Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner

All I have to say about this beer is “WOW!”. Holy hops, Batman! While many beer snobs (as I prefer because they’re wrong on this one) think of bland and mediocre when they think of Sam Adams and Jim Koch, I tend not to think that way. I think the start of the craft beer revolution in the USA. I think of a true advocate for better beer. I think of someone who likes to change the way people think about beer. Well, this one certain does just that. The Hallertau Imperial Pilsner (which is a very American style) is nothing like a regular pilsner (or pilsener). In fact, it’s very much like an IPA or a Double IPA.

The beer pours an orange amber color and is a bit cloudy with a good sized head that lingers for quite some time. In fact, it looks a whole lot like a good IPA. Don’t be confused though, it was made with bottom fermenting lager yeast. The smell is mostly citrusy, piney hops. That didn’t come as much of a surprise as it tastes mostly of hops, though the flavor stayed mostly piney with some spiciness to it. There was a slight malt sweetness to it, but the hops took over for most of the flavor. It wasn’t the most drinkable beer, mainly because of the huge hops bitterness, but also because of the heaviness. It felt like a heavy beer. At 8.8% ABV, I expected to taste a bit of the alcohol, but I didn’t notice it until I was finished. All in all, this was a great beer.

I drank it with dinner. I had a curry chicken meal that had a bit of a kick to it. This beer paired nicely as neither the beer nor the food flavors took over. If you’re used to “bland” Sam Adams beer, this is definitely worth a try. I was surprised that it was still considered a lager. I think I’ll write about my thoughts on Sam Adams next…

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