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

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Phil's Existential Alt (Brewer's Share)Phil's Existential Alt (Brewer's Share)

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

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

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Reviews: 50 | Ratings: 130
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.

 329 characters

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.

 1,129 characters

Photo of JayQue
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice mild, malty session-type beer. Pours a fairly clear amber color with a good size off white head. Head retention is good. Some marginal lacing.

Good simple malty aroma. Taste is slightly sweet maltiness...maybe some caramel and mild hoppy finish.

Mouthfeel is crisp, refreshing and light.

Overall a very pleasant beer. Good for a session, or a thirst quencher for a warm day.

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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 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 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 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 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 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.

 371 characters

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.

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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 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 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 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.


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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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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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