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Existent - Stillwater Artisanal Ales

Not Rated.

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

544 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 544
Reviews: 162
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 11.61%
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
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Ratings: 544 | Reviews: 162 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of illidurit
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

illidurit, Jul 05, 2013
Photo of beersvh23
4/5  rDev +5.5%

beersvh23, Jul 05, 2013
Photo of Tertullian007
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Tertullian007, Jul 05, 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 beernads
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

beernads, Jul 02, 2013
Photo of Vaultdweller27
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Vaultdweller27, Jul 02, 2013
Photo of IndyDad
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

IndyDad, Jul 02, 2013
Photo of bca115
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

bca115, Jul 01, 2013
Photo of chippo33
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

chippo33, Jul 01, 2013
Photo of jsurfs82
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

jsurfs82, Jun 30, 2013
Photo of Dreamer
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Dreamer, Jun 29, 2013
Photo of Kelp
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Kelp, Jun 29, 2013
Photo of apasternak
4/5  rDev +5.5%

apasternak, Jun 28, 2013
Photo of PatriotsRule
4/5  rDev +5.5%

PatriotsRule, Jun 28, 2013
Photo of Greywulfken
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
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 -7.7%

jaxon53, Jun 25, 2013
Photo of NumberNone
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

NumberNone, Jun 24, 2013
Photo of Timmy13T
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Timmy13T, Jun 23, 2013
Photo of JacobGumina
4/5  rDev +5.5%

JacobGumina, Jun 20, 2013
Photo of gshackles
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

gshackles, Jun 19, 2013
Photo of KevT
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

KevT, Jun 19, 2013
Photo of MRsojourner
4/5  rDev +5.5%

MRsojourner, Jun 19, 2013
Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.66/5  rDev -3.4%
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 +23.5%
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 +18.7%

Boone757, Jun 15, 2013
Existent from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
85 out of 100 based on 544 ratings.