Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Stillwater Autumnal

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1202) - Albany, New York, USA - OCT 21, 2014
Stillwater is a gypsy brewery that never brews anything to style, and I respect and appreciate that. Though it does make their beers a little difficult to judge since I don’t know what to compare it to. This purports to be an amber/saison hybrid, though I might describe it as an altbier/saison hybrid. Either way, it’s got a lot of dark maltiness and a distinct saison character on the finish. Definitely apropos for the fall season.

I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. It was bottled on 8/8/14 and cost $4.75 ($0.40 per ounce).

Appearance: Murky brownish/chestnut hut, though translucent. Pours to a two-finger, ivory, foamy head which laces and retains fairly well.

Smell: Light nose of dark malts and a hint of saison yeast esters.

Taste: Brews in the amber/brown/altbier ballpark tend to have a malt-forward palette and that’s definitely true here. Lightly sweet flavors of caramel, combined with slight rustic notes of peanut, hazelnut and dry hops give it a well-balanced body. There’s a subtle spiciness throughout due to the saison yeast used for fermentation, which really comes through right as it finishes. There’s a quick burst of peppercorn, which is interesting, as well as a subtle coffee-like aftertaste. This isn’t a typical palette, and for that I’m grateful.

Drinkability: Though technically a bigger beer at 7.2% ABV, Stillwater Autumnal drinks and feels like something more sessionable. There’s not alcohol presence whatsoever, and the actual presence in the mouth is remarkably comfortable. The carbonation is light and the texture is smooth, which makes it easy to gulp down. Probably a good beer to pair with your Thanksgiving meal. 
Grade: 8/10