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
Photo of zeff80
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a dark, dark burgundy color with a one-finger, brown head of bubbly foam. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of chocolate, roasted malt some spicy chilie-like aromas, too.

T - Good spiciness with dark chocolate and roasted malt. There is a touch of smokiness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium to full bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a really good, really interesting interpretation of the style.

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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 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 barczar
3.89/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Opaque deep brown/black, fleeting medium chocolate head.

Lots of chocolate, light roast, a touch of vinous character in the aroma.

Fairly sweet chocolate throughout, with just a hint of barnyard, and light vinous notes.

Body is somewhat syrupy, due to almost cloying sweetness.

A little too sweet for my liking. Not like anything I expected.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours an opaque dark brown with a fine two finger light brown head. Aromatic fruit evident as it poured. Aroma of roasted and caramel malt, dark and dried fruit, chocolate with a mineral spiciness. Color and aroma similar to a stout. Flavor starts with toasted and lightly charred malt, molasses and chocolate with an interesting estery light fruit flavor developing in the middle. Finishes with toasted malt and light Belgian yeast and spice flavors, moderately hopped. The finish is like a stout and dark Belgian ale are duking it out for dominance (neither wins, but it is an interesting bout). Medium bodied with light creaminess and good carbonation. This is quit unusual and boundary busting; I enjoyed it quite a bit.

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Photo of GPHarris
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottled in 2011

a - poured a one finger thick creamy tan head into a tulip glass that left a nice ring and sheet throughout. the body was dark brown, almost black, with deep reddish-purple edges.
s - roasted chocolate with plum and dark grape aromas.
t - dark fruits and roasted malt.
m - creamy and bubbly, slightly dry.
o - really loved this beer. probably my favorite stillwater to date.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark brown-black with a finger of chocolate frothy head. Fades fairly slowly.

S - Dark caramel and chocolate malts, dark fruits, coffee, Belgian yeast, spices, touch of black licorice, touch of vanilla, hint of booze.

T - Dark caramel and chocolate malts, dark fruits, Belgian yeast, spices, black licorice, coffee, bit of vanilla, a touch of smoke, and a hint of booze.

M - Medium-plus bodied moderate carbonation. Smooth with a dry and sweet finish.

D - Nicely balanced BSDA. Good malty base with the yeast character balanced nicely.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As the stronger, darker ales of Belgium increasingly flirt with richer, bolder, and robust taste; the infatuation among both quadrupel lovers and stout lovers join in unison to ring home this new taste.

Dark brown in color, the beer is easily mistaken for stout. Hazy with a cloud of yeast keeps the beer looking dense, full, and viscous. A spirited head forms from the carbonation below and tops the beer with a firm coffee-like creme. Slight purple-ish hues and sprite carbonation are the clues needed to speak the language of Belgium brewing.

The beer's aroma profile starts strongly of the strong dark flavors of Belgium. Plumb, currant, raisin, and blackberries rise to entice the nose, just ahead of a casual toast, coffee, campfire and cocoa scent that follows. Spicy notes of peppercorn and red wine-soaked woods round out the beer's appetizing first impressions.

A rich melange of fruit and roast layer on the taste buds with complexity and delight. Slightly burnt caramels meet the taste of hard candy and invite the taste of grilled fruits, bold roasted coffee, smoky dark chocolate, and toasty burnt embers. The semi-sweet taste is buffered by mild woodish hops, roast-derived bitterness, and slight ash.

The stout-like malt components keep the beer robust, despite the best efforts of wine-like dryness from the Belgiany textures. The ample carbonation pulls the sweetness from the tongue and helps to usher a semi-dry closure of fruit, spice, and roast.

Folklore is a very versitile an inquisitive beer that goes in a lot of different directions, and without seeming scattered in taste. It's an easy choice for those times where you're not sure if a stout or a quad is in order.

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

Poured into a tulip. This pours dark brown with a cap of light khaki head.

The aroma has dark fruits plumbs and grape skin with hints of cocoa and hints of smoke. The pallet has a grape flavor with hints of cocoa and other dark fruits.

The body is medium with some a slightly dry finish. Good carbonation. Overall pretty solid. Lots of good flavors here.

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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 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 vfgccp
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark cola with mahogany highlights.  Dirty beige, creamy head. Nice retention, low lace.

S - Fantastic chocolate liquor nose.  Hints of merlot wine and cognac. 

T - Dry opening of merlot and medium roast grains. Nice bright acidity.  Bitter cocoa and powdered milk sweeten the center before the fantastic dry roast returns for the finish.  Touch of smoke and woody hop bitters on the backend.

M - Medium body with a firm, dry backbone.

O - An excellent brew.  On the drier side of the style.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black, with a chocolate brown head. In the aroma, a caramel roast and notes of molasses. In the taste, caramel, cocoa, a note of earth, and molasses. A smooth and medium to bigger bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry cocoa and small earth in the aftertaste. Quite stout like, with notes of what seem to be saison-ish.

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Photo of russwbeck
3.76/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: It pours out a deep brown with a rather large light brown head. The beer is still bubbling up an hour after the initial pour, bolstering the head nicely. The lacing is spotty down the side of my Deschutes tulip. I thought this was going to be a saison, so when the beer came out I was pretty surprised! Enjoyed before the Red Wine barrel aged version.

S: The aroma is really roasty, but buit upon some dark fruits and hints of caramel and molasses. It does have the nice spiciness I would expect a Stillwater beer, but overall it's a bit underwhelming.

T: The spiciness comes through a lot more on the taste than it did on the aroma for me. It falls much more on the spice and roast side of BSDA than the dark fruits and booze end. I do like the differing take on the style, but it just isn't blowing me away. Interesting, but not special.

MF: Medium body with a lot of carbonation. The spice wears on me a bit as I drink it, but the roast and dark fruits make it work. No booze noted, which is surprising for a BSDA, but I think a boozier beer would have improved the balance a bit.

O: I really recommend you try this if you like Stillwater, but it's not a great beer overall. While I liked the new take on the style, it was too thin and too spicy. I think the barrel aging with have a nice impact on this beer, we shall see.

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Photo of rapidsequence
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, bought at Bottle Revolution.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown with a thick medium brown head. Good head retention, but just spots of lacing.

Smell: Belgian yeasty with some spiciness. Theres a bit of dark fruit, but also an unexpected roasty smell and a bit of cocoa powder.

Taste: This beer has a very nice balance of Belgian yeast flavors and roast. These beers can be a mess, but this is nice.

Mouthfeel: Soft, creamy carbonation, but with a medium-light body and a dry finish.

Overall: So, this is not a BSDA at all, but a "Belgian stout". As I said, its nicely balanced and the flavors integrate well. Its pretty damn good.

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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 Bung
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml. Just picked up in Andersons in Columbus. Dark cola brown pour, large light tan head. Stuck to the glass ok.

Aroma, dark malt, molasses, brown sugar, some chocolate, cocoa. Not overly fruity like many.

Taste, earthy roast and cocoa. Quite dry. Just the faintest smoke and herbal spiciness. I like that it is not a sugary fruit bomb.

Pretty much mid bodied, a good carbonation and very dry. No alcohol presence.

Yeah their brews are a little pricey, but they are unique and worth trying.
Reminded me just a bit of Pepe Nero and Existent.

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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 nimrod979
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml. One of the old Max's 25 to 1 bottles.
Into a Chimay chalice, it pours a very dark brown. Almost black. Good sized tan head. Decent retention

Chocolatey and toffee malts. Belgian spice and yeast. Hints of dark fruit.

Flavor profile is basically the same. Hint of hoppy bitterness and smoke. Definitely picks up some booziness as it warms.

Full bodied. low carbonation. On the sweeter side with a hint of smokiness in the finish. I actually really like this, but it's borderline more of a stout than a Belgian dark. Has a few Belgian qualities. but overall I'd recommend.

Now goes by the name of Folklore. I have a bottle of that too.

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Photo of Homebrew35
3.86/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a one and a half fingers worth of a mocha colored creamy head. Opaque black body. Great lacing and good retention. Is this a Belgian dark or really an imperial stout, let's move on to the smell.

Smells like a sweet, malty English style Imperial stout. Big chocolate, coffee toffee and sweet malts.

Tastes is quite complex as I enjoyed this one over a half hour. Initially I get a firm earthy hop bitterness, some chocolate and roast coffee and roasted malts. As it warms the 8.4% is detected and gradually overwhelms the palate. A big sweet almost cloying sweetness and boozy undertones send this one into the hard to finish category for me.

Medium full bodied, medium carbonation.

Overall this is a sipper. Big bold yet well integrated flavors. The boozyness and sweetness make it a bit hard to finish. I suggest spliting with a friend. This did not taste like a Belgian in anyway, but oh well I still enjoyed most of it.
$10.50 a 500ml was quite high. I would not pick this up again if I saw it.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown with about an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like dark chocolate, dark fruit, roasted malt, coffee, and some smoke. Taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes like dark chocolate, coffee, wood/earth, smoke, roasted malt and a bit of dark fruit. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's smooth and has a good amount of carbonation. Overall I think it's a good brew. At $10.99 a bottle, I'd buy this again. Definitely worth trying.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.81/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a St Bernardus goblet.

A: Nice creamy-dark head has decent retention and tops an opaque mahogany beer. I love the label, and the lacing isn't too bad either.

S: Bland malts and iffy Belgian yeast. Disappointing. Hint of smoke.

T: Wow, a lot more of the roasted malt here, and it is used to great effect. A sort of Belgian stout. I rather like it. Sweet at times, but mostly dark and bitter. The Belgian yeast comes through as rather floral and spicy. I expect nothing but the tastiest strains from Stillwater, and they delivered.

M: Full-bodied and substantial, with a wisp of drying smoke on the aftertaste complementing the roasted grain in the maintaste.

O: I would recommend this beer, even drink it again, but it doesn't seem to shine. That is, it's almost great, but not quite. Maybe the flavours seem a little flat, or complex and incredible is overshadowed by roasted flavours, but something ineffable is off. Still, really glad I picked this up.

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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 ckollias
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this bottle out of a Belgian tulip glass.

A: Pours a dark black hue with a thick, dark brown, 3-finger head that quickly dissipates into a persistent lace.

S: Strong syrupy roasted malts aroma with a caramel background.

T: Dark rich ale with a generous sweetness and sharp roasted malt bitterness. Slight chocolate and coffee overtones, with a nice malt background.

M: Very strong and boozy. Heavy body and medium carbonation.

O: Excellent strong Belgian dark brew – nice and malty and enough alcohol to make it interesting.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The label is enough to sell you on this beer there's the devil dancing with a couple Victorian era white dressed fiddling women out in the forest. Artwork is created marketing these beers with fantastic labels and a reputation as one of the first American gypsy brewers making kick ass saisons. Forms a dark cola body with a chocolate cake tinted tan foaming head that dwindles rather quickly, fine Belgian style lacing. Aromatics offer up dark ripened fruit a touch of smoke and dark roasted malt accents including a touch of dark chocolate. It doesn't seem overly decadent and has a nice spice profile as well, it was honestly hard to read the print on the side of the bottle so I'm not quite sure what other possible additions were on this beer. A very balanced flavor between spices, mild tree bark notes some residual sugar sweetness caramelized sugars at that. A depth of lively fruitines hidden amongst the dark roasts and hints of smoke. Mouthfeel was effervescent with carbonation medium to lighter bodied despite the big dark color going on. Finishes dry and interesting with spice interplay, smoke, and dark ripened fruits summing it up. Alcohol is hidden pretty well not overtly booze ridden definitely doesn't burn the palate or the throat a smooth sipper for sure. Overall I'm intrigued by this offering it inspires me, search out more of his gypsy brewed offerings.

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