Monday, April 26, 2010

Brown's Tomhannock Pilsner (2010 original review)

Does this video look familiar? It would if you're a subscriber to my friend Jay - jjrudy41. This is a spoof of his show, although it's very subtle comedy. It actually is a genuine review of the bottle version of one of my favorite local beers (and one of my favorites to get on tap at the brewery)

NOTE: this review was written in 2012:

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (727) - Albany, New York, USA - SEP 13, 2012
I’ve been drinking Brown’s Tomhannock Pilsner for years now and I notice a significant difference between the tap (where it’s great) and the bottle (where it’s just plain good). Since I’m writing this review at home with the bottle in front of me, this is all I have to go by. Maybe someday I’ll go to the brewpub with a laptop and write a review of the draught.

I poured a 22oz bottle into a pilsner glass.

Appearance: Extremely pale yellow, lemon skin hue. Somewhat cloudy for the style but plenty of visible fine carbonation. Forms a large, white, frothy head which retains and laces extremely well.

Smell: On tap this beer has a citrusy hop smell akin to a pale ale, but the bottle is much more grassy. It’s akin to a saison with hay and an almost egg-like smell. There’s a subtle lemon fragrance as well, but it’s much more pronounced on draught.

Taste: Brown’s Tomhannock Pilsner is brewed with a rather basic, simple recipe using only three malts and one hop variety. Yet it has much more flavor than the vast majority of pilsners and other pale lagers on the market including the all-malt (adjunct-free) offerings. It’s a lager without the generic "beer" taste, as this opts for more of an earthiness to the palate. Saaz hops likely account for the surprisingly strong dry bitterness and spiciness throughout the palate. There’s a hint of lemony citrus right as it finishes, although this is much more pronounced on draught. The pale malts combined with the hops create for a dry, crisp flavor overall. There’s a hint of a cracker-like starch in the aftertaste, but for the most part it’s clean and refreshing. I wish more pilsners tasted like this.

Drinkability: It’s remarkable they got so much flavor out of a 4.75% ABV brew, yet Brown’s Tomhannock Pilsner never tastes or feels like a light lager at all. The mouthfeel is not fizzy or thin or watery and it goes down extremely smooth. A fantastic beer to wash down appetizers while watching sports or chatting with your friends in a relaxed atmosphere.
Grade: 7/10

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