Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

Sticke Pilsner - Beer Camp #43 (Best Of Beer Camp: Imperial Pilsner) - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sticke Pilsner - Beer Camp #43 (Best Of Beer Camp: Imperial Pilsner)Sticke Pilsner - Beer Camp #43 (Best Of Beer Camp: Imperial Pilsner)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

186 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 186
Hads: 432
Avg: 3.79
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 5
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
German Pilsener |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mcallister on 02-18-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 186 | Hads: 432
Photo of shand
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer Camp Imperial Pilsner pours a hazy golden color with a finger of head. The aroma is full of noble hops and pilsner malts. A bit bigger and heavier on the hops than a normal pilsner. The taste is excellent, with a strong noble hop addition over a normal amount of pilsner malt and body. The drinkability is excellent. Overall a great pilsner that I prefer to their Summerfest. Highly recommended for fans of the style.

 422 characters

Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.35/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours from a 12oz short boy bottle into a pint glass. Emerges kind of dark in color, golden amber with a typically sized, slightly lemon colored head. Aroma is quite typical of the style. Malty and hoppy with caramel and toffee notes as well as a bit of buscuity flavors wafting my way.

I like the flavor here. More hop centric, which I like. Great balance between malt and hops on this one, which works for me. Hops are earthy and noble in quality; subdued yet apparently visible. A nice combination.

Nicely proportioned body. Nothing sticks out yet all remain balanced, which is what the Germans strive for. The mouthfeel was a little thin for me. It was crisp and clean but with the biscuity flavors and aromas, I was hoping for a little more chewiness. It is hard to have both biscuit and dry, clean finish, so maybe this is world class. Who knows. I liked it but wasnt blown away.

 889 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy light orange with a foamy bone colored head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Small patches of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, and citrus zest. Taste is much the same with some slight herbal flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

 494 characters

Photo of GilGarp
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle served cold in a pint glass.

Imperial Pilsner is a pale golden yellow color with great clarity and fizzy sticky head.

Aroma is nice and hoppy with a hit of lemon and spice.

Flavor is punchy and bitter. It has a great deal of hoppiness without being overpowered. Light malt base lets the spicy German hops shine.

Mouthfeel is light in body and nicely carbonated.

Overall a good pils but, as others have mentioned, too light in ABV and flavor to be called imperial.

 482 characters

Photo of Mdog
3.47/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Clear, yellow, ok head at first but poor retention.

Smell: Grassy, standard pilsner.

Taste: Not much different from Summerfest. Bready, grassy hops add a nice crispness. Hint of grape underneath.

Overall: Since the bottle said Imperial Pilsner I was intrigued. I should have looked at the back which says 5.6% ABV, which is by no means Imperial. I suppose as a standard pilsner it fits the bill, but is missing the extra malt flavors of an imperial pilsner.

 472 characters

Photo of Clydesdale
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a lightly hazed, otherwise bright golden color. The medium sized, white head has a fairly frothy texture and decent retention. An irregular ring of lacing sticks to the glass as the head fades.

S: Some pale malt aroma - a bit doughy and crackery. Hop notes are brightly herbal and somewhat floral/perfumey. A bit of fruitiness is also present in the background.

T: Reasonably malty up front, with some moderate sweetness. Doughy and bready notes. Hop bitterness is firm. Herbal/noble hop notes are prominent, with some lesser fruity/perfumey character.

M: Medium-firm body. Carbonation is perky. Hoppiness fades into a lasting, dry aftertaste.

D: This is a nice, drinkable pilsner. There are more exciting versions, but this has solid balance and good hop character.

 783 characters

Photo of blackcompg
3.47/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle from their 2012 beer camp 12ver...

Appearance - Almost 2 fingers of white eggshell sudsy head, body is a perfectly translucent golden yellow straw color, head dissipates quickly and leaves very minimal lacing.

Smell - Big bready aromas, lite pear & apple, crackers, lite white pepper.

Taste - A good complexity of noble hops right off the bat, giving crisp floral and herbal bitterness on the front, slight tart appleskins, a nice bready flavor midsip to balance, then some slight minerals finishing with very dry and bitter hops, and a touch of bitter peach pits, and a dash of white pepper.

Mouthfeel - This has a pretty light, airy and dry mouthfeel, carb is on the higher side and definitely scrubs the palate, with some sharp edges on the sides and back of the tongue, and leaves a bitter dryness at the end of the sip.

Overall - While I personally don't prefer the style, this seems to represent the style extremely well for both flavor and mouthfeel. This would probably go well with heavier, higher fat/carb dishes. I would think this would be a great brew for pils fans.

 1,110 characters

Photo of jsprain1
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Clear, pale golden. Head is frothy, two fingers, white. Good retention and some lacing.
S- Aroma is "green," noble hop heavy. A bit of pepper, just a hint of breadyness.
T- Big noble hops up front. A hint of green apple, a touch of honey and a bit of apricot as well. Big flavors up front but the finish is a bit of a drop off.
M- Very, very, very dry finish. Medium body, medium light carb.
O- A good imperial pilsner and one of the better beer camp beers that I have had.

 476 characters

Photo of hdofu
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm not usually a pilsner fan, but this one is one of the better pilsners I've encountered, not enough to make me want more but hey it was easy to drink and I wouldn't turn it down. It had the amound of head you'd expect with a pillsner. It was pale/goldenish. It smelled medicinal and had other spices in the nose. These were very noticeable when drinking the beer. If you like pilsners with flavor, this one has more flavor then most which is a good thing to me.

 464 characters

Photo of jsanford
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a clear gold with a dense white head that settles to a solid cap with sudsy edges. Crisp aromas of toasted grains, doughy malt, herbal hops, and just a touch of sweet corn. Nice flavors of grainy malt, noble hops, and clean Pilsner yeast. Crisp and clean, and very nicely done. Mouthfeel is sharp and crisp, with a medium body and very nice carbonation. Solid Pilsner, but not a style that really blows me away.

 417 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, straw yellow color with golden highlights. It had a one-finger, white head of foam that left sudsy trails of lace.

S - It smelled floral with some bready notes.

T - Caramel and bread crust with a sweet backbone. There is a spicy bite of bitterness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium bodied beer with a dry finish.

O - This is a nice pilsener, but I expected more from a Best of Beer Camp brew.

 441 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.57/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Uinta pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, California. Acquired as part of a Sierra Nevada beer camp variety 12 pack at the cap n cork in Los Feliz for $19.99 total. Reviewed live. Expectations are below average; the brewery is meh and many beers in the style are underwhelming.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm a bit. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger beige colour head. Thin and of bad retention. Little lacing. No real cream. Body colour is a predictable transparent pale yellow-copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. So far so bad.

Sm: Overly hopped for the style; floral character abound. Bland straw barley grains. Hints of butterscotch. Clean malts. A mild to average strength aroma.

T: Overdone floral hopping, with even some bitterness creeping in on the climax. Clean bland malts throughout. Straw and barley lend it no body. Bland, boring, poorly executed. Not at all subtle or complex. Why brew this?

Mf: Dry on the finish, destroying the balance. Smooth and wet for the first two acts. Thin and pathetic. Light presence on the palate.

Dr: Drinkable but bland and boring. Little flavour. A crappy brew all around. Another disappointment from Sierra Nevada. I enjoyed the other beers in this variety pack far more.

Low C-

 1,432 characters

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

Bottled. Poured clear, brilliant golden with a nice white head. The aroma picked up crusty bread and mandarin orange, with accents of fresh grassy and herbal hops. The flavor found more bready malts at the core, with crisp lemon zest, fruity, and floral accents with residual grassy and fruity bitterness: tasty and very drinkable. Light-bodied, but with enough carbonation to keep it engaged. tangy, crisp, and well-balanced. Very good.

 437 characters

Photo of KansasBeerLover
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a lambic glass.

Body is the color of pale, filtered apple juice. Clean and clear. Carbonation. Head was about 1/3 of the glass and has dissipated, leaving a ring and moderate lacing.

Aroma is fruity hops, more than just citrus. A better nose than mine would help. Also some grain. Not overly strong.

Taste is a good German pilsner. Just enough sweetness, malt and some hops.

Mouthfeel is good. Sweetness does not coat your mouth, leaving a clean palate.

Overall a very good beer. It is a step beyond most pilsners, but not quite an imperial. The labeling is my only issue with this one. I would buy another, but supply is very limited.

 653 characters

Photo of bmwats
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pilsner.

A: Golden hue. Heavy carbonation. Lots o' rising effervescence and tiny bubbles cling to the sides of the glass. Pours a colossal 3 finger, foamy, white head. Deteriorates slowly and unevenly, leaving dry sticky residue behind in its wake. Beer ring lacing. Head renews with re-pour.

S: Heavy tone of French bread, with slight lemon citrus, and fresh floral components.

T: Strongly hopped white bread, with a subtle floral tone.

M: A little bitter, with a really steely finish.

D: This is a sipping pilsner, definitely not the session variety.

Atmosphere is really strong. Great appearance including a great head, and some really persistent lacing. Nose is simple, but forceful. Flavor is also basic, as you'd expect from the style, but full. A bit of an off-putting finish. Overall, this is a good quaff.

 863 characters

Photo of Kendo
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from the bottle into a Sierra Nevada pint glass. Body is clear dark golden with a small white head that's gone quickly. No real lace left behind.

S: Some florally hops and a faint smell of cat pee over cereal grains, but also some fruity sweetness.

T: Surprisingly sweet for a pilsner; I get a certain fruitiness that reminds me of an ale yeast. Some grassy hops at the finish, and a faint lingering bitterness. Some spice at the end as well.

M: Call it lighter side of medium in heft. Carbonation is faint, makes this one a little slick in feel for a pilsner, though in feel it does seem to deserve the "imperial" moniker - which
doesn't seem appropriate given the 5.6% ABV.

O: This is only OK with me. Not sure what it's supposed to be, as the color screams pilsner, and the grassy and florally hops go along with that. However, the fruity sweetness and slicker feel make me think more of an ale.

 914 characters

Photo of Maxwell
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours the color of dehydrated piss and apple juice, yellow with faint hits of rose and brown. The body is quite clear with a large quantity of bubbles racing up from the bottom of the glass. The head pour fluffy white and rocky, with sloppy sticky lacing on the sides. The beer smells light and hoppy, with light citrus and earthy notes playing with each other. Hay-like malt and yeast are also present, but light. The smell is clean and simple, but light with only the barest hint of biscuity flavoring. The beer also tastes clean and simple. It begins with sweet citrus lemon before moving into light syrup sweet malts and then finally closing with heavier hops in the middle and ends of the taste, hinting at earthy and grassy tastes with fainter notes of citrus. Mouthfeel is properly thin, effervescent, and very clean, leaving a slight sticky dry-sweet feeling in the mouth and bitter lingering on the tongue from the hops. The beer is also highly drinkable, and at 5.6% I am left wondering why the hell they chose to call this an imperial pilsner… Overall this is an enjoyable sipper. I could have a few of these over the course of a day or meal and very pleased with myself. The hop character is a little strong for the style, and leads me to look at this as more of an American Pilsner or India Pale Lager than a German Pilsner, but it definitely is tasty and worthy of a try. Yet another fantastic offering from Beer Camp.

 1,443 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pilsner glass. Pours a light golden amber with a two finger white head with good retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of grassy malt, light apple and floral hops. Flavor follows with grassy malt, light fruit, floral and pine hops, a hint of citrus. Light to medium bodied. A nice pilsner with somewhat complex but well integrated flavors. I was unimpressed with my first sample of this beer, but really am enjoying it in a relaxed and careful tasting. The Beer Camp samplers are becoming one of my most anticipated beer events each year.

 550 characters

Photo of secondtooth
4.23/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clean golden yellow, with a huge head of white bubbles. Beautiful, intricate, and ornate lace!

Aroma is crisp, grainy, and yeasty. A tinge of citrus and floral hops comes in, as well, making this one very appealing, indeed.

Taste shows the malts and grains appearing up front, followed by a hoppy bitterness at the back of the tongue. Still, this is a fittingly mild and easy-to-drink pilsner with tons of flavor. Absolutely superb!

 442 characters

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank this beer last night and was astounded by how much I liked it...
The beer pours a straw yellow with a thin, wispy, white head that settles quickly. The nose is slightly fruity, clean, with a touch of grain. It has a very distinct German pilsner taste that reminds me of how I felt the first time drinking prima pils. The mild-medium semi-sweet body is as clean as it smells, and highly drinkable. Less of a biting hoppiness than the previously aforementioned German pils comparator.
This is a great beer that is very balanced, well priced, and easily available. It's an obvious alternative to your favorite German pils that may not running (ie. prima) at whatever bar you may find yourself consuming good beers at.

 721 characters

Photo of AgentMunky
4.24/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Pellucid gold. No effervescence. A finger of white head fades quickly. Sticky lace.

S: Very nice hops. Crisp, dry-clean citrus. I like it.

T: Great pilsner! One of the best I've had, actually. Great malt base is the key, lightly sweet, lightly biscuity. The earthy, floral hops provide an excellent accent and the yeast is clean and distinct.

M: No problems or comments here.

O: An excellently crafted beer. Highly recommended. Would drink again.

 505 characters

Photo of chefhatt
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer has a nice golden color body with a small head that dissapeared real quick to a thin lace. The smell is a light malt to it, with a hint of citrus to it. The taste is defently a pilsner taste, has a nice citrus flavor up front then a little malt on the back of the tonuge. It is very nicely balanced. The mouth feel is really nice, is very drinkable. Overall this is a pretty nice beer, defently for summer.

 416 characters

Photo of pburland23
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Prima Pils pilsner glass.

Appearance: Pours a pretty standard pale, golden yellow. Crystal clear with about two fingers of very bright white head. Nice lacing and head retention.

Smell: Pretty muted in terms of traditional pilsner aromas. Some grassy Germanic malts and floral hops, but not as crisp, clean and pronounced as the smell should be.

Taste: A maltier version of a German pils. The hops bite is there but it's not as big as in most pilsners. For what is there, it's slightly sweet with some nice citrus and floral hops notes. It's tasty, but it feels incomplete to me.

Mouthfeel: For a beer labeled "imperial" I think it's pretty light in body and high in drinkability. It's too bad this came out at the end of the summer because I could have used a few more.

Overall: A nice, easy drinking pils. All things considered, I think I prefer Summerfest to this, but it's a close competition.

 939 characters

Photo of MadScientist
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This is a light golden beer with excellent clarity. The isn't much of a head but the thin white foam is persistant and doen't fade.

S: A moderate floral hops aroma with moderately-low pilsner malt aroma. It has that wonderful gram cracker like aroma. Piney and slightly citrus hops aroma come through as it warms.

T: Pilsner malt with a big piney and spicy hops flavor hit the palate first. There is a some what herbaceous character to the hops (could be my allergies messing with me, I'll have to try this one again when I can breath again). The balance is moderately bitter with a light but lingering bitterness after the dry finish.

M: A crisp medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation and a light warmth from the alcohol.

O: This is no lawnmower beer it's more like an Americanized german pilsner having far more hops and bitterness but not IPA like along with a somewhat noticeably high alcohol content. I would defiantly enjoy a couple of these in a sitting; I'd like to see this on tap sometime.

 1,014 characters

Photo of thecheapies
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very gold in color. Some warm honey tones. Coarse bubbles spatter across the top, dispersing as it falls. Looks slick for a pilsner.

Citric hop aromas and a touch of the floral. Nice upfront hopping. Notes of orange, grapefruit, light pine, and a flowery odor; all of this quite delightful. Definitely not German or Czech in the way that it's hopped and the way that the malts pale in comparison. Nectary grains supplement sweetness and harmonize with the citrus fruit nose.

Drinks with citric tang (I almost wanted to capitalize 'tang' and throw an extra 'a' in it). Slight flavors of sweetened powdered lemonade mix, tangerine, and grapefruit. Floral infusion, white tea, honey nectar, and tropical fruits dash about on the palate. The main focus here is the exotic hops and clean pilsner malts. There's a taste of fresh grated lemon zest that complements the style very well.

Light carbontion upfront, more as it finishes. The body has a little girth, keeping with the Imperial style. Nothing challenging about drinking this one.

The ABV doesn't put this one in the category that it needs to be. It falls short as a German Pils without grassy Noble hopping and musty German grain. I must concede to rate it a lesser score than what I would have wanted. Call it an American Pale Lager and I'd give it a 5.0.

 1,313 characters

Sticke Pilsner - Beer Camp #43 (Best Of Beer Camp: Imperial Pilsner) from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 186 ratings.