Phil's Existential Alt (Brewer's Share) - Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub

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Phil's Existential Alt (Brewer's Share)Phil's Existential Alt (Brewer's Share)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

125 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 125
Reviews: 49
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 13.54%
Wants: 3
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Altbier |  5.10% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: RedDiamond on 10-24-2008

"According to Phil [Roche, brewer and beer developer], a generous amount of Munich and Vienna malts give this beer its copper color and toasty-caramel aroma. German noble hops provide complimentary bitterness and a clean, dry finish. The beer has been cold-conditioned for six weeks and goes down smooth."

43 IBU

Originally a pub-only beer, Re-released in April 2012 as part of the Brewer's Share series.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 125 | Reviews: 49
Reviews by KajII:
Photo of KajII
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

[Suggested Glassware: Kölsch/Altbier Glass]

The pour was a clear caramel brown with a large (2-3 finger) off white pillowy head that was mostly lasting, finally receding to a large cap with excellent streaky lacing.

The aroma was nice and enticing with a toasted sweet grain malt, light floral hops and a mild doughy yeast and had hints of caramel, honey and a slight fruity ester.

The taste was good and malty with a nice caramel sweetness in the beginning, and then took on a mild fruity hoppiness with a slight bitterness creeping in at the end. The flavor hung on for a good duration proceeding the swallow with a mild citrus peel bitterness lingering for a little while longer.

Mouthfeel was a few steps above light in body with a smooth creamy texture and a somewhat mild carbonation.

Overall probably the best Altbier I have tasted to date, it was malty-sweet with a good hoppiness and a great drinkability. There is not much more one could ask for within this style...

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy brown color with a tan head. The aroma is full of toffee malt, with a hint of grass and some earth thrown in. The flavor similar. I get a lot of toffee notes, as well as some grass and ice-tea character. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. I am not a huge fan of altbiers, but this one was pretty good.

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Brilliant deep amber to garnet chestnut. 1-2” tannish off-white foam collar, excellent lace
S: malt, kettle sugars, traces of grain and grain spice.
T: some cola, light banana, fruit, kettle sugars, dry finish with a lingering bitterness.
F: Creamy, medium to just shy of medium full body
O: The malt and hops are in a close balance for a dry, clean alt.

Photo of LXIXME
3.96/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bit above the glass gives this beer a medium sized tan head that settles into a pretty decent lacing above a clear reddish copper colored beer.

A light sweet malt aroma with some bread like qualities.

A lightly sweet yet darker roasted caramel malts taste blended together very well with a lighter floral hops but on the lighter side.

This medium bodied beer has a nice light dry roasted caramel malt aftertaste that stays with you.

This beer is has a easy drinking quality with some good tastes going on, I prefer more hops but I'm not everyone, if you like malty beers and Oktoberfest style beers, you like this stuff.

Photo of hreb
3.06/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

22oz bottle best before 08 2013. Pours a beautiful deep red color in pint glass with a rapidly falling head. I can't detect any aroma at all. Flavor is pretty neutral as well, with a delicate graininess of raw barley. Very balanced, but not very flavorful. According to BA's notes this was brewed once in 2012. Maybe this bottle is just too old (though it's an alt, so aging ought to be permitted). Since it's before the best buy date I consider it fair game to review. Drinkable but unimpressive.

Photo of zaphodchak
3.39/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Reddish brown translucent body, Thick creamy offwhite head and great retention and decent lacing.

Some kinda toffee/caramel smell.

I thought English malt presence (I was wrong), and a significant bitter component-- not especially hoppy (some noble hops), tastes more like coriander bitterness. Kinda traces of orange or chocolate.

Mouthfeel is kinda thinnish.

Decent, but I guess not what I expect from an alt.

Photo of Fatehunter
4.17/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured a finger of head on a dark amber colored body. Looks great.
It smells old (it is an altbier after all). Seriously, it has a good barnyard/hay and earth smell to it.
It's fairly complex for an alt with some mild maltiness to start, then some hop spice and finishes with a bit of burnt wood.
The texture is crisp with moderate carbonation.
I haven't tasted many, but this is the best altbier I've had.

Photo of scootpolute
3.07/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

P: 22oz bottle...Poured into a Tulip glass.

A: Caramel brown color. Not a ton of carbonation...Initially about a quarter of off white head. OK lacing...

S: Some nuttiness. Maltiness. Noble hops are there still after all this time. Maybe a touch of caramel hints. Those hops smell like grassy, grainy Euro hops.

T: VERY SWEET...Some hop bite initially. Then it's a light malty nutty flavored beer. It's very nicely balanced. Pleasantly surprised here. Finish is pretty clean.

M: Light to medium.

O: A bit too sweet, but that's pretty common with the type...Overall, good but not one I'd going looking for again anytime soon...Chasin' Cheers :~)

Photo of HalfFull
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a slender 'pint' glass, a stange wannabe I guess Pours a clear copper amber with a full inch of slightly off white foam. Offers steady retention and good lace.

Aroma of nutty malts, touch of yeast and light citric hops. Nice yet a bit malty.

Flavor follows the nose with a well integrated malt profile, touch of nuttiness and slightly sweet in profile. Bit buttery at times with a coarse bready profile and just a hint of chocolate.

Offers a full feel yet with a light carbonation. Malt forward and reasonably complex with a touch of smoke even. Overall quite solid/complex/malty/interesting.

Photo of joecalderoni
4.11/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A very nice dark copper color! nice white 2 finger head!

S: A very good Malt aroma, very bready taste with some hints of caramel

T: Super malty with a nice bready character, balanced with nice bitterness on the back

M: Medium body, some carbonation!

O: A very traditional alt! very nice example of the original style!

Photo of goochpunch
3.94/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal-clear dark amber with a thinnish head. Some caramel in the nose with herbal noble hops being the strongest aroma here. Flavor is CLEAN: something that a lot of US brewers fail to do with alts. Nice caramel, biscuit malts with a little toast (I'd hope for a little less toast still). Nice herbal, grassy noble hop flavors with a sturdy bitterness and dryness in the end. Mouthfeel has some prickly carbonation. Not too sticky nor slick nor heavy. Overall, this isn't the best altbier I've had, but it's one of the very few and rare examples of a US microbrewery actually making an alt instead of labeling a messy, estery, toasty mess an "altbier." Seriously, I'm tired of US breweries making generic dark amber ales and calling them altbier.

Photo of Docer
3.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: (3.5)

- This is a mostly clear dark brown ale, a slight molasses color. It is really about the color of a nice iced-tea. A finger of fluffy off-white head settled down to a bit of lacing and a thin foamy island in the glass. Overall pretty good and standard for the style.

Smell: (4.0)

- The zesty Full Sail bready yeast is certainly present. Light fruit, esters, and spice are melded well with a biscuit grainy and husky malt which is lightly sweet like honey and molasses. To me this certainly smells good.

Taste: (3.5)

- Up front this brews flavor is a biscuit malt full of grain, yeast, semi-sweet molasses, and caramel malt with a nice spice. In the finish it has a zesty and earthy bitter hop. I quite like it, and think it is a nice change, though it does contain a lot of that signature Full Sail flavor. Some esters, and even light alcohol seem present.

Mouth Feel: (3.5)

- It's a light to medium bodied brew, well carbonated and a touch chewy with some dryness in the finish from the hops. It doesn't seem thin upfront, but thins out a little in the finish. Expected from a light beer.

Overall: (3.5)

- This is a robust and full flavored brew. It packs a lot for a 5.1% abv. Alt. I like it, and it seems to mostly hit the style markers for me. It has a nice hoppy finish without the aroma craziness. Good bitterness, clean water, and a nice malt bill with that Signature yeast flavor. Solid beer, and worth the try. Bet it would be a real treat on cask at the pub.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.46/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 picked up at the COOP for about $4ish... Poured into my thin tulip... okay white head with surprisingly good lacing and cap.. the brew is deep amber... very clear.

Grainy and malty... hints of some PNW hops.. pretty clean.

Nice bitter bite up front helps balance all the coming malts... The grains are dry as expected... dark toast and caramel... biscuit presence.... hops come back on the finish lingering with some good bitterness. Again, very clean... pretty much spot-on.

Body seems a touch heavy for the style.. lighter than expected carbonation weighs things to the heavy side.

Nice... A forgotten style... I would buy it again... done well.

4/3/3.5/3/4

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.82/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a stange. Pours a medium to dark reddish amber with a thin off-white head with good retention and nice lacing. Aromatic aroma of slightly toasty caramel malt and a hint of wheat and hops. Medium bodied. Flavor dominated by bisquit malt and very toasty with a dry, pleasant moderate hop finish. I liked the toasiness in the middle on this one, a pleasant altbier.

Photo of baldben
4.05/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark copper color. Sweet malty aroma. The Taste is a very good, complex maltiness with a great balance of spicy hops. The carbonation is moderate and goes down smooth. It all comes together very well. A very good beer by Full Sail in a less popular style. Would recommend it to anyone who likes a full flavor beer, or just wants to know what the 'alt' style is all about.

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.2/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle pours a nicely clear copper color with a frothy tan head. Retention is average but the lacing is lovely. Good lookin brew.

Nose is toast and toffee with a leafy, herbal hop presence. Nice and fresh smelling brew with just a touch of nutty yeast. Smells 'Old World' with the hop varietal and malts used.

Taste is nice and smooth with some rich malty flavor...toast and maybe a light molasses sweetness. The hops are just about perfect and add a nice flavor and bittering balance. This is actually the second bottle of this I have bought. Good price point for a bomber and I think it is a damn fine altbier. The nutty yeast makes more of an impact as it warms and the mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium. However, there is enough going on to make this a nice, sessionable brew to share or drink alone. Versatile...thats the word Im looking for!

Photo of DrDemento456
3.91/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Paid only 6 bucks for the bomber. Poured into my Samuel Adams Perfect Pint.

A - A deep chestnut brow with just a 1/4 inch of head that settles to a lace ring. Slow bubble patterns on this one.
S - Wow this beer smells wonderful! Toasted grains, hazelnuts and caramel malts highlight. Smell is very authentic and doesn't smell boozy.
T - Pretty much what I expected all the toasted grains and hazelnuts showed up but my palate kind of wanted more sweet malts.
M - Still it is quite balanced and easy to drink. Sort of chewy and medium bodied also.

Overall a very tasty authentic to German tasting Altbier. A home run for the price as well.

Photo of Pegasus
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Massive, slightly coarse cream-colored head adorns a modestly hazy orange-brown body. The retention is fairly good. The lacing is complex, resembling an archipelago encircling the glass wall. The carbonation is modest and slow-rising.

Aroma: Rich aroma of scorched caramel and roasted nuts. Grassy hops are prominent in the aroma.

Taste: The taste beings with abundant and distinct Munich and Vienna malts, with darkly roasted grains and burnt caramel quite prominent. Roasted nut flavors soon appear, as with the aroma. Later in the taste, grassy and earthy hops appear, and vie with the malts for dominance. Finishes with a lingering earthy hop note.

Mouth feel: Full, smooth, soft, pleasant, with just a hint of carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: Pleasant and drinkable, a decent example of the style, a slightly higher ABV, say of 6 to 6.5 percent would be welcome.

Presentation: Packaged in a twenty-two ounce brown glass bomber with a pry-off crown, served in New Belgium Brewing chalice.

Photo of ppoitras
4.05/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased as a single from somewhere localish.

Poured into a CCB pub glass, formed a 1/2" beige head over the clear dark amber brew. Head lasts nicely, with built-to-last lacing. Aroma is worty with a bit of fruity tartness.

Taste follows the nose, sweet upfront, touch of tart in the middle, with a sedate bitterness to the close. Mouthfeel is soft over the tongue, and drinkability is easy. Nice representation of the style.

Photo of Reidrover
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber from "Lifesource" Salem. $4.79 Nice deep amber/brown body with a slight haze,and a thick creamy quarter inch eggshell white head atop. Malty,bready,nutty slightly toasted aromas. All of the above inn the taste..plus a semi bitter after taste that works well. Nice rounded mouthfeel . Good drinkable beer

Photo of jlindros
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light fluffy 1/2 finger head with lots of sticky lacing, quite clear cranberry auburn reddish color.

Nose has some light reddish malts, little caramel and red candy, little toasty even, hint toffee. Hops bring a bit earthy hop, little grassy and slight herbal hops, slight ester like earthiness with some fruity aromas, little cherry apple like.

Taste starts with caramel reddish malts again, chewy reddish Munich like malts, some caramel and toffee, little sweetness. Then hops, little spicy, earthy, and quite herbal, and chewy hops. Bitterness is fairly strong but not overly. Slight phenols come through with a bit of fruit again. Finish is dry and quite bitter, long earthy spicy and slightly herbal lingering finish, little sticky sweet malts but mostly dry.

Mouth is med bod, decent carb.

Overall OK, not bad, but not great.

Photo of burnerfinger
3.86/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bought this becuase it was cheap (really)
poured from the 22 oz bomber into my new belgium goblet:

A: big tannish head settles quick and leaves nice lacing; orange/copper brew with moderate clarity.

s: mostly biscuity malts to the nose;

t: nice balance - tilts slightly to the malt but a nice hoppy bite on the tongue that I really didnt catch at all on the nose

M: unexceptional body - pretty good

D; nicely drinkable, especially @ the price.

Photo of woodychandler
3.87/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Transcribed from notes dtd Su, 14 July 2013

I had problems with my wireless internet, really with my home land line which I use for wireless internet and so the day became old-school pen-and-ink time as I really did not want to try and write my review through my phone. Needless to say, when my carrier tells me that they only have a skeleton staff on weekends and the problem will be fixed by 1900 h. on Monday, they are getting 86'd!

I am dubious about this being a retired limited release as Full Sail only recently arrived in PA and I bought this shortly thereafter.

From the bottle: "Independent Employee-Owned"; "Number 47-C 5143"; "Brewer's Share"; "This certifies that YOU are the rightful owner of ONE (1) Brewer's Share of the INITIAL PUB OFFERING of Full Sail Brewing Company's release: ALT a.k.a. PHIL'S EXISTENTIAL ALT, a copper-colored cold-conditioned small batch beer concocted by our own Phil Roche, generously imbued with Munich and Vienna malts and German Noble hops."; "Featured Brewer: Phil Roche Four times a year we hand the keys to our massively talented brewers and let them throw down. Whoever comes up with the most insanely delicious new brew gets to share it with the entire brew-geekosphere. It's something we call Brewer's Share. Now you're probably wondering what is so darn existential about Phil's Alt. According to Phil, 'Altbier is German and the only thing ancient Germans thought more about than their existence was brew. Early myths contain some 200 verses about the creation of the world, but twice that many about making brew!'"; "Phil's Charity: Phil has chosen to support Friends of the Children, a non-profit that provides Portland's most-at-risk children with intensive and long-term mentors. Visit www.friendsofthechildren.org".

My pour created two fingers of dense, foamy, light-tan head with good retention. Color was a deep-copper with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a lightly molasses-like sweetness. Mouthfeel was medium with a molasses-like flavor on the tongue. Definitely not malty, but not bitter, either. It landed somewhere in the middle ground of the two flavors. Finish definitely had the grassiness of "German Noble hops", which I read as Hallertau. Once more, I was glad that Full Sail has come to PA.

Photo of Garcia
3.12/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Bomber on a spigelau glass.

A - looks beautiful. Nice copper color.
S- slightly nutty, but extremely weak. Had to really look for it.
T - slightly nutty flavor. I was hoping for a lot more taste. 43 IBU? Where are they?
M - it's okay. Nothing to write home about. Lacking a litte.

O- expected a tad more.

Edit: had to run an errand and came back to this beer considerably warmer. I can now taste the Munich malt (might be caramunich) and it improved incredibly. Tastes grainy malty. Improved considerably.

Photo of Ryan011235
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a nonic pint glass on 9/4/12

Deep copper and rust hue with tobacco brown highlights. Smooth, one thumb head is long lasting. Overall retention is great. Lace, other other hand, if few and far between (probably because the foam keeps itself as mostly unified mass).

The aroma has a great deal of complexities: dark bread, caramel, figs, raisins, apple butter, herbal hops, leafy hops, orange marmalade and orange peel. Faint hints of cinnamon. This is a dense aroma for a beer with a modest abv.

A mild to modest hop presence of grass and herbal leaves leads of with a subtle bitterness on the peripheries. Candied fruits, caramel, spiced bread and tangy dark fruits fill out the flavor, pushing the hops along to the finish.

The feel is a slick, somewhat sticky medium and is largely left without intrusion of carbonation that is on the low side of the spectrum. Finishes dry with mild lingering residuals.

I'm glad I picked up a bottle of this. Strong throughout and enjoyable to sip on. Good bargain, too.

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Phil's Existential Alt (Brewer's Share) from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
82 out of 100 based on 125 ratings.