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Existent - Stillwater Artisanal Ales

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

580 Ratings
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 zonker17
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of cowboy83
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of uturn
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of FreshHawk
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark cola color with a good sized, creamy, smooth, frothy, tan colored head. Decent retention with some sticky lacing left over.

S - Definitely earthy. Some herbal/floral aroma along with a slight cocoa/nuttiness that mixes with the earthiness. A touch of yeasty aroma but it's quite subdue.

T - Earthiness dominates which blends with a cocoa, nuttiness and a schwarzbier type of chocolate/roasted maltiness. A bit of herbal, floral, and possibly piney hop flavors mix in and out. Hints of yeast pop in and out, but nothing compared to many other saisons.

M - Medium body with lower than average carbonation. Fairly dry. More creamy/smooth that spritzy making it closer to a schwarzbier, porter, etc. than a typical saison.

D - So-so on how drinkable this is. It didn't necessarily inspire me to drink more, but it wasn't hard to put down.

Notes: Full disclosure, I've never really gotten into dark saisons. I don't dislike them, but I just don't really get the appeal. Definitely an earthy beer that is reminiscent of a schwarzbier with some saison aspects. Well done and well made although it leans more toward the dark than the typical saison flavors. If you like that give it a try. I liked it, but it isn't necessarily my thing.

Photo of mattafett
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of Gosox8787
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: A chilled 750 mL bottle I picked up the other day. Poured into my Kate the Great tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a really nice two to three finger creamy beige head. Really nice retention too. Dark brown in color with some amber highlights.

Aroma: Bright green apple and nice Belgian yeast tones really stand out upfront. The color of the beer is definitely deceptive as this really gives off the saison vibe from the aroma. Definitely some coffee and caramel notes in the background too.

Taste: The coffee really comes through a lot stronger than in the aroma. The green apple and bright yeast comes through very well though. There is a nice funk note in here as well. Some very slight hop character, but it is definitely not distracting at all. Really unique and nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel: This drinks really light and refreshing, but there definitely is some body and creaminess throughout. The carbonation does a great job of lightening this and making it drink like a traditional saison.

Overall, a really nice, surprising saison. I found it very refreshing and flavorful. The coffee notes are nice and didn't overpower the base style at all. Definitely something I would have again. Balanced and complex, while still being unique.

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

Body is very dark brown. Poured into a Lost Abbey chalice, has a good 3/4 inch head that dissipates to a ring. Small amount of motile lacing.

Smells richly of dark fruit, especially fresh apples and cherries, roast coffee, dark malt.

Tastes of charred malt and roast coffee, with a high acidity, tart dark fruit, baked green apples and cherries. This is held inbalance by the malt sugar, but it is not sweet, sort of like straight black coffee. I guess there is some Belgian yeast in this, but it is hard to pick out with the roast malt dominance. There is a little dry hoppiness in the finish.

Body is medium and carbonation is fizzy, giving this a slightly creamy mouthfeel, sort of as a saison should be. But the carbonation level is the only thing about this beer that resembles a saison.

This is a very nice tasting dark beer. It has a refreshing level of acidity, good solid roast malt flavor. A good choice among the expanding group of black lagers and ales.

Photo of sludgegnome
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of lpotter
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Stillwater : Existent

LOOK: A dark brown, almost black liquid. Off white head, and a fine display of lacing as well.

SMELL: Roasted malts, saison funk, citrus hops, fresh grass. Dark fruit.

TASTE: Unique flavor profile. Roasted malt, lightly tart from the yeast, white pepper, citrus, and a restrained bitterness. Little to no alcohol flavor, just saison funk, roasted malt and hops.

FEEL: Medium bodied, well carbonated, slightly dry.

OVERALL: A nice twist on the American Black Ale or the Belgian Saison for that matter. I'd like to age this.

Photo of Googs
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of SalMineo
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of nickfl
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A gentle pour down the side of the glass produces a huge, four finger head of light brown foam on top of a dark brown body with just a touch of light showing through. The head settles slowly and leaves good lace behind on the glass.

S - A musty aroma of brown sugar, caramel, and some funky dark fruit notes.

T - Thick, dark caramel up front with some notes of chocolate and molasses that come out in the middle. The beer finishes with black cherry, burnt caramel, and some licorice.

M - Medium-thick body, high carbonation, and a fairly dry finish.

D - A very different take on the world of saisons. The combination of dark malt and lightly fruity yeast works quite well and the light funky character really makes everything pop. Very nice, this brewery is really starting to remind me of other idiosyncratic saison brewers like Fantome and St. Somewhere.

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Large off white head on a very deep amber dark body with nice lacing. Darker than any other farmhouse ale I have had.

S: mild fruity aroma with a slight mint and evergreen note.

T: Flavor is not so much like a traditional farmhouse. Up front you get the mild fruity and belgian yeast flavor you would expect with roasted malt, coffee, smokey notes in the finish.

M: full body and moderate carbonation. dry finish.

Overall: Very unique and interesting for the style. I rather have a traditional saison however this one is certainly memorable.

Photo of CEDAMA
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of jlogan7
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of jfcaa193
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of sneth019
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of DanK4
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of codynevels
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a murky red brown with a thick, persistent light tan head leaving massive lacing. Aroma of yeast, light malt, some roasted malt and a hint of root beer element. Taste starts with a subtle mix of dark malt and dark fruit with some roasted elements. Finishes fairly dry with a somewhat astringent hoppiness. I liked the underlying flavor, but the finish was a bit too dry for me. Very glad I tried this, but I like other Stillwater saisons better.

Photo of mcphish22
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of GORUM
4/5  rDev +5.5%

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