Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Belgian Beer no. 352: Stillwater A Saison Darkly

Guest Post Written by Beer Club Reviewer

Belgium is one of those European countries best known for beer. The brews that come from the country are known for its superior overall quality and exquisite, world-class taste. Meanwhile, the United States is known to be a beer loving country that makes many unique brews. So what happens when an American brewer goes to Belgium to create Belgian-style beer? You get something like Stillwater A Saison Darkly.

A Saison Darkly is part of the Stillwater Import Series. Stillwater Artisanal Ales is a brewery based in Baltimore, Maryland; its founder and brewer Brian Strumke visited Belgium to brew A Saison Darkly. Named in reference to the movie “A Scanner Darkly,” this beer may be criticized for not being a genuine Belgian brew. However, A Saison Darkly was brewed in Belgium, with the brewing equipment of Sint-Canarus.

As the name suggests, A Saison Darkly is a dark saison but very different from a Belgian Saison. A saison from Belgium is often blond or amber in color, while this brew is colored dark black. The color of A Saison Darkly is attributed to the amount of burnt malts added in the beer. In a sense, this beer resembles an Imperial Stout more than a saison. When poured into a glass, one can see the great, creamy, long-lasting head.

A Saison Darkly may be considered Belgian beer, but the flavors have been influenced by American craft brewing. It has the trademark citric hop flavors of many American beers. The taste has a tart, floral quality, thanks to the rose hips and hibiscus added in the brew. Upon tasting, one will find a pleasant fruitiness and the flavor of black berry juice may come to mind. The beer drinker may even detect a hint of chocolate in the brew. The taste concentrations are impressive, resulting in the dark, spicy and fruity 8% ABV A Saison Darkly.

The beer is not the only thing worth raving about with A Saison Darkly. Even the packaging of this beer is unique. The label artwork is done by tattoo artist Lee Versoza.

Try to get your hands on a bottle of this unqiue Belgian brew!


Yvonne Undin said...

A question no one I know have been able to answer: About ten years ago I found a Belgian beer that I really loved. I had only one bottle and I do not remember the name, but I will try to describe it in hope that any enthusiast will know what it is: The bottle was dark, dark brown (almost not see through at all) with golden glitter in the glass. It was a wide bottle with a long, slender neck (it was pretty large as well, not the usual small beer bottle). The beer itself was very dark with a hint of an almost burned flavour and something very sweet underneath. Anyone got a clue? Please do tell, I've been missing it for a decade!

winery said...

I really like it, because it's very much superior than on other websites