poured a 12oz bottle into the official Dogfish Head Willibecher glass.
It was bottled in December of 2013 and cost $3.80 ($0.32 per ounce).
Appearance: Bright honey-like hue over a hazy body. Constant
effervescence visible. Pours to a large, white, frothy head which laces
and retains extremely well.
Smell: Initially quite skunky like a green bottle pilsner (though,
that’s probably due to the Saaz hops). That smell eventually fades and
there is a slight fruity sweetness. Otherwise, it’s rather typical
Taste: We all know Dogfish Head is known for making eccentric,
experimental beers, but even when they make something rather
“mainstream,” they still do it creatively. Piercing Pils seems to be a
exactly-to-spec Czech-style pilsner at the core, but the incorporation
of white pear tea and pear juice puts a new spin on an Old World
product. It’s seemingly brand new and old hat at the same time, though I
think they played this one just a touch too conservatively.
If you’re familiar with true, pure Czech pilsners, then you’re already
halfway home with this beer. It has the light malty base coupled with
the spicy/dry bitterness from the Saaz hops. These hops dominate the
nose and the palette in the first few sips, making this reminiscent of
Heineken for a moment or two. My palate quickly got used to it and I
could eventually taste and appreciate the sweet fruity flavor that
emerges on the back end. The pear component is more of a garnish in this
case, despite the fact the brewery describes the beer as a
perry/pilsner hybrid (the fruit must’ve faded fast I guess). Regardless,
it’s still satisfying as a pilsner – no more, no less.
Drinkability: It should come as no surprise that since Dogfish Head
Piercing Pils tastes like a pilsner, it also drinks like one. The
mouthfeel is on the lighter side, but a little softer and more ale-like,
though it is crisp like a lager. It goes down smooth and is a bit
refreshing while in the mouth, though the Saaz hops do impart some
bitterness and a hint of skunk in the aftertaste. I’m not sure why this
beer has to be 6% ABV, as it doesn’t seem to support this much weight
and drinks like a sub 5% brew. It’s a bit too strong and expensive to consider sessioning, though.