Existent | Stillwater Artisanal Ales

very good
648 Ratings
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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
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3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

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3/5  rDev -21.9%

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4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

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3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

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3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

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3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

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4/5  rDev +4.2%

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3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

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4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark brown color, Existent certainly defies the expectations for a Saison at the start. It's no surprise, though, given Stillwater's exploratory nature and American brewers delving into brewing Saisons with dark malts, smoking them, etc. While brown, Existent does exhibit a reddish hue. It develops a pillowy tan head that rises to nearly two fingers tall and rests there stubbornly. A good amount of thick patching is left behind on the walls of the glass as the beer recedes down it.
This is a toasty one with some muted yeast notes in the aroma and a bit of molasses, not as sweet as one might think, but adding more tot he toast note due to smelling not burnt but close to it. It is spicy, more the kitchen variety and plenty peppery. There is a faint whiff of band-aid, a very slight phenolic note, faint but detectable.
That doesn't translate to the flavor, though. It's very interestingly toasty, herbal, spicy, and lightly smoky with just a little sweetness as some dried dark fruits ride it out. Yeast comes out with the toast into the finish but really rounds it out well.
Carbonation is fairly high without being too filling or spritzy, and this medium-bodied beer holds an even keel between crisp and smooth.

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3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

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3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

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3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

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3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

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3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

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4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

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3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

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4/5  rDev +4.2%

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4/5  rDev +4.2%

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3.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: nearly black opaque brown in a tulip; slim finger of tan head slipped away quickly and left no trace of lace

S: dark earthy hops, maybe some herbal and woodsy aromas, dark malty undercurrents

T: dark and roasty malts - like a black ale or schwarzbier - with yeasty dough and real deep, dank hops - suggestions of freshly cut damp wood and burnt grain

M: thin-medium body, rather smooth and slightly coating, dark ashy aftertaste

O: I didn't expect this to be so dark, and had to adjust myself to the beer - other than GI's Pepe Nero, I've never had a dark saison, and this one is black - interesting "take" on the style (or at least my expectations of it), and a rather good beer. Very roasty with deep, earthy flavors - might not be what you're looking for in a saison, but a really enjoyable beer.

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3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

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4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

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4/5  rDev +4.2%

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4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Existent from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
3.84 out of 5 based on 648 ratings.
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