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Persephone Imperial Pilsner - Grand Teton Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Persephone Imperial PilsnerPersephone Imperial Pilsner

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

62 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 62
Reviews: 47
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 9.88%
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:
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 added by: berkey on 01-13-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 62 | Reviews: 47 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of afsdan
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

afsdan, May 22, 2014
Photo of Offa
4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
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.

Offa, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of AdvocateFan
4.63/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm really excited about this one, Imperial Pilsners can be easily screwed up or "interpreted" to such a degree that "pilsner" no longer seems to be a suitable description. But Grand Teton BC has remained so true to style (in essence) in these Cellar Reserve releases, despite the extreme rendering. Poured into a half liter (plus headspace) pilsner glass. Right off the bat, I'm impressed with the appearance--a beautiful deep straw color topped with a massive, frothy, just-shy-of-white head. Great lacing. Slight chill haze. Spot on pilsner aroma, all grain, with the perfect dose of sulfury lager yeast notes, faint suggestions of honey and lemon-zesty hops. Grassy hops and a properly low (but readily apparent) amount of mustiness. Soft. Rounded. A bit minerally. No alcohol detected beyond the expected note from a standard pils (I'm drinking it around 40oF per the brewery's advice.) Packs a nice punch at the first sip, with all the clean, satisfying pilsner notes one expects, but each quality is ramped up. The nose is so clean that it's a bit of a surprise that there's such depth of flavor, and the hop flavor and bitterness are very upfront. The pilsner malt, drawn up to such a level, gives notes of honey that border on watered down mead or T'ej. The alcohol certainly does play a role in the flavor, despite being nearly absent on the nose, and it blends well with the amped up zesty, grassy hops, providing for a nearly minty nip from the combination. There's an undercurrent of cellar mustiness, which works with notes of timothy hay, lemon, and some atypically resinous hoppy flavors and bitterness.

I just read the attached tag that is rubber-banded to the bottleneck, and unlike what I find for many beers, the description is not only detailed, it's spot on. There's a reference to sherbet overtones, and while I wouldn't have made that connection on my own, I completely agree (somewhere between lemon and orange, in my assessment.)

I've found that Grand Teton has a great talent for turning up the volume on standard styles, without spoiling anything in the process. This really tastes like someone took a magnifying glass to a Czech pilsner. Rather than being a new interpretation of the style, it's just a bigger version. In that way, it's the most true-to-style Imperial Pilsner I've ever had. So very nice. What a wonderful beer. Beyond impressed.

AdvocateFan, Jan 29, 2011
Photo of KansasBeerLover
4.58/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bomber last night. Label dated Jan 18, 2011.

Since I don't usually drink pilsner or have a pilsner glass, I poured into a Sam Adams glass. The result was a half inch of frothy foam that soon settled to a thin layer in the center. Lacing is thin, but clings to the glass.

Color is a light yellow straw, very clear with effervescence that continues throughout the drink.

Aroma is weak. A lemon with mint, definite hops.

Flavor is great. Citrus and hops dominate with just enough bitters, which remain on the tongue for a long time. I expected the 8.75% alcohol to overpower the flavor. While noticeable, the alcohol did not dominate. A great touch.

Overall, I will buy more of the pilsner. One of the few that I have enjoyed.

KansasBeerLover, May 05, 2011
Photo of TheSarge
4.58/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

TheSarge, Jan 28, 2012
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

For a pilsner this one looks damn fine. Great color, tan with an almost orange tinge to it, mostly clear with a slight chill haze, amazing head and great lacing, a model for pilsner beers in appearance!

Smells big and wonderful! Great citrus and outspoken summer grasses come off first, lovely hops aromas mix with a spicy, pungent lemon that tops off what's a damn fine example of why a pilsner can be a damn fine beer. Best smelling pilsner I've ever had.

Taste is quite bold and full-flavored, amazing for the style and damn fine for any style. Great spicy hops and bold grasses make up the bulk of the flavor, with a nice dry bitterness that embraces all the best flavors that pilsners have to offer.

Feel is light and highly carbonated, yet still refreshing and easy to drink, with a great lingering dry lemon-rind bitterness that goes on and on.

This is a damn fine beer. I love a great pils, and this is one of my favorites. It seems that pilsners are often left behind the big stouts and IPAs, but there's a lot of craftsmanship required to brew a pils like this one. The effort is not lost on me. Grand Teton is coming into their own with amazing creations like this one. Great job!

AlCaponeJunior, May 01, 2011
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Hopheadjeffery, Jun 19, 2013
Photo of elos
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

elos, Mar 03, 2012
Photo of mhaugo
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

mhaugo, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of beergoot
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

beergoot, Dec 20, 2011
Photo of Jason
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Jason, Oct 05, 2011
Photo of augustgarage
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled January 12th, 2011. Poured from a 750mL bottle into my Radeberger pokal.

Lightly cloudy aureolian body with a small ivory head. Nice sandy lacing. Vague legs. Decent retention.

Aromatics are subtle yet intense, filling the room with the fragrance of white tea, alfalfa, light floral notes, and hints of buttermilk, pear, and pale malt.

Very intense grassy noble hop notes - resinous, floral, and faintly grainy (triticale, oats), reminding me of a feed store. Moderate and increasing bitterness into the mid-palate, growing ever more potent until the finish adds a faint bread crust-esque dry note. The hops linger on in the aftertaste, evolving for a long long time.

Bright, zippy mouthfeel, medium-light bodied...sometimes domestic versions of classic styles take things too far, but this beer simply amplifies and expands everything that is good about a proper fresh Kellerbier. Reviewed to style, it's hard to imagine improving upon the flavor or aroma of this beer (though overall I prefer Boulevard's collaboration with Orval).

augustgarage, May 10, 2011
Photo of welldigger888
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

welldigger888, Jul 16, 2011
Photo of busternuggz
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

busternuggz, Aug 10, 2011
Photo of mdcrouser
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

mdcrouser, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of scottyshades
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler from Greenville Beer Exchange for my weekly "growler Saturday #6"

A: Pours a damn bright orange color with a small white cap. Retention is pretty good. Really looks like Orangina or watery orange juice.

S: Flowery, citrusy, and spicy hop varieties. Lots of lemon and lager yeast aromas. Very nicely balanced with pale malts, and quite hoppy

T: Similar to the nose...lots of citrusy/spicy hops, lemon, alcohol as it opens up with time, a light breadiness, and perfume

MF: Medium body, smooth carbonation, well done

O: I really enjoyed this one, very easy drinker despite the higher than normal ABV. Pairs very well with spicy food, in this case Jamaican jerk bbq pork sandwiches

Notes: Really enjoyable beer, lots of hops, lots of lemon in the flavor. Almost, but a shade less enjoyable than My Antonia in my opinion

scottyshades, Apr 04, 2011
Photo of DCon
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received bottle from Chris from Grand Teton Brewing Co. and Bottle Has Marked on it "Persephone Pilsner, Sample-Not for Retail Sale". Poured from this 12 oz bottle into my Mizzou Pilsner glass and enjoyed greatly.

Appearance- Poured Pils into glass and 1 finger of white, bubbly head was born. Body color is a light, grapefruit orange with carbonation bubbles.

Smell- The first aroma I get is a huge orange/citrus smell with malt. There is also an orange peel attribute that should be brought up. Its evident that this is a Imperial Pilsner but not getting a strong alcohol smell, only malt and mild hop.

Taste/Mouthfeel- Starts off with a extremely bold grapefruit taste and citrus hop. The bready malt that is included in here is evident as you drink over and over. Also leaves a huge sting on the palate. Medium Bodied, Light-Medium Carbonation, and has a sting/bite at the end of the drink. Citrus and hop also stays around on my cheeks and on the tongue. Nice!

Overall- After having this for a second time, I have to say that the drinkability isn't as good as before. For some, this will take many people forever to drink but I enjoyed immensely. Once again, very refreshing and complexed. Will be sharing this with people around St. Louis and spreading the wealth of this terrific Imperial Pilsner.

DCon, May 02, 2011
Photo of KDawg
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
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

KDawg, Oct 05, 2011
Photo of berkey
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz sample bottle courtesy of Grand Teton brewery. Pilsner flute seemed appropriate for this review. I understand this should start hitting shelves early February 2011.

As soon as I pour grassy hop notes rush up to greet my nostrils. This is followed by a sweet bread aroma but we'll return to the bouquet in a moment. As I finish the pour the beer develops a massive and dense cap of white foam. Head is about as well retained as they come but when it finally settles some excellent lacing remains. Body is a clean and clear straw color with very fine but active carbonation.

As mentioned before, grassy hop notes are very pronounced on the nose but seem pushed slightly behind the bread like malt sweetness compared to that first whiff. The first sip, however, unloads much more hop bitterness on the palate than the aroma had me prepared for. Seems that German varieties make up the lion's share of the hop profile but they're used in such high amounts that this doesn't really resemble anything one might expect from something billed as a 'Pilsner'. the Imperial Pils style, though, is of course nebulous enough that it works. This beer is about as bitter as it gets, lingering like over steeped tea on the palate long after each sip.

This is another of those burgeoning styles I'm not entirely sold on but I really like this particular offering. I have a feeling Persephone won't be a hit with everyone but to me this beer is another sign this brewery's Barrel Reserve Series is really picking up steam. Second winner in a row after the Trout Hop IPA.

berkey, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of Nerudamann
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Nerudamann, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of climax
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

climax, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of FunkyMacGroovin
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

FunkyMacGroovin, Aug 15, 2011
Photo of Mebuzzard
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was craving hops as I went to the liquor store down the street. Picked up a Ruination, but put it back to try the Persephone. Good choice.

Pours like a pilsner. Clean and clear light golden body topped with a very nice looking foamy white head. Looks great. Nice semi-sticky lacing.

The aroma is more German pils than Czech and sure enough that's what the little booklet around the neck states. Light sweet biscuit. Spice blends with alcohol to provide a burning/stinging sensation, but only slightly. hops are hidden a bit here.

Flavor is darn good.Soft malt backbone gives it some sweetness. And that's good given the amount of noble hops, German, in the end. Alcohol is noticeable for brief moment. The hops are spicy and somewhat bitter. A touch of resinous-ness enters, but fades quickly.

Overall, very nice beer. Good for a hot day, but the abv will catch up with you.

Mebuzzard, Apr 07, 2011
Photo of beagle75
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a tulip pint glass.

A: Slightly hazy and luminous medium golden color with one finger of white foam head. Heavy lacing remains on the glass and a crowd of bubbles eagerly rise in the center of the column.

S: Fairly bright, with green grass and savory herbs that dominate over a surprisingly light grain presence. Citric lemon and fresh hay emerge with sustained study. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins slightly sweet, with refined but present pilsner malt and restrained acidity. Hop qualities really shine here, coming through incredibly herbaceous and grassy. Flavors gradually turn toward dry in the middle, with hop aromatics showing more volatile mint and faint lime citrus. The finish is slightly medicinal and moderately bitter, with a lingering minty glow. No alcohol is detected.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, slightly resinous on the palate and warming in the finish, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: Truly an experimental style, the imperial pilsner is a "black box" due to the unpredictable applications of hops that may result. The Bruery's Humulus Lager is classified as such, but its clean and focused hops profile is entirely West-Coast. Not so, here; this beer projects Noble hop smell and flavor from start to finish--while fairly irresistible to the IPA-lover, it may prove an overpowering formula to the traditional pilsner devotee. In the presence of the right foods, such as grilled salmon with fennel apple salad, it stands it's ground better than a West-Coast IPA might. Still, it is strange to taste these particular bright flavors with such intensity.

beagle75, May 20, 2011
Photo of arizcards
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

arizcards, Oct 30, 2011
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Persephone Imperial Pilsner from Grand Teton Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 62 ratings.