Weekly Beer Review: Blackrocks’ Classic Pilsner

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Classic Pilsner
Blackrocks Brewery
$2.69/Can (12 oz)
Grade: C+

The Beginning:
I’m feeling a bit run down and sore tonight form a new workout regimen, and didn’t feel much like challenging my palate with anything too crazy. Luckily, I had a self-proclaimed classic in my review rack. My father is a big fan of Labatt Blue, so the smell and taste of a sneaky sip of pilsner really is the classic “beer” flavor in my memory banks. Of course, while the classics are memorable and worthwhile, they can also seem uninspired in the face of more refined offerings- will this one be worth its price tag?

The Brewer’s Pitch:
Blackrocks goes elegantly refined and on-point with the ingredients in this one, combining German malt and American hops with the icy water of Lake Superior to can this classic. Pilsners may be the world’s most popular style of beer, so this one has to be letter-perfect to stand out. Blackrocks considers it a nod to the European tradition that gave rise to it with its own distinctly American note of disobedience to make it interesting.

The Beer:
Classic Pilsner looks, well, classic — bright gold, the glass gently laced with the bubbles that steadily rise to the rough bright white head. The nose is malty and light, a toasted biscuit with slight hints of wildflower honey. The beer is crisp and clean, sparkling with carbonation and a light hit of hops right up front that makes it tingle the tongue. The malt flavors are forward without being dominant- light and toasty, hints of sun-ripened grain that give it a sunny character. Hops assert again in the back, but rather than the bite of the first sip they’re a deeper, herbal, sticky hoppiness that hangs on through the aftertaste and gives an earthy plant burst to linger.

The Breakdown:
This is a beer that grew on me — my first few swallows seemed too sticky, too herbal, and too bitter with a funky aftertaste. As the beer layers on itself, a wider picture begins to emerge. The grain develops into a pleasant summery flavor that carries the promise of warmer days to come, and the hops give it a pleasant kick at the front and burn at the back. It’s far from flawless though. There’s some sulfur notes that make it a bit rough, and the end gets muddy. The malt could be smoother and give more body, and the hops could be more concentrated and give a simpler profile for this alleged “classic.” It’s still a perfectly acceptable exemplar of the style.

The Bottom Line:
Go, little pilsner! Pilsn with all your might!

I… I don’t even know where that joke came from. I’m sorry.