A Pils from the Hills
Is it just me, or is Pilsner something of a Marmite concept? Not in terms of you either love or hate it, but you either worship it or you don’t. Some people are aggressively pro-Pilsner, harbouring a deeply ingrained love for the complex precision of crafting a true Pilsner, and devoutly persecuting heretical pretender-Pilsners. BrewDog’s recent release of Vagabond Pilsner has caused some consternation from drinkers and the like who claim it isn’t a Pilsner*. Meanwhile, the rest of us aren’t too worried as long as it tastes good.
Then again, horses for courses, I have a rather (futile) opinion of what I believe a porter to be, and how it differs from stout. We each have our flag to wave. My point is, I don’t know if a Pils from the Hills qualifies as a true Pils. Can’t say I care too much either. Not my flag to wave. (Edit: having now obtained the pump clip graphic, it states ‘pilsner-style’. So there you go.)
It is pale gold in colour (the modern beer scene hasn’t quite reached Black Pilsner territory yet), with a very earthy aroma, backed up by something I loosely pinned down as a ‘white biscuit’ aroma; you know, a Farley’s Rusk, Rich Tea or Nice biscuit.
The flavour is light and delicate, bringing forward earthy qualities and fresh-cut grass, sweetened by chunks of toffee and a surprising fruit presence of pears, green apples and under ripe hedgerow berries. Overall, it reminds me of Zatecs, with a creamier body and a fruitier taste. Do places still sell Zatecs in the UK? I’ve not seen it in years.
A Pils from the Hils is what it is: one for the summer, to be kegged and served in tall pint glasses dripping with cold condensation, before being taken to a beer garden. So what are you waiting for Brains? The summer is here at last; you fill those kegs and we’ll empty ’em.
*Google ‘Vagabond Pilsner’ and read the various opinions; since this isn’t a review on Vagabond Pilsner, I’ll say no more.