Josephs Brau PLZNR Czech-Style Lager - Trader Joe's Brewing Company
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Ratings: 134 | Reviews: 50 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by GMB:
3.88/5 rDev +17.9%
Josephs Brau PLZNR pours a somewhat unexpected, though appealing, darker-than-straw body. A standard pour yields a small, bright white head with tons of staying power. In fact, the head outlasts that of JosephBrau's Bohemian lager, whose head was initially more impressive. Indeed, PLZNR's head is so enduring that there is still a thin cap of sticky white foam as I take my first sip a full 5 minutes after the pour. Carbonation in the brew is medium. Regularly dispersed small bubbles move steadily in streams towards the surface. I predict that this brew will have a moderate feel and yield a frothy foam.
PLZNR's nose is balanced between mild, citrus-floral hops and lightly sweet malt. Dried apricots are balanced with coriander seed, pepper, lavender, and faint aromas of grapefruit.
I the thick, sticky malt of Bohemian Lager from my palate before delving into PLZNR. The latter is crisper, more sophisticated, and better balanced than the former. Prominent flavors are butterscotch, lightly toasted crackers, thyme, the zest of an unripe orange, and perhaps a touch of rosemary. Sweet grapefruit appears late, develops, and moves to the fore as the brew's flavors hang on the palate.
The first few sips are crisp and clean, but soon thereafter, malty flavors begin to dominate. The aforementioned flavors remain, but the sweet malt knocks things somewhat off balance. This brew is too sweet, especially for a Czech Pilsener. A thinner, lighter (that is, less toasted) malt profile would yield a crisper finish and allow the beer's lovely bouquet to open up more and develop further on the palate. The word "dry" should come to mind when describing a Czech Pilsener. In this case, it comes to mind only because I can't use it. Instead, I'm forced to write that this beer is dryish.
What crisp character does come through in this this brew is helped by its mouthfeel. A swirl around the tongue yields a respectable foam that's viscous enough to please the palate but not so sticky as to dull the beer's spicy notes or to dampen further the moderate dryness of the finish. Nice.
As a Czech Pilsener, PLZNR certainly outperforms Bohemian Lager. In fact, I submit that JosephBrau's Bohemian Lager isn't a Pilsener at all. Its richer malt profile and muted hoppy flavors suggest that it is best categorized as a Munich Helles Lager. The powers-that-be at BeerAdvocate would do well to consider reclassifying it as such.
I'd gladly drink either of these tasty beers again, but, if given a choice between the two, I'd reach for a PLNZR.
09-27-2013 19:52:28 | More by GMB
More User Reviews:
3.63/5 rDev +10.3%
Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Bottle says best before 06/09/12.
Appearance: Pours a bright and clear golden orange with lots of rising bubbles. Big four finger white head with good retention. Lots of lacing sticking to the glass.
Smell: Sweet pale malts with wheat cereal grains and lots of biscuit aroma. Decent presence of herbal, grassy hops. Also some hints of lemon grass. Pretty decent bready smell.
Taste: Bready and sweet pale malts with hints of caramel and lots of biscuit. Big taste of cereal grains. Light hints of earthy, grassy hops lingering around. Also a light hint of lemons. Bready grains dominate here.
Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Very crisp and smooth.
Overall: A decent take on a European Pilsner. Sweet but not overly sweet and has a decent body for the style.
04-10-2012 05:35:21 | More by MattyG85
2.73/5 rDev -17%
12 oz bottle dated "best .. before" 6/9/12. New to store and refrigerated from only about 2 weeks prior to consumption.
A: Poured an orangish-gold. Clear with 1 finger of white head that soon dissipates. Essentially no lacing.
S: Immediately detect an off-odor resembling musty butter-scotch. Unfortunately, this renders the aroma unattractive despite a good bit of malt aroma .
T: A decent amount of malt flavor, but the flavor lacks hops and is marred by the earthy/musty component. Still, the flavor is notably better than the aroma.
M: The body is medium; carbonation is medium although perhaps a tad light for the style. There is a bit of buttery sensation in the mouth.
O: Despite the low cost (about $1/bottle) this is a disappointing offering not worthy of a recommendation.
02-17-2012 02:49:59 | More by chinchill
3.63/5 rDev +10.3%
Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Harriet pils glass. Best before February 5th, 2013.
Clear pale gold body with a thin finger of white soapy suds. Faint lacing, but decent retention.
Clean brisk musk with mountain air and malt, and herbal noble hop aromatics (Saaz, I presume). Faintly crackery/biscuity as well.
Moderately bitter palate entry with a building spicy character from the hops which remain present on into the dry sod-like finish. Crisp clean and well lagered - nicely crafted with just a touch of barley and winter fruit for sweetness. Lacks the subtle malt complexity of the best examples, but remains free of off notes.
Soft yet zesty, light-bodied mouth-feel.
A bit one-note I suppose, but this is quite a refreshing and carefully constructed lager and an excellent value.
11-07-2012 00:25:08 | More by augustgarage
3.34/5 rDev +1.5%
Poured a finger of head on a clear, straw colored body.
The aroma is grainy with honey and flowers.
The taste is okay. A mild sweet with a drying bitterness middle to end.
The texture is crisp with moderate carbonation.
It's unbalanced but more than drinkable.
08-25-2013 20:08:53 | More by Fatehunter
4.1/5 rDev +24.6%
Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pilsener glass- pours a clear golden color with two fingers of head, decent retention, a few streaks of lacing, visible effervescence.
Smell is appropriate for the style- grassy, lemony hops, some pale malt sweetness, and a little bit of that signature lager yeast.
Taste is perhaps not as lovely as the nose- a little heavier on the malt sweetness, but still good noble hop bitterness and flavors, not really tasting the yeast. Grass keeps coming to mind (and palate), but not in a bad way. Crisp.
Mouthfeel is pretty good as well- light body, moderately full carbonation, some residual sweetness and grassy hops in the finish. Hell, this is a damn good beer for $6.49 a sixer, and even not considering the price I like it for an American pilsner. I've never quite been able to put my full support behind Prima Pils. I think I'll get this one many more times considering this price and worthy taste.
09-10-2012 01:23:28 | More by Hopdaemon39
3.03/5 rDev -7.9%
Poured into a pint glass from a mixed case of brew. Shows a clear straw with a light boil of carbonation. Half inch cap of white foam settles out slowly to maintain a light cap.
Offers a clean thoug light spicy hop aroma along with a notable pils graininess. Hop notes are kept in check by a sweet lemon character however. This does balance a bit with warming.
Bit sweet and doughy on the taste with a grainy backbone though the hops don't contribute as well here as on the aroma, but then they aren't really too profound there either.
Offers a decent feel and carbonation. Bit sweet and neutral in delivery and with a light hop presence. Bit nondescript overall.
07-12-2012 04:56:25 | More by HalfFull
3.66/5 rDev +11.2%
Clear pale gold with one finger of white head that recedes rather quickly but leaves a good amount of lace.
Smells like saaz or noble hops earthy and slightly skunky. Light malts a some yeast.
Taste is hop forward with a crisp bitterness. Malts are true to the style. Just enough to smooth the flavors.
Mouthfeel is medium with adequete carbonation. Has a medium dry bitter finish.
Overall a decent if not stellar example of a Czech pilsner beer. Easy drinking and certainly a value brew. My bottle says brewed in San Jose not Monrovia.
Best before date 5/20/14 so it was pretty fresh.
01-30-2014 06:46:25 | More by Spikester
Josephs Brau PLZNR Czech-Style Lager from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 134 ratings.