Thursday, 12 June 2014

Tasting : Fixing A Hole (Classic American Pilsner)

I'd like to say that I originally brewed two pale lagers (a Munich Helles, and this beer, a Classic American Pilsner) early this winter to have them ready in time for drinking during the warmer months of spring and summer, but I don't think I actually thought of it at the time! I mainly picked both styles because they were new to me, and because there were very few, if any, commercial examples available in my area. Luckily, the Munich Helles turned out great, and I'm happy to say that the results for this Pilsner are pretty tasty, too.

I don't have much to compare this beer to - actually, I'm pretty sure I've never had this style of beer before - but I've really enjoyed the first few pints I've poured from my keezer. I find the beer fits nicely in the BJCP guidelines for the style: the aroma is a bit grainy with the flaked corn in the background, with a good amount of the Saaz hops coming through (spicy and floral); they're fairly prevalent in the flavor, as well. I'd say the beer is moderately bitter in the finish; it has a malty sweetness to it, but ultimately finishes fairly dry. My only complaints, and minor ones at that, are that the clarity could definitely be better, and the head could be a bit larger and longer-lasting.

Overall, though, I'm very happy with how it came out; it really is a great summer beer. As far as Pilsners go, I like how this one is hoppier than the other Pilsner styles... don't get me wrong, it's not an IPA, but Saaz hops are very mellow and enjoyable, and they definitely come through, here. Together with the Helles, it's unusual for me to have two lighter, easy-drinking homebrewed beers at the ready. But there's been lots of grass to mow already, so this helps!
Still tasty on a cloudy day

Appearance: Pours with a moderate-sized head that begins fading fairly quickly, eventually settling into a thin film on the beer. Body is yellow in color, with decent clarity, but showing some haze.

Aroma: Pleasant, grainy aroma (with a bit of corn thrown in, an acceptable amount for the style) that is supported strongly by the floral and slightly spicy/earthy aroma of the Saaz hops. No diacetyl, quite clean.

Taste: Very nice. The Saaz hops come through in the flavor, making the beer slightly floral/spicy-tasting, but the malty-sweet and grainy flavors provide the bulk of the taste. Finishes nicely balanced between sweet and dry, with a medium bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, fairly creamy... moderate carbonation, could stand to be a bit higher.

Overall: Easy-drinking and tasty. Fresher Saaz hops (I'm pretty sure the ones I used were last year's crop) would likely add to the hop punch a bit, but this is a very approachable beer, with a bit more character than other Pilsner styles.

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