1. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $14.99 (US/print only). Offer ends April 30. Subscribe now! (Because great beer deserves great stories AND readers.)

Persephone Imperial Pilsner - Grand Teton Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Persephone Imperial PilsnerPersephone Imperial Pilsner

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

65 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 65
Reviews: 48
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.85%
Wants: 9
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Grand Teton Brewing Co. visit their website
Idaho, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Pilsner |  8.76% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: berkey on 01-13-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Persephone (pur-seff-uh-knee) Imperial Pilsner was brewed with one foot in the past and one in the present. We started by creating this beer in the German style, an offshoot of the original pilsner that features German noble hops and a lighter, crisper body than its Czech counterpart. We used a blend of domestic Idaho 2-row barley and imported German malts as well as German Hersbrucker hops for flavor and aroma. We then took a leap forward by making this brew twice the strength of a traditional pilsner (8.76% alcohol by volume), with a big hop flavor to match.

After fermentation using a German lager strain, we conditioned this brew for two months at freezing temperatures. This maturation process is known as lagering (from the German meaning “to store”) and the process lends its name to the broad category of beer known as lager. This long lagering period is essential to create the smooth and well-rounded flavor expected from a pilsner. We present this beer in the German kellerbier tradition, where beer is brought to the consumer without filtration or pasteurization, and recommend serving it at 40 degrees in a traditional pilsner glass.

Persephone Imperial Pilsner pours a pale, glowing yellow with a bright white and frothy head. A light aroma of dried hay lifts from the glass, but the flavor is marked by soft mint flavors with sherbet-like overtones. A strong, resinous bitterness lingers on and on, blending into each new sip and providing a strong backbone for this brew. Persephone features a light body, but softer and rounder than the mass-produced versions of this style.

70 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 65 | Reviews: 48
Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: hazy amber with 2” white rocky foam head that dissipates to a thick film.
S: Rich grainy malt, white bread, spice.
T: rich malt with a slight sweetness joined by light fruit with a spicy hop accent of the finish. F: Full body with above average carbonation.
O: A big, refreshing pilsner. they should brew this again.

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

Snatched one of these before it was too late. Pours a really cloudy golden color with a strong bready aroma. The alcohol is present along with the malts. Not too much hop in it. So it's not crisp, but it is a unique taste that's pleasing enough. I can't help but feel that the imperial pilsener is often a good in theory, not as good in practice style, but it's nice to try on occasion.

Photo of Gavage
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a cloudy yellowish orange color with a one finger head that lasts a long time. Nice lace paints the glass.

Smell: biscuit and malt aroma is mild but pleasant.

Taste: grass, malt, some green apples, a decent bitterness, and a moderate alcohol tone.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp throughout. Short lived aftertaste. Mildly refreshing.

Overall: a decent big pilsner, but one glass was more than enough in a session.

Photo of climax
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled a year after the brewed on date, it pours a murky golden tangerine orange. The frothy bright white head is quick to form, and fades lazily leaving thick curtains of lace. Good start.

The nose defines complexity; blending sweet, tart, and spicy in a pleasant balanced package. Pithy orange and lemon zest deliver on the hop side of things. Faint notes of yeast, apple cider, and honey add to the awesomeness. All the while, alcohol sneaks nearly undetected in the background.

Although I'm sampling this after when GT recommends, the hops still deliver solid bitterness. Considering it's 70 IBUs; the tangerine and herbal flavors have probably faded a bit, but they still a offer fresh bold presence in the overall character. The balance has not been sacrificed. Spice continues to tickle the cheeks from beginning to finish, while sweet fermented fruit and diacetyl keep things in harmony. A slight grape wine-like finish and a slightly dry finish rounds it out.

This is brutally easy to drink, in fact it's dangerous. Light body, slick feel, mild carbonation.... pace yourself! I would like to try this fresh, yet I found this at the store 10 months past the brew date, and I'm pleasantly surprised.

Photo of Nerudamann
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pilsener glass.

Look – very light golden color, somewhat hazy, with about half a finger or so of off-white colored foam that dissipates somewhat quickly.

Smell – Interesting smell. It almost has a syrupy type of smell like a rum or whisky.

Taste – Interesting taste as well. It doesn’t taste or feel anything like a Pilsener, but also not like anything else I’ve tasted before. The abv is felt, but not overwhelmingly so. It almost tastes like a light barleywine.

Mouthfeel – pretty well balanced, maybe leans a tinsy bit more toward the watery side, but not by much at all!

Overall – very interesting brew! I really like the unique taste! Fun to taste and fun to think about.

Photo of TheSarge
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Makes a nice two finger thick bright white head, and has a golden hazy body with lots of co2 action.

The aroma is grainy, husky, pair, lemon, and a little bit floral.

Tastes hoppy with grapefruit dominance, and then a sweet undertone of overripe orange.

Feels well carbonated, and a little dry to the palate at first but then wet then dry again. Weird I guess; warming in the end as well.

This is one of the better Imp. Pils I’ve ever had. Makes me somewhat a fan of the style if I can find more out there like this gem.

Photo of Offa
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This wonderful beer is a truly outstanding "Imperial Pilsner," so-called.

Gold, with white med-big head slowly shrinking to foamy ring and wisps, some nice foamy lace.

Aroma is strong hay, bread dough, apple, herb – very nice but a bit mild and simple.

Taste is nice raisiny grain & warming alcohol, lots of spicy herbal leafy bitterness balanced b ylightly sweet, raisiny grain. It has a lively, full feel, bitter and sweet both firm and lingering, making it nicely balanced. It is highly drinkable and overall excellent.

Photo of mdcrouser
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Creamy white head - like soap on water, strawlike blonde with lots of carbonation bubbles streaming upwards. Big rings the whole way down.

Straw, grass, hints of lemon - honestly, it reminds me a bit of the early morning fresh smells of the farm, without the manure, of course.

The depth and balance of the hops and malts here is outstanding - never enjoyed such an otherwise (being an impy pils) low-key beer with such breadth. The combination hangs around - very dry, but grassy, light citrus and fruity sweetness.

Warming without being hot. Almost like a good stout in the mouth.

I could drink a lot of this - likely the best pilsner I've had.

Photo of beergoot
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: golden straw color with very slight cloudiness. Thick white head with lots of fine carbonation bubbling up from the bottom of the glass. Excellent lacing.

Smell: citrusy, sweet maltiness, grassy

Taste: Sweet maltiness blending nicely with a mild bitterness end with a good alcohol warmth finish. Well-balanced all around.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a great smoothness

Overall: Very good big beer. Deceptively mild and light for an imperial style. Well worth checking out.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to someone for sharing this bottle, I think it may have been thirdeye11.

The beer pours a clear yellow color with a white head. The aroma is full of pilsner malt with some grass and earth from the hops. I also get some sugar notes which makes the beer smell sweeter than I expected.

The flavor is fairly sweet. I get a lot of the basic pilsner malt along with some grass from the hops. The bitterness is fairly low, making the beer sweet. The alcohol is well hidden.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of arizcards
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a 750ml bottle at Total Wine in late August for $8.49. Bottled on 1-13-11.

Beer poured golden with a nice white head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose is big pils malts and some citrus, quite nice!

Taste is big pils malts, citrus zest, some grass. Alcohol was warming on the first few sips.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and very smooth.

Overall this is another solid beer from the Cellar Reserve series. Check it out if it is still available.

Photo of KDawg
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had this from a 750ml. Poured a nice light straw color with a bit of cloudiness from the unfiltered process. Nice smaller foamy head

much more tropical aromas than I'd expect. Grains as well with some papaya and lemon peel tones as well

medium bodied, but on the lighter end. Good complexity with a more tropical citrus focus and a really good feel

This caught me pleasantly by surprise. I didn't know what to expect and it provided a lot to like. Holds the larger scale well and gives a more citrusy take to a pilsner

Photo of Jason
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml brown bottle with a vintage date on the neck label.

LOOK: Clear golden yellow.

SMELL: Portuguese sweet bread, green peppercorn, dry shortbread, floral, lemon zest, waffles, dried grass.

TASTE: Dried hay, faint honey, clean alcohol, fresh herbs, floral, blonde tobacco, rose water.

A very intense brew as the alcohol pushes against the palate with each sip, not hot but very warming. The moderate body and sheer smoothness from the bottle conditioning makes it very easy to sip and with each sip this beer grows on me. This one oozes with greatness.

Photo of BeerOnTheWall
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 750 Ml bottle poured into 22 oz shaker pint glass.

Pours bright clear straw color with a nice white head that dissipated quickly. Very nice lacing left on the glass

Nose is a bit too lager-yeast-skunky up front for my preference. Would like to have it cleaner. Faint graininess. Lemon zest tucked away in there is a nice surprise.

Straight forward pilsner malt flavors with citrus on the mid palate and an assertive bitterness that doesn't overpower, but let's you know this is a big, bitter pilsner. The funky yeast is present but more subdued than it was on the nose. Abv says 8.76...if that's the case, this impresses me. Very little detectible heat from the alcohol.

This is full bodied for a pils with plenty of carbonation to keep it feeling light. This straddles the line between ale and lager. Nicely balanced.

Overall, I enjoyed this beer very much. I am a big, hoppy, IPA fan and don't normally find myself saying nice things about lagers. But this one made me happy that I purchased it. It really straddles the line for ale and lager fans alike. Big, bitter, w/ nice body if you like ales. Nice carbonation and lager yeast qualities for you lager fans. I will make it a point to buy this when the 2012 version is released.

Photo of tavernjef
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Super clear straw gold hue crowned with an immense puff of starchy white foam that sits for great length. Spotty lacing in thick globules sticks about the glass.

Aroma is light of bready starches slighted with a bit of Pils malt spice to it. A bit of soapy residue floats about with some sweet bubblegummy esters, dryish floral hops, and cereal grains.

Taste is clean, soft, and sweet with a light airy maltyness that speaks to cereal grain and bigger floral ascents that are barely traceable in the aroma. Which is nice, as it spreads some nice mellowing spicey notes; Pils malt, dryish floral hops, and very tender warmth as it finishes. Quite subtle and slightly complex in taste.

Body is lightly dancing in a medium softness; very clean, tenderly soft and sweet, faintly warm, airy, and lightly spicey. Solid.

Overall this is a solid Pils in the Imperial side, whilst it could use a tweak i.e., boost in malt and another push forward in hopitude complexity. This is quite pleasant and very drinkable. Watch the pour as it foams up rather quickly...patience is a virtue.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a stemmed strange)

A- The clear yellow body has a snow white head that last while sticking to the glass with each sip. There is a matrix of tiny bubbles popping to the surface. The third and final pour of the bottle is a cloudy mix.

S- The soft dry pils malt has some flour note to it wit a nice smooth green hop finish. As the beer warms there is a field corn and cream note that turns just a bit buttery. The touch of green grapefruit pith comes through at the end aswell.

T- The clean soft pils malt has just a touch of sweetness and a leafy green dry hop finish. There is a soft Noble hop bitterness that lingers a moment. There is a cinnamon kind of heat to the hop spice in the aftertaste.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a soft scrubbing bubble carbonation and no real alcohol heat.

O- The nice green Noble hops are well supported by the pale malt and just a touch of sweetness. It does loose a bit of crispness because of the cream and slight sweetness and the alcohol is well hidden.

Photo of mdvatab
3.62/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz brewery sample bottle received in trade from DCon into pilsner glass.

Aroma: Sour, lemony tartness, some floral noble hop, and sweet pomegranate shows through. This one really develops after sitting for a couple minutes, and sweet strawberry notes eventually show up.

Appearance: One finger white head slowly dissipates. Light golden body with a very slight haze. Nice effervescence, and excellent lacing.

Flavor: A 1-2 punch of bitterness and honey sweetness. Sweetness shows through in the middle, then bitterness shows back up for a long finish. Unfortunately, after a few sips, the sweetness comes across a bit artificial, the fruity flavor is somewhat perfumy, and the bitterness seems a bit out of balance.

Mouthfeel: High, crisp carbonation. Light body

Overall: A very unique brew. Aroma and even appearance are impressive. The flavor profile, though, comes across as a bit artificial, and the bitterness is somewhat smothering.

Photo of FunkyMacGroovin
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle dated January 18, 2011.

A - The pour is light gold, a bit cloudy, with some sediment suspended. There's a thick three-finger head that slowly dissipates - lots of lacing left behind. A beautiful looking beer.

S - The aroma is mostly hop-centric, but is well-supported by a malt backbone. The hops smell floral and slightly medicinal, but are not overpowering. In three words, simple and crisp.

T - The hops come on first again, but don't linger long enough to impart any unpleasant or overwhelming bitterness. There's a sugary malt character as well, almost like a scone or a biscuit with honey.

M - This is a surprisingly full-bodied beer, but the high amount of carbonation quickly scrubs it from my mouth after each sip. Chewy, effervescent, and satisfying on a warm summer evening.

Overall - Imperial pilsners are one of my favorite styles, and this is quite possibly the best one I've had to date. I'm not sure how the 3-4 months in my fridge changed this beer, but it certainly didn't hurt it much.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.38/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 picked up tonight at the COOP ... shared with inflatablechair... Poured into my Delerium snifter.. decent foamy white head... the lacing is there, but short lived... the head drops very quickly.... pretty clear golden brew.

Nose is pale malts with a nice grassy hop note... pretty clean and not much else going on...

Nice bitter balance up front that quickly melts into the pale malt and a minor toasty element... everything is there for a big BLONDE.... it is still very clean... I just don't get a Pilsner .... the malts are heavy and don't jive with the intended product.. sorta thick ... but the carbonation helps jump the brew off the palate....

I am having a harder and harder time with the random style guides .... an "Imperial Pilsner" is tough to make heads or tails.. I like this beer when I sprung for tap pours at Bitter Creek.. but in the bottle, I am having a hard time with the price and the lack of anything interesting...

3.5/3/3.5/3.5/3.5

Photo of busternuggz
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 into a pint glass. Dated 4-26-11 (by the UPC sticker attached by the store).
Nice clear goldenrod color with a puffy, cratery 3/4" white head. Recedes to about 1/4" with decent retention. Leaves some soapy lacing.
There's a nice soft evergreen & mint note to the scent, followed by a mild lemon zest and a bit of a pleasant cough drop note. Also, for lack of a better descriptor, it smells nicely pilsnery.
The taste is much bigger than the smell would indicate. Comes on rich and malty but crisp, then giving way to a blend of interesting tastes in the middle; menthol, pine needles, lemon zest. Nicely balanced, malty but quickly followed by the hops, ends dry with a long, bitter, slightly medicinal (in a pleasant way) aftertaste. I want to call it challenging; it's very bold, with a hoppy & herbal bite to it, while remaining fairly complex and ending drier and cleaner than you think it should.
Complimenting the pattern on the palate, it comes on full bodied and ends light and dry. Again, well balanced.
A really intriguing beer with a lot going on for a pilsner (even an imperial pilsner) while still keeping in touch with classic pilsner characteristics.

Photo of emmasdad
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Schmittymack for sharing a bomber of this one with me last night. Poured a nice golden color with a rocky white head. Aromas of floral hops, grain and white pepper. On the palate, this one was light bodied and refreshing, hiding the alcohol quite well, with flavors of floral hops, grains and biscuit.

Photo of welldigger888
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brillant clear golden with a snow white head that has ample lacing.

The aroma seems a bit subdued, could be the shampoo I washed my 3 yr old with. That said, grainy goodness of delicate malt and a perfumy grassy hop on the nose is what I am getting.

The flavor actually has a pacific n/w hoppiness to it, unexpected but good.Grainy and a hint of booze are strong players here as well.

The crisp and dry combination make this brew highly drinkable, though dangerous with the nearly 9% ABV.

Well, no that that was said, I say drink up lads for this is quality beer.

Photo of jrallen34
3.06/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2011 bottle thanks to Alex... ugly beer, pours like a pinot grigo with a clear murky straw body, light white watery head... the nose is very vinous, grapes with some bitter hops, ok... not a fan of the taste, a little chalky, grains with some hops, easy to drink and hides the alcohol well, not my cup of tea

Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a cloudy, golden-yellow color with a one-finger, white head of sudsy foam. It left thin trails of lace.

S - It smelled of caramel and strong floral notes.

T - It tasted of sweet caramel with some booziness. It had a spicy hop presence.

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

O - This is a pretty nice imperial pils. It is more balanced than some that are out there.

Photo of morimech
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear, pale golden color with a thin head that settled quickly. The lack of head did not hinder lacing left on the glass as I worked my way to the bottom of the glass.

Hops come through in the aroma with peppery and herbal notes. Malt contributes some cracker like qualities.

Flavor is dry which I look for in a pilsner. The hops are not as big in the flavor as I expected but do give herbal and spice influences. Almost phenolic and medicinal. Alcohol just barely influences the flavor with some warmth in the finish.

More than a typical pilsner in body depth which is what I was expecting. Carbonation is lively but not prickly.

Turns out to be one of the better Imperial Pilsners I have had. A nicely crafted brew.

to view more.
Persephone Imperial Pilsner from Grand Teton Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.