Stillwater Artisanal Cellar Door American Farmhouse Ale

My first Stillwater beer was very good. As for farmhouse ales, they can range from not great to really good and right smack dab in the middle. As Stillwater's first beer was good, I have quite a bit of hope that this one is, but I'm still sort of put off by the "artisanal" label. I don't know why, but it just bothers me. I'm not going to dwell on that, though, I'm going to give this the most honest shot that I can.

The straw yellow beer loses the head pretty quickly, and it leaves no lacing on the side - just a soft, creamy 1/8th inch or so across the top of the beer. The aroma is bright, musky yeast and citrus. It reminds me of the blondes or... yes... the Belgian beers I've had lately. It kind of smells like they sifted it through an old sock or something.

First sip is very assertive. It has spices and lemon and some very light grains (almost grassy) with the yeast seeming to be less intense than the nose made me expect. It manages to still be palatable in a very particular way. I like the way it steps forward, hits with a well developed taste, and then it lets go and goes on about its business.

As for the swig: tip-in is slight yeast and spices. Carbonation highlights the very crisp start and sizzles on the tongue with anticipation. As the middle comes, we get citrus and grains that are very smooth. It's so smooth that it's making me fear what might come next. What comes is the finish with its bitter turn and lemongrass. It's not the worst ending to a drink. My biggest problem with the beer is that it really isn't a farmhouse ale.

Bottom Line: Honestly, it's a hipster beer. That said, it is a fairly good one.



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