New Holland Phi 2004 | New Holland Brewing Company

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New Holland Phi 2004New Holland Phi 2004
Very Good
43 Ratings
New Holland Phi 2004New Holland Phi 2004

Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Euro Strong Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.70%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-15-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 43 |  Reviews: 40
Photo of imperialking
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of Gonzoillini
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of BGsWo22
1.25/5  rDev -67%

Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 Oz Bottle (At the least an older bottle). Weak bretty nose; sour coconut, lush apple, banana cream and light yuzu zest. Bits of malty sugar. Pours a deep gold, with pale edges and a rocky soap of white. Flavor is generally pretty mild. First, some tart sour Brett lemon juice, then a wash of bland sugar and finally a reminiscence of hops. I don't believe this was intended to be a Brett beer, but me loving accidental Brett beers, this is interesting. It's possible there's a good bit of Lacto in here too and I'm just not picking up on it directly. There is some unsettling melon bitterness in the smack, but it's not terrible. There's really nothing happening behind the Brett, so unique yeast flavors or malt character. Instead, just a plain base of a now dryly, refreshing Brett beer. Higher alcohol makes this unique. Definitely some Asian pear and green tomato further down. A tasty accident. Thanks Sean!

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Photo of DaveFL1976
3.05/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Decent, hazy amber color with a thick off-white head that settles down to a skim in rather short order.
Smell is big. If I had to guess, I would say it was a big Belgian Abbey Ale. It's got that same sweet yet alcoholy, friuty nose to it. Maybe candy sugar.
Taste is, uh... Hmmm.... Smooth at the start, then chemically/harsh/acidic. This doesn't remind me of a Belgium Abbey Ale anymore. But the aftertaste diminishes quickly. I try another sip. Tastes like a Geuze, sort of. Tastes like someone put lemon Smarties in my beer. I'm not sure that I like it.
Mouthfeel is moderate with good carbonation, but I don't think I'll pick up another bottle of this.

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Photo of amatuerbeerguy
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours out dark brown, low head retention, due to abv 9. Malty sweetness, some roastiness, caramel prevalent in the aroma. Malt dominate the flavoring when still chilled lending to the roastiness, and caramel, some cherry sneeks in after chill is gone. medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. Nice once in a while drink with the abv being upwards of 8.7-9%, the only reason for the drinkability being 3.5. Although by the style guidelines I am not sure that this beer can be classified as a euro dark lager, abv too high but then again this is the high gravity series.


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Photo of Brian700
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a medium brown with not much of a head. What head there is is an off white. There is barely any nose at all on this beer. There is just a slight hint of malt smell. The taste is of alcohol and malt and almost a cherry tartness that is very subtle. The mouthfeel is good. Moderate carbonation and medium/full body. I think its a good beer but is lacking a little something in the aroma and appearance.

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Photo of SupaCelt
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden honey. Few bubbles. No head. No lace. A fairly unique hue though. Just seems a bit inactive and boring.

Smells of bastardized dark fruits. Sour scents. Some form of toasted component is present. Nothing really provoking. Caramel. Nuts and honey is a stretch, but allowable. Subdued at best. Microbial?

The taste is pleasant. Cider like. Some sour in the finish. Grape-a-dee in the slightest. Plenty of sweet character. Nice actually. Reminds of Rossi Rhine wine at the last gulp. The appearance and smell were less than promotional in this case. I cannot say that there is any facet of this beer that would inspire me to lay into a batch and go to town. It is alright. Not something that would readily induce cravings though. If this were dodgeball, I wouldn't pick this thing first. Unless my other choices were completely ordinary. Catch my drift? Try it. It is not insignificant by any means.

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Photo of oberon
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium brown with some reddish tint with a fluffy rather large head,big caramel malt aroms up front along with some brown suger and toasted grain,caramel is dominat at first hits the taste buds along with some some deep roasted malt with a strange and annoying cider-like finish really tart and wholly unexpected.I might put in the bock category be it has some because it has some of the bock characteristics,a big flavorful lager with some oddities to it but glad I tried it.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pretzel crust brown with dark amber accents at the margins. The cap is golden ecru in color, tight-bubbled and displays a magma-like surface. A fair amount of bubbly lace affixes itself to the glass, though a portion of it melts away with time and drinking.

I like the aroma, but I can't put my finger on why that is. It's sweet and malty without being toasted in the least. Although I've never had a Euro strong lager before, this beer smells exactly what I would think such a beast would smell like. Thankfully, this is a Saaz-free zone or this could have been akin to a Euro pale lager on steroids (which would have disgusted me to no end). Words fail me, but Phi is nicely aromatic and is a pleasure to sniff.

Something vitally important was lost in the translation from aromatization to actual taste bud submersion. There's a multi-faceted flavor profile, but the various components are fighting each other tooth and nail, giving the whole thing a disjointed feel. It's much more malty than it is hoppy, but too much raw sugar has been added for my liking. Phi tastes like dark fruits (raisins, figs and dates) soaked in sugar syrup.

Sour, bitter and sweet ignore one another on the palate. That independence (as compared to the usual interdependence evident in good beer) definitely detracts. It's somewhat fruity, a little chocolatey, mildly hoppy, slighty citrusy... there's no coherence to be had. Without anything to act as a focal point, the entire flavor apparatus collapses under its own weight. On a good note, the excess sugar fills out the body and results in a smooth, slick mouthfeel. Very little evidence of the 9% ABV.

The label states that the 'divine ratio' of Phi is used in, among other things, DNA. If that's so, then the only reasonable conclusion to be reached is that New Holland failed in their attempt to faithfully recreate that ratio in the brewing of this beer. If DNA took after New Holland Phi rather than the other way around, I would be unable to relate my impressions. An amoeba can't type.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.24/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appears an opaque dark brown with a smallish tan head. Some scattered webs of lace but the head disappears pretty quickly. Caramel, coffee and toasted malts are strong. Some dark chocolate scents in the back and a touch of dark fruit. Very interesting and complex aroma here. Taste starts off with caramel malt and a big roastiness. Maybe some coffee and chocolate notes lurking about. Roasted malt after taste that lingers for while finished up the flavor. Fairly thick body with a rich and smooth feel to it. Really great drinkability and it hides the alcohol almost completely. This is one tasty and unique beer I would drink regularly if it was around here. Not sure what style this was at all while I was drinking but I enjoyed every sip. Big thanks to Tikkigodxxx for this great brew.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

(Served in a Chalice)

A-coal black with a very thin brownish head that fades quickly. Opaque body that is to dense to see through.

S- scents of coffee or black roast grains and maybe a bit of black strap molasses but no sweetness .

T- a tangy almost cider taste first impression with a sweet light carbonation tang and a roasted black malt aftertaste. Long roasted aftertaste that is very unique.

M- very watery slippery mouthfeel with a bit of astringency in the aftertaste but only in the back of the tongue no real pucker.

D- This is a very unique beer. It taste much different that I would thin a dark colored 9%abv brew would taste. It is very light and refreshing with no hop characteristics or any maltyness besides the dark roast. Its taste is not real complex but the flavors are all very strange. However I find myself reaching for another taste to try and figure out this beer. It is definitely an original recipe and I think it is worth a try.

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Photo of deejaydan
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep chestnut brown color. Smells of roasted carmelly malts, hint of hops there too. Taste is grainy and actually a touch sour. Sour? Hmmm. Perhaps it's wood aged? That's almost what it tastes like. Supposedly this beer isn't brewed to a style, rather on the golden ratio. I'm not sure if it works. Mouthfeel is good, this is warming in the belly. It's hard to pin this beer down.

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Photo of shippos
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I think this is courtesy of mentor, but again I cannot recall.

poured witha deep dark ruby red-almost brown witha thick froathy tanish head.
bready and doughy with some dark dried fruit. smooth rich mouthfeel nicely balanced. dark fruits and cherrys and raisins combined with a sugary toffee malt character. hints of a vinious winey character. lots of dark chocolate and fruit with some bitter sweet. dry and dusty in the finish (can't read my notes, i have no idea what the hell I'm talking about there).

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presented in a 12oz bottle provided courtesy of trbeer and poured into a tulip glass. Phi had a uniform dark brown color, finely wrought carbonation, and a creamy light beige head that dissolved down to a modest cap, leaving wispy lace.
Lots of aromas grace the nose. Roasty malt, light dusting of yeast, dark roast coffee, caramel-laden raisins, hint of green apples. Punch in the nose from the alcohol fumes. Complex and sometimes clashing variety of tastes. Darkly rich with java and singed malt flavors morphing to a brisk green grape tartness mixed over caramel-drizzled apples and herbal hops. Moderate yeasty note and vinous alcohol bite. Medium bodied feel with a sizzling dry tartness nipping at the tongue.
Overall, kind of like a quasi-doppelbock with a mild lambic bite. All in all, an interesting brew but one I could take in only small doses.

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Photo of SheepNutz
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a deep black color with two fingers of light tan head. There is a little bit of lacing left on the glass. The smell has lots of roasted malt. Slightly sweet with a good dose of caramel and toffee. A little bit of alcohol in there too. The taste is also very malty. Roasted malt and espresso dominate. Very tiny hints of diacetyl and alcohol are present as well. The body is very nice and thick, but still smooth. The drinkability is great for a 9% brew. Another nice one from New Holland.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" tan head over the almost opaque dark caramel brew. Head fades to an uneven layer of bubbles pretty quickly, not unusually for a strong brew, and lacing is average to good. Aroma is dark grains, quickly giving way to strong alcohol notes. Taste is upfront sedate dark malt flavor, quickly overshadowed by dark fruit tanginess, with the slightest alcohol warming at the end, but hardly noticeable. Mouthfeel is superb for the style, and drinkability is excellent as well. Surprisingly smooth and lots of character in this one.

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Photo of BeerBuilder
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a brownish-copper color with a creamy tan head. Leaves a nice amount of lacing. The aroma is malty and chocolatey, with a roasty characteristic. Smells like a robust porter. Reminds me of Summit's Great Northern Porter. The flavor is roasty and chocolatey, with souring quality kinda like Bell's yeast. It is medium in body and not too bad. A drinkable brew.

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Photo of beergeek279
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in the 12 oz. bottle into a tulip. The color is a brown/redishness, with a wisp of beige head ringed by bubbles. The smell is a chocolatey sweetness. The taste actually has quite a bit of a disconcerting hop flavor to it, with a touch of chocolate sweetness, and to be fair, not much alcohol burn. Mouthfeel is average. As for drinkability, well maybe a couple, but there's better NH beers out there.

Thanks to deejaydan for the bottle. When I first saw the Fibonnaci number sequence as a teaser for this beer (the sequence converges to Phi, an irrational number approximately 1.61, between the previous number and the next...1.61 is also the Golden Ratio and provides a very visually appealing, classical look at 1.61:1...but hey, this is a beer review, not a mathematics lesson!!), I was definitely excited to get my hands on it. Now that I do,'s not quite as exciting, I'm afraid. The beer just seems like it really wants to be a dopplebock, but just falls short, mostly because the hops just really don't fit the beer. It definitely smells very nice, but the chocolate really doesn't shine through. I'm glad I gave it a try, but it's not really something I'd hunt down.

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Photo of xgrigorix
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Twelve ounce brown bottle. No dates.

Deep dark chestnut brown. A rough pour produces a creamy looking light tan head that does not last very long, but leaves attractive rings of lace behind.

Some chocolate aromas mix with bready malt.

Flavours of chocolate & cola. Slight warming of the throat. Very smooth for its strength. Medium-full bodied & velvety smooth. Moderate carbonation.

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Photo of mentor
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle served cold shortly after purchase in December, 2004. Dark dark caramel in color with only a thin tan head to cover the surface. Smells of chocolate and alcohol. Mild caramel and perhaps some molasses, with a sweet almost belgian white funk to it. Tastes sweet. Caramel, plus alcohol that's not as prevalent as the smell. Rich chewy caramel molasses. Some vanilla and sour...almost cherry-like...I guess there's a bit of roast coffee in the sour? Also, chocolate malt in a reasonable amount (limited amounts make for nutty, but this is definitely chocolate). As it warms, the sour stands out more stongly. Not as good as when served cold. Medium to meduim thick body with fine bubbles that form on the tongue. A decent beer, and not one I'd turn down in the future, but not one I'd purchase again. I'll bet this one would do well with a year or two of aging, in order to settle the alcohol burn and tame the mild cherry-like sour.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Before even taking my first sample, a long time a'waiting, I must bow down before the very idea of this beer, and say it is a testament to the greatness of what's going on in American craft-brewing today, and tomorrow...just think about it...basing a beer recipe on an ancient geometrical ratio used by Leonardo, the Greeks, and hat's off to NH for this cockamammie idea, Lord Love 'Em, but I reseve judgement until the brew meets my lips...
Plump, figgy color, dark and nearly opaque, with only mere crimson glimmers at the edges, a full, fuzzy, cocoa-colored cap of foam atop, very inviting, very attractive...
Arousing aroma, dark fruit, much malt, little hops, huge flavor, date, plum, raisin, herbal, and organic, big in flavor, urging the cup to genuflect to the mouth...
Sits happily on the palate, filling the whole cavity of the senses with this warm, deep, dark, sensuous flavor, rich and resonant, and it comes as no surprise what a chore it was on this beer's release to ascertain the actual style, a task which, I believe, the brewery resisted, by always eager beer geeks took their bosom...doppelbock said some, Baltic porter said others, and so many were so very that it's spent time down my throat, and has kicked around my head a bit, my reaction to that tumult remains, "who gives a care, if it tastes good, drink it!"
Admirably full-bodied, with a long, resilient finish, dark fruits stay long on the palate, and contribute mightily the memory of the flavor's deliciousness, and so full and confident of character, I'm happy to see firsthand another example of the ingenuousness of MidWestern brewing at work...hail the geniuses at New Holland, long may they reign, (or, at least, expand their domain, so that others can taste their goodness firsthand!)
Many thanks to cokes, for getting me this bottle!

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Photo of maxpower
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours cloudy dark brown with a nice light brown head that leaves some lacing in my glass, fruity raisin, chocolate aromas, sweet chocolate, plum, coffee and caramel flavors. Full bodied with a thick almost syrupy mouthfeel, finishes sweet. Alcohol well hidden, not bad.

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Photo of winomark
3/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep brown with a quickly fading medium brown head. Lots of chocolate malt, dark caramel and mild coffee aromas. Hops quite muted. Coffee flavors strong up front, but soon a bitterness and alcohol sweetness follow. Acidic finish. Not much balance; surely not divine. Finish is crisp and lingering. Odd mouthfeel. Light upfront, slightly thick mid-palate and sour/acidic in the back. An interesting beer. Not as balanced as I was hoping for. Citrus acidity is too powerful in the finish. This beer doesn't flow like it should. Won't try it again.

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Photo of CortexBomb
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a dark, burnt tan colour with a small whitish head, though the head didn't last long. Clings to the sides of the glass upon shifting.

Smell is almost porter like, mainly roast malts, a little more subdued than the porters usually are, but still appealing.

Beginning is a heaping helping of those malts, but then a wonderful...unique hop bitter begins...and a flavour almost like dull limes, that sort of twang background to it I mean...a soft dark fruit character is also present...the finish is mildly sweet, with the rememberence of alcohol via the back of the throat, with a slight warming. Nice.

Mouthfeel is decent, it's not light, but when you start talking 9% I expect oil, and this wasn't up to that standard. Drinkability, a touch above average. For a big beer pretty easy to put down.

Overall, the first New Holland brew that I would actually buy again, and hence recommend. Good stuff.

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New Holland Phi 2004 from New Holland Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.79 out of 5 with 43 ratings