Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pilsner Urquell

Brewery: Plzensky Prazdroj
Location: Pilsen, Czech Republic
Style: Pilsner
Brewery Website
Rating: B

Since I've been in a big pilsner mood lately, I decided to head to the source for this review. The name Pilsner Urquell translates to "the pilsner from the original source". While the recipe has no doubt changed since the beer's inception in 1842, Pilsner Urquell continues to be one of Europe's best-known pilsners.

Pilsner Urquell is clear, light amber in color. There is a white, foamy head that clings to the glass. There is a stream of fine bubbles that rise similar to champagne. The nose has bread, yeast and sweet aromas. There are some floral notes on the nose as well. A faint hint of skunky sulphur aroma is present initially, but fades quickly (as opposed to many of its European green-bottle brethren).

On the palate, there is a lot of sweet cereal up front. There is a mild hoppy bitterness present as well. Mineral notes, molasses and floral hops flavors play a complimentary role. The Pilsner Urquell is light-to-medium bodied with some light fizz on the tongue. The finish has more of the sweet cereal, with bitter notes to compliment it.

While Pilsner Urquell can't compete with the big flavors of craft-brewed pilsners, it certainly rises to the top of the class when it comes to mass-market European lagers. If you're a fan of Heineken, Becks, Molsen, etc., then give Pilsner Urquell a try. It might be time for a beer upgrade.

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