Stillwater Classique is one of the most unique beers I’ve ever
drank. A lot of breweries are doing ale styles as lagers, but this is
just the opposite. According to my sources it was modeled after the old
“National Bohemian” adjunct lager recipe, but fermented with saison
yeast. That makes it difficult to classify, style-wise. Saison? Cream
Ale? Specialty Grain? Premium Lager? Beers like this prove that styles
really don’t matter anymore.
As for the taste, it definitely has a lot of saison-like qualities.
There’s a strong lemony presence from beginning to end, though some of
that has to do with the hops I’m sure. Citrusy sweetness and tartness
are present right away, immediately followed by a classic saison-like
flavor of crushed black pepper seasoning. Mild bitterness towards the
end, though it’s more of an herb-like seasoning taste. No corn presence
in the taste, which is fine by me (a lot of craft breweries use corn in
their saisons, actually). Overall, a really interesting palette that
could probably be enjoyed by anyone.
Drinkability: Beers of this style (macro lager or traditional farmhouse
ale) were always meant for their performance value, and this one
continues that trend in two great ways. Firstly, it’s ridiculously easy
to drink as the mouthfeel is thin and crisp, but never watery. It’s
genuinely refreshing while in the mouth and leaves just a slightly dry
aftertaste. Secondly, this beer is only 4.5% ABV, but has the flavor of a
much stronger beer. It’s difficult for me to find a beer this light in
weight that doesn’t grow old quickly, but in the case of Stillwater
Classique I would want to bring a lot of it on an outing.