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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 hreb
3.06/5  rDev -17.3%
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.

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Photo of martino_cappachino
3.06/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass. Bought from a QFC, and decided it was a good time to try my first alt. Enjoying it with a mushroom, brie, kale sort of spaghetti I threw together late night after work.

Poure about an inch thick of very fine foam into a pint glass. A very fine foam that kept a thin layer always on it, it seemed like.

Thick cherry-cola brown in appearance. Very appealing.

Delicious fruit orchid-forward aroma with hints of toffee, licorice and caramel.

Taste was big on grain and bread malt with touches of coffee. Slight taste of bergamot in the hops, and dashes of green apple peel essence.

Cobwebby in mouthfeel. I felt at points it could use a little bit more carbonation.

An eccentric brew to say the least... I'm not sure if I would prefer it again. But it had a massive amount diligence in its aroma and complimentary taste you can't just get from any 5% beer.

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Photo of scootpolute
3.07/5  rDev -17%
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 :~)

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Photo of Garcia
3.12/5  rDev -15.7%
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.

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Photo of mactrail
3.13/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark amber with a modest foam. Lots of lacing along the glass. A pleasant sudsy mouthfeel.

Dark and bitterish flavors lurking. Tangy with hints of caramel. Seems more interesting with a few sips, but it ends up as a lightweight oddity. The Altbier style seems to be a tricky one. This is light, with a hint of butter, and a bitter aftertaste. In between it's a grainy brew that tastes like a Pale Ale with some rye. Some odd spoiled fruit and that bitterness without any hint of hops.

From the 22 oz bottle bought at Pinkie's in San Angelo, Texas. The "enjoy by" date is missing.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.22/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

"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." Brewed in the style of an Altbier, this one time brew is likely long gone from stores.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a becker pint glass. Served north of 56º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a golden-caramel had of a frothy cream consistency over a medium hazy caramel body. Retention is above average. Appearance is overall nice for the style. 3.75

(Smell) Aromas of sweet Munich and Vienna malts, yeast and grain esters and some mild buttery notes. Potency is medium. 3.5

(Taste) Lots of harsh grain, yeast funk and pure ethanol up front, light bready german malt sweetness in the back, faded and thin. A very dry, harsh finish without much bitterness flavor to account for it. This is not a very easy beer to drink, likely a decent recipe muddied with time. 3

(Mouthfeel) Medium-thick with a slick oiliness. Carbonation doesn't do much to remedy this beer, it's overall too flat for the style, and with the flavors coming off as strong and distorted as they currently are, a lack of carbonation could only be a bad thing. Body is medium for an Altbier, medium overall. 3

(Overall) This beer is far gone, always check your dates prior to purchasing. Drinkable, but barely so, time has given the yeast too much power over this style of usual simple and elegant balance, and what is left is a dry, grainy and boozy beverage that lacks flavor and balance. Probably fine at one time, be sure to pass this beer up if you see it in any bottle shop like I have. 3.25

Full Sail Brewery's
Brewer's Share: Phil's Existential Alt

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Photo of patpbr
3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle. The label has got a lot going on.
A nice dark copper color For altbier. The scent is both of carmeal and malts. Taste has a toasted character to it and mostly malt, somewhat nutty? . I found a bit of a hop taste. its light and easy to drink. Not a bad choice for 3.99

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Photo of videofrog
3.31/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a dimpled stein. There's a space for "Enjoy By", but nothing stamped in the space.

A: Deep reddish-copper color, off-white, 2 finger head. Minimal lacing down the glass. Edges are burnt orange when held up to the light.

S: Caramel and bready malts up front, fresh lager-like aroma, noble hops.

T: Balance tilts toward the bready and caramel malts, bitter hops come out more here. Slight nuttiness in the finish.

M: Clean and crisp like a lager, but I found it to be on the thin and watery side.

O: A solid Alt and worth the relatively low price tag. Easy-drinking and great for a weeknight.

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Photo of RedDiamond
3.37/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The readerboard behind the bar at the Full Sail Tasting Room in Hood River showed this as "Brewer's Share." I don't know if that's a house generic term applied to one-off beers, but the placard on the bar listed something called "Phil's Existential Alt" and I learned that the two are indeed the same.

Phil's has a faint, sugar toast aroma. It's built on a gentle, malty design with a firm wooden sternness and upper mid-range (43 IBU) bittering. The beer is clear mahogany with no lace and a scant islet of head. Drinkability is assured but not mandatory.

There must be a good story behind the name, but I've yet to hear of it.

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Photo of zaphodchak
3.39/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

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Photo of beergoot
3.4/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Enjoy by date: 08 2013 108

Dark copper body with a thick, creamy head riding atop; sticky rings of lacing. Very pleasant roasted malt aroma with hints of hazelnuts and dark caramel. Good grainy sweetness with a touch of esters in the background; fine hop bitterness, especially at the finish. Thin bodied; crisp and dry finish.

The beer starts out with promise, including the taste, but it soon loses much of its appeal. Overall, the malt flavors seem weaker with each mouthful and the body comes across more watery. One is left with a slightly over-bitter ale flavor. I hoped for better, and it's drinkable, but falls flat in the long run.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.46/5  rDev -6.5%
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

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle. Enjoy by Date: 06/16/12, so just passed that.
Poured into a Russian River goblet.

A: Caramel brown color. Not a ton of carbonation. Very clear. Initially about a quarter of off white head. Lots of lacing bits.

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: I still get 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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy dark orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, caramel, and grassy hop aromas. Taste is much the same with malt and herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but there is a somewhat harsh hop bitterness in the flavor.

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Photo of Daktyls
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a stange-like glass.
Enjoy-by date is 06-16-12. Yikes, picked this up only a few weeks ago, didn't noticed the date in the store.

Anyhow, on to the review:

A: Pours a dark copper-brown color with a one fingered of light tan head that dissipates to a fine lacing around the glass and on top of the beer.

S: Aroma is very muted, there's a slight amount of earthiness, a little nuttiness, but not a whole lot else.

T: There's some flavor! Toasted caramel notes abound with a light hoppiness and some nut- flavors on the finish with some hints of toffee and malt. Not much else that I can pick up on.

M: Light on the tongue with a mild amount of carbonation.

O: Overall, a decent beer, I think the aging of this particular one may not have been a good thing for it, but either way, still worth a try.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased from Berkeley Bowl West in Berkeley, CA.

Pours a really solid, slightly hazed bronze-brown colour, with a fine, if somewhat filmy head of white. The light-coloured head works well off the moderately dark body, highlighting it somewhat. Very little lace, but a solid enough weight to the body. Looks decent.

Nose is, yep, solidly in style: some light Munich malt characters coming through above a solid basis, with a touch of copper or dark herbs lingering over the top creating some structure. There's the hint of some estery by-products as well, with a little bubblegum, vanilla and banana notes. Interesting. And solid.

Taste is similar, although what was only a suggestion of copper on the nose is stronger here on the palate, giving a drying, slightly cloying character. Otherwise, it's still good: there's solid malt, a tingle of roast just on the back of the palate and more lashes of smooth vanilla and banana. Pleasant enough.

Feel is smooth and long, and relatively clear, with some heft to express the flavours.

Pretty decent brew. Stylistically competent, without being overwhelming or virtuosic.

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Photo of Docer
3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

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Photo of diamondc
3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark copper, slight tan colored head, a fingers worth. A few traces of lacing, but nothing special.

S: Vienna malts coming thru strong. Caramel, nutty, honey, toffee.

T: The noble hops really come out on the taste. Zesty, spicy, herbal. The nutty, peanut brittle-like malts balances it out though.

M: Slight metallic aftertaste, little light in the carbonation department, otherwise quaffable.

O: No big flavors, but very enjoyable. Nice price, too. Might pick it up again.

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Photo of Bookseeb
3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance has a dirty brown color supporting thin head and nil lace. Aroma has a clean sense of sweet malt and hop. Taste is grainy having a dark fruit note with the lightly sweet malt fallowed by the noble hops. Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation. Nothing complex, just a good brew that seems to fallow the style fairly well.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
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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Photo of utopiajane
3.66/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured dark amber, copper with a tall head of off white foam that really didn't want to fall. Great retention and lacing like cloud patterns in the glass. Left a layer on top that finally fell off to a thick cap. Clear and bubbles up bombing from the bottom. Nice looking dark beer. Nose is herbal with caramel malt. Grainy with a little spice. Malt is sweet and full and offers a little toast. Taste is biscuit and burnt sugar. Grain and toffee sweetness alongside a sturdy bitter. Roasted malt, toast with an herbal, lingering dry finish. It's sticky, it's not quite chewy. Long on the palate but not only from bitterness. The grain tastes of earth and has it's own perfume. Drinks as clear as it looks and it even tastes dark.

This is a very amenable beer with a forthcoming and friendly malt character together with a stately hop bitter.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of KajII
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
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...

http://www.facebook.com/KAJIIsBeerReviews

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Photo of stevoj
3.69/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

My first altbier, that’s not from Dusseldorf. And you can’t tell, it’s that good. Nice mellow bitterness and roast grain flavor, nut brown color with thin beige head. Aroma is malty, burnt toast. Very tasty.

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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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