Blue Paddle Pilsner - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Blue Paddle PilsnerBlue Paddle Pilsner

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

1,175 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,175
Reviews: 406
rAvg: 3.53
pDev: 13.03%
Wants: 21
Gots: 135 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Czech Pilsener |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 07-18-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,175 | Reviews: 406
Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into lager glass, best before 1/4/2015. Pours fairly crystal clear golden straw color with a 1 finger dense white head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of lemon, pear, apple, cracker, bread, herbal, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of pale malt, fruity yeast, and earthy hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of lemon, pear, apple, cracker, bread, herbal, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Light earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, pear, apple, cracker, bread, herbal, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a short bit. Good balance and robustness of pale malt, fruity yeast, and earthy hop flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, and clean mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with zero warming present after the finish as expected of 4.8%. Overall this is a nice and pleasant Czech pilsener. Good balance and robustness of pale malt, fruity yeast, and earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.24/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Appearance - Pours crystal clear and golden in color. White half-finger head that exhibits little retention, resulting in a fairly barren surface.

Smell - Grainy aroma with light hints of citrus and grass.

Taste - Follows the nose. Grainy malt body with faint hints of lemon and a slightly bitter grassy finish. Nothing particularly amazing.

Mouthfeel - Light in body with tingly carbonation. Smooth and easy, with a crisp finish. Easily the best aspect of this beer.

Overall - A very average pilsner from NB here. Clean, yes, but very little in the way of flavor. There are so many other better craft pilsners out on the market, so it's doubtful I'll ever feel the need to buy this again.

Photo of jsausley
3.29/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from bottle into Spiegelau IPA glass.

A: Big reedemer here is a nice a head with significant lacing. Otherwise we have a normal yellow-gold pilsner with no major specifics. Very little activity from the carbonation.

S: Bread, yeast and slight hops. Indeterminable aromas.

T: Tastes better than it smells. Decent hop quality, 60% hops and 40% malts. Light toasted malts. Very little other tangible flavors - hints of lemon, perhaps. A decent quality pilsner, nothing super special.

M: Crisp and smooth, especially at (very) cold temperatures. Not much carbonation.

O: Possibly New Belgium's most bland beer? It's not bad, of course, but it just lacks character. I like the hop bite, but it's not enough. It has a noticeable toasted malt base, but it's just not enough. There is a slight lemon hint, but it's not enough to call it a note of citrus. Mediocre, B-.

Photo of HoppyBastard
3.89/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Shaker pint glass, "Enjoy By" date 12-14-14.

APPEARANCE: pours clear and golden with a half finger white head that dissipated quickly until a thin broken layer of bubbles remained, there was some lacing present, medium carbonation.

SMELL: grass, lemon, mildly toasted, somewhat metallic.

TASTE: bread, lemon and a nice little spicy hop bite.

PALATE: medium carbonation and body, finishes crisp.

OVERALL: I enjoyed this beer, pils is the hardest style to describe for me, this is a good beer, nothing over the top but, I would not hesitate to buy it again.

Photo of TeamMathis
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Golden.
Smell: Bready and a bit of lemon.
Taste: It's the same as the smell.

This is a good pilsner. It's not mind blowing or even worth getting again, but it's good. The taste matches the smell, and the taste is sweet and really enjoyable. Light lemony bread.

Photo of mjurney
3.94/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance:
Golden color, clear. Fairly good amount of carbonation. Thick bright white head.

Aroma:
Mild spicy hops, some bready, very clean and crisp.

Taste/Finish/Body:
Bready, biscuit, cracker, grassy, a little sugary. Spicy-herbal hops towards the end. Finish a little dry, crisp. Body is light-medium, crisp, refreshing, very carbonated.

Overall:
It's a very good beer.

Photo of schoolboy
3.46/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pilsners from great brewers are often way better than you might expect. Unfortunately, this one is not exceptional.

It looks nice in the glass, clear and foamy. The aroma is the first let down. It's nice, but it is very weak.

The taste is good but also undistinguished, more like an American adjunct, but much more drinkable. The aftertaste is nothing.

I had this with some good pizza and the beer fit nicely but did not power up to the good za.

Photo of tone77
3.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a light golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts, a bit grassy. Taste is light, malts, some breadiness, a light bitterness at the finish. Decent but mild flavor. Feels light in the mouth and overall is a mediocre beer.

Photo of bubseymour
4.06/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bought a Folly summer sampler that had this one in it. Decent pilsner look with good head and retention. Smell isn't much. Tasty is buscuity/bready and crisp finish. Not too much hop flavors coming through aside from the crisp dry finish.

Overall this I a well balanced easy drinking pilsner but could be a tad more flavorful. Would probably not go out of my way to seek out again but fine to drink if offered one.

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.38/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with enjoy by date of November 02, 2014 printed on the label. A new beer to me from New Belgium, acquired as part of the folly pack.

Poured into an Arrogant Bastard pint glass.

A - Pours the typical clear dark lager gold colored body with just under two fingers of thick rocky white head. Some fat bubbly lacing, but none sticks. Looks pretty good for the style.

S - The smell is typical of the style also - dry, grainy, papery, corny / wheaty. Some musty / earthy yeast content, and just a hint of fruity hop presence. It possesses a note of that gnarly off-putting grainy horseradish type aroma that I have come to hate, though.

T - The taste is of clean grains / wheat / corn, some grass, light citric hop character, earthy yeast, and bready sourdough tasting malts.

M - Feel is crisp & clean, goes down smooth, and leaves a dry papery grainy finish. Medium-light bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall, a standard example of the style. Nothing more and nothing less in my opinion. A nice option to have, but it wouldn't be my first choice from New Belgium.

New Belgium Blue Paddle Pilsener ---3.5/5

Photo of BeerWithMike
3.99/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampling right now on 5/19/14 after working in the front and side yard for most of the day. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a 10 ounce vintage pilsner glass.

Pours a golden straw yellow in color with about a half finger foamy white head. LOTS of lacing is seen with each sip. Very surprised of the amount actually. The aroma is of mildly crisp and grainy pale malt, lemon, and earthy, grassy hops. The taste is of grassy hops, pale malt, biscuit, and lemon. Very crisp with good carbonation. Goes down easy and very drinkable. A good brew from the 'Fat Tire' folks.

Photo of vette2006c5r
3.38/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Blue Paddle pours a golden straw color with a very small lacing head. There is a pale straw like aroma; very weak. The taste is crisp, light, good pale malt backbone. Nice flavors, stronger then others, but weak aftertaste. Overall its a very nice pils.

Photo of biboergosum
3.74/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

16oz glass, at the New Belgium debut party in Alberta, at the Craft Beer Market in Calgary - I've arrived right on time, and it's already getting packed in here!

This beer pours a pale golden amber colour, with one finger of thinly foamy and puffy off-white head, which leaves a nice layered strata of weeping lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells of mildly crisp and grainy pale malt, dry lemon, and somewhat metallic earthy, grassy, and leafy hops. The taste is lightly funky leafy and grassy hops, gritty pale malt, a touch of crispy cracker, stale lemon, and a stony flintiness.

The carbonation is a bit tight at times, but mostly just wanly frothy, the body medium-light in weight, and a bit edgy in its smoothness. It finishes on the dry side, still kind of zingy from the obvious noble hops.

An adequate and capable old-school pilsener, a bit soft around the edges, yet more or less drinkable, and duly thirst-quenching. A pleasant start to this cornucopia of a beer experience I have ahead of me this evening.

Photo of ppvora
3.14/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The label on this beer says Pilsner/Lager. I guess there is such a thing as a combination of Pilsner and Lager.

Appearance: Golden hue, very slight copper tones. Half a finger of head, good aeration dissipates quickly.

Aroma: Malty with some sweet melon tones.

Taste: Barley, some very subtle hops. No sweetness despite the sweet melon aroma. Very straight barley taste, no complexity.

Mouthfeel: Nothing significant to report.

Overall: OK, not sure that I would buy another 6-pack of this one.

Photo of augustgarage
3.89/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Best before 12/15/2013; poured from a 12oz bottle into my Harriet pils glass.

Aureolin and citrine intermix to color the clear body, shot through with a dizzyingly active stream of bubbles making their way to the surface to feed the active but lasting half finger of foam up top. Delicate sticky lacing, good retention.

Aromatics are subtle and complex, becoming more of the latter as the lager warms up a bit. The hops certainly contribute a mild floral/grassy/spicy note but the array of malts add their own distinctive qualities which are difficult to dissect. The dusty, mildly toasty scent that New Belgium describes as "lit match" is unique and not unpleasant.

Faint apple and tart grain elements introduce the flavor profile which is offset by a moderate clean bitterness. If I had to guess, I'd suspect the Target hops were used for bittering where as the Saaz and Liberty contribute most of the flavor/aroma. The finish evolves slowly from an increasingly peppery/herbal quality to a rounder stale bread note.

Light bodied, well carbonated...

A clean, well lagered beer over-all. I'm tempted to say something about the strange contrast between the excellence of New Belgium's American and now Bohemian styles and the general mediocrity of their Belgian style offerings, but that's beyond the scope of this review...

Photo of M_C_Hampton
3.51/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, golden colored with a nice white head that lingers leaving some lacing, clear

S: toasty biscuit, pale malt, slight hops

T: slightly sweet up front, hops then appear showing bitterness, crisp, clean, dry at the end

M: thinner with high carbonation

O: nice bitterness for a Pilsener, uncomplex, refreshing

Photo of constantine_272
3.61/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Golden pale yellow with white head. Highly carbonated leaving a good thin foam layer that persists and makes sticky rings on the glass. Looks thin and pale, but I like the carbonated look.

S: Wheat and bread grain. Reminiscent of spent steeping grain. Touch of alcohol and yeast. Smells warm like nutmeg. A touch of metallic on the nose. Smells good mostly but there's not much depth.

T: Better than I expected. A tiny touch of sweetness kicks in at the beginning, but it quickly turns crisp and slightly tangy. A flavor of dried leaves builds and is followed by light mineral and copper flavor that hits the back of the tongue.

M: Refreshing, except for the mineral aftertaste that finishes long. Not so thin like other lagers. There's enough there to keep you aware there's a good amount of ingredients present.

O: I often detect mineral notes in lagers and count it against the experience, but here I don't mind it. It's a bit more subtle and balanced by other qualities and a good crispness. Overall one of the better lagers I've had. The pieces on their own aren't anything to brag about, but put together it turns into a great hot weather session beer.

Photo of jimmah120
3.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle with a freshness date. The side blurb is incomprehensible marketing gibberish, so it loses points for that.

Clear, golden, good looking beer beer. Smell is sweet creamy wheat and hard water. Light, creamy, sweet, with a dull bitter finish.

Decently hopped, just not especially tasty. In a can, I would like this for boating or camping.

Photo of gpogo
3.44/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A- Clear golden yellow body with a small white head. No lacing.

A- Pale crisp pilsner malt. Grassy herbal hop notes.

T- Pleasant bitterness throughout. Light crisp pilsner malt flavor. Dry finish. A bit on the hoppier side.

M- Light body, moderate carbonation. Crisp and enjoyable.

D- Pleasant warm day beer.

Photo of garymuchow
3.73/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Well within best by (November). Poured into pilsner glass.
Tight aroma and more soft pils malt than anything.
Very attractive looking beer with big full head and lots of sticky lacing. Pale straw, very clear.
Bready, nutty and grainy malt flavors, soft bittering that lasts through the finish once it starts. No hop intensity - more blended than contrasting.
Nice soft feel and appropriate carbonation.
Boy this drinks nicely and easily. Not as robust as some, but a nice drinker on a summer evening.

Photo of Florida9
3.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Very clear gold in color. Forms a moderate sized white head. Good retention, though it eventually falls to a stable surface coating and a large ring around the edge. Lots of lacing.

S: Aroma is about what is to be expected, some lighter pale malts, some pilsner malt, and a moderate dose of grassy/herbal noble hops.

T: Taste is more of the same. Light pale malt, some pilsner to keep things interesting, and then some light herbal noble hops. However, the beer does seem to finish a bit watery.

M: On the lighter side of things, but with more body than your average American brew. Mild bitterness. Moderate carbonation. Mildly dry.

O: As with many New Belgium beers, I get the impression this one is brewed for the cross-over drinker and, while it is clearly a step up from the American Adjunct Lager, it is also clearly brewed with a heavy dose of restraint. Certainly drinkable, but nothing too exciting either.

Photo of kojevergas
2.88/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Acquired as part of the New Belgium Summer variety box (2013) at my local Von's grocery on Sunday. Reviewed live. Expectations are below average; New Belgium tends to churn out underwhelming seasonals (with the definite exception of their winter variety box) and piss-poor bombers (Lips of Faith). "Pilsner Lager." Nothing on the bottle suggests it's a Czech pilsener rather than a German pilsener. Best before November 2013. 4.8% ABV confirmed. Serve at 3 degrees Celsius. I always like their simple label art and colorful designs. Bottle cap is branded with a red and orange motif.

12 fl oz brown glass bottle served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a four finger head of white/beige colour. No real creaminess. Okay thickness; it's kind of thin, actually. No lacing. Pretty decent (~3 minute) retention, though the ABV is rather modest so that shouldn't be difficult to execute. Hm. Head could use some honing. No bubble show. No "legs."

Body colour is a clear translucent yellow. No yeast particles are visible.

Typical of a German pilsner. Not looking fantastic, but it's passable. No overt flaws, though the head does disappoint. Below average vibrance but I wouldn't call it dull.

Sm: Straw/hay. Saaz and noble hops. It's actually surprisingly hoppy for the style. Clean barley. Sweetgrass. Grainy. Cereals. Lightly fruity, a biteen of lemon/lemongrass does sneak in. Lightly estery. A misty aroma of surprisingly respectably quality for the style; maybe this won't be as underwhelming as I thought. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable. A fresh aroma of moderate strength.

T/Mf: Straw/hay, pilsner malts, clean barley, and overdone saaz and noble hops. Not much going on here. Sweet grassiness with some light lemongrass and accompanying esters. No yeast character or alcohol comes through. Some light floral character. Simple and underwhelming; little complexity or subtlety here.

To sweet for the style. I wouldn't call it flavorful.

It's crisp and clean. Smooth, but somewhat dry as well. Unrefreshing. Overcarbonated. Decent presence on the palate. Okay thickness; probably too thick considering the style. Doesn't feel at all custom-tailored to the flavour profile, but it's passable.

Not buttery, oily, harsh, biting, or refreshing.

Dr: Downable but mediocre. Another mundane effort from New Belgium. I wouldn't get it again, but for the price you could do worse for a czech pilsener. I'm happy to finish the bottles from the variety box, but there's just nothing interesting enough to bring me back. Feels careless and lazy. Not recommended. Very average indeed.

C

Photo of Murrhey
3.22/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a standard pressure-cap 12oz bottle into a weizen glass in high elevation Kalispell, Mont. Reviewed live.

A- Two-finger creamy white head with tiny bubbles and creamy lacing. Head lasts a while, eating down in the middle first. Amber color with high clarity, a bit of an anomaly for the Pilsners I'm used to seeing. Not a bad looking beer.

S- Some peppercorns, honey, fresh-cut grass. Nicely aromatic, but like most light lagers of its type, not complex or rich.

T- Sweet honeyed malts, some crispness from Czech (maybe) hops. A very refreshing flavor.

M- Creamy and wet feel at first with a crisp bite from the hops and carbonation. Finished slightly bitter and dry.

O- Is this a great beer? No. But a refreshing one that feels right considering it is 80 degrees outside.

Photo of elNopalero
4.03/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This poured a clear golden color with fantastic clarity and great foaming.

There’s a light but sharp aroma that’s equal parts lemony and grassy, with a hint of toast hidden in the back. The flavor is light and crisp, with the touch of lemon and grass on it. It’s lightly bitter but just enough to give it some character, with a nice finish, I liked this one more than I had expected to.

Photo of JamesMN
3.44/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Honey colored and nearly translucent. Lots of visible effervescence and a one finger cap of off-white foam.

Aroma: Pilsen grain right of the bat. An earthy suggestion of hops. Not too much there but clean.

Taste: New Belgium tends to stay pretty much within style guidelines with their offerings and Blue Paddle Pilsner is no exception. Starting with a light hop bitterness and transitioning into a crackery/grainy malt blend, while striking a refreshing balance, this is a beer that delivers what is expected. The finish is decently crisp and there is a light lingering bitterness. Although it is difficult to truly impress my palate with a Pilsener, this one definitely comes close. At 4.8% ABV it is right near that sessioning range.

Mouthfeel: Medium in body with lots of carbonation as is usual for the style. Easily drinkable and refreshing.

Final Thoughts: A well made Pilsner that will probably impress your BMC friends. As a hop head I'd love to see a version of this beer that uses the same malt base with some West Coast hops. That would be a beer that could turn some heads. For now though, Blue Paddle is a drinker-friendly and enjoyable take on a classic. Would I drink it again? Sure.

Blue Paddle Pilsner from New Belgium Brewing
80 out of 100 based on 1,175 ratings.