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Existent - Stillwater Artisanal Ales

Not Rated.
ExistentExistent

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

580 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 580
Reviews: 167
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 17
Gots: 54 | FT: 1
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:
Beer added by: Thorpe429 on 11-13-2010

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
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 580 | Reviews: 167 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber to black in color with a light brown head. In the aroma, a lighter roast and notes of horse blanket. In the taste, dry to earthy small tartness and a caramel like roast. A small hop like bite and a lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a dry yeast and note of caramel like roast in the aftertaste. Nice mix of caramel and earth, quite pleasant.

Photo of sneaks2210
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of DaleMcMutt
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of Brew33
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of strongaf
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of BeerTruck
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of larryi86
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter

A- Dark brown with a four finger light tan head.

S- Fruity farmhouse yeast, some chocolate, roasted malts, earthy hops, nice spices.

T- Again fruity yeast, roasted malts, chocolate, touch of smoke, earthy hops, some spices.

M- Smooth, medium body.

O- Another tasty beer from Stillwater, pretty unique. Worth the price, will pick this up again.

Photo of andthevolcano
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of klipper
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of Envelopes
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of sendbeer
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of Antnyd82
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of kaelingirl
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of dumptruck81
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of ncaudle
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle to tulip.

A - Very dark brown. Lots of head on the pour that slowly receded to a thin layer.

S - Bready malts. A touch of chocolate. Lighter Belgian yeast and spice notes are present but they aren't dominant like in many saisons.

T - Belgian yeast a touch of chocolate, raisin, dark fruit and spice. All the flavours are well integrated with nothing dominating, including the yeast characteristics.

M - Medium body. Creamy. Moderate carbonation.

Photo of Caskaway
4.75/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I generally make distinctions between how Belgian brewers make authentic and high quality tasting ales and how American brewers try to emulate them. Where I usually think American versions fall short, I may have to re-evaluate that reason if beers like Existent becomes the new benchmark.

With a russet and tawny rubyish brown hue, the yeasty haze casts a mystic glow of eerie effect. The nearly opaque beer immediately releases a billowing sand-stained head which retains stubbornly and laces impressivley with random character on the glass.

Strong aromatics of toast, starch, burnt embers, and scorched molassas begin to frame the malty matrix. Not to be outdone, a balance of spice ensues- led by the scent of freshly cracked peppercorn, coriander, and grilled fruit, fennel, the beer's aroma is strong but never plays favorites. It has to be said that a light phenolic note of burnt plastic persists far in the background.

Flavors however do not. As the taste of dry heavy toast, cocoa powder, smoky mole, light vegemite , and spent coffee grounds provide a robust and creamy taste that starts early and extends well into the finish. But the middle palate of coriander, fennel, currant, red grapes, and curacao ride just above the starchy taste of spaghetti before landing at the dry threshold of dry toast and peppercorn that return in finish.

Medium-dry in texture, the high effervescence pushes the beer off the mouth and creates a sense of dryness from the very start. But as the carbonation subsides, its the interesting dialogue that continues with creamy maltiness and peppery spice. - all works toward an off-dry finish of acrid toast and dry spice to close the beer with minimal aftertaste.

Immediate comparisons come to mind with Goose Island's Pepe Nero. Existent pushes further into that balance of flavor with greater fruit, spice, and malt complexities while offering similar drinkability. Score one for Stillwater!

Photo of Travisnin
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of bradfordjohnson
2.5/5  rDev -34%

Photo of AgentMunky
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a brandy snifter.

A: Two fingers of off-white head. The beer is gorgeously black with ruby glints in direct light. Good lacing.

S: Muted and vague, with some zesty yeast. Spicy, but not that interesting.

T: Roasted Belgian yeast is the first thing that comes to mind. It's bizarre, but very tasty. The endtaste is long, lingering, and almost porterish in its chalky, nutty, clinging bitterness.

M: Generously full-bodied throughout, with a sense of flavour.

O: A nice beer, interesting and recommended. A sort of hybrid saison-porter. It's got the spicy yeast and the roasted malt. Would try again.

Photo of DonDirkA
4.48/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nose is cloves, banana, caramel, kind of nutty, cinnamon and a slight hint of coffee. Taste is really similar, almost exactly but the cloves are strong and right up front followed by roasted notes and coffee all rounded out by banana. To me it tasted very Belgian, which isn't what I expected. One other reviewer said that if you blindfolded him and smelled it he'd think it was a stout or porter and I have to agree with that. I'd think a Belgian-style stout. It was nowhere near as heavy as a stout though. It had a very dry finish and was a real nice sipper. This is I think 4 out of 5 awesome beers from Stillwater in my books. Very awesome.

Photo of jbertsch
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of tlazaroff
4.32/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smells fantastic! It doesn't smell like any other Saison that I've had though, if I were in a blind tasting, I would consider this aroma as coming off of a porter or stout. Chocolate is the first thing I get, with pumpernickel black bread and a touch of light funk on the tail end of the aroma.

Very dark brown with ruby highlights where the light strikes. It has a light mocha froth head and lacing comes in the form of nice rings around the glass.

Existent is a beautiful beer! Upfront I get chocolate with a hint of sage. It lasts through the finish but is accompanied by this kind of gritty floral taste in the mid palate to the drying finish. Moderatly high carbonation with a smooth medium body. Tasting this reminded me of why I like Saison so much, and this has a nice twist on the style. I'll be enjoying this one for a while as I take my time with it.

Photo of vfgccp
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Towering khaki head with moderately loose bubbles.  Great retention and stellar lace. Deep mahogany body.

S - Dry nose.  Dandelions, mint, hay, roses, and Chardonnay.

T - Lightly toasted malt and caramel latte with great, dry, woody and floral hop notes throughout.

M - Refreshingly light body.  Nice carbonation.

O - Well executed. The delicious roast profile is prominent but well restrained, and manages not to overwhelm the otherwise light and brisk Saison frame that supports it.

Existent from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
85 out of 100 based on 580 ratings.