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Pilsner Urquell

May 27, 2009

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A Beer Worth Czeching Out

Anthony Says:


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Prior to having a Pilsner Urquell, I think my only experience with European beers consisted of Carlsberg and Heineken- neither of which really impressed me. I distinctly remember buying Pilsner Urquell because Labatt Blue, a Canadian macro pilsner, was one of my favorite beers at the time. That fortuitous purchase marked my first real foray into the world outside of North-American macro lagers; it was also a rather unfortunate turn of events for Blue, whose status as my pilsner of choice underwent a precipitous decline.


Pilsner Urquell pours dark gold, crystal clear and with a medium frothy head that dissipates rather quickly. It is hard not to be immediately struck by the sharp scent of Saaz hops underscored by subtle tones of sweet malt. Although I am to understand that Pilsner Urquell now uses a hop extract, the nose is earthy, aromatic and entirely appetizing. If it didn’t make me smell like a total boozehound, I’d honestly consider wearing Saaz as cologne. Needless to say, one of the real pleasures of drinking this beer, in my opinion, is its intoxicating aroma.


Tastewise, Pilsner Urquell is surprisingly light for a full-bodied beer with plenty of mouthfeel. A back palette hop flavor quickly overpowers an initially light almost buttery maltiness. More fresh than skunky and lacking the lingering aftertaste present in many American hop varieties, Saaz has a crisp earthy flavor that doesn’t rest on the palette.


The nose and taste correspond quite nicely, but for such a hop-centric beer, the flavor lacks some of the sharpness the aroma indicates should be present. Maybe this is a consequence of the use of hop extract, or perhaps I am just too used to heavily hopped American brews. In any event, Pilsner Urquell remains quite possibility the distinctive Czech pilsner and one of my favorites of the style.

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Gatlin Says:


IMG_0793After re-trying this beer for the purposes of this review, I spent the next week continually recommending it to novice beer drinking friends of mine. Anyone who enjoys a crisp and refreshing brew will absolutely love this one.


Technical Rundown:

  • Container: 341 mL green glass bottle
  • Alcohol: 4.40% by volume
  • Colour: 4 SRM
  • Bitterness: 40 IBU

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Body is a light golden colour and produces a beautiful foam off the pour. The head is bright white and fades at a moderate pace to a small-bubble film and ring. Mild carbonation is observable, but there is no real lacing.


The aroma of this beer is very earthy and grassy, and a little bit of pilsner skunk is apparent. In the background are scents of truffle, must, slight pepper and a little acidity.


The mouthfeel is nicely light and refreshing. Upfront you get flavors of skunky-hoppiness, but not in an unpleasant way. Grassy flavors are also very prominent. These flavors quickly give way to a nice, dry, moderately long finish with relatively little malt presence. The great flavors and refreshing mouthfeel make this beer highly drinkable and worthy of an evening session.


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Some Final Thoughts


Anthony Thinks:

Pros

  • Aromatic and distinctive nose
  • Crisp and refreshing- highly drinkable
  • An excellent introductory beer for the aspiring hop-head

Cons

  • Taste, while good, doesn’t quite match the robust nose
  • Alcohol a little on the light side
  • Lack of hop bite can be disappointing for those used to more strongly hopped bitter pilsners
  • s

A well deserved 3½ stars. With only 4.4% alcohol content, there is a lot of flavor in here. While experienced beer drinkers may feel a little underwhelmed, Pilsner Urquell is a great beer for those looking to expand their horizons


Gatlin Thinks:

Pros
  • Great flavors and yet very refreshing -definitely sessionable
  • Purity of ingredients

Cons

  • The overall taste may be underwhelming for a more seasoned beer drinker


Pilsner Urquell is a solid 3½ star pilsner. This beer is great for anybody looking for a warm weather drink that is refreshing and still has nice flavors. Perfect for doing some yard work on a hot summer day


So, What’s On Your Mind?

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