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Blue Paddle Pilsner - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Blue Paddle PilsnerBlue Paddle Pilsner

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

411 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 411
Hads: 1,281
Avg: 3.59
pDev: 22.56%
Wants: 26
Gots: 192 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States | website

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 411 | Hads: 1,281
Photo of KoG
3.23/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Golden color with a rich white cap that leaves thin lacing.

Smell is a bit musty along with floral hops and not much else. Very clean.

Taste was somewhat sweet. Light malt character and not enough hops, but still tasty nonetheless. Sweet malt is more evident as it warms up with a bit of honey flavor as well as a hint of yeast.

Not a bad brew, but not something I would buy regularly.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had an odd relationship with Blue Paddle over the years. Even though I've tasted it many, many times, I simply enjoyed it without going to the effort to write a review. Maybe it was that I felt it would always be available to review later; and maybe it was because I'd thought I'd already reviewed it (I actually think I did.... maybe my review got lost due to a bad computer connection); or maybe it was because it just didn't stand up and shout "review me!"; or maybe it was just too good to put down! In the end, I think it was a little bit of all of those, but I'll put the spin on 'it was just too good to put down'!

It pours a typical golden body beneath a full head of white froth that holds well and leaves some nice lace about the glass. The nose delivers floral, grassy, and lightly spicy hops atop a straight-forward, grainy malt base. The body is medium on the light side, and it's crisp but not zesty in the mouth with a slightly restrained carbonation. The flavor is a well-balanced blend of straightforward, grainy malt; floral, grassy, and lightly spicy hops; and a firm bitterness. It's more of a southern German style, and it's well-rounded and very drinkable; but at the same time nothing really stands out.

Overall, it's a solid pils that's definitely welcome during the summer, but perfectly acceptable in any season; and also perfectly suited to almost any occasion (BBQ, wedding reception, bowling league, nightclub, late afternoon at the ski-lodge, dinner with mom & dad, fishing expedition, .... you get the idea!). Nicely done!

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Photo of ElGordo
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy golden hue with a half-inch stark white head. Nice clean aroma of German yeast, light malt, and floral hops. Taste is nice, but kind of subtle. Very light malt, a touch of floral hops, some honey sweetness, and some nice German lager yeast. Not exactly a very complex palate, but decent. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, about what you'd expect from a pilsner. Would be a great session beer if I had more than the two my brother brought back from Colorado.

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Photo of OStrungT
3.64/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer pours a golden yellow with a white head. The head fades slowly leaving thick laces. It smells citrusy and hoppy. It has the smell of a flower. There is a very faint malt aroma present if you look deeply. Ot tastes hoppy. It has a crisp taste to it. It is just a little tangy also. This is a well balanced beer. It leaves a fresh floral aftertaste on the palate. This beer is carbonated nicely. Due to the low alcohol content, this beer would probably make a good session beer. I am not really a Pilsner fan, but I thought this beer was decent. This beer would be good to drink on a hot summer day. It is hard to get down here, and that makes it a bit pricey, so I probably wont buy it all that often, but it is worth a try.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.13/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It has been so long since I last had a pils I didn't quite know what to expect. This is also the first time I had a real pils (you know, the non-adjunct lager kind). The all malt grain bill is definitely noticeable in comparison to a macro lager. It was quite refreshing after a long winter of hop monsters, malt monster belgians, and whatnot. Went well with the Famous Dave's BBQ.

The beer poured to a clear fizzy yellow, expected of the style, with a healthy frothy white head. For the style, this is actually quite an exceptional looking brew.

The smell was also quite surprising, as it is usually lacking altogether from any pilsener I've had (except for the piss/puke smell). It was kind of flowery. The real malts definitely produce a better aroma than adjuncts mixed with yeast!

The taste was classic pilsener, but somehow better. I can clearly tell the difference between this example of a pils and, say, a Budweiser. I was actually kind of pleasantly surprised. Doesn't leave my stomach uneasy after a decent chug like a macro. Surprisingly well balanced between malt and hops flavors, though the malts clearly show through moreso than the hops.

This beer has enticed me into trying other examples of REAL pilsener, such as Pils-Urquell and others. It was quite refreshing after a barrage of intense beer flavors through the winter months. So far, this is the only Pilsener I have had that is worthy of a review, and I hope to change that soon. Nonetheless, I still prefer an unbalanced hoppy brew. I can't normally get this at home in Iowa City, but next time I am "home" home (in Omaha), I will most likely skip this even though it has intrigued me. I will definitely try other New Belgium beers, though, since the brewery will always have a special place in my heart (regardless of whether or not I am as obsessed with Fat Tire as I used to be before I got into hoppy beers).

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Photo of allengarvin
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Crystal-clear golden color, with a big head and a lot of clingy lacing.

Aroma: Grainy, slightly sweet malt aroma.

Flavor: Crisp malt flavor cut with moderate high bitterness. Hop flavor is prominent, mostly floral, slightly herbal. Finish is clean and dry.

Body: Fairly light body, carbonation a bit low.

Blue Paddle isn't a bad beer. It compares favorably with Belgian pilsners like Stella (pils in Belgium accounts for over 80% of the beer produced, I've read). New Belgium's other beers are more interesting, but this is a good example of a continental pilsner, with few flaws.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.21/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12/07/04- Purchased at Piazza's Market in San Mateo, CA

Appearance- A darker bronze color of yellow, a nice billowy white head and light lacing along the glass.

Smell- Very little scent. Tired my damnedest to smell something and can only come up with maybe a corn and light miniscule hoppy scent.

Taste- Not a huge fan of Pilsners, and that's only because I haven't found a real good one yet. Alot of pils taste like Coors Light to me. This one taste a bit better than that, but still not a great taste.
Corny taste with some decent hops mixed in. A bit sweet like expected.

Mouthfeel- Highly carbonated, which made it go down less than perfect.

Drinkability- Not a real bad beer for me, but I'm still searching for a pils that I like. It looks like most people enjoy this, so I guess I would give it a go. Just not for me.

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.2/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

beautiful transparent gold color. simply beautiful.

Nose - lemon zest, overal citrusy, fresh and clean.

Palate - Assertive (but not overly so) Saaz tangyness right away. Smooth. Dry, with some malt sweetness to round out.

Certainly not a Saaz monster but balanced.

Finish is an expected clean, crispness. Very appetizing, drinkable.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.6/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Brewed with Pale, Munich, Carapils, and Aromatic malts. Hopped with Saaz, Liberty, and Magnum hops. 33 IBU.

Pours out to a brilliantly clear pale golden, forming a tall rocky white head with excellent retention and beautiful lacing. Carbonation is moderate. Aroma is very nice with very fresh, wonderfully bready malt complex, delicately balanced by spicy noble hops and grain husk. Very crisp and clean ferment. Mouthfeel is excellent with a nice spicy and spritzy start but then followed by a very smooth finish and medium-light body. Taste starts with Saaz hops, with floral and slightly leafy character, followed by that wonderful trademark NBCC bready malt complex...the grain husk is at a perfect level, and the bitterness is exactly where it should be...providing a nice counterbalance to the malts, but adding a spicy and thirst-quenching finish. Very cleanly fermented with no perceptable off-flavors or alcohol.

This is an outstanding pilsener, equaling some of the finest European pilseners on tap. Probably the best American pilsener I've ever had, and it's only better on tap at the brewery. At $6.99/6'er, this is an absolute steal. Highly recommended!

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Photo of MobBarley
4.19/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Straw colored with a weak head. Smells hoppy and tart and tastes the same. A little maltiness lurks in the finish. Mouthfeel is fantastic and makes this a fine hot day brew. Combined with the hoppy nature of the beer, it makes for a beer that certainly earns the title: "Crisp and Refreshing". Drinkability is likewise high.

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Photo of WesWes
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a pale gold color with a thick frothy head that quickly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a typical pilsner scent; pale malts and a dry lager yeast finish. The taste is decent as well. It has a plain pale malt base with a slight bitterness. It has a grainy flavor and a dry finish. It goes down smooth and finishes clean and crisp. The mouthfeel is good. It is a low bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a fine pilsner. It doesn't throw anything new at you, but it drinks well.

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Photo of GreenWBush
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One of the myriad things I appreciate about NBB is that most all of their beers seem like different animals. There's none of that uniformity I find comforting (and at the same time dismaying) in companies like Rogue and Sierra Nevada. It has to be the yeast, and as a Belgian step-child, NBB makes sure everything is an original creation. This is no Fat Tire Lite organization.

This beer is straw against the harsh flourescent light of the brewery's tap room. The nose is very worty and not particularly appealing. The best lace of the line, easily.

There's a little funkiness here. I love the finish of the beer, in its light cheery, hoppiness. I love the middle point of the beer, where the malt really excels and tastes very Czech. The beginning of the beers is where I ran into trouble. The original review denotes "hints of urinal cake." Ouch.

My palate grew tolerant to this beginning after a certain point and I did truly find the beer pretty tasty after awhile. Probably wouldn't get it again unless I was sure that sulfury taste wasn't there again.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Blue Paddle pours an attractive golden color with a large, thick head. Head retention is excellent, lacings are left all along the inside of my glass. Smell is what you'd expect from a pils, mildly hoppy with some grassiness. This is quite tasty, very crisp and refreshing. Slightly sweet lemon finish is very enjoyable. Drinkability is very high, I could easily see myself spending an afternoon with Blue Paddle.

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Photo of usualpulp
3.89/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light golden color with a real thick fizzy white head. Good carbonation, nice and bubbly.

Smells like a typical pilsner, hoppy with some grassy tones, and a little clove .

The taste is very crisp, nice clean and refreshing. The beer has a nice bite to it from the hops, but it isnt overwhelming.

Overall this is a good american pilsner, nice and refreshing, best when ice cold.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.49/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle inspection: Best by date (Sept. 04), glass and temp suggestion (both followed).
Aroma: Mild aroma, yeasty with a light malt base.
Appearance: Giant fluffy white head on a clear pale yellow body showing strong carbonation. Clumpy lace on the glass as the head started a slow retreat.
Flavor: Grain flavors predominate, slightly sweet but well balanced with a slightly peppery hop.
Mouthfeel: Lighter body, carbonation is present but not distracting and a somewhat rough feel.
Overall Impression: Crisp, slightly bitter mostly refreshing pilsner. It could make a good session on a warm day. Great looks, mild aroma, firm taste, rough mouthfeel. A mixed bag overall, but a nice total product.

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Photo of Hunter
4.07/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nicely colored straw-gold beer, darker and richer than your average American pilsner. Head of shock-white foam vanishes almost instantly, leaving a thin layer on top.

Good notes of hops in the nose, with none of the corn/rice sourness in so many domestic pilsners. Hay, light malt, and lemongras round out the aroma.

Sharp carbonation lends a bite to the brew. Very clean and summery flavor, with a thin mouthfeel and clean finish. A solid pilsner, and one of the best brews put out by New Belgium.

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Photo of BrewMaster
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The head was thick at pouring but thinned down pretty quick to a lacy covering. The aroma was not unlike Budweiser or other mass p[roduced pilsners. The taste begins with a malty flavor but quickly turns to a light sweetness. Mouthfeel is very crisp and wheaty.

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Photo of beertaster13
3.97/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a damn good lager. Pours a crisp golden yellow with a foamy head that is very inviting. Leaves a nice froth coat throughout the session. The smell is a refreshing blend of citrusy lemon-lime and sweet sugared grains. Popcorn/sunflower detected as well. The taste is refreshing and inviting. The citrus is mixed wonderfully with the sugar strawed corn. Slight caramel/molasses as well. Refreshing and light and perfect for those outdoor occasions.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nicely clear straw appearnce. Head is thin and white. Lacing is nice, with rings forming on nearly every sip. Nice floral hop bouquet in conjuction with some soft pils malts on the nose. The carbonation is quite prickly in the mouth and the body seems to be about medium. The malts are round and soft, but substantial enough. A little bready. The hops add a nice little bitterness and some peppery spiciness. Pretty good pilsener.

Thanks marc77.

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Photo of oberon
4.15/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What an unexpected find at Pipe and Pint here in Greensboro today actually had it given to me it was part of the owners personal stash,anyways pours a vibrant yellow with not much head wich kept the rating at 4 I really liked the vibrant color of this brew.Aroma was like walking thru a meadow of flowers kinda sweet and grassy with a good toasted malt character.Taste was grainy and lightly sweet with a nice smacking of hops that hits nicely in the finish.One of the best American pilsners out there at least from my perspective I wish I had more!

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Photo of Crotor
3.89/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Blue Paddle is a straightforward and solid Bavarian-style pilsner.

It pours a crystaline, pale gold with an unfortunately low head & head retention (though with decent lacing). It has the average med-light body that's caracteristic of the style.

Blue Paddle has an excellent, delicate, noble hop aroma. This carries through in the taste, along with a crisp, slightly grainy malt character.

Overall, this is a fairly impressive beer, highly drinkable, and is an excellent option for a pilsner purchase. Produced in the western US, shipped in the western US, this beer is far less likely to be skunked than, say, Pilsner Urquell.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This bottle reminds me why I like New Belgium's packaging so much. The label is very nicely done with a colorful drawing of a canoe on a lake shore and the bottle shows off the brewery's distinctive, raised, embossed neck collar.

Bright yellow-amber with a miniscule number of fine particles swirling around in the beer. The head is a shade or two darker than bright white and is nicely stiff and sticky. It's falling slowly at the edges and is beginning to leave a good bit of lace. The nose is actually quite pleasant. It has the usual noble hop pungency and smells of lemon peel and sweet grass.

The flavor isn't quite as impressive as the nose, but it isn't bad. There's plenty of lightly toasted malt, equaled and perhaps even exceeded by the sharp bitterness of the hops. There are elements of grain and grass, while the lemoniness seems to be missing on the palate. The finish is dry and crisp with a gentle, lingering bitterness. The body is 'pils average', that is, it's neither thin nor full, and is lively thanks to the generous carbonation.

Blue Paddle Pilsner is another quality product from New Belgium. It's difficult to brew a noble hop lager that I really enjoy, but this one comes close to getting a big thumbs up from me. I have no problem recommending it since it's one of the better domestic pilseners that I've run across.

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Photo of abents
4.12/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a golden yellow with a nice white head and good lacing. Smells like fresh cut grass and hops. Starts out very crisp and inviting with sharp hoppy bitterness and carbonation. Smooths out in the middle with nice malty ending. Very well rounded Pilsner, usually I'm not a huge fan, but this was a very good brew. Impressed all the way. Beer is light bodied with nice carbonation a very refreshing and drinkable beer. Could be enjoyed all day long in the hot sun.
Many thanks to nvsblman for the hook-up.

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Photo of ngandhi
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very impressive lemon character. Malty beyond what American pilseners offer -- I'll venture a guess that this beer uses a richer British or Belgian malt -- not in thickness, but in pure malt flavor. Great body and a hop character that's Saazy, yes, but much more complex than the grassy notes typical of the Czech namesake.

These hops are packed with the essential oils of so many delicate summer fruits and exhibit a brightness in character I have not ever seen in a pilsener beer. Though clean, filtered to brillant golden perfection, and never intrusive in aroma or flavor, hints of grain and a brief scratch on the tongue as this beer finishes lend a mineral quality that backs up the gorgeous hops and makes this, truly, a complete beer and easily one of America's finest examples of the style.

Relax, relax.
ng

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Photo of UnionMade
4.48/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The beer pours a beautiful polished gold, generating a thick, pure white froth with a gentle pour. The head settles into an even coating, about 1/4" thick, lasting all the way through the glass. Tons of tiny carbonation bubbles race up to feed the head, which leaves spattered trails of lace sticking to the glass. Perfect clarity.
The aroma is a gentle balance of soft, slightly bready pils malt and spicy, floral noble hops. I'm guessing german varieties, with perhaps a touch of saaz. Pleasant, up front, snappy floral hops, a bit spicy and herbal. Slight grass and lemon esters provide a gentle fruitiness. A bit of toastiness to the malt, definitely in the bohemian style with the softness.
The flavor starts with a soft, mellow pils malt, a sweetish, almost white bread character forming the base of this brew. Slight lemon and orange esters in the middle, with a touch of fresh-mown grass. The finish showcases a snappy floral hopping, with a suggestion of spiciness and some grass. A flavor reminiscent of sweet corn and white bread lingers in the aftertaste. A bit of lingering hop bitterness. Bright, shiny carbonation moves the beer rapidly across the palate, with an overall soft, even feel. Lightish medium body.
A very well made pils. The hopping is very nice, giving the beer a crisp, quenching feel. Exactly what I'm looking for on a hot day. One of the best american made pils out there. I could stand for a touch more hops, but it's damn good as it is. I don't know what you guys are drinking.
Thanks to BDitty for the bottle!

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Blue Paddle Pilsner from New Belgium Brewing
81 out of 100 based on 411 ratings.