Sunday, 15 March 2009

Time for your Pils, Mr. Masterson

For a period before and after TheBeerNuts session topic I feel like I have been overdosing on Pils, a style of beer I don't usually reach for first. This is the last for a while, but I'm taking pleasure in trying the east German beers nonetheless. Let's do this!

Riebeck Premium Pilsner from Braugold Vertriebs, in Erfurt, is, as one might expect, golden and reasonably well carbonated. The taste is strange. Clean, crisp malts, a light citric zing, and then something a bit different, like sweetcorn with butter with a dash of hay. The hops are certainly to the fore, but it's a different character to what you normally expect in a pilsner. A little more earthy perhaps. A graininess becomes more apparent the more you drink. Strange beer.

With an aroma hinting of fresh pine sap, with a hint of gin, on a light biscuity base, Altenburger Premium -- from Altenburg, did you guess? --is getting off to an interesting start. It continues with a splash of sweet malt, a pinch of salt and a broad hop profile that stays. After you swallow it seems to grow, giving fresh-cut grass, an edge of citrus and a dry, herb-like bitterness. Actually, it gets a bit like oregano.

Pilsners never cease to amaze me. Just when you think you are drowning in a sea of saminess, strange flavours appear. I'm not judging, but it shows that you can't dismiss an entire group of beer, as there are always subtleties at play. Of course it could be my tongue hallucinating and gasping for something with definitive flavours. Crap! I just judged!


The Beer Nut said...

I agree that pilsners can be amazing, though I get a bit sick of that grassiness which a lot of the more interesting ones have, especially if it's too strong.

I had my eyes opened at the Great British Beer Festival last year by Keesman Herrenpils -- a sumptuous creamy pils.

Adeptus said...

I have to admit, when people ask me what my favourite Pils is, these days I say Herrenpils. I really should order some more to see how it stands up aganst the tide of pils I've been drinking recently.

I wouldn't say the two above were amazing, but they were certainly different, and I like that.

Bailey said...

Drinking loads and loads of the same type of beer can be very educational. As you've observed, the sameness is superficial, and lurking beneath the surface are all kinds of subtle differences.

It's getting to be pilsner weather over here in London.

Tandleman said...

I reviewed this beer when I used to do a lot more of that kind of thing here:

Back in Jan 2003