Brewtopia Events LLC

Bohemian Pilsener Style
Blind Tasting 2004

Surrounded by Saaz!
LtoR: Don Beistle, Jeff Rapp, Dean Graves, and Jim Betts.
Photo by Owen Ogletree
Owen Ogletree (director of Brewtopia Events LLC) gathered together fellow beer lovers Don Beistle, Jeff Rapp, Dean Graves, and Jim Betts on July 10, 2004 to sample and comment on several Bohemian Pilsner style lagers.  This sampling was done as a blind tasting where no one was aware of the brands that were being served.  Products were informally commented upon and ranked according to Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) style guidelines.  First, second, third places, and honorable mentions were awarded to the products we felt represented their individual styles in extraordinary fashion.  Drop Owen an email to share your comments and opinions.

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Bohemian Pilsner Description from
Aroma: Rich with a complex malt and a spicy, floral, Saaz hop bouquet. Moderate diacetyl acceptable.
Appearance: Light gold to deep copper-gold, clear, with a dense, creamy white head.
Flavor: Rich, complex maltiness combined with pronounced soft, rounded bitterness and flavor from Saaz hops.  Moderate diacetyl acceptable. Bitterness is prominent but never harsh, and does not linger: The aftertaste is balanced between malt and hops. Clean, no fruitiness or esters.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, medium carbonation. 
Overall Impression: Crisp, complex and well-rounded yet refreshing.
History: First brewed in 1842, this style was the original clear, light-colored beer.
Comments: Uses Moravian malted barley and a decoction mash for rich, malt character.  Saaz hops and low sulfate, low carbonate water provide a distinctively soft, rounded hop profile.
Ingredients: Low sulfate and low carbonate water, Saaz hops, Moravian malted barley.
Vital Statistics: OG: 1.044-1.056
IBUs: 35-45 / FG: 1.013-1.017
SRM: 3-5 / ABV: 4-5.3%
Commercial Examples: Pilsner Urquell, Gambrinus Pilsner, Budweiser Budvar, Staropramen.

Budweiser Budvar
Budejovicky Budvar - Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic

Aroma: Mild hops, malt, and a hint of fruit.
Appearance: Clear and golden with appropriate white foam.
Flavor: Nice medium body with a great balance between malt and hops.  This beer is not too bitter, but hops are present and very elegant in taste and flavor.  Hops are very pleasant and floral.

Pilsner Urquell
Pilsner Urquell Brewery - Plzen (Pilsen), Czech Republic
Aroma: Slight butterscotch. Big hop aroma.
Appearance: Clear and golden with appropriate white foam.
Flavor: Malt background is rich, and hops have a wonderfully aggressive finish.  There is slight butter complexity in the flavor.  This lager has a robust malt and hop character that lingers in the aftertaste and has notes of vanilla.

Platan Jubilejni
Platan Brewery - Protivin, Czech Republic
Aroma: Very subtle aromas of malt and hops.  Slight metallic hint in aroma as well, along with a touch of fruit.
Appearance: Clear and golden with appropriate white foam.
Flavor: Nice grain flavor.  Toasty with some honey notes.  Hops seem a bit metallic in nature.  A slightly sweet lager with hints of vanilla.  Balance here is toward malt -- more Saaz hops would be nice.  Delicious and very drinkable.

Krusovice Svetle
Kralovsky Brewery - Krusovice, Czech Republic
Aroma: Light and very mild aroma of malt and hops.
Appearance: Clear and golden with appropriate white foam.
Flavor: Dry and clean with a slightly bitter (but not spicy) finish that is appropriate. Hops seem a bit metallic.  Overall, this fits the style well and is pleasant.

Czech Rebel
Mestansky Brewery - Havlickuv Brod, Czech Republic

Aroma: Butter, cream corn -- not appropriate. 
Appearance: Golden with a very light, soft carbonation.
Flavor: Slightly tart and dry.  Body has a good medium mouthfeel.

Zalozena Smichov - Prague, Czech Republic
Aroma: Slight butter and fruit. There is not much aroma at all.
Appearance: Clear and golden with appropriate white foam.
Flavor: Has a fruity flavor (not appropriate) more like a clean, golden ale.  Not very bitter at all -- could benefit from more hops.

Tuppers' Hop Pocket Pils
Tuppers' Hop Pocket Brewing Company - Ashburn, VA, USA
Aroma: Hops have a citrus character.  Hop aroma is more like spicy, resiny, American hops (not Bohemian Saaz).
Appearance: Very pale gold in color.
Flavor: Soft, medium body.  Flavor is dominated by hops.  The hops used here are too biting and rough for a Bohemian Pilsener.  More like a very light American Pale Ale.

Cervezas Nacionales Ecuatoriana - Guayaquil, Ecuador
Aroma: Hint of skunk from light entering the bottle.
Appearance: Clear and golden with appropriate white foam..
Flavor: Slightly sweet and fruity.  Needs more smooth hop character to be within this style.

Samuel Adams Boston Lager
Boston Beer Company - Boston, MA, USA
Aroma: Hops are very floral and malt aroma is like honey.  Very pleasant.
Appearance: Very dark gold in color.  This was the darkest of all the beers on our table.
Flavor: Too malty for a Bohemian Pilsener.  This beer is very creamy with a big body -- it is a bit too thick, malty, and caramel-like for this style.

Platan Jedenact
Platan Brewery - Protivin, Czech Republic
Aroma: Very subtle aroma with slight malt and hop notes. 
Appearance: Clear and golden with appropriate white foam.
Flavor: Slight corn.  Not very bitter or malty.  Has very pleasant, mild flavors, however.  Seems like a lighter version of this style.

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