Friday, January 9, 2009

Beer Review: Saranac Bohemian Pilsener

F.X. Matt Brewing Company Saranac Bohemian Pilsener Lager

Time for another review. This is the last beer I have to review in the new 12 beers of winter from Saranac. I love that F.X. Matt puts out multiple new beers every year. It really shakes things up and enhances the limited feel of seasonal releases. This is a really tricky style and I always like to see how different breweries handle it. This is the beer that scared the Germans so much that they developed the Munich Helles style to fight back. A beer this light (it pours as light as a Budweiser) has no room for imperfections and off flavors. No dark roasted flavors to cover anything up. The aroma is very rich in the classic pilsener malt. It has that distinct pilsener malt smell that only the beers done authentically with the correct yeast strain and temperature can acquire.

Flavor is dead on for the style. The spicy saaz hops and the surprisingly malty pilsener malt really balance each other out. This is perhaps the most drinkable beer in the Saranac line. I really enjoy these hops. You will really be hard pressed to find a better hop varietal to counter the malty pilsener flavor. It has a quick grassy bite that rapidly fades and leaves you with a smooth aftertaste. Another word that comes to mind when drinking this beer is "clean". This is smooth, light, and clear. Yet it has flavor. Very impressive.

If I had to recommend one of the new Saranac beer styles for availability in six packs this would be my choice. This is an insanely drinkable lager and if there was ever a beer to introduce people who only drink very cheap light lagers to the world of bigger beer this would be my recommendation. The one question I am left with is why they put this in the winter mix pack. Pilseners are traditionally warm weather beer. I enjoy different styles year round but I would just like to hear the official response. Give this a shot!

Final Score: 89% (Very Authentic and Drinkable.)

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