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Torch Pilsner - Foothills Brewing Company - Downtown Brewpub

Not Rated.
Torch PilsnerTorch Pilsner

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95 Reviews
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Reviews: 95
Hads: 388
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 10.96%
Wants: 7
Gots: 56 | 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: 388
Photo of Thorpe429
3.3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a clear yellow color with visible carbonation bubbles and a white head without too much lacing as it goes down. Nose is some light grass and bread with a few hops. Light European hop character and grass in the taste. Light and crisp bit nothing too interesting. (289 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
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 (596 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.44/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reminding beer drinkers of the South that the light lager that's the common tipple has more authentic roots- roots with full flavor, full body, complexity and character. Foothill's rolls out a juicy malted lager with spice, floral and buttered bread, but in the best pilsner way allowed by beer.

Its rich gold color is bright and somewhat champagne so in the classic "beer" austere. Those lather captured bubble pop and pour on the aromatic that lead with honeysuckle, fresh baked bread and a zesty herbal spice. Those fresh kilned pilsner kernels lay its sweet bready taste on the early palate then round out with raw grain, straw and pepper.

The playful ping of carbonation fancies the middle palate while the sweetness and floral finesse retreats and the spicy hops catch their stride. Lightly peppery, grassy and herbal in nature; those botanicals become less of flowers and more of bite. As a light taste of savory butter slathers on, a lemony and apple-like sulfur note rushes in to calm the film that begins to mouth.

While its forgivable butter character provides a charming sense of fullness, the beer doesn't let that interfere with its refreshing and hop-forward finish. With elements of mint, leaf and stem stewing late, an aftertaste of honeysuckle reward the senses one last time. (1,297 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.02/5  rDev +7.5%
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! (2,085 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
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. (396 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
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! (898 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.39/5  rDev +17.4%
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 (488 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.64/5  rDev -2.7%
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. (509 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.55/5  rDev -5.1%
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. (473 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A draft pilsner? Yes please. I love a good pilsner and this one was decent. Beer is yellow and clear with moderate to low carbonation and a diffuse head of small bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass.

Beer's aroma is simple and subtle, it's all pilsner malt all the time.

Beer is light to medium in body, lead off mild sweetness, mild bitterness from hops at the end, between is just sweet and wet, not overly sweet, it's a nice round subtle flavor, highly drinkable. Yum. (482 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.82/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a lightly hazy medium golden yellow in color with moderate amounts of visible carbonation and some medium orange highlights. The beer has a finger tall light beige head that reduces to a mottled very thin film covering the entire surface of the beer with a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of biscuit and bready malts with moderate amounts of grassy hops and just a touch of citrus and spicy hops (like peppery grapefruit).

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of biscuit and bready malts with light amounts of grassy hops. There are also some more moderate amounts of spicy, citrus, and earthy hop flavors that give it a light to moderate amount of bitterness which fades after a short while.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Crisp with just a hint of dryness in the finish.

O: One of the better pilseners that I have had from NC - I enjoy the additional hop flavors from the citrus hops that really add a little something extra to the taste and smell. Very enjoyable and quite easy to drink, a session beer. (1,147 characters)

Photo of tdm168
4.23/5  rDev +13.1%
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. (283 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
3.1/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This came with a thick, bone-white head with decent retention throughout. The nose had a distinct Saaz hops aroma. The color was a deep yellow with NE-quality clarity. The mouthfeel was light-to-medium with an intriguing light sweetness on the tongue. I did experience a medium hop bite on the finish, but it needed to be hoppier throughout, IMHO. (347 characters)

Photo of Gavage
3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: golden yellow in color with a two finger head that produces some nice lace on the glass.

Smell: grass and some malt sweetness is very mild and hard to pull from the glass.

Taste: nice malt character with some crackers, grass, hint of lemon, and a soft saaz-like hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Crisp throughout. Clean aftertaste.

Drinkability: easy quaffing pils that is a bit light on the flavor profile but still tasty. Definitely worth a try if you see it on tap. (493 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
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. (1,120 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
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. (488 characters)

Photo of plaid75
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Barley's, Asheville, NC.

Poured a medium straw hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a potent noble hop and a doughy pilsner malt.

The taste consisted of round pilsner malts with accents of herbal noble hops.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a tasty pilsner. Better than most. (369 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.47/5  rDev -7.2%
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. (259 characters)

Photo of Durge
3.91/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A clear golden amber color with a thin white head and nice lacing. The aroma is weak swampy wheat and citrus. The flavor brings a nice balance of bitter herbal citrus hop and bready caramel malt. Very tasty and well carbonated. Crisp and very drinkable, a distinctive pilsner. Quite hoppy, fair bodied for the style. (316 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
3.42/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pour is a crystal clear golden orange with a rather tight creamy white head. The nose is pretty decent, a little heavy on the grain but adds notes of doughy bread and and some leafy green hops. The taste is slightly more balanced but still a touch heavy on the grain. Grain, doughy malts, some sweet caramel and honey transitions to some green leafy hop notes. The finish is faintly dry, highly carbonated and a bit rough on the back of the throat. Solid pilsner. (463 characters)

Photo of thagr81us
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
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. (674 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.54/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer is poured a lighter golden color with a one finger white colored head. The head fades very fast to leave a light level of lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell- The aroma is mainly of lightly toasted grain with light notes of caramel and a citrus and grassy hop smell.

Taste – The taste begins with a grainy and bready taste that is a little on the drier side. As the taste advances light hop flavors initially of a citrus flavor and then more of a grassy flavor come to the tongue. These hop flavors take the taste to its end, with the grassy increasing in potency as time goes on (but never becoming too strong), with all the flavors combining to in the end leave a grassy and bready flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel –The body of the beer is on the thinner side with a carbonation level that is very
average. The thinner body is rather nice for the grainier and lighter flavors of the brew and when combined with the moderate carbonation make for a quite easy drinking brew.

Overall – . It is refreshing and relatively crisp with a decent herbal hop profile. A decent and pretty easy drinking pilsner. (1,188 characters)

Photo of Bung
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
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. (327 characters)

Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev +7%
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 (767 characters)

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 06/21/2009. On draft. This beer pours a clear light yellow with a thick white head. The aroma is of wheat and light fruits. The flavor is sweet initially with a light wheat and bready finish. This was very refreshing and I thought it was a good pilsener! (266 characters)

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