Elsinore | Phillips Brewing Company

14 Reviews
no score
Send samples

Brewed by:
Phillips Brewing Company
British Columbia, Canada

Style: Czech Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by biboergosum on 07-01-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 14 | Ratings: 52
Photo of Hat_Fulla_Beer
3.79/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Day 15 of the Phillips Snowcase advent calendar. 341ml bottle poured into tulip glass.

Pours a pale, summery yellow with half a finger of weak white head that leaves a ring of fine chunky lace as it recedes.

Smells of pale malt and grassy, citrusy pilsner hops. Makes me think of warm weather.

Tastes of lightly bready malt, grassy, spicy hops and mild citrus rind.

Feels smoothly carbonated with a light body. Finishes not quite dry.

Verdict: Recommended. Not the biggest fan of pilsners, but this one is easy and refreshing.

 531 characters

Photo of HipCzech
3.59/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sampled during a tour of Phillips in Victoria, BC. Light, crisp and refreshing. A bit light in both hops and malt, but balanced and easy to drink. Terrific name!

 161 characters

Photo of argock
3.39/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a Sleeman pilsener glass. 02 May 15 on bottle neck.

A: Clear honey gold with 1-finger of white head with decent retention and a stripe or two of lace.

S: Slightly sulfuric initial aroma that fades with a mildly fruity ester aroma with a lot of doughy pilsner malt. Herbal, floral, and lightly spicy hopping. No other yeast character (but probably too much overall) and no alcohol notes.

T: Flavor is decent but the maltiness is too doughy and not toasty enough for the style, not sure if the doughiness is yeast derived or malting related or both. It leaves this beer with a somewhat tired malt flavor that lacks the notable toasty character and crispness this style demands. The hopping also leaves a slight vegetal note without the spiciness or floral qualities that a good Czech pilsener should have. Bitterness is light-medium with no alcohol character.

M: Mouthfeel is crisper than the flavor but still it seems a little flaccid and flabby. Carbonation is high and body is light-medium.

O: Not a bad pilsener by any stretch and it could be pushed farther ahead with an improved malt profile in the aroma and flavor arenas and more careful hopping to eliminate the vegetal character. Drinkable and I enjoyed it.

 1,262 characters

Photo of Svingjo
3.49/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This Pilsner pours a very light straw colour. The nose also has some grassy notes with citrus and hops. It's a very light bodied pilsner with a nice hop and slightly bitter finish.

 180 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Victoria, British Columbia is hardly Canada's harshest climate, yet Elsinore proudly boasts of being brewed in the 'Great White North'. Well, it does have an icy, ultra-chilled haziness and a yellow tone so pallid as to look almost whitish against the light. Its head also tops it like a snowbank.

The label also proclaims use of the "choicest hops and malt". Brewers are free to promise anything they want but I won't believe it until I try things for myself. The way this smells it's certainly feasible that it was made from "superior yeast, first-rate two-row barley and the finest hops" as elements of each can be noted. It's equal parts phenolic, bready, and herbal.

Indeed, try as I might, I can't seem to fit Elsinore neatly into any one box. It has qualities both vegetal and fruity, though it's ultimately a lemony citrus flavour that prevails. But the malt and yeast combine to also create strong impressions of fresh-baked bread. What's more, hints of white pepper and dried herbs confuse matters more, as does a bright, floral finish.

Warming intensifies the grassy herbalness and uncovers more of the tart, citrusy, lemon curd flavour. This bold combination of herbs, citrus, and spice starts to draw parallels with gin, some semblance of juniper even being conceivable. It also comes across as a little stronger than its standard 5% - intrigued though I am by it, I don't think I'd care for another.

Elsinore is one odd duck. Philips was vague in their description of it and neglected to ever define a specific style. Not that all beers need to - or even should - fit neatly into predetermined guidelines, but part of me wishes I had a basis for comparison. No matter, as I've said already, I found this lager to be intriguing, with plenty of worthwhile characteristics, but not something I'd necessarily gravitate to on the regular. A really nice recipe, but not sure it's really for me.

 1,917 characters

Photo of mick303
3.56/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got from the lcbo BC taster pack, poured a light clear golden colour, slight head but decent lacing.

S - grassy hops, slight lemon, clean pilsner malt, quite grassy, maybe a bit floral, noble hop spices, a bit peppery. Some light tart citrus.

T - lemon, light floral tartness, grassy, pale clean pils body, with a lemony grassy forefront, a bit yeasty but very clean. Some pale peachy notes, light fruitiness, and while it is a clean sessionable pils there isnt a ton of other flavour, finish is clean, malty.

M - light, clean, with a mineral and grassy bitterness, moderate carbonation, which cleans off the palate quite assertively. Has some pale pilnser malt body but other wise it is quite thin.

A sessionable and clean pilsner but it lacks flavour and body, mostly lemon and grassy, it feels fairly uninspired. And while a decent session option this isnt even that great of a pilsner, not much exciting here to write home about. Some flavour to it but it feels off kilter slightly with tendency toward lemon tarts.

 1,023 characters

Photo of DenisKolkin
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%

341 ml bottle served cold into a pint glass. About $2.25 CDN per bottle.

Appearance - Clear, pale golden straw color. Capped by nearly a finger of white head which has some staying power.Visible bubbles on the low side, but there's some sticky lacing left behind.

Smell - Grassy and grainy like most pilsners but with a significantly more floral element than the usual suspects. There's something akin to freshly boiled tea mixed in there.

Taste - Similar to the nose but with a very green tea / tea like aspect on the conclusion that is unusual. Grassier and more floral tasting than many other pilsners. For this it is more flavorful, but not quite as crisp and as clean as other sin the style.

Mouthfeel - Reasonably well carbonated with a light feel, and on the dry side in terms of finishes. Pretty decent overall.

Overall - A solid pilsner with a pleasant but unusual tea like spin on things. Works picking up if that's your thing otherwise a solid Canadian pilsner offering.

 991 characters

Photo of thehyperduck
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

341 mL bottle from a BC Craft Brewers Guild sampler pack, dated Aug. 21 2014 and served well-chilled. Two Czech-style pilseners in the same pack seems like an odd choice, but then again, I'm just some hoser.

Pours a clear, golden-yellow colour, topped with just over one finger's worth of fluffy, eggshell-white head. It recedes slowly over the next few minutes, eventually settling into a frothy cap and collar with a messy ring of lace. The aroma is typical of the style - grainy pale malt sweetness and lemon zest, with some grassy, floral notes to accompany.

Now THIS is an interesting flavour - something rarely uttered about this style, I'm sure. Perhaps due to the dry-hopping? The grainy pale malt backbone is all-too familiar, providing a modicum of doughy sweetness - but the tail end of the profile manages to pique my interest. It's very big on the lemon citrus, and quite zesty, with lots of leafy tea, floral and green herbal notes being the main features of the finish. The aftertaste has a bitter, juicy citrus feel to it, which fades from the palate quickly. Light-bodied, with aggressive carbonation that prickles the tongue and provides this pils with an appropriately crisp, active mouthfeel.

Final Grade: 3.83, a respectable B+. Phillips' Elsinore is a unique domestic lager that I am really enjoying. The combination of floral notes, citrusy hops and prickly carbonation used allow this pils to stand out amongst a rather large crowd. It is more intensely-hopped than most imports, which the average BA will probably have no issue with - myself included. While I wouldn't go out of my way to seek this beer out, or attempt to scam the Brewers' Retail outlet in an effort to obtain more, it's still very well-made and I'd happily drink it again some time, should the opportunity arise.

 1,812 characters

Photo of spinrsx
3.17/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

12oz Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for $2 or so

Appearance - Yellow colour with an average size fizzy white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is a fair mount of lacing. The head lasted for around 3-4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Grains, grass, herbal, hops

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation. I can taste grass, floral notes, and some odd cooked vegetable taste. There is also some corn, bread and light hops.

Overall – The odd herbal/vegetable taste kind of ruin this beer for me. Interesting.. but odd. Not something I'd buy more of.

 614 characters

Photo of wordemupg
3.74/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

341ml bottle poured into tulip 5/1/14

A clear golden yellow, with a few slow bubbles feeding a two finger foam that sits around for a couple sips leaving a couple random patches of lace

S honey, noble grassy hops, cracker and Phillips house, a little citrus, smells straightforward but decent

T some herbal lemon tea notes on top of what I smell

M light bodied, more bubbles then I could see in the glass, crisp, a little slick after the fact with a fairly clean finish

O quite drinkable and a decent pil overall, nothing spectacular but I could down a 6er on a hot day

not to far off the style, decent beer but nothing to go out of your way for but no reason not to try it

 683 characters

Photo of canucklehead
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Day 2 of the Snowcase advent calendar. this is a pretty fresh pils that is much better than the Phoenix lager that Phillips has as their regular offering. More grassy notes and more cripsness in the finish than Phoenix. I like it and would buy this again in the summer ( hopefully it will be brewed again). Nice homage to Bob and Doug

 334 characters

Photo of Derek
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Clear yellow like a macro lager, white head has a bit of retention and lace.

S: Saaz hops! Steelie grass; hints of lemon and slightly floral.

T: Nice hoping and bitterness, hint of fresh sourdough bread

M: Lighter body, like a German Pils.

O: An easy drinker.

I hope those hosers didn't put any mind control drugs in this.

 330 characters

Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.79/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Cool vintage look and little to no stylistic info on the label, I concur with fellow Canuck biboergosum that this has got to be a pilsner, although whether Czech or German is maybe up for grabs. Stylistic moniker aside, this is a gem. Pours a nice classy pale amber with ample foam, releasing an aroma of fresh lemons, grass, and vintage pale malt along with bake shop yeast and hop-derived kitchen herb and spice. Moderate carbonation. Palate is similar although the beer is dry-hopped, which lends a massive (for the style) matcha green tea like herbal finish that incorporates some mineral notes and a major crisp and refreshing conclusion. Its clean and tidy but there is a grainy depth as well, with a little sour rhubarb tying everything together. Shows up in fall mixed packs if I've sold you.
Edit: According to Phillips, its an American pale lager.

 857 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.91/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341ml bottle, procured as a single from my favourite local shop that actually does such a thing hereabouts. The next step in my overtly Canadian-themed beer day, in celebration of our nation's 146th birthday. A roo coo coo coo coo coo coooo!

This beer pours a slightly hazy, very pale golden yellow colour, with one finger of bubbly, weakly puffy bone-white head, which leaves a low-lying array of elongated sandbar lace around the glass as it quickly sinks away.

It smells (over the burgeoning BBQ aromas of my neighbours) of semi-sweet biscuity, somewhat pastry-like pale malt, a mild crackery dryness, a faint lemon rind essence, and leafy, lightly grassy, earthy hops. The taste is nicely integrated crisp crackery, breakfast biscuit, and cereal-heavy grainy malt, well-dried lemon peel, a hint of neutered black pepper, and heady leafy, earthy, spicy grassy hops.

The bubbles are mildly frothy, the body medium-light in weight, and quite equitably smooth. It finishes off-dry, well grained-up, with a lagging grassiness that seems just a tad petered out - so tired, eh?

A tasty old-world lager, one with strong pilsener leanings (so that's what I'm classifying it as here, given absolutely no other info). Upon a viewing of Strange Brew a few years ago, it occurred to my optimistic self that the beer they were drinking back in the day, while not exactly a craft brew, was at least something better than the current swill peddled by the big boys. I'm glad to see that Phillips seems to concur, and my Canadian heritage is appropriately giddy right about now.

 1,568 characters

Elsinore from Phillips Brewing Company
3.63 out of 5 based on 52 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.