Brewed with 40% more ingredients to bump any ordinary pilsner to an imperial level. We hop the kettle four times, using a good amount of Amarillo hops to balance the malty sweetness from the pilsen malt and lots of flaked maze. At 7.5% ABV and 50 Bittering Units, this beer is still very quaffable and packed full of flavor thanks to the help of our house American lager yeast.
(Editors Note: This review and several of the ones that follow it are part of a stockpile of tasting notes that have been siting in our notebooks for months that we just haven’t had time to get to. Sure, some of these reviews may not be as timely as we had originally hoped but they are still – somewhat – deserving of a spot in the annals of GDB.)
This is not our first go-round with an imperial pilsner. Our first foray in to the style that doesn’t seem to have a great deal of identity was Boulevard’s imperial pilsner a collaborative beer with the fine folks at Orval. We weren’t exactly wowed by that offering.
(Karl) “and I’m kinda bummed to say that the Boulevard Imperial Pilsner did almost nothing for me.”
Our second sip of an imperial pilsner came from another Missouri brewery, Schlafly. This one left a much better impression.
(Andrew) “I questioned whether this was simply a Belgian without the cloves or an IPA without the bitter hops. Regardless, the citrus notes of oranges or apricots make this a beer that would be perfect for a summer afternoon.”
So how does The Curl stack up? Quite well, actually. I’ll put this just a hair under the Schlafly imp pilsner and head and shoulders above the Boulevard collaboration.
Before this creamsicle orange in color beer even hits the glass you can smell the bright, floral hops wafting from the bottle. Once this brew settles in you can really pick up the hops – floral, earthy and a bit citrusy.
Get past the intoxicating aroma and you’ll find a beer that tastes true to style, or at least what I would expect an imperial pilsner to taste like.
It looks heavier and tastes heavier than a traditional pilsner with a little less carbonation too. In fact, it’s a bit creamy and borderline syrupy. It’s also chewy; with flavors of toasted whole grain bread topped with honey and slices of oranges and tangerines on the side. Continental breakfast in a glass? I think so.
You get the slightest alcohol burn on the finish to remind you this beer is 7-plus percent.
If i were to choose an appearance, aroma and flavor profile for what I think an imperial pilsner should resemble, this would be it.