Monday, July 16, 2012

Beer of the Week (Vol CLII)

Another special better late than never edition of Beer of the Week sponsored as always by the stately folks at Glen Lake Wine & Spirits who can help you take charge of the wide world of wine, whiskey, and beer.

When it comes to the presidency, the modifier “imperial” has a decidedly negative connotation. Starting with Nixon and running right up to the label recently heard being more and more associated with the Obama Administration, the concept of the Imperial Presidency is not generally regarded as a good thing.

However, when it comes to beer, most serious aficionados have a favorable view of Imperial beer styles:

Imperial is a term sometimes used to describe a beer that is brewed to a significantly higher original gravity, and therefore a significantly higher alcohol content, than other beers in the same style. These beers are also sometimes called Double or Triple versions of the style as well.

It’s quite common to see imperial stouts, porters, or IPAs or double (and even triple) bocks. I’ve also tasted a couple of imperial red ales, but had never come across an imperial pilsner. Until this week that is. The Beer of the Week is Odell Brewing’s Double Pilsner:

We feel the eyes of tradition upon us whenever we brew our Double Pilsner. But this beer is not just our tribute to the classic Bohemian pilsner – it’s our own craft interpretation of it. Refreshing and delicate yet bold and assertive, its clear golden color leaves nowhere for imperfections to hide but plenty of room for mystery.

A four-pack of 12ox brown bottles retails for $10.99. Usual natural look and feel of an Odell’s label featuring a large-eyed owl.

STYLE: Imperial Pilsner


COLOR (0-2): Brownish-gold and slightly clouded. 2

AROMA (0-2): Grassy with a note of fruity hops. 2

HEAD (0-2): Bright white color. Not a lot of volume. Good retention. 2

TASTE (0-5): Grainy and bready malts with more moderate hops that provide flavors of lemon and pepper. Noticeable heat at the finish. Medium-bodied with a thinner mouthfeel. 3

AFTERTASTE (0-2): Lingering alcohol taste. 1

OVERALL (0-6): This is definitely not your usual pilsner. It has more pronounced malt flavors and more hop kick than one would expect. The biggest difference is the alcohol that comes with the double designation. Pilsners are typically lighter, more refreshing beers suited for session drinking. While Odell’s Double Pilsner has some good things going for it, I prefer the more traditional style and would rather double down with porters, stouts, and IPAs. 4

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 14