Next up, Existent, from Mr. Strumke’s Stillwater Artisanal:
Existent has a picture of, and attributes part of its philosophical underpinnings to, philosopher-twit, Friedrich Nietzsche. History will show that Nietzsche’s biggest legacies are (1) extended-adolescent, existential, hipster angst; and (2) his last name, although physically unpronounceable, gets you at least 23 points in Scrabble (What? No proper nouns!?). Also, one of Nietzsche’s best known ideas is that Western society has moved beyond God as the basis of meaning and reality, and thus, “God is dead.” Of course, the fatal weakness in his argument was right under his nose…
I can fathom wind and water masterfully etching the majesty of the Grand Canyon over the course of a billion+ years. I’m down with the Big Bang. Evolution? OK, at times, my behavior is not far removed from that of primates. But nobody will ever convince me that Nietzsche’s mustache could be conceived by anything other than the Divine Hand of a Higher Being.
The beer pours an impenetrable dark brown, almost black…as soul-sucking as a realization that life has no true meaning. It has a lovely, tan, frothy head that hangs around for a bit, but as with many things beautiful in this world, it is transient and leaves you…alone. The head recedes to a film with isolated, foam islands and a substantial ring that leaves some lacing. The smell has no true will to power, but it is definitively chocolate, coffee, and roast, and char. I can also pick up a little farmhouse, almost like a horse blanket. And you can tell it’s dry, like the desert – perfect in its absence of crippling pity and compassion. It starts out with coffee and hints of chocolate, along with a bready and nutty character. Then roast, smoke, and a slight farmhouse-funk kick in at the end. Some style-nazis will lament the roast character in a Farmhouse/Saison, but lamentations about style rules and consistency are the desperate morality of the weak in an attempt to transvalue the power of successful risk-takers. I find it interesting and tastefully done. It is well-carbonated, but not overly so. And as it warms, some earthy hop character emerges, and some hop bitterness comes out in the finish, much like a…ahh whatever. What’s the point?
Not my favorite Stillwater ever, but good nonetheless. Different (but not over the top), interesting, tasty, and skillfully executed.
The Haybag: It’s decent. Generally, I’m not fond of saisons (I am not down with funk and lots of carbonation), but I think this one is interesting.
Note: To avoid a religious brushfire, I should note that I’m not saying the age of the Earth, the Big Bang, or Evolution rule out the existence of God. Besides, I’m Catholic. We’re down with that shit anyway…heck, Mendel and Lemaître were priests.