all for experimentation in brewing, but sometimes all the eccentric
recipes in the world can’t surpass a classic, traditional recipe. Case
in point: Full Sail Pilsner, which is either a German or Czech pilsner
at the core, but hopped with Cascade, which gives the beer a unique
flavor (which I appreciate), but not necessarily a better taste than a
to-spec recipe. Oh, it’s a good beer to be sure, but it doesn’t
re-invent the style.
I poured a 12oz bottle into a footed pilsner glass. It had an expiration date of 12/23/14 and cost $2.60 ($0.22 per ounce).
Appearance: Pure golden hue over a clear body. Slow carbonation is
easily seen. Pours to a two-finger, white, frothy head which retains and
laces very well.
Smell: Strong grassy/herbal hop aroma with a hint of lemon. Not a traditional pilsner aroma.
Taste: All-malt pilsners have a distinct flavor to them, and that je na
sais quois factor is definitely present in Full Sail Pilsner. Light
malty character immediately, with a cracker-like taste, but not quite
bready. The Cascade hops are the star of the show, though I would not
consider this a particularly bitter beer. Not unlike the Noble Hop
varieties, this one creates for a light spicy/zesty character, but in
the form of grass and onion/garlic seasoning. A hint of mineral water is
also noticeable and it complements the palette nicely. I enjoyed it,
but I can’t help but think more could be done.
Drinkability: I was surprised to see the 6% ABV on the label, since
pilsners tend to be light, sessionable brews by design. A stronger beer
would likely be more complex and bold, but Full Sail Pilsner has the
same intensity as any other beer of its ilk. The mouthfeel is thin and
crisp with a refreshing quality while crossing the tongue, though it
does leave a slightly bitter/starchy/spicy aftertaste. It’s tempting to
throw back several of these, but considering the relatively high
potency, I wouldn’t recommend it.