ESCONDIDO, CA — Today, Stone Brewing Co. released its last collaboration beer of 2012: Evil Twin / Stillwater / Stone “The Perfect Crime” Black Smoked Saison. In a masterfully orchestrated collaboration of the minds, Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergs├© of Denmark’s Evil Twin Brewing, Brian Strumke from Baltimore’s Stillwater Artisanal Ales, and Stone brewmaster Mitch Steele crafted a beer that cleverly expands on the definition of a saison.
“Dark with deception, mysteriously smoked, unexplainably dry, and intriguingly hopped,” as Strumke states on his bottle, this beer gets away with the farmhouse ale classificationÔÇªbut just barely. Like traditional farmhouse ales, Belgian saison yeast provides intense fruit and spice notes. However, unlike traditional saisons, the beer is black as night, has added viscosity, and pronounced smoke character that dominates thanks to the brewers’ decision to use oak-smoked wheat malt, a new malt style that produces a flavor eerily similar to a fresh oak barrel.
Evil Twin / Stillwater / Stone “The Perfect Crime” Black Smoked Saison
Stats: 6.8% ABV, 60 IBUs
Availability: Limited 12-ounce bottles and draft, beginning November 12
Hops bill: East Kent Goldings, Chinook, and Cluster
Distribution: AZ, CA, CO, FL, IL, MA, MD, NC, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OR, PA, SC, TX, VA, VT, and WA
Tasting Notes, provided by Brewmaster Mitch Steele:
Appearance: Black with a long lasting head
Aroma: First aromas are of dark roast and mildly smoky malt characters. The saison yeast fights through with a fruitiness and spiciness that presents a nice side-by-side complement to the malt characters as the beer warms.
Taste: Light roast character and a blended smoky character up front. Again, the Belgian saison yeast comes through just after; contributing intense fruity and peppery spice flavors that linger after the dark, smoky impressions have faded. Hints of citrus and banana assert themselves late into the palate. There’s a very pleasant hop bitterness in the finish.
Palate: Dry, with a balanced bitterness and very light astringency. The complex flavor profile blends incredibly well.
Overall: This is a beautiful beer, with just the right amount of smoke and roasted malt character to keep the beer interesting while you drink the entire glass. We brewed this beer with eight different grains, and although it was a difficult lautering day in the brewhouse, the end result more than makes up for those challenges. And one of the more interesting malts we used was the oak-smoked wheat malt from Germany. It has a wonderful flavor, reminiscent of a fresh oak barrel.
About Stone Brewing Co.
Stone Brewing Co. was founded in 1996 by Steve Wagner and Greg Koch in North County San Diego. It is the 11th largest craft brewery in the United States and has been named “All-Time Top Brewery on Planet Earth” by BeerAdvocate magazine – TWICE! The brewery recently announced more than $50 million in expansion plans that include Stone Packaging Hall, Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens — Liberty Station, and the future Stone Hotel among other lofty ventures. For more information, please visit stonebrewing.com, follow on Twitter or “like” on Facebook.