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Boulevard Smokestack Series: Reverb Imperial Pilsner



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RATINGS: 414   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.59/5   SEASONAL: Summer   IBU: 32   EST. CALORIES: 231   ABV: 7.7%
How can a style as elegant and refined as pilsner be "amped up" to imperial status? The answer, as Spinal Tap guitarist Nigel Tufnel might say, is simple: you go to eleven. With its classic recipe and impeccable craftsmanship, Reverb Imperial Pilsner echoes our Collaboration No. 1 Imperial Pilsner, produced in 2009 with esteemed Belgian brewmaster Jean-Marie Rock. Like its predecessor, this summer seasonal is a study in delicately balanced contrasts. Up front, Pilsner malt makes a clear yet restrained statement, answered by the steady, harmonious hum of Saaz hops, traces of which linger in the dry, crisp finish. Rock on.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
HomeBrewHawk (464) - De Soto, Kansas, USA - JAN 30, 2010
750ml corked and caged bottle served in a Tank 7 tulip. Cork came off with a big pop. Lots of carbonation in this one. Poured a slightly hazy pale gold with a huge fluffy head. Noble hop aroma with some bready malt. Light to medium bodied. Some citrus in the flavor. Pretty simple beer, just a nice malt base and a crisp hop bite. Dry finish. The hype around this beer had me expecting a bit more.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
rader58 (875) - Leawood, Kansas, USA - JAN 29, 2010
Pours an opaque yellow/straw color. Aroma of citrus, dough, pine. Very crisp and clean smelling. Taste is sour and bitter. Flavors are clean, surprisingly malty, fruity, pine and earthy. Finish is dry. Let is be known that I am not a fan of the pilsner. However, I find this one to be complex and enjoyable.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
drfabulous (6585) - Lexington, Kentucky, USA - JAN 29, 2010
Fruity. Nice aroma. The body is solid and tasty. If all lagers tasted like this, I would drink more. Despite high abv, very sessionable for me. Enjoyable beer.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
theisti (3882) - Kansas, USA - JAN 25, 2010
UPDATED: AUG 23, 2012 Consumed as Boulevard "Collaboration No. 1 Imperial Pilsner". The pour is golden with a greenish tint, and a bubbly three inch white head. A ton of active carbonation bubbles streak from the center of the glass up to the surface. Streaks of lace remain as the head falls. Aroma is soft, gentle toast and whole grain bread malt, followed the spicy, grassy hops. Super clean and elegant, this is a very engaging nose. Taste starts big with the bready malt, that picks up an additional dimension of cereal grain sweetness that leads up to a very round flavor in the middle, then gives way to the earthy straw grassy hops. The hops continue through the dry finish, where a bit of the sweetness comes back into play. As with the nose, the taste is just so fresh and clean, very classy. Palate is medium bodied, soft fine carbonation and the dry hop finish make this very drinkable. In general, my knock on these big lagers is they tend to get too far into the sweet range for my palate, and this beer is no exception. Exceptionally well crafted, and a really fun beer. Thanks Boulevard for hosting Jean-Marie Rock, it was a real treat to have two of my favorite brewers work together.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
bblack99 (527) - Kansas City, Missouri, USA - JAN 23, 2010
Pours a slightly hazy straw golden with a wild, pillowy white head that clings nicely to a pilsner glass. Aroma is fresh-cute hay/grass and that signature Belgian barnyard smell. The Orval influence is quite obvious, and the flavor has quite a bit of depth considering the limited variety of ingredients! There is a light sweetness brought to the tongue by a perfectly-balanced carbonation, and the yeast plays well with the Pils malt and slightly spicy Saaz hops. The 8% ABV isn’t obvious at all, and the flavors mellow and meld as you get deeper into the bottle. As usual, Boulevard’s Smokestack pulls it off nicely!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
MOboy (504) - Kansas City, Missouri, USA - JAN 22, 2010
Pours a hazy golden with a dense, tightly beaded, white foam. The fresh saaz aroma is pleasently herbal. The mouthfeel is crisp like a lower gravity pils but slightly heavier. The flavor straight forward pils malt and hops. Very clean and well made. The beauty of this lager is that it has all of the characteristics of a great pilsner without trying to be the "Imperial" animal it is. Subtlety is beauty.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Pawola22 (3262) - Plainfield, Illinois, USA - JAN 22, 2010
UPDATED: SEP 11, 2012 Re-rate (9/11/2012): 750ml bottle as Reverb from Springhill Wine & Spirits in North Little Rock, AR. Batch #2012-1, Best By Date of 04-2013. Pours a hazed, brighter golden-yellow colored body with a finger-width, dense and frothy, white head that dissipates slowly and leaves a solid lacing. Aroma has a nice grassy lemon that is balanced by a grainy, slightly bready pils maltiness that is lightly sweetened, but not overly sweet like some other examples of the style. Touches of spice to the hops with a hint of melon. Flavor is similar. Clean grassy hops with a light lemon and melon note balanced well with a lightly sweetened, somewhat grainy and bready, pils malt backing. Not overly sweet or bitter, but really well balanced throughout. Finishes dry and very clean with a medium-light, grainy and grassy bitterness with a light pils malt sweetness and some lemon. Fairly lengthy aftertaste following a medium body and a soft, lively, medium-high carbonation. Overall, an extremely well balanced example of a style that tends to be overly sweet or bitter. This has just a nice crisp grassy hopping with some lemon notes and a lightly sweetened, grainy, clean pils malt backing. A pretty impressive take on a style I tend not to like with none of the flaws that oftentimes show up. Very enjoyable beer. (7,4,7,4,15=3.7) Original rate (1/22/2010): 750ml bottle as Collaboration No. 1 Imperial Pilsner. Batch 1-2009, best by 9/10. Pours a clear and sparkling, pale golden colored body with an inch thick, billowing, pure white, fluffy head that dissipates at a moderate pace and leaves a sheet of lacing. A light haze comes over the beer as it moves toward the bottom of the bottle. Aroma has plenty of fresh, dry grains with a light sweetness. A very soft lemon-grass and floral spiciness. Lovely lager smell. Flavor is more the same. Simple, but delicate and extremely well balanced. More of the fresh, lightly sweetened grains up front before a distinct grassy, zesty lemon hop comes in. A slight herbal spice, soft florals, and a rich maltiness in the finish with a dry, crisp, grassy bitterness that lingers for a good amount of time. The only hint of alcohol comes in a slightly warming aftertaste. Medium body, very smooth, and a fairly lively carbonation. Overall, an excellent example of a single hop, single malt beer. Simple, soft, and delicate, but flavorful, crisp, and balanced. Wonderful body and mouthfeel. This is fantastic. (8,4,8,5,17=4.2).

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
mreusch (851) - Olathe, Kansas, USA - JAN 21, 2010
750ml bottle, batch 1-2009, best by 9/10. First tried with Beastiefan2k @ the release party in the Bird Dog bar at the Hotel Oread in Lawrence, now again @ home. Pours a slightly hazy bright yellow with a large white head that lingers and leaves nice patches of lace as it recedes. Aroma is simple yet lovely, with gentle floral, citrus, a little fresh grass, and fresh harvested dried grains. Flavor is also subtle, nuanced and excellently simple, with more fresh grains, floral, lemon zest, and some citrus. Great stuff. Oh, and gonna have to work with Eugene to help him figure out there’s a difference between a Dog Bird and a Bird Dog, crazy city kid.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
randolphjj (116) - Raymore, Missouri, USA - JAN 21, 2010
Wow. If I stopped there, it would be the shortest rating ever. But it would cover it. Four simple ingredients. One malt, one hop, water, yeast. Soooo simple. And this does amazing justice to just 4 ingredients. Slight citrus on the nose, crisp, clean all the way through. And I defy you to convince me this is 8%. Amazingly put together, this one.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Indra (2711) - Suburbia, Kansas, USA - JAN 21, 2010
750ml bottle. Gentle but pleasant aroma of sweet, crackery, grainy malt and herbal, spicy, grassy hop, with a light, floral perfumy note and touches of pepper and honey in the background. Sparkling pale golden color with that tinge of green one finds in high quality Pilsners, with a fine, uneven, lasting head and wispy lace. Flavor is extremely well balanced, with the delicately sweet, refined malts to the fore, but followed closely by the unmistakable grassy, herbal spiciness of Saaz hops, along with drying bitterness and some faint doughy touches. Finishes fairly dry, but certainly less crisp than a standard Pils due to the strength. Mouthfeel features wondrously smooth but lively carbonation (how do they do that?), coating the palate lightly in a way not often experienced in a lager, and paired with a medium body. Exceedingly drinkable, almost addictively so. Pilsners are far from my favorite style, but I bought two bottles of this yesterday, and now they’re both gone. Highly recommended.

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