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 rolltide8425
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of jh1982
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of jrenihan
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very dark brown, almost black. Big, frothy tan head. Good retention. Decent lacing.

Nose is filled with red grape, other dark fruit, coffee, roasted malt, a bit of yeast.

Taste contains a good dose of roasted malt, restrained dark fruit, a bit of funk. Finishes dry, a little bitter.

Medium bodied, low carbonation, a bit heavy.

Overall, decent. I find that the roasted element overpowers the saison element too much.

 424 characters

Photo of TheFightfan1
3.25/5  rDev -14%

Photo of EgadBananas
4.02/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a dark brown color, with a tan head of 2 fingers. Slight lace.

The aroma is a bit nutty, with some chocolate, dry, yeasty bread and earthy spices.

The taste was a hair rich, with a nutty malt base, coffee, earth and spices and some yeast and bread.

Crisp, light feel with a slightly slickness.

Interesting take on a Saison and the best dark Saison I've had to date.

 379 characters

Photo of mattie
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of JustinMatthew
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of 57md
4.09/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is brown with a ruby hue. There is a finger of head that dissipates quickly but leaves some lacing. The nose is sherry-like. There is an enjoyable touch of cocoa upfront in the flavor profile. There is also decent hop bitterness combined with a touch of sourness on the finish. I am not a big saison fan, but I actually liked this one a great deal.

 359 characters

Photo of Yabev15
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of Ultraman9000
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of WYVYRN527
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass from a 750 ml. bottle.

A: Pours a deep brown, almost black with about three fingers of eggshell-colored head that does not want to go away. Excellent lacing and vigorous carbonation.

S: Some roasty notes up front, with farmhouse funk and grassy, floral hop notes.

T: Malty at first, with some caramel, toast, and roasted grains, followed by some fruity esters and a nice funk. Grassy, drying hop finish.

Notes: This beer has decent body, a slick mouthfeel, and a very clean finish. Alcohol is well-hidden, making it very easy to drink. Dark and robust, yet quite refreshing on a warm day. I'm impressed, and look forward to trying other offerings from this brewery.

 695 characters

Photo of freduardo
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of Peller80
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, slight cocoa, dark fruit, and spice aromas. Taste is much the same with a medium amount of spice and roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a nice set of aromas and flavors.

 528 characters

Photo of let8it8grow
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of brez8791
3.25/5  rDev -14%

Photo of msarver16
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of zonker17
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of cowboy83
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of uturn
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of FreshHawk
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark cola color with a good sized, creamy, smooth, frothy, tan colored head. Decent retention with some sticky lacing left over.

S - Definitely earthy. Some herbal/floral aroma along with a slight cocoa/nuttiness that mixes with the earthiness. A touch of yeasty aroma but it's quite subdue.

T - Earthiness dominates which blends with a cocoa, nuttiness and a schwarzbier type of chocolate/roasted maltiness. A bit of herbal, floral, and possibly piney hop flavors mix in and out. Hints of yeast pop in and out, but nothing compared to many other saisons.

M - Medium body with lower than average carbonation. Fairly dry. More creamy/smooth that spritzy making it closer to a schwarzbier, porter, etc. than a typical saison.

D - So-so on how drinkable this is. It didn't necessarily inspire me to drink more, but it wasn't hard to put down.

Notes: Full disclosure, I've never really gotten into dark saisons. I don't dislike them, but I just don't really get the appeal. Definitely an earthy beer that is reminiscent of a schwarzbier with some saison aspects. Well done and well made although it leans more toward the dark than the typical saison flavors. If you like that give it a try. I liked it, but it isn't necessarily my thing.

 1,242 characters

Photo of mattafett
3.25/5  rDev -14%

Photo of Gosox8787
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: A chilled 750 mL bottle I picked up the other day. Poured into my Kate the Great tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a really nice two to three finger creamy beige head. Really nice retention too. Dark brown in color with some amber highlights.

Aroma: Bright green apple and nice Belgian yeast tones really stand out upfront. The color of the beer is definitely deceptive as this really gives off the saison vibe from the aroma. Definitely some coffee and caramel notes in the background too.

Taste: The coffee really comes through a lot stronger than in the aroma. The green apple and bright yeast comes through very well though. There is a nice funk note in here as well. Some very slight hop character, but it is definitely not distracting at all. Really unique and nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel: This drinks really light and refreshing, but there definitely is some body and creaminess throughout. The carbonation does a great job of lightening this and making it drink like a traditional saison.

Overall, a really nice, surprising saison. I found it very refreshing and flavorful. The coffee notes are nice and didn't overpower the base style at all. Definitely something I would have again. Balanced and complex, while still being unique.

 1,257 characters

Photo of Beerenauslese
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Body is very dark brown. Poured into a Lost Abbey chalice, has a good 3/4 inch head that dissipates to a ring. Small amount of motile lacing.

Smells richly of dark fruit, especially fresh apples and cherries, roast coffee, dark malt.

Tastes of charred malt and roast coffee, with a high acidity, tart dark fruit, baked green apples and cherries. This is held inbalance by the malt sugar, but it is not sweet, sort of like straight black coffee. I guess there is some Belgian yeast in this, but it is hard to pick out with the roast malt dominance. There is a little dry hoppiness in the finish.

Body is medium and carbonation is fizzy, giving this a slightly creamy mouthfeel, sort of as a saison should be. But the carbonation level is the only thing about this beer that resembles a saison.

This is a very nice tasting dark beer. It has a refreshing level of acidity, good solid roast malt flavor. A good choice among the expanding group of black lagers and ales.

 973 characters

Photo of sludgegnome
4.5/5  rDev +19%

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