Existent | Stillwater Artisanal Ales

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Very Good
646 Ratings

Brewed by:
Stillwater Artisanal Ales
Maryland, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.40%

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

Added by Thorpe429 on 11-13-2010

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 646 |  Reviews: 177
Photo of jsf14
3.46/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Jason_cs
3.89/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of RichH55
3.81/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Screwtape49
4.09/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of DevWand
3.82/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Tracker83
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BKotch
3.92/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Taybeh
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

 590 characters

Photo of IdrinkGas
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of doc_logic
4.21/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of doktorhops
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nietzsche once said “If you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” how exactly this relates to Stillwater Artisanal Ales Existent Farmhouse Ale, well I guess I’m about to find out, it’s on the label so there must be something “abyssy” [word: made up. me. you know the drill] about this brew. It couldn’t be that dark given the Saison style in comparison to a Russian Imperial Stout. If that is what the reference is then I’m preparing for some disappointment... otherwise, well let’s just see what we find then.

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Deep cloudy brown with cola highlights body with a firm half centimetre beige cappuccino froth head that slowly dissipates. It’s dark, the darkest Saison I’ve encountered, however it’s no abyss when it comes to a Stout of any stripe... looks good nonetheless. 8/10.

S: Complex and moody as the bottle would suggest with dry white wine grape, green apple, hint of smoke and sour cherry, touch of raisin as well... some good aroma notes to draw on right there. Not picking up any cocoa or cacao as some other reviewers have suggested, I’m wary as this brew has been cellaring for a little while. 7/10.

T: Interesting as this comes across quite Dubbel-like in the flavour with dark fruits (such as: plum, date, raisin) then hits with some brown sugar notes, a touch of toasty/breadiness from the yeast, and finishes dry and lightly bittered with medicinal herbs. It’s really quite a good drop. Aftertaste hints at something metallic which detracts from a perfect score. 8/10.

M: Mid to light bodied with a touch of wateriness and a tight but light carbonation. Could use a bit more carbonation, the mouthfeel betrays the 7.4% ABV. 6/10.

D: This one was a bit of a surprise as it comes across on the label but it is really more of an American take on a Duppel... only negative: is this really worth coming back to at the price per bottle (which I recall was around the $8 mark over here in Australia) when there are so many good Belgian Dubbels that go for cheaper? (Grimbergen is one off the top of my head where it was perched erratically awaiting the rise to the correct drinking temperature before being poured into my glass - a common beer warming practice I assure you). 7/10.

Food match: Cheese platter, rich roasted meats - beef/lamb, with roasted vegetables and such.

 2,391 characters

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Dark and moody deep chestnut brown pour under a 2” cream colored foam collar that quickly disintegrates. Very lacy. S: Faint laundry, slight funk, fruit, and grain. T: Dark fruit, fig, hint of caramel, saison yeast, grains, light chocolate, and some earthy notes. F: Very creamy and effervescent, medium full body, O: An interesting beer with a strong brown ale flavor intensity wrapped around a saison body and mouthfeel with a dose of funk.

 448 characters

Photo of WastingFreetime
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of da_beers
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of buschbeer
4.02/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a tulip glass
Bottled June 17, 2014

It pours brown a brown hue. When held to the light ruby highlights appear. It is capped with three inches of creamy tan head that leaves plenty of lacing.

The smell is of cocoa, but I still get wafts of funk.

The taste has lots of cocoa and some milk chocolate with a dry finish. I don't pick up much funk. It's kind of like a dry brown ale.

Medium and not as carbonated as I would expect a saison to be.

I like this beer. It may not exactly have all the saison characteristics that I expected, but the flavor and aroma are good. I would definitely have it again.

 633 characters

Photo of SLeffler27
4.01/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A late blooming, creamy chestnut head reaches one-half inch, then quickly settles to a quarter inch for the duration. Existent is dark brown and clear (SRM 27-30), and leaves a fine lace coating on the Dogfish Head fisheye pint glass.

Farmhouse funk is up front with a light, soapy astringency following. Burnt sugar becomes like black licorice.

The flavor builds with warmth, starting out bitter like raw molasses. That bitterness remains long into the finish. Additional highlights include roasted malts and baker’s chocolate with light pepper. Surprisingly, one may also find oak.

Alcohol is as expected in this medium-bodied, satin-textured dry beer with fine, lively carbonation.

This is an interesting take on a saison. It works well with cheese, a light meal, or as an afternoon refresher.

 804 characters

Photo of leefx
3.79/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of greyghost86
3.69/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Rwalford74
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of silverking
2.51/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A- looks like a stout... Pitch black with cola colored highlights. Creamy khaki head with excellent retention and fantastic lacing. It's just too dark.

S- deep and toasty with some citrus highlights. This is not a farmhouse ale in my opinion. If you blindfolded me and had me smell this one, I'd guess it was a stout or porter.

T- cocoa and coffee. The finish is nutty and earthy.

M- medium bodied with low carbonation.

O- It is NOT a saison. I understand that styles are open to interpretation, but this has gone too far. It is delicious, however, just don't expect a saison when you purchase it.

 615 characters

Photo of AlvinLin
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Hohnbaum
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Devman171
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of rabiddawg
3.77/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Antg8989
4.61/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Kind of a woody creamy fruity taste. I liked it. I'll have to try more. Very confused but I really do like it.

110 characters

Existent from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
Beer rating: 3.78 out of 5 with 646 ratings