74 / 100
Part of a 4-pack purchased from Platinum Liquor.
Pours a vibrant amber colour with good orange tinge. Head is white, foamy and thick, with a great retention to it. Leaves some nice sticky trails of lacing behind. Looks great, really great.
Smells pleasant. Nice melon fruit notes, with some tangy citrus and possibly gooseberry character (note: by 'gooseberry' I mean Sauvignon Blanc, as I've never tried actual gooseberry). Some sweet vanilla-tinged grain dominates though, giving a nice smooth sweetness just adorned by the tangy fruit aromas. Nice.
Tastes standard; maybe a touch underwhelming after the nose, but it's very smooth. Predominantly grainy, with some pale grain notes giving way to an oatmeal kind of character, slight hint of that vanilla sweetness. Develops some very subtle bitterness late that just rounds off the sweet character and gives a very mild grassy and earthy bitterness on the back. Nicely clean, but just a touch of punch on the back that lingers. Underwhelming I guess, but also extremely well-made and pleasant to drink.
Slight carbonation sizzle on the mouthfeel seems a little too busy and kind of intensifies the bitterness in an astringent soda-stream kind of way. Not unexpected for style though.
Drinks smoothly, but enough bitterness to keep my interest. Could definitely throw back a few of these in a night. Thankfully they're not sold individually so I have five more.
61 / 100
33cl brown bottle purchased for me by Jez for Christmas, almost certainly from Slowbeer. This was one of our crossover picks that we each bought each other.
Pours a clear gold colour, mild bead. Nice and clear. Head is white, sparse but foamy thickness of about 1 finger remaining. Lacing doesn't really stick around. Looks fine; pilsnery.
Smells... odd, but quite nice. Good fruity sweetness with a big tangerine kind of character and some orange peel. Some big apple-pear byproducts as well. Underlined by an odd sweetness which I'm guessing is lactose (yes, lactose) and if I didn't know what this was I'd find it a weird character that doesn't belong. It doesn't feel like it needs to be there, at least.
Tastes quite similar, really. It's a weird drop and possibly a bit of a waste, because it starts and develops really well towards the mid, with a nice zesty lime and orange character upfront that gets a nice sweet candied orange peel character midway like a really fresh witbier. Touch of floral character as well, but then the fruit goes away and you're left with a residual sickly sweetness which feels a little tacky and cheap and circusy, in the end. Like not enough balance or other flavours to counteract so it's just a sugar overload. And I think with a different intention this could have been a very nice pils; even a sweet one but it could've been balanced better on the finish.
Decent body for the style; bit of a malty presence midway and nice and smooth but dry as it goes down. Pretty good.
Drinks alright, and better than the blueberry one. It's weird though, and tastes like it could have been a cracking, refreshing pils, if not for the lingering saccharine character. So it's an unnecessary gimmicky spin on an otherwise pleasant beer.
77 / 100
33cl brown bottle purchased for me by Sam for Christmas, almost certainly from Slowbeer. This was one of our crossover picks that we each bought each other.
Pours a very hazy, very pale straw yellow colour, with a frothy, white crest that does leave some reasonable lace. Carbonation is minimal, but fine-bubbled at least. Body is crisp and light. Looks decent for what it is.
Nose is honestly pretty special. It has a strong pineapple and mango character, probably smoothed out by loads of lactose sweetness. It's weirdly creamy, and thick, and you can almost smell the bloating carbonation. It's weirdly evocative, and I like that.
Initially, there's a smoothness on the palate, which allows the pineapple to come forward. This leaves a kind of buzzing sherbet character, almost like that kind of popping, fizzing candy that was popular in the 90s. It's slightly too sweet, you think, but then there's the lightness on the back, which clears everything out, and ensures there's no residual linger. Hmm. It's good.
This is a beer that shouldn't by any means work. It's weird, it's perverting the idea of a pilsener, and it's not even that complex. But I kind of love it. It's doing something really novel and unexpected within the confines of what actually is a beer. And that's rare for a beer to surprise me like that.
78 / 100
330ml can purchased from Camperdown Cellars Leichhardt. No canning date, although there's a misaligned blob of ink on the bottom of the can that looks like it might have been an attempt at one.
Pours a very slightly hazed, extremely pale yellow colour, with a fizzy head of white that does persist as a bubbly crest that leaves good lace. Carbonation is vivacious, as you want from the style. Body looks light and clean. Decent looking brew.
Nose is clean and pleasant. There's a pleasant grain backbone to the aroma, but it's freshened and leavened by the subtle presence of hops—even mild as they are, they're perhaps even a little stronger than you'd get in most European examples. They give a very slight fruit tone which is a pleasant deviation: I get some honeydew melon and guava, which match nicely with the more savoury notes.
Taste is clean, bright and really quite lovely. There's a crispness from the structure of the malt, and enough interest from the (slightly elevated) hops that provides some tantalising hints of those fruits again. But at its heart it's a true lager—a lovely soft but crisp body, a lengthy palate aided mostly by the grainy malt, and a lovely, crisp, refreshing finish.
Feel is excellent—smooth intrinsically on the front, but cut with fine carbonation, and punctuated by a lovely crisp finish.
Lovely brew—delicately made and really true to style. This is hard to get so right, but to have it here—fresh, and drinkable as hell—is a rare treat. Good stuff MP.
Pours a slightly hazy yellow golden colour, very light and thin in the body. Head is formed of initially coarse, gauzy bubbles around the edge of the glass. This dissipates pretty quickly, leaving little more than a few bubbles around the edge of the glass. Look a little underwhelming.
Nose is a little bit yeasty, but also with a slightly dry, coarse grain note like a German lager. Hints of butter and rubber come through as well, giving some rounder Belgian notes. It's not bad.
Taste is a little better. There's some nice sharper notes through the centre, giving a slightly spicy phenol character. Otherwise, it's quite light, which is actually to its benefit: it helps it stay quite drinkable and crisp on the back, maybe with just a faint touch of pepper. Pleasant.
Feel is light: it helps, but there are probably some complexities which are lost as a result.
Overall it's pretty pleasant. It's not a bold, complex flavoursome beer, but at the end it puts together a coherent package which is quite pleasant to drink.
44 / 100
Imperial pilsner dry-hopped with German noble varieties, brewed for GABS 2016. Tried there on tap.
Pours a straw colour, very cloudy for the style. Head is lacklustre; whispy, white but just a thin rim of bubbles left after a short while.
Smells malty, grainy, with some barley notes and a touch of wheat maybe. Some sweet characters, caramel and honey, and a touch of apple. Mostly sweet grain, yeah it's not bad for the style.
Sweet on the palate too. Cereal notes, fairly malty with vanilla and honey edge. Develops an unfortunate yeast character midway that lingers to the finish. Fair whack of booze on there too with a simple ethanoic kind of flavour. Feel like the hops used for dry-hopping should have been more liberally put into the boil too as it's a bit cloying on the back.
Full body, alcohol that flavoured the palate is just nicely warming here.
Not a big fan. Unbalanced; too sweet, too boozey. I feel like it's always dangerous amping up a simple style like a European pilsner as it can just end up tasting empty and boozey, which is the case here.
Tried on-tap at Slowbeer in Melbourne. This was a collaboration between Hop Nation and Jamsheed Wines, and is brewed with riesling grapes.
Pours a hazy, refractive yellow golden colour, with a very fine, rather pleasant head of white. This leaves good fine rings of lace as it goes down. Fine and slick in the body too, with powdery carbonation forming when swirled. Looks good.
Nose is sharp, with slight yeasty, vinous tones to it. Minimal true acid, but there's a bloated funk to it like wine fermentation vats. Under this is a crisp, slightly savoury grain note that speaks to its pilsener base. It's decent enough.
Taste is fairly mild, slightly grainy and thin on the back, but maintaining a sense of being light bodied and drinkable. Back has a dryness which feels yeasty and slightly flat, until you realise it's the Riesling giving a bit of bite. It's forgivable when you realise it's intentional, but honestly, that character really sucks in a beer. Finish is dry and slightly grain-savoury, with that lingering bite and flatness from the grapes.
Feel is smooth and fine throughout, with a very mild carbonation. It's pretty decent.
Overall, it's okay. I'm not convinced it's not slightly miscued in execution. It might also be poorly conceived a little bit as well, with the riesling not being a happy addition to the beer. At the very least, when it's executed like this, it's easy to believe the idea of the beer isn't a good one.
Bottle had with dinner at Restaurant Reykjavik, basically because they didn't have the IPA I asked for.
Pours a light golden colour. Light but steady bead. Head is frothy, white, small bubbles and light clumps of lace left behind. Bit pale even for the style, but OK.
Smells slightly cereal grainy, with a whack of noble hop. Grass, lucerne, slightly metallic. Fairly standard, could possibly use a touch more malt on there for sweetness?
Taste is grainy upfront. Gets some burnt sugar caramel notes midway, then bitter on the back. Quite metallic, somewhat medicinal on the finish, lingers a little too long and is quite phenolic. Still, crisp despite that little linger. Finishes a bit early and doesn't have a lot of flavour. That's all right with the style though.
Decent body, bit of texture. Goes down nicely.
Drinkable German pilsner, doesn't do a lot for me, but could be drunk en masse quite easily.
71 / 100
Pours seriously pale, almost clear. White head, webbed, no lace. Impressively pale but unimpressively unimpressive.
Malty upfront, quite sweet and biscuity, almost crumbly. Some honey edge and a touch of crisp apple/pear fruit. Not bad.
Tastes grainy upfront. Cereal, tastes rather like porridge. Some chestnut character, touch of honey and some bready notes - pleasant though, sourdough-esque. Finishes surprisingly clean. Not super crisp but just trails off to make it really rather drinkable.
Body is a bit thin but the texture is OK.
Very decent pils. Would like more character, because I do like complexity, but this is clean, drinkable; respectable.
58 / 100
Tried on-tap at the Local Taphouse for their USA 4th of July Spectapular.
Pours a very pale, very clear and light yellow colour, with a fine but slightly impersistent head of white that leaves minimal lace. Body is very clean and light, as expected. Carbonation is high, streaming fully through the glass. Looks pretty solid.
Nose is a bit soft and weak. Slightly grassy, with more than a little husky hay character. Malt is strong, as it often is in a German pils, but there's little the cut through it, unfortunately. It feels a bit flat as a result.
Taste is also pretty thick, and a lot sweeter than I'd expect. This is mostly from the malt, which is prominent and pretty sticky on the front. Fortunately, the light body helps pull this back a bit, and it finishes swiftly dry and with a touch of grassy bitterness. It helps the drinkability, because it would otherwise be pretty thick.
It's nice enough, but I've had much better, crisper pilsners that don't revolve as much around that lethargic malt character. It's not terrible, but for a pilsner it's depressingly tough to drink.
47 / 100
Tried on-tap at GABS 2014 in Melbourne, where it was brewed for.
Pours a pale golden colour with good clarity to it. Body is very light and filled with coarse carbonation. Head is a foamy, rather insubstantial ring of off-white that doesn't leave much lace either. Looks okay overall.
Quite distinct lagery nose. Some chewy malt characters come through but fairly faintly. Overall, it really smells rather weak, without much going on.
Light entry on the palate with a clean and relatively bright central core. This gets empty pretty quickly, leaving a faint, green, slightly pithy backpalate. Finish is very weak—it just sort of putt-putts itself out of existence.
Feel is very light and empty.
I mean, it's not bad per se, but it sure doesn't really do anything to make me want to drink it. There just really isn't much going on here at all.
33cl brown bottle purchased from Domus Birrae in Rome.
Pours an extremely hazy lemon straw colour, with a wispy head of white that settles on the top of the glass like oil scum. Body has a little heft and plenty of fine carbonation. There's something disconcerting about it, but it doesn't seem all bad.
Nose is (and I don't know how else to put this...) foul. Big sweet corn DMS-rattled festiness, atop a heavy dose of bready rancid yeast. Overly sweet in a sickening way, a little like someone vomited in a Glade air freshener. I can barely stand to have it within arm's radius of me.
I can barely believe I'm taking a sip, but I do. Fortunately, it's not as bad as the smell would have me believe, but it's still pretty bad. The DMS has had time to subside a little, but the body is weak, empty and dull, leaving only the thin, papery yeast and flour character riding through the echoing absent centre. Back is fairly empty, with just a few resonances from the DMS. Without the malingering smell, this might at least be clean and inoffensive, but it's hard to overlook the smell when you're tasting it.
Woeful. Really woeful. Sadly, this is genuinely worse than even most of the mainstream Italian beers, which at least have clean and pointless down to an art.
73 / 100
Tried on-tap at the Mostodolce brewpub in Firenze. The version I tried was labelled on the font at 5.7% ABV.
Pours a pale, pale witbier colour, white-yellow I guess you could say. Body is light but with some cloudiness. Heady is white and persistently frothy, leaving great lace down the glass. Really looks very good.
Clean and light on the nose with some German pils grain characters and a green herbal quality from the hops. There's a sharpness to it that evokes the great German kellerbiers—not grassy, but organic nonetheless. Good stuff.
Front of the palate is clean and light, moving into a mid-palate laces with a little fruit: appleskin and melon. It's still remarkably clean. There's a touch of yeast on the back, along with a peppery bitterness that lingers along with some of those herbal notes from the nose. Feel is great, very smooth and clean all over, almost like the mouthfeel of a cask real ale.
This was a really nice drop. Really clean, light and drinkable and very tasty overall. I love a good pils, and they really have a cracker on the cards with this one.
41 / 100
355ml brown bottle served to me blind by Rich.
Pours a very clear, and very pale yellow colour, with a thin, minimal head of white. Some lacing forms even though. Body is very light, although the carbonation is quite fine and languid. for what it is, it looks decent enough.
Nose is slightly sour and yeasty, with a thin malt presence. Hints of metal, weak, crunchy herbal characters, but always with that slight sourness to the aroma. Not great.
Taste is slightly better, just because the chill knocks off most of the flavour. Thin malt, again, slight yeasty overtones and a surprisingly pronounced bitterness on the back of the palate. The acidity is gone at least, and it's quite dry and crisp on the back, meaning that it's almost refreshing.
Feel is thin and over carbonated.
Overall, it's far from a good beer, and while it's not far from a bad beer, it still manages to stay away from being throughly branded with that label. Not something I'd choose to drink, but I'd have it if there's nothing else going.
59 / 100
Tried on tap at the Quarrymans Hotel.
Pours a pale gold, some fizzy bubbles. Head is white and thin, small dense bubbles. Nice.
Smells a little fruity. Touch of apple, some pine but not a huge nelson sauvin character. Light ale esters and not a huge amount of hops.
Taste is more sauviny. Passionfruit tang with slight citric astringency. Gets some dry yeasty notes and hop acid on the back. Bitter, quite tangy, not hugely big but has that classic NZ hop pull on the back. Not bad.
A bit of carbonation, but yeah thin and lagery. Mostly.
OK drinking, but a bit of hop acidity and not big flavour synergy.
Tried on-tap at the Quarrymans in Pyrmont during Sydney Craft Beer Week, as part of their Bacchus takeover.
Pours an extremely pale yellow, crystal clear in the body. Weight is very light, and forms a solid film of white for a head. Lace forms in decent sheeting runs. Stacks of streaming carbonation. Looks great for what it is.
Clean enough on the nose, with a bit of cat-pee Sauvin sharpness. Slight grassiness comes through and some grainy pils malt. Hint of sweatiness as well. It's okay, but they seem to have swept up all of the unpleasant parts of the Nelson Sauvin with the good parts.
Light and clean entry on the palate, again with a slightly herbal grassy tone. Bit of NS bite on the mid-palate, but again it's fairly light. Clean on the finish, which is pleasant enough, but also makes it a bit dull. When I had it the first time I had yeastiness: so dull is certainly preferable.
Feel is clean and watery, with a slight tingle.
Yeah, it's very clean and really quite drinkable. I've had better Nelson Sauvin-heavy pilsners though. This is good enough, but doesn't walk the fine line quite well enough.
57 / 100
Pours a champagne colour, bit of haze with snow-white head, large bubbles webbed out to form some thin trails of lace. Light bead as well. Decent pilsener look.
Smells quite pilsenery as well. Light grain upfront with some cereal notes, then a touch of banana midway and some grassy hops. Hops get a little resinous towards the back, but yeah, OK.
Taste starts out with the same light grain note, then develops big citrus hop note with a tart touch of green apple, then finish is all phenolic, and quite astringent. Light-bodied with a bit of carbonation to cut through, but it's a little heavy on the bitterness for me to want to drink over and over again.
Not bad overall, quite pilsenery without too much baggage.
72 / 100
Tried on-tap at the 2013 GABS festival in Melbourne. Yes, I know, I'm a long way out of date from entering my reviews. This beer they styled as a "Chocolate and Golden Naked Oat Breakfast Pilsner". OK, then.
Pours a light, mellow golden colour with some faint hazing. Body is pretty solid allowing a full head of bubbled off-white to form as a crest. Streaky lacing forms at the edges, and the carbonation is languid and full. Looks good.
Nose is nice, giving honeyed grain characters much like what I'd like from the stated style. There is a hint of chocolate to it, but it's quite earthy and relatively well integrated with the grain notes. There's also a remnant of its pils genesis here, with a light fragrant cereal character and a touch of hops. Pretty good stuff, and nicely matching its description.
Light and crisp on the entry: fairly subtle in terms of flavour. On the middle some of the more unusual notes of chocolate and coffee roast come in, along with the hop bitterness which spills onto the back, leaving it clean, brisk and tight. It does linger a little bit more than it could: a crisp punctuated finish would really make me buy its pilsner credentials.
Feel is smooth but light. Not bad.
Overall, I'm pretty happy with this. I think the extra ingredients add a well-structured interest to the beer, and I think it's really well matched to what it set out to do. Good stuff.
41 / 100
22oz bomber purchased from Slowbeer in Melbourne.
Pours a rather thin golden hue, with some pale haze through it, and a head which seemed to form initially, but only went as far as becoming a mild ring of white. Very little visible carbonation. It looks exceptionally generic, except even the most generic pilsner usually filters out the haze. I'm unimpressed.
Nose is mild and green, with a pretty light basis, but a pleasant enough vegetative hop character to get it going. Slight sweet herbal note and some hints of esters, but that could just be other sweet characters coming from the neutral malt. It's ok—nothing to write home about, but fine enough.
Taste is slightly worse. Faint, neutral pale malt graininess on the front with an upturn in metallic hops which giving a clanging bitterness to the mid to back palate. It doesn't sit nicely with the malt character, which is weak and yet also slightly too sweet. Indeed, there's a clinging beet-sugar sweetness right through to the back which echoes some of the vegetative hop characters on the nose. Feel is light and fluid, but with an unpleasant stickiness towards the back as the sweetness stings the finish.
Overall, this is easily my least favourite effort from Evil Twin, and quite a slight on pilsners in general. I'm genuinely unimpressed.
80 / 100
500ml bottle purchased from Dan Murphy's at Alexandria.
Pours a very clear golden hue with a thick, solid and majestic head of pure white. Lacing forms in pleasant streaks and bumps down the glass. Carbonation fine and refined. It looks excellent: everything a good pilsner should.
Clean, leafy hop character, slightly herbal, slightly medicinal, with a scheming sweetness underneath. Grainy characters come through when swirled, becoming more and more prominent as it warms slightly. Faint citrus comes across too, in a sweet-dry character like lemonade powder.
Palate is clean, crisp and extremely pleasant. Light metallic hop presence on the entry, which develops into a clean crisp vector through the centre, always connected to the grain German malt basis. Finish is clean, with a clinging proper pilsner bitterness: distinguishing it beautifully from the more mundane forms of pale lagers. Crispness on the back makes it light and drinkable, extremely sessionable and refreshing.
Feel is light and crisp with a zestiness, but not an overt effervescence. Love it.
Overall, this is a shit-hot beer. So well crafted, plenty of character, but drinkable and refreshing as hell. If I ever feel myself doubting the greatness that can be exhibited by a pale lager, I'll revisit this one right here. Superb stuff.
Tried on tap from their stand at GABS 2013. I'm a big fan of the standard Knappstein Lager, and I was extremely excited to see these guys put out something different.
Pours a very light straw colour with a rather hazed body, already a point of difference from the regular brew, which is always filtered clear. Body is light and the head forms a foamy, clear crest. Lacing is solid. Overall it looks good.
Nose is immediately different from the regular version: lacking hops in the extreme it has just picked up the wood characters, leaving it dull, muted and flat. Some grainy notes come through as well, along with a yeasty character which is almost certainly filtered out of the original. I'm disappointed: the aroma of this beer is the main thing that makes it great, and it's just lost in a mess here.
Light entry on the palate, with banana and oak characters coming through mid-way through. The banana in particular seems unintentional, but it still feels flat and dull. Finish is creamy and smooth (which would be an interesting twist in an otherwise palatable beer), but without the hops, without the bitterness, it just feels like more fog. Yeasty characters in the aftertaste as well.
Feel is quite light, but with the creaminess on the back.
Conclusions? I still love that Knappstein have come out with something new, but this is significantly inferior to the regular version. To be fair, it's probably not a style which really benefits from contact with wood anyway. For now, I'm pleased to have tried it, but I'll just be cracking another bottle of the original, thanks.
On-tap at the Courthouse Hotel in North Melbourne during Good Beer Week 2013, as part of the ACT Pint of Origin.
Pours a golden yellow colour, with a very faint haze and a light body. Head is white, forming a slightly foamy but thin ring initially, that froths down to nothing later. Carbonation is light and bubbly, no lacing at all. Looks decent.
Light crisp characters on the nose. Noble hops, and a weak greenness. Not much in the way of the German grain character you often find in a pilsener, although there's a faint bready tone. It's decent enough.
Light, peppery characters on the front of the palate, oddly enough with a slight wheaty tone to is. Mid-palate is crisp, with a slight bite of lemon and some of that grain character missing on the nose. Back stays crisp and light, with a touch of bitterness that has a slight phenolic note. Not bad though.
Feel is very light and crisp: it fits with all the light, crisp characters everywhere else in this beer.
It's refreshing and crisp throughout. The bitterness does get a little heavy after a while, but I'd prefer that to it not having enough. Overall, it's a nice little pilsner, refreshing and tasty.
79 / 100
At 5.6% ABV, it's hard to call this an Imperial Pils, but I see that it's elsewhere been called the Sierra Nevada Sticke Pils. In any case, this is the 2012 Beer Camp #43 beer, which my bottle entitles "Imperial Pilsner". Purchased from Leura Cellars.
Pours a clear and pale yellow colour, with an initially rocky and foamy head of white, that settles down to some faint webbing and a mess of lace. Carbonation is fine and refined, leaving lovely silk gossamer threads of bubbles running through the centre of the beer. Overall, it's a pretty suitable look for a pilsener.
Nose is clean and fresh, but with an aroma that reminds me just how use to (and perhaps spoiled by) New Zealand pilseners I am. This is a leafy, clean but slightly vegetative European aroma (despite the fact that the label mentions Crystal and Pacifica as the hops), mixed with a pleasant clean malt tinged with a slight crystal sweetness. That's something of a surprise, and perhaps it's here that the extra body, or the "imperial" of the name is borne. It's decent enough, but I really expect something punchy and bold from an "Imperial", ABV notwithstanding.
Taste is very pleasant: clean malt character flecked with slight grainy overtones, balanced with a very crisply delivered whack of hop bitterness. Faint astringency towards the back, almost a suggestion of higher alcohol, with a lingering, dancing, volatile floral note on the finish. Indeed, on the aftertaste is a pleasant uptilt in sweetness: it gives a slight sherbet sugar character that mingles nicely with the residual hop oils to provide a crisp, bright ending. Very nice stuff.
Feel is light, fresh and pleasant, I wouldn't expect anything else from Sierra Nevada.
Overall, despite my worries about the aroma, this is a damn-good beer. It's clean, crisp, remarkably drinkable and very, very refreshing. Ignore the "Imperial" in the title though, and take this as just a damn-good Pils.
80 / 100
330ml green bottle purchased for me by @LaitueGonflable from Slowbeer in Melbourne.
Pours a deep but light golden colour, with solid haze, and a very frothy and full head of white that settles pretty quickly. Carbonation is very fine and sits solidly in the body when tilted. No lace. Overall, it looks pretty refined, no matter what else happens.
Nose is very pleasant. Fresh, clean hop fragrance, mingled with some odd fluffy sweetness: hints of rosewater and candy floss. There's a roundness to the aroma too: almost a Belgian yeast character, but not quite. It doesn't have the esters and spice, but it adds a depth. It's very pleasant indeed.
Taste is very good as well. Very clean, bright flavours, with tingles of zesty sweetness. Finish dives into a herbal greenness with a clean organic flavour. It's dried out by the end, with a pleasant tingle from the hops, but very refreshing.
Feel is solid: smooth, but with a pleasant fine effervescence to enliven the palate.
This is really good stuff. Superbly drinkable, with such refined flavours. This is just the sort of supreme balance craft lagers can deliver. Exceptional stuff.
330ml bottle purchased from Slowbeer in Melbourne. I first tried this beer, I believe, at the SBB brewer's dinner at Bloodwood in Newtown during Sydney Craft Beer Week. This is a revision.
Well, it is indeed über pale, pouring a very light gold colour, with some solid hazing. Head is a fine film of white, sitting consistently, but not persisting that much. Carbonation is powdery and fine. Some lacing when tilted. Overall, it's a good looking beer.
Nose is mild and light. Slight grainy characters, a bit of rustic funk, but very minimal hop character, which is disappointing for a pilsener—perhaps just a slight grassy overtone, or something a bit herbal. It's pleasant and light, though, and that's not bad for the style.
Taste is clean and fresh. Mild grain characters, with a pleasant overtone of apricot and some clinging sweetness on the mid-palate. On the back, it drops out nicely, leaving a dry, clean finish, with some lingering fragrance. Really, it's very light, fragrant and tasty. It has some pleasant flavours, but stays true to its stylistic roots. Nice stuff.
Very drinkable, light and tasty. I'd be very happy indeed to have this as my regular drinking session brew. It's well-made, clean, light but very pleasant, with some real interest to it. I really like it. Bring on more craft lagers!
Pours a pale golden colour, webbed-out white head that sticks around alright. Steady bead. Looks pilsenery; not bad.
Grain on the nose with a whiff of POR and a touch of green apple. Cereal; fairly bland, but not too bad for the style.
Taste gets a big adjuncty sweetness throughout. Maybe some proper grain upfront but the back tastes all of corn and rice with a sickly POR character to finish up with. Sweet, corny. Not good.
Mouthfeel is thin, with a slight tingle from carbonation. Not much other texture, I guess it's quaffable but feels very bland and uninteresting.
Very bland Aussie beer. Not too different from what the huge multi-nationals are churning out, so I can't really recommend this.
This bottle has been sitting in my beer fridge for some time. It probably should have been drunk earlier, but there always seems to be something more enticing in there.
Pous a clear light golden colour, with a pretty insipid head of white, that just froms a bubbly ring without much else. Fine carbonation is pleasant, and it looks like it has a pleasant weight to the body. Not bad.
Nose is slightly sweet and cloying, with a hint of underattenuated malt or a corn-syrup adjunct character, but it's pulled back rather nicely by a clear hop fragrance that gives is a bit of organic oomph. For a green-bottle lager, pretty nice.
Taste is similar in construction. Plenty of grainy, slightly soupy or worty sweetness to it, but brought back by a bite of carbonation and a mild bitterness on the back. Very leafy, slightly brusque organic finish. Feelis weak, but with a touch too much sparkle.
Overall, look: it's not a great brew, but it's reasonably well crafted and doesn't have anything off about it, except for that touch too much sweetness. Its main drawback is the drawback it was always going to have: it's just not very interesting.
61 / 100
On-tap at Alibi Room in Vancouver, BC.
Light yellow colour with a decent, spongey head of white. Lacing is mild, but present, at least. Quite a light body, but you expect that. Overall, a pretty decent looking pils.
Nose is a bit light, but again inoffensive and pleasant enough. Not much in the way of hop fragrance, but there's a touch of crisp grain noticeable. There's a hint of sweetness to it as well, that I'd be inclined to think is out of style, but it's almost a fruity sweetness that could come from the hops. It's not bad.
Taste is very similar, although the grain has disappeared here as well, leaving that very light fruit sweetness carry the beer. It's clean and brisk and light, without doing much, but without needing to do a whole lot. Feel is a little too light, and without some characters to contrast it, it doesn't even feel particularly crisp.
This isn't a really exciting brew, but it's pleasant enough, and it was enjoyable sitting outside on a balmy Vancouver evening.
60 / 100
Had on-tap at the brewery in Seattle.
Pours a clear, light golden hue with good clarity. Head is a fine, white filmy affair, that leaves messy, patchy lace. Fine vibrant carbonation suits the style. Overall, it's a decent looking pils.
Nose is very disappointing, especially for a supposedly "dry-hopped" brew. Light pepper comes through but very little else in the way of hops. The grainy German pils style grain is present, but the hops need to be way more forward.
Light clean crispness on the palate leads to a slight bite of pepper, but also an unfortunate flavour of wet grain and a hint of corn. Finish has a bit of bite, but an almost phenolic one. Clean and painfully dry in the aftertaste. Feel is crisp enough.
Overall, it's an OK pils, but far from being an exciting one. I've probably been harsher on it than I would have had it not termed itself "dry hopped"âit's a solid Pils, but not a good hop showcase.
Had on-tap at the brewery in Seattle.
Golden, extremely clear in the body, with a white filmy ring of head. Some lace forms, but it's patchy and inconsistent. Yeah, it's a pilsener, not a particularly inspiring looking one.
Not much on the nose either. Some spicy characters, tending almost towards savoury. Fresh hop character is almost entirely absent, leaving a meaty note and a brusque grain in its place. Underwhelmed.
Taste is a lot better, but only because it's genuinely unusual. Grainy entry almost gives a sense of roastedness, before (and here's the really weird part) a big, spicy, peppery, chilli flavour comes through. It's just the flavour of chilli, not the heat or bite (or even the fragrance), but it's very strange. It even disappears before the aftertaste, which is smooth and light, with minimal bitterness.
Very smooth feel, so much so that it feels slightly undercarbonated.
Surprisingly drinkable and surprisingly good all up. Overall, it's very weird, but captivating in its weirdness.
62 / 100
"Better Beer Through Science", says the bottle. Love the sentiment. Bottle was purchased from K & L Wine Merchants in Redwood City, CA.
Pours a very hazy yellow colour, surprisingly hazy for a straight pils, especially one that notes "cold filtering" and a "clean look" on the bottle. Head is very fine and very white, and forms patchy lace and filmy slick. Overall, I don't mind the look, but it seems not to really live up to what it claims.
Nose is pretty standard German pilsener fare: mostly dominated by the grainy pils malt, which gives an organic richness to the aroma, flecked with nuances of green, herbal noble hop characters. There's a pleasant crispness to the hops that seems to get lost a little, tending towards an almost metallic twang.
Taste is also good, solid, dependable stylistic stuff. Metallic hops give a crisp zing to the palate, while the basis of grainy malt lends solidity and class. There's a faint touch of banana-like esters to it, which are a little odd, and even a hint of something slightly cherry-like and medicinal. They're not unpleasant, but they start to peel away the slight veneer of "tradition" plastered on this US-brewed German style.
It's hard to place. In some senses, it's solidly in style, but there are some weirdnesses that just make it feel slightly off-kilter. If it weren't for the fact that they stress the "tradition", the "purity" and the "integrity" of the beer on the bottle, I'd take it for an interesting twist on the style. But as it is, I can't help but feel that these are all flaws in an attempt to recreate the stalwarts of the German industry.
Had on-tap at the Great Australasian Beer Spectapular. Marketed as a "New World Pilsener", which is a slap in the face to all the great Aussie and New Zealand pilseners out there. I'll be unforgiving in my review as a result.
Unfortunately, though. It starts off rather well. Clean, clear yellow body, with a firm solid white head. Streaming small bubbled carbonation adds some verve. Looks good, and very much to style.
Here, it's all downhill, however. Nose is bombarded with a weak but still offensive character of PoR, or at least the yeasty, earthy horror of CUB's generic makeup, along with an unpleasant countermelody of mint. Overall, it's a really bizarre and totally unpleasant experience.
Light green notes on the front of the palate give way very quickly to nothing more than fizz and more of that earthy, yeasty dryness that leaves a horrible aftertaste. Firm mouthfeel is perhaps the only upsideâwhile I expected it might be bland and empty, there's some rigidity to the structure at least.
Seriously? I really don't get what's up with Thunder Road. They just seem to brew really generic and really unappealing beer, and yet swathe it with the sort of marketing to appeal to beer geeks. I can't help but feel that they're doing the craft beer industry in Australia more harm than good by besmirching its good name with this swill.
"We do beer differently," they say. I say, "Bullshit."
62 / 100
Had this on tap as the 'Rudeboy' pilsner at Murrays @ Manly. As far as I know they haven't changed the recipe since it was simply the pilsner in bottles, but I just thought I'd make that clear upfront.
Pours a rude orange colour with a slow trickle of bead. Head is white, kind of spittle-looking with lovely cradle of thick white lace. Looks good.
Smell is bold and metallic, with touches of fruit at the edges: blood orange, kiwi and peace mostly. Nice and tangy but a bit of a heavy, rusty note overall that weighs it down slightly below crisp pilsner levels.
Taste is quite pleasant. Notes of kiwi, melon and orange peel on the front that gets quite zesty towards the mid-palate. A bit rich late-mid with slightly spiritous bitterness, then a bit grainy on the back but with a pleasant grassy hop note and some phenolic characters. Almost seems a bit overcooked, but it's clipped off for a decent aftertaste. Not bad.
Quite fizzy, but still remains a little bit heavy in the mouth; doesn't glide down like I'd want a lager to.
A more interesting pils than most on the market with lots of flavour; it could up the drinkability factor a bit more by thinning out the body slightly, it just feels a bit gluggy at times.
On-tap at the Local Taphouse in Darlinghurst.
Pours a very pale yellow colour, with a slight cloudiness giving it a sense of translucency. Good "pilsenery" frothy white head. Minimal lacing, although we do get a few rings of suds. Fine carbonation, with some potential to the body. Not bad.
Nose is sharp and quite clean, with what I identify as "generic Euro hop character"âlike the quality of a green-bottle lager, rather than the more herbal noble hop fragrance. Slight hay, a bit of grain and something a bit starchy. It's not bad all up, but a little flat.
Taste is similarâmeaning it comes across much like a generic Euro pilsener. Light and clean and quite summery in its way: hay characters with a bitter lemon finish. It's not bad, but it's very light and lacking in some interest.
Feel is crisp and bright with the lingering bitterness.
Not a bad drop. It's clean and obviously well-made. It's just a bit dull. I compare this to a similarly easy-drinking and light beer from the same stable, their Sorachi Ace KÃ¶lsch, and there's miles of difference in terms of complexity and intrigue.
43 / 100
Tried from a bottle at the Local Taphouse. At first thought it had been poorly stored/aged too much but a fellow BA who had it fresh in CA noted very similar characters so I'm determining this review valid. Will try this beer again and reevaluate regardless.
Pours a dark orange colour - slightly too dark for a pils - with nice off-white head, fluffy on top and retaining well. Slight haze, no visible bead.
Smell is quite malty with a slight stone fruit tang on the front, and then light cereal grain coming out at the back, puffed rice with cinnamon and honey. Too sweet, really; needs more hops.
Taste is very sweet and grainy. Cereal with puffed rice, corn and lots of honey sweetness. Touch of wet cardboard as well, making me think this is a bit old. Too sweet, and has a slight adjuncty taste to it. Most of the bitterness on the back is due to carbonation rather than distinct hop presence. Sorry North Coast but I'm not enjoying this.
Decent body, too dry and snappy at the back from the fizz. Have had more interesting and pleasantly textured beer.
Yeah, finding this slightly deficient mostly in the pilsener stakes. The hop character is just not assertive enough and as a result a weird adjuncty grain note comes through instead.
Pours a clear, pale golden colour with slow bead in the glass. Head is thin, white and creamy but not good at retaining. OK.
Smell is largely grainy, with cereal husks and a hint of sticky rice to it. Overlain with very mild grassy hop note, borders on tangy and citric but there's just not enough to it.
Taste is quite bitter but with a nice, nutty grain character throughout. Touch of apple juice on the mid before mostly phenolic hops take over midway, hint of grass clippings and grapefruit that get slightly ashy and astringent late. Since the grain is still there it sort of produces an overall toasted grain flavour, but still quite a phenolic, overpowering finish. Not unpalatable though and a fairly well-constructed palate.
Quite fizzy as a pils should be, but a real heaviness on the back from the hop pull, can't say I'm a fan.
Bit too much on the back from the bitterness, needs to be cleansing without adding too much flavour.
Pours a shiny gold colour, light trail of bead feeding a minimal but resilient head, white small bubbles with a short trail of lace. Looks good.
Smell is light and inoffensive. Fair grain character with minimal sweetness, touch of fresh grass clippings and some herbal hop notes. All very clean and lagery, not very aromatic but fine.
Taste is more grainy with a rounded malty edge to the front. Hint of brass, toffee and some dry citrus notes. Hint of medicinal herb on the back and maybe a slight POR-esque bitterness. Bit of a lemon detergent flavour lingers on the late-mid and mars the clean drinkability, but not an unpleasant palate overall.
Fairly dry, kind of crisp mouthfeel, clean enough. Bit over-textured but for a pilsener it's not bad.
Decent pils; I've had tastier and more drinkable ones but it holds its own.
56 / 100
Had on tap at the brewery 16/08/11.
Pours a pale straw colour with thin head, white as snow. Bead is light with a bit of haze. Decent lacing.
Hops on the nose; light with grassy and herbal notes. Some medicinal phenols and nutty malt with barley husks as well. Not bad, could lift a bit with more dry hopping.
Taste is more grainy with light barley and a touch of popcorn on there. Not a lot of rise and fall with one note through most of the palate to the finish. Hops are metallic and mildly herbal that finish kind of medicinally. Refreshing for the most part, but a bit of a hang that is slightly gritty.
Watery front but texture comes through midway with gentle fizz. Good, clean lager feel.
A light, simple pilsener that could be refined in some parts and amped up in others.
45 / 100
Had on tap at the brewery 17/08/11.
Pours a pale straw colour with clear bod mostly, slow but steady bead feeding pleasantly dense head of snowy lace. Quite good.
Smells quite tangy with lemongrass being dominant. Hint of seawater and some sweeter pear notes. Notable cereal grain at the back with a touch of cassia as well; really quite intriguing, albeit not a very classic pils aroma.
Taste is disappointingly empty. Light citric note on the front that disappears, leaving empty watery mid-palate that develops slight pearl barley notes before mild hops come through for finish; slight grass, pine and a woody bitterness. Refreshing enough, but bland and empty.
Fuller body than one would expect given the empty flavour, slight tingle on the back. Could have used more zip.
Bland and empty is the lasting impression, although the flavours that are there are OK.
57 / 100
Palestinian beer, drunk in Israel on the 4th of July, for my own little Independence Day celebrations. Nice.
Interesting and appealing label: nice vignette of barrels and a golden sunrise, surrounded by barley sheafs and hops. "The finest in the Middle East", they claim. Not that much of a boast, but let's see.
Pours a light yellow colour, perfectly clear, with a fine, but filmy white head. Not unlike Budweiser or any other generic macro in this regard. Carbonation is more languid, however, and finer, gving a more full and more refined look to it. Not bad.
Nose is mild, but grain-heavy, with some malty sweetness as well. There's a crispness to it, that might just come from the carbonation. Very little hop character noticeable. But again, it's pleasant enough, certainly not offensive.
Taste is clean and bright, with some husky grain mid-palate and a zesty but dry finish. Clean and refreshing throughout, with nothing off or unpleasant. Feel is smooth and clean with a crispness to the finish.
Quite a refreshing and drinkable beerâclean, smooth and quenching, and tasty enough in its way.
Sigh. Saw it, had to buy it, although I don't hold out a lot of hope. I figure they won't get away with it forever.
Pours a clear and bland yellow colour with a filmy, fine and white head. Lacing is sudsy but decent. Carbonation is flat. Not a great looking beer, but nothing terribly wrong with it.
Nose is sugary and sweet, with a sickly floral nectar character dominant. Very little else, but it's very sweet, and the slightly organic nature of it makes it reminiscent of garbage juice. Offensive.
Taste is milder, and with a little green crisp bitterness to clean it up. Still, it's very thin and mild. More reminiscent of a Bud Lite than anything else, although that's probably what they were going for. Light feel as well.
It's bland and unthinking, with very little to offer apart from a (plagiarised) famous name. I won't say "don't bother with it" because I bothered with it knowing how bad it would be, but just be prepared for what you're going to drink.
Pint can purchased from Whole Foods in Tribeca, NY. A reputedly crisp pilsener seemed like a suitable beer for a 93 degree day in NYC.
Pours a clear and bright, light golden colour, with a fizzly head of white, large bubbles. Minimal lacing, and minimal head retention, which is a little disappointing. Rather heavy looking body, again surprising, although not unpleasant. Shame about the head.
Nose is bright and clean, with some crisp hop characters giving a pleasant blend of leafy european greenness, with a touch of citric American varieties. A hint of earthed pilsener grain as well, means this is a pretty crisp Pils, and pretty spot-on stylistically.
Taste is clean and bitter, but with a lingering honey sweetness that doesn't do it any favours. Grain comes through as well, with an earthy bite that lingers too long on the palate, interfering with the cleansing hop finish. Hops are dominant, however, with a clean sharp vector through to the finish, and a bold spike of bitterness. Feel is clear and, indeed, crisp.
Not bad, but not great. A decent pils that doesn't really hit the high notes, but puts together a solid package nonetheless. Still below my favourites of the style.
Had on-tap recently at the brewery in ZÃ¼rich.
Pours a cloudy yellow, obviously unfiltered, but not necessarily aged to the measure needed for a Zwickel. Head is really good, thick and foamy and white. Slices of lacing stick well to the edges of the glass. Looks decent.
Crispness on the nose, quite light and mild, but with a good pils grain and European hop fragrance. Some yeast character comes through as well, but this is secondary.
Taste is similar. Metallic hop bitterness on the front, with a dry crispness on the back. Body is light although the phenolic bite on the back creates a little astringency. Slightly overcarbonated.
Not a bad brew, and a clear standout from their lineup, which was otherwise very disappointing.
My problem with American beer in Australia: Here, it's more expensive than in America, so I don't buy it, thinking I can get it when I'm there instead. In America, I think "Oh, I could get the Scrimshaw Pilsener, but I can get that in Australia, so why not get something else".
This bottle, however, I purchased in Australia when I realised that I was in an annoying infinite loop. And for $6 a bottle, sure, it's more than you'd pay, but I figure it's good to lend some support to the importers who go out of their way to get this stuff.
Pours a brassy golden colour, with a filmy head of just-off-white, that dissipates to a collar. Carbonation is evident, and it has a pleasantly rich body to itâthe carbonation seems blissfully languid. Looks good.
Nose is grainy and crisp, but missing the hop character I really like in a good pilsener. Here, the cereal grain character is extremely pronounced, and it's really quite confronting. It's a classic pilsener note, but I expect some freshness, some greenness, heck even that metallic green-bottle Euro twang to give it some balance.
Taste is similar. Crisp and faint entry, with minimal hop character, followed by a welling, rather sweet grain finish. Mild seltzer water bitterness on the back, but it doesn't do nearly enough to clean up. Again, it has some very classic German notes, but it seems tame by comparison. And when an American brewery doing a German style seems like the conservative version, something seems wrong to me.
An average pils. It does very little to discriminate itself from other generic pilseners, and while it does a reasonable job at emulating a style, that doesn't necessarily make it a particularly good beer.
70 / 100
Tried at the Local Taphouse's Kiwi Spectapular.
Pours very pale, with the body very slightly hazed, and a pale yellow, with a fine and firm white head. Lace is anarchic and good. Looks very decent.
Nose is a bit weak and a little insipidâthis is a great shame. Slight bready yeast, and a very mild touch of green NZ hop character, but only when you search for it. You shouldn't have to search for Nelson Sauvin!
Taste is bright and clean, with a restrained bitterness and a solid organic greenness that cleans up nicely. Some nice fresh guava and rockmelon. It's certainly much better on the palate than the nose suggested it might be. Crisp finish and a nice light mouthfeel.
Another very decent New Zealand pilsener, but not the pinnacle of the style. I'd just love some more dry hopping or something to give it that lovely Sauvin aroma.
Pours a very pale gold, almost transparent. Head is thin, white, with decent lace. Not bad. Not great.
Smells grainy. Lots of cereal, puffed rice, light touch of caramel. "Rogue" hop? Is that because it can't be found?
Taste is very grainy, lots of pearl barley, puffed rice, some caramel, vanilla and white bread notes as well. Finish could use some more hop. Palate could use some more hop. More HOP, I say! Not very pilsenery.
Bit thin, bit of sizzle. Not bad for the style.
Could use more of everything. Decent drinking lager, it's just not what I expect from a pilsener.
62 / 100
Pours a clear pale gold colour, white head forming a slight film across the top. Lace is nice and sticky, steady bead. Decent pilsener look.
Smells beautifully hoppy. So tropical, with loads of fruit - pineapple, banana, passionfruit, touch of lemongrass and mint as well. Just gorgeous.
Taste is a bit of a letdown. Flat on the front with slight vanilla notes on the assault, mid-palate has lots of cereal grain, puffed rice and sweet corn. Hops on the back are subdued, to a dramatic extent. Touch of banana and lemongrass, slight nip of spicy bitterness, but that's it. A shame. Nice texture though, albeit a bit thin overall.
Yeah the flaws are distinct here, just too much clean-up of the flavour, lacking early hopping. Nice flavours, just not enough.
48 / 100
Pours a pale straw colour, with a slight cloud. Steady bead. White, thin head leaving a few clumps of lace behind. Decent.
Smell is not very hoppy. Not that that's a necessity for a nose, but for a sauvin pils? Where's the sauvin? Slight grain with touch of corporeal, seaweedy aroma. Bland, not very pleasant. A disappointment.
Taste has a fair amount of banana on there, slight tang with mild citric hop notes. A bit weak, with some light wood and pineapple. Not getting a lot of pilsener-level hop and not a very distinctive sauvin character. Not bad, but not good.
Thin-ish body, a bit of texture there but not a lot.
A disappointment from Twisted Hop, and for the idea of a sauvin pils this fails to deliver. Falls well short of so much potential.
70 / 100
On tap at the Local Taphouse in Darlinghurst's Kiwi SpecTapular.
Pours a very pale colour, pale even for a pilsâa bright yellow with a slight haze. Soft pancaked head that leaves some lace as it falls. It's not as persistent as it could be, but it's not bad overall.
Nose is crisp and green, with characters of guava and green papaya. Something slightly more pungent like crushed lime leaf, as well. It's rather light overall, and not as strong and biting as the best examples I've had. But still, it has the classic New Zealand hop crispness.
Taste is light and grainy, with the pils grain giving the pain flavour to the palate. Bitterness is very subdued for a pils, but the hops do give a fresh snap at the end with a bright sharp flourish. Backpalate is slightly yeasty, which is definitely unwanted, but it's the only really off note.
Feel is light and brightâit suits the pils style nicely.
It's a solid New World Pilsener, even though it's missing some of the extreme deliciousness that makes other examples so good.
Pours a gold metallic colour, gentle bead feeding a thick, dense head, off-white, tightly packed, great retention. It's a bit dark for a pilsener, but it does look good. At the same time, I want more flaws here. It's a pretty picture postcard of a beer, but there's no character to it.
Smell is a bit lacklustre. Grainy, with barley and a slight corn note. Touch of some mild citric hop with hints of grass, but yeah, a subdued, dull smell.
Taste is also lacklustre. Lots of grain on there with corn and barley notes, mostly savoury with a touch of caramel malt for sweetness. Virtually no flavour development by the mid which is bland and empty. Finish has a slight floral edge but mostly dry, grassy character. Mouthfeel is piss-poor, way thin and just way fizzed up; so drying on the back.
A bland, largely characterless brew, drinkable enough but not one I'd choose to have.
Picked up online from the Adelaide Bier Shop.
Pours a hazed and rather dark golden colour, certainly very dark for a pilsener, with a frothy but rather ambiguous head of white foam. After deciding it really doesn't want to be a head any more, this disintegrates to a meshy film over the top. Lacing is sudsy, but present at least. Overall, not a particularly great looking pils.
Nose is dry and a little organic, with a touch of yeast, some carbonic acidity and a green funk that almost pretends as though it's hops, even though it really isn't. Again, I'm not particularly impressed.
Taste is somewhat dry, with some bready characters throughout, and a weird rotting fruit acidity. Organic fustiness ruins the palate, and adds a sweetness that would be unwanted in any style, let alone one supposedly as dry and crisp as this should be. Feel is even lacking the requisite carbonation.
Really not impressed by this at all. I had hopes for this brewery, that they could produce pleasant things at their small scale, but this brew is really not very good at allâso much so that I'll think twice before grabbing another of their beers.
48 / 100
Purchased from Slowbeer in Melbourne, in what was a Kiwi-heavy order.
Pours a dull golden colour, with a slight haze, crowned by a bubbly froth of largely-aerated head. Lacing crackles where the bubbles burst, but the head overall settles to a sudsy film that looks a little like pond scum. There's something a little unappealing about the appearance overall.
Nose is grainy and slightly honeyed, with a little rank organic undertone. The sweet grainy characters aren't unpleasant, but really feel like they need a bit of sharpness from the hops to cut through the cloy. For a beer with Hop in the title, I'm rather unimpressed.
Taste is similar, with grainy bread and honey characters the main event. Very little bitterness on the palate at all, leaving it thin and a little reedy. The grain characters are well established, at least, and they give a robust German lager character to it, but it feels unbalanced to me.
Feel is fine, crisp and light--perfectly suitable for the style.
Eh. This is one pretty forgettable beer. New Zealand does some great pilseners, but this isn't one of them. Bland, middle-of-the-road mediocrity.
83 / 100
Very excited to get to try this on tap the the Local Taphouse in Sydney recently, as part of their feature on the top 10 beers from the Critics' Choice book. Usually, it's only ever available on tap at the brewery, so I thought it was worth a look.
Pours a very pale and very clear yellow colour, with a white, filmy and collapsing head. Carbonation doesn't seem quite as rampant as in bottles, but it's still bright and fresh looking. Lovely.
Nose is clean and fresh, perhaps slightly less pungent than in bottles, but that could be due to a whole range of things. Still that classic Sauvignon Blanc-grape gooseberry, green capsicum and passionfruit aroma making a swirling, delicious mélange. Gorgeous.
Taste is clean and fresh, with a very slight hint of pilsnery grain on the back, but mostly laced with those fresh Sauvin hop characters which give this its unique, clean and refreshing profile. Feel is light but clean, yeah, I think the carbonation level is about the only major difference I can tell in this from the bottled version.
The good news? This is almost identical to the beer we can regularly get in bottles. I held out hope that an outstanding beer like Knappstein could be even better on-tap, but I'm glad I won't be regularly crying into my bottled Knappstein: "But the draught version was so much better!"
88 / 100
Purchased from Platinum Liquor in Bellevue Hill.
Pours a very slightly hazed, very pale yellow colour, with a sudsy and large-bubbled frothy head of white. Minimal lacing, but the carbonation streams through the body like it should in a good pilsener.
Nose is crisp, but fresh with light fruits from the Riwaka hops, and a zing of green organics, which sharpen it to a point. Very light, but so fresh and redolent. The crispness is indeed what you want in the style. Lovely.
Taste is very similar: light and crisp, with a firm but balanced bitterness to cleanse the back. Really lovely and fresh characters, which highlight what a good style this is, and how drinkable it can be. Back palate is so clear and refreshing--it makes it supremely easy to swill back.
Absolutely cracking pilsener, and a great example of the burgeoning New World Pilsener style.
57 / 100
In what sounds like a classic New World Pilsener, this beer is made with Riwaka and Motueka hops (now there's a match that seems to be made in heaven), along with New Zealand Hallertau.
Pours a slightly odd-hued golden colour, almost as though it's tinged with a little pink. Clarity is good, and the body has a surprising amount of heft to it. Head is only minimal, forming a film across the top of the glass. Carbonation is very moderated for the style, but the heavier than usual body may account for this. Looks decent.
Nose is clean and fruity, with big, but rather sweet tropical fruit notes coming up from the NZ hop varieties. Surprisingly enough, it doesn't actually give that clean cutting note I expect from both the varieties and the style of beer, so it ends up only average. Slight bready overtones come through as well, which don't help a great deal.
Taste is rather flat, with some husky sweetness on the front, giving a slight German pils grain character, but with minimal hop bitterness to match it. Body indeed feels bigger than it needs to, and there's a surprising amount of residual sweetness. It really needs more hop character to balance it.
I was a bit disappointed with this. It had all the signs of being a great example of the style (like Croucher's NZ Pilsener, or Knappstein Reserve Lager), but it really ended up a lot more bland than everything would suggest. A shame.
Pours an oddly green-tinged yellow, flat top but mega-fizzy. Clear, thin-looking, bland.
Smells revoltingly sweet. Lots of corn grain with brown sugar and little else. Just bland and sweet. While I'm surprised that it has a smell, it's not pleasantly so. It's like when you first discovered Lady Gaga had a penis. It may or may not have been a surprise, but it certainly wasn't a pleasant one.
Taste is less sweet, thankfully. Still mostly bland though - watery on the assault that gets a bit sweet, bordering on malty, towards the mid, a touch of cereal grain on there that becomes slightly tart towards the back. Touch of vanilla late is the most interesting thing, but it can't save an otherwise very bland palate.
Bit of texture on the feel but still pretty thin. Carbonation tingle is not overblown though.
There seems to be a noticeable effort put into this beer that isn't present in most bland Mexican lagers. But it's not enough for me not to lump this in with all the others as uninspiring, insipid swill.
Tried on tap at Biero Bar 18/03/11.
Pours a pale gold colour, clear with slow bead. Head is white and quite dense; retains a modest crown with nice dense lace. Decent.
Smell is fairly one note. Light dry grain with light phenolic hop overlying. Touches of grass, coriander and bitter melon. A bit bland but not a bad nose.
Taste is a bit rich and oversweet at first; detecting a bit of diacetyl overriding the sweet malt upfront. A bit of green apple midway that develops more fruity - even sweet - notes later. Could use a lot more bitterness; tastes a bit unbalanced overall. Sweetness keeps cropping up where it shouldn't be.
Bit of body to it, but it can't quite cover the carbonation fizz. It's par for the pilsener course, but I'm not overly impressed.
Yeah a decent beer to start with, but I won't be drinking this all night.
90 / 100
Purchased from Platinum Liquor at Bellevue Hill.
Pours a lovely cloudy yellow colour, bright and bulbous in the glass, with tiny streams of vibrant carbonation running up the edges. Head is full, and boisterous. Lacing honeycombs down the side of the glass as the head collapses to a fine mesh. Looks great.
Ooh yes. Nice noble hop characters on the nose, with a few dusty grain characters and a sharp phenolic bite--a classic Keller note. It's that lovely blend of freshness and cellar mustiness that makes it such a unique style. I think this is a cracker.
Taste is also very good, and very much in keeping with the unfiltered lager style. Raw grain notes, with a crisp phenolic bitterness and a husky finish. It's like a riproaringly pure pilsener, pared down to the bare bones and then with the volume turned up. Throughout this, it maintains a balance, resulting in a crisp-bodied and refreshing beer for all its primal power.
This is an absolutely top drop. A fantastic unfiltered German-style pilsener which really strikes all the right chords for the style.
76 / 100
Pours a cloudy straw colour, really quite hazy - almost opaque. Wouldn't have expected from a pilsener but it goes with the organic philosophy. Head is pleasant when poured, white colour with nice fuzzy bubbles on top and some trails of not-so-sticky lace. Like the cloudiness, and it all looks good.
Smells crisp and fruity. Good NZ hops on there with passionfruit and some fresh limes, touch of banana, apple and a good belt of barley malt underlying. Not sweet, just a kiln-dried grain aroma forming a base of an otherwsie pleasantly fruity, clean pilsener bouquet. Great stuff.
Tastes quite grainy throughout, but with a healthy dose of fruit that almost gives it an English ale character but we know it's all hops. Thing is, they come in early, indicating some clever late hopping here. Crisp green apple, largely, with a pleasant mild pear edge at first, blended with gentle, light caramel malt on the front and into the mid. Takes on more bitter hopping late, with light citrus notes and some pine resin. Very fresh and crisp, with a nice stab of bitterness at the end to remind us it's a pils, together with the dry feel at the back. Body for the rest of it is smooth, and nicely full. Yeah, good.
Cracking beer, this. Bitter, good balance throughout but crisp, almost aggressively hoppy on the back. Great stuff.
69 / 100
On-tap at the Local Taphouse. One of their regulars, but one I'd not gotten around to reviewing before.
Pours a clear and bright light yellow colour. Foamy, big bubbled head of crackling white that leaves good lagery lacing.
Nose is gritty and slightly grainy, giving that classic, slightly phenolic German astringency. Bit of noble hop character which greens it a little. Nice.
Fresh and crisp palate. Light and bright and very clean. Some grain depth to the mid and a smooth dry finish with a light bite of acid. Feel is crisp and light.
Extremely drinkable beer, and a good example with Pilsener is a great style. A good German style exemplar.
46 / 100
Pours a clear gold colour, with slow and very light bead. Head is white with visible bubbles. Quite foamy, retains a thin crown. Lace is OK, as is the look overall.
Smells quite musty. Oddly sweet, with a buttery aroma slight citrus twang and mild cinnamon note. Not bad, but a bit blah.
Taste is a bit bland, with odd phenolic notes. Sweet on the front, quite buttery and corn notes. Bitterness comes through early and long, but totally unnuanced with just a long battery acid flavour. All one note and almost blaring, with not a lot to hold my interest. A bit too phenolic as well, needs something fresh to balance it. Not out and out bad but it's another mediocre offering from BrewDog.
Mouthfeel has an interesting texture- weird fizz on the mid yet mostly smooth. Not bad.
Lacking a bit, because of the intense bitterness. Some cleaning up would help and make this better than just meh.
Pours a pleasant bright golden colour, that's almost clear, but which has a very slight haze to the body. Head is weak, merely a froth of large-bubbles on the initial pour, which collapses to film soon after, and has disappeared by the end of the glass. Not overly inspiring all up, although it has some nice characters.
Nose is slightly spicy and organic, with a lilt of leaf matter, mulch and pine and an upturn of lemon rind. Slight ointment sharpness to it as well. The hops are certainly giving a slightly citrussy, slightly pointed aroma.
Taste is clear for the most part, with a biting, slightly nutty bitterness on the back that also gives a slight astringency; tannins and grain husk. Some harshness on the back, could be a combination of early hopping or some husky characters, but it reminds me a little of the unpleasant aftertaste of that notorious Australian hop Pride of Ringwood. Feel is clean, but very light and rather empty.
Eh, not BrewDog's best effort. It's probably a reasonable effort for a gateway beer to get people drinking craft, but it's pretty tame otherwise.
Pours a clear deep golden colour, with a full and meringuey head of foam. Rocky bubbling leaves some sticky lacing. Lots of large-bubbled carbonation. It looks the part.
Nose is unfortunately really very weak. Bit of grainy malt, and maybe something green and a little fresher, with a bit of sharp seltzer water. Eh. Not great. Very lean on flavour.
Taste is clear and clean, but also extremely light, like the nose. Some graininess and a sharpness on the back which is probably the most pleasant aspect. Some slightly harsh huskiness come out later. Mouthfeel is sparkling, but the carbonation feels slightly bloating.
It's not bad, but it's only average. Drinkable enough, and more flavoursome than a generic pale lager, but not nearly as good as some of the best pilseners.
57 / 100
Pours a dark but bright golden colour. Filmy head of white that leaves a ring around the edge. Slight sudsy lacing. Not too good really.
Nose is a bit grainy and a little sweet, some light citric and grassy characters, but I expect more hop character in a pilsener. Bit of honey. Not bad, a bit bland though.
Taste is clear and pretty clean, with a light tangerine backbone and a crisp lightly grainy finish. It's pleasant, but a bit empty, finish is dry with a nut skin feel. Bright mouthfeel at least.
Clean and drinkable. Not bad. Enjoyable enough, with a decent crispness, which is good for a pils, but lacking a lot of the important factors that make this such a great style of beer.
56 / 100
Another one from the Brazilian Railroad, let's see how it goes...
Pours a very clear, deep golden colour, quite pleasant with plenty of streaming carbonation forming a soft and frothy head of coarse-bubbled foam. Lacing isn't particularly sticky, but otherwise looks pretty good.
A little Euro hop fragrance on the nose, giving a slight resiny character which mingles with sweeter tones of soaked grains and fresh bread. The hops do provide a cut point, which is pleasant.
Taste is a little more bland, although it stays very clear without and husky grain or yeast characters. Light hop bite on the fore, and a slight phenolic bitterness mid palate, very little on the back which leaves it clean, but without much interest. Feel is clear, but it just accentuates how little there is on the palate.
It's not a bad beer - it's drinkable enough, and it doesn't have anything offensive to it, but I expect more character in a pils, and this ends up tasting a little too much like a bland pale lager.
Pours a dirty, hazy brown-orange colour with decent white head, modest and sinky but nice, tight bubbles. Lowers in the middle to leave some aero-style bubbles and thin foam, but nice sticky lace around the edge. Yeah, pretty nice.
Smells very fruity. Rich and sweet like a fruit cake. Elements of orange peel, apricot and other stone fruits, plus a tart currant character underlying. Slight pound cake sweetness as well. Slight, mild herbal hop just rises from underneath. A bit over-sweet, hops could basically be more pronounced.
Taste is pleasant, beery. Starts sweet with lots of caramel malt and some cereal grain character. Mid-palate becomes fruity with more stone-fruit, apricot and hints of lemon zest, then develops into a pleasant hop bitternes on the back. Largely grassy with some more citrus zest and a slight phenolic medicine character that lingers a bit too long on the back. Aftertaste is slightly unwanted, otherwise it's a pleasant sweet palate with a nice cleansing effect from the flavoursome hops. If the hang weren't so noticeable it would almost be marvelous.
Feel is sticky, definitely leaving an impression on the mouth. A little bit of carbonation sizzle but gives me the overall feeling of being a bit thin. Stylistically decent though, matches the palate quite well.
Very decent beer for the most part, but still, could have been marvelous.
60 / 100
Pours a very pale, almost transparently pale yellow, champagney in character really, with a beautiful snowy head, dense and retaining beautifully but leaving some dense splodges of lace around. Slow bead trail up the glass, looks like a pretty awesome quaffing lager.
Nose is a sponge-cakey malt affair with a nice crisp, dry bitterness coming through as well. Some light sweetness and fruitiness blends with the bitters, hints of gooseberry, lemon and maybe some passionfruit on there. Bitterness is crisp, slightly metallic. A pleasant lager smell indeed.
Taste is funny, actually. Very rich and astringent throughout, with an odd, heavy maltiness playing prominently as well. Slight fruity sparkle on the front, a hint of green grape skin and lemon, then oddly sweet with a pancake batter maltiness and a hint of currants or something as well. Bitterness is metallic and alkaline throughout, noticeable mostly on the back with its astringency not cleaning up as well as it could, but not being overly strong, just most noticeable on the back. An interesting drop that I think suffers from lack of substance on the front, leaving it unprotected and unbalanced on the bitter finish.
Not bad feel though actually. Noticeable texture and malty body with a smooth feel, not sticky and no trace of carb sizzle. Some sizzle would be expected from a lager but I'm not very disappointed to find it missing.
A decent sipper but lacks a bit of cleanliness on the back.
57 / 100
On tap at the brewery.
Pours a deep golden colour with only minimal head, that stays ina a white ring around the edge and even then is filmy. Looks rather limpid in the glass. OK, but not great.
Very little on the nose. Weak slightly grainy characters and only a hint of sharpness from the hops. Not great.
Sharper on the palate, with a clear hop vector through the centre, leaving the palate rather crisp. Not particularly complex, but with enough bitterness to at least represent the style.
Not bad. Drinkable an pretty clean. Nice enough in its way, but not particularly exciting.
80 / 100
Pours a slightly hazed bright golden yellow colour, with a thick and foamy head of pure white foam. Head is excellent, and although it doesn't retain particularly well, the lacing is good as well. Overall, it really is an excellent looking pils; clean, sharp, and boisterous.
Pleasant sharp hops on the nose, resinous with citrus and crushed vegetation. Very clean and crisp - a slight hint of yeast to add a little depth. Not particularly strong or astringent on the nose, but there are lots of extremely pleasant characters.
Sharp hops on the palate, which is otherwise extremely clean and clear. The vector of bitterness spears through the centre, leaving a resinous sharpness on the otherwise clear an mild palate. Some residual sweetness on the back, but mostly this is a crisp, sharp and very drinkable pilsener.
While it doesn't have the amazing hop character or intensive fragrant bitterness of the best pilseners I've had (for example Victory Prima Pils), this is really an excellent example of the style. Murray's like to say they don't brew to style, but as far as I'm concerned, this is exactly what you want from a pils. It's crisp, sharp, clean and astonishingly drinkable. A really excellent beer. Another wonderful brew from Murray's.
83 / 100
Pours a very pleasant bright golden colour, with a robust and thick head of just creamy-white foam. Lacing is sticky and persistent, some pancake bubbling on the top of the head. Some rather lazily bubbling carbonation animates the beer. A really top-looking pilsener.
I could smell it as soon as I'd uncapped the bottle - a big and boisterous fruity hop cacophony. Notes of passionfruit, resin and sweet citrus, with a really pleasant, but very underplayed grain sweetness. It's clean and fresh and more pointed than, say, the hop explosion you'd get from an IPA, but it's bang on for this style.
Taste is also clean and fresh, with a nice sharp and direct vector of hop bitterness through the mid palate. Finish is extremely dry, which is just what you want, leaving a refreshing bite of underripe carambola or kiwifruit. Mouthfeel is just leavened with a little fine sparkling carbonation without feeling bloating or prickly.
This is crisp and clear, amazingly refreshing and thoroughly drinkable. This is a really well-made, spot-on pilsener. This is what beer's about.
Pours a pale straw colour with white head. Quite good when poured but sinks quickly, all bubbly and foamy with slow bead. No lace. Very dull, standard looking lager.
Not much on the nose. Slight metallic hop and some green apple crispness. Perhaps a slight rice character and some very light carbonation sourness. But very, very little, very unimpressive.
Immense sticky rice sweetness pervades the entire flavour. Slight thickness on the mid with predominantly sweet and sticky adjunct flavour. A mild bitterness like bamboo or other grass lingers on the back, but it's more of an aftertaste than an actual flavour sensation. Sweetness is unpleasant, what's more, almost mediciney. Not much else to mention, nothing really to recommend here.
Mouthfeel is oddly thick and syrupy considering it looks so light in body. Completely unpleasant.
Having badmouthed it enough, it does complement my Japanese teriyaki combo quite well. The sweetness still makes it a bit of a struggle, but for what it is it's not undrinkable. Just reminds me why I don't like Jap lagers.
69 / 100
Pours a gold colour with a clear body. Light bead and thinnish head, snowy white. Lacing leaves some thin webs trailing across the glass, pretty decent, but overall pretty meh.
Hops are quite grassy and fruity, lots of burgeoning floral characters, bitter green smell, with a slight caramelly malt behind it. Good German pilsener smell, hoppy but not overly so.
Taste is nice, quite bitter from very early on. A fruity tang at the front gives way to hints of medicinal phenols and citrus rind in the grindy bitterness. Gets quite tangy at the end, no doubt thanks to the Sauvin influence, but a nice aggressive bitterness takes the lead for the most part. Maybe just a bit too rindy, leaves traces of that acerbic citrus character in the mouth, making it not as clean as it could be. I like the hop blend very much though.
A bit fizzy on the feel, hints of sharpness around the edges, and a bit thin. Good for what it is but pretty average overall.
Not as clean a lager as it could have been, but good drinking nonetheless.
58 / 100
Pours a pale gold with voluminously expanding, dense white head, fed by a very strong, fizzy carbonation stream but sinking very gradually. Lacing is not very thick, head seems to hold itself pretty well without leaving itself behind. Looks refreshing, not spectacular.
Nose is fairly good and pilsenery. A little bit of a barley smell behind a slightly sour and musty hop aroma. A slight hint of fresh grass and a little citrus zest. Mostly dank, bitter aroma, not enough to be unpleasant though.
Taste is fairly malty at first and proceeds to turn quite quickly bitter, with slightly spicy hops taking over for a reasonably bitter finish which lingers a bit but is clean enough. An odd creamy sensation comes through towards the back, maybe just a maltiness sliding over the hop bitterness, which distinguishes but never asserts itself.
That creaminess is in part due to the oddly creamy mouthfeel which I think is part of the can-drinking experience and gives this a bit of an English texture. It lacks the tingle of carbonation, although the body is decently full.
Overall a fairly clean drinking lager. Nothing too special but it holds its own, and certainly a good one for quaffing.
38 / 100
Pours a pale champagne appearance, golden in colour with extreme effervescence throughout. Bead is powerful and thick, fedding a moderately thick head of white foam that sinks slowly from the top, leaving a few patches of lace. Looks pilsenery, but not sensational.
Nose is moderately phenolic, and almost vinous, with a light tart edge and a fruity boozey character just tickling the senses. Hops are quite prevalent, lightly floral and almost piney, with an autumnal kind of smell of dried leaves and resin. Doesn't have an enormous amount of aroma, but what's there is quite enjoyable.
Taste is a mélange of bitter with little in the way of maltiness, or anything else. Lightly phenolic alcohol, vinously tart and with a hint of lychee on the front, then descends into a long, resiny bitterness that becomes more aggressively bitter as it profresses, resulting in a small abyss of puckering hoppiness. I'm not entirely sure but knowing Coopers I suspect it's hopped with predominantly POR which just doesn't suit the pilsener profile. There is nothing floral about the hops, and the finish almost tastes stale.
The dankness of the bitter taste is such that is spoils any real 'refreshment' and the palate is completely without nuance, just a bombardment of bitterness, like having a conversation with Gore Vidal about his loving relationship with Truman Capote.
The mouthfeel is quite tingly from the strong carbonation, although a little sticky, which doesn't sit quite right with the bitter flavour.
Although the Pride of Ringworm is used more interestingly here than in most Australian piss, its mostly unpleasant flavour reminds one why the variety is such a stigma of the Australian beer scene. It doesn't fail to make what might have been an OK beer quite distasteful.
It's hard not to like the bottle of this beer, but I hold out little hope for its contents.
Pours a thin clear gold colour, with a bit of frothy white head that dissipates like soda to almost nothingness, just a thin collar around the edges. Lacing isn't too bad, but nothing exceptional.
Smell is lightly sweet, with a mustiness like warming bread dough. Even a back note of brown sugar which is unusual and unpleasant. Just sweetness. It's worrying.
Unfortunately, the nose does not lie, and the beer immediately layers a thin brown-sugar/caramel sweetness over the tongue, peppered with a prickly carbonation that would only properly mesh if there was a sharper bitter note as well. It ends up tasting sweet but bland, prickly yet thin.
Across the board, an unimpressive beer. I can perhaps see the appeal from a broad-based beer-swilling thin-flavourless-and-unchallenging public opinion point of view, but it does not have much to offer above that.
Pours a vibrantly clear deep golden colour (I'm trying to tell whether the slight pink tinge is a trick of the light), with a truly excellent head of frothy, fine bubbled solidity. Lacing is very good. This is a truly excellent looking pilsener.
Certainly some fresh hop notes on the nose - not extremely strong, but with a pleasant citrussy bite. Tart lime, pepper and fragrance dominant. Disappointed the luscious tropical nature of the Nelson Sauvin doesn't come through more strongly, but it's still very pleasant.
There's a hint of the Sauvin tartness on the front palate, and a later grassy lightly herbal character, but the finish is exceptionally weak, with no backbone of bitterness to extend the experience. Otherwise it's very clean, and with some pleasant hop characters on the front. Mouthfeel is crisp but light, not overly effervescent, and with a definite taper to match the diminuendo on the palate.
Still, this is a very clean and very drinkable pilsener, very, very easy to make a sessioner. I wish it had more bite on the back, and I'm a sucker for Nelson Sauvin, so a little more of that character would have made it exceptional. As it stands a very drinkable and very enjoyable brew.
Pours a sparkling golden colour with streaming carbonation. Head is thin and white, settles into a rim of small bubbles, creates some slippery but decent lacing.
Nose is very hoppy, with large floral aromas, and a strong tart fruit with hints of baked pear, raspberries and juniper. Kind of a wet fur aroma in there as well gives it a funky sensation which isn't bad, although it is odd. Quite tangy, sweet and funky all up. Odd, but very enjoyable nose.
Taste is strangely sweet, with a lot of sweet fruit characters and a slightly zesty edge. Pears and cinnamon on there with fresh berries and vanilla flavours as well. Quite sweet with very little bitterness, all of which would be better suited to a winter warmer. Slight drying finish, and a fairly distinct phenolic hit in the middle.
It feels really quite unbalanced, with the flavours not doing the right things when they should, and the texture is very sharp and stinging in the mouth, I think because the bitter notes hit the wrong places, where I'm not used to them.
I do quite enjoy this, but I don't think it's a good pilsener. If this were going for 'quirky and unusual' though, it'd be a success.
61 / 100
Pours very similar to a lot of JS beers - golden and cloudy with a slight sediment through it. Head is good, white coloured, dissipated quite quickly. Pretty good looking.
Nose is a bit simple, probably a bit too cold. Bitter pangs, a fair amount of clean but spicy hops on that, slight fruit character. Still seems quite simple though, even warmed up.
Taste is not bad. Clean and crisp lagery flavours, with a pleasant sweet front palate and a malt profile that lasts pretty cleanly from start to finish. Slight tingle in the mouthfeel, otherwise quite thin. Finishes cleanly with mild, polite bitterness.
Pretty decent effort, very drinkable.
Pours a pale golden colour with thin but furious bead and a voluminous frothy white head of large visible bubbles that sinks like a prematurely extracted meringue. I'm beginning to see a Grand Ridge pattern forming with regard to their heads. Lacing is nothing special, but otherwise a damn fine looker.
Delicious floral nose, with a very strong tangy citrus hit, a lot of passionfruit, a lemon/lime aroma and a slightly funky smell like day-old grass clippings. Actually has a bit of a Sauvignon Blanc aroma, with gooseberries in there as well. Really fresh, crisp and delicious smell.
Taste is very fresh and crisp on the front with a light tangy sensation, almost sherbety but with a hint of green grape skin, gooseberry and, oddly enough, a slight chocolate malt character. This may just be a result of the particular blend on the middle, because the hops that gather for the finish are earthy and resiny, with an astringent aspect that, while lowering the floral and sweet notes, doesn't entirely grit up the palate. Definitely a measured hop hit, designed to linger but not kill the flavours. Mouthfeel is bitter and clean, with maybe a bit of a puckering character. Not enough to stop the refreshment factor.
This is an excellent beer and I really enjoy drinking, but I have to mark it down here and there because there just isn't anything particularly pilsenery about it. In fact it smells and tastes, to my mind, far more like a pale ale. There are some pilsenery aspects (the hops, for example) and it is dry and refreshing, but it just strays too far to be considered a stalwart of the style. It's still a very nicely balanced drop, and a pleasant drinking experience.
60 / 100
Pours a pale golden colour, thin bead up the middle. Head is made of little but visible bubbles, sinks pretty much steadily into nothing. Lacing is fairly thin, nothing to kick your heels together with joy over. Nor is this appearance in general.
Nose is reasonably pilsenery but more distinctly honey-ale-esque, big whiff of sticky yellow box bee vomit on that, trimmed just slightly by a reasonably floral hop aroma. It takes the edge off slightly, but not enough - leaves a very sweet nectary fragrance, and makes it quite blah.
Taste has a similar honey flavour throughout the palate, but it's more complex and more airtime is given to the hops which just clamp down the palate with a herbal, slightly aniseedy quality halfway. Modestly ashy finish. While the honey is there, it's more of an afterthought to a decent buttery malt which is evident somewhat in the flavour, but mostly in the decently thick and rich body, which holds the palate well in the mouth. For a midstrength beer, this is a very, very decent mouthfeel, and the finish - while being a bit quick to arrive - is clean and doesn't linger, making this a fairly refreshing brew.
At 3.5% this obviously isn't going to crack any flavour records, but for what it is it's actually pretty decent. Simple, but unpretentious and a clean drop. Definitely worth a try.
Pours a golden colour with off-white head, not very dense, but good retention. Very prolific bubbling throughout the glass. Alright for what it is.
Fairly weak nose with a big hit of pride of ringworm when really, really sniffed. Hint of caramelly malt. Again, alright, but very weak and dulled. Perhaps just too watered down.
Taste is full of very unpleasant, sharp flavours. Watery on the front palate, very harsh chemical flavours follow. Has a taste that is actually similar to regurgitated stomach acid. Long, very gritty hang. I begrudgingly respect this drop, because it's potent for an Australian lager. Would like it to be pleasant drinking, that's all. I'd say there's just not enough malt really, because there's practically none. It's too watery until the carbonated chemical flavour kicks in. Mouthfeel is fairly thin with no tingling to brighten it up.
The crappy aftertaste makes this really quite undrinkable. But the same is true of most Aus lagers, this one is slightly more interesting.
Pours a rich golden colour with slight white head, medium carbonation. Carbs die out after a while, head sticks around fairly well though. No real lace. Looks fairly boring, but not too bad.
Fairly good pilsener smell, balance of malt and hops and a fair hint of soil. Quite herbal really, with a distinct metallic-coppery character. Not bad, reasonably pilsenery.
Palate is mostly watery, with a fair metallic hoppiness that floats to the surface towards the end, but yeah, pretty weak for the most part. It may have a slight malt somewhere on the mid but it's obviously watered down. The bitterness is the right sort of bitter for the style, makes this resemble refreshment, but the palate is far too weak and thin to be impressive.
Mouthfeel is very thin, virtually no body. This beer is kind of what I've come to expect from Tooheys. It does make me wonder though, why they bother with a "pilsener" - I never see anyone drink this beer, and seriously, it's the same weak piss as their other stuff. Why not put more effort into brewing their other beers and dump the packaging and advertising costs of this and other varietals?
Pours a golden colour with modest off-white head, strong fizz when poured; I could hear it crackling like bacon on a BBQ. Lots of bubbles making their pilgrimage to the mouth of the glass. Leaves moderate lacing. Not bad, not great.
Pheeuw, would you take a whiff of that. Insanely sweet malt all over that. Elements of rotting mango, pawpaw and a big whiff of creamed corn. No hops whatsoever, sickly sweet and really quite repulsive. A perfect testament that different does not equal good.
Taste has most of the same elements as the nose, only they're not quite as strong or powerful. Aspects of vanilla, sweet corn and some meringue on there, but the sweetness is not subtle or balanced, it just seems to fizzle for a second before dissipating. Finish is a bit cleaner than I would expect given the dominant sickly flavour, but not nearly as clean as it could have been with just a few more hops. A very slight bitterness on the back can't kill the puffy sugar monster that rampages through the palate of this beer. Mouthfeel, however, is decent, a light tingly sensation on a slick, refreshing body.
This feels like an experiment gone wrong, an attempt to create a powerful malt bomb using the wrong yeast and not enough hops. I definitely could not drink this beer every day. And probably will never again.
EDIT: Having read the other reviews, the bizarre flavour could perhaps be attributed to the shipping process? Somehow I doubt it though.
43 / 100
Pours a rich amber colour with frenetic bubbling that produces a modest but resilient pearl head. Carbonation is still strong but slower and less determined after a while. A bit of lace, but nothing that sticks to the glass. This seems like a beer in a hurry to get out. Nothing proud or stubborn at all, so while it's humble, it has good reason to be.
Has an adjuncty nose that is quite pungent when pouring and the head is still there, but once that dissipates is far milder. Quite heavy on the malt, mild bitterness hiding behind. Has a clean but uninteresting and weak smell about it.
Unassuming palate with little exciting going on. Starts with a pronounced malt hit on the front, tapers off to a clean but very modest finish, with no significant bitterness. There is enough to soak up the malt and leaves the beer dry, but nothing that really captures the attention. I think I may sound like I'm panning this, but I'm not. Its profile is not harsh but also not too weak: it's simply modest, and the subtlety makes this very drinkable. Given the intense fizz on pouring, mouthfeel is astonishingly unfizzy. It's not too thin though, just enough to know it's there.
This is a decent job of lager production - certainly not great, but very suitable for sessioning. I notice from the neck that this is a supervised brew done by Fosters and it astounds me that they can do a reasonably good job with this and yet so comprehensively fuck up Stella Artois.
Pours a pale golden with steady carbonation feeding a nice fluffy head. Dissipates slowly to leave a nice sticky lacing film around the edge. Clear and transparent. A good looking pils.
Nose is very nutty with a fair amount of spicy hoppiness - saaz maybe. A bit of unwelcome yeast aroma but it's not overwhelming. Could use a bit more complexity, needs more hops maybe.
Taste is a bit weak and watery, again with a bit of an unwelcome sticky yeast. A few hops on the front palate. The finish is a bit dry and bitter which is good but the main palate is not tasty enough to impress. It's decent drinking but I'd expect more from Weihenstephaner. Could use more bittering hops and aroma hops, really. Just a bit flavourless and the yeast seeps through too much. Mouthfeel is fizzy and overcarbonated.
38 / 100
Pours a fairly pale golden colour, well mostly golden. Not a great deal of head, fairly loosely dispersed with no carbs to feed it. Really, standard lager appearance.
A fair bit of bread yeast on the nose which I could smell from several inches away. Little bit of honey as well, has that unfortunate Beez Neez character. Not that great, really.
Yeah, that unfortunate honey continues on the front palate and throughout to the finish. A little bit of bittering hop on the back, but very smothered by the syrupy character. Can't really recommend this - standard lagery characters with an unpleasant cloying sweetness. Mouthfeel is quite smooth but that's about all that's good about it. Otherwise, very average.
70 / 100
Presented in a tapered green bottle 330ml bottle with a pretty cool looking bold red label.
Pours a very nice golden yellow colour, with a wonderfully foaming head of miniscule white, sticky bubbles. The beer clears after a while to a brilliant burnished hue, with a slick of thin white on the top. Lacing is brilliant - this is just exactly what you want to see in a German pils.
Pleasant vegetative hoppy character on the nose, crisp and clean, with a honeyed back-note to it. Light metallic kind of zing that's maybe a little reminiscent of a Euro generic, but we can probably forgive that. Slight hint of pepper, green grass and grain. Nice. The sort of nose you expect from a pils, if somewhat subdued.
Taste is clean and crisp, without being exactly exciting. There's a very pleasant hop bitterness forward on the palate, with a dry but refreshing character that stays later. No hint of grain or malt, the sweet character on the nose has gone awol, but that's ok; we're left with a crisp, light bodied beer that is exceptionally drinkable. Mouthfeel is sharp and crisp. Spot on. Clean, refreshing and drinkable.
For a beer which looks a lot like a generic Euro Pale Lager, this actually delivers. This is a very decent German-style pils, almost verging into the sharpness of the Czech style. While there's only so much you can do with the style, this is pretty much a spot-on example.
Light yellow, clear body with not much head - just a filmy ring around the edge of the glass. Carbonation is surprisingly low.
The smell is suspiciously good, quite hoppy, fragrant and refreshing. Slight yeasty residual fermentation smell, but overall quite pleasant.
Unfortunately, the taste is nothing like it though. Atrociously bland, like husky water passed through a used grain-bag. No bitterness, and a yeasty dryness at the end. Mouthfeel is very flat, lacks carbonation.
Yeah, whatever the can reckons, this is no pilsener. Just another example of Romanian brewing mediocrity. Don't waste whatever little money this costs to buy.
Very complicated design on the can, including a competition, and instructions on how to work the ring pull. What fun!
Pours a pale clear dark yellow colour, with a quite ridiculously large head. Massses of carbonation, but surprisingly, the head sticks around, leaving really excellent lacing.
Slightly metallic, slightly plasticky, chemically or manufactured on the nose. It's certainly not the sort of nose you want on any kind of beer. Overall, it ends up like an artificially processed beer - like what beer would be like if it contained no natural ingredients whatsoever.
Taste is little better - initially metallic, it makes its way through a watery nothingess, before coming back with a surge of mildewy, mouldy bread/yeast unpleasantness. Yuck. Apart from the quite ridiculous blandness, the only characteristics it can offer are terrible?? Abysmal. Mouthfeel is probably reasonable enough, but it doesn't have a lot to work with on the palate.
Really bad. The Ursus company seems to rely on no one actually paying attention to what their beer tastes like. Surely once someone realises this they will be out of business. Stay well away from this, and their other products, they will cause you nothing but misery.
Green 50cl can with a prancing knight on the front. Picked up from a generic-brand supermarket just inside the Italian-Slovene border, on the Italian side.
Very pale yellow colour, with lots of fizzy, coarse bubbled carbonation. Head is rocky and bubbly, but collapses pretty quickly. Reasonable lacing though.
Smells of highly-carbonated seltzer water, with a hint of resinous hops and a surprising imitation of champagne. Slight yeast funk coming off as well.
Taste is initially hoppy and sharp, but rapidly descends to a roasted, overcooked grainy bread flavour, hammered down with a whack of bread yeast. It shocked my palate initially, but after a while I was prepared for it, and it struck me more as having a simple robust bitterness. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.
Mouthfeel suffers for the overenthusiastic carbonation job.
It's not too bad. It's got some character - this isn't your standard, easy to drink lager, but it's not an amazingly well-created one either.
59 / 100
Light yellow body, tending to gold. Good creamy white head. Lacking carbonation.
Light sweetness on the nose, with a slightly floral hoppiness.
Banana characters on the palate. Quite sweet, but with a refreshing bitterness at the end. Mouthfeel is nicely creamy, not spritzy - it's surprisingly good. Easy to slug back.
This was a pretty good pils - nicely layered palate, refreshing and easy to drink.
79 / 100
Looks like a standard adjunct lager like VB or something similarly horrible - light golden colour, lots of thick frothy head, but with the exception that this has a generous amount of lacing - beer sticks to the glass like honey, makes this very appealing indeed.
Nose is rich with plummy characters accompanied by a hoppiness which suggests a full-bodied palate. The aromas are ultimately a bit simple but very pleasant and appealing.
Palate has a rich, red wine character to it with a delightful hoppy bitterness which lingers long into a robust but refreshing palate. Mouthfeel is slightly soupy but very pleasant, and this tasty, long-palate beer goes down mighty smooth. Very pleasant.
80 / 100
I tried this one just after it was released, and was rather unimpressed. At the time, it seemed to me a rather generic Australian lager - something a winery like Knappstein would churn out to have a beer under their belt as well. There was not much to it - a bit of floral hoppiness, and it was reasonably clean, but it was not much more than drinkable Australian lager.
But on reading in the forums the wrap everyone gave to this little number, I thought it was well time I tried it again, to see what the fuss was all about.
It pours a rich golden yellow colour with a finger of fine white head, although this disippates rather quickly. Some lacing, and some languous large bubbles which float their way to the top ever so slowly. It's a good looking lager.
Wonderful nose distinguished by tropical fruits; mango, pineapple and lemon, no doubt bestowed by the Sauvin hops. Even hints of more piquant elements like passionfruit and anise. This is luscious. As it warms, there's a leather arome creeping in underneath, but despite all evidence to the contrary this isn't unpleasant. A very fine nose.
Taste is also very good. Clean crisp entry backed by a sharp hop spike later in the palate, which ultimately dissolves into a clear lingering plateau of pure refreshing dryness. Very clean, very few flaws in the flavour. Mouthfeel is spectacularly crisp, although it lingers with a slight concussion on the palate longer than strictly necessary.
Overall, this is a very fine beer. I can only say that either I got a bad bottle before, that they had not yet perfected the recipe or that I was on another planet when I previously dismissed this as nothing more than generic swill. This is a very well-crafted beer, and deserves all the praise it has so rightly received.
This one was brewed and canned by Cambodian Brewery Ltd, under license form Asia Pacific Breweries.
Silver can with a red front, and two crossed anchors.
Pale yellow gold colour, with a small amount of head. Dissipates to an almost unnoticeable ring. No lacing.
Slightly malty nose, but no touch of hops. Also a hint of a banana ester. Not particularly appealing, nor is it really suitable for a pilsener.
Taste is more noticeably bitter, but has an unpleasant bubblegum and diacetyl flavour. Finishes very water, making me wonder if I actually took a sip at all. Mouthfeel weak, but fitting, I guess...
Yeah, you can slug this down with the other Cambodian swill. Not worth the effort to open the can.
As an aside, Cambodia has the unfortunate ambiguity of having two very similarly named beers widely available: Angkor and Anchor. Given that neither of these beers are good enough to warrant creating the confusion that inevitably occurs when you order one and receive the other, you wonder why they bother...
75 / 100
Wow. Tried this one recently at the James Squire Brewhouse, and wasn't expecting an awful lot, but this one really is a good package.
Slightly cloudy orange amber body. It has a good white head, and low carbonation.
Spicy fruit on the nose, with citrus and a little passionfruit. Very fragrant and appealing.
Strong tropical fruit on the front palate. Quite rich with a fine, bitey bitter finish. The hoppy bitterness cuts through the front palate nicely. This is a really good unfiltered lager. I was very pleasantly surprised.
This is worth a try if you're at the JSB. I very nearly passed on this one and would have missed out on something good.
60 / 100
Darkish gold colour. Very loose head of big bubbles. Lots of carbonation. Doesn't fill me with confidence about the quality of the beer.
Smell is a bit weak and flavourless, but mostly just smells like a regular euro lager. A little hops, maybe, but I could imagine what it *should* smell like. And it doesn't smell like that. It's pretty bland.
The taste, however, is much more like a proper pils. Sharp, bitter entry, with a tailing dryness. Even a little fruity aromatic resonances from the hops. A touch of eucalyptus as well. All together a reasonable package. Mouthfeel is crisp and refreshing.
Eventually, this beer delivers what you expect, a robust German pils. Not the best I've ever had, but a solid example.
61 / 100
Tried at the brewery Feb 06.
Clear frosty yellow colour, with almost no head to speak of. Some carbonation. It's a reasonable looking pilsener.
Nose is quite hoppy and fragrant, no trace of malt sweetness, but there's something there to keep it balanced quite nicely.
Palate is very robust and bitter, with a large amount of tangy peppery hops. Long, biting aftertaste lingers. Mouthfeel is quite aerated, suits the style.
Not a bad pilsener, but nothing with a wow factor.
41 / 100
Quite pale in colour, in fact it's very much the colour I really like. Or rather, a lot of beers I would happily drink after a long day at the factory screwing caps onto toothpaste bottles. But nothing I would savour to drink on my fiftieth birthday surrounded by my closest friends. A good bit of lacing around the inside of the glass, good bit of condensation around the outside - although that's more to do with temperature than the beer itself. Head was small and dissipated quickly.
Nose - virtually non-existent. Where are you, smell??? Maybe it's my nasal cavity, I mean I can tell it smells like beer but it's faint and really there's nothing distinctive. Smells watery, that's about all.
Taste is the slightest bit intriguing. Have never been a huge fan of Beck's but this drop is okay. It's slightly European, in that there is a fruity hint on the front palatte but subtly so. In this case it may be too subtle as the palatte quickly descends into a standard lagery flavour. It's quite good however - nothing to write your mother about, but very drinkable. Like, it's a nicely even blend of bitter and sweet flavours.Nothing overwhelming (which is really a bad thing, since there's nothing distinctive about it) but certainly drinkable. I'd recommend this for a 'hard-earned thirst' long before I'd recommend Victoria Bitter, for example. But then I wouldn't feed VB to my worst dog who was already dead and rotting and crawling with maggots...
39 / 100
Appearance: Pale lemony yellow colour. High carbonation. Reasonable head which disappears quickly. No lacing.
Nose: Grassy, hoppy vegetative arome. Very good. Very pilsener-like. A refreshing fragrant nose.
Taste: Very disappointing. None of that sharp biting pils front palate. It's rather bland to start off with, then there's only a hint of bitterness before levelling out to a wishy-washy nothingness. Mouthfeel is a little flat with a slight thingle.
It's an alright lager, all said and done, but when you've got such a huge range of much better pilseners on offer, you'd be crazy to pick this one.
Pours a deep amber hue, highly carbonated with a good thick head which surprisingly stays compact and together for a long period, leaving some good lace.
Hmm. Traces of malt, banana cake, some yeast on the nose. On the label it promises Saaz hops, but there is no trace of those here. Phantom hops in the Tooheys.
Now for the taste...
Oh, it's repugnant. That awful off yeast flavour, with sour bread dough and that sticky rotten flavour at the back of your mouth that I always associate with Carlton. Tooheys, you have shown me a new low today.
It's like an assassin, this beer. It seduces you in with it promising looks, frothy head and unassuming aroma then stabs you with the taste from Hell. It's all the worse for it.
I couldn't finish this one. Very disappointing.
Presentation: Very cool looking clear (uh oh) 330ml bottle, with an Anchor motif. Says it's "smooth". I wonder if that means it has no taste.
Appearance: Poured with a light gold body with a slight white head which disappears almost as soon as poured.
Nose: Bland bland bland. Smells like a flavourless Australian adjunct. A slight off stench, wet yeast, not much else.
Flavour: Watery. God. Possibly the least flavoursome beer I've tried. Um, what's there to tell. It's dry and flavourless. It goes down as easily as water, true, but it has as much interest and character as water as well. My suspicions about that "smooth" are confirmed.
No, certainly not impressed by this one.
8 / 100
(Bottom of the Barrel)
This is the beer I used to drink at the bar at uni when I didn't know any better. I had a stubby of it left from our "Aussie Cheapies" tasting, and there's cricket on so I thought I'd give it a go.
I couldn't get a head on this one, no matter how hard I tried to provoke it. It just wasn't happening. A straight vertical pour into the bottom of the glass would probably only get a slight film. Body is yellow amber.
Toxic chemical unnatural smell. It smells how Australians expect beer to smell, which can't be a good thing. Pungent, slightly sour.
With trepidation, I take a sip. Mouthful of chemicals, followed by a huge hit of wet off yeast in the back of the mouth. Tastes a lot like all the other cheap Aussie adjunct (yeah, Pilsener my ass, CUB); in fact, the taste is almost identical to Carlton Draught. Very little difference.
This is a poor beer. Offensive in almost every department. It's unfortunate that the majority of Australians think that this it what beer should taste like.
45 / 100
Poured pale straw gold with reasonable loose head, which slowly dissipates into light film. No noticeable lacing.
Slight bitter yeast on the nose. Some floral hoppiness. Slight amount of green-bottle stink. But overall quite a pleasant smell.
Palate reasonably uncomplex. Some malty notes with a hint of lingering back-palate hops. Smooth and drinkable, without being particularly noteworthy. Flat unfilling mouthfeel - little carbonation.
Overall, quite refreshing and clean. A very drinkable brew, if a little forgettable.