Sep 24, 2008

Dogfish Head Golden Era Imperial Pilsner

"WHOAH!" is what I say after my first sip. Pilsner's are a beer standard and for the most part Americanized pilsners are, at the most, just average in flavor. At the least they are, as friend of mine says "Uck! They taste like cheap perfume." Some of the biggest selling beers in North America are based off the Czech pilsner example but have been adapted to the taste of the general marketplace. For example Labatt Blue is a pilsner. It even says so on the label. Crisp, dry and in the most cases for the big breweries a lot of corn, rice and a bit watery. Y'know how it is. One of those standard tastes we all probably remember when we first we trying beer back in those days when it wasn't about flavor and quality but quantity and catching a cheap buzz. Dogfish Head NEVER does anything standard though and their pilsner is no exception to the rule.
Originally called Golden Shower (the name change was a smart idea on their part. I know I've lost how many times I've heard someone like a grumpy old uncle refer to the swill he was quaffing as "Horse piss" then down another can) the color isn't really gold as it is a robust orange. Bubbles race up to the inch tall and slow fading head. A strong grain and honey scent to the nose along with a light slap of alcohol (but at 9% abv-how could there NOT be?).
A very sticky and sweet malt taste up front. It's followed by a honey-like soothingness then some crisp and dry hops show up at the end to rock the scales a little bit with a smack of (good) bitterness. Would I reach for this as my pilsner of choice when such a mood strikes? No, that's Victory's Prima. That's American ingenuity with an age old recipe and hits the bullseye. Besides, this is a bit more pricey and over the top in the booze department for casual drinking but if a special occasion called for a special pilsner this is one to go for.

1 comment:

sanilac brew head said...

Bought a 4 pack. Two did me in. Will have other two very soon.