Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Pilsner Urquell (2015 original review)

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20Chad9976 (1486) - Albany, New York, USA - OCT 27, 2015
It took me a long time to come around to pilsners, but now that I’ve come to appreciate them I’m finding I can’t get enough of them. Ironically enough, I have never reviewed the Mother of All Pilsners: Pilsner Urquell. This brew single-handedly started the style and after 173 years it still holds up as a great lager and a great beer. 

I poured a 500ml can into a pilsner glass. It had an expiration date of 10/28/15 (that’s tomorrow!) and cost $3.49 ($0.21 per ounce).

Appearance: A beautiful dark gold/amber hue with crystal clarity. Plenty of visible carbonation which never diminishes. Pours to a fairly large, white, fluffy head which retains and laces very well.

Smell: A bit of skunky scent was noticeable as soon as I popped the top, but since it’s a can it can’t be light strike. Scent is likely Saaz and/or other Noble hops. Spicy and grassy with a fairly prominent malt sweetness as well.

Taste: Though this is my first time reviewing Pilsner Urquell it is not my first time drinking it. Having had it before on tap, this was my first time trying it at home and I’m glad I found it in a can instead of a green bottle. The palette deScription could be taken straight from the BJCP specs since it invented the Czech Pilsner (or “Czech Premium Pale Lager” as they’re calling it now) style. Spicy/grassy hops throughout with a subtle flavor of rye. Since this can is rather old it appears to have oxidized a bit and the hops have faded. That probably accounts for the noticeable presence of honey and lemon. Bitterness is assertive, and yet gentle. A dry spicy sensation with a lingering taste of pretzel bread. It’s not often I use the word delicious to describe a pale lager such as this, but I would say this beer is indeed delicious.

Drinkability: I was a little nervous to drink this beer considering it’s only 4.4% ABV and just about to reach the expiration date. Yet, the palette held up well and the drinkability did not suffer at all. Though light in weight, Pilsner Urquell still has plenty of body and energy to its mouthfeel. Plenty effervescent to the last drop; it seems to scrub the tongue on each swig. The aftertaste is a lovely mixture of honey and spice, though it dries out eventually. Now that it comes in cans this makes for a fantastic beach/camping/hiking beer. Or just session the hell out of it whenever.

RATING: 9/10

NOTE: Read my 2017 re-review here: http://www.chadzbeerreviews.com/2017/02/pilsner-urquell-2017-re-review.html