So I've heard all these great things about Southern Tier Brewing Company's beers. Unfortunately, they weren't sold anywhere near my home state of Georgia, at least not until recently. But when word of their arrival reached my ears, I made a bee-line for the local liquor store and snatched up a few six-packs of different Southern Tier brews. Among them: Southern Tier Phin & Matt's Extraordinary Ale.
Phin & Matt's Extraordinary Ale is touted as an American pale ale brewed with American malt and hops. I like that, of course, as I buy American whenever possible. But would the beer be able to live up to the hype? That was the burning question as I transported my precious cargo home. Still, before we find out, let's let Southern Tier talk about their beer a bit, shall we?
When we sat down to collaborate on this beer, we knew we had to create something extraordinary. After sampling a wide array of great beers, we hit upon an idea: use vast amounts of whole hops, the finest malted barley North America has to offer, and crystal filtered artesian water. Thus creating this classic American style pale ale.
Southern Tier Phin & Matt's Extraordinary Ale pours to a bright golden color with a thin and fizzy but stubbornly tenacious head formation and a lightly minty hop nose. This is supposed to be an American style pale ale, which usually means more hops. Think Sierra Nevada Pale Ale if you will. To a degree, Phin & Matt's Extraordinary Ale is somewhat similar, offering up a delicate balance of malt and hops, though not quite as nicely balanced as Sierra Nevada's version.
Underneath, there's a fine layer of caramel from the malt, but it's very subtle. Too subtle, I think, for my taste. The hops quickly become apparent, herbal and flowery in aroma and flavor, and then slightly resiny in the bitter finish. All in all, this is a decent, drinkable American pale ale with a very nice hop character to it. It's hoppd and dry hopped with whole flower Cascades. And at 5.4% alcohol by volume, it's about average in strength, adding to it's drinkability.
But extraordinary? I hardly think so. I think it would benefit from more malt. And at $9.49 a six-pack, it's way overpriced, too.
Sorry, Phin & Matt, but I'd take a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale over your beer any day of the week. And save a few bucks in the process, too.
I'd give this beer three stars for style, but knock off a half star for the price. I was very disappointed, after all.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.