Sunday, August 23, 2015

Lagunitas Brewing Company - Imperial Pils

The king of craft beers?
Today, I'm drinking an Imperial Pils by Lagunitas Brewing Company. I picked up a 22 oz. bomber of this brew at New Seasons for $3.99. I spent a lot of time lurking about the beer aisle at that store this afternoon--I just couldn't decide--and then wouldn't you know, I forgot the main item I went there to get. Sorry, Merry the Wonder Beagle, papa didn't bring home your dog food, but I did bring home the beer!

This beer comes with an ABV of 8.6%. That's a heavy hitter, for sure. So...is it pilsener, or pilsner? And what's the difference? The label of this beer calls itself a "pilsener". Let's do some googling, shall we?

According to what I was able to gleen from the interwebs, there are three types of pilsners: A German Pilsner, a Bohemian Pilsener (with the extra E) and a Classic American  Pilsner. I found articles with lengthy descriptions of each style, but I'm lazy and didn't want to read them all. Basically, from what I could ascertain by applying the Evelyn Woodhead Speed Reading Method, the Bohemian Pilsener is brewed with Czech hops and the German Pilsner style is the Bohemian Pilsener adapted to brewing conditions in Germany. The American version arrived in the USA along with immigrant German brewers who brought the process and yeast with them when they settled in America. Prohibition literally killed the style and it has no real resemblance to the crap macro brewers manufacture under the monikers pilsner or pils.

Okay, enough with the learnin' and on to the drinkin'. How is this Imperial Pils?

The beer poured from bomber to fancy pilsener glass a clear, golden yellow color with a bright, white head. The head rose up beautifully to two full fingers thick. That head was clumpy and creamy and dissipated slowly. A full cap and thick webs of lacing were left behind all over the glass. What a nice presentation, which struck me as quite...imperial.

Aroma was grainy, biscuity malt and mild, lemony, herbal hops up front. Floral notes and some booziness.

Taste followed the nose. Lemon and orange citrus hops. Sweet, grainy malt. Bitter hops lingered at the end providing a good balance against the sweet. A bit of an alcohol burn at the end.

Medium mouthfeel with good carbonation. Dangerously easy to drink. No alcohol rasp. How they do that? 

Overall, this is like a premium high ABV malt liquor. All the good stuff but no heinous alcohol or adjunct/additive residue on the finish. A couple of these bombers could get the average drinker in some real trouble real fast. The low price is a wonder, too. I'm surprised hipsters aren't buying this readily available, seasonal brew by the caseload.

I like it! I'm giving Lagunitas Imperial Pils a BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 crushed cans out of 4.

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