|Highest Rated||Vesterbro Pilsner (85 / 100)
||Average score||57 / 100 (Decent)|
|Lowest Rated||Branik (9 / 100)
60 / 100
330ml squat brown bottle retrieved from the back of my beer cupboard, and probably unconscionably old. Best Before date (it has one!) is actually November 2019, so it's actually not as far out of date as I thought it might be. Anyway, here goes.
Pours with a huge frothy head, after some delicate adjustment, it settles down to a crackly, rolling cap that persists mostly as clumps of sticky lace. Body is light, very pale straw gold and surprisingly hazy. Carbonation looks quite fine given the exuberance of the head. Overall, it looks pretty good, and pretty alive for its age.
Nose is a bit muted, but it's surprisingly clear and crisp even so—there's a greenness to it which gives it the suggestion of hop brightness, even when I must dmit the hops are probably long gone. Under this is a very light, mild grain character, which actually comes across as more in the way of freshness again—again, it's surprisinlgy crisp for its age.
Taste is a bit lighter, and a bit sweeter, which is a shame. It could use more of that crispness here on the palate, where the back is a bit too much like non-alcoholic beer, with a cereal grain flatness. Otherwise, it's fairly clean through the middle, with suggestions of husk and hay.
Feel is light, and fuzzily carbonated. Seems pretty good to me.
Overall, I'd love to try this fresh again, because this is actually remarkably good for something as old as this bottle is. I can imagine it being quite excellent when it's young.
Bottle given to me by Jez for Christmas; shared with Father.
Pours a dirty golden colour; quite hazy for a pils. Head is a little fuzzy, light bubbles left and some whispy cloud on the top. Lacing is decent. Looks alright; yeah rustic and unspoiled.
Smells grainy, with a nice earthy hop bitterness as well. Nice sweetness to it with vanilla and toasty caramel characters, and a nice fruity ester mix of apple and apricot. A little bit dour to be honest; the sweetness could be amped up a bit to balance out the bitter aroma. But decent.
Taste is decent, too. Hints of caramel grain on the front that develops into some pleasant fruity hop esters, giving mostly apple and pear with a slight citric bitterness towards the back. Rest of the palate is grassy, slightly earthy and a little woody at the back. It's pretty decent, with quite a nice clean finish, just a little linger of light astringency that is a bit of a hang but not particularly puckering or drying. Ultimately yeah a slightly unfiltered, somewhat yeasty pils but quite clean.
Bitty, quite a pull on the back. Body is decent for the style but not astounding.
Drinks well; some character not overdone, finishes clean and quite refreshing.
59 / 100
Day 4 of my #fletchmas Advent Calendar. Reviewed blind, as I have with all of these, if that isn't clear from the review.
Pours a pale golden colour, very light haze. Head is white, bubbly but nicely dense, retaining a thick rim of lacing around the edge. Looks like the sort of beer you'd expect to have bead, but there's none in sight. Looks clean; nice.
Smells grainy. A little bit sweet, with puffed rice and a light chemical note. Slightly corny, some pearl barley. Yeah, not loving it. Adjuncty and sweet. Not a lot of grounding.
Tastes better. Not a huge lot better but there's a distinct tang from some hopping that is very welcome at this stage. Front is all that sweet cereal character, with corn and some barley, then a slight swell of citrus and melon fruit that gets nicely tangy towards the finish and then cleans off at the back. Slight earthy bitterness but otherwise fresh on the back. Actually gets better as I keep sipping. It's not groundbreaking but there's a nice hop swell and clean finish which is quite refreshing.
Body is not as light as I expected but not a lot of texture so it's slightly gluggy. I'd actually welcome some more carbonation fizz in this case.
Drinks quite nicely, and I'm surprised. Could definitely use some more late-hopping as it doesn't really have immediate appeal, although it makes up ground quite well. I'm definitely thinking pilsener, probably Australian.
43 / 100
Bottle served to me blind by my Dad.
Pours a very pale gold, clear. Head is white, doesn't stick around and doesn't leave much lacing behind. Looks very pale and pretty lacklustre.
Smells grainy, a little adjuncty so quite sweet with a hint of metallic bitterness at the back. Honey; touch of melon too. Not great, but not offensive.
Taste is quite sweet; big sweet grainy note with honey and oatmeal upfront, develops some grassy bitterness midway that swells to the back. Retains that cloying sweetness towards the back though which gives it all a kind of dour stodginess, which is unfortunate. Not terrible, but clearly flawed and a bit insubstantial.
A bit dry on the body, very thin. Touch of carbonation sizzle.
Yeah, a bit heavy, for the style. Just stodgy and a bit chewy.
330ml brown bottle purchased somewhere in Tasmania by my dad.
Pours a very hazy pale golden colour, with a frothy, fairly fine head of white that cracks into large bubbles and leaves spidery lace. Carbonation is very delicate, and forms in masses of fine bubbling when tilted or swirled. Looks decent, but stylistically, at least, the haze is off.
Nose is not great. There's an immediate soapy skunk character on opening the bottle, but even once this blows off it has a rather grainy cereal note as its main beat. There are some fragrant organic notes that come through, but with the residual skunkiness it has the suggestion of "dumpster in direct sunlight". I'm not a fan.
Taste is pretty similar. The body is very light, which hides nothing, and there are some unpleasant notes that come through as a result. Mid palate has what I assume is the hop character, but which comes through tasting like tea tree oil with a slight acidity to it. On the back, the malt turns grainy, almost giving a faint corn flavour which sticks around as the lone note of the aftertaste, which isn't pleasant.
Feel is empty, but with a slight bite from the ghost of bitterness.
Overall, I don't much like this at all. It has some clearly wrong flavours atop a beer that hasn't got the chops to hide faults. At its best, it's a mediocre, uninspired example of a pilsener. In reality, it's a fair few steps below that.
62 / 100
Bottle from my Beer Crate Advent Calendar for 2016.
Pours a pale orange gold colour, a bit flat with small bubbly head, white. Some traces of lacing when the glass is tilted, but otherwise just a bit flat.
Smells pleasant, light and fruity. Some pilsnery malty notes, little bit husky and a touch of caramel, and just stonefruit mostly. Quite subtle, but pleasant and not overly sweet.
Taste is crisp, grainy upfront with a nice caramel and oatmeal sort of character to get us midway. Hops don't have a lot of complexity to them so they just act as a sort of clipping off of the sweetness that gets a small residual bitterness, somewhat medicinal. Maybe a subtle touch of that stonefruit but otherwise fairly lacklustre in terms of new world pilsner notes. Otherwise pretty good, clean drinkable pils.
Decent mouthfeel; fills the mouth upfront but dries out subtly towards the back.
Yeah I feel it's a well-made pilsner, but they don't do themselves any favours talking up the NZ hops on the bottle, just because the hops are ultimately just functional and they could have far more interesting characters to play with otherwise.
330ml brown bottle purchased as part of The Beer Crate 2016 advent calendar. This was #2.
Pours a very clear, bright golden colour, quite deep yellow, really, with a insubstantial, coarse-bubbled crest of almost-white, that only really forms a mild film once it settles out. Body is reasonably firm, and there's some nice fine carbonation to it. Minimal lacing. Looks okay. No better though.
Nose is earthy, with a faint carbonic twang to it. There's some grainy malt notes, like you'd find in a bière de garde, coupled with an earthy fragrance like a poor saison. Hop character is somewhat limited, and what's there is not oil-focused, rather giving leafy, weedy notes. It's not bad, all up, but it's not stellar either.
Taste is actually pretty good. There's a nice cleanness to the palate, a stone path lain down by the grainy malt, with just enough hop bite to create balance, and the sensation of crispness. The feel through the middle is quite slick, and it could have felt heavy without that kick. On the back, it's very clean, with both the malt and hops drying up enough so as to not overstay their welcome.
In the end, this is pretty good, but it took a little time to see it. In the end, it's a pretty crisp, drinkable brew, with nice balance and an easy quaffable nature. Suits today's 36º weather.
49 / 100
Tried on tap at GABS 2016.
Pours a champagne colour, really very cloudy for the style. Opaque, even. Cream-coloured head. Not a bad colour, or appearance generally.
Smells grainy, slightly herbal. Chestnut notes to the malt as well as some pearl barley. Touch of citrus. Refreshing and pleasant.
Taste is yeasty. Cereal grain upfront, notes of puffed rice but gets very cloying and bread yeasty early on, and it's quite unpleasant. Definitely needs more cleansing on the back as it's stodgy and gluey rather than just being bland which could otherwise be the greatest criticism leveled at the style.
Thin body, touch of carbonation. Not bad.
Yeah, that yeasty character just lingers far too long and is quite distasteful. Otherwise not a terrible drop but it just needs something to clean up the finish.
They call this a 'part Czech pilsner and part smoked beer'. So I've gone with Czech pilsner as I always prefer more defined styles. Tried on tap at GABS 2016 in Melbourne.
Pours a red colour, clear body with pale beige head, decent retention. Bit clear maybe, but looks alright.
Smells tragic. Some insipid fruit notes, of apple and pear which are pure fermentation by-products, and a big diacetyl note. Yeasty, cloying. Unpleasant.
Taste is similar; big sweetness upfront with caramel toffee, then develops some resinous notes towards the mid-palate with some phenolic bitterness and then a big and overly long yeasty finish. Not much smoke at all but hints of fresh cut wood through the mid-palate. Sweet overall, and unpleasant again.
Texture is alright, has a decent body and a touch of carbonation that cuts through the sweetness better than the finish does.
Meh. Not smoked enough, but also just not an interesting pilsner as a starting point.
58 / 100
(Note I can't really change Red Island to be Quiet Deeds, even though they have since fully embraced 'Quiet Deeds' as the name of their brewing co now). This beer tried on tap at GABS 2016 in Melbourne.
Pours a very clear gold colour, looks a bit champagney. LArge bubbles to the head, retains alright. Looks pretty good.
Smells malty, yeasty. Some cereal grain with a tinge of chestnut to it. Maybe some subtle cleansing note that isn't otherwise detectable, as it just smells grainy, but not bad.
Taste is also grainy. Big puffed rice cereal note (without tasting overly adjuncty), develops a slight rye character midway, but then finishes quite bland with a big dry yeast note and a touch of cardboard towards the back. Probably noble hopped but could use a bit more gravity to the hopping at the back as it falls into either sweet or bland territory throughout.
Texture, though, is really good, and the quality of the grains in the mash are far more pronounced here than they are on the palate. Smooth, with a tickle of carbonation, just feels like a pils should. If anything it's a little too thick, but I don't mind.
Actually comes together fairly well as a whole. But it's a little bland, and will definitely get lost at GABS among all the flavour bombs.
38 / 100
330ml brown bottle purchased from Dan Murphy's in Alexandria.
Pours a fairly solid gold colour, very slightly hazed, making it seem darker than it is. Head is frothy at the start, but settles out to islands of white foam. Lacing forms in clumps. Carbonation is fine and languid. Looks decent.
Nose is disappointingly dull. There's a crisp pilsner grain note to it, that gives it hints of breakfast cereal, but also a rubbery or metallic twinge around the edges, that smells sharp and slightly like chlorine. But mostly, it's muted. I'm quite unimpressed.
Flavour is similar. It's actually reasonably crisp and dry, but it's also formless, and with very little interest. More of those slightly metallic notes around the edge make it seem rather coarse, slightly offputting. So even when it's bland it's also a little offensive.
Feel is pretty light and crisp. I can't fault it there.
Overall though, this takes a very bland beer and does just enough things wrong that it doesn't even succeed at being bland and chuggable. A well-made pils is a thing of beauty, and apart from the bare outline structure, this doesn't come close to matching what it should be.
330ml brown bottle purchased from Leura Cellars.
Pours a very deep orange hue, certainly very dark for something claiming to be a pilsener. Head is a pleasant vapid froth of off-white, that leaves some fairly persistent and intricate markings of lace. Plenty of weight to the body, which is again a little surprising, but it does mean that the carbonation bubbles froth anarchically and languidly when the beer is tilted. Looks good, if off-style.
Nose is quite pleasant. Nice sharp hops come through well, with a type of grassy greenness at its core. There's an encapsulating malt character that provides some weight and basis to the beer, but doesn't really affect the flavour too much, which is nice. All up, it's fairly solid.
Taste is similar. Clean and bright hop characters first and foremost, with a slight dusty quality to the flavour. Some malt does come through around the mid-palate, which has a nice biscuity flavour to it. Finish is a little thick for a pilsener, but taken on its own terms, it's pretty decent.
Feel is fairly clean, but with a weighty quality more from the flavours rather than the gravity.
Overall, it's a pretty tasty package. It's certainly pretty solid stuff all up, with a good balance and a pleasant collection of characters. It's probably doing itself a disservice by calling itself a pilsner: as some sort of unspecified lager, it's just fine.
82 / 100
330ml brown bottle purchased from Leura Cellars. Freshness date on the top says 08/01/16. I'm sincerely doubtful it would last that long, but the fact that the date is so far in the future gives me confident it's quite fresh right now.
Pours a deepish golden colour, quite clear, with a big, frothy, eggy head that stays persistent and rocky throughout. Lacing is intricate and excellent. Light body. The colour is a little darker than I'd expect, but otherwise it looks excellent.
Nose has very crisp green hop characters, vegetative and sharp. I get some kiwifruit, a little grassiness, tending towards something a little metallic or even skunky, which aromatically can genuinely be a pleasant character in a pils. Very clean otherwise, bright and very pleasant.
Taste is great. Clean entry, with a sharp hop character that stays bright through the front and middle of the palate. Just a hint of nuttiness towards the back, which is pleasant, if unnecessary—with the bitterness on the back it lends a slight tobacco note to the palate. Feel is beautifully crisp and clean, with a sharpness to the carbonation that helps accentuate the refreshing quality of the beer.
Overall, this is a genuinely cracking pilsner. Hops are front-and-centre, but used absolutely in the way they should in a pilsner—this is neither a dull pale lager, nor is it a beer that could easily be confused for a hoppy pale ale. It's all crisp and bright, clean and refreshing—phenomenally drinkable.
75 / 100
Tried on tap at GABS in Melbourne.
Pours a peachy golden colour with some mid-level hazing to it. Body is fairly solid. Head is fairly light and fine, bright white in colour, and only leaves slight patches of lace. Still looks reasonably good overall.
Nose is spicy and bright, clean but pithy. Pleasant sweet-sharp characters of marmalade mingle with a dusky dust and dirt aroma and some resiny wood. Nice.
Light, slightly astringent entry on the palate leads to more pithiness through the centre. Body is very clean and bright, allowing the hops to come through as slightly resiny and woody towards the back. Aftertaste has a long lingering bitterness. Feel is very light, but it's suitable for the style.
Overall, this is pretty nice stuff. Drinkable and light, but with stacks of flavour. I enjoyed it a lot.
77 / 100
Tried on-tap at GABS in Melbourne. If there's ever justification for the category New Zealand Pilsener, this beer is it.
Pours an extremely pale straw colour with some hazing to it. Body is quite light, but holds a little coarse carbonation. Head is white, forming a very solid and frothy shape that leaves equally frothy lacing. Looks good.
Nose is fruity but dusty. It's probably the kiwifruit, but I get more peach characters coming off it early. Some greenery comes through as well, giving a slightly grassy kiwi hops character. It's very clean and very pleasant overall.
Light entry to the palate with a little tangy fruit developing into more distinct fragrant hops. Very bright throughout with a clean bitterness towards the back underlined by a very light, lagery finish. Long dry linger on the back with a little tickle of that bitterness continuing into the aftertaste. Feel is very light, perfectly suitable for the style.
It's a nice beer all up, and extremely drinkable. The fragrance from the kiwifruit is a nice addition, even if, in reality, you can't much improve on Croucher's original New Zealand pilsener.
56 / 100
Tried in a taster straight from the tank at the brewery in Bermondsey while doing the beer mile.
Pours a very clear golden colour, light in weight, with a white head that forms a filmy but solid crest that settles out pretty quickly. No perceptible lacing. Coarse-bubbled carbonation. Looks decent enough.
Nose is grainy with a little honey sweetness coming through. Husky for the most part, but with a dose of Saaz to perk it up a little. This is disappointingly not the main event, though.
Taste is also light. Slight grainy entry on the palate leading to more malt and honey notes on the mid palate—although it still stays really quite light. Back has a herbal tone, finally bringing some hops into the equation. Fresh and pleasant with a singing aftertaste. It's almost a little bit too late though. Feel is quite light, but with a little cling to it.
Overall, it's not bad. Crisper and lighter characters would be better for the style I feel: it hangs a little bit too much on that honeyed sweetness.
41 / 100
Tried on-tap at BrewDog Camden in Camden Town, London. This beer started out as an April Fool's joke, but was brewed as a way to "reclaim" the wonderful European lagers that have been filtered beyond recognition.
Pours a very clear golden colour, very light in the body with coarse-bubbled, riddling carbonation. Head is a foamy white that collapses and settles out to very little. Lace forms in bits and pieces. Looks okay.
Clean characters to the aroma. Grainy with Saaz coming through giving grassy green notes. It doesn't have a great deal of complexity though, and it certainly has very little oomph behind it.
Clean entry on the front-palate, but from there it's downhill. Grainy, weak sweetness gives off honey characters without much balance. Slight crispness on the back tries to provoke some balance, but there's nothing doing. Weird coffee bitterness wraps it up. Feel is extremely light and crisp, but it doesn't have much to work with.
I started out feeling as though BrewDog has pranked themselves: they set out to prove what a good euro-lager could be, and ended up just proving how generic a beer they could brew. But in actual fact I fear they've just ended up pranking me—I paid BrewDog prices for something not significantly better than Carlsberg. Well played.
Pours an amber colour with light pink tinge. Clear, with white foamy head. Nice retention. Looks intriguing.
Smells sweet, and odd. Milky white chocolate mixes with sweet raspberry compote and a slight touch of coconut. Delivers what it promises I guess, but this smell in beer confuses me more than anything.
Taste is also milky, with caramelised peanut notes upfront, then all creamy white chocolate notes. Some raspberry provides a whisper of tartness on the back. But yeah, that's it. Again, congrats on creating something odd, Bacchus, but I can't say I really love it.
Quite flat for a pils, could use a little more carbonation, particularly given the sweetness of the palate.
Could have toned down the white chocolate and let the raspberry through a bit more. The sweetness is not really my thing, and the tart notes that are there are sort of a comedown after the sugary front.
Pours a pale gold colour, with a trickle of bead. Head is white, pretty nice with decent lacing left behind. Looks alright.
Smells citric, somewhat metallic. Some nice caramel malt on the back and a touch of paint. Mostly refreshing and pleasant.
Drinks more metallic. Quite a resinous and spicy hop pervades most of it, with lemon pith, rocket and lemongrass notes. A little bit sharp, like the malt takes too much of a back seat in the middle. Refreshing enough, and pleasant enough for the most part though.
Swills around OK, bit of hop pull on the back. Not bad.
Decent enough beer, but not perfect. Could use a bit more balance.
22oz bomber purchased from K&L Wine Merchants in Redwood City, CA.
Pours a pleasant golden colour, mostly clear but with a hint of hazing to it. Head forms a bubbly white froth to begin with and settles down to a lagery film that still leaves decent lace. Overall, it looks okay without being particularly exciting.
Nose is very pleasant, but a little strange, with citric hops coming forward making it smell almost indistinguishable from an APA or IPA. No, not quite: there's a greenness to it, and a sharper vector to the hop character which turns it slightly herbal and with a little hint of coconut. Grain is almost unnoticeable, which is fine. As it warms, I get that coconut character more strongly. It's quite nice.
Taste is clean, but lacking a bit of bitterness and lacking crispness towards the back. Clean, light, slightly fruity entry gives way to a slightly sweet emptiness towards the back. This is punctuated with a little carbonation, but that coconut character comes back in the finish, making it seem sweeter and less crisp than it wants to be. Not bad, though, and I do like the flavours in the hops.
I think the feel could use a little more carbonation: it would help with the crispness and help accentuate the hops a little more.
This isn't bad stuff: it's certainly a flavoursome, refreshing and very drinkable brew. I'm perhaps looking a little bit too pedagogically for certain "pilsner" elements that this falls down a little on, but really, it's a very decent brew.
77 / 100
330ml brown bottle purchased from Leura Cellars. Bottle conditioned. I left a good inch and a half at the bottom to avoid pouring the sediment.
Pours a deep golden colour, with good clarity. Head is fluffy and persistent, forming a very decent crest of yellowed-white atop the beer. Lacing is streaking and solid. It's a great looking beer.
Nose is a pleasantly quaint mingling of mild beech smoke and green-bottle euro skunk. Once it's swirled a bit the skunk disappears, leaving a deeper, grainier note and a darker smoke character that starts to get a little earthy, with truffle and mushroom coming through. Hops are quite muted, although that pleasant green generic European aroma does waft around in the background for a while. It's very pleasant.
Taste is also very good indeed. For the most part, it's a very well-made pilsner, crisp and clean, with a direct vector of hops through the centre. Later there's a slightly more pronounced bitterness, which blossoms into a strange, smoky back palate bringing a slight cured meat sweetness to the mix as well. Finish is very crisp with a punctuation point of hops making a clean break from the smokiness. The result is the aftertaste is extremely bright and light, without any lingering effects.
Feel just what you want: clean and crisp and light. Perfectly suitable.
Overall, this is an exceptionally drinkable beer with twists to give it interest. While it uses the smoke to interesting effect, at heart it's just a damn good pils, and it manages to stay that way despite the strange places the smoke takes it.
71 / 100
The name says it all except for omitting the "WTF?". This is a tweaked version of their "standard" (and I use the word loosely) white chocolate pilsener, with the addition of raspberries. Tried this beer on-tap at the 2013 GABS festival in Melbourne, where this beer took out the People's Choice award of the 89 beers available during the weekend.
Pours a pinkish rose colour, relatively clear, and light in the body. Head is a foamy ring of very faint pink-white. Lace forms in solid streaks as the beer goes down. Looks pretty good.
Rosewater characters are noticeable immediately on the nose, with white chocolate creaminess, some musk and a character like sweet baking. Strawberry candy comes through as well. It's all a bunch of wackiness. It's insane.
Fruit on the front palate, closer to cherry than raspberry although it's sweeter with a touch of bite from (probably more than anything) the carbonation. The white chocolate dominates the mid-palate, before the back falls into a slight trap of acidity. Most likely this is noticeable just because the rest of the beer is so sweet and creamy. There's also a touch of bitterness, perhaps a plaintive reminder that this is really meant to be a pils. Together the sweetness and the acidity forms an aftertaste of sour chocolate. It's, um, strange to say the least, and utterly unique.
Feel is very light.
Overall, it's weird, and oddly successful. In some ways I was surprised by this beer, despite the fact it almost exactly does what it says it's going to do. I guess I just never expected it to do that so well.
44 / 100
Tried at Kumo Izakaya in Melbourne during Good Beer Week, at the Herkimer / Kumo Beer and Sake dinner. This (rather surprisingly) was the final beer they served, after some much bigger, darker and more interesting brews. I guess it was a cleanser, but it was pretty well railroaded by the beers we had before it.
Pours a deep golden colour. Perhaps a little dark, but otherwise it looks great. Head is a gorgeous mess of big frothy white that manages to stay fine and intricate at the same time. The lacing is superb. Carbonation is remarkably low, but apart from that it looks fantastic.
It's all a little downhill from here, unfortunately. Some honey characters on the nose accentuate the malt a little too much and give much too much sweetness. There's a clear grainy character trying to pull it back, but very little influence from the hops. Overall, it ends up being pretty flat and a little bland.
Taste is clean and dry, pleasant enough until the honey character comes back: it just doesn't work in this beer. Light, muted crispness towards the back, with some flavour-stops along the way: grain bag, cut grass some flour. But these are side-notes, and quite faint compared to the overwhelming banality.
Feel is light and pleasant. It would do well in a beer with more flavour.
Overall, this is at best a generic pils, and probably worse than that. I love a nice crisp pils, and while this has potential, there are things that just put me off about this one. I bet it's better right next to where it's brewed.
Pours a gold-amber colour, clear with sparse white head that doesn't stick around. Not really red, and also just looks a bit thin and bland.
Big diacetyl character on the nose. Malty-sweet and buttery and really nothing else to recommend it. Maybe a touch of honey, but yeah, very disappointing.
More sweetness on the palate, more diacetyl. Thin and sweet and overall just bland. Maybe a touch of proper grain upfront, but overall it just tastes like watered-down syrup.
Watery, flat mouthfeel. Meh.
Yeah, actually pretty unpleasant drop. More by-products than pure flavour characteristics coming through, and nothing to balance against that or hold my interest.
39 / 100
Had on-tap at Cairns Airport recently, along with three of their other bland lagers.
And again, sigh, this pours a pale golden colour, this time with a very slight haze to it. Why? If anything I want my pilsner crystal clear (kellerbiers notwithstanding), and this has more haze than their other range. Head is a very fine white colour, forming as a solid ring. Carbonation is fine, but speeds through the very light body. Again, I'm unimpressed, but it has some nice things about it.
Nose is slightly grainy, with a mild herbal edge to it. Otherwise, quite empty: it has a cleanness but an overarching blandness.
Taste is similar, and closer to style, perhaps... if I squint. Light German-style pils grain characters, maybe a touch of sharper hops and a hint of carbonic acidy to it. There's a slight yeasty aftertaste as well, which is unpleasant. It had some good signs, but just veered unsteadily off course.
Overall, this was the best of the lot, and by a decent margin. But this just goes to show what a woeful showing Blue Sky has.
10 / 100
(Bottom of the Barrel)
Had on-tap at the GABS festival in Melbourne. I've chosen to classify it as a Czech Pils rather than an American Red Lager, due to the Zatec Red hops and Czech used in its brewing. Unfortunately, this ended up being one of my least favourite beers at the festival, despite my general appreciation for Czech lagers.
Pours a dark golden colour. Yes, that's right, a dark golden colour. Not by any stretch of the imagination is this red. Haze is mild, but haze at all in a pils is probably unwelcome. Head is a bubbly, inconsistent white leaving no lace. Not much visible carbonation, making it look flat and insipid. Unimpressed. Deeply unimpressed.
Nose is strongly flavoured with honey, giving a rank syrupy character like turgid blossoms. No greenness from the hops, not crispness: in short everything a pilsner should be it is lacking. Quite appalling really.
Front palate has more of that cloying blossom character, entrenched sweetness, moving towards a grainy nothingness mid-palate. Here we do get a little hops, but it feels like dusty old improperly stored hops: their dullness and tiredness is rife. On the back we get an unholy melange of honey along with a fouling yeast character that cloys onto the finish. Urgh...
Feel? It's... smooth, I guess? But that may just mean flat.
Overall: DO NOT WANT. I just hope the batch at GABS was off, improperly transported or intentionally tainted. No beer described this way should taste like this.
57 / 100
Had on-tap at the brewery in Healdsburg.
Pours a clear golden colour, with a very light body. Head is a fluffy, but loose-bubbled white. Patchy, bubbly lace and streaming carbonation rounds out the picture. Not bad.
Aroma is grainy and pleasantly crisp. Some German noble hop characters come through and a light touch of honey. Again, it's not bad. Not exciting, mind, but not bad.
Taste progresses in a similar vein. Mild grain characters, moderate sweetness on the front, with a bready mid-palate that retains its sweetness and omits any fragrance or hop characters. Finish is empty, and crying out for some crispness or true hop bitterness. Pretty average stuff.
Feel is light, which is suitable enough, but it doesn't have much to work with here.
It's not bad. It's drinkable, it's light, but it should be better. This is like Bear Republic saying "Oh, a pils? Yeah, that's that really dull style of beer: we can do that with our eyes closed." But pilseners are a much better style than this very ordinary example would have you believe.
69 / 100
On-tap at the Rogue Brewery in Newport, OR.
Pours a pale yellow colour, remarkably clear, with a light body and a fine, full head of white. Lacing leaves patterned rings down the glass. Looks good.
Aroma is bitey and sharp, with zesty lemon providing the bulk of the flavour. There's some pleasant pils grain undertones to it as well, and a hint of wet grass. Solid aroma overall: the characters are quite robust, more so than usual for beer that's not hop-dominant.
Palate is quite light, but there's flavours and complexities there when you look for them. Light organic matter on the front melds from grainy to peppery mid-palate. Some sharper material on the finish, with some slight phenol action giving up some anise and a lingering medicine character. Feel is very light, but surprisingly, not all that crisp.
Overall, it's very drinkable and enjoyable, and what's more it has a lot more interest than your average pils. Not bad, overall.
Pours a very clear light yellow colour, with ridiculous and boisterous streams of carbonation wildly dancing through the glass. Head is full and frothy, and pure white. Body is very light, head is persistent, but not sticky. All up, it's a great looking Czech pils.
Nose is slightly sweaty and grainy, with a twang of metallic hops making an appearance around the edges. Slightly dusty and dry. Clean, but very light.
Taste is similar. It has a crisp grain character through the front, and a metallic, slightly rusty flavour on the back, which gives it a almost a sense of tartness or aspirin astringency on the finish. Light bodied and clean. The feel is fluid and soft, and the exuberant carbonation is surprisingly not harsh.
Overall, this is a very good approximation of a true Czech pils. That is to say, the sort of Czech pils you pick up for 50c in a corner store in Prague. There are better ones out there.
Bottle purchased from Plonk in Canberra on a recent trip.
Pours a very hazy, and surprisingly dark golden-amber hue, with a frothy, large-bubbled head of off-white. Lots of streaming carbonation, which accounts for the head, although the head has crackled down to nothing soon after the pour. I think the beer is too dark, but otherwise fine. I don't mind the haze given it's bottle conditioned.
Nose is slightly metallic, and a little fruity or floral, giving a touch of crushed petals or rosewater. There's a slight estery character as well, giving a faint banana hint. Overall, it's not unpleasant, but again it's off-kilter for the style.
Taste is clean and crisp, with a slight metallic bitterness on the finish that just stings it enough to keep the palate lively. There are more of those residual floral aromas, that giving a lilting suggestion of sweetness; it's quite unusual and not all that pleasant, to be honest. Feel is light and crisp; suitable, and easily the most stylistically correct attribute.
Overall, it's drinkable enough, and not unpleasantâI also enjoy seeing a lager of any description in a brewery's lineup. But this is off-style in really weird ways. I don't believe it's meant to be experimental, but experimental is how it comes across.
Pours a very deep golden colour, exceptionally clear with a frothy but slightly insubstantial head of white. Minimal lace. Very light body and large-bubbled carbonation. It doesn't fill me with confidence.
Nose is clean enough, with a crisp bright Euro lager-style hoppiness and a touch of grassy Saaz like a proper Czech pils. Some honeyed malt characters come through to balance. It's all pretty mild, but what's there is pleasant enough, in a generic way.
Taste is clean and slightly metallic, with a true Czech-style bitterness on the back palate. Slight astringency comes through, giving a bitter lemon zing. Slight bready yeasty characters come through on the finish. Feel is finely carbonated, but overly so, leaving a very intense effervescence.
Overall, it's actually not a bad example of a very generic Czech pilsener. Unfortunately, it's like a Czech pils that has had a less than optimal journey to Australia, whereas the examples close to the source are wonderful when fresh.
I feel like this should be fresher too.
59 / 100
Pours a clear, metallic gold colour with snowy head, visible bubbles and pretty beautiful lace. Good pils look.
Smell is mildly grainy but well balanced with hops, slightly herbal and also metallic. Largely cereal grain sweetness; puffed rice and oats. Not bad, am willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.
Taste is very grainy and sweet. Lots of puffed rice upfront giving way to barley mash flavour that almost makes it taste a bit underattenuated, and a hint of honey. Very mild bitterness is more an after-thought, the hops have very little presence on the main palate. Slightly phenolic, it emerges after the back-palate and does sort of vanquish any residual sweetness, but it could have been used early and with more complexity to it.
Bit of tingle but decent body. Good pils texture, not too light and slightly fizzy.
Drinkable enough but there's quite a few shortcomings. None of them are egregious though. At times it strikes me more as a German pils than a Czech one.
I love a good New Zealand pilsener. Unfortunately, this is not a good New Zealand pilsener. Let's press on anyway...
Looks pretty wonderful, truth be told. Classic pale but brilliantly clear yellow body, with a frothy and persistent head of pure white. Lacing is patchy and sticky, and there's fine carbonation right through the body. Gorgeous.
From here on, it's downhill. Nose is depressingly sweet with overt bready yeast characters, and a sickly grain character that almost suggests artificially sweetened cereal. Minimal hop character, and too much depth and length. It should be crisp and light, and the additional sweetness just makes me cringe.
Taste is similar. Oatmeal biscuit sweetness on the front, with a sweet, slightly darker midpalate, that gives more husky grains and minimal malt, before just a hint of bitterness on the back. Finish is long and sticky with more yeast and grainy cookie characters. Feel is light enough, but feels heavy from the sweetness.
Too heavy, too sweet, and with only a nod to the fragrant hops that make the style so great. Way off balance, as far as I'm concerned.
77 / 100
Pours a pale gold colour, mild haze with small ring of bubbles marking where the head may once have been. Lace is OK. Looks alright I guess. The hall was nice and clean.
Smell is lovely and fruity. Plenty of passionfruit, fresh and seedy. Tangy with slight rosewater note, green peppercorn and lemon. Fresh, clean, excellent.
Taste is light and fruity. Quite sweet upfront with hints of peach and passion. Gets more floral midway with a nectar note, orange peel and a hint of sherbet. Really quite fruity - pips 'n' all - with a lovely profile, just clean with a sweep-under of hop bitterness at the back.
Decent body, with a bit of a pull but mostly clean.
Great pils - hoppy bitterness but clean and fresh. I could drink this all day.
71 / 100
Pours a pale golden colour with white bubbles for head. Not much lace. Looks a pretty standard lager.
Smells grainy upfront, organise with barley and grass clippings followed by big citric hops; lemon and grapefruit with tangerine edge and some lavender. Really pleasant.
Taste is similar; fairly subdued with grain giving caramelised barley and chia. Midway is where the hops get going, citric with hints of sultana and some sweet brown sugar late. Not bad at all; tangy and bitter on the back and fairly light.
Fairly thin, bit of a textured pull. Pretty bland, could have used more body.
Yeah, a light, drinkable brew. Nice flavours but clean and crisp.
73 / 100
Pours a pale gold colour, fairly still with slow trail of bead. Head is snowy in colour and dense with small clingy lacing bubbles. OK.
Smell is fresh and hoppy, with plenty of grass, hay and a nice belt of cinnamon and vanilla from the malt. Creamy underbelly with nice fresh hops for a good pilsy character. Bohemia would be proud.
Taste is a crisp pilsnery palate. Decent but subtle grain as a base that develops early hops with grass, some phenols and a drying yeast note on the back with a touch of lemongrass. Pleasant, refreshing beer.
Bit too much tingle throughout but smooth underlying base. Quite good.
Can see why this won at the AIBAs; not only is it pleasant but in honesty it's a safe, quite populist beer as well. Not to denigrate it though, because it's a well made example, and I'm in that population who would like it.
47 / 100
From Trieste. How interesting, it's the only city in Italy I've set foot in. Let's see what their pilsener is like.
Pours a very clear bright yellow gold. Quite pale, with a fine mottled top of white foam. Minimal lacing and body, although the carbonation is pleasantly fine. Yeah, not bad. retention and body are slightly lacking, but otherwise it's pretty good, stylistically.
Nose is grainy, with some hints of sweet adjuncts and only a breeze of grassy, haylike hops. Notes of honey and something sweetly floral, but the sweet characters really don't work for me.
Taste is a little better, with a clean, if somewhat empty palate, with touches of pilsner grain and a hint of metallic bite on the back. Clean and drinkable enough, and with much more character than the generic Euro Pale, if still lacking.
Pretty easy to drink. Pretty forgettable, though, as well.
85 / 100
On-tap at the Local Taphouse during their Mikkeller Tap Takeover. #6 of 20.
Pours a hazed but very bright golden colour, with a ring of filmy white. Light body, crisp carbonation. Looks pretty great, and perfectly in style.
Nose is gorgeous: crisp, clean, green hops, with a touch of earthy grain to give a slight organic twinge to everything. Crisp, fruity peach, melon and bright citrus characters come through beautifully. It's fresh, bright and lovely. Reminds me of the awesome pilseners coming out of New Zealand.
Taste is similar. Bright, fresh and clear, with a pleasant biting citrus finish and loads of cleansing bitterness. Body is very light, and very suitable for the style, although they could almost get away with a little more.
Exceptionally drinkable. This is a lovely pilsener, and one I would be happy drinking very, very often. I wish this was my local beer.
40 / 100
Pours a golden amber, pretty pale and metallic. Head is off-white, retains a thin film with nice cradle of dense lace. Steady bead; looks like a decent pils.
Smell is malty more than anything. Lots of custardy caramel malt with brown sugar and that dour, cardboardy character behind the sweetness. Slight citric hop, but not enough. Pretty blah.
Taste starts fairly blandly, with gentle caramel malt and slight nutty edge for the most part of the front palate. Develops buttery sweet notes midway, not really pleasant, with a saccharine edge to it. Just fades out on the palate with not a lot of bitterness to cleanse it. A bit cloying on the yeast there, and is really wanting on the pilsnery hops.
Decently full, but to the point of maybe being too full; even sticky. With the lack of hop bitterness, some more fizz would go a long way to cutting through the malt.
Not a great pilsener; lacking in key areas and just too sweet.
62 / 100
Pours a bright, campagne-like golden colour, with a large-bubbled head that takes some pretty serious inducing to form. Sits flaky and large-bubbled on the top of the body like it doesn't really want to exist. Body is light, carbonation is persistent and fine. Looks decent, but a little lacklustre.
Nose also continues the illusion of champagne, with a crisp acidity measured with a yeasty undertone. Slight citric hop characters with a touch of bready grain, sweetened with some floral honey notes. Rather pleasant and sharp, if a little off from the best pils examples.
Taste is thin, but relatively dry and crisp throughout. Light acidity mid palate, before skewing towards some wet muddled grain notes further back. Finish just has a touch of bitternessâenough to clear out the palate a little, but not enough to give a joyous finale to the wondrous pilsener style. Feel is crisp, but awkwardly empty by the finish.
A pretty middle-of-the-road pilsener that delivers a relatively uncomplicated package without doing anything interesting. Probably on par with the generic Czech examples, but not doing much more than that.
Had on-tap at Toronado in San Francisco. A good pilsener is one of me favourite styles of beer, so I was very excited to try the top-rated example here on BA.
Pours a bright and slightly hazed straw yellow colour. Head is fine, leaving excellent white and intricate lace, that starts as sheets down the glass. Light body with some fine carbonation. Looks very good, and very stylistically true.
Nose is disappointingly bland. Grainy for the most part, giving a pilsner grain backbone to which nothing else connects. A little vegetative bit, but minimal depth of character.
Taste is grainy, againâthe pilsener grain character is pronounced, but it feels like it's all it has going for it. Otherwise, a slight funk of frozen peas, minimal bitterness and no fragrant hoppiness. It's crisp and drinkable, but still rather bland.
Light and drinkable, but also very standard, and rather uninspiring. It's fair to say I was deeply disappointed with this beer, being nothing more than a middle-of-the-road pils. As far as I'm concerned, New Zealand has the jump on this style nowadaysâCroucher and Emersons far outstrip this one.
49 / 100
Purchased from Beer Cartel in Artarmon, one of the interesting craft breweries they have that I've not seen elsewhere in Sydney.
Pours a very clear golden colour with haphazard, but persistent carbonation. Head is filmy, and doesn't form any larger than that. Some sudsy lacing, but again, it's a bit erratic. Not the best looking pilsener I've ever seen, but it fits in the genre well enough.
Minimal characters on the nose, giving a faint carbonic acidity. Some greenness and a hint of pilsner grain, but it's all incredibly subtle; so much so that it may be psychosomatic. Not great.
Taste is similar, very light, with a faint honeyed grain character and a hint of metallic bite on the back, which probably owes as much to the carbonation as to any hop presence. Slight yeastiness as well, which makes it veer unpleasantly towards Aussie macro lager territory. Feel is light, but suitable for the style with its prickly carbonation.
Not a bad brew, just a pretty bland and average one. I'm sorry I compared it to macro slush, because it's not actively offensive. It just doesn't do a whole heap to excite me.
Very pleased to see dgilks classified this as a lager, not an ale. Despite what it says on the label (Pale Ale), surely fermenting it with a lager yeast makes it a lager (QED)?
Whatever it is, it pours a slightly hazed burnished bronzey orange colour, with a frothy and voluminously gushing head of off-white. Minimal lacing, and little body, which probably explains it. Lots of carbonation.
Nose is mildly fruity, with some sulphurous overtones and a husky grain note. What fruit is there is quite crisp and sharp, almost tending to an underripe or vegetative character. Certainly more of a nose I expect on a pils than on a pale ale.
Taste is crisp and clean, with minimal body, and not a huge deal of flavour either. What remains is a slight pilsenery grain note with a slight touch of crisp bitterness on the back that almost grates into the territory of solvent. It's crisp though, and pleasant enough, without having a huge amount of interest.
It's not a bad brew all up. It's drinkable enough, but the thinness on the palate and the crisp grain and residual bitterness in the flavour really belies the ruse that this is a pale ale.
83 / 100
Croucher rebranded their Czech Pils as their "New Zealand Pilsner", brewed with Motueka and Riwaka hops to showcase what a unique character the new New Zealand varieties can give to beer.
Pours a clear and bright golden colour, with very refined streams of tiny bubbles. Love the clarity in the body--it's a classic attribute for a pilsener. Head is crackling and full at first, leaving an airy mess of huge bubbling in the top of the glass. As the beer settles it forms a centimetre or so of frothy egg-shell white. Looks great for the style.
Nose is just gorgeous: a full bouquet of New Zealand hops that's like being smacked in the face by a demolition ball made of pot-pourri. Crisp and sharp herbal characters, plenty of citrus and bite and pungent, sharp characters of ozone and chlorine. Phew. What a nose.
Taste is also very good, and drags it nicely back into the crisp drinkable territory of good pilseners. Sharp hop oil on the front delicately balances with mild light grain characters that give a husky but subtle finish. Feel is crisp throughout, and though there's some lingering bitterness on the back, it complements the feel.
Very drinkable, and extremely light-bodied--again hallmarks of the style--this beer showcases New Zealand beautifully; not just their unique hop varieties, but the truly masterful brewing skills their industry possesses. Great work.
72 / 100
Pours a shiny pale amber colour, clear body, flat without much carbonation. Head is white, interesting with big bubbles on the top, and retaining a decent but modest crown. Some pleasant lacing left behind. Good-looking pilsener.
Oh, beautiful NZ hop character on the nose, but classic pilsener character as well. Grassy aroma is predominant but it's an underlying character, with a citrus and passionfruit tang layered over the top. Slight grain notes underneath, unusually detectable. But yeah, that's a beautiful nose.
Taste unfortunately doesn't quite have the nice tangy hop character. Citrus and passionfruit on the assault fade away for the mid-palate which is grainy, with barley and a touch of wheat. Hops return for the finish with a fresh cut grass flavour, balanced with fruity notes of passionfruit and lemon. They fase away nicely and slowly and the final notes are crisply bitter, but there's this grainy, almost bready residual left behind. Still, it's the unfortunate side to an otherwise very nicely-hopped crisp pils.
A bit of carbonation sizzle on there, but not overly done; just detectable without being harsh and it goes well with the flavour.
Overall I'd say this is even more flavoursome than a pilsener really needs to be. But I'm not complaining, it's a tasty brew.
59 / 100
Pours a clear and bright yellow colour, with a fine, but slightly filmy head of pure white. Carbonation is muted, but reasonably persistent. Lacing is slippy but sudsy. Body looks surprisingly heavy for a pils. Not bad.
Nose is sharp with eucalyptus when cold. As it warms, a little more dusty grain comes through. A slightly peppery note comes through as well. All in all, the sharpness is pretty good for the style. It's not as good as some, but it's not bad either.
Taste is a little disappointing, with a very light palate that really doesn't lend itself to anything. A light metallic uplift on the back gives a hint of crispness, but otherwise, it's rather thin and very light. Disappointing.
It's not a bad pils. It has a serve of crispness to aid drinkability, especially in hot weather, but it's far inferior to their Pale Ale, and far inferior to some really classic pilseners.
81 / 100
Pours a bright golden amber with huge off-white head that sinks in nice marshmallowy craters all through the top. Densely packed and fed from below by a plethora of fast bubbles. Mild haze to the beer as well. Pretty damn cracking.
Smell is very fruity and tasty. Nice sweetness but a healthy, grounded bitterness to it as well. Lots of baked pear aroma with cinnamon, apricot and raspberries added to the mix. Very slight bread grain note at the back and a nice phenolic bitterness underlying. All in balance though, allowing those beautiful fruit aromatics to dominate.
Taste is quite pleasant. Lots of grainy notes throughout with slight caramel malt at the front that gets more savoury towards the mid where pleasant fruit flavours take over - red delicious apples with orange and lemon zest and a good belt of tangy pear. Hop bitterness is distinct but not hugely pronounced until the very back, just wells up with slight piney notes and nothing too raw or earthy; really quite pleasantly balanced. If I have a criticism, it's that it's a bit mild for a pilsener, it lacks that crisp bite of hops and comes across tasting almost more like a pale ale. But the pilsenery malt is noticeable and there's plenty of nice clean hop character so I'm not complaining.
Quite smooth, quite full. Not too dry on the back, again maybe a touch full for the style, but nice.
A cracking drop from Red Hill. Smooth, tasty and refreshing.
Brown swingtop bottle purchased from Leura (now called "Downunder"?) Cellars, a huge burst of malt-scented carbon dioxide explodes right into my face on opening, but the beer doesn't gush, fortunately. Pours a pleasant bright golden colour, perfectly clear with a fine, and boisterously frothy head of white. Some blobs of soapy lacing stay sullenly on the sides of the glass. Looks like a good, classic Czech Pils.
Nose is cleansingly sharp and metallic, with a crisp organic Saaz note, and a pleasant brewday-malt underpinning. Hint of green apple skin. It's very nicely balanced between the malt and the sharp hops, giving it a softness overall. Very nice.
Taste is a little flat, unfortunately, with very little body, especially through the center. Light fermented honey characters on the mid palate, with a pleasant zing of metallic and slightly earthy hops coming through on the back. Doesn't have quite the spritz and sparkle I associate with Czech pilseners.
Drinkability is good, for what it's worth. The light body and the zing of hops on the back combine to give enough interest and enough smoothness.
It's not a bad beer, but it falls down a bit where it counts. Certainly something I'd be happy to drink as a cleansing finish, or to quench my thirst on a hot day, though.
80 / 100
Part of my NYE 2010 celebrations.
Pours a very hazy golden straw colour, with a thick and solid head of pure white. It crackles after a while, and collapses slightly, but leaves some decent sudsy lacing. The colour is bright and the cloudiness is pleasantly unusual - it reminds me of the unfiltered Pilsner Urquell I had the chance to sample at the brewery in Plzen.
Nose is deliciously redolent with sharp Czech hops, giving a citric bite mixed with the organic sweetness of clipped grass. It's incredibly fresh and bright. There's a slight buttery roundness to give it some depth and complexity. Wow. This is a fantastic Czech Pils nose, and reminds me of some of the best examples I've had fresh at the source.
Taste is also extremely suitable, dipping through crushed fresh grain, green grass, with a light citric uplift at the end to lend refreshment where it's needed. Bitterness is clean and clear, and the body is light and crisp. Spot on, stylistically.
These guys really know what they're doing. This is a damn-fine Czech Pils, so stylistically true, but with the finesse and complexity of the best examples even in their own country. I really wish they had a wider distribution, and that they'd see their way to New South Wales more often.
Pours a very light bodied, and rather light coloured gold, with almost minimal head. Even with a pretty vigorous pour, it seltzers up, and the dissipates to the thinnest of rings, leaving some tiny bubbles around the edge. Decent lacing from what's left, however, leaving tiny-patterns sudsing around the glass, and the body looks pleasantly thick. Head is a clear disappointment, but otherwise decent enough.
Nose is fresh with lemony zest and a slight creaminess that almost makes me think of Belgian yeast. Then it sinks a bit, leaving some old grain characters and a faint whiff of musty organics. Eh. OK, but not great.
Taste misses the mark even more. Thin entry with a lick of metallic hops, before the big musty grain note comes through on the back, leaving a green but rather unsavoury finish. Feel is extremely thin. I don't know where the body I espied in the appearance went, but it doesn't lend anything to the very light palate. Eh.
Eh. I seem to have said "eh" a lot in this review, and that seems to be the critical point. It's not bad, but it really lacks interest, even enough to make me enthusiastic about my next sip.
43 / 100
Pours a very light golden yellow colour, with minimal carbonation, but a head that stays relatively prominent, if not solid. Bubbling is white and fine, and it leaves a little disconnected lacing. Not all that bad, really. Decent enough for the style.
Nose is very light on, with minimal characteristics, although a lightly, sweet, very faintly fruity hoppiness comes through to give it a little character. Some bready yeast notes as well, but they're tempered well enough by the mild hop note. Overall, it's very mild and very bland, but inoffensive at least.
Taste is similar, if anything slightly more flavourless. Hop character is definitely muted here, and it certainly has no bitter bite on the back. More a ragged yeast note to finish an otherwise bland and pale lager. Feel is light, but chalky on the finish.
Very average, and not very interesting. I've had worse beers, but I've had far better beers as well. Something I could take or leave, and it smacks of marketing more than it smacks of craft.
73 / 100
Pours a clear, rather dark golden colour, with a firm but filmy head of tight white bubbles. Lots of streaming carbonation, and good lacing. A more voluminous head would be nice, but otherwise, they've cracked the appearance stylistically.
I could smell a good sharp Saaz character when I popped open the bottle, but it seems to have disappeared by the time it reaches my glass, more sweet bread on the nose, maybe a hint of cut grass. Ah, actually, as it warms, there's a light pepper fragrance with a slight metallic zing. Much more classic. Still, pretty tempered, but nice, and the style is right now.
Taste is good and clean, with a clear crisp entry, and a lingering fresh back palate that evokes green apple skin. Bitterness is present, but subdued on the back, giving a cleansing finish without being too aggressive. Feel is light and crisp, perhaps a touch overcarbonated for my tastes, but stylistically spot on.
A cracking American example of a Czech style. If breweries can hit the button so well stylistically, that's when I can genuinely believe they know precisely what they're doing. As great as it is to produce a 12% Double Dry Hopped Oak Aged Imperial Wild Ale, it's the subtle styles where brewers can really show their craft and finesse. Good job on this one.
Pours a clear pale amber colour with furious carbonation feeding a medium white head, great retention of small dense bubbles. Looks like a good pilsener.
Smell is pleasantly fruity with nice crisp apple and some peach notes, hops are dominant, adding a slight metallic edge and some resinous notes. Pleasantly crisp and quite fresh.
Taste is mostly grainy with a fair amount of barley malt plus some cereal grain/puffed rice aspects. Slight metallic bitterness starts on the mid but not too strong, and a slight POR grit on the back, but again, not too strong. Finish is not exactly clean; has some bitterness to it that is slightly medicinal but it's not overwhelming.
Bit of bubbly sizzle; a little bit harsh for the most part. Not bad for style but definitely a tad rough around the edges.
A decent thirst quencher, made well and a decent drop in the ocean of swill that the Oz beer market can be at times.
Pours a very pale, very clear light yellow colour, with a frothy, but loose-bubbled head of white foam. Minimal lacing, and the body looks quite light, but that's to be expected from the style.
Carbonic acidity on the nose, with a pleasant classic Euro green-bottle freshness, tending towards skunkiness, but in the nicest possible way. Hints of crushed lemon myrtle and citrus candy. Not bad. Very decent Pils nose.
Flavour is a little limp on the bitterness front for a pils, but still presents a pleasant citrus zing and a clean and refreshing palate. Minimal sweetness keeps it dry, and the weak finish is equally excusable as clean. Mouthfeel is a bit flat, a bit more sparkle could accentuate the citrus notes.
Overall, I was expecting to dislike this a whole lot more than I did. What we end up with is an extremely drinkable and pretty true to style Czech Pils. Sure, it's less complex and flavoursome than a lot of other styles, but it does what it sets out to do very well.
49 / 100
Pours, unsurprisingly, yellow bodies, with masses of fine carbonation and a crackling head of white coarse-bubbled foam. Head leaves something to be desired, but the streaming carbonation is mesmerising. And why is it that I usually associate pilseners with green rather than yellow? Yellow makes it sound as though it's off.
Not a particularly sharp nose. Vague wet grain and slight bread yeast characteristics. Light vegetal bite somewhere in there, but it's very weak, very slim on hops, especially for a pils.
Taste is a little better, in that there is a noticeable, if not particularly fresh and fragrant hop bitterness through the centre. Unfortunately, it's surrounded by more of that slightly sweet wet grain character. No harshness on the back, although a lingering sweetness is unwelcome in the style. Mouthfeel sparkling and crisp.
I bought this on the back of the excellent Ten Fidy, and being a fan of a good pilsener, but unfortunately, this is not a good pilsener. While it's perhaps sharper and cleaner than some of the worst generic swill, it seems largely to be cut from the same block.
57 / 100
330ml squat swingtop bottle which looks very interesting.
Pours an intensely cloudy, almost sediment-rich golden colour, with an initially firm and fine head of white cream. Lacing is excellent, and although the head dissipates somewhat, it stays pretty fine-bubbled all the way down. Looks very nice - the cloudiness is perhaps slightly too intense for this style of lager, but it's very interesting nonetheless.
Lemon rind is powerful on the nose, with a big whiff of something slightly funky. Belgian notes are actually quite noticeable - hint of spice and crushed herbs combined with a sweeter sugar aroma. The spike of lemon through the centre marks it as different, but it certainly doesn't have a strong pilsener characteristic to it. Still, it's a nice nose, redolent with pleasant, if slightly off-kilter characters.
Thin body, which rapidly disintegrates from an interestingly acidic start to a mild bland mid-palate, just slightly coated with a grainy raw sugar sweetness. Some hint of noble hops through the centre - a mild but inoffensive bitterness, but otherwise it's quite ordinary. Very little booze heat, despite the gravity, but unfortunately, that leaves the beer with very little at all on the palate.
I can't say I'm a huge fan overall. For one thing, it doesn't really know if it's a strong pilsener or a strong Belgian pale. There are characters of both here and they clash more than a little. It doesn't have the body for a Belgian Strong or Belgian IPA, nor does it have the crisp drinkability of a good highly-hopped pilsener. It takes the middle ground, and as a result ends up being pretty average.
71 / 100
Burnished golden colour, head is slightly beige-tinted, not bad but sinks quickly to a thin film, leaving some nice specks of lace behind. Bead is slow by steady. Looks a nice lager.
Smell very pleasant and floral. Lots of fruit - mandarins, grapefruit and sultanas with an earthy richness. Slightly tart character around the edge, but mostly sweet. Herbal kick to it as well. Unusual smell, but I like it a lot.
Taste has a similar character, with a huge hit of dried fruit - sultanas, dates and dried apricot. Lingers with a sweet glaze character before a slight phenolic bitterness comes through, then that glaze character re-emerges on the back and then trails off. Long profile to this, and interesting all the way through, but could definitely be cleaner; more bitter.
Bit of tingle on the feel, quite thick body. Good, not sure about the thickness on a lager.
A pleasant brew, tasty to say the least. Could be cleaner but definitely drinkable.
57 / 100
Had on tap at the bierhaus.
Pours pale amber with minimal white foamy head, slow and light bead, some decent lacing. Looks pretty blah, really.
Nose is very fruity and floral, great deal of hops on there. Lots of pineapple and citrus with some acerbic characters lingering behind. Light caramel malt as well, pleasantly light and refreshing smell.
Taste is bitter from the start, but quite complex. Starts with a metallic bitterness, then some pleasant fruity esters come through on the mid with hints of dried apple and some sultana notes. Slight bready yeast comes through at the back, which is a shame for the rest of the palate. A green flavour hangs at the back, slightly tart and undercooked. Overall pretty nice except for that slightly cloying bready character.
A bit overcarbonated on the feel, has a very harsh tingle to it. Pretty thin and wet otherwise, not impressed.
Not bad overall, hang spoils the refreshing pils nature of it though.
57 / 100
Pours a clear, golden colour, not terribly bright, but with an excellent frothy, gurgling and lacing head of white foam. Lacing is spectacular. Looks like a really excellent lager. Exactly what you want from the style.
Some light grassiness on the nose, with a hint of honeyed grain. Not particularly strong, and there's certainly none of the sharp clean Saazy freshness that you'd expect from the better Czech style pilseners. Comes out appearing rather weak.
Taste is a clean grainy freshness, with just a hint of bitterness on the very back. It's very light on, and not particularly sharp though. Overall, there's not much to say about it. It hasn't got a lot of character, but it tastes pretty clean and fresh. Mouthfeel crisp. Not too bad.
It's not a bad lager overall. It doesn't have the character of a good pilsener, which is a shame, but it does end up a fresh, clean and easy-drinking beer all the same. I'm not wowed, but I'm not repulsed either.
Pours a pale golden colour with moderate white head. Carbonation is small but steady, not enough to revive the head as it sinks. Lacing trails from the head in fairly thick, sticky sheets. Looks standard, but pretty decent.
Nose is a pretty decent pilsener nose. Aromas of sweet grain, corn and honey, with a nice bitter, slightly sour balance of grassy hops, slightly carbolic aroma from the pour and a very slight vanilla character on the back. Maybe a touch too sweet, could use slightly more aroma hops, but still pretty decent.
Taste is more like it. Sharp, tangy and bitter, with an early hop entrance making a fair splash. Early notes of grain, honey and biscuity malt on the front are all but wiped out by the bitter, herbal notes of the hops which come on quite sharp, giving off an acute peak of flavour on the mid-palate before settling off towards the end. Finishes quite dry, with residual hop acid leaving a slight tingle on the tongue.
A nice carbonated zing on the otherwise thin-ish feel gives this a nice fizzy texture. This is definitely an above-average drop, if only because in many ways it embodies what a pilsener should be - dry, refreshing, bitter and golden. It embodies that without surpassing it though, and does lean a little heavily on the mid, leaving the front and back slightly lustreless. Still, a good brew.
48 / 100
Pours a pale gold colour - almost looked silvery coming out of the bottle. Head is sparse fuzz and also sort of not a head but rather a thin film of bubbles. Slow carbonation, little lace. Looks like a dull impersonation of beer.
Nose is pungent, rather adjuncty, really. Strong whiff of some breakfast cereal grain, along with some corn aroma and a slight hoppy twang, kind of citrusy, but not very strong. It's OK balanced, but doesn't have much character to it.
Tastes OK, a lot of grain throughout, with a bran flavour on the front blending with some sweet corn for the mid and onto the back, which is sweet with honeyed notes. Hops are apparent but never really the driving force, mostly phenolic with medicinal notes on the mid and on the hang which is left after the finish. Bitterness hits at the wrong time on the mid, and doesn't clean up the palate, leaves a harsh astringency trailing behind the mostly sweet back palate.
Mouthfeel is decent, fair amount of zing from the bubbles, not full but certainly not thin. Sticky, if anything.
I have to admit to being slightly disappointed with this. Given the brilliance of their pale ale I'd think that Little Creatures could handle hopping a bit better. In this they just bite the wrong parts of the palate and send the whole flavour profile off kilter. It does have a fair punch though, for which I should be grateful. Still, not the best of the LC selection.
Pours a slightly burnished gold with strong, steady bead and a modest, but decent white head with large bubbles on the top. It retains very well and leaves spots of sticky lace as it sinks. It's a wonderful-looking lager, everything efficient and proportionate.
Nose is kind of sweet 'n' sour, a lot of malt with a caramel edge, almost toffee-esque, with a rich chocolatey whisper on it as well, just a slightly more earthy malt character. Hops are herbal, with coriander and basil notes, not very spicy and actually a bit simple, doesn't quite balance out the malt. Very pleasant smell, though would expect more from the hops.
Taste is predominantly sweet, with a long and detailed malt profile. Slight tang on the front, like soda, descends into a caramel buttery palate, smooth, gentle sweetness with a little bit of bread dough on the middly, though not enough to be sickly. Phenolic, slightly astringent hops strike late in the piece, after the flavours of the malt have calmed down and thinned out. Again, I expected them to be more dominant, but having said that, they do their job in cleaning up the stickiness, albeit late.
Mouthfeel is decent, fairly full body and a bit of texture from the bubbles, not quite all there in either sense though, just fall short leaving this a bit bland on the feel. A clean, effective lager with some nice flavours. Good, but not great, pilsener character, even from the grand-daddy of them all.
61 / 100
Pours a golden amber colour with healthy white head, visible bubbles and steady carbonation. Trace amounts of lace. Healthy-looking brew, nothing out of the ordinary but it's exactly as it should look.
Nose is quite pleasant, which is surprising considering the funky metallic whiff I got when I opened it. Tangy with a nice airy citrus fruit character, slight astringent phenols, light caramelly malt as well. Very hoppy, herbal but clean. Actually very pleasant.
Very malty on the taste, rich and buttery in character with a vegetable oil flavour as well. Hops came in midway and give distinct notes of basil, grass and tobacco - very herbal anyway, which trails off but leaves a soft lingering trace of bitterness for the finish. Palate is a bit short, and slightly oversweet on the mid. Hops are noticeable but in a pilsener should dominate more. Use by date is next year so I can't imagine it's an old bottle, just the hops aren't aggressive enough.
Mouthfeel is slick and smooth with a nice sizzling texture across the tongue, perfectly crisp and lagery. It's a decent pils but not a fantastic one. More hopping to eliminate that weird sweet peak and bitter up the finish would be more than welcome.
9 / 100
(Bottom of the Barrel)
Standard tall brown 50cl bottle. Green and pale yellow label, with a gold and red shield bearing the visage of someone who I think may be King Wenceslas. Braník splashed prominently in the centre.
Dark golden yellow colour with a large amount of fizzy carbonation. Head is white and coarse bubbled, and disappears like the head on coke to almost nothing. No lacing, no retention.
Slightly funky meaty smell, maybe like someone with bad foot odour. Bready notes. Not a fan of this one.
Taste is also funky. Prickly, bitter tonic start which fortunately drops off very quickly, but leaves a really, really unpleasant meaty yeast-extract type of paste on the back of your throat. It's not a zesty, piquant czech pils, it's just offensive. Really offensive.
I can see why this one is so cheap, and why I've not seen it outside the Czech Republic. Keep this filthy little secret to youurselves boys... The rest of the world doesn't want it.
46 / 100
White and red can, with Gambrinus proudly displayed. Some type of royal crest hidden behind the brewer's signaturre.
Light amber, trending to gold body, with a coarse bubbled head which disappears very quickly, leaving only a hint of a collar around the edge. Minimal carbonation.
Reasonable sweet malt nose with some floral hoppiness, reminiscent of lime or pine. Sweetness is dominant though, and overwhelms the fragrance.
Taste is quite clean. Good bite of hoppy bitternes on the mid palate, but the entry is very weak, and it peters out pretty quickly as well. Mouthfeel is suitable.
Not a bad drop, easy to drink, anad very clean and smooth. It's lacking an edge, but it's a solid drop nonetheless.
74 / 100
Tried at the brewery in Prague.
Cloudy dark gold body. Good lacing, tending to offwhite head. Minimal carbonation, collapsing head with big bubbles.
Hoppy fragrant nose, with a zingy metallic smell, quite citrussy, but with a nice sweeter fruit fragrance too. Very nice.
Excellent hoppy bitter palate, fragrant and fresh. Hints again of ripe fruit, but the sharp hop bite cuts throudh the sweetness. Quite wonderful.
Mouthfeel sharp and crisp; a perfect complement.
Could this be the best Czech pils in the world? Quite possibly. Whatever beer holds that mantle should be quaking in its boots in any case. Wonderful.
73 / 100
Pours a golden colour, very slightly burnished, with a nice, dense, snowy head that is sticking around, with slow but ubiquitous bubbling up from the bottom. Lacing is sticky and powerful. That is a fine-looking pilsener.
Nose is quite a herbacious affair. Strong, almost liqueury malt with boozey phenols. A lot of hops, elements of mint and sage in those hops but ultimately just a strong Saaz aroma. Nicely balanced, good elements of everything. Again, excellent pilsener character.
Taste is nicely complex, with a rich malt base giving way early on to more potent and nuanced flavours. Hops are spicy and fresh with hints of pepper and licorice. Slightly tart element just on the very back, slightly carbolic and with a slight champagne touch to it. While I'm digging these hops, the flavour as a whole is a bit disappointing, has a kind of asparagus flavour to it. Not too bad, but dour as a whole compared to when you analyse the parts.
Having said that, the beer is nicely balanced and has good elements. The mouthfeel is slick with a little carbonation, slightly drying at the back.
This is a very nicely rounded pils, good drinkin'.
60 / 100
Pours with a very lagery appearance - clear and amber, with little head. No carbonation, really. Pretty meh-tastic appearance.
Nose is okay, with a slight and underwhelming sensation of fruit with predominant bittering hops, probably Saaz, quite grassy with a slight spicy edge. Decent pilsener aroma.
Competent front and mid palate with a nicely balanced tart fruit/hop balance descends into quite crisp pilsenery finish, a little bit sticky but with a fainy tickle of grassy hop on the back cleans it up. A noble effort, good hopping and pleasant esters for a lager.
Pours a light champagne colour with a steady thick bead ballooning into a pleasant foamy head - lots of thick, webbed lacing. Nice.
Dominatrix hops. Slight lemony-fresh character but it's predominantly hoppy in aroma. Quite good, and what I'd expect from a good Czech-style pilsener. Could use a bit more complexity, though.
Again a lot of hops from the front to the back of the palate. A bit gritty, with an earthy bitterness and tastes very over-hopped. There's a subtle underlying citrus character, but it's not very obvious. Very pilsenery and quite drinkable. Bitter, maybe a bit simple, with a good aftertaste even if the palate is slightly short.
58 / 100
Pours a dark orange-gold with effervescent bubbling, continues with a thick, steady bead up to a snowy head of medium-sized bubbles that sinks with the sound of steaks barbecuing, but still retaining pretty well. Doesn't leave a whole lotta lacing, which is a shame because otherwise it looks damned nice and refreshing.
Has a slightly subdued nose, although all the characters are there. Light caramel, slight grassy hop, almost a eucalyptus aroma, that's about it. Thinking it may still be a bit cold, but waiting and warming doesn't produce much more character. I think it's just a bit weak. Otherwise good elements.
Taste is far more robust and dispels that "Mummy, it's too cold" myth. Strong, flavourful hops throughout the palate - herbal mostly with a kind of sage (the herb, not meaning 'wizened') acidity to it. In fact, I think it's definitely just the Saaz hops - it tastes a lot like Saaz pellets smell. There is a slightly gummy base to the palate which gives evidence of malt but flavour-wise there is only a slight hint on the front, not very complex. Mouthfeel though IS full and complex with a good carbonated sensation, and because of the bitterness of the hop, goes down very crisply and easily.
A flavoursome drop, absolutely. In this case it sadly doesn't translate to complexity. I enjoy it though, maybe a bit too strong to be a cleanser or sessioner. Too big for its boots, I think.
45 / 100
Pours a slightly pale golden colour with haphazard bubbling settling down into a slow bead around the fringes. Head is off-white and medium-thick, with large bubbles and sinking...hmmm...reasonably slowly. Lacing is certainly decent. Looks pretty good.
Smells very woody and quite fruity, very reminiscent of a well-oaked chardonnay. A fruity and slightly phenolic hop aroma pervades, but that dominant character is a tannic, oaky fragrance, quite pleasant really, but I'm just not sure why it's there in a pilsener. The hops could be more floral and fragrant.
Good pilsenery character throughout the palate, with a sticky malt starting on the front and increasingly exerting flavour until the finish. Has a slightly phenolic back to it, not unpleasant but a bit too rich and sweet - the hops are quite conspicuously absent on the finish. They are there but not in numbers, so the back has the sweet, resiny sensation of a badly flavoured cherry or watermelon candy.
Flavours for the rest of the palate are good, with malt producing a slight buttery edge and a miniscule whisper of lime. Mouthfeel has a decent buzz to it, although it clumps up a bit in my mouth and yet feels a bit watery. Neither smooth nor especially fizzy. Again, the palate is okay for a pilsener but the finish is too sweet to make this clean, crisp or refreshing. Maybe a noble effort, but effort don't make a beer.
Pours a standard lagery colour with a steady amount of carbonation. Little head that dissipates quite quickly. Unimpressive.
Aroma is thick with a lot of honey and bitter herbal hops. Simple but aromatic.
Don't like the flavour at all, far too heavy on the malt. Starts with an unpleasant cloying sweetness on the front palate. Almost like liquid sprinkles or something. Descends into a subdued hoppy palate but is still overwhelmed by that horrible liquid sugary stuff. Mouthfeel is sticky and dreadful, again like liquid sprinkles.
Am completely unimpressed by this, would not recommend without medical supervision.
58 / 100
Pours bright golden - the colour of old urine - with a slightly sparse snowy head of medium thickness, and slowly dissipating. Light but steady carbonation. Not much lace. Standard, but not bad.
Heavy amber malt on the nose with slightly resiny hops backing up. Malt smells a bit syrupy and slightly phenolic, but also is a bit subdued. Really needs a few more aroma hops, but otherwise has a good pilsener smell.
Far more hoppy than the nose suggests, although there is a rich malt flavour as well. Slightly bitter throughout with pleasant hops, and a slight steamed vegetable character on there as well. Finish is a well balanced blend of sticky malt and bittering hop, nice and clean. Mouthfeel is full but lacks the carbonation to be interesting.
Quite pleasant and drinkable. This surprises me a bit.
Can sampled from Fidelio Supermarket, Iaşi, Romania.
Pours a very pale, clear blonde colour. Excellent meringuey head, however, which has great retention and leaves excellent lacing. Carbonation is fine and plentiful.
Bit of sweaty socks on the nose, hint of cut grass, but with a tempered hoppy character to anchor it within the realms of decency. It's not amazing on the nose, but it's not bad.
Taste is slightly sweet, with a surprising sesame seed character first up, followed by a slight drying hoppiness, and a very weak diminished back palate. To be honest, it's pretty drinkable, and pretty decent, even though it doesn't have all the right characters there.
Not bad by any means - it's probably unlikely to win any awards, but as a choice for a six-pack when you're stuck in Romania, it probably makes a decent option.
74 / 100
Clear golden colour with lots of streaming carbonation. Nice. Coarse bubbled white head that sticks around well. Decent lacing. A very nice looking lager.
Clean hoppy nots on the nose. Mostly fresh and vegetative, although there's almost a hint of the APA to it, with just a suggestion of apricot or peach. There's also a very slight yeast note, that while quite appropriate for the style, just cuts across the clean fragrant notes of the hops. Still, it's a nice smelling beer.
Clean and crisp on the palate too. Nice sharp hop bit that cuts right through to the back palate. Very pleasant indeed. Very crisp and sharp, excellent hop bitterness, very robust. Mouthfeel is crisp and tight.
Yeah, this is a really good pils. Very sharp and refreshing, like the really top Czech examples. Clean throughout, refreshing and extremely drinkable. I really think this is a top-notch pilsener - it's not just another toned-down pale lager, they've gone all out.
Little Brewing Company, I'm impressed!
43 / 100
Big 50cl can. All red with a "so-standard-I-could-cry" ellipsoid crest on the front, rather like a red version of Heineken that says "Karlovacko" instead of Heineken. displays medals it has won on the front, along with a proud "Product of Croatia" legend.
Now to the real stuff:
Pale gold body, with lots of carbonation, and a good rocky crown of white foam. Pretty good lacing too, and the retention is great.
Slightly sour, slightly tinny aroma. Some sweetness, some carbonic seltzer water flavour. Not entirely unpleasant, but to be honest it's pretty weak. Not a lot to it.
Taste is initially flat with a little sweetness. Late on the palate arrives a coppery bitterness and a residual husky, grain flavour. Mouthfeel is lightly spiky but otherwise dry. It's not as clean and smooth as some of the other easy-drinking Euro lagers, but it does have some character.
It's reasonably easy to drink, and reasonably unoffensive. It's not a great beer though, and I'd be loath to call it an above average pils-style lager. Don't count on winning too many more medals, guys.
60 / 100
Pours a very standard gold colour, with a minimal froth of white head. Light carbonation, but not much lacing.
Lightly fruity notes on the nose, with quite a fragrant tropical hoppiness - hints of passionfruit dominant. Quite surprising and most certainly welcome.
Taste also has the light hoppy passionfruit character. Nice flavours of fruit, but with a slight yeasty hit that dries the back of the palate. Not bad though.
This is a pretty good beer overall, it certainly has some character over generic swill.
Dark mellow yellow colour, with a solid white head that sticks around as a thin layer on the top. Leaves good lacing.
Quite noticeably hoppy on the nose, with a pronounced aroma of rust. Some hints of phenolic fruits, bananas or bubblegum. Probably from the slight extra alcohol. Nice.
Taste is also phenolic, but without the crisp hop bite I might have expected. Instead, the alcohol is too prominent, leaving a rusty coppery flavour in the back, which is the only counterpoint to the overmalty entry. Mouthfeel is overcarbonated. Disappointing.
A shame, this beer could be better given what it looks and smells like. As it stands, it's a mediocre higher-gravity Czech pils that doesn't really deliver.
71 / 100
Standard brown half litre bottle. Eggenberg crest and 1560 as the original date of the brewery. Motif of barley and hops in gold. Mostly red and white. 5.0% ABV. Has the ingredients listed in Czech, but they don't mean much to me: Pitna Voda, Jecny Slad Cukr, Upraveny Chmel, Chmelovy extrakt. I deduce water, malted barley hops and hop extract, but I could be wrong.
Massively carbonated, and leaves a huge frothy head, despite the most timid pour. Fizzes all the way, leaving a snap crackle and pop on my eardrums. Body is very pale gold, and the head is white, and as I mentioned, massive. It's pretty solid too, despite its fizziness.
Slightly spicy hops on the nose, hints of paprika and cinnamon, and something a bit meaty. Even a little bit fruity as well, but you have to stretch the imagination a little for that. Very nice.
Taste is also pretty good, with the hoppy bitternress late on the palate, the front is quite sweet, but the hops soon cut through, with a fragrant spicy sharpness. It's not complex, but it does what it does well. Nice.
Despite the apparent carbonation, the mouthfeel stays round and full with out being too sharp or cutting.
Very nice, very drinkable. A fine example of a Czech pils. A suitable accompaniment to the wonderful town where it is brewed.
Standard reusable brown Czech bottle. Bohemia Regent in gothic green font, with a red stylised flower and bronze coins.
Partially my fault, but there's massive fizz and overspill on opening, almost made problems for my little travel keyboard. Pours a yellow-gold colour, with a lot of fizzy head that bubbles down to almost nothing at all. Sticky around the edges though, and it leaves decent lacing. Definitely lots of carbonation, looks over bubbly.
Oooh. Nasty caramel/butterscotch nose, with a hint of seawater, or perhaps sewerage. Actually, seawater is pretty much spot on as far as I can tell. No fragrance, no hoppiness, and the sweetness is overpowering.
The palate, at least, isn't really offensive, but it's pretty bland. Slightly artificial banana character, and a late hit of tinny metallic bitterness, but otherwise very little. Mouthfeel is better than I expected - I expected prickly overcarbonation, but this is quite smooth, still leaving the palate rather flat though.
This isn't great, but on the whole, when you look at it from a distance, it's not too bad. Hold your nose while you're drinking it and you could probably down a couple.
45 / 100
Gold amber body, with a minimal fimly head. No head retention or lacing. Quite a thin body to it. Good amount of carbonation.
Some Saaz on the nose, but not as piquantly hoppy as I'd expect from a good Czech pilsener. A fair amount of honey-like sweetness dulls the fragrance of the hops. It's not a bad smelling beer, but a little tame for a true pils.
The balance on the palate is as I would expect from the nose. There's a strong honey-like malt sweetness which permeates throughout, and only a hint of the zingy, zesty hops. Bitterness is lower than expected. Mouthfeel is crispt but a little flat.
However, this one drinks pretty smoothly, and there's few actual flaws in the flavour. It does end up tasting rather dull though...
61 / 100
Tried at the Australian Beer Festival in the Rocks, 1st October, 2006...
Light pale yellow gold colour. Not a great deal of head. Some decent carbonation. I don't know why, but it looks tangy.
Nose is quite resinous with the vegetative saaz aroma, but to be honest a little underdone. I was told this was done with "lots of Saaz", but I certainly think it could have done with a bit more.
Taste is very clean and fresh, without being particularly full. Hints of midpalate bitterness, but otherwise just clean and smooth.
This was good, without wowing me. To be perfectly honest, it was probably one of the best, cleanest drinking lagers I've had in a long time, but it didn't knock my socks off.
75 / 100
Clear dark gold body, with minimal head and lacing.
Nose is quite fragrant, with a robust presence of Saaz hops, organic notes like clipped grass and a citrus tang which finishes it off. Very pleasant.
Good bitter pils palate. Very refreshing hop bitterness is really quite good for the style. Sweetness at the start, balanced with a really delicious peppery hop backbone. Mouthfeel sparkling and tingly.
I'm quite impressed, this is a really good example of a Bohemian style pils.
Dark amber hue, lots of carbonation. Decent head, which creates some lacing. Not a bad looking beer.
Not a great deal on the nose. A bit of fragrance. Hoppiness and grassiness, it's an organic smell. It's got quite a good pils profile, but it's a bit subdued.
Taste is rather better. Nice fragrant bitterness, based on hoppy notes. A touch of fruitiness, but predominated by the bitterness of the hops. Finishes quite yeasty, and leaves a little bit of distaste in your mouth.
Mouthfeel is quite tingly and almost puckering with the bitter hops and dry finish.
Certainly a drinkable beer. I think it's far superior on tap than in its bottled form.
Tried at the brewery, late Oct 2005.
Pale light amber/yellow colour, with quite a bit of frothy head.
Nose is quite hoppy and fragrant. It's quite subdued, and certainly not as flavoursome as many other pilseners, but at least they've got the right idea here.
Taste is a little bit more disappointing. None of that seminal sharp bitter bite you want from a hoppy pils. It was alright, it had some character; I think one of the better ones in the Speight's range.
Pale yellow gold body with a bubbly white head. Heavily carbonated. Not a bad look for a pils.
Smell is fragrant and hoppy. Perhaps a little subdues, but pleasant all the same. No hint of peppery spice, but rather sweet. Not bad, but not outstanding.
Taste is very disappointing. Certainly not the peppery sharp aromatic flavours I associate with a Bohemian styled pilsener (which they claim it is). Instead it tasted a lot more like a pretty bland macro. It is more pilsenery, and damn better than swill, but still pretty dull.
Mouthfeel is very limp flat and lifeless.
Overall, it's a drinkable beer. I suppose I was expecting something a little more exciting (Although, to be fair, they do only claim it to be a "pilsener of Bohemian Tendencies" - maybe the tendencies are just very weak!)
56 / 100
Dark, orange-gold colour. Huge amount of carbonation and a massive foaming frothy head. I can already tell this is going to be a big, boisterous beer.
Nice, standard pils. Some amount of sweetness, but the hops cuts through enough to make sure it doesn't become too sickly. In fact, a very clean, refreshing aroma.
Smooth entry, with a bitey, sharp metallic hop bitterness following closely afterwards. Very refreshing and drinkable, but rather standard for a pils. Mouthfeel is a little fizzy and frothy.
A quaffable beer, nothing more. I'm quite happy to drink Czech pils, but there are better examples out there.
Who classified this as an English Bitter?
Appearance: Golden yellow, highly carbonated body with a big frothy white head. Very pleasant to look at.
Lacing is quite good.
rather sweet, zesty and tangy. Smells quite spicy. The hops are most prevalent, but also with a citrusy sweetness hanging around. It's a good spicy, tangy nose, like a good Czech lager should be.
At the start, it's nothing much to speak of. It's a little bitter, a little sweet, but mostly flat. It's only at the end, when the bit of the hops comes in that this becomes anything other than mediocre swill. It just adds a bit more interest, a bit more flavour, and a little bit more class.
The mouthfeel is clean and tingly.
Overall, this is a really good beer for the price (even here in Aus imported it's still damn cheap). while it's not going to wow you, it's cheap, and very drinkable. There are much better Czech pilssners out there though...
Presented in a dark green 33cl bottle, capped with gold foil. Shield on the label with royal lion and castle battlements, graced with barley and hop plants.
Very little info on the beer on the bottle. More information on the importer than the brewer. Freshness date September 2005.
Pours a standard clear pale gold lager colour. Head froths up a bit but quickly settles down to almost nothing. Some carbonation, but less than I've come to expect from this style
Some sweet malt and honey on the nose. Very little hops fragrance. I guess I was expecting more of the sharp organic Czech pils aroma. As it sits it does develop a little more herby fragrance. Actually rather pleasant.
The hops are present on the palate though, moth-puckeringly sharp on entry, mellowing to a metallic sweetness and a hint of basil. Mmm, it's growing on me. Mouthfeel is a little flat, it doesn't really fill out at all, which is a shame, because a richer mouthfeel would have complemented the flavours immensely.
Overall, it does seem to be just another Czech pilsener. While I quite like the Czech style, this doesn't soar above the rest, but nor does it disappoint.
Pale yellow amber body with a frothy head which sinks back to nothingness very quickly. Only lightly carbonated from the looks of things, and overall quite standard looking.
Sweaty leather is the immediate smell on the nose. I'm trying to detect other nuances but that really overpowers. As it warms a little, a little sweetness creeps in, and a bitter fruit hoppiness is revealed. It's actually rather pleasant after a while.
Mmm. Quite a pleasant flavour, peppery hops laced with a sweetness that's a little bit indescribable. It's not quite from malt, it's more like a fruitiness. Very drinkable, the ending is quite dry and very refreshing.
Yeah. Nice. Quite enjoyable. I could drink a fair few of these happily.