Phillips Stump Coastal Forest Botanic Ale

Reviewed by on June 10, 2016 in Summer Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Phillips Brewing Company

  • Origin: Victoria, BC, CA

  • Rated On: June 11, 2016

  • Best Before: October 17, 2016

  • ABV: 6.2%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Herbed Beer

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

An awkwardly named product from the outset, this is apparently a brew based on Phillips’ Stump Gin, and all its West Coast-sourced botanicals, I would imagine – it’s also one of this brewery’s current summer seasonal offerings.

This 650ml bottle pours a clear, medium golden yellow colour, with three pudgy fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and fizzy off-white head, which leaves some chunky island mass lace around the glass as it rashly fades away.

It smells of sharply estery pine needles, spruce tips, and other indistinct herbals, gritty and grainy pale malt, muddled dry orange, lemon, and white grapefruit zest, juniper berries, a subtle earthy spiciness, and more floral and grassy green, ah, Imma gonna say hoppiness? The taste is bready and slightly doughy pale malt, verdant forest floor bitters (sprucey, piney, and musty, all), mixed grapefruit, juniper berry, and orange fruity notes, a waning sense of spice that never was, and more leafy, floral, and slightly perfumed hops.  The bubbles are actually pretty tame in their barely functioning frothiness, the body a decent enough middleweight, and more or less smooth, as the complex greenery here is more of the golf course variety, it would seem. It finishes off-dry, the malt still trying to prop up that very testy, and almost overwhelming, er, ‘coastal forest’ character.

Well, I suppose that Phillips really nails it with this rather fragrant craft gin-like experience (sans the alcohol, at any level, really). Lots of big forest flora stuff going on in this offering, combined with a distraction-worthy fruity essence. Yup, a successful adult beverage crossover brew, if I ever saw or tasted one.

Brady White

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