By Bill Lau | A Potable Pastime
Czech Style Pilsener brewed with Saaz hops, 6% ABV, 35 IBU
Lagunitas Brewing Co., Petaluma, CA
First of all, let me say that I’m fan of Lagunitas and have enjoyed many of their beers over the years. They’re another one of those “best coast” breweries that brews plenty of hoppy beers, and I like that. (In fact, I like it a lot!) That none of their beers have made it onto my blog before now speaks mainly to the sheer number of beers out there (that, and the fact that I get wayyyyy fewer reviews posted here than I’d like to; but I digress).
Secondly, it’s worth noting that this is the only lager brewed by Lagunitas; all their other beers falling into the ale category (along with the vast majority of craft beers in the US). So I suppose it’s a sort of unicorn in that sense. Also, the terms pils, pilsner, and pilsener are all used to identify the style, and refer to the city of Plzen (or Pilsen in English) in Bohemia in the Czech Republic, where it originated back in 1842 (when the country was part of the Austrian Empire).
With all that as background, let’s get on with the review, shall we?
Appearance (4/5): Full-on yellow-gold in color with complete clarity; near-white head quickly falls to a thin layer composed of both very tiny and fairly large bubbles. Certainly looks the part!
Aroma (6/10): Some floral hops over faint grainy malt. A bit restrained.
Palate (3.5/5): Tingly carbonation bite delivers a lighter bodied, easy-drinking brew.
Taste (6.5/10): Opens with floral-grassy hops, joined by very light malt and an earthy bitterness. Becomes slightly muddled through the middle but clears up some into the finish. Lacks that distinct crisp & fresh malt character I associate with the style. Slightly vegetal or fatty note shows up in the finish. Hops definitely start picking up more presence as it loses some chill, and that slightly off note fades a bit. I wonder if my sample suffers from having sat on the shelf too long. (Giving some benefit of the doubt to Lagunitas based on my previous experience with their other beers I’ve tried.)
Overall (13.3/20): First thing I’ve tried from Lagunitas that didn’t delight. Don’t mind it not being dead-on to style, but that mild off note is disappointing. Will give it another try again when I’m sure it’s fresh.
Disclosure: The author has received no reimbursement or compensation for this article. All opinions and remarks are those of the author alone.