Once again it’s time to check out a few new beers. We decided to give a try to a few pilsners again. While we were out to eat last week, we had a chance to try Sam Adams Noble Pils, and then we figured that was a good of a reason as any to try another round of the lager subset.

As is the way I love to do it…we’re trying a known beer, a not as well known beer, and a very obscure beer. So we’re trying Schafly Pilsner, Crown Valley Old School Pilsener, Bakalar 1454, and a special bonus of Sam Adams Noble Pils seasonal.

We all know what a pilsner is, so we’ll just get right into it on these. Next round will be a new class of beers, because we realized that we’ve done a few kinds beer more than once already and we’ve got plenty more varieties to at least get their first go.

Schlafly Pilsner (4.8% ABV)

Schlafly Pilsner

Nik: The Pilsner pours well with a very small head that really doesn’t last very long at all. It dissipates very quickly, unlike some other pilsners we have tried. It has a very bitter smell to it that’s quite noticeable right out of the bottle which is very nice. The beer itself is quite cloudy and is very bitter. The Schlafly Pilsner is not smooth and has a very small malt flavor to it. I can think of no other way to describe it, but the bitter flavor of this beer just tastes wrong. I’ve been a long time fan of their beers and I really think that Schalfly excels at making darker beers and this attempt at a pilsner really falls flat for me. I won’t be drinking this one again.

Bob: Friendly and floral hop aroma, but rather faint. Bright golden color in the glass, but also cloudy. The head is initially pretty good, but it doesn’t last very long. Failed the taste test miserably, with a hop bitterness that had some very nasty and unappealing components. Didn’t taste much like beer. Couldn’t even get through my glass–I had to pour it out. The aftertaste was so bad I had to rinse several times to try to get rid of it. An experiment gone awry from one of my favorite breweries.

Crown Valley Brewing Old School Pilsener (5.6% ABV)

Crown Valley

Nik: Crown Valley’s pilsener pours a very nice foamy head with a very good nose that’s hard to miss. This beer appears and tastes unfiltered with its cloudy, but wonderful golden color. Even though it has a very  unfiltered feel to it, it’s still very crisp and bitter. The choice of hops used int his beer give it a very nice bitter bite to it that was very much unlike that of the Schlafly Pilsner. This is a beer I’ll drink often.

Bob: Excellent aroma (probably due to use of Saaz hops, one of the “noble” varieties. Great head – very long-lasting with tiny bubbles. Golden yellow color, but cloudy rather than clear. Interesting bitterness, with a very nice long aftertaste. Very good beer that I would definitely buy again.

Rakovnik Bakalar 1454 (5% ABV)


Nik: This sampling poured very cloudy. We didn’t get a crystal clear beer this time around which is a bit rare for golden beers. It foamed up nicely, giving a great look to the beer once it was poured into the glass.  Bakalar has a great nose to along with the great and foamy head. This was the smoothest beer of the bunch along with a very gentle bitterness. The entire time while drinking this beer, I was trying to come up with a way to describe the flavor and feel of this beer. I could not. This beer compares to no other and is just an outstanding tasting beer. Rakovnik really surprised us and I’ll be on the look out for several more pints of this beer.

Bob: Although not specifically labeled a pilsener, this Czech brew from Rakovnik is truly outstanding, tasting much like Pilsner Urquell. The label says they use water from their own well, Moravian malt and Zhatezki hops, and have been using the same recipe since 1454. The aroma was very nice and long-lasting, with that “noble” smell. The head was very nice, long-lasting and even very tasty. Had a very silky feel in my mouth, with a wonderfully complex bitterness and an aftertaste that seemed to wrap around my tongue and hit every taste bud. All in all, one of the best beers I’ve ever had. Would buy again and again if I could just find it.

Samuel Adams Noble Pils (4.9% ABV)

Sam Adams

Nik: I had been told to try this beer by a couple people who are both beer lovers and I’ve always been a sucker for a good lager of any kind. So when I saw this beer was available at the restaurant we were at, Bob and I were both quite happy and decided to give it a try. I just can’t get behind this one. The entire time I was drinking it…I just couldn’t help but feel like it tasted like an IPA that was made wrong. I’ll be passing on this one in the future.

Bob: Please don’t be fooled by the label! This beer doesn’t remotely resemble any pilsner I have ever had. I love Sam Adams Boston Lager, but they should be prosecuted for calling this beer a pilsner. It had absolutely no detectable aroma (much less that of noble hops) and was little better than a Bud Light. This one might be for you, but it is certainly not for me. I hope I never have occasion to run across it again.


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