Existent
Stillwater Artisanal Ales

ExistentExistent
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Style:
Farmhouse Ale - Saison
Ranked #1,443
ABV:
7.4%
Score:
86
Ranked #24,785
Avg:
3.81 | pDev: 11.55%
Reviews:
177
Ratings:
646
From:
Stillwater Artisanal Ales
 
Maryland, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  25
Gots
  70
SCORE
86
Very Good
ExistentExistent
Notes: 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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Reviews: 177 | Ratings: 646 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by superspak:
Photo of superspak
superspak from Michigan

4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 11/5/2013. Pours lightly cloudy nearly opaque dark brown color with a 3 finger dense and rocky khaki head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Dense foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a large amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of chocolate, cocoa, caramel, roasted malt, pear, apple, toast, peppercorn, clove, herbal, floral, grass, dark bread, light funk, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast and dark/roasted malt notes; with good strength. Taste of chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, caramel, toast, pear, apple, peppercorn, clove, herbal, floral, grass, dark bread, light funk, and yeast earthiness. Good amount of earthy yeast spice on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, roast, caramel, toast, pear, apple, peppercorn, clove, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity of fruity/spicy yeast and dark/roasted malt flavors; with a nice crisp malt/yeast flavor balance with zero cloying after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, moderately prickly, and slightly chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent dark saison. All around great complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast and dark/roasted malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

May 06, 2014
More User Reviews:
Photo of Taybeh
Taybeh from Minnesota

3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

from a single into a GI tulip. looks great though unlike any saison I've ever seen... light black with a little red tinge and a khaki head. Nose is interesting/odd for the style. Some raisins, prunes, plums, as well as some roasted malt....a tinge of citrus, clove and hay, but these are lesser notes and take some time to get. Taste and mouthful make this really delicious: a little bittersweet chocolate that I missed in the nose, some great layers of flavor that unfold slowly, a little twang at the end that surprises, and fairly dry. Unlike any saison I've had but very enjoyable.

Aug 21, 2015
Photo of akorsak
akorsak from Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 750 mL bottle from Shawan. Thanks to anniesak.

A: The saison is black, a dark deep ruby red color on closer inspection. Along with the darkness, a white head arrives with the pour, standing in sharp contract to the body.

S: Coffee and burnt toast drive a full, stout-like nose. All is not lost though. Creeping through the blackness, a sweet yeasty aroma emerges. Candi sugars, apples and pears are prominent amongst the darker elements.

T: The darkest, most roasted saison in the Stillwater oeuvre, this one packs a Schwarzbier/stout punch. Dark, overly roasted malts set the stage with molasses, chocolate, coffee and burnt toast. The stark landscape dominates the first half of each sip. At that crucial midpoint, things detour to the sweeter side. Yeast and sugars pick up the pace, adding pear and apple to the mix. The harsh flavors are cut nicely as the Belgian side takes over. When taken as a whole, the saison is dark and mysterious; plenty flavorful though.

M: Another beer that is best served from a bittle at home. Time allows it to warm up, releasing the saison elements (perhaps a catch-all term). I am much more impressed with this one, as compared to the tap version.

D: The dark malts make the ale feel bigger than it is. Deception work, forcing me to take my time. A nice take on dark saison.

Feb 20, 2011
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mychalg9 from Illinois

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

Jan 19, 2015
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sgregory from Connecticut

4/5  rDev +5%

Jun 28, 2014
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uturn from Florida

4/5  rDev +5%

May 30, 2012
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sendbeer from Georgia

3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

Oct 24, 2012
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apasternak from District of Columbia

4/5  rDev +5%

Jun 28, 2013
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WynnO from Florida

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Nov 04, 2013
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klink40 from Massachusetts

3/5  rDev -21.3%

Aug 13, 2013
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wehttam from South Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

Mar 13, 2014
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John_M from Oregon

3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's tonight.

The beer pours a darkish cola color with pretty good head retention and lacing. The nose is attractive, showcasing rootbeer, vanilla and some light burnt toast. The flavor profile replicates the nose, though there is some attractive saison flavors of honey and orange citrus as well. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, with a fairly dry, lightly hoppy finish. Drinkability is pretty good, with the alcohol almost completely unnoticeable.

Nothing really earth shattering here, but for all that, this was another tasty effort from Stillwater

Dec 16, 2010
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AngusOg from North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Jan 31, 2017
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civicm87 from New York

4/5  rDev +5%

May 22, 2014
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Sammy from Canada

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A complex saison that's overtaken by a shwartbier with chocolate and mildly seems like an imperial stout. Lots of roast, good drinking though not exceptionally tasty. Dark bittersweet chocolate milk colour with a bit of white head. Thanks Michael Pollack.

Jun 19, 2011
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rallyr32 from New York

3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Apr 21, 2014
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Schlafly33 from Missouri

3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

May 05, 2014
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ralphw56 from Nevada

4/5  rDev +5%

Mar 02, 2013
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GrindFatherBob from New York

2/5  rDev -47.5%

Mar 20, 2013
Photo of Jeffreysan
Jeffreysan from Maryland

3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with a quarter of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic, with strong aromas of toasted malt, which imparts notes of freshly baked French baguettes or biscuits, as well as some brown sugar, molasses, Belgian yeast, a touch of licorice, and figs.

Taste: Nice flavors of toasted malt, black pepper, Belgian yeast, candied sugar, a touch of dried stone fruit and a touch of sourness at the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and pretty effervescent, as there is a lot of carbonation. With an ABV of 7.4%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: While this is the weakest of the various Stillwater beers I’ve had so far, (the others being at the time, Atumnal Amber, Cellar Door, Folklore, Of Love and Regret and Stateside Saison) I like this beer. It has good flavors of malt, Belgian yeast, sweetness and just a touch of sourness, balanced nicely in a very enjoyable beer.

Jan 27, 2015
Photo of wedge
wedge from North Carolina

3.71/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep chestnut brown with a low, creamy head that shrinks to a spotty covering. Smells hoppier than expected...fresh, soapy, earthy, and spicy with some mild roasted malt and wood. The flavor is not super malty, but "darker" tasting than your average farmhouse brew. Spicy fruit esters, floral hops, pine, orange, a touch of chocolate, and dark bread. Fluffy and tingly in the mouth with a long, lingering dryness. A little aggressive overall and personally, I'm generally not a huge fan of roasted malt and Belgian yeast coming together. Pretty good though...

Jun 11, 2013
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grittybrews from Washington

4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jan 01, 2016
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MPPHISH from New York

2.75/5  rDev -27.8%

Oct 13, 2013
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smcolw from Massachusetts

3.39/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Dark brown color where light comes through only on the edges. Modest head but the fine rim bubbles stay throughout the tasting. Leaves some streaky lace.

Dark chocolate and earthy to the nose. A bit of chalky, cracked malted milk ball aroma as well. A touch of alcohol warmth.

Neutral strart for such a dark beer. This would best be described as an American Porter. The swallow is where the flavor pops out--chocolate milk, dark cherries and cream. The body is thin and the carbonation high. I detect no Saison elements.

Dec 28, 2013
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dcbeers from District of Columbia

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Mar 03, 2013
Existent from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 646 ratings