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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: 392
Avg: 3.72
pDev: 25.54%
Wants: 8
Gots: 60 | 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: 392
Photo of bearfootdaddy
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - golden with good aspiration, bright white half finger of head.
Smell - nice floral sweetness of hops.
Taste - clean, just what you'd expect from a pilsner.
Mouthfeel - leaves the mouth a little bitter and dry.
Overall - easy drinking session beer.

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

A- Pours like a nice pilsner. Bright yellow with a pure white head. The head fades into the small clumps of foam.
S- Sweet with a bit of hops in the smell.
T-The hops come out more in the taste then the smell. The is a small bitter hop bite that lingers.
MO- A nice beer. Picked up a six on a road trip to North Carolina. It was definitely worth the purchase.

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Photo of kots84
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pale yellow with a white head.

Smell - Sweet malt and hops.

Taste - A grassy hop taste with malts and yeast . A bitter after taste.

Mouthfeel - Thin body and light carbonation.

Overall - Very drinkable beer. Probably would have again.

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Photo of thegodfather2701
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a straw yellow with a fizzy bright white head that dissipates quickly

S-grassy, noble hops, slightly sweet

T-similar to the nose-grassy, Noble hops, slightly bitter with a hint of sweetness. It has a good flavor, but is somewhat mild.

M-Thin and crisp

Overall, this is a very drinkable beer for sure. Its not as flavorful or as crisp as some other versions of the style but still a solid choice, especially in the warmer months.

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Photo of zeledonia
3.84/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Tasted 12 May 2013, reviewed from notes.

Pours a clear pale golden yellow. One finger white head, okay retention and lacing. Nice column of bubbles rising up.

Smell is grainy and vegetably lightly sweet, with a dash of Saaz spice. Rounded, full, a bit corny, and peppery.

Taste is in line with the smell, full and grainy, but with a bit more potent spice. What I'm not getting is crispness - the malts are too long-lasting, and the bite I want to counterbalance them isn't quite there. Pretty good, but not great.

Feel is excellent. Substantive but light, with a zippy carbonation that adds a ton to the beer's overall effect. If only the spice were as active as the bubbles.

A good pilsner, a little heavier on the grainy sweetness than I would like. Good spice presence, just settles down a little too heavily, making it not as bright or refreshing as I want.

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Photo of chinchill
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

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Photo of russpowell
4.39/5  rDev +18%
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

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Photo of fmccormi
4.26/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Straight pour from a 12oz pry-off bottle to my tall Ommegang flute; no bottle dating, but this was purchased just this past week at Sam’s Quick Shop in Durham, NC, and generally speaking these bottles have a pretty good turnover in-state so I’m assuming it’s suitably fresh.

Appearance (3.75): Three solid fingers of cream-colored foam rise off of the pour easily, capping a crystal-clear, purely golden-colored body. Very good retention, with the head dying down slowly, leaving a rocky cap and scattered suds here and there, and a couple of fat splotches of lace.

Smell (4.5): This is, in my head, how pale, golden pilsners are supposed to smell: beautiful floral, slightly metallic hops scents with a rustic, spicy, pale grain character with bright, lemony and cracker notes. It has that sweet scent of fresh water, too, which is hard to describe but I love (because what the hell would it mean to anyone if I said it smelled like water?).

Taste (4.25): Nice, grassy and floral hops play with the grainy, crisp malt body, which comes off first as dry and crackery but shows a deeper, subtle sweetness after the initial wash of hops and water crackers. There’s a really nice, nutty character that melds with the lightly toasted grain, too. And there’s that distinctive blend of clean, nutty yeast and very bright, floral, grassy, and lemony hops, which to me is what makes a classic pilsner.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Soft, filling carbonation that tingles all over before it goes down really marks the feel, which is somewhat lighter than medium-weight—very refreshing, very crisp, and quenching without sacrificing feel.

Overall (4.25): This is an excellent pilsner. I’d love to have this in my neck of the woods, because it’s so well-crafted for the style that it’d be a great cross-over beer for those who aren’t so familiar with or deep into craft. Great for hot weather drinking. Definitely worth checking out if you’re a fan of pilsners or looking for local talent when in North Carolina.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.54/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

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Photo of SconesSPE
3.86/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Straight pour from 12 oz bottle in a pint glass.

A: Nice gold pour and slightly sudsy head. Not very thick, but existent.

S: Nice bready aroma that I like to smell in Pils

T: Really plain. The hop balance is off, giving it a bit of bitter but no real balance to complement the grain goodness.

M: This is the saving grace. A light to medium body that goes down well. I could really enjoy putting back one after another on a hotter day.

O: A really nice try. It's refreshing, crisp, and feels like I just stuffed my mouth with wonderbread and butter (which I like). However, the hop schedule needs tweaking to finish this beer. I'm going to try it again in the summer, just to see if I like it better. End all, much better than generic pilsners out there.

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Photo of nUgZ
3.87/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bomber poured into a Pilsner glass.

A: Pours a clear golden color with a two finger head and nice lacing.

S: Bready malts along with some citrus and grassy smelling hops. Faint alcohol aroma.

T: Fairly malt heavy, with some bready malts up front. Grassy aftertaste. Somewhat bitter.

M: Light to medium bodied with ample carbonation.

O: Nice and refreshing. I'm not much of a Pilsner drinker, but I could drink this pretty much anytime.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.82/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

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Photo of TheOriginal
3.83/5  rDev +3%
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.

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Photo of plaid75
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

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Photo of Teleweizen2
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - pours a crystal clear golden color. Small white cap of foam quickly dissipates to a ring around the edge.

S - aroma is strong with funky noble hops. As it warms there is a touch of citrus character as well as floral notes all against a background of honey and grains.

T - lightly sweet honey comb and grainy bread flavors up front. Earthy herbal and citrus hop character in the center. Quick dry and snappy finish.

M - medium bodied with a slightly watery texture. Medium  carb with tight bubbles.

O - real nice summer beer. I would prefered if it was a touch crisper but I could see drinking this as a warm weather thirst quencher.

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Photo of pburland23
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I picked this one up in Asheville a few weeks ago and am finally getting around to drinking it.

Poured from a bomber into a pilsner glass.

Appearance: Beer pours a golden yellow. It's a little darker than I would expect a pils to be. Pour released two fingers of dense slightly off-white head. Decent head retention and lacing.

Smell: Very bready with a noticeable presence of Czech hops. Slight floral hops notes. Nice smelling.

Taste: Sweet and very grassy. The sweetness is almost honey-like. It finishes with a mild tartness. The taste is good but it's not truly evocative of the style.

Mouthfeel: It's a little more full bodied than I'd expect from a pilsner. Carbonation adds some body and creaminess.

Overall: This isn't the best interpretation of a Czech pils out there. It's nice but as my first Foothills beer, it was underwhelming.

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Photo of Luigi
4.85/5  rDev +30.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours out a clear golden color with a big white foamy head. Lace sticks all around the glass and the retention stays around for the life of the beer. beautiful.

The aroma is rich with saaz hops and a balance of grains and soft bread from the malt. Nice spicy with hints of citrus, and mild pine.

The flavor is clean and spicy! Those saaz hops blend together perfectly with the soft malt. Both flavors hit the palate at once. Soft grainy malt and citrus spicy hop. Has a refreshing clean finish with pine like hops lingering for a bit.

This is has to be the most balanced and refreshing Czech style Pilsner I have in a long time! I seriously can not find anything wrong with this beer. Proud that it is brewed in my home state NC.

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Photo of McNealc31
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
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!

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Photo of VncentLIFE
3.28/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Decided on something light since its nearing 90 degrees this afternoon.

Pour is light yellow with no real head. I think they mispoured. The smell is just ok. I think theyre going for more of a malty thing here (Ive had it multiple times, and gotten the same thing). Sweet slick British malts (at least thats what I smell). The taste is much the same. I think of a British Pale more than Pils. Very slick and more malt forward. I got slight hints of skunk as well as British malt.

Overall, not bad. It can be my "if all else fails, give me one" beer.

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Photo of Arborescence
4.29/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear, golden, fluffy white pils head.

Aroma: Fruit and malt, little bit of toast, currants.

Taste: Tasty! Smooth and mellow, easy going. Interesting, rich aftertaste with a malty character.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, fairly low carbonation, which is good!

Overall: Good stuff. Not quite a typical European pils, but it has some resemblance to Urquell.

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Photo of jsanford
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of Chaney
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Foothills.

A: Poured a clear, almost mustardy yellow, with a slight head that stuck around for a bit.

S: Understated overall (like a lot of Foothills regular line-up entries), but with a touch of honey and yeast.

T: This was bitter, but I kinda liked that in this setting. Nothing groundbreaking...just a nice, sweetbready, crisp, pilsener.

M: The carbonation was fairly low considering the style and there was virtually no lacing whatsoever. Over, I dug the mouthfeel.

O: This was a solid pilsener that would be divine on a warm summer day!

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4.02/5  rDev +8.1%
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...

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.42/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

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Photo of eclipse54
3.37/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A 22 ounce bottle from inlimbo77; thanks! Poured into a DFH signature glass.

Pours a yellow/orange color that is completely translucent; a two centimeter head of miniscule, white, delicate bubbles rests atop the liquid; mild retention and lacing.

The aroma is of saaz hops, lemon, a touch of clove, and some subtle light grains. It seems delicate, yet well thought-out and balanced.

It tastes of the saaz hops first-and-foremost, with lemon, straw, slight hay and grass pulling through in the rear. A touch of clove also seems to announce itself towards the end. The flavors seem a bit muted and slightly amiss, but by no means offputting; average pilsener in this category.

The mouthfeel is light, but feels limp and wet as opposed to crisp and lively. Finishes relatively cleanly, with a bit of lemon seeming to linger longer than the other flavors.

Overall, a decent pilsener, but one that is readily surpassed by others in the style. I would happily drink it again were it offered, but would take no great effort to seek it out.

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