Monday, July 21, 2014

Stillwater Classique


4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (1134) - Albany, New York, USA - JUL 21, 2014

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. 
Grade: 9/10