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Pils Noir - Susquehanna Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pils NoirPils Noir

Educational use only; do not reuse.

20 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 20
Hads: 131
Avg: 3.47
pDev: 30.26%
Wants: 1
Gots: 28 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Susquehanna Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Euro Dark Lager |  4.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: RyanGoodman on 10-08-2012

We are pleased to share our innovative black Pilsner, Pils-Noir. Made from Pearl (Winter) barley, malted for us by Munton’s, CaraMalt and Crystal malts, prepared using our unique, husk-free milling process. We then naturally darken the beer using the classic Czech technique of decoction mashing. Hopped with Oregon Willamette, Mt. Hood and Washington hops, and finished with noble Czech Saaz for a fine aroma.
View: Beers (11) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 20 | Hads: 131
Photo of RyanGoodman
4.14/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

SBC touts this beer as a black pilsner, a twist on the classic pilsner. Also, their website reports that they use Pearl (Winter) barley from Muntons for this beer.

A - The appearance is black, but when you put light behind it, you see a crimson/brownish color. A small head formed at pour, but diminished to a decent size ring around the glass after a few moments.

S - Smell is a pilsner bullseye. Very inviting with it's German effervescence. If you close your eyes, you're taken to a field of barley as the gentle breeze blows.

T - I didn't know what to expect tasting a "black pilsner", and I wasn't dissappointed. The basic flavor is truly pilsner, not overly malty, nor too much with the hops. It is zesty, however. It quenched my thirst as I was eating cheese and peppers.

M - The carbonation was well done, popping across the palate.

O - I'm not a huge pilsner drinker, but this one was very enjoyable. One of my final beers before we move to Bolivia, the boring beer capital of the world.

Once again, thank you SBC!

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.95/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first brew from this start up and a good choice on my part I think.
Pils noir has a deep garnet crimson brown color with a smallish head and gentile carbonation. pleasing inn appearance.

Aroma is light with a sutle spiciness over a sutle roasted malt smell.

Taste is good. There is a very sutle roasted malt taste intermingled in the sutle spicy pils.
A bit course drinking but flows farily smooth over the palette.
I like this beer it was good. I hope to try more of thier products as they come my way.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.86/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

It bothers me that this is being called a "Schwartzbier" since it mentions "Pils" and "classic Czech technique" on the labels. Euro Dark Lager seems to be more fitting. I am put in mind of Film Noir and as a film buff with a Film Studies Certificate from Pitt, some classic crime instrumentals are in order as I begin this review.

From the bottle: "People Beer by Beer People"; "We're beer people. 6th-generation and going strong with roots that stretch from Northeastern Pennsylvania to the edges of the Black Forest. This Pils-Noir is our tribute to that heritage. It's a new twist on the classic pilsner, with fine malts prepared with our unique husk-free milling process. And it's freshly innovative, naturally darkened with the classic Czech technique of decoction mashing, then finished with a touch of hops. Some beers are crowd pleasers. This one is a generation pleaser.

My pour netted me a finger of fizzy, deep-tan head that quickly fell away to wisps. Color was a deep-garnet or deep-ruby (SRM = > 27, < 34) with NE-quality clarity when held up to the dying light of the day. Nose had a very caramel-like sweetness, perhaps from the decoction. Caramel and milk chocolate, actually. Mouthfeel was prickly, as though the carbonation was very tight. The taste was smoky, chocolaty, a little nutty and somewhat caramel. Man, this was a liquid candy bar of some stripe, although I could not put my finger on it. Finish was a bit too sweet for my taste, but there was nothing intrinsically wrong with it. You might be disappointed if you had your heart set on a schwartzbier, but otherwise, this was a decent bier.

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Photo of horshamguy
3.84/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

I've had this both on-tap and in bottle. Oddly, at least for me, the bottle is better than the on-tap version. The bottle was better by a lot, too.

A--It pours a deep, dark brown with a medium head that doesn't leave much lacing. Looks pretty good.

S--Oh, yeah there's something good going on here. It's sweet & malty. Can't wait to taste it.

T--Sweet, with a ton of fruitiness. Finish is a bit dry/tannic. Simply tastes good, although that's not as descriptive as this site usually generates. But good is good, regardless.

M--Smooth & easy going. It'll go down easy.

O--Just a step below excellent. Still , "pretty damn good" is pretty damn good. I'd give it two thumbs up, especially at its reasonable price. Still finding it hard to believe that I preferred the bottle to the draught, though.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pils Noir pours a dark copper color with a small non-lacing head. There is a rich malty aroma, with a nice spice note. the taste has nice malty backbone, with a good spice note, nice crisp sweet malt finish. Nice flavors, but overall the body is a bit watery. Overall its a nice lighter beer, good spice notes, nice flavors.

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Photo of Jimmys
3.74/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into Hardywood Park tulip. no bottled on date.

A: ah definitely not anything remotely German Pils looking. dark, dark brown body. head has brown hints to it as well. retention is good as is the thick coat of lacing left behind.

S: lots of roasted, dark malt. slightly acrid, a little bit of smoulder. not getting any hop aroma, all dark grain.

T: starts dark and stinging. sharp dark malt cuts into the palate. a minor black licorice flavor. finish is dry while remaining refreshing. similar to the nose, not getting any hop flavor and it is hard to tell if the bitterness is from the grain or hops.

M: average/slightly higher carb on a light bodied brew.

D: first of all, this should be labeled on this website as a Schwarz, not simply as a German Pils. baring the mis-labeling on BA, this is a pretty solid Schwarz. plenty of bitter dark malt while not being fruity. lager-like throughout. wouldn't hate for a touch more on the hop aroma side of things, maybe some aroma has worn off due to time since bottling, but without any date coding impossible to tell.

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Photo of stakem
3.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to ClockworkOrange for gifting me with a bottle of this. Stubby 12oz bottle poured into a pint. The brew appears dark brown to black in color with a tan head that fades to a thin film atop. When held to the light, some cola brown clarity is seen around the edges.

The aroma includes a pleasant amount of fruitiness that seemingly comes from alcohol and hops. More sniffs reveal a bit more citrus to floral hop character. For how dark the brew is, it displays surprisingly no roast character to the nose. All that emits is minor fruity tones which I guess is both a good and bad thing for a schwarz.

The flavor is clean and crisp. Again, hops and alcohol come forward with a fruity note before blending off into a neutral grain sweetness that is somewhat like buttered bread. There is a mild citrus component mid-palate that lasts into the aftertaste.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is clean, crisp and one of the more enjoyable schwarzbiers I have had in a long time. I wish it would have included just a bit of roast however it's drinkability and clean profile make up for that. It is to be commended that this the first schwarzbier I have had in a long time that did not have a strange mineral aspect to the finish and little to no diacetyl. Well done, would drink again.

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Photo of WesWes
3.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark brown/black color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a light pale malt scent along with a touch of black malt earthiness. It's bone dry with a slight bitterness. The taste is decent as well. It has a smooth, earthy black malt flavor. It's faint, but adds a solid bitterness and excellent color. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a pretty good beer, but nothing too interesting. Nonetheless, I'd throw a few of these in the fridge any day.

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Photo of brewsclues
3.57/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

My first SBC - and for that matter, the first Schwarzbier I can remember drinking.

So my framework for this brew was the following:
-It's a Pils, right. So it should have that Saaz hop, Czech-style.
-It's "Noir" - so it's gotta have some Czech-style cojones, right.

Pretty average smell with some molasses aroma, but certainly nothing too potent. Subtle, if not average.

First sip, it reminds me a bit of a excellent-fresh Pils Urquell - refreshing, drinkable lager with a barely noticeable hop finish. I like the malt backbone to it - it's actually a well-put-together blend of crisp lager-style and some molasses malt punch. Not a hot mess, and that's a good thing.

I would drink this again. Good brew, Central PA.

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Photo of Tuck_leepulin
3.56/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

I had this on tap while visiting the tour. Draft poured into a plastic cup

Dark appearance similar to a schwartzbier but had the aroma and flavor of a pilsner

This is very interesting just because of how unique it is. SBCs other year-round beers are very mediocre but I really enjoyed the pils-noir since it stood out among their other offerings.

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Photo of confer
3.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A- Dark brown with a few soapy looking bigger bubbles.
S- All biscuity malt in the smell.
T - Taste is really pretty good, just a little hop flavor no bite at all.
M- Definitely on the the weak watery side.
O- Probably a good dead of summer refresher

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Photo of KTCamm
3.46/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

7/18...pours dark, some light flecks, white foam. Light roasted nose, but minor. Taste is a rich coffee roasted flavor, but thin. Lager-y. Earthy tones, lighter mouthfeel. Nice juxtaposition.

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Photo of Dodo2step
3.45/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P- Wegmans

A- cola/rootbeer type of look to it. Minimal head and ok lacing. Nothing exciting.

S- roatsed dark malts but no hop presence in the nose. it tends to be confusing because i am not getting an dominate scent.

F- caramelized sugar and molasses is what i get but i tastes like i am drinking a root beer with alcohol and dark malts mixed in.

M- smooth and light on the creamy side. It is nice gulper.

O- interesting and different. I dont beleive i have ever had a schwarzbier do i cant rate it accurately.

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Photo of themind
3.43/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

An interesting dark pilsner that was very satisfying on a hot summer day. I picked up a growler at a local Tap Room after sampling a few other beers on tap. Susquehanna Brewing did a decent job on this beer and I look forward to trying other brews from these guys. overall I enjoyed this unique brew.

Bottom Line: Decent brew

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Photo of wac9
3.1/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

wow what a wonderful beer took me by surprise dark in color and smooth in taste a great beer a beer you can drink and drink puts a a smile om your face a good drink beer all susquehanna beers are worth drinking all night enjoy theese beers thank you sbc your worth drinking

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Photo of undeadozzy
3.08/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

A - I love a good dark beer, and this one doesn't disappoint. Thin white head that disappeared quickly (sadly) but a deep blackened amber body helps to keep my attention.

S - Unlike a lot of dark beers I drink which have powerful odors, this doesn't really have any smell at all. I'm not sure if it's just because it was really cold or what, but no matter how hard I try to find anything scent to follow, I just can't find anything.

T - Tastes surprisingly good for having no smell. Tastes kinda like dark bread, maybe some molasses, and I can taste a little funk from the hops, but nothing overwhelming. Great session beer, but don't go in expecting anything deep.

M - Watery but smooth, and not washed-out feeling. Like a generic macro beer.

O - Not bad. A unique brew if anything, a gimmick if you will. Don't get me wrong, it's a good beer, but I would've hoped a little more character could be in a unique beer such as this. Regardless, SBC still has yet to disappoint me, so keep it up guys!

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Photo of 57md
3.03/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Appearance is brown with ruby edges and a thin film of head. The nose is very mild. The flavor profile includes very mild maltiness with some dry hop bitterness on the finish. This offering is very light bodied with muted flavors.

That said, this offering did pair well with my tilapia dinner.

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Photo of maybrick
3/5  rDev -13.5%

Dark malt pils. Not exceptionally malty nor exceptionally hoppy. If you like dark lagers this is for you to add to the beer you had. I will drink it again.

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Photo of justintcoons
2.78/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a pilsner glass.

Cola color brown with 3 fingers of fluffy head that dissipates slowly. Good clarity and lacing.

Light aromas of milk chocolate and smoke.

Chocolate milk, toffee and butterscotch candies. Caramelized sugar with just a touch of earthy bitterness.

Medium bodied, silky, smooth and clean.

Similar to a Schwarzbier in flavor. The Pilsner qualities are completely lost. I can't say that I'm crazy about this one.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
2.78/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Brown body, translucent ruby when held to he light. Loose oatmeal white head drops from two fingers to table top in seconds.

Mild earthy noble hop aroma.

A touch of sweetness. Hint of roast. Bit of bitter. Lot of little pieces that may fit together, but don't make a big impression.

Smooth soft mouthfeel.

Inoffensive is the best I can say.

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Pils Noir from Susquehanna Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 20 ratings.