There are beers that you will savor slowly over a long afternoon and there are beers that are so delicious and smooth that you find yourself at the bottom of the glass before you've even left the kitchen. This fruit-bomb of a saison from gypsy brewery Stillwater Artisanal Ales is one of the latter. Definitely buy a six-pack.
Beer Details: Stateside Saison from Stillwater Artisana Ales, USA (Farmhouse saison, 7% ABV)
Appearance: Hazy lemon gold in color with a tight, sticky cap of parchment-colored foam. A very handsome glass of beer, if I may say so.
Aroma: The aroma makes me think of Saturday morning cereal — grains and sweet marshmallows! There's also quite a lot of tart lemon and dried herb aromas going on.
Taste: This beer holds nothing back. It comes on strong with a wash of summer lemonade flavors with a parting shot of Belgian saison funkiness. I love it. More sips (ok, gulps) offer up woodsy herbal notes of thyme and wild rosemary with a smattering of white pepper and spicy cloves. Orange and lemon rind flavors are smooth through the sip and then finish with a nicely astringent bite of bitter pith at the end.
But don't think it's all about the citrus and herbs with this one. There's a definite sweetness throughout that reminds me of sugar cookies. Imagine sugar cookies with lemon icing and you'll be close.
I drank this beer on a hot summer afternoon and it definitely hit the spot. The alcohol is enough that you won't want to gulp down too many before dinner, but not so much that you'll only want one. I'm already looking forward to my next glass!
Food Pairings: For this one, go with a pre-dinner snack of bread and cheese with some ripe summer fruit on the side.