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Beer Review #320 Piercing Pils

03-20-02Dogfish Head is out with yet another new beer, a lager this time around. Piercing Pils is the name of the beer and it is a “Czech-style Pilsner brewed with pear juice, pear tea and Saaz hops,” because you know you can’t be Dogfish Head without throwing something weird into the mix.

Piercing Pils pours a yellow straw color and it has a bit of a haze to it. A medium white head fades into a thin white head and remains for the rest of the drink. Dogfish Head has recently gotten large enough to have it’s own branded bottles and Piercing Pils looks gorgeous┬ácoming out of their new bottles. The nose is sticky sweet with bits of sulfur. It also has a good bit of citrus that adds a nice layer to the aroma of the beer.

On the first taste I was really surprised at the amount of citrus that comes out of this beer. A lime-like flavor starts and ends the beer. There isn’t a ton of malt to talk about but there are some nice bread notes that come out as you drink the beer. I’m not a giant fan of pears but this beer allows you to experience a good pear flavor without becoming dominant. The hops really come in at the end and clean-up the beer nicely.

I really didn’t expect to like this beer as pears are just not my thing. I found myself really enjoying this beer. It’s easy to drink and it goes down very easily. Not all new Dogfish Head beers agree with me but this one does. (more…)

Beer Review #164 Lips of Faith Super Cru

I decided to take a brief Thanksgiving hiatus, hence the lack of updates recently. I bought a bunch of New Belgium beers as soon as they started distributing in Maryland, and lucky for me, they decided to distribute some of their Lips of Faith Series beers as well. I reviewed Kick some time ago and during the holiday I finally had a chance to enjoy some of the other beers for New Belgium that I picked up.

Each of the Lips of Faith beers comes in 22 oz bottles and I have only been able to find three of them here on the east coast thus far. I know that they recently released a Sasion and an IPA, but they have yet to make it out here. As a side note, I love the term “Lips of Faith.” I has a bit of a cult feel, but also really screams beer nerd.

After my trip to Europe I returned home with a taste for sour beers. I had plenty of Rodenbach Grand Cru, which I assumed this beer was inspired after. You know that saying about assume? Well, yeah, I did it with this beer. This ale pours a nice burnt orange color with an off-white head. There is a slight haze to the liquid, but I’m a homebrewer so that doesn’t mean a thing to me.

The nose has a bit of malt along with a bit of heat. This beer comes in at 10% so heat is to be expected. I got some sour notes, but nothing like which I was expecting. On the bottle the screen printed label says “ale bred with Asian pear juice.” I honestly don’t know what an Asian pear smells or tastes like, but I (and my wife who knows what it tastes and smells like) didn’t get any pear. There was a slight Belgian spice kick, but nothing large enough to go on about.

On my first taste I got a bit of odd malt. The taste was grainy and had a strange bite at the end of it. My wife informed me that this was “pear mixed with beer.” I did notice some pear flavors of the traditional pear that I am used to. I also found this one to be a bit boozy. This is a beer that gets better as it warms up. There is an interesting balance of flavors but overall I think it works. Again I have no idea what Asian pear tastes or smells like and if you do, this beer could be greatly enhanced or ruined depending on your expectations. (more…)