Reverb Imperial Pilsner - Boulevard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Reverb Imperial PilsnerReverb Imperial Pilsner

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

325 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 325
Reviews: 64
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 12.57%
Wants: 9
Gots: 14 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boulevard Brewing Co. visit their website
Missouri, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Pilsner |  7.70% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Reaper16 on 08-18-2012

With its classic recipe and impeccable craftsmanship, this summer seasonal is a study in delicately balanced contrasts. Up front, Pilsner malt makes a clear yet restrained statement, answered by the steady, harmonious hum of Saaz hops, traces of which linger in the dry, crisp finish.

32 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 325 | Reviews: 64
Reviews by bump8628:
Photo of bump8628
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brilliantly clear gold with a perfect dollop of pure white foam. Harmony between a soft, clean, elegant graininess and slightly aggressive Saaz. Honey, lemon zest, black pepper, and barley husk. Great balance, which seems to be difficult to achieve in this style. Great flavors, but what really makes it stand out is that the brewers managed to maintain that lean pilsner dryness. Four packs of this would be nice to see in the future

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.86/5  rDev +3.2%

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #69 (October 2012):

One hop, one malt … Saaz & Pilsner respectively, a lot of noise on the palate from those two. Very rich with a lot going on as the complexities open up. Very drinkable, we had to remind ourselves at first that this is a 7.7%abv brew. Perfect for anyone wanting to taste a Saaz only beer, hoppy enough to satisfy a weathered hophead.

STYLE: Imperial Pilsner
ABV: 7.7%
AVAILABILITY: Seasonal

LOOK: Bright yellow, dense foam, glass stickage

SMELL: Floral, faint lemon zest, fresh grass, crackers, spicy, clean, mildly yeasty, peppery, faint alcohol

TASTE: Deep crispness, dried grass, bready, nutty, yeasty, peppery, balanced hop bitterness, goaty, vegtal, very malty, herbal, spicy hops, warming alcohol, very dry finish

Photo of tigg924
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass at Driftwood Tavern--Plymouth

Appearance: minimal head, high carbonation, gold in color, clear

Smell: grass, grain, and toasted malt

Taste: grass, light honey, some grain, and a decent hop in the middle

Mouthfeel: light body, sweet with a bitter middle, medium carbonation

Overall: I generally do not like this style but like Boulevard so I figured I would give this a try. The problem I have with most versions of the style is that the way breweries imperialize pilsners is by adding massive amounts of hops or alcohol. When that happens, the grassiness and some of the refreshing qualities I like about regular pilsners get taken away. Boulevard is the first brewery I have tasted that still has a lot of the pilsner taste I like in their imperial version. The alcohol is upped, but I do not feel like I am choking on it. This is a very good beer and one I will get again. If I was not grading to style, it is probably closer to a 4, but it blows away every other example I have had in the style.

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours hazy straw under a fine 1” bone white head that slowly dissipates to a thick film that produces good lace. Spicy nose with light grains. Bread and grainy malt lead the palate to a drying, crisp finish with a touch of tartness. Medium body and medium to medium high carbonation. Full flavored but well balanced with a pleasant bitter hop accent on the finish.

Photo of chinchill
3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a bomber bottle into a small snifter, this pours a hazy light gold/straw color topped by a moderately durable head and average (at best) lacing.

Light body; crisp; medium-high carbonation.

This imp. pilsner is stronger and more yeasty than your everyday pilsner, but retains the malty base, Saaz hops and dry, crisp finish. Higher ABV is partially hidden.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 2012-1
(Served in a teku)

A- The clear dandelion yellow body has a slow carbonation with a thick bubbly snow white head. The second pour is full on hazy.

S- Herbal Noble hops have a cream aroma to them and are full but very mellow.

T- The big pils malt has a slight sweetness to it that adds to the freshness taste followed by a mellow green Noble hops with a soft dry field corn note in the finish.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has no alcohol heat noticed.

O- This beer has a great full flavor of Pils malt with just a hint of sweetness to make it fresh and nice full rounded hops without becoming bitey and no sulfur harshness either.

Photo of alphagnome
3.84/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance:
Poured into a Boulevard tulip, this is one good looking beer! Rich, golden hue with a thick, porous white head. Miles of carbonation but hardly any head retention. Incredibly clear body.

Aroma:
Thick and nicely spiced. Grains and crackers. Pepper and other earthy spices. Smooth malt. Notes of honey.

Taste:
Follows the nose... Bitterness is up front. Plenty of spicing and noticeable alcohol at the end warms things up.

Mouthfeel:
Plenty of alcohol and carbonation. Heavier body than expected. Dry finish.

Overall:
I was surprised by this one... I wasn't sure what to expect going in, but I walked away happy I picked this one up. Aside from the warming bite of alcohol's presence, everything else highly enjoyable.

Photo of WoodBrew
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Reverb...as compared to other stack series is not amazing....however it is still a very smooth beer. The beer poured a bright clear yellow until some settlement interrupted the astetics. The head start nice and bubbly then dissappeared. The smell was grainy with hints of saaz. The taste started sweet then the nice malt/grain balance. The mouthfeel was medium body with smooth carbonation. Overall it was pretty darn good.

Photo of Chirpie
3.41/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Up front - I'm not really a Pilsner guy.

Or at least, I think that's what I'm starting to learn about my biases as of late. Every time I partake of Pilsner, I wish it was an IPA or a Farmhouse Ale.

This is a limited release with one of my favorite labels to come along in a while. (With a nice nod to Spinal Tap on the neck.)

Pouring into a Pilsner glass it poured about two fingers of head that disappeared fairly quick. (Though it stuck around longer than a few other Pilsners I've had.) It's crystal clear, pale yellow with almost no sedimentation.

Not much to be had off the nose, if only it doesn't have a slightly skanky aroma you'd have in the really cheap beers. Mouthfeel is good, it's medium to thin leaning.

The taste is a step up from other Pilsners in the middle section, at least for me. Don't sip it, gulp it, and you'll get a pretty nice smooth maltiness. That's probably the best take away here.

If you like Pilsners, I'd be surprised if you didn't like this.

Photo of russpowell
4.09/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch#2 best by 04-2013

Pours an effervescent gold with 3+ fingers of pearl colored head. Average lacing & head retention

S: Breadyness, soapyness, hay, perfumy notes

T: Follows the nose, nice sweet breadyness, grass & soapyness up front, some lemon & grapefruit. Grapefruit, lemon, dryness & some grainyness as this warms. Finishes dry, with lemons, grassyness & grainy sweetness

MF: Medium bodied, soft carbonation, nicely balanced

A ramped up/amped-up version of their Pils with some American influence. I like this, would love to see this out in 4 pack next year

Photo of tone77
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer comes by way of cpolking, thanks. Poured from a brown 25.4 oz. bottle. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is a bit malty, some grains. Taste is the same, malts and grains, some alcohol is present, just a faint touch of hops, a bit mild. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

Photo of EgadBananas
3.86/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear sunny color, with a bright white finger of head. Aroma was biscuits and pilsner malt, crackers, grassy hop notes. Tastes of crackers, and biscuits, sweet malts, grassy hops and a fruity yeast note. Body has a creaminess to it, medium body, adequate carbonation, not too airy, not to slick.

Imperial pilsner s can vary, but I like this light and super drinkable boulevard . Wish I could remember how similar this might be to the collaboration 1...

Photo of smakawhat
4.16/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip/pokal like style glass. 2012 GABF gold medal winner in the Other Strong beer category. Minor pop off the cork. Batch 2012-2.

This beer is a real looker I think. A gorgeous orb glowing unfiltered lemon and brass like yellow, hints of green edges too. A real nice creamy head forms, wonderful pinhead even bubbles and consistency. Pours about three fingers, and settles slowly, always has a nice collar and even a minimal puck while consuming. This is one impressive looking animal, I am really digging this I could look at it all day, it looks like a killer Belgian pale ale, complete with the microscopic little pinhead bubbles rising up.

Nose is interestingly straightforward and simple. A bit of crisp malt, and some nice grassy hop like action. It's clean, not boozy, not sugary sweet or bursting with alcohol heat. While I like for bigger bread like action this is just simple and solid. Gives no hint a big beer is coming.

Palate hits with a nice simple body. Does not give any hint this is a big beer. Clean crisp malty finish, with grass. A good sense of carbonation that doesn't overpower, but a good non boozy taste. Finishes clean as advertised a little bit of honey. As the beer warms up there is a real nice fruit component to this. Hints of green pear and mild apple come out with a nice mild warmth.

Overall very impressed with this one, lots of fun, and more Boulevard win too.

Photo of metter98
3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high bright white head that died down and consistently left a thin layer if bubbles covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of bready malts and underlying sweetness are present in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of bready malts with hints of grassy hops but what really stands out are notes of a bready malty like sweetness that was probably a result of boosting this beer to a higher alcoholic content. Little if any bitterness or alcohol are perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied and slightly crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: Tjis beer had the bready malt aromas and flavors as one would expect from the style but it seems like the high amounts of malts pushed this beyond the typical flavors that one would expect from the style, which normally is not sweet.

Photo of TheCondor
3.91/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up at Party Place Liqours in Kearney. I didn't realize this beer was even out until I saw it there, but I haven't made a big run for a few weeks. Grabbed it up and drank it with my dad. Side poured from the bottle into a couple of pilsner glasses with standard vigor.

Appearance - Pours a nice straw yellow, hazy color with a foamy, thick white head about two fingers that recedes very slowly and leaves wicked lacing. Love the packaging on the bottle as well, especially the Spinal Tap reference. Carbonation can be observed inside the glass.

Smell - Not as strong as I would expect for something as powerful as this is supposed to be. Grassy with a hint of lemons, limes, and citrus and malts.

Taste - Much more pronounced than the nose would lead you to believe. With a malty, grassy, lemon flavor up front accentuated by a nice burst of bittering and flavoring hops, this is a pretty tasty brew. As it warmed, it grew more bitter and had a sharpness to it.

Mouthfeel - Finishes smooth and clean, just like you would expect from a pils. No alcohol can be detected in the taste. Good carbonation level. Very dry.

Overall - This is certainly a brew worth trying. Solid taste, good for almost any occasion. Pretty expensive though, but a good beer nonetheless. I'm not a huge pilsner fan, but I love Boulevard brewery, so I knew I was going to try this.

Photo of dwilkins
4.27/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pale yellow and cloudy - a bit too light for a pilsner. I have the impression that the cloudiness causes it to be more yellow than golden. A white, wispy, but minimal head persists during the entire glass - perfect for a pilsner head.

S - Cream corn with light maltiness coming through. A fault in anything but a pilsner, IMHO.

T - Very clean, very light malt flavor predominates. A little less hoppy than many pilsners. No citrus, fruit, kiwi/schwimi. A pilsner should be cleanly malty and this delivers. No hint whatsoever that it is boozy. I may detect just a bit of mustiness (some Tank 7 funk?).

M - Thick, chewy body as far as pilsners go. This is consistent with what I think I should find in an "Imperial" pilsner.

O - Wonderful. As a pilsner, it is ok. As an imperial pilsner, it is quite delicious and what I imagine it should be. I could easily get carried away with this as it hides its 7.7 ABV well.

Photo of Zorro
3.57/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear golden colored beer with a small white colored head, yes looks like a Lager.

Smell is mild biscuit malt and noble hop aroma. Slightly spicy scent. Scents of grass and flowers with a touch of saffron.

Starts out clean with a strong wheat biscuit taste. Mildly sweet with a strong grass and floral flavor. Bitter in the back of the throat but it isn't very aggressive. Alcohol is undetectable. Very mild for the style.

Mouthfeel is about right.

Overall a tasty and mild beer. Super easy to drink and refreshing.

Photo of GbVDave
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into a Boulevard tulip.

Batch Number/ 2012 - 1
Best By Date: 04 - 2013

A: Pours a nicely hazed pale gold color with 1 1/2 creamy fingers of bright white foam on top. Perfect carbonation and lacing.

S: Bold and bright, lemon-y noble hops take center stage with supporting help from mildly toasted malt. Very crisp and clean. I couldn't keep my nose out of the glass!

T: See above. Very tidy and tasty.

M: Full and coating. Good staying power. Hints of white pepper in the finish.

O: Glad to see this one hit the shelves again under a different name. I'd love to try this on draft sometime.

Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.59/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I like the idea of an imperial pilsner, but I haven’t yet tasted one that has justified my excitement for the style. Here’s hoping this is the first.

Brewed in 2012 with a best-by date of “04-2013,” three months after the date of this tasting.

A: Hazy straw yellow pour with the standard puffy pilsner head; this time, though, the foam has no staying power, leaving hardly any lace or retention.

S: Spicy hops in the form of lemon and white pepper, with a hint of ginger toward the end; a mild scent for a style famous for heavy hopping. Malts are in no way primary here, but saltine cracker, French bread crust, and banana aromas emanate a crisp, grainy base below the hops. Where’s the “imperial?”

T: Surprisingly sweet, this palate opens with malty tastes of vanilla cake, buttered bread, hay, and even honey. There’s a slight corn taste to it, too, especially in the front of the palate amidst the malts; thankfully, though, it’s short-lived. The hops are dry, but have enough fruit flavor to make them soapy in their mixture of nectarine pulp, ginger spice, and floral grass flavors. A slight taste of solvent alcohol augments the kick to something a little more intense, pushing the aftertaste to a slightly dry, lingering taste of pepper.

M: Not thin at all – you can tell a lot of malt went into this. And the carbonation is just right for the style, fizzing all the way down, but not in an offensive way.

O: A pilsner with a lot more malt than normal; that’s it. It’s a pretty one-dimensional drink that manages to hit on all the fundamentals of the style, but just barely. For the price-per-ounce, it’s pretty good, but I doubt I’ll get it again.

Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.69/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a tulip glass.

The beer is a clear golden color with a fizzy white head that slowly recedes. Light spots of lacing stick to the glass initially. The aroma has a faint notion of malts before really getting into some lemongrass and black pepper, notably. The taste is like the aroma in that a real black pepper body takes over. Traces of banana, grains, and Saaz hops can be found. The mouthfeel is fairly light and dry. Overall, there's a bit too much pepper in this for me to really enjoy.

Photo of bondjedi
1.96/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

On tap at the Tacoma Craft Brew Festival.

Perhaps there was something wrong with the CO2 at the Boulevard booth (I got a foamy pour), but this tasted god-awful, somewhere between skunk and fecal matter. I'm a big fan of the Boulevard IPA, so maybe I'll give this another chance. But for now, the worst beer I've had in a looong time.

Photo of Monkeyknife
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a light straw color with a thin white head.

Aroma was malty grains along with white grapes and herbal notes.

The taste was classic pilsner. Herbal notes, malty grains, grass, light white grape and finished with a moderate bitterness.

Clean and crisp mouthfeel and carbonation.

I enjoyed this Imperial Pilsner quite a bit. Will definitely have again.

Photo of Reaper16
4.27/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle -- best by 04/13 -- served into a tulip glass

Before getting into this beer, I have to commend the label art. The label features an old tube amp, with "Reverb Imperial Pilsner" where "Fender" would normally be. There's an assortment of dials on the amp, but if you look closely those dials aren't labeled "volume" or "treble" or etc. They're labeled after the beer's stats! There's three dials on the "Kettle" section of the amp -- "water," "malt," and "hops." Then there's a "Ferment" section with the following dials: "Orig. Grav," "Final Grav," "EBC," "IBU," "ABV," and "Conditioning." Each dial is set to what the beer's approximate values might be on such a dial. Super cool.

Anyway, Reverb pours a somewhat hazy light golden yellow color. It doesn't look dissimilar to Hoegaarden. 1.5 fingers of rocky white head bubble up and the retention is pretty fantastic.

Reverb's aroma is much more nuanced and expressive than it was on the draft version I reviewed last night. Right away, this beer sends up notes of white flowers, pollen, lime peel, metal, plant stalk, and of course a whole lot of pilsner malt. Clean, nutty pilsner malt dominates this beer, but the hops -- what I can only presume is a ton of Saaz -- give off so many accentuating notes. The yeast doesn't get in the way (this is a lager, after all). It's lovely.

The taste of the bottled version doesn't live up to the aroma. This is definitely an imperial pilsner for fans of the pilsner style. Pound for pound, I'd say that Prima Pils or even Noble Pils are hoppier examples of the pilsner family. Reverb, while mostly balanced, ultimately lies on the side of maltiness. Tons of pilsner malt -- so much that this tastes luxurious or something, almost buttery. The Saaz brightens things up, especially on the finish, with its green and floral notes. It's definitely tasty, but I think additional hops would only heighten what is already strong about this beer.

The mouthfeel is also improved in the bottle. It's still a bit more flabby than I would prefer from a pils, but there's a good crispness and dryness to it just the same.

Overall, this is a very good imperial pilsner. It's tasty, refreshing, and nuanced. It shouldn't have replaced the world-class Two Jokers by any means, but Reverb is a beer that I'm glad exists.

Photo of TMoney2591
2.89/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Backward, it spells "Brever". Yeah. Mindblow. Anyway, this stuff pours a clear brass topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises mild biscuit, flowers, light grass, and wild rice. The taste brings in more of the same, along with a strong vein of straight plastic, as though I licked the cheap bag my groceries came in. This not only tastes bad on its own, but it also mixes strangely with the breadiness of the malt, leading to a rather off-putting flavor on my tongue. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, I've been searching for a really nice impy pils and thought Boulevard would be the brewery to deliver it. Alas, this was not the case. Instead, theirs stands as a fairly middling version at best (I've had some absolutely horrid ones in my day).

Photo of smcolw
3.61/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours cloudy straw color (with a slightly green tinge) . Good head that settles slowly and lumpily. Some spots on the glass.

Earthy and sour smell. Little to no hop nose. Some yeast.

The flavor is a dramatic improvement to the smell. Starts with pale malt base (without any graininess). Pleasant hop bitterness balances this. The hop is like mild white pepper--gives a lengthy aftertaste. The body is predictable, the carbonation on the high side.

Overall, this isn't very pilsner-like, and with the muted hop and alcohol, not very imperial. But I would say it is a tasty beer.

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Reverb Imperial Pilsner from Boulevard Brewing Co.
84 out of 100 based on 325 ratings.