For this week’s Thursday Father and Son beer session we decided to try the Pilsner Urquell, which states right on the bottle that it is “The Original Pilsner.” This one is a favorite of Beer Love neighbor Jerry who sent over some great history on the beer.
For starters it’s brewed in the town of Plzen over in the Czech Republic. We’ll give you three guesses what they invented there. Because of it’s water source, Pilsner Urquell has been used throughout Europe by many people to help dissolve kidney stones and gall stones. The water source comes from the nearby city of Marianske Lazne (visit their official web site), which is a spa town where people go to drink the local spring water for it’s health benefits. Not just the plebians of the town, but world dignitaries, royalty from many countries and other famous people as well. The visits are actually doctor prescribed in many instances. The spa is actually the town’s main industry. Now for the beer – they say one Pilsner Urquell a day will do it to realize the health benefits. Note the “one” qualification there – everything in moderation here people. No other beer has this claim because of the water source.
Now on to the review. For our test we used, naturally, a pilsner glass. We got an initial beer temperature of 44.2 F and our 12 oz bottle sports a 4.4% ABV. Our initial pour gave us an average 1 1/4″ fizzy white head that left virtually no head lacing as it dissipated quickly. It’s got a medium carbonation and the body is a clear sparkling yellow/golden color. It looks like a textbook pilsner.
For the aromas we picked up a light biscuit (almost a sweet biscuit smell), citrus, grass, bread dough and some ginger. It’s quite a clean smell – very refreshing and crisp. Unfortunately the smell is the most intriguing part of the beer.
On the taste side we were able to note the light biscuit, grass and some light lemon. Not much complexity here – you pick up some hops and it’s kind of like a Heineken on the finish – somewhat skunky and also slightly metallic. This results in a strange disconnect from the aromas to the flavor. The malts thin out significantly and the hop bitters edge on in. The finish is very sharp.
For our initial flavor notes we get a light sweet and a very light bitter. The finish notes evolve to a light acidic and moderate bitter. The finish is average in length and it’s not a coating finish – one sip of water cleans it right out of your palate. The mouthfeel is watery and the tongue hit is right in the middle of your tongue. There’s no body lacing to speak of and on our malt to hop scale it comes in about a click and a half to the right of balanced on the hoppy side.
For our bottom line notes we get a yes to drinkable, yes to repeatable and yes to balance. This means a no to harmony, memorable, wow factor and unfortunately a no to buy again.
It’s a textbook session beer at 4.4% ABV and we feel like it should be done pretty cold to dull the taste out a bit. Maybe a thick walled cold, not frozen glass. It could be a good intro to a slightly hopped beer without a strong malt backbone for a craft beer newbie. We want to like it more because of the smell, but ultimately we’re just not big fans.
Pilsner Urquell Rating: 3 out of 10 (?)
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