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Whistler Imperial Pils - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Whistler Imperial PilsWhistler Imperial Pils

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

37 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 37
Reviews: 28
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 14.76%
Wants: 4
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Karl Strauss Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Pilsner |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: jjh19 on 06-19-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 37 | Reviews: 28 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jheezee
4/5  rDev +11.4%

jheezee, Dec 08, 2011
Photo of nmann08
3/5  rDev -16.4%

nmann08, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of mdfb79
2.68/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

From 10/28/11 notes. Thanks to nmann08 for sharing this one. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a clear straw yellow color with two inches of fluffy white head and mdoerate carbonation evident. Some spotty lacing left on the glass.

s - Smells of sweet corn, biscuity malts, and bready malts. A little bit adjunct-lager-like and bland, not the best.

t - Tastes of corn, grain, biscuit malts, wheat, lightly sweet. A slight step up from the nose, but again, not that great.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty easy to drink but the sweet corn takes a little bit away from it.

o - Overall a below average pilsner. Somewhat bland and reminded me a little bit of an American Adjunct Lager, wouldn't really seek it out again.

mdfb79, Nov 02, 2011
Photo of Offa
4.25/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is absolutely wonderful and to date the best Karl Strauss beer I have had. It is a great example of why I love this so-called style even if to me "American Imperial Pilsner" really seems to be another unnecessary, nitpicking division of styles into increasingly specific, hard-to-differentiate categories. In any case, I love Maibocks, too, and some of each style really seem to me to be just as at homein the other cartegory.

Anyway, it's dark gold, faintly hazy, with smallish-medium off-white head slowly shrinking to rich foamy ring, some nice lace.

Aroma is great - a nice, full grain, hay, fermented apples, wildflowers. It's firm, aromatic, and subtly complex.

Taste is nice, spicy flowery citrusy hop bitterness with sweetish bread, honey, apple, along with mineral. It has a lot of well-rounded, balanced character, nice malt and hop presence, lively and zesty.

Offa, Oct 23, 2011
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fizzes quite heavily on the pour, leaving a rather flat looking brew, deep golden in colour, with a lot of weight to the body and a lot of haze. Really looks disappointingly flat when held to critical appraisal, but the colour looks fine and the heft is appropriate; it looks chewy enough, but still flows smoothly.

Nose is deep and slightly sweet, with more heft and more booze than I expected. In some senses, it gets this slightly sweet-acidic orange note, which reminds me of an IPA, but the thickness and sweetness suggests something more like a dessert wine. There's certainly minimal crispness, which I'd like to see in an pilsener, even an imperial one.

Taste taste has a little more bitterness, but again, lacks crispness. Instead, the big body gives it a slick, gooey sweetness that only subsides when the onrush of boozy heat comes through on the back. This, in its way, is a type of crispness, in that it startles the palate in to wakefulness, but it's still not ideal.

I'll admit I've still never found an Imperial Pilsener that matches up with what I think the style should be like, and unfortunately, this follows the trend. I'd love more crispness, more directness, and sharper, brighter palate, but still bursting with enormous flavours

Some day....

lacqueredmouse, Oct 13, 2011
Photo of brentk56
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with a respectable head; the retention wasn't great but the lacing was above average

Smell: Biscuity malt with a vaguely grassy hops

Taste: Biscuity malt, up front, with an understated grassy hop flavor developing by mid-palate; rather malty on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: I have never been thrilled by the Imperial Pilsner style, more because I dislike the malt character of so many of them; in this case, I really like the malts but the hops aren't up to the task; still, it is easy to drink

brentk56, Sep 24, 2011
Photo of NickRivers
4.3/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A&S - Pours a gorgeous sunburst gold with a foamy off white head. Not much aroma getting through the pilsner malt, some floral notes as well as some herbal hops. Very floral like a beachside garden.

T&M - Spectacularly smooth. Goes down super easy. Nice fresh malt character with some honey and fermented alcohol, a earthy hop bitterness, with a finish as crisp as potato chips. Great yeast character in this as well, absolutely welcoming, no off notes at all.

O - An amazing beer! Liked this more than I originally thought I would. I had this in my fridge for quite a while and now wish I would have drank it sooner, as we all do with unknowingly amazing brews. Super excited to find this randomly while shopping at certain markets. Although availability here in SoCal should be a little better for this, considering I live 2 or 3 counties away, look for it at your bottle shop. Its a must for SDagans.

NickRivers, Sep 14, 2011
Photo of Zorro
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Chill hazed dark gold colored beer with a small white head.

Sweet with no identifying malt type, sweet like corn syrup. Flowers and grass hop scent.

Starts out sweet with a wheat cracker and grass flavor. Gets a little spicy as you drink it. One of the milder flavored Imperial Pils I have tasted. The one word that pops in to my head as I drink this is "Soft" this is like a strong beer buffered to prevent anything offensive from hitting my tongue.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall this is just an OK beer. It;s not bad but I really don't think I will buy another bottle.

Zorro, Sep 05, 2011
Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Nathan – much obliged!

Pours a slightly hazy deep golden color with a white head that leaves decent lacing.

Smells of crisp and mildly sweet pilsner malts with good amounts of sticky citrus and light herbal hops.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Smooth pilsner malts up front are joined quickly by moderate amounts of citrus and herbal hops. Midway through slightly grassy hop flavors come into play, fading out into a moderately bitter ending. Mouthfeel is good, with solid carbonation.

Overall this is a good benchmark for the style, not good and not bad and worth a shot.

glid02, Aug 25, 2011
Photo of sergio1va
4.33/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Imperial Pils? First time I've had this beer style.
Pours to a light orange with a white foam head. At first sip you can taste the higher hops than with other pilsners. Taste is somewhat grassy with a hoppy yet not overpowering finish. Foam dissapears quickly but the aftertaste on this beer is not that bitter and makes your pallate desire another sip. At 7.5% and with a 22 oz bottle it might still be considered a session beer that one can enjoy when looking for a beer to stick with and not have it overpower you.

sergio1va, Aug 12, 2011
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy light orange with a 1 inch white-orange head that fades to a small cap. Random spotting and splotches of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smells of toasted malt, grassy notes, and herbal hops. Taste is of toasted malt, bread, and grassy/herbal hops. There is also a definite alcohol flavor with this beer. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly thick and sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer and the first of the style I have had. However, I am not too sure I would get this one again.

UCLABrewN84, Jul 24, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to a generous individual for getting this bottle out to me. Served in a tulip.

Pours a clear light apricot color with a thin white head that quickly falls down into a few bubbles. Thin collar throughout. The nose is lightly grainy without too much depth. Some bready malt and not much in the way of hops. The flavor is bready with some light grain in the background. Hop bitterness comes through on the backend, though isn't really present in the flavor. Medium body with high carbonation and a bit of an alcohol bite in the finish. Decent enough, though not my favorite.

Thorpe429, Jul 19, 2011
Photo of Jason
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz brown bomber no freshness date.

Lacing has pretty damn amazing, an art form from this beer I say! Fresh baskets of biscuits in my nose, alcohol sure ... but very clean. Smooth and a bit creamy with a slick mouth feel. Toasty toast ... graininess is clean but has a heavy footprint here. Maltiness is thick with a big and clean biscuity tone, hops ring in with some balance as does the alcohol. Clean throughout. Finishes with more malt than expected but loving it. A sippin pils, very tasty.

Malt bomb wins.

Jason, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of DoubleJ
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

There seem to be more and more brewers entering the market with an imperial pilsner. If it's good, keep it going. From a 22 ounce bottle, on to the beer:

Dark golden color with a thick creamy head on the pour. The head drops little by little but stays around leaving some creamy lacing on the glass It smells like a pilsner, which is good, but the aroma is much weaker than anticipated. Whispering grassy and pilsner malt crawl out and greet the nose. Not bad at all, I just expected more.

It tastes just like a multiplied pilsner. While I admire the huge punch of hops I get in Double IPA's, a punch of extra malt and grass, bigger but controlled, is a somewhat refreshing change of pace from the more popular imperial styles. The big sweetness from the malt sticks out, leading to a smack of honey on white bread. Grassy and floral notes attempt to level out the malt, as does a big dripping kiss of freash hop leaf. Alcohol is buried, and the creamy smooth texture of this full bodied beer make a happy mouthfeel.

I've wrote off Karl Strauss beers in the past (beers with little character), but a recent change in the bottle lineup has got all these new, big flavored beers on the market, and after trying this and Big Barrel Double IPA, I'm rethinking how I view Karl Strauss.

DoubleJ, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of armock
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured a light copper color with a white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of sweet malt with a grassy hop nose
ee
T - Like the smell sweet malt upfront with grassy hops backing it up

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

D - I enjoyed this beer quite a bit its easy ti drink with a good taste to it this was a good take on the style worth picking up sometime

armock, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of RoyalT
2.8/5  rDev -22%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - This poured an eerie-looking florescent orange in color with a puffy white head that showed zilch retention.

Smell - The nose is very light for the style. There are some grassy, semi-European hops and an uncharacteristic caramel malt base but really this nose is quite blah.

Taste - Yeah, I don't get this at all. The flavor is sharp, sugary malt that has more the characteristic of a red or amber ale than a pils. The hops are overran on all counts and consist of some light, leafy notes.

Mouthfeel - This is medium-bodied and again uncharacteristically bitter at the end. The middle is sweet, sugary malt.

Drinkability - I have only one good thing to say about this beer: I couldn't stop drinking it - hahaha! When I pick it apart it's hard to find one positive quality and Lord knows it has nothing to do with style but the hell with all that for some strange reason it hit the spot.

RoyalT, Sep 26, 2010
Photo of rand
3.15/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From bottle to pilsner glass

A: Pours a light golden-tan which impedes little light. Carbonation seems moderate but a sudsy head forms leaving lots of lacing

S: The nose is sweet, bready malts, corn, and a touch of lemon in the distance. Nothing really stands out here; it almost smells like a decent macro lager with a more pronounced bouquet.

T: Improves on the smell some, but only a bit. The first part of the sip is the sweet, lightly toasted malts, followed by a very mildly bitter hop spice. The taste has a really sweet, biscuity flavor, like biscuits and honey. And that's about it, the flavors are balanced but rather unremarkable.

D: The beer may not be memorable but it goes down easy. Again, there's nothing wrong with the flavor, I've just had a lot more interesting double pils. The 7.5% ABV is barely noticable, so some points there.

Overall, not a beer I'd pass up, it's fairly pleasant, but I'll probably forget all about it during my next brew.

rand, Aug 24, 2010
Photo of DennisD
4.88/5  rDev +35.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: golden/straw color, nice head

Smell: spicy, floral hops with a touch of tasted malt

Taste: toasted malt flavors followed by floral, spicy hops

Mouthfeel: medium bodied with a crisp clean finish

Drinkability: Great beer. Well done. An enjoyable Imperial Pils.

Serving type: 22 oz bottle

DennisD, Aug 20, 2010
Photo of emmasdad
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up on a recent trip to San Diego. Pours a nice golden-amber color, with a fairly substantial rocky white head. Good bready/biscuity aromas, with a just a hint of hops. Solid pilsner character on the palate, creamy, with a subtle alcoholic punch near the end. Good.

emmasdad, Aug 20, 2010
Photo of crvcac
4.28/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is an Imperial Czech style pilsner. It has a pale golden hue and a nice head retention. The aromas I picked up were grassy and floral with a slight hint of toasted malt. Slight hope character, however, not too prominent. Body:medium, standard... Finishs crisp and dry. A bti of lingering booziness due to the high alcohol content. Overall, a good beer; and in my opinion a nice step outside of the traditional box.

crvcac, Aug 04, 2010
Photo of mactrail
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pleasant malty ale with some roasted flavors.

Nice golden amber in the glass. Drinks very smoothly with nice subtle carbonation and a solid feel in the mouth. Aroma is "different" without the common blast of hops. A flowery rather than resiny hop. Malty without particular sweetness. Overall winey character with the nicely bitter twang of a very well balanced beer.

The slightly roasted hop flavor is extremely pleasant to me. Doesn't have the hyped-up malt liquor taste of some Imperial Pilseners. Score one for Strauss on this one.

mactrail, Jul 18, 2010
Photo of Xul
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a perfectly clear golden, capped by a frothy two finger off-white head. Retention is moderate and it leaves some light lacing in its wake.

S: Bready base with some light funk, balanced by floral, earthy hops and some light spice notes. Lemon zest floats around in the background.

T: Very sweet up front with a bready characteristic, transitions into moderate floral bitterness with a biting earthiness. Some peppery and lemon zest notes swirl around near the finish, yielding a sweet and spicy after taste.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, feels creamy as it glides across the tongue.

D: The ABV is rather well hidden and it goes down way too easily. Not one of the best imperial pilsners I've had, but there are no major flaws and it's good to see Karl Strauss taking some risks with their bottled offerings.

Xul, Jul 16, 2010
Photo of srandycarter
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Clear Light honey, near white head, leaves fast to disk. Some spotty lace.

S - Not much. Some light lemon. Some light malt.

T - Solid simple malt, good bitter end. Nice.

M - Good carb, fair balance. Not terribly exciting.

D - Quaffable. For sure.

srandycarter, Jul 08, 2010
Photo of womencantsail
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The pour is a light orange color with a fluffy white head on it.

S: This is very sweet on the nose with a sugar character and a bit of bread. The hops are appropriate for a pilsner, floral and a bit of spice.

T: The flavor is incredibly short lived, absolutely unlike any other beer that I've come across. Sweet and bready with a hint of coconut and then...nothing.

M: Medium bodied with a smooth, medium carbonation.

D: Not a bad tasting beer, but the shortness of the flavor baffled me. I'm not sure what caused that, but it at least made this beer more interesting.

womencantsail, Jul 02, 2010
Photo of hoptrip619
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Missed the release night at Small Bar but had it on tap at their brunch on Father's Day.

A: Poured a deep golden color into a nonic pint glass. Head doesn't stick around long.

S: Upfront there are some grassy saaz hops, lots of toasted malt, and decent amount of the crisp slightly sulfury lager yeast character. I wish there was a little more hop aroma but it's definitely more prevalent than say their Woodie Gold.

T: Chewy toasted malts flavor upfront with a very noticeably herbal and grassy hop bitterness. Not as dry as I would have hoped for but definitely crisp and refreshing. Very similar to what an amped up Pilsner Urquell or Budeweis would taste like. The toasted malts and grassy hops also linger in the finish.

M: Medium bodied, very refreshing, but could stand to be a little crisper and dryer in the finish.

D: I enjoyed this beer quite a bit. Not a lot you can do to dry out an imperial pilsner but the flavors were definitely on. Reminded me of some of the pilsners I've had in central Europe. I wasn't 100% sold but definitely enjoyed this beer more than a few other Imp Pils that I've tried. Worth a shot, especially as the weather heats up.

hoptrip619, Jun 23, 2010
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Whistler Imperial Pils from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 37 ratings.