Monday, August 1, 2011

Brooklyn Pilsner

Here's irony for you: Brooklyn's 12oz bottled beers are made by Saranac in Utica, NY (about 90 miles west of here). But for some reason the pilsner is never available in my beer store or other stores in Albany. I had to go all the way to Brooklyn to find this beer in a beer store. So that means the beer was brewed in Utica, shipped to Brooklyn, purchased there, and brought back to Albany for a review. Anyway, you know I'm not a huge fan of pilsners, but I was excited to try this one because, to me, this is a rare beer. Would it be worth the hunt?

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (642) - Albany, New York, USA - JUL 31, 2011
I poured a 12oz bottle into a pilsner glass.

Appearance: Bright yellow/gold hue, slightly hazy but plenty of visible hyperactive carbonation. Forms a good-sized, bright white, frothy head that retains and laces well.

Smell: Clean, slightly floral aroma with a hint of hop spice. Slight citrusy/confectionary scent of orange sherbet or lemon peel. Slight tang as well.

Taste: Pilsners are my least favorite style of all the classic/traditional/old world styles and Brooklyn Pilsner doesn’t do much of anything better than other comparable beers of the style. It begins with a typical pilsner flavor of light hop spice, with a slight floral flavor and quick hop kick through the middle. The finish is slightly sweet with lemon peel and orange sherbet seasonings. Throughout it all is a slight tanginess, which is easily overlooked. Although I find this is typical of light lagers like this (and the fact it was a bottle on the verge of expiration doesn’t help much, either).

There’s nothing particualry off-putting about Brooklyn Pilsner. In fact, I think I like it a tad more than the famous American craft pilsners that use noble hops. A fresh bottle would probably have more of the citrus and confectionary flavors (but there’s no guarantee). It is, however, a very mild, simple palate with a dry aftertaste. No wow factor to speak of.

Mouthfeel: A little thicker and much softer than your average American pilsner. Head imparts slightly creamy texture. Aftertaste is a little grating, though.

Drinkability: I drank this outside on a hot summer’s afternoon and as a thirst-quencher it did the job. I think I sucked down the entire glass in under 5 minutes. The relative thin, soft mouthfeel and light weight at only 5.1% ABV make it an ideal beer under such conditions. Sessionable to be sure, but I’d rather blend it with lemonade to make a shandy to have more flavor.

Overall, Brooklyn Pilsner (brewed by Saranac, by the way) is actually one of the better American pilsners that probably does stay true to the authentic Europe roots. But in the end it’s just an okay beer.

Grade: 6/10

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