Folklore | Stillwater Artisanal Ales

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87
very good
127 Reviews
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FolkloreFolklore
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stillwater Artisanal Ales
Maryland, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
127
Ratings:
447
Avg:
3.89
pDev:
19.54%
 
 
Wants:
20
Gots:
49
For Trade:
1
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Reviews: 127 | Ratings: 447
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.89/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A steady, soft pour into my Lost Abbey Teku glass produces a three finger, multi-bubble-size layered, nicely brown head that slowly rizes above the rim of my glass before . The beer is a concentrated brown, not quite black color that shows an opaque, though perhaps slightly amber tinged, brown hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells of deeply charred prunes, dusty dark cocoa, slightly musty concentrated cold coffee, and acidic, roasted malt. The nose isn’t really all that funky (in a Saison sort of way), but instead focuses more on the dark malt / grain with supporting fruit notes. As the beer warms up a bit a slightly earthy, deeply toasty, whole grain character starts to come out in the aroma; this helps to temper the roasted grain character. There is a hint of smoky character to the nose that seems mostly contributed by the roasted grain character.

Expressively carbonated, the beer foams up quite a bit as it hits the mouth. There is a rich, dark chocolate and cold espresso like dark grain character here that lingers on in the finish with a burnt, though smooth, edge. My second sip has me noticing a subtle, underlying fruitiness that tastes of burned prunes and raisins. Deeply toasted, brown-whole-grain flavors intermingle with the deeply roasted notes. The body is quite light compared to something like a Stout, though it isn’t as bone thin as a my favorite type of pale Saisons; here though the beer needs a touch of body to counteract the roast malt character, and this one has a little something extra to the texture. This slight viscous character certainly doesn’t balance the dominant roast character though, so you need to be in the mood for a deeply roasted beer. The burnt / roasted character adds a definite bitterness and even some acidity to this beer; this last is also accentuated by the carbonic bite that is in this beer. There is a touch of smokiness to the finish that is brought out by the roasted character and perhaps a hint of phenolics. Actually the smokiness is a bit more pervasive, though still on the subtler side, with a rich character evocative of umami and salt that adds a certain savory quality to this beer that boosts the perceived body of this brew. This smokiness / savory quality goes a long way towards balancing out this beer as it warms up.

I really wonder what the yeast used was here, the beer is quite dry for a Stout, though not excessively so, and is certainly quite clean for a Saison or Belgian’ish creation; whatever it is, the beer is fairly cleanly fermented, but definitely dry / light for a beer of this strength. In the end this is quite nice, it really needs to warm up a bit (I initially served it at 50°F / 10°C) before it gets balanced, and actually it starts out a bit too carbonated for the roast and smoke character, but some air and time help with that nicely as well.

 2,872 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Opened with a little gush, pours an effervescent & ruddy mahogany with a pinky mocha colored head. Nice lacing & head retention

S: Dark fruit, dirt, cocoa

T: Cocoa, dark fruit, dryness & a touch carob up front, plus a touch of red wine & chicory. A bit of dirt as this warms, plums, dryness & cocoa as this warms. Dryness & cocoa in the finish, along with figs, plums & a bit of boozeyness & smokeyness

MF: Medium bodied, fairly chewy, slight carbonation, much dryness

I appreciate what was attempted here, doesn't quite gel for me. This probably ages well I'm sure, but one & done for me, way too dry to be sure. Glad Stillwater ditched the corks

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Photo of biboergosum
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750ml heavy red foil-ensconced capped bottle, with a decidedly underworld themed label, which obviously needs to be updated here.

This beer pours a solid, unsullied black, with the barest hints of caramel-tinted basal edges, and two fingers of tightly foamy, slight fizzy chocolate milk head, which leaves a low-lying array of sea-spray lace around the glass as it gently settles.

It smells of dry roasted malt, medium chalky cocoa, coy dark fruit - black plum and currant, mostly - soft, earthy Belgian yeast, tobacco ash, a bit of stale coffee, some lingering campfire smoke, and an herbal, leafy hoppiness. The taste is more dry, edgy chocolate and coffee stout notes - Irish in nature, for the most part - roasted all the same, the orchard fruit equally assailed, with some underwhelmingly sweet caramel and toffee, a bit of mollifying wooden hops, and more wet tobacco pipe ash. The big ABV is damned near nowhere to be seen.

The bubbles are a bit frothy, pithy, and otherwise playful, the body medium-ish in weight, and generally smooth, nothing capable of causing a fuss really up for the fight. It finishes barely off-dry, any sweetness from all that downplayed malt lost in the lingering roast, ash, and mottled wisps of smoke.

Yet another Stillwater offering where I find myself grasping for a more steady source of reference to actual beer style - not that I'm that persnickety, but 'BSDA' is not what I would imagine this one to be. I'm getting nothing less than a sneakily boozed-up Irish dry stout here, with very little of the plentiful fruit or yeast so associated with the purported style. Roast, smoke, and my Irish heritage are all on display here, inadvertently, maybe, as it increasingly appears to be with this unpredictable gypsy brewer.

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Photo of facundoCNB
4.44/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a very dark brown almost black pour, 3 fingers of tan foamy head giving off a decent amount of lacing. getting some sweet molasses in the nose, chocolate, coffee, caramel, raisins, pecans, licorice.. with a belgian yeast strain. almost smells like a blend of RIS with a quad. the flavor is fruity at first, lots of nutty flavors.. this is a very strange stout-like beer with quad characteristics, but wonderful.. think of it as a liquid fruitcake.. dark fruits, nuts, BUT with a chocolate/coffee kick, and lots of dark roasty notes. medium/full body with moderate carbonation. goes down very smoothly, for as sweet and heavy as this beer is, it's pretty damn refreshing as well. REALLY liking this one.

 702 characters

Photo of Beer-A-Lot
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at birch.

A - Big head. Black. Dissipates fast.

S - Superb aroma of coffee and bitter chocolate.

T - A little light. Burnt coffee flavors.

M - Rich and creamy head but quickly loses body after head disappears.

O - Not bad at all but could use a little more body.

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.21/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Kickbacks in Jax. Poured into a snifter. Beige head, moderate retention on a almost black body. Nice lacing, sticky. Aroma includes beef jerky (smoke), banana (overripe), candi sugar, roasted malts, caramel, biscottis. Taste follows closely with the aroma. Nice dark ale with a Belgian inspiration...nicely done.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
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 OtherShoe2
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep brown with a tan dense head. Some splashy lace and limited retention.

A little tart yeasty funk combined with charred malt, cocoa, coffee notes. I like the nose on this.

Rich deep roasted malt, some french-roast coffee, a bit of sweetness, and bitter chocolate. Bitterness and malt play wonderfully here. Malt and lingering bitterness in the end. Alcohol is well hidden.

Medium bodied, a little loose. Just right carbonation.

Tasty beer. Not too sweet, not too bitter. Nice yeast component in this one to give it a bit of edge. Label notes a kiss of smoke -- ok, kinda. Nice beer.

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Photo of DaveBlack
4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful beer. Dark as sin, a 2 1/2 finger head with long retention.

S: Roasted malts, lots of dark fruits and chocolate, a slight hit of earthiness and Belgian yeast. A really deep, rich aroma. Almost smells like port.

T: Lots of caramel and chocolate up front, deeply roasted malts, which fades into an earthy, estery flavor with plenty of both fruits and spice. The finish brings a hefty hit of wood smoke. Lots of flavor here, both chocolately/smoky stout and earthy/fruity Belgian. I'm not surprised that it hides the 8.4% ABV so well.

M: heavy body, moderate carbonation. The beer is full, creamy and slightly sticky.

O: A great beer...if you're looking for a change. Which is t say that it's not the type of beer that I would drink all the time. The Belgian characteristics and the stout flavors play very nicely together. The marriage is wonderfully executed. That being said, it's definitely a sipper, and I find myself wishing that it favored one style or the other just a bit more.

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Photo of zeff80
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
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 -12.1%
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 -34.4%
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%
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 +10.5%
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 +3.6%
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 +11.1%
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 -1%
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 -6.2%
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 -10.5%
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.

 505 characters

Photo of wisrarebeer
2.95/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

750ml
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 +8.5%
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.

 505 characters

Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev +2.8%
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 -3.3%
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 +2.8%
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 -10.5%
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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Folklore from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
3.89 out of 5 based on 447 ratings.
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