Sunday, July 12, 2015

Firestone Walker Pivo Hoppy Pils

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1395) - Albany, New York, USA - JUL 12, 2015
In recent years I’ve become more impressed with American breweries making traditional, to-spec Czech and German-style pilsners. These aren’t easy brews to make, especially without “Americanizing” them, so a good one is much appreciated by me. That’s why I really enjoyed Firestone Walker Pivo Hoppy Pils, which, despite the name, is not an IPL or especially hoppy for the style. Spicy, dry, clean and refreshing – that’s what I want in a pilsner. 

I poured a 12oz bottle into a pilsner glass. It was bottled on 4/13/15 and cost $2.85 ($0.24 per ounce).

Appearance: Pale lemon-skin yellow hue with slight cloudiness. Pours to a small, bright white, foamy head which laces and retains very well. Spastic carbonation is always visible.

Smell: Spicy/slight skunky Noble hops though pilsner malt is quite prominent and creates for a graham cracker-like scent too.

Taste: There’s essentially just two flavor combinations happening in this palette: raw pilsner maltiness up front and spicy hops with dry bitterness up on the backend. It simple and repetitive, yes, but because these flavors are so enjoyable I never get tired of them. The malt character is classic, cracker-like in nature (a combination of wheat and graham crackers if that makes sense) with the Noble hops imparting a strong spicy sensation on the finish. I detect a hint of lemon lollipop, though that could be due to the fact this bottle is rather “old” at nearly 3 months (oxidation). Though the hops don’t seem to have faded at all – I really like the zesty flavor they create. Overall, this is a more-than-solid pilsner palette that can be enjoyed by anyone.

Drinkability: What makes for a good pilsner isn’t just the flavor, but also the easy drinkability. Firestone Walker Pivo Hoppy Pils is exactly what you want in the style: a crisp, well-carbonated mouthfeel that’s in no way thin or abrasive. Refreshing while in the mouth, it does leave a bit of a spicy/starchy aftertaste, though it fades rather quickly and is tolerable anyway. Perhaps a bit “big” at 5.3% ABV since that’s a bit too heavy to be considered a session beer by most drinkers. Still, no one is going to have a problem throwing back a few of these on a hot day. The fact it’s also available in cans is a great selling point.

Score: 8/10

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