This is a relatively new beer style that has emerged from the American micro-brewing scene. Like many things "American", it is a little over the top. The US brewers like to push the boundaries looking for new fields to express their creativity, one angle is to take an existing beer style and over-exaggerate it by doubling the alcohol, the hops and the malt - well pretty much everything.
This either causes a "wow" reaction or a cringe reaction to the exaggerated flavour. Richard sees the balance of flavours and drinkability rather important to create a memorable pint and decided to give this concept a try.
The recipe is relatively simple, just take the existing Pilsner and add more malt, a strong new hop variety and ferment it to reach 7.0% abv. Extra hops are necessary to balance against the perceived sweetness from the extra alcohol and malt content. The result is a pilsner on steroids!
Taste: On the nose, a hint of lemon pepper with spicy background with some sweet notes. There is a firm clean malt body balanced with the lemony spicy bitterness from the new hop variety "Rakau" from the Motueka hop fields.
Original gravity: 1070 Alcohol : 7.0% vol
Malts : NZ Organic Pilsner malt and acid malt
Hops : NZ Rakau
Brewer: Emerson’s Brewing Company (Lion Breweries - NZ)
Style: Imperial Pils/Strong Pale Lager
Alcohol Content: 7%