Free State Fireside Imperial Pils
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RATINGS: 23   MEAN: 3.43/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.28/5   ABV: -
Our special winter offering for 2006, this Pilsner style lager’s strength elevates it to “Imperial” status. Where a typical German style Pilsner might reach an OG of 13-14°P and 40 IBUs, our Imperial Pils logs in at nearly 18 OG and 62 IBUs. The Malt bill is almost entirely Pilsner malt with a touch of dextrin malt for extra body and mouthfeel. The hops are domestic Glacier and Sterling, both varieties that we haven’t used much before. The Glaciers add a clean bitterness to balance the malt and the Sterlings add a wonderfully complex hop flavor and aroma from late additions to the kettle and dry hopping as well. O.G. 17.8/1071. Hops 62 IBUs

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Indra (2711) - Suburbia, Kansas, USA - FEB 19, 2009
Draft at the brewery. Gently sweet, pale malt aroma, some mildly spicy, grassy and even a bit vegetal hop character, some faint pepper in the background. Clear light-medium golden color, head is white and sparse but leaves some nice lacing. Flavor parts is nearly equal parts sweet and bitter, with sugary, nearly malt-liquorish maltiness (much cleaner and more organic, though, of course, than your standards of that breed) meeting leafy, spicy, herbal hops in no insignificant amount, finish seems to be unable to hide a brief flourish of alcohol. Truly comes off as an amped-up Pils, but not in an unrefined manner, although it does seem to have an aura of danger about it, heh.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 13/20
randolphjj (116) - Raymore, Missouri, USA - FEB 18, 2009
Growler, special thanks to my Lawrence, KS source Karrianne, our wayward son. Lighter in color than I was expecting from the description, but even more golden than your traditional pils -- if that’s possible. Great mouthfeel and a nice dose of malt on the tongue. Turns out to be a clean, satisfying session beer. If I have to have a pils (not my favorite style) this one works.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
after4ever (7620) - Brier, Washington, USA - FEB 16, 2009
Growler. Thanks, BVC, Theisti, the academy, et al. Beautiful dark honey gold. Thin white head. Odd old wet grass nose. Light, cottony, watery body. Slightly sour old rotting grass on the mid-palate. Mild resiny finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Gregis (1281) - Stilwell, Kansas, USA - FEB 15, 2009
Growler shared by theisti. Thanks for sharing this one with me, Tim. Pours a bright, clear gold with a small, creamy, off-white head and wispy lace. The nose is of bready/toasty pilsner malt with piny hops in support. Medium-bodied and slick with a tight, bitter finish. Round, bready malt with a tight, bitter, "green"/piny hop finish. Interesting stuff. It’s the most pilsner-like of all the "imperial pilsners" that I’ve sampled, but I think I would rather just drink a low-gravity version of the real thing.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
theisti (3905) - Kansas, USA - FEB 12, 2009
UPDATED: FEB 16, 2009 Growler from the brewery, filled 5 days previously, by way of JB. Pour is only the slightest haze - golden with a one inch off white head. Nice lacing sticks to the glass as I drink it down. Aroma was immediate upon opening the growler, bright fresh spruce pine and sap. Once its in the glass, some nice resin bitterness comes through, with toasted Pils malt and a very faint hint of vanilla sweetness. Fresh and complex nose. Taste is the bitter resin pine hops and sweet bready malt. There is also a bright chemical sharpness that was a bit of a surprise. Wasn’t too pronounced, but was distracting. Palate is on the thin-medium side, slick with a grassy finish. The pine hops linger. Overall, an interesting beer - this is the first of these "big Pils" that I had that actually tasted like a Pilsener. Thanks for lugging this back from Lawrence, JB.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
nimbleprop (7560) - SouthWest, Washington, Washington DC, USA - MAY 18, 2008
Sampled at the Savor DC event. Poured a clear, straw gold with a active, white head. Malty, grassy aroma. Strong flavor of sugar, candy, hay and yeast. Winds up tasting like a sugary tripel. Thick on the palate.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
argo0 (13318) - Washington DC, USA - MAY 17, 2008
(Savor, draft) Clear apple-juice body with medium off-white head. Aroma is medium sweet, honey, grassy. Taste is medium sweet, grassy, light honey. Medium-full body, lightly sticky.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
3fourths (9149) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - MAY 17, 2008
Draft sample is mostly clear deep yellow with a white head. Wet, oily, hop nose, with a twangy note of pils malt and an overbearing amount of alcohol (which in a pils can be as low as 6-7%). Too thick, too viscous, but the palate is silky and bitter, with a light, dry hop flavor in the finish, and a moderate amount of yeast character tasted, but very clean and light for what that’s worth. Good beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
jefcon (1656) - Arlington, Virginia, USA - MAY 16, 2008
Cheers to Free State for coming to the East Coast at Savor. This is an inventive, clean, lager with a purity of ingredient and the alcohol to boost those inputs to maximum effect. Aggressive hops and balanced, pure grains are pushed to their limits. Tasty limits. I really liked the treatment of bittering agents and the way they are shown off against a robust malty background. Nice finish. Soapy but ultimately neutral.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
csbosox (1229) - Prairie Village, Kansas, USA - MAR 26, 2008
From a growler that sat for a few weeks in my, fridge. Served in a Free State glass. I had this at the bar, but never took a rating. Good excuse to buy a growler of it. Golden colored with a one fingered head and active carbonation. Clarity is brilliant. Aroma is , flowery, herbal, grassy (not in bad way), and earthy, with a light, but evident pils malt backing. The hops are evident at once and come across as flowery, herbal, and somewhat spicy. The bitterness is there as well as well, but there is a nice malt backing to compliment it. Some sweetness, but it never comes off as flabby or underattenuated. The flavor is much nicer when this warms, it is served way too cold at the brewpub, a complaint I often have with my beloved Free State. The cold serving temp makes it a bit harsh, it seems like bitterness is more pronounced at colder temps. This beer is dangerously drinkable for one that is probably right around 7.5% ABV. One of my new favorites from Free State.

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