Harpoon Bohemian Pilsner was one of the beers found in Harpoon’s ‘Summer Vacation’ variety pack. (I love craft beer variety packs!) Part of the reason I chose to get this variety pack was that is had a few beer styles in it that I didn’t have much exposure to.
Both of these beer styles seem very appropriate for the warm Summer months, and I thought it was a good choice to include them in the variety pack.
From the Harpoon website, we learn that the “Harpoon Bohemian Pilsner follows the age-old tradition of extended lagering to help produce a smooth yet complex beer. The blend of European malts is balanced with Tettnang and Saaz hops to create a slightly malty beer with a crisp finish.”
OK, that sounds nice, but I know you’re wondering “What does Scott think?” Well, let me tell you!
First off, the beer looks great. As you might be able to tell from my crappy picture, its a nice, dark, straw-colored beer that appears to be very clear and is topped with a dense, bubbly head. Looks like a good start!
As I mentioned, I’m not well-versed in Pilsners, probably because this is the beer style that gets a bad name from the likes of the huge beer conglomerates. ‘Fizzy yellow water’ is what often describes this beer style, and I recognize that’s still a part of my psyche. But I know there are good craft pilsners out there (and good European Pilsners too!) and I will not let that particular beer aversion stop me from sampling them!
Anyway, the aroma to me was sweetish, with wheat, citrus, and mild hop (Saaz and Tettnana) and a mild feral, I mean, floral quality. 🙂
The taste was really quite nice, and I’ll admit that I’ve been neglecting some good beers if this is what a Pilsner can be! I thought that the beer’s taste was very nicely balanced, but I think the hops come to the front a bit more in the flavor than I interpreted in the smell. Still, it was subtle, and not at all out of check.
For the Summer, I thought it was great! In addition to the nice hop flavors, there seemed to be just a touch of peppery spiciness, paired with some nice citrus flavors and some malty sweetness for good measure.
The beer was light feeling, nicely carbonated, and a real pleasure to drink. Personally, I think it was the best beer in the variety pack, and its too bad that it isn’t part of their regular beer rotation. I’d get it again, and I never buy pilsners!
What do you think? What are some good domestic Czech-style pilsners that I should look to try? Looking back, I also seemed to like the Sam Adams Noble Pils (3.5 stars)