Posts Tagged ‘imperial pilsner’

Breckenridge ESB and Regal

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

There’s an incredible special going on right now at John’s Grocery: a few beers from Breckenridge Brewery are only $4.99 per six pack. Other than these two, I believe the Lucky U IPA is on the same deal, and the 12-pack samplers are only $8.99.

First I’m trying the 471 ESB, called an extra special bitter on the bottle, but a strong Scottish ale on the website. A fairly hazy auburn beer with some buff-colored head. The nose has a toasty maltiness to it, with some dark fruit and nuts as well. There’s a bit of an herbal hoppiness lingering behind.

The body is very full, and the flavor has a significant malt sweetness. But the bitterness is quite pronounced as well, almost balancing the sweetness at first, before turning to an earthy, herbal hop flavor. There is just a hint of an alcoholic bite through it all. Toast, caramel, raisins, and dates from the malt are evident after the stronger flavors have died away. The body does leave a bit of a mouthcoating.

Now I’ll have the Regal Double Pilsner, which isn’t even mentioned on the website. Regal is very clear, a golden straw color. The head is creamy and just off-white. The nose is very light. Noble hops create a bit of an herbal aroma, and the pils malt gives a bready character, all almost imperceptible.

The flavor is likewise remarkably mild, especially considering the level of alcohol. The bread flavor is present through to the end, and the generous body also reflects the level of malt. A noble, herbal hop flavor is there, but not nearly strong enough. There is a fair amount of hop bitterness, more than balancing the malt. A bit of alcoholic tinge only seems to add to the bitterness. For a beer this strong to be this drinkable is dangerous.

+Breckenridge Regal Double Pilsner

3.8 (4-6-8-4-16)

+Breckenridge 471 ESB

3.5 (4-7-7-3-14)

Boulevard Collaboration No. 1 Imperial Pilsner

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

Boulevard Collaboration No. 1 Imperial PilsnerThe newest addition to Boulevard Brewing Company‘s Smokestack Series is a collaboration brew made with Jean-Marie Rock of Orval. The text on the label and the name indicate that there may be more collaboration beers to come.

Rock and Steven Pauwels (from Boulevard) have produced a fine imperial pilsner. The No. 1 is a brilliantly clear straw, just as you would expect from a pils. The bone-white head forms a creamy pillow that lasts forever. The strong effervescence is balanced by the thick body. A sweet malty aroma greets you immediately, only to be pushed aside by the grassy noble hops.

Don’t be fooled by this beer’s apparent simplicity: the malt and hops are perfectly balanced, but the flavors are strong and rich. The malt jumps out at first, with a sweet and intriguing taste. Saaz hops are quick to reply, offering a grassy and lightly bitter accompaniment. The hop and malt flavors combine to create a wonderful flavor that basically defines beer, but imperial(ly?). The bitterness lingers just a shade, balancing the full, not quite cloying, palate.

This is a remarkable collaboration brew, as one would expect from its lineage. Balanced yet strong, flavorful yet simple, this beer is beer. Period.

++Boulevard Collaboration No. 1 Imperial Pilsner

4.6 (5-9-8-5-19)