Stillwater/Hof Ten Dormaal Bronze Age

Stillwater Artisinal Ales

Baltimore, MD

Bronze Age Traditional Belgian Farmhouse Ale

6% ABV

Now that temperatures are pushing the century mark on a regular basis here in South Carolina, my taste for stouts has diminished (at least until the sun goes down) and my love for lighter, spicier beers – namely saisons – has reached its peak. And when it comes to American-based brewers of Belgian-style beers, there are few better than Stillwater.

The Maryland-based “brewery” – more like gypsy brewer Brian Strumke – specializes in Belgian-style beers, primarily saisons/farmhouse style ales. Bronze Age is a traditional farmhouse style ale brewed at Belgium’s Browwerij Hof Ten Dormaal that uses estate grown barley and raw spelt. If you want a great example of a classic saison, this is it.

The beer has an opaque yellowish orange pour with a big two-finger head on top. It lingers for a good long while. That gives way to gorgeous lacing but not much alcohol legs.

The smell is classic saison: Spicy Belgian yeast and barnyard funk, grapes and white wine, pears, apples and cloves. Excellent smelling beer.

There’s a slight sweetness on front but also a big punch of spice and tartness from the white wine and green grape notes. There’s great carbonation throughout that really cleanses palate. Throughout the mouth are huge notes of green apple, lemon and lime with a bit of a funk and sweetness in the middle and on the back.

As I said, this is a great classic saison. And it’s from Stillwater, so it’s got to be good. It doesn’t really elevate or push the style, but it doesn’t have to. Its simplicity speaks for itself, and for how good staples of the style can be.

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