Existent | Stillwater Artisanal Ales

BA SCORE
86
very good
648 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
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ExistentExistent
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stillwater Artisanal Ales
Maryland, United States
stillwater-artisanal.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
648
Reviews:
177
Avg:
3.84
pDev:
11.46%
 
 
Wants:
24
Gots:
70
For Trade:
1
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 648 |  Reviews: 177
Photo of KevT
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of MRsojourner
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a Bell's tulip. The pour is very dark - nearly black with mahogany highlights - and sports a nice rocky tan head that dies down a bit quickly. The nose is a little on the faint side, but I do get hints of yeasty fresh bread aromas, wheat, cereal grains, and a faint roastiness.

The beer has a light-medium body. The flavor is well balanced between roastiness and herbal spiciness and has a little sweetness as well. Faint wheat and cereal notes up front joined by a faint roasty coffee-like note at mid-palate. A gentle hop kick dries up the finish and adds just a bit of spice, but the roastiness seems too persistent and drags through the finish. I like herbal spiciness in Saisons and I'm not sure the roastiness allows the spice to come through all that well.

It's time to recognize a new category - Black Saison. I think there are enough examples of it out there right now. While I enjoyed this one, there's something about the roastiness of it that just didn't do it for me. I haven't had a lot of Black Saisons, but the roastiness seems to benefit from additional spiciness, which this one doesn't have. See Goose Island's ``Pepe Nero'' for more details.

 1,189 characters

Photo of dar482
4.67/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The beer pours out in a dark brown/black color with some red coming through in the light. The head is a 1 finger and off white. By the way, props on the beautiful dark label with a negative of Friedrich Nietzsche.

The aroma has quite interesting. It has spicy notes of coriander, and tons of breadiness.

The flavor is lovely. It hits you first with some dark fruit and yeast, again, hints of being a hefeweizen, but also a Belgian dark ale. Then the dark malts take over with some round, but light mouthfeel and roasted malt flavor.

The finish has this spicy rye breadiness and is quite dry and lingering. It’s almost floral in flavor too.

This really is an interesting brew. I had a sip after my friend ordered it and it blew me away. I had to buy a bottle and reviewing it, it still is quite the brew. It’s so different and hard to pin down stylistically.

It has that fruitiness, breadiness, and strong yeast flavor that makes it so Belgian, but then there’s also this refreshing spicy peppery bite. The gentle carbonation keeps this brew uplifting and light as well.

I give this beer tons of credit for being so amazing, but also innovative and different.

 1,171 characters

Photo of Boone757
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Photo of ajzy
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of Herky21
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of DaveBlack
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of wedge
3.71/5  rDev -3.4%
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...

 567 characters

Photo of banger7
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Evoforen
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of Rollzroyce21
3/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of FlyingYeti
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.86/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: A deep, rich dark brown. Dark reds and lighter browns show up when held to direct light. Small tan head drops to an almost non-existent cap with a small loose collar. Moderate carbonation on the pour.

Smell: Loaded with ripe banana. Soft clove spiciness. A bit of roasted malt with some underlying cocoa. A bit floral. Earthy. Powdery yeast. Some hay and grassy elements. Very clean with a soft complexity. Light malt sweetness pushes a good bit of caramel. Even some toffee and licorice in the back.

Taste: A blend of farmhouse funk and Belgian influence. Rich caramelized malts with some backing roasted elements. A touch of cocoa and black licorice. Slight peppery spiciness with some earthy and grassy hops. A bit on the sweet side to start with ripe banana and some bubblegum. Solid yeast presence. Dark fruit, but vague. Very yeasty.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly dry given the sweet malt profile. Crisp with a mediumish body. Medium to high carbonation. Pretty much spot on.

Overall: This beer exists and we are better for it.

A good American saison/farmhouse ale. A solid punch of Belgian influence tempered by the softer funky elements I expect from the American style. A bit sweet overall.

 1,211 characters

Photo of Zachtheporter
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of Syracuse12
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of HumphreyLee
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of mikeincharleston
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of hiphops24
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of robertmitchum
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a tan foam head with some splashy lace. Very pretty.

Yeast and spicy grain notes in the nose. A little wood, maybe even a little clove.

Dried out and a bit coarse. The malt has a bitter husk edge to it, that leads to hop bitterness, and a little dried dark maltiness. Unforgiving in the layers of bitter and dry, these flavors push the yeast and funk notes out of the way. Finishes with a little alcohol and bitter grain.

Medium bodied, nice carbonation.

Decent brew, like a black IPA meets farmhouse. A sipper, and something to share if you get a bomber.

 581 characters

Photo of Jslay013
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of touchmeimsac
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of George2744
4/5  rDev +4.2%

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

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Appearance
Dark, dark brown with garnet highlights. 1 finger of light tan head with decent retention.

Nose
Dark fruits, plum and potpourri.

Taste
Overripe plum and fig. Raw grains and hay. Touches of potpourri and chlorine. A tiny hint of chocolate. Finishes with orange zest, rye and coriander. Floral perfumey flavors linger.

Mouthfeel
Light bodied, crisp, clean and dry.

Overall
A crisp and refreshing Black Saison. Spicy, complex and hides the alcohol well.

 499 characters

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