Torch Pilsner - Foothills Brewing Company

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Torch PilsnerTorch Pilsner

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384 Ratings
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Ratings: 384
Reviews: 96
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 12.67%
Wants: 6
Gots: 52 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Foothills Brewing Company 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 384 | Reviews: 96
Reviews by Franziskaner:
Photo of Franziskaner
3.71/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a little deeper golden color than alot of pilsners with a fluffy white head that took awhile to come down,aromas of lightly toasted grain and corn husk and very fresh.Nice and well rounded pils here a firm dry malt base holds up very nice to a lip smacking dry herbal hoppy finish very clean in the finish.A nice sturdy pilsner that is very food freindly to boot,I really enjoyed this one.

Photo of startreker
4.22/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

Photo of chinchill
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz undated bottle served in a lager glass. This beer pours with a towering, sudsy, white head over a clear golden body with plenty of visible carbonation. The aroma is just as expected for this style, with a clear note of Saaz hops.

Flavor: also a rather typical pilsner with, perhaps. a touch more earthy hop flavor and bitterness than the average Czech version.

Medium-high carbonation but less crisp than optimal. Medium-light body.

Recommended for pilsner fans.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.28/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a 2-finger head (like, fat fingers), blinding white, fluffy and long-lasting. Liquid is pretty much as a pils ought to be, sunny yellow-gold with excellent clarity.

Aroma is good, clearly very much to style, although it doesn't give it all up in the smell. Hints of sulfur, fresh-baked white bread, straw, light fruity hops.

Flavor-wise, this pushes all the right buttons, especially on a hot day when you're craving something on the lager side of the tracks. Earthy mineral/sulfur lays in the background and right into the finish, with bits of lemon, grapefruit, grass, white bread, biscuit and a hint of honey mingling nicely.

Well-carbonated texture gives a tickle to the tongue, although a nice creaminess peeks through. Just the slightest bit of pucker on the finish, which is interesting, and a grapefruit pith kind of thing remains the dominant taste in the finish.

An absolutely great and authentic pils. Foothills gets better and better as the days go on, and when they can brew a traditional, lower alcohol brew like this and have it impress almost as much as their much more limited bourbon-barrel experiments, you know they're doing it right.

Photo of tdm168
4.23/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Fork and Barrel in Raleigh

Pours a pure gold with thick head that stays around. Nose is pure straw/wheat. Taste offers light malt and a decent balance of hops; after a few sips the malts become a little sweet. Light bodied, carbonated well, and crisp. A very good pilsner.

Photo of McNealc31
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An angry Viking with a beard of flames doesn't necessarily make me think "Pilsner", but the color of Foothills Torch is quite a bit darker than your average macro pilsner. Still clear and see through, though. Grassy hops in the aroma really showcase the difference, too.

The flavor is full of Saaz hops with a crisp, tart, dry finish. Slightly toasted malt comes through along with with hints of grapefruit. Hops get more aggressive as it warms.

Perhaps the most aggressive and hoppiest pilsners I've had. Still, very tasty and quite a bit of flavor compared to other pilsners. Only 5.3% so it's a pretty good session beer.

If you want a pilsner with a kick, find it!

Photo of ordybill
4.87/5  rDev +34.2%
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.

Photo of TheOriginal
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A favorite Pilsner. Excited for 6 packs finally!!

Pours a bright, hazy golden yellow color typical among craft pilsners. Smells dry, with lots of herbal scents. Lacing is excellent.

The combination of the dryness of the taste, herbal taste/hopiness, and overall appearence make this pilsner shine. Excellent.

Photo of nickd717
3.47/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft at the brewpub.

A - Very clear and light golden-yellow color with a small white head.

S - Aroma is grain, pilsner malt, and grassy hops.

T - Bready pale/pils malt and grain as well as some mild grassy hops. Well-balanced flavor, but a tiny bit weak. Decent for a pils, but not too exciting.

M - Palate light and crisp with some prickly carbonation.

D - Very high. This one doesn't last very long.

Photo of russpowell
4.39/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours an effervescent gold with 2 fingers of pearl white head. Good head retention & pretty good lacing

S: Breadyness & floral hops, perfumy notes as this warms

T: Follows the nose, dryness & flinty hops up front. Lemons, breadyness, & even a touch of grapefruit as this warms. Finishes bready, crisp, & lemony

MF: Medium bodied, firm carbonation, great balance

Super easy drinking pils. Not perfect but one I would buy again if I could get it here. I liked this as much as Prima Pils

Photo of Kegatron
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Foothills on 9/4/09. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a hazy gold, with a thin soapy looking head of brite-white colored foam. Retains with some thin bunching around the edges, and smallish wisps in the center, leaving back a light smattering of lacing. The aroma is sweet with toasted grains and a bit of fruity citrus. Light grassy hops fill things out. Just not getting a lot of deepness from this.

The taste is tight, bready, Pils malt, with a flush of citrus in the back. Some equally rigid, lightly spicy and drying bitterness gives this balance and crispness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a firm brisknes to the feel, which lends this a satisfying quenching sense.

This started out a little rough, but the clean taste and crisp nature of this ended up making for a solid Pils drinking experience. At least enough to nicely compliment my accompanying 1/2 lb pub melt. Yum!

Photo of hophugger
3.21/5  rDev -11.6%
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....

Photo of thagr81us
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from tap into a sampler tumbler. Poured golden yellow with a minimal white head. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, wheat, and slight bitter hops. The flavor was of bitter malt, wheat, skunk, slight bitter hops, and subtle banana on the followthrough. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. The skunk aspect was a little surprising, but didn't kill the brew at all. All of the flavors worked really well together on this one, but it just wasn't awe-inspiring. Aroma was a little weak in intensity for my liking, but still decent. This is a must try at least once.

Photo of CharlestonBXFan
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Keg from the guys at Charletson Beer Exchange. V Good but not quite gr8 beer. Learned not to read other reviewers b4 making up own mind! Having tasted lots of Pils in Russia where Urquell (SP?) was pushed on people and was of LOW quality, this was a pleasant upgrade from that more skunky variety. Had never thought about whether beer leaves suds down the side of glass....

Photo of PhillyStyle
4.38/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Woody's @ City Market, Raleigh, NC

Served up a nice golden color, deeper than expected, clear with a very nice white head that was well retained that faded into a small thin cap.

Aroma was good, slightly sweet, light and grainy, pretty much what I expected from the style, but better than most in the style.

The taste was very good, more robust than expected. This is not your typical Czech; the taste has an initial sweet taste, but fades and is nicely balanced.

The beer is light, and has a nice dry aftertaste, very nice active carbonation and extremely easy to drink. For this style, this may be one of the best and IMO has been very much under-appreciated by the reviewer of this beer thus far (as do most lighter colored beers and some for good reason). Overall, an excellent beer by an excellent brewer.

Photo of Bung
3.93/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A pretty dark gold pour for a pilsener, off white head. Malt, yeast, light citrus and pineapple aromas. Malt, lightly Biscuity with some citrus fruit flavors. Lively mouthfeel, just enough so. Clean malt and hop finish. The Victory Prima Pils is still my favorite from an American brewer, but this was pretty darn good as well.

Photo of tone77
3.47/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

Photo of Beejay
3.47/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

Photo of smakawhat
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

4.02/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber to stange. Thanks to rbradley for sending some Foothills my way! Sampled 4/14/12.

A: Pouring down the side of the glass produces a solid finger of off-white fluffy/foamy head that lasts for about 15 seconds before fizzing out to a soapy film. The body is light orange-yellow with remarkable clarity and plenty of bubbles moving quickly through. Wavey patterns of lace sticks to the glass in spare quantities.

S: Spicy hop bouquet that leans grassy more so than floral. The upfront hops are backed by a general, cracker-like graininess. Very clean aroma with little to no fruity esters.

T: Clean and crisp flavors. Strong hop character overshadows the malt base. Bitterness is on the low side of the spectrum at 35 IBUs, but hefty enough to carry the load. A light and pleasant sweetness creeps back onto the tongue on the backend of the palate. Simple, straightforward - and very successful.

M: Medium light body. Crisp, prickly carbonation that eases up on aggressiveness as the swallow commences. Spot on for the style.

O: A very solid Bohemian - and better than most in fact. Torch Pilsner is a super clean, refreshing quaff that begs for outdoors and a hot day to compliment the drinking experience. Happy to have tried this one...

Photo of jsanford
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into a Foothills Glass

Pours a clear glowing gold with a sudsy white head that settles to a slight haze and ring. Nice aromas of grainy malt, lemon zest, crackers, and noble hops. Taste is mostly dominated by the grainy cracker malt and more noble Saaz hops, along with a touch of honey and bread dough. Mouthfeel is properly crisp, with a medium-thin body and good, sharp carbonation. Overall it's not the most over-the-top beer in the World, but a damn fine Pilsner that is perfectly amble after a days work.

Photo of wedge
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear gold with an inch of pure white foam. Pleasant spicy hop nose...slightly sweet pale malt, toasty grain, dough, faint fruit, and some lager character. More spicy, leafy hops in the flavor. Sweet, fresh grain and a lingering peppery bitterness. Very refreshing and chug-down-able. Body is a little better than light and is crisp. I've had this on tap a number of times and it's nice to see it in a bottle. Good local pils...

Photo of mikesgroove
4.02/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one on tap at Asheville Pizza and brewing this afternoon. I have seen this before in Greenville at Blue Ridge and at Barleys but have never given it a try for some reason. I actually wasn't going to today either, until I remebered that I hadn't given it a try yet, so I figured what the hell. I need to try all the foothills brews anyway so this is just as good a place to try a new one as any right. So for a warm day in July with my pizza on the table, I go with a nice german pilsner, this is the life isn't it?

Poured a bright golden yellow with a one inch white colored head. A ton of carbonation was evident right from the start as the bubbles were just screaching to the top to get out. Lots of activity from a visual perspective, however it died down very quickly leaving only a bright yellow fizzy looking beer. No lace to speak of. Not saying this looked bad, not at all. Just about your average pilsner. Maybe a little brighter then normal, but very nice clarity and overall look. On a side note this was served very very cold. Seriously I have not had a beer that cold in a long time, it was in a room temperature glass , but the beer was like ice. Very nice touch, I really felt it brought out flavor as opposed to dampening it, but we will get to that aspect later.

Very odd smell, I had expected your normal bland pilsner grain smell, but there was something decidely different here, HOPS, and a whole lotta them. Nice bitter smell mixed in with the grain and yeast. The flavor followed along tightly with this as well.Very crisp clean feel and finish. But what was the most remarkable was the bitterness of this pilsner. I really have never had one with soo much bite before. Really was extremely nice.

Overall this was a really good pilsner, and totally away from what I was expecting. It was light enough to drink on a hot day or in large numbers, but at the same time had enough character, enough profile to carry its own weight even at night. This was a superb choice at the time, and a really good brew. I would definatly order this up again!

Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: Pale golden in color. Comes to the table in a pint glass with a low, white head that has decent retention.

smell: Pale grains and dry, grassy noble hops that add a touch of spice. Not much to it, but good enough.

mouthfeel: Medium carbonation, lighter in body.

taste: Pale grains upfront with some grassy noble hop flavors. Watery in some spots. Could be a little more crisp in regards to the hop flavor and a little more clean after the swallow. Finishes with a short lived, moderate bitterness.

drinkability: Not as poundable as I'd like a pilsner to be.

on-tap at the Village Draft House

6-4-08: snappy, crisp hop presence with clean pilsner malts, apparently much improved over my previously reviewed version, near the top of the NC pilsner heap

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Torch Pilsner from Foothills Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 384 ratings.