Monday, May 25, 2015

Stillwater Yacht

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (1356) - Albany, New York, USA - MAY 25, 2015
It’s nice to see brewers making low alcohol beers and lagers, though you don’t tend to see too many low alcohol lagers being made by non-macro breweries. A beer like Stillwater Yacht really shouldn’t exist – its light body means it should have a theoretically short shelf life and a high price tag. In the case of this particular can (at two months of age) the former seems to be false, and the latter is only partially true. If this were as readily available as Bud Light, it would be outselling it for sure as I could see a beer with this much flavor – that still drinks like a like lager – catching on with everyone.

I poured a 16oz can into a lager glass. It was canned on 3/25/15 and cost $2.59 ($0.16 per ounce).

Appearance: Pale lemon-skin shade of yellow. Somewhat cloudy, but consistent streaming carbonation is always visible. Pours to a large, white, frothy head which retains and laces beautifully.

Smell: One of the more pungent lagers I can recall. Strong hoppy aroma; especially citrus with a little bit of grass. Clean – not spicy or herbal.

Taste: Light-bodied pale lagers don’t tend to have much flavor, but the taste of this palette jumps out at me immediately. A delicious combination of citrus fruit, pith and peel with a touch of grassy notes in the background. A slight spicy sensation comes through the middle – reminiscent of rye or perhaps Noble hops – but still light enough so as not to upstage or distract from the base brew. Perhaps a bit of raw grain flavor can be found giving it some light sweetness. A beer like this it much more impressive to me than a hefty, complex imperial stout or Belgian quad.

Drinkability: At only 4.2% ABV, Stillwater Yacht has the same amount of alcohol as all the BMC “lite” brews, yet it has so much more body, character, and actual enjoyability. The mouthfeel is consistently crisp with noticeable weight – it’s not simply carbonated water like so many other lightweight beers. Refreshing on every swig with a fairly clean aftertaste. This is one of the few session beers that could truly stand up to – and complement – a savory meal.

Score: 9/10

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