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Existent | Stillwater Artisanal Ales

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Very Good
648 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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Ratings: 648 |  Reviews: 177
Photo of Immortale25
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of YieldToNothing
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of imbibehour
3.94/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12oz. bottle into a tulip glass. Bottled April 4th 2013.

A nice dark walnut brown body, with light mocha pin head bubbles at first coming from the body. Settles with a large styrofoamy head, light tan and foamy retention appearance.

Nice subtle nose here. Light brett and dark sucrose with matching raisin and Belgian classic sweetness. Kind of dry, and a nice light fruit component and subdued quality. Kind of a dry sourdough dark bread going on.

First sip brings some nice dark malt and brown sugar sweetness, then quickly the palate gets incredibly dry with lots of crisp and dry brett action. Good mild hop sting, with a large sour and dry yeasty finish. Real nice balance between sweetness and brett dry qualities. Sweet palate fills with raisin and fig, with the dry qualities coming with dark sourdough brown bread, and a near champagne texture.

Overall a very solid and fun offering from Stillwater.

 928 characters

Photo of jacewg
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of jfstilling
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of jbeervt
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of CDCNAM
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of mverity
3.69/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep brown color with a tan head. The color is odd, for a saison. Or maybe that's just my take on things. The smell is mostly earthy and deeply roasted malts. A bit bready too. Taste is interesting. I pick up lots of leather, some damp earth, lots of the malt that was present in the aroma, a touch of toffee/caramel sweetness, and an odd bitterness that is definitely not from hops; almost like burnt coffee. My first Stillwater beer that I don't absolutely love.

 472 characters

Photo of popery
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of cbutova
3.49/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The third of the Stillwater 4-packs, how will this stand up to the others...

A- Poured from a 12oz bottle into an over-sized tulip glass. The body is pretty much black but some dark brown can be seen as light shows through around the edges. A nice light brown head forms with a frothy, creamy texture and about one finger high. Retention is good and lacing is super spotty.

S- Strong Saison yeast up front with the dark malts in the background. Yeast notes of fruit, apple, banana, and some spice like clove and nutmeg. Nutty, brown sugar and slight roast malt hints behind that. Warmth helps to open the roastiness and some rich depth.

T- Things re-arrange here but the same basic spicy dark Belgian ale feeling stays put. The fruits feel darker here, maybe combined with roast bitterness and I get a strong spiced raisin and cherry feeling. Nutmeg, banana, roast grains, pepper and plum all come to mind. Definitely comes close to hitting that medicinal feel.

MF- Very foamy and somewhat creamy overall feel to a moderate-light body. Carbonation is high, hence the foaminess, and there is a pretty strong spicy bitterness in the finish. Slight alcohol heat. Just a bit abrasive.

I would be very interested to learn the true differences in recipe between this and something like Cellar Door. The fruits all feel like raisin and cherry and overall it is super spicy like a Dark Belgian Christmas brew. Good and complex but is somewhat harsh with the spicy bitterness and slight alcohol heat.

 1,496 characters

Photo of kingmaker
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of Giantspace
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of PaulMc
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of EliotRosewater
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of NYR_Rob
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of Sludgeman
4.5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of pknyc
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of rkcrozier
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of zac16125
3.61/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a tulip
Bottled on: 4/4/13

A: Pours a very dark cola brown, faint ruby hues when held to light. Just under 2 fingers width of light tan head dissipates down fairly quickly to a thin film. Leaves effectively no lacing.

S: Belgian yeast spicy notes, like clove and banana. Definitely spice predominant, a bit of nutmeg, caramel, and a hint of roasted malt. Some booze. This kind of reminds me of a BSDA, christmas release.

T: Initially it doesn't taste anything like the aroma, as it seems much lighter with citrus and some brett-like funk notes. As it warms the dark flavors come out, with dark fruits and some caramel malts. The funk stays around though. This is very unique, although Im not sure how much I like the conglomeration of flavors.

M/D: Medium body, lighter than it looks. Carbonation on the heavier side. Drinkability is average.

O: Unique, but not really my thing. Not bad, but I wouldn't buy it again.

 942 characters

Photo of mrfrancis
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of Bnoise11
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of mpenning13
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of ScaryEd
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of Zbeetleman
2.75/5  rDev -27.2%

Existent from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
Beer rating: 3.78 out of 5 with 648 ratings
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