Based on the name, I’ve always assumed that Stillwater Artisanal Ales’ Autumnal was a Fall seasonal. I’m not sure if that is the case, but I think this bottle might be older, maybe even as old as last fall. I couldn’t find a bottled on or a best by date on the bottle, I picked this 750ml bottle up at Best Damn Beer Shop a few weeks ago for $11.99 and not long after they put it on special for $8.99, I’m assuming that was to move out older inventory.
Regardless of the age, this is still a fantastic beer. If it is older I’m sure some of the hops have dropped off, but I have no complaints.
Autumnal is 7.2% ABV and the label lists it as an “American Farmhouse Ale” with German inspiration and a nod to Belgian tradition.
It’s darker than most Saisons, a reddish brown. The bottle foamed up a bit when I opened the cap, but it didn’t gush out, no beer was lost. It smells sweet and earthy.
The first taste is sweet, caramel and sort of fruity, plums come to mind. It also has an earthy characteristic, often described as rustic. The finish is dry — I feel like I write this ever week for Farmhouse Friday, but it really is one of the major characteristics that every Saison strives for. It’s also a bit spicy at the end and in the aftertaste.
All around a good beer, if it is indeed push a year old I’d love to taste a fresh bottle to see if the hops play a bigger role when it’s fresh.
Brian Strumke, Stillwater’s brewer, will be at Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens next Thursday, August 11th for a Meet the Brewer event and a Brewmasters Series dinner along with Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø of Evil Twin. Click here for more info on both events including the beers that will be available that night.