Archive for the ‘Stillwater Artisanal Ales’ Category

Tonight’s beer is one that I picked up because I thought the can looked interesting. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 8%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Within its first year, Stillwater Artisanal was ranked #2 in the ‘Best New Brewers In the World’ category by international beer rating resource RateBeer.com. Building on this esteemed first-year accolade, Stillwater has remained in the global ‘Top 100’ ever since and has seen praise from such media outlets as NPR, Bloomberg, Washington Post, Food & Wine, New York Times, and more. The rapid success generated great demand for Stillwater Artisanal and the beer is now distributed in more than 40 U.S. States as well as Canada, Europe, South America, Asia and Australia. What makes Stillwater ‘Artisanal’ though? Many craft products these days use similar terminology, but for Stillwater, here is where the story runs deep. As brewing took the place of Brian’s musical career, the need for a creative release was only partially met. In fact, Brian considers Stillwater to be more of an art project/collective where collaborations with other like-minded visionaries leads to boundary pushing concepts and creations. BeerAdvocate Magazine once stated ‘Stillwater is a vehicle for unconventional thinking’ – a statement Brian proves true with the constant evolution of the brand.”

Random: Stillwater has some of the best labels in the business.

The beer poured with a two finger, ecru colored head. It took forever to dissipate and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was cloudy and bright orange with some carbonation visible. The nose had some hops to it and they manifested as citrus fruit and lemoncello. There were also notes of grapefruit and pomelo. The taste was intensely hoppy. It started with mango and citrus. The lemon liquor note was there as well. There was a touch of sweetness at the end of the sip, but the hops overwhelmed the sweetness. The body was thick and chewy with a decent amount of carbonation. The finish was lengthy and sticky with hops. A pounder can was $3, which broke down to $.19 per ounce. I liked this beer a lot and the hops gave the beer a lot of depth. Yet another standout from Stillwater.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

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As I was eating my quesadilla, in between updating blog posts, one of my cats decided to investigate. Instead of trying to take some of my steak or chicken quesadilla, he decided to put his nose into the hot sauce. This caused him to sneeze, at which time, I had to pick him up and try to clean his nose as he was sneezing. He struggled a little bit, but I think I got most of the hot sauce off of him. It’s never a dull moment in this house. Anyways, let’s get to the beer, which I had out in Ohio.

onfleek

ABV: 13%

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Big, overhyped imperial stouts, amirite? This one on fleek tho. The most amazing collaboration ever with Casita Cerveceria.”

Random: Whenever I have a big stout like this, it makes me crave chocolate milk.

The beer poured with a one finger, light brown head that dissipated slowly. It left a lot of lacing on the plastic cup. The body was an inky black with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose was very fragrant with dark chocolate, oatmeal, prunes and some alcohol. The taste was filled with dark chocolate up front and quickly transitioned into coffee. It also had prunes, alcohol and cocoa powder. At the end of the sip, there was some tobacco and anise. The body was thick and oily with light carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with licorice and roasted malts. I enjoyed this beer, although the anise flavor was a bit too pronounced for my personal taste.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

When I saw a single of this beer on the shelf, I had to pick it up if only for the name. Val’s nickname for me is “bunny,” so this was coming home with me. It’s been awhile since I’ve had a Stillwater beer and their packaging keeps evolving, which I’m a fan of. Let’s crack this one open.

stillwaterbigbunny

ABV: 8%

Style: Milk/Sweet Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Big Bunny is everything. An Arizona Wilderness collab that we may regret.”

Random: I have something like a 100 post backlog. This is the only issue with posting so far in advance. When I got busy at work, I kept reviewing, just not typing the reviews.

This beer poured with a half a finger of tan head. It dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass, but a small crown on top. The body was dark brown and wouldn’t let any light through. As a result, I couldn’t see any carbonation. The nose was roasty with smoke and instant coffee. After a few sniffs, I picked up some cocoa powder. The taste had even more smoke than the nose with milk chocolate. It had a milk powder taste as well from the lactose. The instant coffee note was there, but wasn’t as prevalent as the nose. It didn’t have much bitterness and the booze was well-hidden. The body was thick and chewy with light carbonation. The finish was quick, yet had some milk chocolate and lactose. A can of this was $1.75, which came to $.15 per ounce. This was a good price, and a good name for a beer, but the flavor didn’t deliver.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

The last brewery that we went to in Maine was Sebago. Much like Sea Dog, it was a brewpub. We sat in the bar and I picked one of their session beers. I watched some football while I checked out the place. They had about 6 beers on tap with varying selections of styles. The bar was relatively large with televisions and the service was alright. It was pretty empty and I didn’t see any food come out. It was in the same parking lot as a large supermarket, so I could see it getting crowded. The beer was fine, nothing impressive. And thus ended our Maine brewery visits.

surround

ABV: 10%

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Like a sound system that fills the room with audibles swarming in every direction. This massive stout overtakes your senses with aromas & flavor of dark chocolate, caramel, roast, smoke, earth & wood, It’s heavy I know, but you have to drop that bass every once in a while if you really wanna get down. Label Design Notes: Surround’s geometric pattern is based on a piece of tape used by an early analog computer that may have been used in multi-track music production during the 1960s. The type is set in Helvetica Neue LT Std so that we can maximize the area used for the pattern on the label without compromising legibility of the mandatory text.”

Random: I am really enjoying this scheduling my posts. It allows me to massively update, but still have only one post show each day. How did I not do this before? It’s brilliant.

This beer poured with a half a finger of light brown head. It dissipated slowly and left very little lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown, almost black with no visible carbonation. The nose had roasted malts, smoke and cocoa powder. The taste had very intense smoke and roasted malts. What was really interesting about this beer was that I didn’t get the normal coffee and chocolate notes that accompany a stout. The beer had generous bitterness without being overwhelming. It had a thick body with well-hidden alcohol. The carbonation was moderate. The finish was length with roasty notes. The single was $3.50 for the bottle, which came to $.29 per ounce. Although this wasn’t cheap, it was a really interesting beer that I’m glad I tried.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

I picked up another beer from the Stillwater “Readymade” series last time I was at Half Time. This is an interpretation of an IPA. Let’s see how it was.

projector

ABV: 9%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This Imperial IPA projects an array of multidimensional hop flavor and aroma. Simcoe offers piney fruit while Centennial delivers a squeeze of lemon atop bright the tangerine citrus of Galaxy, laid upon a field of grassy Sterling..and then some hippies comes by with a dank bag of Columbus..This heady combination is backed by an extremely lean malt body thanks to the addition of flaked rice. Label Design Notes: The layout of the label reinforces the absurdity by recalling both early promotional materials from Braun and Alfred Stieglitz’s photo of Marcel Duchamp’s ‘Fountain’.”

Random: Stillwater’s description of their beers are quite deep.

This beer poured with a two finger, white head that dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy, dark yellow color with lots of visible floaties and moderate carbonation. The nose had notes of toasted rice, tangerine, grass and alcohol. The taste had notes of tangerine, lemon peel, grass and alcohol on the back-end. It had a medium thick body with moderate carbonation. The finish was lengthy with alcohol warming and citrus peel. This beer was $3.75 for the single bottle, which broke down to $.31 per ounce. I found this to be a solid beer and had some nice depth of flavor, and I really enjoyed the addition of the rice. I would have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

I like beers that make me think and do research. I had never heard of Marcel Duchamp or the work ‘Fountain.’ After about 10 minutes of research, I feel slightly (very, very slightly) more cultured. But, it did give me more insight to the label. I invite you to do the same if you pick up this beer.

vacuum

ABV: 8%

Style: American Black Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “What is with the paradoxical term ‘Black IPA” anyway? Whatever it is, we do love black beers..also smoked beers, and of course everyone loves hops these daze.. A complex blend various smoked, caramel and subdued roasted malts lay the base for a combination of piney, dank and (dark) fruity hops.. While there is a lot to contemplate with this beast, just be sure to enjoy it without getting too sucked into its enigmatic composition. Label Design Notes: The layout of the label reinforces the absurdity by recalling both early promotional materials from Braun and Alfred Stieglitz’s photo of Marcel Duchamp’s ‘Fountain'”

Random: I didn’t know what a ‘readymade’ was either.

This beer poured with a two finger, thick, light brown head that dissipated slowly. It left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was black in color with lots of tan floaties. There was no visible carbonation due to the color of the beer. The nose was warm with roasted malts and chocolate malt. Given the description, I expected more smoke character to it. The taste was very strong with the smoke and ash that I was missing in the nose. It was moderately bitter with pine notes and coffee. The body was thick and chewy with light carbonation. It had a long, smoky and ash-filled finish. This was $4.09 for the bottle at Half Time ($.34 per ounce). I liked this beer and thought it was interesting and different, my only knocks on it being that the smoke and ash in the taste took away from the other flavors and the high price tag.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

It’s Wednesday and was a shockingly busy day for a Wednesday. Normally, it’s one of my less busy days in terms of trucks, but I have a lot of conference calls. Today, I had a lot of trucks and a lot of conference calls. I also picked my parents up from the airport last night and because of the weather yesterday, their flight was delayed and they didn’t get to Newark until almost midnight and I didn’t get home until 2:30 AM. I was dragging a lot today. Anyways, this was a beer I had over the weekend. Let’s see how it was.

IMG_3496

ABV: 6.5%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: This is a collaboration beer with Hof Ten Dormaal.

Random: We’re watching “Sing It On” tonight. This show is hilarious. I hope they make a second season.

This beer poured with a half a finger of tan head that took forever to dissipate. It left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was dark brown, almost black, with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose had lots of roasted malts and biscuit from the yeast. The taste was lighter than I expected. There was roasted malts and smoke. Yeast came through and lightened the beer up a bit. The body was thick with moderate carbonation. It had a long finish with smoke and roasted malts. For $8.79 a bottle, this was on the more expensive side ($.73 per ounce). Given that, this beer didn’t do much for me. I wouldn’t rush back to have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0