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Existent - Bourbon Barrel Aged - Stillwater Artisanal Ales

Existent - Bourbon Barrel AgedExistent - Bourbon Barrel Aged

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

31 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 31
Reviews: 17
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 8.01%

Brewed by:
Stillwater Artisanal Ales visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  7.60% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: yourefragile on 08-27-2011)
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Ratings: 31 | Reviews: 17 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of womencantsail


3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown in color with a small head. Has a nice combination of fruit and pepper along with some hints of chocolate, lots of roasted malt, and a touch of oak. Not really that much whiskey or vanilla. Maybe a touch of tartness. Light raisin and plum tartness on the flavor with wood, roast, and a bit of black pepper. Light vanilla with some sweet malt and sugar to balance it out.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2012 18:02:46 | More by womencantsail
Photo of Thorpe429


4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to yourefragile for pulling out a bottle of this last night. 11.2-ounce bottle split and served in a Hill Farmstead long-stem tulip.

Pour yields a dark brown brew with a towering light mocha head that simple refused to die down. Fantastic lacing as the head finally fell.

The nose started out with a really nice bourbon presence. Underneath that was a bit of roast plus some nice earthy notes and a nice nuttiness. Really mellow and smooth. Nuttiness makes way for a kola-nut character. Flavor takes everything to the next level. The bourbon is quite light and subdued. Really smooth, yet quite noticeable. This really builds on the base beer quite well. Mild oak in the finish. Medium bodied and quite creamy.

Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2011 19:27:35 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of barleywinefiend


3.3/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a brown color with great carbonation leaving a huge frothy cap. Bubbles remain halfway through the glass.

S: Lighter bourbon, oak and some light spice

T: Starts with a warming bourbon booziness, oak, underlying vanilla round it out with a light lingering bitterness and spice on the back courtesy of cocoa, hops and maybe some rye

M: Medium body but also thin and perhaps a tad bit overcarbonated, dry and lighter than I expected

O: A beer I was happy to try courtesy of Thorpe429

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2012 03:08:52 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of Kegatron


3.66/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle. Pours black with a light mocha head. This stays rich and sudsy, leaving back a smattering of spotty lacing behind. The aroma smells of oak, dark vinous fruit and spice. Smoky roast and cocoa sit underneath. The taste is dark fruit, acrid roast, some sweet Bourbon char and a strong spiciness that lingers in a burnt and oaky finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a soft yet firm creaminess that expands out into the mouth. There is some light warmth here but it doesn't inhibit the overall feel here. As far as BA Saisons go, this was pretty solid. The barrel added some flavor here but really didn't interfere at all with the base. Worth a look.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2013 21:12:31 | More by Kegatron
Photo of johnmichaelsen


4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared a bottle of this with Jdense during the Belgian fest at Max's.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and lacing. Nose is intriguing, as I pick up malt balls, Belgian spice and vanilla. In combination, it was a bit unusual, though still attractive I thought. The flavor profile replicates the nose, though I'm picked up some bourbon on the palate that I didn't notice in the aroma profile. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with the alcohol well disguised and well integraged into the flavor profile.

An interesting beer, no doubt, though I'm not sure the barrel aging really improves this beer all that much.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2012 15:57:14 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of avalon07

South Carolina

3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a murky, dark brown color and a thick texture. There was a big, creamy, fairly long-lasting head. Pretty good lacing.

S: A strong fruity aroma, with some traces of malt and bourbon.

T: Tasted of dark fruits (plums, raisins), malt, spices, and a little bit of bourbon. Not quite as dynamic a flavor as you'd expect, but not bad either.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a slick finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is a solid enough beer, but Stillwater has done some better beers.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2011 19:40:44 | More by avalon07
Photo of gford217


4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle.

Pours really dark - a deep chocolate brown - with a big creamy tan head that recedes fairly quickly but leaves great lacing.

Aroma is booze-soaked fruits with some roasted chocolate malts. The barrel character is definitely there with some oaky notes and the fruity character of the yeast coming through.

The taste is much heavier on the whiskey, which really hit the palate up front with some overripe fruits, both apricots and pears, but with some plums thrown in. There is a roasty malt note underneath which is washed away with the hefty whiskey finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and highly carbonated. Very lively on the palate with lots of alcohol burn as well.

I like this beer but maybe it's just the novelty of saison aged in whiskey barrels. Nonetheless, I'm a fan of this one.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2011 03:08:17 | More by gford217
Photo of oline73


3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark mahogany color with two fingers of off white head. The head fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Sweet and malty, brown sugar and lots of dark fruit notes. Mild alcohol too.

Taste: Mostly reminds me of the smell. Sweet malt dominates. Some caramel and vanilla as well as bourbon from the barrel. Smooth with warm alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth carbonation and a mildly dry finish.

Overall: I didn't like this as much as the Chardonay Stateside, but I thought this was a solid effort.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2011 20:48:50 | More by oline73
Photo of Bung

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml. Picked up in Savannah. Decided on Sams perfect pint. Very dark brown/mohoghany pour. Rocky light tan head fills the "bulb" portion of the glass.

Aroma, some barnyard yeast with a bunch of chocolate, malt and oak. Ok, different.

Taste, some cherry and slight sour fruit, apple up front. Quickly goes to a roast note. Finish with some slightly oaky malt and cocoa. There is a strong earthy note there also.

Nice lively carbonation, but still a little more heavy and coating than some. Very little alcohol presence.

It's good, but it is a little different. I like that there isn't very much clove, allspice or bannana.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2011 01:07:20 | More by Bung
Photo of yourefragile

District of Columbia

3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Existent aged in oak bourbon barrels. A stubby, capped 11.2 oz bottle. $11.99. Same black label as Chard aged Stateside, brewed and bottled at Dog Brewing, MD. Served in Stillwater stemware. I strongly disliked the base beer, so this should be interesting...

Pours a dark, mocha brown. Opaque and foreboding with a large, frothy light tan head that fades to thick collar and film with dots of thick lacing. Aroma is very similar to the base with a mild oak and smoke presence. Flavor is dominated by molasses, milk chocolate, vanilla and smooth bourbon. The disagreeable base beer is still present, but no longer distracting from the enjoyment of the beer. Sweet and mildly tangy. The finish is toasty, smoky and lightly nutty. Mouthfeel is medium thick, chewy and soft with annoyingly high, fizzy carbonation. As the beer warms some more dark fruit comes out in the finish, but the lingering fizzy finish knocks everything down a few pegs.

For Brian's first commercially available experiment in barrel aging this is actually quite impressive. A bourbon barrel aged saison? Sure, this actually works and has a smooth, subtle flavor; well integrated between barrel and beer. However, the body and base beer make this a disappointing $12 experiment, unlike BA Stateside.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2011 01:36:16 | More by yourefragile
Photo of xnicknj


4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bottle poured into tulip

Pours an opaque chestnut brown, nearly black. Thick, frothy beige head rests on top, retaining really well and leaving some patchy lacing on the glass.

Kind of a mix between a saison and a dryer stout in the nose. Hints of spice and light hops mixed with vanilla and chocolate. A little oaky and warm.

Nutty and slightly funky up front with a touch of spice. Light hop presence on the tongue. Touches of dark chocolate and leafyness, some hints of vanilla and oak from the barrel. Not too boozy, a soft warmth wraps around the palate. Decent malt character with slight sweetness and bread crust. Finishes a little warm and dry.

Fuller medium body, well carbonated, creamy and slick on the tongue. An interesting beer from Stillwater - I think this definitely improved the base beer, which I wasn't really crazy about. Most of these barrel aged beers from them have been really tasty, I'm looking forward to more.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2012 19:05:51 | More by xnicknj
Photo of inlimbo77


3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz into Lost Abbey Snifter stemmed glass. Purchased at Pinocchio's in Media, PA.

A: This pours a deep dark brown with reddish hues.  Half finger of tan head that is goes down really quickly.  On the swirl you get more of that tan head with tight tiny bubbles.  Some lacing in the glass but not tons.  Some alcohol feet.

S: Very interesting smells.  I had to really get in there on the swirl.  I got some mild funk.  I got some tart cherry notes.  Also some dark fruits: raisin and plum maybe. 

T: This may be a tad to cold to get everything out of it.  I got some of that funky twang initially then those cherry hints.  I really don't know where the BA comes in?  Maybe a touch of vanilla?  There seems to be a little touch of alcohol burn on the back of the throat but not overpowering.  Thinking it was to cold I let it come up a little bit: very complex beer!  Dark fruits from the nose are there for sure, dark cherry and plum.  That alcohol burn is probably the bourbon but again not overpowering.  Definitely oakey.

M: Medium bodied with good mouth coating.

O: B+ to A-.  Again, very interesting brew.  As advertised.  But all the same I would drink again.  Wonder what age could do to this, if anything.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2011 02:18:07 | More by inlimbo77
Photo of vfgccp

New York

4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

S - A medley of tart grape, deep oak, vinegar brined vegetables, and dry barn aromas.

T - Dry raw wood up front into crisp bourbon: a kiss of smoke, oak, burnt caramel, and vanilla.  Surprisingly little booze.  Soft, semisweet finish.

M - Medium/light body with nice carbonation.

O - The profile grew on me over time.  One of the better raw bourbon flavors I've had in a beer, but not much else.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2012 19:24:58 | More by vfgccp
Photo of rtepiak


3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

its silly to think of approval or disapproval for such a unique combination. Without a doubt there is craft here. I can see it being received to varying degree though.
This is a beer that i've had without the bourbon note and came to a conclusion that it carries like a pils. Which is sort of unique in of itself with all the darker chocolate notes. The feel is still there. Its brisk. And thin and frothy. Nice dough head. Bourbon lace nose... Palate is bourbon that doesn't linger. And i can see that as unorthodox. There is some chocolate that disappear just as quick but has a nice mineral dryness to it. There is on saison funk so stupid up. This is more like an american black wheat with bourbon aging and an interesting render but not a beer for everyone.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2011 18:36:09 | More by rtepiak
Photo of JAXSON


4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle, pours a dark, dark burgundy with a beige head. Nose is soft and pleasant, vanilla, cinnamon, a touch of bourbon. Very soft feel in the mouth, grainy and earthy, I can see the sharp quality of rye there, with a splash of vanilla and bourbon along the finish. Soft and balanced, sweet and earthy, a unique grainy edge, very nice.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2011 02:30:44 | More by JAXSON
Photo of Nashvillain


3.45/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep dark brown with a light cream on top of a dark brown head. You don't see a head separate like that too often, kind of odd.

Smell is both light and dark fruits (once again, odd), apples, cherries, plums and currants with a young, almost vegetative oak and light vanilla.

Taste starts with light roast and vigorous carbonation that moves into a tart dark fruit body. It sounds awesome when I write it but somehow it's just ok. Almost like a less fruity, lighter BSDA. I struggled through the entire glass to find the Bourbon, but clearly these barrels were distilled by Carmen Sandiego herself.

Mouthfeel really hurts the beer, it's overcarbonated to the point of being thin. If I think of this as a saison it's way too roasty and thin, as a brown ale it's still too thin. This beer mystifies me, barrelled or not. I'll stick to Darkly and Jaded.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2011 05:19:40 | More by Nashvillain
Photo of SGplayer84


4.7/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 12ounce Bottle. Bourbon Barrel-Aged Existent.

A-It's dark! Very Opaque, not much else to go with here.

S-Whoa. Like Herbs, very Sage like. Spicy smell with herbal after smells. what is this?

T-Belgian Saison barrel aged? Crazy complex. One of the most complex brews i've ever had. Its spicy up front with a very very very woody taste towards the backend. This is where the brew shines at most. It will leave you questioning everything else you've ever tasted including you're on existent.

M-About the norm for a barrel aged brew. Not chewy, but not completely light.

O-Solid Brew. I recommend and hope that they make more. Didn't try the Chardonnay aged version but the bourbon works for me. Give it a whirl.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2011 06:23:24 | More by SGplayer84
Existent - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
86 out of 100 based on 31 ratings.