I was reluctant to try Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner the first time I saw it at Kahn's. Sam Adams has a place in the heart of every craft beer drinker -- maybe you love the mainstream Boston Lager or maybe you're more into their seasonals and sampler 12-packs -- and I'm no different. But I make it no secret that I don't particularly like pilsner. I drink a Becks or a Heineken and say, "this doesn't taste that much better to me than a Bud." So, needless to say, that one simple word kept me away at first.
When I got home I quickly looked up the beer on Beer Advocate. I was surprised to read that many people compared it to a Double IPA and I immediately thought, "I need to give this a try." So the next time I was at Kahn's I ponied up for a 4-pack. I've spaced my tastings out over about a month so I could try to get a handle on this style. This past Sunday I had the fourth bottle and I have to say, I don't particularly like this beer.
First of all, this beer is hops, hops, HOPS!, and more hops. Normally that would be a good thing for me, but there is very little malt to balance out the hops. That means that after the hop bite fades all that's left is a German Pilsner backbone that I simply don't like. Pilsner usually tastes a bit bitter to me, so throw a huge amount of hops on top of that style and you've got an insane bitter blast. Not my cup-o'-tea.
All that said, don't let me deter you from trying this beer! It's a limited-time-only release, but if a wacked-out, hopped-up Becks sounds like something you might be interested in, I know Parti Pak still had three or four 4-packs in their cooler a couple weeks ago. If it's gone and you're still interested in the style, Clipper City also brews an "Uber Pils" year 'round called Small Craft Warning. I've never tried it, and likely won't, so I can't make a recommendation about that. On Beer Advocate, there are a grand total of 35 beers that fall into this category (compared to 1279 for the American IPA style) so it doesn't appear to be particularly popular.
Choice Downloads - May
3 years ago