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Folklore | Stillwater Artisanal Ales

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very good
127 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: 127 | Ratings: 450
Photo of Bung
4/5  rDev +2.8%
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 -10.3%
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 +1.5%
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 -0.8%
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 +1.5%
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 -2.1%
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 -47.8%
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 +3.6%
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 -2.3%
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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Photo of ocelot2500
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep garnet with a tight, mocha head that leaves chunks of lacing.

Smells of dark fruits with some roasted notes and a bit of woodiness.

Tastes of the fruits layered with roasted notes and a bit of spice. Notes of figs, dark cherries, and plums abound with a fair amount of sweetness to back them up. Some tartness comes through along with oak notes that gives a bit of a wine feel. Roasted notes rush in with chocolate and coffee that add depth to everything. A bit of clove spice is noticeable as the beer warms, as well as some anise.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is quite good, and is verge of being great. Honestly, I would like to see it toned down.

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Photo of avalon07
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a goblet. Had a coal black color and a thick, muddy consistency. There was a massive, tan-colored, long-lasting head. Very good lacing.

S: A nice aroma of Belgian yeast, coffee, chocolate, and dark fruits.

T: Tasted of malt, Belgian yeast, dark fruits (plums, etc.), coffee and chocolate. Not bad, but surprisingly thin, especially in the finish.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry, smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is a beer with some good qualities, but is certainly uneven. I have a feeling it could have been better.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into tulip. Pours a deep black color with tan thick thick foam. Ok lacing...not great. Smells of alcohol...cherry chocolate and slight belgian yeasts.
Taste is of chocolatey cherry with vanilla and smokey wood. Alcohol is present throughout the sip.
I rarerly mention mouth feel, but this is superb. Its smooth as can be and so easy to drink.
This is a great brew. Not so much a belgian, but more closely resembles a stout. Either way its excellent.

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Photo of tempest
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a goblet at Liberty St Tavern and looked almost identical to the stout I ordered for a friend. I wasn't sure what to make of the beer. The roasty edge was matched with a mild tang, nothing on the scale of a lambic, but enough to really balance any sweetness. The flavor itself was a little more subtle than I'd have liked, with a mix of cocoa and dark fruit that gets cleaned up by the sour bite. Relatively light and drinkable overall, worth a try.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured out at a dark brown nearly black colored brew. The head was pretty heavy at first and then it settled down a bit. It had decent retention but no lacing. The smell was heavy on the Belgian yeast and had a good amount of roasted aromas coming off of it. The taste was similar to most Belgian stouts. I found it to be earthy and roasted. The mouthfeel was smooth and drinkable. Overall this brew isn't anything too spectacular it's good but not great.

Just bought a bottle of this thinking it was a new beer from Stillwater. I hope this doesn't turn into what Rogue likes to do. Nevertheless This beer really impressed me so I'm revising my review. I felt that the flavor of the beer was much better than how I ranked it last time and overall I felt that the beer was impressive. Had I known that I already had this one I probably wou;dn't have bought it again. However the label on the new bottle is very hard to resist.

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Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very dark brownish amber in color and pored with a quarter finger dense tan head that never died down.
S: Aromas of smoke and burnt malts are present in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has notes of dark fruits, smoke and spices.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has good drinkability because it is lighter-bodied compared to other beers in the style.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Pinocchio's, Media, PA

Poured into a stem glass, dark brown, nearly black, with about a half inch of off-white head. Dark roasty malts in the aroma, coffee notes, some dark fruits, and a touch of smoke. Lots of roast in the flavor, dark malts, cocoa and coffee, almost stout-like, but lacking the body; after the roastiness mellows out, notes of grassy funk and yeast come out, along with mellow dark fruits and earthy hops. Dry and a bit metallic in the aftertaste. Medium body, and fairly drinkable overall.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
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 corby112
3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
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 rtepiak
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a nice blend of dubbel and the still water offering called the existential. a dark saison? but not anywhere near as dry. pours dark and leaner than a porter. nose of brisk belgian sugar cane and mineral. very sublet molasses, peach. the palate is a bit citrus grass and a note of dark fruit which is subtle in the face of the minerals.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.24/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampling a cellar temp bottle poured into a snifter. the beer pours a cola brown color with brown fizzy tan head of 1 cm tha fades pretty quickly to a thin edge layer and one large wispy island.
Aroma is roasted malt and some dark fruit with prunes and molassess coming through, plus maybe raisin and fig.
First sip reveals an average body and slightly sticky texture with mild rolling carbonation. QUite nice no the mouthfeel, makes it easy to drink.
Flavor is fruity and malt based with again the plums and raisins and bits of molasses and brown sugar, fairly sweet but not cloying here. No real hop presence and the ABV is well hidden as well.
Nice drinking complex yet not palate killing brew. I enjoyed my sampling of it and would probably try it again, only drop is the lack of head retention on my sample.

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Photo of smokeypeat
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep chocolate brown into the glass. Nice 2 finger head. Good aroma on this one with big dark fruit notes and chocolate malt. Taste is really interesting. Lots of good things going on here. Get notes of raisin and prune balanced in the best way possible with some crisp apple and apricot. Really like the light note of peppery spice hanging out in the background. Carbonation is just the slightest notch too high for me for this to be extraordinary for me. I'd like it just a smidgen smoother but I'm nit picking at this point. Probably the best Stillwater beer I've had yet.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

opague nice tan with a huge, head that towered 3 inches above the glass. Tons of lace, a fantastic overall appearence.

lots of fruity tones. Hints of apricots and figs with a nice spiceness in the back. Hints of apples, just a great well rounded and very impressive overall profile. Tons of carbonation and lots of activity on the palate. Huge flavor assault , lots of dark fruits, figs, hints of yeast, and a pronounced grainey flavor

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Photo of womencantsail
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for this one, Dyan!

A: The pour is almost black in color with a tall off-white head.

S: Not sure where to start. It's certainly very roasty and there are lots of dark fruits to this. Seems to lean heavily toward the prunes, plums, and raisins camp. There is a mild tartness and a few hints of coffee. Maybe some oak and chocolate, too.

T: The fruitiness is more pronounced in the flavor. Prunes and plums really stand out, but there are also some notes of cherries and raisins. A nice bit of roast, some licorice, and light flavors of pepper and chocolate.

M: Medium bodied with medium to high carbonation.

O: All sorts of different stuff going on here. I liked it for the most part, though.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.45/5  rDev -11.3%
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 cosmicevan
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Humongous thanks to 321jeff for always looking out for me and my stillwater addiction. poured into my stillwater tulip.

a - opened the bottle and filled the branded stemware. more of a brown than a plum, but certainly purple/reddish characteristics can be seen when held to the light. nice classic yeasty head...really creamy and very to style. far superior to most american BSDAs. good lacing, but not super thick.

s - all the usual suspects with a soft spicing. in the way that cellar door has that sagey vibe on a saison, this has that peppery sagey vibe on a BSDA...and it works very nicely. gives it a crisp or fresh smell...almost vanilla/booze that you'd find in an oak aged brew.

t - much like the nose, the flavor is like a BSDA on sage. there is a fresh, crisp coating on the overall palette. this is a tasty beer, but not super classic...it is classic but with a twist.

m - even before noticing the taste, the body showed itself. nice rich and fullness. not like the originals, but much closer than most american brewers are offering these days. probably like 75% creamy.

o - overall, better than i had expected. a lot of the classic belgian strong dark ale elements are there, but the beer has a twist. i would guess sage (being a fan of stillwater overall). this is a very solid beer and again stillwater proves his worth in the beer he brews. i really hope to see this beer some point again in the future.

really good and unique.

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Folklore from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
3.89 out of 5 based on 450 ratings.
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