1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  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
86
very good

534 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 534
Reviews: 159
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.32%
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
Ratings: 534 | Reviews: 159 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Dreamer
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Dreamer, Jun 29, 2013
Photo of Kelp
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Kelp, Jun 29, 2013
Photo of apasternak
4/5  rDev +5.3%

apasternak, Jun 28, 2013
Photo of PatriotsRule
4/5  rDev +5.3%

PatriotsRule, Jun 28, 2013
Photo of Greywulfken
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: nearly black opaque brown in a tulip; slim finger of tan head slipped away quickly and left no trace of lace

S: dark earthy hops, maybe some herbal and woodsy aromas, dark malty undercurrents

T: dark and roasty malts - like a black ale or schwarzbier - with yeasty dough and real deep, dank hops - suggestions of freshly cut damp wood and burnt grain

M: thin-medium body, rather smooth and slightly coating, dark ashy aftertaste

O: I didn't expect this to be so dark, and had to adjust myself to the beer - other than GI's Pepe Nero, I've never had a dark saison, and this one is black - interesting "take" on the style (or at least my expectations of it), and a rather good beer. Very roasty with deep, earthy flavors - might not be what you're looking for in a saison, but a really enjoyable beer.

Greywulfken, Jun 28, 2013
Photo of jaxon53
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

jaxon53, Jun 25, 2013
Photo of NumberNone
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

NumberNone, Jun 24, 2013
Photo of Timmy13T
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Timmy13T, Jun 23, 2013
Photo of JacobGumina
4/5  rDev +5.3%

JacobGumina, Jun 20, 2013
Photo of gshackles
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

gshackles, Jun 19, 2013
Photo of KevT
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

KevT, Jun 19, 2013
Photo of MRsojourner
4/5  rDev +5.3%

MRsojourner, Jun 19, 2013
Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.66/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a Bell's tulip. The pour is very dark - nearly black with mahogany highlights - and sports a nice rocky tan head that dies down a bit quickly. The nose is a little on the faint side, but I do get hints of yeasty fresh bread aromas, wheat, cereal grains, and a faint roastiness.

The beer has a light-medium body. The flavor is well balanced between roastiness and herbal spiciness and has a little sweetness as well. Faint wheat and cereal notes up front joined by a faint roasty coffee-like note at mid-palate. A gentle hop kick dries up the finish and adds just a bit of spice, but the roastiness seems too persistent and drags through the finish. I like herbal spiciness in Saisons and I'm not sure the roastiness allows the spice to come through all that well.

It's time to recognize a new category - Black Saison. I think there are enough examples of it out there right now. While I enjoyed this one, there's something about the roastiness of it that just didn't do it for me. I haven't had a lot of Black Saisons, but the roastiness seems to benefit from additional spiciness, which this one doesn't have. See Goose Island's ``Pepe Nero'' for more details.

deadonhisfeet, Jun 18, 2013
Photo of dar482
4.68/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The beer pours out in a dark brown/black color with some red coming through in the light. The head is a 1 finger and off white. By the way, props on the beautiful dark label with a negative of Friedrich Nietzsche.

The aroma has quite interesting. It has spicy notes of coriander, and tons of breadiness.

The flavor is lovely. It hits you first with some dark fruit and yeast, again, hints of being a hefeweizen, but also a Belgian dark ale. Then the dark malts take over with some round, but light mouthfeel and roasted malt flavor.

The finish has this spicy rye breadiness and is quite dry and lingering. It’s almost floral in flavor too.

This really is an interesting brew. I had a sip after my friend ordered it and it blew me away. I had to buy a bottle and reviewing it, it still is quite the brew. It’s so different and hard to pin down stylistically.

It has that fruitiness, breadiness, and strong yeast flavor that makes it so Belgian, but then there’s also this refreshing spicy peppery bite. The gentle carbonation keeps this brew uplifting and light as well.

I give this beer tons of credit for being so amazing, but also innovative and different.

dar482, Jun 16, 2013
Photo of Boone757
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Boone757, Jun 15, 2013
Photo of ajzy
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

ajzy, Jun 14, 2013
Photo of Herky21
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Herky21, Jun 14, 2013
Photo of DaveBlack
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

DaveBlack, Jun 12, 2013
Photo of wedge
3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep chestnut brown with a low, creamy head that shrinks to a spotty covering. Smells hoppier than expected...fresh, soapy, earthy, and spicy with some mild roasted malt and wood. The flavor is not super malty, but "darker" tasting than your average farmhouse brew. Spicy fruit esters, floral hops, pine, orange, a touch of chocolate, and dark bread. Fluffy and tingly in the mouth with a long, lingering dryness. A little aggressive overall and personally, I'm generally not a huge fan of roasted malt and Belgian yeast coming together. Pretty good though...

wedge, Jun 11, 2013
Photo of banger7
4/5  rDev +5.3%

banger7, Jun 10, 2013
Photo of Evoforen
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Evoforen, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of Rollzroyce21
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Rollzroyce21, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of FlyingYeti
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

FlyingYeti, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: A deep, rich dark brown. Dark reds and lighter browns show up when held to direct light. Small tan head drops to an almost non-existent cap with a small loose collar. Moderate carbonation on the pour.

Smell: Loaded with ripe banana. Soft clove spiciness. A bit of roasted malt with some underlying cocoa. A bit floral. Earthy. Powdery yeast. Some hay and grassy elements. Very clean with a soft complexity. Light malt sweetness pushes a good bit of caramel. Even some toffee and licorice in the back.

Taste: A blend of farmhouse funk and Belgian influence. Rich caramelized malts with some backing roasted elements. A touch of cocoa and black licorice. Slight peppery spiciness with some earthy and grassy hops. A bit on the sweet side to start with ripe banana and some bubblegum. Solid yeast presence. Dark fruit, but vague. Very yeasty.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly dry given the sweet malt profile. Crisp with a mediumish body. Medium to high carbonation. Pretty much spot on.

Overall: This beer exists and we are better for it.

A good American saison/farmhouse ale. A solid punch of Belgian influence tempered by the softer funky elements I expect from the American style. A bit sweet overall.

Goblinmunkey7, Jun 05, 2013
Photo of Zachtheporter
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Zachtheporter, Jun 05, 2013
Existent from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
86 out of 100 based on 534 ratings.