Monday, April 4, 2011

Victory Prima Pils (2011 original review)

I've been hearing great reviews of Victory Prima Pils for well over a year now. In fact, many people said it's the best American pilsner hands-down. Or at the very least it's way better than Samuel Adams Noble Pils (some even wonder if that beer isn't a rip-off of this one). As I said many times I'm not a fan of pilsners, but hopefully one with as good a reputation as this one can bring me around. I also just realized this is the FIRST-EVER review of a Victory beer on this show! I really should review their stuff more often. I mean, if they can team up with Stone and Dogfish Head then they must be doing something right!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Chad9976 (624) - Albany, USA - JUL 16, 2011
I’ve been hearing great things about Victory Prima Pils for a long time. Many of my beer geek friends say it’s the best American pilsner they’ve ever had. With a reputation like that, I knew this was a beer I had to try. Unfortunately, I just wasn’t able to see anything in this beer that makes it stand out from the rest. To me it’s a perfectly average beer - definitely not a bad one, but far from good and here’s why:

I poured a 12oz bottle into a pilsner glass.

Appearance: Bright yellow like the skin of a ripe banana. Tons of carbonation bubbles present. Small, bright white, fluffy/soapy head - some retention and lacing.

Aroma: Some green bottle-esque notes of sourness. Light grassy scent and a touch of lemon.

Taste: Yes this is a craft beer but it tastes like something only slightly better than macro. Not much genuine flavor, rather familiar notes of macro grain. Light lemon peel or lemon grass in the second half to impart subtle spice and faint sweetness. Finishes with a dry, chalky aftertaste although it eventually comes up clean. Not a particularly satisfying beer, but nothing I would consider bad-tasting, rather, neutral.

Drinkability: Quite refreshing while it’s in the mouth. Not particularly crisp, which is odd considering it’s a pilsner. Carbonation dies down quickly. Definitely thin and light-bodied. Dry aftertaste prevents it from being a truly refreshing beer, although I think it would work well with summer outdoor food fare. 5.3% ABV seems a little high, especially for a pilsner.

Overall, this is definitely better than all the green bottled European pilsners, but has a ways to go to impress me as a genuine, higher-quality American craft lager. Meh.

Grade: 5/10

NOTE: Check out my 2016 re-review here:

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