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

542 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 542
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
Ratings: 542 | Reviews: 162 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of glid02
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

glid02, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of laituegonflable
3.23/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, dark brown colour, just murky where the light catches the edges. Head is beige, thinly dispersed with some decent trails of lace. Retaining a thin film. Not bad.

Smells underfermented, really, and not at all what I expected. Acetyldehyde largely, with just a mild undercurrent of roasted malt. But yeah, there's a fault there and it smells neither dark nor spicy enough as a result. A bit off.

Taste is better - certainly more character here. Fairly sweet to start, with a hint of acetyldehyde but then chocolatey and a hint of licorice on the mid. Fruit note on the back is more blackcurrant than anything else, with a touch of rye and some black pepper. Yeah, retains that sweet fruit, floral note over the top and could use more bitterness - either roasty, hoppy or funky in origin - I don't mind.

Decent mouthfeel, but leaves a little filmy and not quite chewy enough. Still feel it's maybe a bit underattenuated.

Some decent character here, but also some fairly serious flaws.

laituegonflable, Jan 05, 2012
Photo of SPRichard
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

SPRichard, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of HopStoopid120
4/5  rDev +5.5%

HopStoopid120, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of IrishColonial
4/5  rDev +5.5%

IrishColonial, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of FubarPilsner
3/5  rDev -20.8%

FubarPilsner, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of twelveinches
4/5  rDev +5.5%

twelveinches, Dec 10, 2011
Photo of Bung
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml Dark mohoghanhy pour, large frothy light tan head. Sticks ok.

Aroma, yeasty with some red fruit, light brown sugar and spice, little funk. Fainter roast and cocoa.

Taste, the roast, citrus, yeast and chocolates work really well together. Finishes pretty dry, cocoa but lingers well with a nice herbal hop presence.

Fairly active heavy side of light. Goes down easy, really no alcohol.

Similar to a Saison Darkly and another of these dark farmhouse ales I enjoyed immensely.

Bung, Dec 10, 2011
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle brought back to Sydney from the US and shared with @tobeerornottobe and @LaitueGonflable.

Pours a deep brown colour, with a bubbly and slightly unsubstantial head of pale mocha. Patchy, speckled lace forms as it's swirled, but the body is pretty light, and the head doesn't particularly lend itself to persistence. Not bad, but not all that great.

Nose is... rather thin and a bit lacklustre. Weak, filmy hints of cold coffee sit above a estery tartness, giving green hints of acidic apple. Some brown bread comes through as well. Very little spice, and very little coherence. It feels quite thin, and aimless.

Taste is a little better, but the thin characters of brown bread, mild roast and the subtle acidity are just pressed together a little better here—there's not quite the emptiness extant on the nose. The acidity works a little better here, just giving a slight slickness to the flavours on the palate, letting them slip towards the back. Still missing some spice, which would really help it along.

It's interesting enough in its way, but I wanted it to be truly good. I have for some reason hyped up Stillwater in my mind, and to date they are yet to give me an exciting reason for this. Again, it's decent enough, but it's also slightly odd—and slightly odd doesn't cut it: make it either really good, or really odd.

That's how you'll win me over, Stillwater.

lacqueredmouse, Dec 10, 2011
Photo of mjaggers
4/5  rDev +5.5%

mjaggers, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of TrickkyGangsta
4/5  rDev +5.5%

TrickkyGangsta, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of Monkeyknife
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a dark opaque brown with three fingers of rich tan head.

Aroma of lemon, dark ripe berries, roasted coffee, black pepper, yeast and spicy herbal notes.

The taste matches the aroma with lemon, dark berries, black coffee, yeast and a touch of herbal spiciness.

Medium bodied with a sticky dryness and moderate carbonation.

A very interesting and delicious take on the Saison.

Monkeyknife, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of stakem
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to wishuwerebeer for the share on this one. 750ml bottle poured into a snifter. The brew appears dark brown with more than a finger of dark tan head. Strings of patchy lace form on the glassware and the cap displays fairly solid retention. Some dark ruby coloration is seen through the body when held up to the light.

The initial aroma smells roasty like coffee and chocolate as expected based on the looks of this brew. It carries with it a very dry and earthy aspect. Through the middle are peppery accents from the yeast along with a lemony citrus aspect that is quite interesting.

This brew has a rustic feel to it. It is quite dry and roasty bringing forth flavors of chocolate grain and coffee. It is quite earthy with a mild pepper inclusion. Towards the back it is lightly fruity with suggestions of lemony tartness ad zest across the back.

This is a medium bodied brew with an active amount of carbonation. The dryness makes it easy drinking and the strange twist of earthy roasted quality mixed with lemony fruit aspects makes for a unique experience that is worth checking out.

stakem, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of bauermj
4/5  rDev +5.5%

bauermj, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of argock
4.4/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750mL brown bottle into a tall, narrow tulip. No freshness date. Served at 55F. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $11.99.

A: Very murky dark brown with astounding 3-4 finger beige foamy head with exceptional retention leaving a constant 1/2-finger cap of head although the lace is spotty at best.

S: The chocolate and roast notes are strongest up front with some minimally sweet dark fruit notes meeting honeysuckle and herbal hops character with a touch of lemon-orange citrus -- definitely a hoppy but dark saison. All of the aromas grow with warming.

T: The flavors and aromas are entwined with raisiny toasted bread and light chocolate working so smoothly together with a light citrus and earthy herbal hoppiness. The flavor is long and fades to mostly chocolatey breadiness with some herbal, lightly funky Belgian yeastiness. A masterful brew -- drinks very complexly but flows lightly over the palate. I will admit it doesn't taste like many other saisons I have tried, but I am going to give far more dark saisons a try. This beer is more what Cascadian Ales are trying to be -- dry, crisp, drinkable, with an essence of roast but plenty of hoppy flavors and malt presence.

M: Crisp yet plenty of body for the style. The carbonation is appropriately very active and scrubbing with dryness, but not severe dryness almost to the point of astringency like several other Stillwater saisons I will leave nameless. I know that's kind of the point, but it's not that pleasant to me. This beer, on the the other hand, is artful in its feel.

O: A huge surprise for me. I wish it fit with saisons a tad more but the flavor is intense, complex yet feels effortless to consume. Great beer.

argock, Nov 29, 2011
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 EasyReader
5/5  rDev +31.9%

EasyReader, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +5.5%

nmann08, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of Georgiabeer
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An interesting Saison with very savory characteristics, almost briny at times. Pours a somewhat muddy brown with a moderate head that fades to a thin cap. Aromas are fruity to begin with, with notes of apple and pear, then turns somewhat meaty with an almost gentian bitterness at the end. Quite herbal overall in the nose. The taste somewhat mirrors the aromas, with a light fruitiness to start, and then develops savory, meaty flavors with a touch of brine and quite an herbal or even bitter note. I'd say it almost closes up at the finish and becomes almost too dry and herbal. I think many dark saisons have too much roastiness to balance against the other flavors, in this case that is certainly not a problem, but I'd still like to see a bit more snappiness. Still, an interesting and pleasant beer.

Georgiabeer, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of patm1986
4/5  rDev +5.5%

patm1986, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of sideshowe
4/5  rDev +5.5%

sideshowe, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +5.5%

JAHMUR, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of bmur112
4/5  rDev +5.5%

bmur112, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of rapidsequence
4.28/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle. Bought from Bottle Revolution. I think it was 12 or 14 bucks.

Appearance: Pours very dark-- black. Lots of reddish highlights even in not-very-bright light. Light tan colored head. Falls in sheets, but only some spots of lacing. I guess this is what a black saison looks like. Their packaging continues to impress.

Smell: Mildly roasty with a hint of cocoa. Some earth and grass. Sort of subdued, but not bad.

Taste: Very interesting integration of earthy, ourdoorsy, saison flavors and the well measured roasty notes. Its got a significant contribution of flavor and bittering hops which tend toward spicy and citrus. Its like an earthy, hoppy, dry porter with the yeasty goodness of a saison.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated, but soft and very smooth feeling. Dries out nicely on the finish.

Overall: So, not much in the nose, as I think some of the more subtle notes are washed out by roast. The flavor however is pretty great. Very interesting flavor combinations. It feels like a dream. I hate to give such a high rating to these more gimmicky beers, but this one is a winner.

rapidsequence, Nov 06, 2011
Existent from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
85 out of 100 based on 542 ratings.