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Torch Pilsner - Foothills Brewing Company - Downtown Brewpub

Not Rated.
Torch PilsnerTorch Pilsner

Educational use only; do not reuse.

95 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 95
Hads: 398
Avg: 3.72
pDev: 25.81%
Wants: 9
Gots: 62 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Foothills Brewing Company - Downtown Brewpub visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
Czech Pilsener |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-09-2005

Torch Pilsner
A well structured, Czech-style pilsner. Torch is strong in alcohol with a rich, full finish. Good mouth feel and well-balanced Czech Saaz hops ensure that Torch is not your typical pilsner.
Alcohol by Volume (ABV): 5.3%
Color (SRM): 3.7
Bitterness (IBUs): 35
Torch Pilsner-bg
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 95 | Hads: 398
Photo of DrewsBrews450
4.04/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy yellow color with a thick head and sticky lace.. A/T pale malt, a lot of honey, grassy bitterness.. The honey breadyness doesn't really fit in with style but this still taste awesome.. Nice medium body but still easy to drink.. The nice grassy hops in the finish is the only thing that really keeps it in style though.

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Photo of FrothFanatic
3.57/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Top notch quality beer with very strong alcohol. Smells very lemon-like a bit floral. Retains a very wild bit of lacing and pours an overwhelming cloud of head. A pleasant pilsner that can please any beer lover I'm sure. The alcohol however was too strong for me to fully enjoy this brew, strong aftertaste.

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Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with a nice fluffy head; good retention and a nice lacing pattern

Smell: Shortbread malt, with hints of lemon, grass and mineral tones

Taste: Like it smells, with the shortbread arriving first, followed by the grassy hops; subtle hints of lemon and mineral tones

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Nicely hopped, but a little sweeter than I would otherwise expect; nevertheless, I really enjoy this beer and have had it many times as it is often on the menu at local restaurants - surprised I haven't rated it before

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Photo of mrfulcher
3/5  rDev -19.4%

12oz bottle poured into a pint

A: Clear, pale straw. Nice head leaves behind an even cap and modest lacing.

S: Big citrus hops. Some grass. Almost smells like a cider

T: Lots of honey and a touch of sweet biscuity malt. Slight green bitterness gives way to a clean finish. More honey in the aftertaste. A little corn.

M: Lots of bubbles. Pleasing but almost too much

O: Very drinkable pilsner.

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Photo of hophugger
3.21/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a slightly cloudy golden color. Head is a bout a finger and a half and lacing is nice and slow. Aroma is of a fine pilsner. Taste has a nice amount of hops balanced with a touch of lemon and citrus. Bitterness balances well and presents a very nice, top of the line pilsner....

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Photo of ordybill
4.87/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass.
Aroma- Has a nice malt and hop aroma
Appearance- pours a slightly murky light yellow color with a medium sized white head.
Taste- A well blended malt and hop flavor, this is a very good tasting pilsner.
Palate- A light to medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation and a lively texture on the tongue.
Overall- A really good beer that I highly recommend.

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Photo of delta490
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

Poured a slightly cloudy deep gold. The foamy white head has good retention and lasts well into the beer. A decent amount of lacing comes with it. Mild biscuit aroma and the taste adds just a hint of grassy hops.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.34/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Standard glass
From: Trader Joe’s in Ballantyne (Charlotte), N.C.
Price: $1.67 (I think)
Purchased: July 26, 2014
Consumed: July 26, 2014
Misc.: Appeared to be born on May 30, 2014, but it was tough to read

Poured a golden, pale clear color with1-to-2 fingers of rocky white head, which settled rather quickly. Decent stream of bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass. Minimal foamy lacing on the sides of the glass. Below average retention on the top and on the way down.

Smelled sharp Czech pilsner notes, corn, honey, caramel, grass, wheat, peas, green beans and slight butterscotch.

Tasted not quite as what I was expecting and as the smell. Got corn, honey, caramel, grass, wheat, faint butterscotch, buttery malts and maybe some rye.

Light body. Thin texture. Average-to-lively carbonation. Abrupt, earthy finish.

Just an average pilsner.

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Photo of irishstoutlvr
4.14/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This was a refreshing pilsner. It was different from a lot of pilsners I have tried, which is a good thing. Foothills is a great beer maker. They have a good variety of styles, and the Torch goes well with their lineup. This beer complimented my dinner well. I had a great burger, and homemade chips.

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Photo of malvrich
4.09/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Brown bottle into a 14 oz. pilsner glass.

A: Slight haze to the dull straw yellow color. 1.5 finger frothy loosish white head quickly subsides leaving a very nice lace "pattern". Big bubbles!

S: Strong bready/cracker malt smell with a light but noticeable hop background. Cut herbs and crackers. Crisp, snappy and lively.

T: Dry crackery malt hits first with enough crisp herbal hops coming through to keep the beer interesting. Hops almost exactly same in strength as the barley. Well balanced is an understatement. I expect the malt not to be obscured by hops in this style and this is practically perfect, as the 2 compliment each other beautifully.

M: Not much to comment on here, but the carbonation is nice and fine textured on the tongue.
Great finish! Dry hop remnants with still that crackery "snap"plus a slight chewiness.

O: One of my very favorites recently, this is a go-to for me. It may be obvioius that I'm a pilsner guy but this is extraordinary IMO. And when it's on sale for $8/6 (which is pretty frequently here in Durham NC) it's hard for me to choose anything else. I love Torch!

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Photo of utopiajane
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice yellow with good clarity and a fat head of foam. leaves good lace. Nose is herbal. Grassy and a light grainy sweetness with a bit of husk behind it. A bit like lemongrass with a nice lightness on the nose. The taste is lovely. Bitter herbs, pungent grass and a light lemony flavor. There is some appleskin to lend a touch of sweetness in addition to the natural grainy sweetness. Dry, crisp body with a bit of hops to bring themselves forward with a touch of bitter in the finish.


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Photo of Amalak
3.12/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

There's a dry wheat taste there, but tame. A bit of a grassy undertone. Fairly plain. Taste more like a hefeweizen than a pilsner. Not a bad beer. Fairly refreshing. But lacks any sort of punch and it's a bit confused as far as I'm concerned when it comes to a pilsner.

It has dull straw gold color. There's a bit of a cloudy haze to it. Big foamy white head and some lacing behind. Wheaty scent to it.

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Photo of tone77
3.47/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a very light golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of grains, some malts. Taste is grains, hops, some malts, a touch of lemon, smooth and easy drinking. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer.

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Photo of Beejay
3.47/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: A very yellow color, almost grapefruit. The body of the beer is a bit on the hazy side. A good amount of soft looking pure white head.

S: Light grain, a little bit of honey and some lemon balm aroma. Fresh and crisp.

T: There is a good amount of herbal flavor, as well as some lemony flavors. The bitterness is fairly noticable, and comes through especially in the finish. I would like a little more of the grain to come though.

M: Medium light, crisp, with high carbonation. The finish lingers with residual bitterness, and perhaps a little bit of a tannic feel.

O: Overall it is pretty easy drinking, but I feel like the bitterness level on this guy is a little high for my tastes.. I want a crisp and clean finish that this one falls short on.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.64/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 03/29/14 notes. Had on tap at Fireworks in Arlington, VA.

a - Pours a clear bright yellow color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of grains, wheat, dough, light fruits and light floral notes. Nice and simple.

t - Tastes of grains, bread, wheat, biscuit, dough, light floral notes. No fruit, again, prety simple but nice.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Very easy to drink.

o - Overall a decent pilsner. Not a ton going on but easy to drink and solid.

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Photo of Zraly
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pilsner glass. Clear and light gold with nice lacing and decent head retention.

A bit sweet for style, the aroma is very good. Classic saaz hop note upfront with a nice spicy, slightly grassy feel. Mouthfeel is medium and maybe slightly on the heavy side for style. Bread and a bit of fruit (which the fruit seems a bit off for style). Finish is crisp.

Good session beer and would go well with a veggie curry.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.71/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Light golden hued with great clarity. Just a faint wisp of foam partially covers the top. Aroma of Saaz hops and Czech lager yeast is prevalent. Mouth is crisp and refreshing. The taste is a nice gentle Saaz hop bitterness that beckons for additional sips.

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Photo of cyclonece09
3.56/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours orange straw with little to no white head. Smells of nice grain profile, very sweet. Tastes of sweet grain, nice profile. Beer is heavily carbonated nice and smooth. Overall an above average beer.

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Photo of humuloner22
3.45/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This one has grown on me. It is a typical Czech pilsner, I think the first bomber I got to this had been left too long somewhere, either on my own neglect or the store I purchased it. It pours a nice straightforward pilsner. The color is golden straw with a good bit of carbonation, which for this style is perfectly normal and something I look for. The smell is where it is truly at its best. It s great smelling beer, full of grainy aroma and character. The taste still doesn't fully do it for me. It is bitter and not necessarily in a good way. I expect the bitterness in an IPA and some ales, but this one should be more on the malt side of things. When I think of a pilsner I think of a beer that is highly sessionable, but I wouldn't do that with this one. Overall I do like it, but would choose another one to drink a few of. Overall, I do like this beer and think that it is fairly representative of the style. I would like for it to be a little less of that hairspray bitterness and more of the grainy goodness that comes through in the aroma.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.56/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured on-tap and served in a shaker pint, the beer is a crystal clear, pale, honey-gold coloring with little to no head. Nose of floral hops highlight a subtle roast and bitterness throughout. Flavors are floral and peppery forward, with a heavy roast and bitter hops character at the end. Some richly sweet notes of honey ribbon throughout the palate, also. Smooth bodied, with a very clean aftertaste. The finish is very crisp and clean. An interesting twist on the pilsner, and tasty.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.27/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear straw color. There's a finger worth of white colored head, and while it's not the best retaining, I like its creamy texture and somewhat plentiful lacing left behind on the glass.

S: The nice Saaz hops are sadly a bit muted here; there's a lot of sweet malt here, though. As it warms up, the hops show some more grassy definition.

T: It starts off somewhat malty - not SWEET per se, in fact it's a little undefined. The hop finish, however, is quite good, bringing not only grassy deliciousness, but also some faint lemon. The hop profile holds promise, but it really needs less intrusive malt for it to shine.

M: The feel is too thick for my tastes, nor does it really dry out efficiently on the back end. It *is* a drinkable beer, to be fair, but it should have been insanely drinkable. Carbonation is nice and strong, at least.

O: A decent pilsner. Could have been great if the malt backbone hadn't been so...shall we say, 'robust'. Worth drinking again, but not worth getting a 6 pack of again.

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Photo of Mojo
3.66/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle -> Samuel Adams Perfect Pint Glass

A - clear medium gold/amber with a small foamy head, decent retention, and not much lacing.

S - floral, bread

T - sort of one dimensional with a hint of rye, clean finish with a yeasty character.

M - decent, with good carbonation

O - pretty ambivalent about this one.

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Photo of startreker
4.22/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Nice foamy head, that left generous lacing throughout the beer.

S. Very nice pleasing smell, reminds me of fresh made bread.

T. Lives up to what it claims. Very nicely balanced with sazz hops, and malts, that make this a pleasure to drink. Very creamy taste I might add.

M. Nice full mouth feel going on here. Not watery or overly filling, very satisfying!

O. I like this beer very much, although a bit pricey, so I would only buy this once and a while. I actually enjoy this more then Pilsner Urquell!! The balance of malts, and hops is really nice!! This is a beer, that after drinking several of them, doesn't get that awful bitter taste happening, after knocking them back all night long. That`s a huge plus in my book!!
Also proud to say, that it`s made in my home state of N.C.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a pilsner glass.

Real nice looker for a pils. Deep shining brass gold, and absolutely crystal clear body. Bubbles are pinhead sized and limited in the body and slowly crawl up the glass. Head is bleach white, two to three fingers easily formed with a nice cap, and simple soapy retention. Real nice looking pils.

Dough malts on the nose, a little sticky and dense for a czech, but still quite nice. Hop character subdued and not really noticeable but no complaints as the malt backbone on this is solid. Some faint indistinct bitterness.

Much of the nose hints the palate. Dough malts and a faint toast. Not so much crisp but borderline crisp with a white doughy density. Good finish on this brew, with a density that lets the malt come through and linger. Controlled hop finish, but also a strange boozy bitter quality that is rather noticeable but strangely not off putting, with some sticky yeast qualities in the front palate.

It comes off almost more German to my sense with not much noble sensing hop character, but still an enjoyable pilsner to drink with it's thick malt presence.

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Photo of UnionJack31
2.9/5  rDev -22%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A- Like a macro lager. Clear, golden yellow. Typical looking for a beer.

S- Floral hops and musty grains! Not a clean smell, if you know what I mean. Very different for a lager, even a German Pils.

T- The hops imparts a spicy quality to the beer. Moderately bitter finish. Carbonation is very tingly on the tongue.

M- Almost a medium mouth feel. But overall this is an easy drinking beer. The bitterness is a bit harsh

This was an OK beer, Nothing special. I don't think I'll buy this beer again. It's a little bitter, and not refreshing enough for me to warrant keeping this around.

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Torch Pilsner from Foothills Brewing Company - Downtown Brewpub
84 out of 100 based on 95 ratings.