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Rothaus Tannenzäpfle (349 of 1001)

Rating: 3.1

A new beer from the 1001 list now and the last of the relatively few on there that I tried when visiting Berlin last month, I had been hoping to check a few more off but it seemed that it was the same ten or fifteen beers in most shops I visited over the course of my weekend in the city. This one will be the 349th from the list that I’ll have reviewed here and is the second Rothaus offering from it, it follows on from their Hefeweizen that I tried back in November and quite enjoyed. My second in total from the brewery, this is a beer that I almost reviewed twice as it is sold under two different names in German with Rothaus Pils and Rothaus Tannenzäpfle seemingly used interchangeably (the 330ml bottles are Tannenzäpfle and the 500ml ones are Pils), hence the reason the photo attached to this post doesn’t use the Tannenzäpfle name. The beer itself is another that I picked up from a local shop in the Alexanderplatz area of Berlin when I visited over Easter last month, although I do believe that I’ve spotted it on occasion back in the UK so it probably shouldn’t have taken me this long to get round to finally trying it.

Appearance (3/5): This one was quite a light looking beer that sat a straw gold colour in the glass with a very clear body and a half centimetre head that was white and bubbly; not the greatest of starts but far from the worst too.
Aroma (6/10): Fairly light on the nose with some corn and a faint sweetness kicking things off before some touches of hay and the odd grassy hop started to come through. The nose was quite balanced and some freshness appeared with clean lager malts nearer the end but it was definitely edging closer to the basic side of things.
Taste (6/10): Corn and light malts again open things up here, there was some grassy hops that carried on from the nose but some touches of citrus also made an appearance here as well. I managed to detect some bread malts and a faint sweetness towards the end but again it wasn’t exact a complex pilsner.
Palate (3/5): Light-medium bodied with quite a fresh but ultimately light feel to proceedings, there was a nice earthy bitterness to the beer with moderate carbonation and a nice balance that made it an easy one to drink for the most part but it definitely wasn’t anything special.

Overall (14/20): This one was quite an average pilsner overall, definitely nothing special but quite an easy-going and sessionable one that went down quite quickly despite not being a stand out in the style either. It was quite a fresh offering with a lively feel and a basic sweetness that kept things ticking along. It’s probably not a memorable offering and I much preferred their Hefeweizen but it was an okay lager and it’s always nice to check off another beer.

Brewed In: Grafenhausen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Brewery: Badische Staatsbrauerei Rothaus
First Brewed: 1956
Also Known As: Rothaus Pilsner
Type: German Pilsner
Abv: 5.1%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Alexanderplatz, Berlin, Germany
Price: €1.40 (£1.21 approx.)

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Lemke Bohemian Pilsner

Rating: 3.75

Now for the last of the five beers from the Lemke brewery that I managed to try while in Germany last month, this one a Czech style pilsner from the brewery that I found on keg at one of their Berlin brewpubs and managed to try on my second night in the city. This one follows on from the brewery’s 030 Berlin Pale Ale, Hopfen Weisse, Imperial Stout and Original offerings which all turned out to be pretty enjoyable beers. Overall the brewery is one that I’ve been fairly impressed with and I’ll definitely be on the look out for more from them in future, although finding their beers in the UK will likely prove to be problematic at best but maybe I’ll get lucky at some point.

Appearance (4/5): Light golden to amber in colour and quite a clear looking beer that was topped with a foamy white head sitting about half a centimetre tall. There was some nice lacing on the sides of the glass and head retention was fairly good for the style, managing to hold well in the early going and get the beer off to a good start.
Aroma (7/10): More hoppy than I’d initially anticipated, there was a nice combination of lemon and citrus to kick things off an provide a decent tang to proceedings. The beer definitely wasn’t the strongest on the nose though, there was some grassy hops and touches of lager malt with a faint spice nearer the end but for the most part it was a fairly standard smelling pilsner.
Taste (7/10): Quite a tangy offering with plenty of lemon and citrus carried over from the nose to give the beer a somewhat fresh taste that was complimented by some nice grassy flavours and subtle hops. Towards the middle some biscuit and a faint sweetness started to make itself known but nothing overpowered and again it was quite a light beer; a pleasant lager taste with some corn and earthy hops seeing things out.
Palate (4/5): Light medium bodied with a fairly fresh feel to proceedings and a subtle tang from the citrus in the early going too. The beer had a pleasant bitterness to it but nothing overly pronounced, there was a semi-dry feel as well and the beer was moderately carbonated throughout. It turned out to be a fairly easy beer to drink with a nice balance but it could have been a little stronger, particularly with the nose.

Overall (15/20): This one was a fairly enjoyable offering from Lemke again but probably not quite as good as some of their previous offerings that I’ve tried recently, mainly down to the fact that the nose was quite subdued and could definitely have been stronger. There was some pleasant citrus flavours throughout the beer and I enjoyed the earthy bitterness coming through around the middle with touches of spice in there too. It was quite a fresh and easy to drink beer with some dryness and a solid lager taste throughout without it ever really exciting; nice stuff but probably not the best from the brewery.

Brewed In: Berlin, Germany
Brewery: Brauerei Lemke
First Brewed: 2015
Type: Czech Pilsner
ABV: 5.0%
Serving: Keg (500ml)
Purchased: Brauhaus Lemke am Alex, Berlin, Germany
Price: €5.00 (£4.30 approx.)

Cloudwater Motueka Pilsner

May 12, 2017 1 comment

Rating: 3.4

My sixth in total from the Cloudwater brewery and I’m pleased to report that their beers seem to be more readily available north of the border than was previously the case; always a good thing. This one follows quickly one from the can of their DIPA v13 that I reviewed here recently and is actually another can from the brewery that I picked up alongside that one, the other being the can of their Seville Orange Sour that I reviewed a couple of weeks ago and wasn’t particularly impressed with so hopefully this one turns out a little better. This one is a limited release pilsner from the Manchester based brewery and part of their Spring/Summer series of beers and I’ll be keeping my eyes open for a couple more of their beers in the near future; hopefully they will be slightly more reasonably priced than this one was though.

Appearance (4/5): Pouring quite a light and very clear golden colour that isn’t too far off of a straw colour, the beer is topped with a fairly nice looking head that is white and foamy, sitting just over a centimetre tall and holding quite well into the bargain. There is a lot of visible carbonation with the beer and the clarity of the drink is excellent, the head also looks to leave some nice lacing on the sides of the glass as well when I start drinking it; nice stuff so far.
Aroma (6/10): Quite fresh on the nose but definitely not the strongest in the early going, this one opens with some subtle grassy notes and a little citrus lemon which makes it seem lively initially. There was some faint herbal touches around the middle and I got a hint of biscuit as well before the odd hop makes an appearance around the middle. Towards the end some hay and light sweetness feature with it seeming quite refreshing at this point as well but it could have been a bit stronger really.
Taste (7/10): Following on well from the nose, this one is a fresh and lively beer in the early going with some lemon coming through again but the hops from the nose come through a lot earlier this time around. There was some herbal touches with a little citrus and hints of grassy hops around the middle, a subtle hint of hay is also present before the malts start to make themselves known. Towards the end there is a combination of sweet malts and biscuit flavours to see things out but it still feels like a lager to me, albeit it a fairly good one but certainly nothing outstanding.
Palate (3/5): Light-medium bodied and fresh, the beer was a relatively crisp and lively offering that was well carbonated and balanced but could definitely have been stronger. It was a nice lager on the palate and it’s always nice when none of the usual skunk flavours are present but it certainly wasn’t anything spectacular from Cloudwater and I’m not sure it’s one that would grab anyone’s attention really.

Overall (14/20): Nice stuff for a lager from Clouwater, this one was quite a lively and fresh offering that was pretty easy to drink thanks to the decent balance but in truth I was somewhat disappointed by the fact that it wasn’t a little stronger, particularly in the early going with the nose. There wasn’t too much to the beer that stood out either, I got some light malts and biscuit flavours coming through alongside the usual grassy hops and hay plus some pleasant enough lemon and citrus flavours but there was nothing to really grab my attention and I’m not sure it’s a beer I’d go back too, especially not at the same price as what I paid for this can; it was okay but could definitely have been better.

Brewed In: Manchester, England
Brewery: Cloudwater Brew Co.
First Brewed: 2017
Type: Pilsner
Abv: 5.6%
Serving: Can (440ml)
Purchased: Good Spirits Co. Wine & Beer (Glasgow)
Price: £4.10

Weihenstephaner Pils (348 of 1001)

April 27, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 4.0

Yet another beer from the 1001 beers list now, this one being my fifth review of a beer from it in a row now and this one is another that I managed to sample whilst on holiday recently. I picked this one up on keg at the Weihenstephaner Beer Hall in Berlin over Easter earlier this month, having visited the pub because I knew they’d have this beer available and because it is the last of the two beers from the brewery on the 1001 list that I still had to try, having first tried their flagship Hefe Weissbier back in May 2011. This one is actually a beer that I’ve been keeping my eyes open for since then and have found it online a few times already but every time I’ve attempted to place an order for it the beer has quickly sold out; finally I got my chance to try it in Germany though. The beer will be my 348th from the list that I’ll have reviewed here and is one of only two new beers from the list that I managed to try in German on my recent visit, a review of Rothaus’ Tannenzäpfle should follow shortly after this one.

Appearance (4/5): A light to golden amber colour that has a very clear body and quite a large, foamy head that sits about two inches tall in the glass initially. There looks to be a creamy texture to the head and it is bone white in colour as well as having good retention over the opening few minutes, with only a touch of the initial height lost and there is plenty of good lacing on the sides to make up for this anyway.
Aroma (7/10): Not an overly strong beer on the nose, not compared to the brewery’s wheat beers anyway but there was at least some good malts and lager notes in the early going alongside a few grassy hops and some citrus. There was a faint bitterness nearer the middle of the beer before some subtle sweetness showed itself but overall the beer was quite light and fresh on the nose with some spice and the faintest of coriander notes seeing things out.
Taste (7/10): Following on well from the nose, the taste is quite a fresh one but it is also quite light with some grassy hops and a touch of citrus opening things up. The coriander from the end of the nose is again present but shows itself earlier this time, there is some lemon coming through too but there wasn’t much in the way of a standout flavour really; it was still quite a nice beer though.
Palate (5/5): Smooth and very crisp, this one was exactly as a pilsner should feel with lively carbonation and a great balance that was helped by the fact that none of the flavours were particularly strong. There was some fizz and a slight hint of bitterness from the middle on which made it an incredibly easy beer to drink and one that was quite effervescent too.

Overall (16/20): Another excellent beer from Weihenstephan and up there with some of the best pilsners I’ve tried, mainly due to the fact that the beer looked good and had an excellent palate; the taste and nose weren’t bad either but nothing was really a standout from them. The beer was incredibly easy to drink with an excellent balance from the start and some nice sweetness at times that worked well with the subtle bitterness that featured throughout the beer. It’s a beer that could probably have benefited from being just a touch stronger, particular with the nose but it was very pleasant from the start and one that I’d definitely have again.

Brewed In: Freising, Germany
Brewery: Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan
First Brewed: 1908
Type: German Pilsner
Abv: 5.1%
Serving: Keg (500ml)
Purchased: Weihenstephaner Beer Hall, Berlin, Germany
Price: €4.60 (£3.90 approx.)

Mama’s Little Yella Pils

October 6, 2016 1 comment

Rating: 3.6

My ninth Oskar Blues beer now and my first new offering from the brewery since trying their Death By Coconut and IPA beers back in March of this year, with the IPA turning out to be quite a decent beer. This particular beer is one from the brewery that I’ve seen a number of times over the years but never got around to trying, I’m usually put off by the price since I’m never overly keen to pick up pilsners over other styles of beer. I finally got round to trying this one last night at Brewdog’s Doghouse in Glasgow after finding it freshly on-tap and decided it was finally time I gave it a go. First introduced way back in 2007, this one is a Czech style pilsner that uses both Saaz and Bavarian hops that helped it win a silver medal at the 2001 Great American Beer Festival in the bohemian pilsner category. Anyway here it is, my ninth from the brewery and I’m already looking forward to trying number ten.

mamas-little-yella-pils

Appearance (4/5): Slightly cloudy but still a fairly bright golden colour that is topped with a relatively thin, foamy white head that sits a couple of millimetres tall in the glass. There was plenty of lacing on the sides of the glass though which seemed to make up for the fairly small head.
Aroma (6/10): Subdued on the nose initially, this one was as I’d expected from a pilsner in the early going with some subtle grassy hops and a light citrus nose coming through. The beer was definitely balanced but light with some pleasant sweetness and a touch of corn before the earthy hops and faint spice came through. It was a nice beer on the nose overall but it could probably have used being a little stronger.
Taste (7/10): The taste follows on well from the nose and starts perhaps a touch sweeter too, only just though. There was some nice citrus touches and a grassy hop base with some fruits in the background and the odd hop in there too. Again not too strong going down, this one would have been better had it been slightly more pronounced.
Palate (4/5): Light medium bodied and quite a clean beer that was also fairly crisp on the palate. There was some light citrus around the middle that gave the beer a subtle tang alongside the moderate carbonation levels and overall it was quite easy to drink. As I’ve said, it wasn’t the strongest beer out there but it was fresh and pleasantly refreshing.

Overall (14/20): This one wasn’t too bad a pilsner from Oskar Blues, it was crisp and quite clean with some early sweetness alongside a light citrus and grassy hop flavour. There was some background fruits and it proved quite easy to drink, my biggest complaint being that it wasn’t quite as strong as I’d have liked but it was a decent beer despite this.

Brewed In: Longmont, Colorado, United States of America
Brewery: Oskar Blues Brewery
First Brewed: 2007
Type: Czech Pilsner
Abv: 5.3%
Serving: Keg (Schooner)
Purchased: Brewdog Doghouse, Glasgow, Scotland
Price: £3.61

North Coast Scrimshaw

September 29, 2016 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.1

My fourth North Coast beer now and taking its name from “delicate engravings popularised by 19th century seafarers”, this is another I ordered online from Brewdog’s online shop after being surprised to see it at a fairly reasonable price. It follows on from the brewery’s Old Rasputin and Brother Thelonious offerings from last year, and more recently from their Le Merle saison that I managed to try earlier this year; all three of which proved to be very good beers. This European style pilsner will be the first lager from the brewery that I’ll have reviewed and part of the reason for picking it up was because of how much I’ve enjoyed the their previous offerings, so I’m basically hoping for more of the same with this one despite it being the first from the brewery I’ll have tried that doesn’t also feature on the 1001 beers list as well.

north-coast-scrimshaw

Appearance (3/5): Slightly darker than average for a pilsner, this one sat as a copper tinged amber that was also very clear in the glass with a lot of fine bubbles rising to the surface as well. Initially it was topped with a thin, foamy white lacing but this soon faded to leave quite a patchy surface lacing that sat mainly to one side of the glass and definitely could have been a little better looking.
Aroma (6/10): Quite light on the nose in the early going but there was an early sweetness coming through thanks to the pale malts that also hinted at some caramel; I also managed to detect a little bread in there as well. These were followed by some earthy hops and a touch of biscuit but nothing really jumped out after the initial sweetness in truth.
Taste (7/10): Like the nose, there was again an early sweetness to open the taste up but it definitely didn’t seem quite as strong as with the nose. This was followed but the usual pale malts and biscuit/bread malts for the style as well as a light sprinkling of both hay and citrus, although neither was particularly strong. Down the stretch some grains and grassy touches started to come through before a subtle hop bitterness and some earthy flavours seen things out.
Palate (3/5): Surprisingly light and, dare I say even a touch weak in places but fairly well-balanced at the same time and easy to drink. This one quite basic in its approach with an early sweetness grabbing your attention but after that there wasn’t really much to go on other than a light bitterness in the finish.

Overall (12/20): Coming through with what turned out to be quite a standard pilsner taste, this one was a decidedly average beer that started slightly sweet and was followed up by some pleasant caramel and bread malts but never really done enough to fully grab my attention. There was a nice balance to what was quite an easy beer to drink and the moderate bitter finish rounded things off well, it’s just not one that I thought was particularly interesting or memorable; a nice beer but definitely not one to hunt for.

Brewed In: Fort Bragg, California, United States of America
Brewery: North Coast Brewing Company
First Brewed: circa. 1992
Type: Pilsner
Abv: 4.4%
Serving: Bottle (355ml)
Purchased: Brewdog.com
Price: £2.50

Drygate Pilsner

Rating: 3.25

Another new Drygate beer now and what will be my ninth in total from the brewery, their gluten-free Pilsner offering. This one is a new year-round offering from the Glasgow brewery that launched just a month or two ago and is one that I managed to stumble upon in their brewpub on a recent visit after initially struggling for something new to try there. Currently only available on keg but with plans to launch it in bottles later this year, I can imagine this one will be another Drygate beer that I’m likely to see quite a lot in the Glasgow area over the coming months. This pilsner will be my second lager from Drygate and it follows on from the second beer from the brewery that I tried when I reviewed it here back in July of 2014; their flagship Bearface Lager. I never usually hold out much hope when trying new lagers, even those that would be described as craft offerings, and considering I wasn’t a huge fan of their Bearface Lager this wasn’t one that I thought would be a classic but since it was a new beer from a local brewery I went in with an open mind anyway; here’s what I thought of it.

Drygate Pilsner

Appearance (4/5): This one was a really clear looking beer that sat as a light golden colour in the glass and was topped with a very thin, foamy lacing that was bone white in colour and done well to cover the surface of the beer.
Aroma (6/10): Opening up with a semi-sweet nose, this one featured a lot of pale malts and some hints of corn in the early going before some background citrus started to make itself known. There was some faint touches of straw and hay with a hint of coriander and some grassy hops sneaking in too but there wasn’t too much out of the ordinary with this one really.
Taste (6/10): Following on in a similar fashion to the nose, this one is quite a light beer with plenty of pale malts and some hay to open things up along a very basic citrus flavour that appears towards the middle. The beer seemed a fair bit sweeter than with the nose though and there was some faint smoky touches in there as well which I hadn’t been expecting but other than that, this one seemed to be a fairly ordinary and quite average tasting pilsner from Drygate.
Palate (3/5): A light bodied pilsner that was quite smooth and fairly fresh in the early going too. There was a faint tang around the middle from the citrus and the odd touch of smoke made an appearance as well but on the whole it was fairly easy-going and balanced.

Overall (13/20): This one was an okay lager overall without proving itself to be anything special, or memorable for that matter either. There was more sweetness coming through with the taste than I’d expected and a faint hint of smoke featured towards the end of the beer but for the most part it was a fairly standard pale lager that came through fresh and balanced without really exciting. Initially I thought it was on track to be a better offering than the brewery’s Bearface Lager but by the time I had finished this one I wasn’t so sure.

Brewed In: Drygate, Glasgow, Scotland
Brewery: Drygate Brewery
First Brewed: 2016
Type: Pilsner
Abv: 4.0%
Serving: Draught (Pint)
Purchased: Drygate Brewery, Glasgow, Scotland
Price: £3.80 (approx.)