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

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50 Reviews
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Phil's Existential Alt (Brewer's Share)Phil's Existential Alt (Brewer's Share)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
Oregon, United States
fullsailbrewing.com

Style: Altbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
"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.

Added by RedDiamond on 10-24-2008

BEER STATS
Reviews:
50
Ratings:
130
Avg:
3.7
pDev:
18.65%
 
 
Wants:
5
Gots:
11
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 50 | Ratings: 130
Photo of dtreindl
4.38/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I can't say I'm an experienced alt drinker, but this was a welcome introduction to the style. Dark amber color with a consistent thin head. Smooth lager mouthfeel, with a substantial flavor of toasted malt, well balanced against modest hop bitterness. The flavor carried a stronger punch than I expected, but in the best of ways. It's still a very smooth, drinkable brew with a 5% abv that won't make you worry about getting drunk after a bomber.

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Photo of allengarvin
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint mug, this is a dark amber beer with a dense head on top. The nose offers some solid malt character with a touch of caramel, proper for the style. The taste is excellent, mainly providing a wonderful malt profile with just right toasted malt notes, a little nutty, with light caramel. Hops are about right for an alt, giving a strong sweetness-offsetting bitterness but not much hop flavor. Moderate mouthfeel, neither creamy nor thin.

Very well done amber beer from Full Sail's quite decent IPO line.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
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!

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Photo of woemad
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased at Yoke’s on Foothills Drive in Spokane for $3.99. According to the label, this is best by June 16, 2012. Oops. Guess that’s why it was on sale.

Poured a very dark copper color, with a good-sized, bubbly beige head. When held up to light, the beer takes on a slightly reddish hue. Lots of lace left on the sides of nonic-style pint glass.

Nutty in the nose, along with a mild, floral hop scent. There’s some bready malts as well. Smells not unlike Alt’s I’ve had in Germany, which is not a bad thing at all.

At first it definitely seems like a more malty than hoppy tasting beer, which is what an Alt is supposed to taste like. It begins with a complimentary blend of sweet maltiness and mildly bitter hop flavor. The hop bitterness, although restrained enough to be in harmony with the malts, is greater than a typical German example of the style. In the fadeout the hops become a little more dominant, providing a subtly dry ending.

Medium bodied, with a very slightly oily yet prickly mouthfeel.

This tastes like a really great blend of Germany and America – a beer that is mainy German, stylistically, but brewed with a little bit more hoppiness on account of it being brewed by a brewery from the hop crazy Pacific Northwest. I hope to see this one brewed again, for although the age didn’t seem to harm this beer, I’d still like to try a fresh one.

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Photo of Fatehunter
4.17/5  rDev +12.7%
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.

 408 characters

Photo of joecalderoni
4.11/5  rDev +11.1%
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!

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Photo of mjurney
4.07/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance:
Deep amber color, looks clear. Lots of fine bubble rising up. Thick eggshell color head.

Aroma:
Ripe black cherries, caramel, toasted, spicy hops.

Taste:
Hop forward, mainly spicy and herbal, a little leafy. Deep caramel malts, toasted, bread crust. Some dark fruit note. Finish is bitter, dry and crisp. Medium bodied, smooth, dry.

Overall:
It's very good beer.

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Photo of baldben
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a fairly clear orange-red with a finger of frothy off-white head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet bready and caramel malts with grains, lager yeast, light floral hops, and some light fruity esters.

T - Starts off with a mix of sweet bready and caramel malts with some fruity esters and grains. Through the middle, some light floral hops come through with some biscuity malts and some lager yeast. The finish is a mix of sweet bready malts with some floral hops, fruity esters, and lager yeast.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet and dry finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nice Altbier with good yeast character and smoothness.

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Photo of Reidrover
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
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

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Photo of LXIXME
3.96/5  rDev +7%
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.

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Photo of goochpunch
3.94/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle - $5.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a clear, amber-hued body with a medium-small, wispy, ivory-hued head.

Smell: The nose leans a bit malty, with a note of toasted biscuit tops and suggestion of homemade caramel. Low hint of esters. Moderate degree of spicy-minded Continental hops.

Taste: Biscuity, toasty German malts with a little, sweetish nibble of burnt sugar. Slight fruitiness with a bit of green raisin showing. Spicy Noble hop bitterness gives a slight bite and a steady-as-she-goes dryness until the finish with a final zip of suds.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. A notch on the dial just above medium carbonation.

Overall: A solid, well-built alt.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.91/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: nutty amber-brown hue with a crystal-clear body and a light effervescence. Head is a finger of frothy ivory foam.

Smell: malty aroma with some caramel notes; it's heavier on the biscuit/bread than on the caramel/sweet side. There is also a dash of earthy/noble hop character. Overall, it's nice, but it's a bit biscuity for me.

Taste: creamy concoction of bread and caramel, with a little bit of biscuit at the end and a balanced bitterness. More tilted to the caramel side than the aroma, I rather like the flavor.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good, well-integrated carbonation which yields a nice creaminess. I like it.

Overall: a pretty decent altbier, though I think I would prefer it a bit less biscuity.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.87/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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Photo of burnerfinger
3.86/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

 448 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of keithmurray
3.81/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Best by date of 08 2013 094, which I am not sure how to decipher, best guess is by March of 2013?

Appearance - crimson amber color with eggshell white head

Smell - caramel, honey, cherry

Taste - caramel, toasted malt, hint of cherry, hops

Mouthfeel - slight sweetness upfront, ample carbonation, heavier side of medium bodied, bold hop bitterness on the finish, dry on the finish as well

Overall - a good beer that is worthy of a re-visit

Price Point - $4.75/22 oz. bottle

 478 characters

Photo of Pegasus
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

 1,010 characters

Photo of barczar
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear medium brown with copper highlights and a foamy one inch light khaki head that dissipates slowly, leaving lines of lacing.

Bready, lightly toasted malt a hint of citrus, and floral hops are initially evident in the aroma, with a bit of sweet caramel surfacing later.

Flavor is malt-dominant, with nuances of toasted breadcrust forming the backbone, and a touch of caramel sweetness lingering throughout. There's a back-palate note of lemon that adds intrigue into the lightly roasty, slightly bitter finish.

Body is moderate, if not a touch on the heavy side, with moderate carbonation, and a bit of a citrus bite.

Overall, a great, sessionable brew. Malt character is complex enough to be interesting. Expected a little more floral flavor from the hops, and perhaps not so much citrus.

 805 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.7/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Phil's Existential Alt (Brewer's Share) from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
3.7 out of 5 based on 130 ratings.
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