Czech-Style Pilsner Lager (Moat Mountain Brewing Company)

Style: Czech Pilsner

4.9 % ABV

Brewery’s Note: “A European-style pilsner. Dry hopping produces a bouquet of aromas from the addition of traditional noble hops. This beer has a bigger malt profile than the average American Pilsner. It has medium hop bitterness and a clean floral finish.”

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The beer pours a pale, regal yellow, as is proper for a pilsner. It forms a head of eggshell white bubbles, but has trouble keeping said head. In body, the beer is lager clean and bright with a constant stream of carbonation bubbling from its depths. On the nose, the beer smells of buttery cracker malt and earthy, spicy hops in a balanced dance that reminds me of spicy bread. On the tongue, the beer tastes initially bready sweet with a drying finish. Bitterness is mellow, but balancing beside the sweetness, and there is a touch of bright acidity as well. The earthy hops even give the beer’s finish a slightly salty turn. In flavor, the beer begins much as the scent, with smooth crackery malts that hint at a buttery bread character. Herbal, spicy hops blend nicely into the bready cracker malt, creating a mélange of soft flavors reminiscent of black peppers, earth, and a smooth minerality that helps to dry the finish. The finish is soft and subtle, but briny and delightful, and the aftertaste rings with that brininess. In the mouth, the beer feels light in body with a heavier carbonation that both fluffs and snaps at the tongue. The beer feels crisp and snappy on the palate, and leaves the mouth slightly wet, yet refreshed and ready for further sips. When enjoyed from the can, the beer does lose much of the minerality that I enjoy so much. It becomes a bit restrained from the can, yet remains crisp and drinkable, which is to be expected with can drinking and such. Overall, this is a lovely delicate pilsner with nice subtle complexity and a superb briny character from the earthy hops, which I am really digging. It is definitely more balanced than the hop-forward American pilsners that have been hitting the scene lately. This is a lovely sessionable ale that is delicate enough to heavily drink, yet complex enough to make each sip enjoyable. I like it.

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