Phin & Matt's Extraordinary Ale | Southern Tier Brewing Company

621 Reviews
Read the review
Phin & Matt's Extraordinary AlePhin & Matt's Extraordinary Ale

Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by wailingwench on 10-29-2004

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 621 | Ratings: 1,489
Photo of ryan1788a5
3.75/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Mildly hazed and golden in color. Thin white head dissipated quickly. Spotty lacing.

S: Hops greet the nose first with a multi dimensional aroma of flowers, freshly cut grass, and orange peel. Grainy and doughy malt scents underneath. Straightforward, but good.

T: Hops control this beer. Oily, floral, spicy, minty, citrus. Oily orange peel. Moderately strong bitterness. Grainy and doughy malt base is stifled by the hops. Finishes with a long lingering oily hop bitterness.

M: Medium bodied. Creamy. Sharp, aggressive carbonation adds a big crisp bite.

O: Not the most focused effort. The hops really run away with the show here. Still, you can get away with that these days. People are happy with one-dimensional, hoppy beers. And it stays drinkable enough to forgive this.

 823 characters

Photo of StoutHunter
3.34/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I picked up a bottle of Southern Tier's Phin & Matt's Extraordinary Ale a couple weeks ago for $1.72 at Toskey Sands Market. Since I've been disappointed lately in Southern tier's larger format bottles I thought I would try some more of their 12oz bottles, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks ok it's got that typical Southern Tier 12oz format look to it and it's nice to know it's made with three different malts and three different hops. It poured a slightly cloudy golden color that took on more of a golden orange color when held to the light with a finger and a half worth of slightly off white head that quickly died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and left some spotty lacing behind. This is a pretty nice looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of sweetness that had a light candy like aroma to it followed by a good amount of malts that impart a cereal and grainy aroma with some light caramel malt and bready aromas in the background. Up next comes some citrus and fruity hops with citrus rinds seeming to stick out the most and there's some earthy hops aromas in the background. The aroma is nice and pretty well balanced.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness followed by a good amount of malts that impart a grainy, cereal, and light caramel malt flavors with some some bready flavors seeming to stick out the most. Up next comes the hops which impart a nice citrus rind flavor with a little bit of earthy hops in the background with a lower amount of bitterness with a grainy and citrus rind like aftertaste. This is a decent tasting beer that retains the good balance that the aroma had.

M- Smooth, crisp, clean, slightly watery, on the thicker side of being light bodied with a good amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was alright but I thought it came off a little watery,

Overall I thought this was decent beer and it's fairly close to being an average American Pale Ale, it had some nice balance to it, but I didn't think that the malts and the hops clashed a little and I don't think they blended together as well as they could have. This beer had ok drinkability, it was smooth, crisp and clean, but the taste didn't do the greatest job at holding my attention so I think a one or two would be enough for me since it doesn't really keep me coming back for more. What I like the most about this beer was the appearance and balance, I thought they were both pretty nice and worked well with this beer. What I liked the least about this beer was the drinkability, it just didn't keep me coming back for more. I might recommend this beer to someone who likes Pale Ales that aren't that bitter, but I don't think that it will really stand out in the style for most people. I don't think I would go out of my way to buy this again, but I might order it at a bar if I saw it on draft. All in all I did't think this beer was that great, but it wasn't that bad either, it was kind of right in the middle and it didn't really have anything about it that made it stand out. Better luck next time Southern Tier, this beer just wasn't that memorable.

 3,303 characters

Photo of smakawhat
3.51/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A bright pale orange body, but a bit hazy and some fine carbonation. Head is fluffy and bleach white on the pour growing easily three fingers with whipped up retention.

Nose smells a little sweet. White sugar, slight candy like fruits. Not much malt, hop, sense or character going on to this.

Palate lands with similar hints of the nose. Mild sweetness and baby like aspirin. Slight medicinal bitterness in the finish but clean. Good malt depth but not much sense of a presence or angle. Tight carbonation twinge on first sip, but manages to tone itself down while consuming.

A rather run of the mill basic pale ale, but drinkable with nothing too off putting.

 712 characters

Photo of a0lbudman
3.94/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-clear gold color with a white head that laced the glass on the way down.
S-hops with citrus
T-hop flavor that lives you a hop aftertaste that fades with a caramel malt aftertaste
M-medium body that has a medium carbonation
O-the taste seems to be that of a darker beer with the color of a APA

 294 characters

Photo of delta490
3.03/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- a light caramel color. The head lasts only around the rim of the glass but does leave some lacing.

S- not much. some caramel-esque sweetness is all that I noticed

T- light malt sweetness and slight hops bitterness. It appears to be attempting an English Bitter, but lacks the malt robustness or hops balance. Feels like the flavor needs to be turned up.

M- thinner and a little watery.

O- it's not bad, but it just seems to miss the mark it was aiming for.

 463 characters

Photo of Samp01
3.35/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a golden amber with a small short lived white head. Aroma and Taste of biscuit malt, citrus notes, some yeast and citrus floral hops. A medium crisp body on the palate with some good carbonation. Finish is biscuit malt, a bit of grains and cereal notes with some citrus flavor and floral citrus hops balance. A bit more lager than ale. Overall a good refreshing

 367 characters

Photo of Immortale25
3.69/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Dogfish Spiegelau glass. DOB is 1/29/13.

A- Pours a medium amber color with a 1/2 inch head that retains a bit before retreating to a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a sheer sheet of surface foam. Resilient lacing leaves a thick ring behind on the glass.

S- Semi-sweet cereal grain malt aroma with some earthy hops backing it up. Notes of caramel and bread.

T- Nicely balanced hop/malt combo with more sweetness coming through plus some mild bitterness. The hops are more earthy and play off the cereal grain-like malt well.

M- Standard pale ale feel that's not too dry or sharp. Medium carbonation and a body that's a bit on the lighter side of medium.

O- I remember liking this beer a lot more when I first had it several years ago. Maybe I should have tried to find a fresher bottle for my review.

 830 characters

Photo of Hoptopher
2.98/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

I figured I should put it out there that this review is coming in on my third one of the evening.
Appearance is good, A golden light amber color. Smell is OK, not very strong. A little citrus a little pine. Not a whole lot going on with that. Taste is little better then the the smell. You get the same things, with a litte grapefruit bitterness from the hops and some bready taste from the malts. Mouthfeel is good, light and crisp. This a good beer for today since I've been busting my @$$ in the yard today and it's the hottest it's been all year.

 551 characters

Photo of utopiajane
3.61/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear and light. Copper/gold with a fingers worth of foam that fell fast but left a skin and hung around on the sides of the glass. Spritzy looking with constant bubbles rising from the bottom. Nose is floral and herbal. Light orange and lemon citrus.A little pine, grass and corn. There’s even a touch of musty basement. Malt is bread and plenty of caramel. Taste is clean and smooth. Malt is cereal, bread, dough & caramel. Hops are light but stay with the nose. Slightly sticky mouthfeel and a lingering sweetness. Semi dry, creamy and very easy to drink. I thought this was a pleasant and easy to drink ale and while it wasn’t really extraordinary, you could drink a few of these.

 694 characters

Photo of tittymcj
2.94/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Drank in a bar in Altoona, Pennsylvania.

Decent beer. Not a lot to distinguish it from any other pale ale, in my opinion. Almost the definition of average. Looks like it should, smells like it should, lacks a bit in mouthfeel.

I'd drink it again if none of the other options were new or interesting.

 301 characters

Photo of BeerYoss
4.31/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5


A- Crystal clear light gold; very little head and almost no lacing

S- orange spice, small hint of bitter hops

T- Nice subtle hit of hoppy bitterness up front followed by a tasty toasted malt. very nice balance between the strong, yet not overpowering, hops and the toasted malts. eminently drinkable

M- light to medium bodied. just a touch of carbonation

O- I really like this beer. The hops and malts are really balanced well and taste wonderful.

 459 characters

Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.71/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from tap at tap and mallet in Rochester ny. Pours an orangey golden color. Looks like a run of the mill pale ale. Subtle hop aroma and bready malt. Taste is crisp bready malt - biscuit I guess with a nice hop balance. Easy drinker but a bit bitter and dry finish almost tanic. Its a solid brew just not my fav.

 317 characters

Photo of NiceTaps
3.86/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a room temp pint glass.

A- It pours a clean light golden-amber color with a slim half-finger head that leaves some lacing. There's gentle bubbling which may explain the sparse head and lacing.

S-There's no denying the pale malts: bicuity, bready, yeasty, some sweet caramel balanced by a slight bitterness.

T- A pretty tasty bread basket. Moist breads and sweet malts. Quite good for such a low hop profile.

M- All that maltiness adds up to some chewy solid feel. Now the hops work their magic by keeping the sweets in check.

O-Extraordinary? Maybe not, but I could see this as a staple-like brew with the likes of a SNPA.

 652 characters

Photo of Jparker37
3.6/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into an oversized tulip.

S - Balanced. Nice grainy malt. Grassy hops, splash of citrus, spicy yeast reminiscent of a saison.

A - Golden in color with great clarity from a careful pour. Medium sized cap of rocky white foam. Fair amount of lacing.

T - Has some simple base malt flavor. Hop bitterness kicks-in early. Malt sweetness midway along with earthy hop flavor. Decently dry finish with short hop flavor after.

M - Medium-light body, medium-light carbonation, semi-dry.

O - The aroma is distinctly similar to a saison. More of an English hop emphasis with solid balance. Little sweet in the taste. Very drinkable good brew but a bit out of APA style. Not sure whether to grade it well for uniqueness or poor versus typical APAs.

 758 characters

Photo of 57md
3.48/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light copper with a thin layer of head that dissipated almost immediately. This offering had a mildly hoppy and floral nose. The flavor is relatively thin with some dry hoppiness on the finish. This is a mediocre pale ale that is certainly not bad, but not even close to superb either.

 293 characters

Photo of mtstatebeer
3.27/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 oz. bottle. Pours a clear golden color with, initially, a decent and frothy off-white head, diminishes quickly, fair lacing. Aroma is pale malts, caramel, bread, citrus and maybe a hint of pine. Flavor is bread and caramel malts, pine, grass, and a little bit of yeast. Mouthfeel is light-to-medium, a little watery, and a bitter finish. Easy drinking beer, not very complicated.

 382 characters

Photo of rangerred
2.94/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear light gold with a half finger white head. Decent head retention with the plentiful carbonation but just a few streaks of lacing.

The aroma has strong lemon/lime notes with a little bit of a musty basement scent. I can pick up some light bread from the malt too but there really isn't a whole lot going on.

The flavor has a quick shot of lemon, lime, and must but then it all just completely disappears. All that is left is a moderate to high drying bitterness and some bready malt. I really can't believe how quick the hops disappear seeing this was only bottled a couple months ago.

Overall, a sessionable beer but also a bit flavorless. Founders and Lagunitas both make great "session" IPA's with less alcohol but tons more flavor. While I know this isn't technically a session beer it is quite refreshing but lacking all around.

 881 characters

Photo of farrago
2.86/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Average finger’s worth of just off-white foam, full mix of bubble sizes, lots of dimpling but decent retention, the lacing is thin but spreads into broad sheets and sticks nicely. Bright yellowish gold color with a touch of zinc or rust to deepen it, crystal clear with only a few random bubbles visible, looks kinda adjuncty. The nose is grainy with a strong pepper component, also offers pizza crusts, cornmeal and some orange to lemon citrus to sweeten it up, same for the vague apricot, peach fruit accents, becomes leafier and greener as it warms. Medium-bodied, has some prickle to it and seemingly intentional bitter bite, on the hoppy side for an APA. Then it has the resinous feel without the pine flavor. More of the pepper, rye to pumpernickel bread, mineral water and with larger presence of savory garden herbs than flowers. The tartness suggests a space reserved for grapefruit citrus and more tropical like pineapple, nectarine, papaya fruit but the chair left empty. Its overall dryness tends to distract, not that it lacks flow but you start getting bitter beer face.

 1,086 characters

Photo of Treyliff
3.38/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a transparent golden-yellow with a small whit head that reduces to skim the surface

S- sweet sugary malt, light floral hop, cooked corn and grainy hop

T- grainy malt turns slightky sweet, the finish provides a bit of floral hop with some lemony-citrus tartness and slightly bitter linger.

M- light body, medium spritzy carbonation, with a slightly foamy mouthfeel and finish

O- nice and light, enough flavor to let you know it's their but still easy drinking pale ale

 480 characters

Photo of BlackBelt5112203
3.47/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic pint glass at fridge-cellar temperaute.

L – Pale amber color with a 1.5-finger bubbly, frothy, white head. Pretty nice retention and some great lacing. Clear with a good amount of bubbles.

S – Bready, biscuity, and grainy malts with grapefruit, lemon, grassy, and somewhat floral hops. It’s kind of hard to pick out the elements of hop bouquet on this one, but this is the best I can muster.

T – It starts off sweet with bready, biscuity, and cereal malts with a hint of caramel. Bitter hops appear towards the finish with lemon rather than grapefruit, grassy, and slightly herbal notes. There’s something else going on here with the hop profile, but I can’t put my finger on what it is.

F – Medium-bodied with good carbonation, a sticky and creamy but crisp mouthfeel, and a mildly bittersweet and dry finish. Bittersweet malt and hop flavors linger on the tongue for a bit but not for too long.

O – This is a pretty good pale ale. The hop profile is interesting. It’s pretty tough to pick out all of the individual aromas and flavors. It’s very different than any other APA that I’ve had, and unfortunately not in a great way. It’s not a bad beer by any stretch, but something about the aroma and flavor just seems “off,” and I can’t really put my finger on what it is. Regardless, it is a drinkable and refreshing beer and I’m glad that I tried it.

 1,421 characters

Photo of peabody
3.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours out a clear yellow with one finger of white small creamy suds. No lacing to speak of.
Smell is slightly malty with very faint fruityness like lemon and the hop is in there too.
Taste is refreshingly clean and flavors of darkness follow the initial wateryness.
Second taste brings out the hop flavors and the bitter maltyness. This is a complex flavorful brew that is hard to pin down.
Mouthfeel is all over the place. It starts out very clean and refreshing then it gets slightly sticky and bitter then leaves the palate for just a tad then the dark bitterness sticks around in the back of the throat.
Overall this is a cool beer. I could see sessioning this one and using it as a great lawnmower beer. Very nice.

 720 characters

Photo of Bills453
3.15/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance - a golden yellow color...unfortunately there is zero head. I love some good brew head.

Smell - not too much of an aroma.

Taste - not too much of a taste.

Mouthfeel - pretty average.

Overall - one of the weaker offerings from Southern Tier :(

 300 characters

Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Clear gold-tinted yellow with one-finger, white, creamy head that lasted a couple minutes. Ok lacing.

S: Hops and caramel malt.

T: Light to moderate sweetness and light bitterness. Lots of toasted malt flavor. Not much hop flavor.

M: Medium bodied with fizzy carbonation. Crisp.

O: Average pale ale. Nothing stands out really, but it's not bad.

 378 characters

Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
3.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Appearance: Pours goldish amber with a white 1 finger head.

Smell: Corn, hops and some malt sweetness.

Taste: Pretty much matches up to the nose. The aftertaste is bittersweet, but very mild.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation but not too thin.

Overall: Southern Tier is the pride of NY, and this beer is nothing less than I'd expect from them. Although nowhere near their best offering, it's very drinkable with above average flavor. There's a reason why this company is successful.

 488 characters

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
3.51/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle; clear and golden witha thin white head that fades to a nice ring of foam. Smell isn't much; light bready malts with some slight hops in the background. Taste is clean malts, with just a twang of hop flavor to finish it off crisply. Nothing complex here, but a tasty and drinkable pale.

 310 characters

Phin & Matt's Extraordinary Ale from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.57 out of 5 based on 1,489 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

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.