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Folklore - Stillwater Artisanal Ales

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

118 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 118
Hads: 424
Avg: 3.88
pDev: 19.85%
Wants: 18
Gots: 42 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Stillwater Artisanal Ales visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: oline73 on 02-21-2011

Human history is filled with myths and legends that shape and define our culture. Rituals, celebrations, gatherings.. whatever. One thing that’s for sure, is we enjoy a proper shindig. So let’s get the stories flowing and share a little ’Folklore’. A bracingly deep ale, built dark and rich with an elegantly lean body, accompanied by heady aromas of Belgian yeast, earthy hops and gently kissed by a wisp of smoke.

This beer was formerly known as 25 to One.
View: Beers (32) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 118 | Hads: 424
Photo of Daniellobo
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice, hefty and sweet, celebratory take on a dark Belgian ale.

Presentation: 500 ml brown capped bottle. Simple grey label with name of brew, logo of Max's and Stillwater. Side narrative notes anniversary celebration, relationship and support between brewery and taphouse, alongside a brief description. Shows 8.4% Alc. by Vol. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Very dark brown pour with a rich off-white head, moderate retention, nice surface memory and some touches of lacing.

S - Sweet and fruity nose wit a good roasted insinuation.

T - Taste follows with an intense sweetness coating memories of dried prunes, raisins. Roasted sense with a hint of smokiness, and a boozy sense that while not pushy is a bit noticeable. Spicy yeasts in the backbone seals the sense.

M - Medium/full body with similar carbonation, rather well tuned, with a good smooth sense.

O - This is actually pretty pleasing, another quality brew from Stillwater that maybe could do with a few months to soften the edge but that is pretty pleasing now in any case.

Notes: This is a nice anniversary brew, a tad expensive considering sizing and all but worth the try. Steers away from the free range o saisons but shows that it can handle pretty well a BSDA. Here's to another 25 years for Max's and Stillwater.

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Photo of beergoot
3.99/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep, dark brown body with a thick, sticky light tan head. Spicy, red pepper scents mix together with a roasted grain and bitter chocolate smell; figs and dates. Big dark malt flavors; fudge brownies; peppery hop bitterness at the finish. Medium bodied; semi-sweeet.

Lots of foam oozed out of the bottle. Not a gusher (and only minimal beer loss), but a bear to pour. Luckily, the wait to top off the glass is worth the wait. I didn't get any of the “wisp of smoke” the label mentioned, but there is plenty of depth and complexity to be found in the smell and taste. The touch of peppery heat adds a nice touch to the rich malt flavor characteristics. A nice discovery...

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Photo of ksimons
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A-very dark chestnut with a fingers worth of tan head that leaves lacing around the top

S-roasted malt, dark fruit sweetness, and a bit of roast

T-taste is similar to the smell, dark malt backbone with dark fruit sweetness, and lightly roasted coffee

M-medium body, medium carbonation, slight dry finish

Overall an enjoyable BSDA and easy to drink as it is not very heavy

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Photo of clickpush
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared this bottle with some friends at Farmers' Cabinet in Philly. Poured from 500ml bottle to sampler glasses, the beer is dark brown with a thin cap of off-white head, which melts into a nice cap of lacing. Aroma is roasty with a touch of funk. Flavor on first sip is roast malt, gentle acidity, and a not-so-nice metallic finish. As it warms and opens up, the metallic notes completely disappear and the beer morphs into one of the tastier stouts I've had in a while. Bubbly effervescence from Belgian influences with heavily roasted malts which leave a lingering, crunchy burnt toast flavor long after the swallow. Very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of maximum12
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single of a few different Stillwater brews when they arrived, this among them. 12 oz. bottle with a faun, or satyr, or something on the label. Bottle dated 1/12/14 & thanks to the brewery for that.

Pour is black with moderately high carbonation. Nose is nothing like I expected: huge Belgian yeast backed by a sweetness that's almost as intense. Less gods of roast & chocolate form a lovely backing quartet. Duo. Whatever.

Folklore is a double flute in an elementary band world. Belgian yeasts & slippery sweetness sets hooks in the palate, & they have barbs. Mid-palate brings a smorgasboard of jabs: roast, chocolate, smoke (which really adds a nice twist), plums, other stuff playing kick-the-can with my tongue. Finale brings the strong roast & a final donkey-hoof of smoke. Goes down quickly.

For a catch-all category, this is very good. Plenty going on here & the yeast/Belgian aspect doesn't overwhelm the other nice aspects. Well-brewed.

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Photo of timontheroad
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured a very dark black, little head and no lacing. The smell was dark roast malt, chocolate and belgian spicy yeast. The flavor was dark roast malt and dark fruit. Mouthfeel was medium bodied. Nice beer, all the attributes point towards a stout, but it had that nice belgian flavor.

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Photo of Beer-A-Lot
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at birch.

A - Big head. Black. Dissipates fast.

S - Superb aroma of coffee and bitter chocolate.

T - A little light. Burnt coffee flavors.

M - Rich and creamy head but quickly loses body after head disappears.

O - Not bad at all but could use a little more body.

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Photo of nimrod979
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml. One of the old Max's 25 to 1 bottles.
Into a Chimay chalice, it pours a very dark brown. Almost black. Good sized tan head. Decent retention

Chocolatey and toffee malts. Belgian spice and yeast. Hints of dark fruit.

Flavor profile is basically the same. Hint of hoppy bitterness and smoke. Definitely picks up some booziness as it warms.

Full bodied. low carbonation. On the sweeter side with a hint of smokiness in the finish. I actually really like this, but it's borderline more of a stout than a Belgian dark. Has a few Belgian qualities. but overall I'd recommend.

Now goes by the name of Folklore. I have a bottle of that too.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown with about an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like dark chocolate, dark fruit, roasted malt, coffee, and some smoke. Taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes like dark chocolate, coffee, wood/earth, smoke, roasted malt and a bit of dark fruit. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's smooth and has a good amount of carbonation. Overall I think it's a good brew. At $10.99 a bottle, I'd buy this again. Definitely worth trying.

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Photo of dar482
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The beer comes in a mahogany color with some red something through.

The aroma has a Belgian yeast breadiness, sweet bright candy sugar and a fruity cherry note.

The flavor has a spicy pepper and clove in the front with bright cherry and berry, along with lots of red wine drying. The flavor almost has a vodka soaked berry flavor with tons of carbonation.

A well made strong dark ale.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at 72 Hours of Belgium. Brewed to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Max's and Stillwater's 1st Anniversary by Brian and Casey

Like the cask version, this is black with a dense off white head with good retention. A little lacing is present as well. Nose has chocolate, roast, light coffee licorice, molasses and fruity yeast. This smells roastier and drier than the cask version. The chocolate is also As it warms up, the nice brown caramel and sugar grows.. The palate opens with a nice fruity sweetness, brown sugar, caramel and molasses. Again, this tastes a little drier, a little roastier than the cask version. Carbonation is on the higher side, lending a mild acidity to the beer. Mildly sweet on the finish, it has a fantastic,creamy mouthfeel. Alcohol is well hidden. Very good stuff, I prefer the cask version though.

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Photo of JMScowcroft
3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Stillwater Artisanal Ales - Folklore, poured into a Fiddlehead snifter.

Look - Pours a medium viscosity brown and settles slightly translucent black with little to no head. No lacing.

Smell - Aroma is cola, roasted malt, and a bit of chocolate. Belgian yeast. Dash of hops.

Taste - Thin but good roasted malts with some chocolate and dark fruit. Carbonated snap. Finishes roasted.

Mouthfeel - Thin bodied with high carbonation. Some warmth from the booziness but it goes down pretty darn smooth.

Overall - Solid brew, interesting, probably not my favorite style but worth a try. Some of the hybrid Jester King brews have a little more finesse than this brew.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.89/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A steady, soft pour into my Lost Abbey Teku glass produces a three finger, multi-bubble-size layered, nicely brown head that slowly rizes above the rim of my glass before . The beer is a concentrated brown, not quite black color that shows an opaque, though perhaps slightly amber tinged, brown hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells of deeply charred prunes, dusty dark cocoa, slightly musty concentrated cold coffee, and acidic, roasted malt. The nose isn’t really all that funky (in a Saison sort of way), but instead focuses more on the dark malt / grain with supporting fruit notes. As the beer warms up a bit a slightly earthy, deeply toasty, whole grain character starts to come out in the aroma; this helps to temper the roasted grain character. There is a hint of smoky character to the nose that seems mostly contributed by the roasted grain character.

Expressively carbonated, the beer foams up quite a bit as it hits the mouth. There is a rich, dark chocolate and cold espresso like dark grain character here that lingers on in the finish with a burnt, though smooth, edge. My second sip has me noticing a subtle, underlying fruitiness that tastes of burned prunes and raisins. Deeply toasted, brown-whole-grain flavors intermingle with the deeply roasted notes. The body is quite light compared to something like a Stout, though it isn’t as bone thin as a my favorite type of pale Saisons; here though the beer needs a touch of body to counteract the roast malt character, and this one has a little something extra to the texture. This slight viscous character certainly doesn’t balance the dominant roast character though, so you need to be in the mood for a deeply roasted beer. The burnt / roasted character adds a definite bitterness and even some acidity to this beer; this last is also accentuated by the carbonic bite that is in this beer. There is a touch of smokiness to the finish that is brought out by the roasted character and perhaps a hint of phenolics. Actually the smokiness is a bit more pervasive, though still on the subtler side, with a rich character evocative of umami and salt that adds a certain savory quality to this beer that boosts the perceived body of this brew. This smokiness / savory quality goes a long way towards balancing out this beer as it warms up.

I really wonder what the yeast used was here, the beer is quite dry for a Stout, though not excessively so, and is certainly quite clean for a Saison or Belgian’ish creation; whatever it is, the beer is fairly cleanly fermented, but definitely dry / light for a beer of this strength. In the end this is quite nice, it really needs to warm up a bit (I initially served it at 50°F / 10°C) before it gets balanced, and actually it starts out a bit too carbonated for the roast and smoke character, but some air and time help with that nicely as well.

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Photo of barczar
3.89/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Opaque deep brown/black, fleeting medium chocolate head.

Lots of chocolate, light roast, a touch of vinous character in the aroma.

Fairly sweet chocolate throughout, with just a hint of barnyard, and light vinous notes.

Body is somewhat syrupy, due to almost cloying sweetness.

A little too sweet for my liking. Not like anything I expected.

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Photo of tempest
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a goblet at Liberty St Tavern and looked almost identical to the stout I ordered for a friend. I wasn't sure what to make of the beer. The roasty edge was matched with a mild tang, nothing on the scale of a lambic, but enough to really balance any sweetness. The flavor itself was a little more subtle than I'd have liked, with a mix of cocoa and dark fruit that gets cleaned up by the sour bite. Relatively light and drinkable overall, worth a try.

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Photo of bigbluebeerguy
3.87/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark fruits stand out on the nose, with plums and ripe cherries most notable. Bitter chocolate and wisps of smoke as well. On the tongue is a rich, slightly acidic coffee bean that yields to milk chocolate sweetness and tart cherries. Hop bitterness is mild and slightly earthy, with a smoked malt and cocoa powder finish. Alcohol is well-hidden. Nice beer.

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Photo of Josephkeene
3.87/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had at Max's a little after the Belgian beerfest, but it was well worth it.

Pours chocolate brown reminds me mainly of a porter with little to no lacing. However what little lacing that there is tinted chocolate brown.

Smell is purely of coco really nothing else.

Taste is an amazing array of chocolate and candy malt blends, leaving a great taste on the plate with great complexity. I can say this is an amazing ale.

Mouth feel is lightly carbonated with a taste of coco in the finish leaving the pallet with a chocolate after taste with hints of Belgian spice.

For a 25th beer for my favorite Taphouse its a home run and a must have.

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Photo of Homebrew35
3.86/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a one and a half fingers worth of a mocha colored creamy head. Opaque black body. Great lacing and good retention. Is this a Belgian dark or really an imperial stout, let's move on to the smell.

Smells like a sweet, malty English style Imperial stout. Big chocolate, coffee toffee and sweet malts.

Tastes is quite complex as I enjoyed this one over a half hour. Initially I get a firm earthy hop bitterness, some chocolate and roast coffee and roasted malts. As it warms the 8.4% is detected and gradually overwhelms the palate. A big sweet almost cloying sweetness and boozy undertones send this one into the hard to finish category for me.

Medium full bodied, medium carbonation.

Overall this is a sipper. Big bold yet well integrated flavors. The boozyness and sweetness make it a bit hard to finish. I suggest spliting with a friend. This did not taste like a Belgian in anyway, but oh well I still enjoyed most of it.
$10.50 a 500ml was quite high. I would not pick this up again if I saw it.

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Photo of cbutova
3.86/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Picked up recently in a mix-a-six. Pretty familiar overall with Stillwater's catalog at this point but no Stouts as of yet, intrigued.

A- Pitch black pour into a snifter, looking like extremely dark BSDAs. A light tan head forms to about one finger high and has decent retention. The foam falls to a thin ring and a small spot atop the brew. Lacing is fairly non-existent for whatever reason.

S- Fairly yeast forward here with the malts in the backdrop. Yeast reminds me of a strong Trappist or BSDA with a strong dark red fruity, phenolic spicy character. Plums, raisin and prune for sure. Licorice, roasty toasty nutty malts and slight smokiness.

T- Similar to the nose, the yeast leads the way by quite a bit here. The dark, dried fruit feel once again takes precedent with figs, plums, currants and raisins coming out big time. Beyond that fruity feel is a big spicy, herbal Belgian yeast feel and the malts. Grains lend a dusty medium bitter cocoa powder, nutty and toasted feel. A bit of smoke in the very end (comes out with warmth).

MF- Moderately thick bodied with a fairly creamy texture acting as a cushion for those huge yeast flavors. Carbonation at a medium level. Finishes with some spicy yeast and dusty cocoa bitterness lingering.

The massive yeast character overshadows the stout malts but not really in a bad way. It feels more like a BSDA than a "Stout" but the smokiness and cocoa powder feel is substantial enough to differentiate this from the huge amount of BSDAs out there.

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Photo of JAXSON
3.86/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle, pours black with a large creamy head and thick lacing, very pretty beer. Nose is quite roasty, almost smokey. With a touch of what reminds me of German hops and dark fruits. Some toasted nuts. Creamy in the mouth, opens with roasted coffee. Quite a bit of bittering hops on the finish, again not a typical American use of hops. A bit oily, in its way, almost watery. A nice toasted nut element, good smokey, roasted flavors, but the body is thin and watery to me. Pretty nice.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As the stronger, darker ales of Belgium increasingly flirt with richer, bolder, and robust taste; the infatuation among both quadrupel lovers and stout lovers join in unison to ring home this new taste.

Dark brown in color, the beer is easily mistaken for stout. Hazy with a cloud of yeast keeps the beer looking dense, full, and viscous. A spirited head forms from the carbonation below and tops the beer with a firm coffee-like creme. Slight purple-ish hues and sprite carbonation are the clues needed to speak the language of Belgium brewing.

The beer's aroma profile starts strongly of the strong dark flavors of Belgium. Plumb, currant, raisin, and blackberries rise to entice the nose, just ahead of a casual toast, coffee, campfire and cocoa scent that follows. Spicy notes of peppercorn and red wine-soaked woods round out the beer's appetizing first impressions.

A rich melange of fruit and roast layer on the taste buds with complexity and delight. Slightly burnt caramels meet the taste of hard candy and invite the taste of grilled fruits, bold roasted coffee, smoky dark chocolate, and toasty burnt embers. The semi-sweet taste is buffered by mild woodish hops, roast-derived bitterness, and slight ash.

The stout-like malt components keep the beer robust, despite the best efforts of wine-like dryness from the Belgiany textures. The ample carbonation pulls the sweetness from the tongue and helps to usher a semi-dry closure of fruit, spice, and roast.

Folklore is a very versitile an inquisitive beer that goes in a lot of different directions, and without seeming scattered in taste. It's an easy choice for those times where you're not sure if a stout or a quad is in order.

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Photo of jera1350
3.84/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Black with a sticky tan head. Roasty and chocolatey nose. The taste is very nice. A little boozy, lots of chocolate and some roasty notes. Nice roasty aftertaste. The body is thin for the abv. Carbonation is lower, yet soft. Nice overall brew here and fair take on the style.

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.84/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Exceptionally dark brown (SRM 33-37). The slight, beige head leaves a ring of lace while occasional carbonation emerges from the darkness within the Dogfish Head snifter.

The aroma is super sweet with candied fruit, light floral hops, maraschino cherries and cherry liqueur.

Rum raisin and plum pudding with a surprisingly bitter finish. This one is also surprisingly earthy.

Full-bodied with warm alcohol, a silky texture, and ample carbonation. A tad medicinal.

Folklore pairs well with reading and likely would also pair well with a Charcuterie.

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Photo of russpowell
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Opened with a little gush, pours an effervescent & ruddy mahogany with a pinky mocha colored head. Nice lacing & head retention

S: Dark fruit, dirt, cocoa

T: Cocoa, dark fruit, dryness & a touch carob up front, plus a touch of red wine & chicory. A bit of dirt as this warms, plums, dryness & cocoa as this warms. Dryness & cocoa in the finish, along with figs, plums & a bit of boozeyness & smokeyness

MF: Medium bodied, fairly chewy, slight carbonation, much dryness

I appreciate what was attempted here, doesn't quite gel for me. This probably ages well I'm sure, but one & done for me, way too dry to be sure. Glad Stillwater ditched the corks

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Photo of tviz33
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle, served in a Duvel tulip.

A- Pours dark brown with a short, quarter inch light brown head.

S- Roasted malts and loads of dark fruits.

T- Similar to the nose, but even roastier, with almost a smokey component.

M- Medium bodied with a higher amount of carbonation, especially for the style.

O- I would probably get this again if I saw it on tap somewhere, just to give it another go. Not a bad beer.

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Folklore from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
87 out of 100 based on 118 ratings.