Saturday, December 5, 2015

Orange Blossom Pilsner Squared

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   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20Chad9976 (1508) - Orlando, Florida, USA - DEC 5, 2015
The concept behind Orange Blossom Pilsner Squared is that it’s the same recipe as a standard pilsner they make – they just half the water in order to up the ABV. Not having tried the original I can’t say how this compares; but as a beer in and of itself it’s only okay at best. The honey used in the brewing dominates the palette completely. The result is a sweet, simple, and boozy brew that’s much closer to a braggot than anything even close to an imperial pilsner.

I poured a 12oz can into a wine glass. It was canned on 8/5/15 and cost $3.79 ($0.32 per ounce).

Appearance: A clear and pretty shade of orange proper. No carbonation visible. Pours to a small, off-white, foamy head which evaporates quickly and completely.

Smell: Alcohol is dominant (similar to mead), though there’s a sweetness to the aroma. A combination of yellow lollipops, honey and chamomile tea. No hops and no distinctive malt scents.

Taste: I’ve really come to enjoy and appreciate the pilsner style, so I was really looking forward to trying an imperial edition (assuming it was brewed to traditional specs). This beer really has nothing about it that indicates it’s a pilsner at all. No pilsner malt, no noble hops and no effervescent mouthfeel, either. It’s much closer to some kind of imperial amber ale/mead hybrid – or a “braggot.” Honey is pretty much all I can taste here, especially on the second half. The first half is mostly mead and alcohol with a slight chamomile tea and floral component. Though only 4 months old, there seems to be signs of oxidation already (hence the lollipop aroma and flavor). While there’s nothing inherently repugnant about the taste of this brew, there’s not a lot to truly enjoy. I’m sure mead lovers would appreciate it more than the average beer drinker.

Drinkability: When I saw the 11% ABV on the can I was shocked since it seems like such an ordinary offering. Though I looked forward to a big, complex palette; but Orange Blossom Pilsner Squared was rather simple. The mouthfeel is surprisingly tame. Carbonation dies down quickly leaving a mouthfeel that’s like a light mead. Noticeably warm (maybe even hot) on the throat; but it finishes remarkably clean. The lack of effervescence makes me wonder if it’s truly a pilsner.

RATING: 5/10