Folklore | Stillwater Artisanal Ales

very good
128 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Stillwater Artisanal Ales
Maryland, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Human history is filled with myths and legends that shape and define our culture. Rituals, celebrations, gatherings.. whatever. One thing that’s for sure, is we enjoy a proper shindig. So let’s get the stories flowing and share a little ’Folklore’. A bracingly deep ale, built dark and rich with an elegantly lean body, accompanied by heady aromas of Belgian yeast, earthy hops and gently kissed by a wisp of smoke.

This beer was formerly known as 25 to One.

Added by oline73 on 02-21-2011

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Reviews: 128 | Ratings: 455
2.03/5  rDev -47.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Draft pour into a 13oz tulip for $7. Sampled 12/23/11.

A: Served with 1 finger of medium dark brown head, foamy and loosely compacted and semi rapidly deflating. The body is black and has dark amber edges along the top when backlit. Rather still looking. No lacing.

S: The Belgian yeast is the notable character on the nose, which adds some fruity esters and complexity. Dark chocolate malts come through in modest strength. Earthiness, straw and trace scents of new leather and anise add dimension to what is a surprisingly underwhelming nose.

T: The taste is nice and all...but kind of forgettable. Even as a high strength Belgian Stout, the flavor is not very distinguished. And definitely not the type of beer where "less is more." Short, one dimensional, and surface-of-the-tongue. ABV goes unnoticed however.

M: The body is too thin. The carbonation is too fizzy. And the beer finishes way too quick.

O: This one didn't really come together for me.

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Photo of mactrail
2.55/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Totally black with a big beige head in the narrow Crooked Line tulip. WIney aroma with a fruity, smokey nose.

Intensely flavored in a odd way. It tastes like fruit cocktail boiled in yesterday's coffee. A hint of cough syrup in the back of the throat. Aftertaste of ashes. Burnt raisin toast is the most pleasant of the flavors. There is fruit leather, sweet vermouth, guava jam, aspirin, and sweet pickles, all washed over by a medicinal bitterness. Smokey taste of grilled peaches dropped in the charcoal.

As near as I can tell, this is the same Folklore but now the subtitle is "Mythic Tradition Ale." From the 750 ml bottle bought at Bine and Vine in San Diego for $13.49. This is two expensive Stillwater brews in a row that leave me asking "what were they thinking?"

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Photo of wisrarebeer
2.95/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: deep black color, opaque, roasted dark brown head, poured big but dissipated to thin veil
S: intense and full, deep roasted malt, dark fruit, almost RIS-esque
T: deep roasted malt, intense, abnormally bitter (acrid) that is very noticeable and unpleasant, too bad they tried to over hop it and killed the balance
M: the acrid taste really kills this for me, lost balance and metallic bitter finish, ugh!!

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.19/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

$ 3.49/12 oz bottle at Oppermann’s Cork ‘N’ Ale
Bottled 01/02/14 at 50 degrees into standard pint
Aroma of roasted malt
Head large (> 7 cm), light brown, creamy/fizzy, rapidly diminishing to 9 mm layer
Lacing - none
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor very strong roasted malt, slightly bitter; no alcohol, no hops, no diacetyl;
Palate medium to full, watery, lively carbonation.

Meets the definition of a stout. Price point seems too high.

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Photo of Moose90
3.26/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle

A — Pours a deep ruby brown into the glass. Nicely dark, there is a coffee colored head on-top of it that leaves some lace behind itself.

S — Smells of some lightly roasted malts, but its dominated by a sweet and fruity yeast component, fairly heavy dark fruit aromas dominate the nose.

T — Tastes lightly charred and roasted initially, as it warms it really becomes fruit forward and assertive.

M — Medium bodied, sticky and long finish.

O — Not bad at all, just a little too yeast forward for my liking.

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Photo of corby112
3.33/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer has been renamed Folklore. Served on cask at Khyber Pass Pub.

Pours a deep, dark chetnut brown color that's completely opaque with a half finger light beige head that slowly settles into a thin ring. Minimal spots of lacing.

Slightly earthy aroma with some dark malts, faint funky saison yeast, bread and zesty spice. Hints of pepper and clove along with some chocolate and dark fruits.

Medium bodied but on the lighter end with a slightly creamy texture.  Decent balance of dark malt, vinous dark fruit, peppery spice and earthy saison yeast. Lots of sweetness up front with hints of raisin and plum followed by chocolate malt, bready yeast and grass. Slightly medicinal with faint peppery spice. Well balnced and quaffable but there's an odd, lingering, metallic aftertaste. Decent but nothing out of the ordinary.

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Photo of justintcoons
3.37/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Black with ruby red highlights. Has 1 finger of tan head that dissipates quickly.

Red licorice, plum, malted milk balls and roasted barley.

Roasted barley, overripe plum, red licorice and light roast coffee. Notes of malted milk balls and semi-sweet chocolate. Again, licorice rounds out the finish.

Medium bodied, creamy and smooth.

Smooth, sweet and hides the 8.4% abv well. Make sure that you like licorice before buying.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.38/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Almost black beer with a bit of off white head. Faded to a bit of a ring and left some minor spots on the sides of the glass.

S - Lot of roasted malt on this. There is some dark fruits and a bit of yeast. Some slight earthy hops.

T - Taste is a lot like the nose. A good bit of roast, some dark fruits and a bit of earth. Nothing particularly distinguishing about this beer, but it's not bad. Yeast adds a touch of phenolic spice.

M - Medium bodied with some decent carbonation and a bit of a dry finish.

O - Didn't hate this beer, but it wasn't particularly memorable. I'd drink a bunch of other things before this.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.4/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours dark brown nearly black from the bottle. Pour looks to be slightly thin for the style. Dark kahki head foams up nicely and dissapates at medium speed. Aroma is not strong, a bit of roast and some hops that give it a pilsner like aroma (weird). Flavor is roast, bit of dark fruit. Lingering roasted bittersweet chocolate in the palate. Mouthfeel is awfully thin and this is pretty much a porter. Flavor is a little watered down but not bad. I was hoping for more silky smooth here. Overall a decent beer with a great label.

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Photo of Michael_D
3.42/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with a muted brown head that is pretty creamy.smells heavy on dark roasted malts. Some belgian yeast as most stillwaters do. Faint hops. Dark malts are up front supported by the yeast. A little sour, smoke in the aftertaste. Interesting brew for sure.

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Photo of N3rdM3t4l
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into tall narrow tulip glass. bottle date 10/08/13. So I am assuming this is the correct beer since nothing about this beer seems to match up with anything I can find online. The picture on this site is of a bottle of 25 to one not the current bottles of Folklore, on Stillwater Artisnal's Blogspot account it lists Folklore as "Mythic Tradition Ale" on my bottle (which has the same picture on the label as the Blogspot) it says "An Untraditional Stout", and BA lists Stillwater Artisnal as being from Baltimore but the bottle I have says says bottled by Stillwater Artisnal - Stratford, CT. So despite all the information being wrong or confused or outdated I still have this bottle of beer to write a review for. Here it goes.

A: pours thick and dark no light penetrates the body of the beer but around the top some light makes it through and it shines a mahogany color. Not much head on this guy a few bubbles but it settles down to pretty much nothing but some sparse bubbles here and there.

S: a slightly tannic note on the nose coffee and tobacco follow up. hard to tell since it is fridge temp still. It may release more aroma with warmth.

T: rich dark notes; roastd malt, hints of coffee, a sweetness on the finish, yeasty funk.

M: thinner than it looked as it poured but still heavy enough on the palate so you are very aware you are drinking a heavier beer.

O: good brew, my first from Stillwater Artisnal and so far so good. Based on the label I have I would say it fits the category well as "an untraditional stout" I would gladly drink this beer again.

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Photo of argock
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 500ml brown bottle into a clear glass snifter. No freshness date. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $6.49.

A: Very dark, almost stout-like, with a short creamy medium-beige head which is wispy but hangs around to leave a few lace tracings at the tops of the glass.

S: Somewhat astringent and metallic with some nutmeg/cardamom spice notes and some dark fruity maltiness. Muted overall and not very aromatic.

T: The flavor has a strong powdery cocoa quality with some fig and date dark fruitiness. Hops are minimal but their is a blandness about this beer all the way around. i don't catch smoke notes or many of the other complexities others report.

M: Carbonation is at least medium with a medium body and light cocoa aftertaste.

O: Glad I tried it but a bit of a letdown for an anniversary type ale. Not bad by any means, but I just don't think Stillwater and I are on the same wavelength.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.45/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500 mL bottle served in a snifter.

Pours a cola brown, slightly thin, with a tan head that fades to a crown of small bubbles and minimal lacing. Nose is cocoa, roast malt, pear and plum. Flavor reminds me of a fruity RIS with some dark Belgian tendencies. Chocolate and roast malt provide a strong base with slightly sweet yeast and light citrus hops making this interesting. Only knock on this is a slightly thinner than appropriate fizzy body. Otherwise, one of the better and more interesting Stillwater offerings; recommended.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a dark brown, chestnut color with ruby highlight, a collar of cocoa colored head, some lacing

S: nose is fruit forward with some oak and mild funk, dark cherries and berries come through, a touch of roast at the end

T: starts with some mild cocoa flavor followed up by a little bit of funk and a considerable amount of fruity sweetness, lots of flavor, interesting balance of flavors

MF: mild carbonation, thin body

O: this one skews a little towards the sweet side, definitely some interesting things going on but nothing too memorable

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Photo of andrewinski1
3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip. The color is dark plum, nearly black. There is a nice full looking 2 inch head that is medium tan colored.

The aroma is mild with the dark fruit. There is a bit more chocolate in the aroma.

The taste is full of coffee and a bit of apple-like fruit to offset it. This seems a bit roasty to be a "Belgian Strong Dark Ale" but I don't think that's what it's trying to be.

This is medium bodied with crisp carbonation. This is pretty enjoyable; it's halfway between a quad and a stout.

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Photo of WankelEngine
3.49/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a snifter

A: Pours completely opaque black. No light coming through the other edges and no other colors. There is a foamy, even creamy light tan head of two fingers with excellent retention. Sticks around forever but fades pleasantly enough to make drinking easy. Lacing is moderate and spotty.

S: Mostly dark, roasted malts. There is a hint of smoke and a bit of Belgian yeast which provide a little bit of spice and depth.

T: Mildly bitter chocolate is the first thing I taste, and it remains a focal point for the whole beer. The smokey scent I picked up in the aroma is expanded upon, especially as it lingers after the finish. Belgian yeast imparts some of its typical flavor, but is dominated by the dark malt flavors so it is almost hard to detect. Mild alcohol flavor as the beer warms.

M: Medium-light bodied and fairly slick. Just a little bit watery. Carbonation is moderate and somewhat fizzy, but enjoyable.

O: I'm a little disappointed. I had this beer on tap a week or two back and remember absolutely loving it. Maybe it's better on tap or maybe I was tipsy, but this does not live up to my memories. That being said, it is a fairly good beer. It is listed as Belgian Strong Dark Ale but it doesn't have too much in the way of the Belgian characteristics. If I hadn't been paying attention/looking for them, I could have mistaken this for a regular old stout.

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Photo of FatJesus
3.51/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a michelob celebrate tulip from 500 ml bottle.

Pours black with a finger of beige head that goes away quickly with little lacing.

Smells of roasted coffee, some cocoa and dates.

First sip is cocoa right up front followed by chocolate and dates, the cocoa definitely over powers and stays around for awhile. I will say as it warms the fruity esters come through a lot more, tasting more dates and maybe cherry. Still signs of cocoa but not as strong.

For as dark as it is, it is very drinkable with medium carbonation and a light creaminess to it, not heavy as I was expecting.

Over all it's a good belgium dark and I'm glad I had it. Starting to pick up a few sill water artisanal beers to see what there saisons are like.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.51/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a one finger brown head that fades quickly, leaving no lace. Black color, no highlights. Strong carbonation and medium bodied. Light chocolate nose, flavor is roasted-burnt chocolate, some smokiness. $3.79 for a 12oz bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, MA.

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Photo of tillmac62
3.52/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

BOD 10/8/13. Dark, almost black pour, with a weak head that dissipates quickly with almost no lacing. Nose is of Belgian yeast phenolic esters over a light background of chocolate, plum, prune and licorice. Medium body with a nice smooth, almost slick, mouthfeel. Low carbonation level. The complex flavor profile contains those present in the nose. Unfortunately, the phenols predominate and mask what could have been a nice complex ale. The finish is smooth and a phenolic aftertaste lingers. Had this been fresh, I would have scored it lower. Due to it's age, I gave it the benefit of the doubt.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: extremely dark brown, nearly black, and allowing no light at all through the body. Head poured a thick finger of frothy tan foam. It's a damn-fine looking beer.

Smell: there's a light chocolatey character with a dry roasty after-scent. There might be a hint of phenolic character in there as well. Not bad, but a bit light on the complexity.

Taste: sweet malt with a good dark-fruit character. There are notes of tobacco and raisin here, and the finish is quite bitter and roasty. Frankly, the roast is a bit over-done for my taste. Mostly good, but the finish is a little too harsh.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a decent carbonation and an OK creaminess. Not great, not bad.

Overall: I feel like this beer has some good elements, but it really doesn't grab me. It's just a bit hot and harsh and not at all the smooth, rich experience I like in a BSDA. Some of the dark fruit flavors are quite nice, but sadly there's just too much here that doesn't quite agree with me.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.56/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 1/2/14.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Tiny streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, char, and slight smoke aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa, char, and smoke flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with solid roast and smoke aspects all around.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.57/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at ChurchKey in Washington, DC. Poured into a snifter glass. Pours a deep dark/murky brown/black color that resembles a Belgian strong dark ale. Pours a medium 2-finger tan head that quickly fizzles, but retains nice lacing throughout the session. This beer was almost served at room temperature which is pretty much the norm at ChurchKey. Nose picks up aroma of coca, dried fruit, light smokiness and spices. Tastes smooth, dark fruity esters, roast, coffee, and Belgian yeast. Medium to full bodied along with some stickiness. This beer has a nice balance and complexity overall. Though not among my favorites for the style. Interesting beer to commemorate Stillwater's anniversary. Cheers!

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%

Pours almost no head on a black body.
The aroma has lots of roasted malt, a little burnt wood, coffee and dark chocolate.
The taste is great. Really roasty with background bittersweet chocolate.
The texture is thicker.
Quite enjoyable.

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Photo of claspada
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aromas of light toasty and roasty malts with subtle chocolate.
The tastes begin with a rush of milk chocolate, wow yum. As it warms you get some light coffee bitterness that adds to balance the sweet chocolate. Earthy, pleasant, dry finish. This mouthfeel is bubbly but at the same time still thick/sticky; quite interesting.
Overall this is a good beer but for the hefty ABV, the flavors are kinda muted. You would have no idea this is 8.5% based on the flavor profile/dark appearance alone. Found myself wanting a little more from this.

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Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on tap at Rattle N Hum. Big chocolate, like an imperial stout. Rich taste, sherry. Above average mouthfeel an drinkability.spices were unique, the smoke a bonus. Dark colour, little head.
Had this again 8 months later at Double Windsor and, not so good, more coffee than signs of yeast. Looked good though.

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Folklore from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
3.88 out of 5 based on 455 ratings.
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