Tasting: July 3, 2012
Torch Czech Pilsner
This beer is advertised as a Czech Pilsner. Although it is sometimes considered its own style of beer – a pilsner is really a type of lager or bottom-fermenting beer brewed at cooler temperatures. Pilsner originated in Pilsen, Czechoslovakia in the mid-nineteenth century long after the Viking raids were quieted. So, I can’t say that I can connect the image of the flame-bearded Viking from the label to the home region of this beer. Regardless, it’s a pretty cool label. What makes a Czech Pilsner unique when compared to other pilsners? Czech Pilsners use Saaz hops and malted barley while pilsners of Germany utilized roasted grains and stonger bittering hops.
This particular offering was a gift from my fellow pop, Craig. He picked it up on a recent family vacation in North Carolina. He texted me to ask about beer requests and the first brewery that came to mind was North Carolina’s own – Foothills Brewing. They most notably brew a stout called “Sexual Chocolate” (remember Arsenio Hall in Coming to America?). I knew he wouldn’t find any Sexual Chocolate and asked him if he could pick me up any example from this brewery and here we are. Thanks Craig.
Torch Czech Pilsner pours a bit darker than I expected, gold instead of yellow. Grain on the nose. First sip isn’t as sweet as I would expect but not bad. An IBU of 35 is deceptive as it’s a little more bitter than that rating implies. Cracker-ish flavor backed up with grassy hop flavor. Nicely balanced and the finish starts out crisp but ends in an aftertaste that’s a bit clunky and herby. Overall a decent example of the style – and I could see enjoying this on a steamy hot day. I’ll put it at 85 points.