1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Existent - Stillwater Artisanal Ales

Not Rated.
ExistentExistent

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

543 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 543
Reviews: 162
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 17
Gots: 50 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Stillwater Artisanal Ales visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  7.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Existent represents the philosophy behind Stillwater Artisanal. We strive to define ourselves through our passion and sincerity while accepting that not all aspects of life are readily explainable. To manifest this ideology we present an ale of intrigue. Deep & dark though deceptively dry, braced by a firm yet smooth bitterness and accented with an earthy hop and mild roast aroma. This is an ale for you to define...
’and if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.’ –Nietzsche

(Beer added by: Thorpe429 on 11-13-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 543 | Reviews: 162 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by elNopalero:
Photo of elNopalero
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Should a beer inspire such philosophical musings? This one can and does.

Pours into a New Belgium snifter. Dark black with a few good inches of “fluffy” foam. I poured slowly and topped it off as the bubbles died down, then repeated two more times until I had a tight, compacted, thick head on this. Just wonderful. Heady, roasty aromas, lots of chocolate and leather, and a memory of autumn leaves from a childhood in Michigan. I get a lot of sharp roasted cacoa nibs dominating the taste, and a dry, bracing finish. Mild body, wonderfully carbonated (I believe it’s bottle-fermented, and if not then it should be) to the point of achieving a near-lightness that works in counter-point to its bold roast flavors. This beer hits like a roasty stout but has a light saison finish, surprising and complex. On the finish I identify some saison funk, for lack of a better descriptor, especially as it warms. Roasty, funky, effervescent. An incredible brew that I enjoy tremendously. Perfect for good conversation and whimsical pondering. Definitely lives up to its name.

elNopalero, Oct 02, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of tbryan5
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%

tbryan5, Sep 23, 2014
Photo of wrycon
4.65/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Heavily carbonated. A dark chocolate rye in appearance. Smells strongly of wood, prunes, some slight citrus tang. The taste is exactly what I want. Coy at first, slightly toasted malt and strong carbonation. Swallow and a torrent of turned bread and earthy funk grabs your palate. Some rye, some bitter... Tastes fungal in a pure way. If I were a richer man, I'd drink this every day.

Like it? Immensely

wrycon, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

In a pint glass the beer was a dark brown color with a thick tan head.

Mostly cocoa aroma. Some spice and a whiff of hazelnut.

The taste was similar to the aroma. Cocoa, nutmeg, and hazelnut. A little bit of coffee also.

This beer was on the dry side, and a little on the sharp side.

Overall a decent beer.

lordofthewiens, Nov 01, 2011
Photo of mverity
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep brown color with a tan head. The color is odd, for a saison. Or maybe that's just my take on things. The smell is mostly earthy and deeply roasted malts. A bit bready too. Taste is interesting. I pick up lots of leather, some damp earth, lots of the malt that was present in the aroma, a touch of toffee/caramel sweetness, and an odd bitterness that is definitely not from hops; almost like burnt coffee. My first Stillwater beer that I don't absolutely love.

mverity, Jul 26, 2013
Photo of JakerLou
4/5  rDev +5.5%

JakerLou, Jul 05, 2014
Photo of henryclay_
4/5  rDev +5.5%

henryclay_, May 10, 2014
Photo of kingcrowing
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap poured into a wine glass.

Pours a dark brown that's almost black with a small brown head and a tiny bit of lacing. Nose is very light and mellow, there is a slightly spicy note and some dark malts.

Taste is more on the spicy side with some tart and sharp notes and a bit.of an earthy Smokey flavor on the finish. Mouthfeel is full and creamy and overall its quite good!

kingcrowing, Jun 18, 2011
Photo of jondeelee
4.21/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Existent opens to what is partly a nice farmhouse ale aroma, with bananas and cloves mixing with a musty funkiness that smells like fermented apple cider and the inside of a grain silo, and partly a very light Flemish sour, with light touches of vinegar spotting the edges. There’s also a nice dose of rosewater, lemon, and pink grapefruit from the hops, which mixes with the cherry, berry, orange, and apricot fruit esters well, though it can leave a bubblegum overtone. Toast crust, biscuit, whole wheat bread, and a smattering of hay form an earthy base. As a whole, the nose is very nice, the sour vinegar providing an excellent counter to the apple cider, and the full assortment of fruity aromas proving very enticing.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a shot of bananas and cloves that mixes instantly with the fermented apple cider and musty funkiness of the farmhouse, followed closely by the touches of vinegar that add extra layers of flavor, and a few sprinkles of white pepper. Fruits follow, with berry, cherry, and orange dominating, though there are also flavorful threads of pineapple and syrupy sweet-tart maraschino cherry. Light grapefruit and lemon from the hops adds more citrus. Brown sugar and vanilla add a bit more to the mix, and the base of toast crust, biscuit, whole wheat bread, and light hay translate well from the nose. The aftertaste is a continuation of the main mouthful, the farmhouse banana/clove/cider/must especially present, and lingering on the tongue for a good while. Mouthfeel is a dry medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is a well-made farmhouse ale which offers a wide variety of neatly-balanced flavors, and in good strength and proportion. There is a slight alcoholic overtone, especially later in the mouthful and in the aftertaste, but it doesn’t mar the palate. Worth trying.

jondeelee, Aug 16, 2013
Photo of Janeinma
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Janeinma, Sep 17, 2013
Photo of MattyG85
4.26/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. Bottled on 01/21/14.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brownish black with some hints of ruby. About one finger of off white head that quickly fades away. Leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Smell: A dark and spicy yeast forward Belgian style aroma with good hints of roast and funk. Belgian yeast with some hints of clove, pepper, and farmhouse funk. Dark malt with hints of dark chocolate, coffee, toast, caramel, toffee, biscuit, and grains. Big fruit hints of bananas along with some apple, pear, grapes, and slight citrus hints of orange and lemon. Subtle earthy hop hints. Also some hints of candied sugar. A pretty solid aroma.

Taste: Like the smell, a yeasty and fruity Belgian style taste with a big presence of dark malt notes. Upfront Belgian yeast with notes of clove, peppers, and some farmhouse funk. Dark roasted barley malt with notes of dark chocolate, coffee, toasted bread, biscuit, caramel, toffee, and grains. Big taste of bananas along with some fruit notes of pear, apple, grapes, lemon, and orange. Slight notes of candied sugar. Some earthy and grassy hops in the background as well. A pretty good taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a medium to high level of carbonation. Spicy, juicy, and somewhat prickly. Finishes dry.

Overall: A very unique and good take on a Saison. Has the spicy and fruity Belgian notes with a nice balance of dark malt.

MattyG85, May 13, 2014
Photo of GOBLIN
4.16/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Stillwater Artisanal Existent

Rustic

Poured into pint glass

A: Dark like a rich porter with floating sediments. Nice looking beer, kinda looks like a scene from the ocean depths. Crazy !

S: Strange mix of smells that really works well. Coffee, roasted malts, oranges along with that subtle but traditional farmhouse ale smell.

T: Taste is the same. Again, nice fusion of porter/stout/farmhouse flavors.

M: Smooth and easy drinking. Maybe a bit thin but that really surprises me considering the rich malt character.

O: Very impressed with this beer . . . I'll be back to visit this one. Good for any season.

GOBLIN, Mar 07, 2014
Photo of wehttam
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

wehttam, Mar 13, 2014
Photo of williamjbauer
4/5  rDev +5.5%

williamjbauer, May 08, 2014
Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +5.5%

WVbeergeek, Feb 04, 2014
Photo of SPRichard
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

SPRichard, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of glid02
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

glid02, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of bdtva
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

bdtva, Mar 24, 2014
Photo of Schlafly33
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Schlafly33, May 05, 2014
Photo of bif_fat_sellout
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

bif_fat_sellout, Jul 28, 2014
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

acurtis, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of dcbeers
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

dcbeers, Mar 03, 2013
Photo of Brenden
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark brown color, Existent certainly defies the expectations for a Saison at the start. It's no surprise, though, given Stillwater's exploratory nature and American brewers delving into brewing Saisons with dark malts, smoking them, etc. While brown, Existent does exhibit a reddish hue. It develops a pillowy tan head that rises to nearly two fingers tall and rests there stubbornly. A good amount of thick patching is left behind on the walls of the glass as the beer recedes down it.
This is a toasty one with some muted yeast notes in the aroma and a bit of molasses, not as sweet as one might think, but adding more tot he toast note due to smelling not burnt but close to it. It is spicy, more the kitchen variety and plenty peppery. There is a faint whiff of band-aid, a very slight phenolic note, faint but detectable.
That doesn't translate to the flavor, though. It's very interestingly toasty, herbal, spicy, and lightly smoky with just a little sweetness as some dried dark fruits ride it out. Yeast comes out with the toast into the finish but really rounds it out well.
Carbonation is fairly high without being too filling or spritzy, and this medium-bodied beer holds an even keel between crisp and smooth.

Brenden, Jul 03, 2013
Photo of CloudStrife
3.79/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Bottled 04/25/13.

A: Pours a clear dark brown appearing black in the glass. Slightly tanned head sits on top. Head is fairly quick to dissipate.

S: Rich roasty blend with chocolate and a touch of farmhouse yeast. Almost a baked cake like aroma.

T: Comes off with a fairly strong banana like quality combined with roasted malts and a hint of smokiness. Touch of booze on the backend. Chocolate lingers into the aftertaste.

M: Medium body, perhaps a tad thin. Mild carbonation with a fairly clean finish.

Overall this bottle doesnt do justice to this brew on tap a couple months ago. Will need to update the numbers if needed next time I have this beer.

CloudStrife, Nov 20, 2013
Photo of biboergosum
3.56/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, day 7 of the 2013 Craft Beer Advent Calendar. Once again, nothing about what this beer really is, just a lot of hippie psycho-babble in the marketing description.

This beer pours a clear, dark cola amber hue, with three fingers of aggressively puffy, and fizzily foamy beige head, which leaves some hanging clothesline lace around the glass as it quickly blows off.

It smells of roasted caramel malt, fleshy dark fruit, overripe banana, earthy yeast, a bit of mixed holiday spices, and a soft leafy hoppiness. The taste is more lightly toasted caramel malt, dry toffee, astringent butter, earthy yeast, somewhat sharp black stonefruit, wet crackers, understated savoury spice, and a hint of warming alcohol.

The carbonation is soft, and weakly frothy, the body a sturdy medium weight, a tad clammy, yet mostly smooth, but for a slight metallic swath cutting through, origins hard to discern. It finishes more or less on the sweet side, the caramel, dark fruit, and subsurface booze contending with surprisingly little yeast or hop bitterness.

Kind of like a cross between a plainly malty brown ale, and a softly yeasty and fruity farmhouse ale. Not a marriage that I was dying to see happen, and the results become a lot more skewed towards the former as the glass empties, so I'm left with the feeling of 'what's the point?'

biboergosum, Dec 08, 2013
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Existent from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
85 out of 100 based on 543 ratings.