Bela Imperial Pilsner - DESTIHL Brewery

Not Rated.
Bela Imperial PilsnerBela Imperial Pilsner

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

23 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 23
Reviews: 6
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 21.59%
Wants: 0
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
DESTIHL Brewery visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Pilsner |  9.70% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Sallerj on 02-09-2010

Bela may sound like a sweet name, but she's actually quite bitter. A beer style that does not technically exist, the addition of over 25 pounds of Czech Saaz hops in this small-batch beer results in high hop bitterness and quite obvious Noble hop aroma and flavor. It is also a high alcohol beer with a nice warming effect, medium-body and some malty residual sweetness to remind you that Bela might still have a sweet side after all.

85 IBU
View: Beers (102) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 23 | Reviews: 6
Photo of mactrail
1.85/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.75

Looks nice enough, with the dark amber color and adequate foam. Smell, though, is that plasticky funk of bad homebrew. Plenty of carbonation and mouthfeel is OK.

Sourish yet sweet, hot with alcohol but leaf mold taste. Sugary spoiled fruit. What on earth is this stuff? It is in no way an imperial Pilsener. Fortunately it's only 500 ml down the drain.

Photo of Moose90
4.11/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A – Pours a bright yellow with a nice and thin bright white head, great lacing left behind.

S – Smells slightly tart and bright, white grape, green apple, lemongrass, oak.

T – Tastes of greatly balanced sweet pilsner malt with bright and oaky apple and grape sweetness.

M – Medium bodied, high ABV is nonexistent.

O – Great beer, wonderful balance and great tart and funk level.

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle into lager glass, no bottle dating. Pours slightly hazy golden yellow color with a 1 finger dense white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big lemon, lime, cracker, bread, light honey, herbal, floral, grass, pepper, spicy oak, and herbal/grassy earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of bright earthy/spicy hops, oak, and moderate pale malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big lemon, lime, cracker, bread, light honey, herbal, floral, grass, pepper, spicy oak, and herbal/grassy earthiness. Good amount of herbal/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, lime, cracker, bread, light honey, pepper, spicy oak, and herbal/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice robustness and balance of bright earthy/spicy hops, oak, and moderate pale malt flavors; with a crisp malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Fairly clean on lager flavors with some light yeast ester notes present. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and fairly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice imperial pilsner style. All around good robustness and balance of bright earthy/spicy hops, oak, and moderate pale malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink for the high ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.63/5  rDev +31.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

500 ml bottle poured into a Destihl tulip.
10.2% ABV, 85 IBUs

A - Beautiful raw honey golden colored, this pilsner is crystal clear with a steady stream of carbonation feeding the off-white head which sticks around for some time, despite the higher alcohol's best efforts to ward it off.

S - Honey-drizzled warm biscuit and lightly toasted white bread give the beer a great pilsner malt aroma that's blanketed by sharp spicy Saaz hops with notes of earthy wood on the finish from the oak spirals.

T - Opening with a bready malt aroma would tend to suggest the beer will be quite malty with a fuller body but the Saaz hops win out in flavor, prickling the tongue with herbal and earthy spiciness with lingering oak nuances.

M - Wonderful carbonation keeps this medium-full-ish bodied imperial Pilsner drinking crisp with a great smoothness from the beginning to the delicately dry and bitter hop finish.

O - While Destihl admits there's technically no such thing as an imperial Pilsner as far as styles go, I consider this a benchmark for what one might look for in an imperial Pilsner. Like the classic, Urquell on steroids, Bela dishes out plenty of spicy Saaz hops sprinkles over fantastic bready malt characteristics for a dangerously drinkable high gravity brew!

Photo of mynie
1.31/5  rDev -62.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

On tap at the brewpub in Normal, IL.

Pours very dark orange. Smells... very limp and sweet, not at all what the menu promised. Nodes of carrot juice and mustard seed and light hints of flowers.

Tastes cloyingly sweet, almost like malt extract syrup. Don't get me wrong--I'm not saying they use extract in their beers. I'm saying their beers taste like extract, which is actually worse. The effect is very closely to a bad, underhopped, high gravity malt liquor--sweet in a poisonous way, like drinking it makes you rot.

Billed as an "intensely hopped Imperial pilsener," this beer is a prime showcase for why it is that most double pilseners are--nay, *must*--be intensely hopped. Because, without a shitload of hop flavor (which this beer lacks), the beer comes off like sweet, chemical cough syrup. Avoid.

Photo of pmcadamis
2.53/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A - Cloudy carrot orange with a white one inch cap. Lots of nice lace sticks to the tulip glass that this was served in.

S - Pungent spicy mustard and pepper, with a vinegar-like note that reminds me of super-funky Belgian brews. Not at all what I was expecting this to smell like.

T - Sour and tart with brettanomyces-esque funk (I don't think that they actually brewed this with bret, but the Dijon mustard notes have the same vibe going on. Odd.

M - Medium bodied and voraciously carbonated. Finishes with a slightly off-putting sour sweaty flavor that lingers for quite a while.

D - This is definitely one bizzaro brew that doesn't taste at all like the noble hops and dry cracker-y malts that I was expecting. I was only planning on trying two beers, so I went with what I thought would be the most unique and interesting brew first.

Bela Imperial Pilsner from DESTIHL Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 23 ratings.