Pilsner Urquell

I did it again. I resisted the starting of a new blog, since I always lose interest. And in all probability I will lose interest in this as well, but who cares. As you can probably tell from the title, this blog is about Beer. Both the brewing and the drinking of it. Today we will start with the beer that probably influences our modern state of beers more than any other specific beer. I’m talking about Pilsner Urquell (Plzeňský Prazdroj), basically meaning original Pislner. Pislner is referring to a beer brewed in the city of Plzen, and more generally the style of light colored lager with a hop focus. Pilsner is the most copied and varied style in the world, with some of the most common examples not much resembling the original at all (in fact not much resembling beer at all). Pilsner is one of the most versatile styles you can find and one that you should always have on hand. Just make it a good one.

Aroma

Intensely malty with a spicy hop bouquet.

Appearance

Brilliant golden color with a small creamy white head.

Flavor

Big malty flavor up front with a deep spicy hop flavor on the back. Very bright, dry and crisp.  A rounded, non-harsh bitterness, which is due to the very soft water used in brewing. A slight buttery flavor that either lessons as the beer warms, or just becomes a smaller part of the equation since the malt and hop flavors come out with warming. A slight buttery (diacetyl ) flavor is a common element in Bohemian Pilsners like this, and isn’t really considered a detriment, but actually can lead to a fuller tasting beer.

Mouthfeel

Medium to full bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall Impression

A crisp refreshing drink. That went perfectly with my Buffalo Wild Wings during the Super Bowl. Especially good for clearing the palate between the different flavors of wings. The carbonation deals nicely with the spice of the hotter wings.

A note on cans. I tend to think in general that cans are better receptacles for beer than bottles. They don’t break, they don’t let light in, and modern lined cans won’t impart any nasty aluminum flavors that the cans of old were known for.  For some reason, central and eastern European breweries seem to be obsessed with green beer bottles. Green bottles are almost useless at keeping out light. Light affects a chemical in hops that turns beers skunky. If you ever drank a Heineken from a bottle, you probably drank a skunky beer. The long trip the beer needs to take will inevitably expose it to light, and it doesn’t take long for a beer to turn skunky. So, for any of those European beers that insist on shipping over green bottles, always opt for the canned version.

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