Sam Adams Noble Pils

Date March 22, 2011

Sam Adams Noble Pils is a relatively new beer. I think 2011 is the second year its been made.  It replaces the White Ale as the Sam Adams spring seasonal offering.  For those saddened White Ale fans, fret not!  White Ale was still included in the Winter Variety Pack, as well as the American Classics variety pack.

Noble PilsHaving this beer in a variety pack was perfect for me really, because see, I’m just not much of a Pilsner-style lager beer fan!  I’m still getting over the long-engrained damage of associating Pilsners with crappy, fizzy-yellow beer.  A lager aversion if you will.

There was just no way I would have tried this beer if it wasn’t part of the variety pack, and now that I’ve had it, I’m very glad that I did!

Its a clear, golden color, and it greats a soft white head.  Nice carbonation makes the beer seem light and lively looking and its a nice change of pace from the dark and heavy ales I’ve been enjoying of late.

The aroma, is also light and refreshing.  I was reminded strangely of faint grass and lemon – (but not lemongrass!).

Taste was similarly refreshing.  To me, it tasted a bit citrusy, and it had a bit of an earthy quality to it but I wouldn’t go as far as saying it tasted like grass!

Anyway, the trick to this beer is apparently the ‘Noble Hops’ used, (Hallertau Mittelfrueh, Tettnang Tettnanger, Spalt Spalter, Saaz, and Hersbrucker) a brewing process of the original Bohemian Pilsner tradition.  (Not sure what’s Noble about them though.)

OK, I ended up really liking this beer.  I found it to be supremely easy to drink, very flavorful, and the crispness it offered was, as I mentioned, a very nice change of pace for me.  I understand its a Spring seasonal beer, but this would also make an excellent beer for the hot months of Summer too.

Its gotten me curious about the Pilsner style again, and I’ll have to check out some of the Pilsners that Bob the Brit recommended here on The Brew Club to see how it compares to the traditional European classics like Pilsner Urquell, Staropramen,  and Budweiser.  (The other Budweiser)

3.5 stars easy.  I’d buy this one again.
Rating: ★★★½☆

8 Responses to “Sam Adams Noble Pils”

  1. Bob the Brit said:

    At the risk of being pedantic Scott, the other Budweiser, known as Czechvar in the US is not a Pilsner style beer.

    It’s a Budweis style beer (or Budweiser) and as such does have subtle differences in flavour.

  2. Scott-TheBrewClub said:

    @Bob – D’oh!

    So much to learn!

    It will be some time before I know the subtle differences. I need to get them all at the same time I think and hammer it out once and for all!

  3. Velky Al said:

    Technically speaking, Czechvar is just one of the “other” Budweisers, B.B. Burgerbrau being the other, and from a brewery a century older than the Budvar guys.

    Pilsner doesn’t travel very well and when pasteurised tastes nothing like it does fresh in the Czech Republic. To get a good handle on pilsner, trying finding Victory’s Braumeister Pils – Saaz.

  4. Scott-TheBrewClub said:

    @Velky Al – Thanks for the comment and the suggestion! Victory is pretty easy for me to find, so I’ll watch for that one. I’ve had their Prima Pils, but that was a long time ago.

  5. Nate said:

    Stick with the American craft brew versions becasue as Velky said, this beer style does not travel well. European styles seem to get that “euro-skunk” very easily. Also make sure you try Stoudt’s Pils, it is fantastic.

  6. Scott-TheBrewClub said:

    @Nate – Thanks for the tips. I’ll watch for the Stoudt’s and got some of these good beers under my belt! These are good choices for Summer, no? For once, I have good timing with something!

  7. Bob the Brit said:

    It’s not so much a ‘euro skunk’ @nate as the fact that aromatic oils from exotic hops, such as Saaz and Hallertau, are very delicate and break down very quickly. That’s why, as @Velky observed, the unpasteurised stuff in the Czech Republic is such as revelation.

    At the risk of name dropping, I once brought a bottle of ‘Triangle’ lager back from a business trip to Bermuda and took it to Michael Jackson. He observed the brewing date was six weeks earlier and said he wouldn’t taste it, as he said it would be past its ‘best’ and it wouldn’t be fair to taste it.

  8. Scott-TheBrewClub said:

    @Bob – That’s interesting. Usually I’d have no problems with a six-week old beer! Is this one of those situations where light plays a role? If these beers were in cans, would it preserve them better?

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