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Review of Stillwater Stateside Saison

Hello everyone.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be sharing with you my experience in tasting a Stillwater Stateside Saison produced by Stillwater Artisanal Ales located in Baltimore, Maryland.

Stillwater brews are not all that common around these parts, but I have seen a few bottles floating around, so when I found this one sitting on the shelf I had to pick it up and give it a go.

From the website, stillwaterales.blogspot.com, we find this bit of info regarding the Stateside Saison.

Stateside Saison pays homage to old world tradition while celebrating new world innovation. Naturally brewed with the finest European malts & fresh aromatic hops from the United States & New Zealand. It’s then fermented using a classic farmhouse ale yeast and bottle conditioned to enhance stability. The outcome is a beer of unique design and exquisite taste, showcasing some of the best attributes of modern-day craft brewing.

Ok.  Let’s try it. 
 
This beer came in a 25.4 oz. bottle and it had an ABV of 6.8%.
It poured a hazy, orange to copper color.  The head was huge and white with a very rocky, bulbous, soft and fluffy texture.  It looked liked foamy, “whipped” cream or something  The retention time was outstanding to say the least.  The lacing was both patchy and sticky.  A very attractive looking liquid in my opinion.
The nose presented some light barnyard/funk notes as well as hints of orange and lemon citrus.  A decent shot of hay and fresh grass matched up well with a solid fragrance of earthy hops.  I also discovered a minor tone of pear and a very light peppery spice.  Some yeast and clean breads too.  Overall, I didn’t find the fragrance to be particularly strong, but a lot seemed to be going on here.  It was well balanced, harmonized and pleasant enough.  
The taste was very, very relaxed, but like the aroma… well balanced.  Some easygoing fruitiness of orange, lemon and pear.  The funkiness was quite complacent, however well suited.  The grass and hay were found again along with a touch of pepper, yeast and some extremely moderate floral relishes.  
The mouthfeel was medium to thin bodied.  Very light and airy.  Dry, crisp, refreshing and very thirst quenching.  The carbonation was altogether lively and prickly.  A sturdy amount of flavor was left behind on the palate after each gulp as well.    
I tell ya, I think this would be a great intro Saison for someone wanting to explore the style.  It’s a super easy drink and it has a lot going on, however it’s toned way down, which would allow for an easy transition into this arena in my opinion.  For me, I would love to have this during one of those unbearably hot and humid Summer days that we have here in Kentucky.  I doubt that I would ever turn it down if it were offered, but it doesn’t quite reach the level of some of those “world class” Saisons that are on the market today. It’s still a very, very nice beer though and definitely worth a try if you see it.  So, with that being said, give the Stillwater Stateside Saison a try sometime.  I think you may find it to be a pleasant little drink and one that you may revert back to from time to time.  
Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I really appreciate it. 
Until next time.  Cheers.
Score:  3.8 out of 5
Grade:  B+
 
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Posted by on January 21, 2013 in Country: USA, Stillwater

 

Review of Stillwater/Mikkeller Two Gypsies: Our Side

Hello everyone.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying another collaboration brew.  This time it’s from the minds of Stillwater Artisanal Ales from Baltimore, Maryland and the Mikkeller Brewery located in Kobenhavn, Denmark.

I have had the opportunity to try quite a few brews from Mikkeller, however I have yet to have anything from Stillwater, so I’m really interested in seeing how this beer tastes.

The website, mikkeller.dk, didn’t provide any information about this brew, but stillwaterales.blogspot.com did, so let’s see what it says.

Mikkel and Brian are two of the world’s most unconventional brewers. By designing beers at various breweries around the globe, they have found the freedom to experiment and innovate, resulting in unique beers that often blur the lines of definition. After having met at a festival in Bodegraven, NL the two realized that their first creations both were called Stateside. It was then an obvious decision to make the two recipes into a new product, packed full of piney, resinous hops, and backed by the esters of a farmhouse yeast strain.

Let’s sip.
This beer came in a 25.4 oz. bottle and it had an ABV of 7.5%.
It poured a hazy orange color with a huge white head.  The texture was soapy, rocky and soft.  It had an awesome retention time, however the lacing was a bit patchy and not quite as clingy or sticky as I was hoping with such a gargantuan crown.  
The aroma brought forth a light bit of lemon and orange citrus.  A soft and subtle, but distinguished, barnyard funk as well as some easily noticed yeast components swirled around my nostrils.  It was quite grassy too.  A very light peppery spice added a tickle to the nose and a remote floral hint added some complexity.  
The taste provided a very nice and easy going funkiness.  Again, lemon citrus and sweet orange peel.  It was only slightly tart however.  More of the grassy and floral hops.  The yeasty savors were not exceptionally strong, although they were duly noted.  A nice peppery bite came through on the back end. 
The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  Very, very dry, sharp, bitey, refreshing and crisp. The carbonation was very high and a touch of warmth was felt either from the alcohol or the spicy peppercorns.  An excellent amount of flavor was left behind after each sip too.  
Overall, I thought this was a very nice beer.  The drinkability was great and it was easy going enough so as to not completely obliterate one’s mind or palate if they had never tried a Farmhouse/Saison styled beer before.  It did, obviously, have some of those characteristics, yet they were more of a secondary characteristic, which allowed for some contemplation without completely dominating the drinking experience.  I definitely think this brew is worth a try if you can obtain it.  I enjoyed it very much. Have you guys ever tried the Stillwater/Mikkeller Two Gypsies:  Our Side before? What did you think about it?  Leave a comment if you would like.  I’d love to hear a second opinion to see if you discovered anything that I may have missed.    
Thanks for reading everyone.  I really appreciate it.  
Until next time.  Cheers. 
Score:  4.05 out of 5
Grade:  A-
 
 
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