James Squire Original Pilsener - Malt Shovel Brewery

Not Rated.
James Squire Original PilsenerJames Squire Original Pilsener

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BA SCORE
80
good

50 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 50
Reviews: 31
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 16.71%
Wants: 3
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Malt Shovel Brewery visit their website
Australia

Style | ABV
Czech Pilsener |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-18-2002

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 50 | Reviews: 31
Reviews by doktorhops:
Photo of doktorhops
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Time for a Pilsner face-off! Two decent Australian (and one Kiwi!) Pilsner's battle head to head for my admiration, who will win? Let's see! Second brew to test it's due: James Squire Original Pilsener.

Poured from a 345ml bottle into a 500ml Stein glass.

A: Amber body with cascading bubbles leading to a 2cm almond white head, which slowly dissipated to 1cm. I'm liking the colour however it's not as clear or pale as the classic Czech pilsners.

S: Toasted biscuit malts provide a base for floral hops and some cut grass. From the aroma you could almost mistake it for an American pale ale style... almost.

T: What?! This is a pale ale surely; toasted malts with a big grapefruit/citrus hop finish (not to mention the mouthfeel of an ale). The Malt Shovel boys could have called it an ale and I doubt anyone would have been the wiser. The hops leave a bitterness that feels characteristically out of proportion for Saaz hops (which aren't nearly as bitter as most other hops).

M: Creamy and light on fizz, a medium-heavy body.

D: I like it! Don't know if it really is what it says it is on the bottle (a classic Czech styled Pilsner) but I still like it. If you're looking for a Pilsner in the classic sense I would look elsewhere, but if (like me) you love a good ale well I think James Squires Pilsener will be a pleasant surprise for you (I can certainly go for a few more of these!).

Food match: Thai, or Chinese, it's got that "It-would-go-great-with-Asian-food" feel to it.

More User Reviews:
Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Hero of Waterloo in Sydney after a long day of sightseeing.

Poured into a branded schooner glass. Pale golden, good crispy head, some lacing. Not bad looking.

Nose is floral hops, a bit of citrus hops as well, with a strong whiff of grain, bread and cracker.

A bready, malty pilsner with some soft hopping to start, but finishes quite bitter. A bit sweet and grainy for my taste, but certainly quite enjoyable on a hot afternoon. Would make for a great evening drinker.

Photo of rastaman
4.15/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very good example of a czech pils, but i think it suffers from bad batches, coz it ain't always good, this stuff kicks arse on tap, so give it a go.

Photo of Anonmatel
4.47/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

If you ever get the chance to try this Pilsener on tap, give it a go, I was pleasently suprised how much better it tasted from the tap than from the bottle, refreshing, could be drank all night.

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.52/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Golden pour with a good-sized head but lacking in persistence.
Green nobles hops on the nose, grassy and spicy. Quite clean with some biscuity and bready malt.
Flavours are very hoppy, again quite green. Bready malts come through, but are slightly grainy. The bitterness is bold but makes for a somewhat boring finish.
Good carbonation (moderately high) with a nice light body.
Excellent example of the style.

Photo of foles
3.78/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nearly the best Australian made pilsner (not many to choose from) I've had the pleasure to consume. Fresh presence on the palate, with a crisp lightly bitter finish. Maybe not as broad a taste profile as a true pils, but has more than enough to please the average drinker. This was pretty much all my friends drank during our (big) night at the Portland hotel.

Photo of joecast
3.95/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

re-review 11/05
wow. two years on. dont think i have had this since then as i wasnt so impressed.
darker in color than most in the style. might be a good thing.
aroma is still faint, but what is there is good.
crisp flavor with a balanced amount of bitterness. much better than i remember.


crystal clear golden color. fluffy head with the finest bubbles i have yet seen. makes for an inviting appearance.
decent aroma but not as good as i was expecting.
has a malty, lightly sweet flavor to it. the munich malts (it says so on the bottle), are pretty obvious if you have tried their IPA.
overall it didnt leave much of an impression. in the JS range it is overshadowed by the amber ale and IPA.

Photo of jcalabre
3.67/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: creamy white head with a clear golden body. Yup, looks like a pilsener.
Flavor: This pilsener is actually medium bodied. Amazing. It has a flavor that's pretty well balanced between hoppiness & fruitiness. Why can't other brewers make pilseners with some cojones like this one? The only other pilisener w/ this much character is Victory's Prima Pils

Photo of drtth
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review based on notes taken during a recent visit to Sydney.

Poured into a wine glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As poured the beer is a bright clear golden yellow with a 1" white head. The head recedes slowly leaving some patches of lacing. Sipping leaves some scattered lacing for much of the beer.

Smell: The aromas are light but pleasant and include both pale biscuity malt and some grassy herbal hops (Saaz?).

Taste: The flavors are dominated by the pale malt and its light sweetness but the grassy herbal hops do show in the background.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium to light bodied with adequate carbonation. The finish is medium length and begins sweet with the hops eventually showing through at the end as the finish turns lightly dry.

Drinkability: This is ok for drinkability but I'm learning I definitely prefer the crisp and hoppier profile of the German style Pils to that of the Czech style. I'd be willing to have this one again, but won't go out of my way to find it.

Photo of DaveFL1976
3.33/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

For a Pilsner, this sure tastes like an ale. Floral nose, malty character with a little clean hop zing at the end. It's not a bad looking beer at all on tap, and leaves a bit of lacing. Mouthfeel is a bit heavy for a pilsner, in my opinion, and hinders quaffability (is that a word?) a bit.

Photo of WHROO
3.45/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a decent head that quickly receded although maintained nice lacing...
Golden colour with minimal carbonation, even looked a bit flat
Aroma: quite weak, little noble floral hops, some grapefruit.
Taste: Not as malty as other pils. Very citrusy with grapefruit hops...also floral. Very fresh, I can taste something in the lines of pear or plum but just can't get my tastebuds around it. Definate kick of lingering bitterness as expected.
Mouthfeel: Not as flat as looked...actually the bitterness combined with the carbontion left a spicy & spritey mouthfeel...quite alive a while after the swallow.
Drinkability: I do enjoy less bittered beers than this & have found this to be one of the more bitter pils I have tasted (not that I have tasted heaps). Good for you if you like bitters. Glad I tried it, & sat on a 6 pack no probs at all...very clean with some character.

Photo of juju7
3.88/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The colour, nose and mouth-feel all point to what is essentially a very good, honest interpretation of a Czech Pilsener. The distinct presence of the saaz and lovely bitterness are in wonderful balance. Really not much wrong with it as far as Aussie pilseners go.

Photo of TubaManJack
3.77/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Summary- Quenching Hoppiness

Appearance- Pale Lager Golden Hue, Full Carbonation, Whishy Head---Smell- Saaz Hop, wonderful piney and citrusy--- Taste- Simply the Hop and the typical lager mouthfeel and slickness. Its not original or unique, rather just well done. It paired nicely with my Fish and Chips and cut the heat of my English mustard.

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.23/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

After trying the James Squire Porter, which style anomalies aside, I quite enjoyed, I was really interested in trying some other offerings from this Brewery if the chance ever presented itself. So when I saw 3 other styles tonight, I figured they were worth a try, and I picked up the Amber, IPA and Pilsener from these Aussie Zymurgists tonight.

Comes in a 345ml, 11.65 fl.oz bottle (err, yeah alright) and states that it contains “1.4 Standard Drinks” – for whom – Midgets??? 5.0%ABV.

Appearance: Clear golden body, large white frothy masses above the body give the beer a solid Pilsner-Lager look. Typically Pilsner in shade and looks. The head breaks after a while to form a broken scum like head.

Nose: Lacking a bit, grain malt and Saaz hops are evident.

Taste: Malts lead the way; hops are there but tend to take a back seat until 2/3rds of the way through. The end accentuates with a slightly sweet toffee butterscotch aspect. I checked the bottle date, packed 07 April 03, so maybe this is intentional.

Mouthfeel: Average, the malt aspects appear to dominate though, and the beer is a little sickly at times, with a cloying toffee aspect at the end that lingers.

Drinkability: Above average, but slightly cloying after a while. This is also an aspect of other Pils that I have tried, even in the Czech Republic though. A little too much butterscotch for me.

Overall: Average, certainly not a bad beer. But for me, it is too malty which overshadows the Hops. It lacks a bit in the clean-crisp department that usually comes from the Saaz hop-bite.

It’s worth a try, but also worth noting that for the same price, and on the self-same shelf at Trader Joes-Long Beach, I can pick up the real thing; a 6-pack of StaroBrno. I guess the stiff Import competition in the US will just be too much in the end; but in DownUnderland, I can see this being a winner when set against other bland Antipodean “Pilsners”, Mate!

Photo of vancurly
3.88/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium gold colour, nice tight frothy off-white head. Attractive lace as the drink goes down.
Good, healthy "green" hoppy nose. Touch of sulfur and a little tropical fruit.
Spicy hop flavour, touch of pale malt.
Lingering, metallic bitterness at the back.
It has more body than your average pilsener, but is matched by the bitter length. Well balanced, and very drinkable.

Photo of beerguy101
4.2/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium gold color. Medium head. Aroma is malty and fruity. A medium bodied pilsner. WOW a pilsner with some substantial flavor to it. Malts are nutty and sweet. Hops are spicy and grapefruity. Nice balanced between the fruitiness, spiciness and bitterness. It is a little out of style for a pilsner, but I think I might have found a pilsner I really like. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and crisp. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

Photo of laituegonflable
3.31/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark orange-gold with effervescent bubbling, continues with a thick, steady bead up to a snowy head of medium-sized bubbles that sinks with the sound of steaks barbecuing, but still retaining pretty well. Doesn't leave a whole lotta lacing, which is a shame because otherwise it looks damned nice and refreshing.

Has a slightly subdued nose, although all the characters are there. Light caramel, slight grassy hop, almost a eucalyptus aroma, that's about it. Thinking it may still be a bit cold, but waiting and warming doesn't produce much more character. I think it's just a bit weak. Otherwise good elements.

Taste is far more robust and dispels that "Mummy, it's too cold" myth. Strong, flavourful hops throughout the palate - herbal mostly with a kind of sage (the herb, not meaning 'wizened') acidity to it. In fact, I think it's definitely just the Saaz hops - it tastes a lot like Saaz pellets smell. There is a slightly gummy base to the palate which gives evidence of malt but flavour-wise there is only a slight hint on the front, not very complex. Mouthfeel though IS full and complex with a good carbonated sensation, and because of the bitterness of the hop, goes down very crisply and easily.

A flavoursome drop, absolutely. In this case it sadly doesn't translate to complexity. I enjoy it though, maybe a bit too strong to be a cleanser or sessioner. Too big for its boots, I think.

Photo of BeerNutta
2.46/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had this on tap at the portland hotel.

A = Pale orange colour with a thin foam head that quickly dissapated into nothing.

S = Little to now smell. Slight fruity smell.

T = I thought it tasted kind of bland. There was a very low key maltiness that carried through to a slightly hop finish. Blah really.

M = Average.

D = Rather drink the Golden ale.

Photo of annatar
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

something odd going on with this beer - some people seem to get a really golden clear pilsener while others (like me) get a darker redder lager. however the word 'original' did not appear on my label or in the name, sold as James Squire Pilsener - perhaps theres a difference :?

anyway - great cream head which falls quickly and appetizing amber color, smells terrific.
bitter start into very strong malt taste then back to the bitter bite of the hops. Roughish mouthfeel, but very easy to drink.

i believe there are strong similarities between that other largescale-micro lager titled with the name of a famous early 1800's pioneer.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber hue, lots of carbonation. Decent head, which creates some lacing. Not a bad looking beer.

Not a great deal on the nose. A bit of fragrance. Hoppiness and grassiness, it's an organic smell. It's got quite a good pils profile, but it's a bit subdued.

Taste is rather better. Nice fragrant bitterness, based on hoppy notes. A touch of fruitiness, but predominated by the bitterness of the hops. Finishes quite yeasty, and leaves a little bit of distaste in your mouth.

Mouthfeel is quite tingly and almost puckering with the bitter hops and dry finish.

Certainly a drinkable beer. I think it's far superior on tap than in its bottled form.

Photo of rizzo
4.22/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

I had one from the bottle last night and regularly drink it on tap. Great Aussie example of Czech Pils. Huge white head and golden in colour with the aroma of hops - note that the aroma quickly drops off with age. The flavour is lead by malt with some notes of butterscotch (Melanoidin & some diaceytal) and is balance with moderate to strong bitterness and hop flavour. Mouth feel is reasonably rich.

I'm lucky enough to live 100m from the brewery and the local pubs turns over the keg pretty quickly so I always get it fresh. I don't think it travels well folks!

Photo of tbeckett
2.58/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle from Woolworth's. From notes.

A - Poured golden, bright, and effervescent. Film of white head on top leaving spotty lace and no retention.

S - Corny, lagery, light noble

T - Mild noble hop, sweet grain.

M - Strong carbonation, light to medium body and a crisp finish.

O/D - Plain. Not a great lager. Slightly better than a regular lager. Pretty ordinary.

Photo of diablo14
2.06/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

while i agree with the assessment on the bottle variety being a bit hit and miss at times, on tap its excellent. even in the bottle at its best its still a fair sort of a beer.

the thing i like about this pilsener is its an AUSSIE pilsener. like pale ales, pilseners tend to have their variations depending on region. other aussie 'pilensers' have just been crappy lagers hiding behind the name (tooheys pils springs to mind). truly a misnomer. i think malt shovel brewery have given a nod to the czechs and then brewed their own interpretation. that in itself i feel is admirable.

its slightly deeper in its golden hue than most other pilseners, but maintains the ever present light foamy head. its got a lovely floral aroma that really appeals to me, and while the level of malt has been critized here, i find it to be spot on. it doesnt take away from the hoppy tastes and aromas, and gives it a body that is lacking in so many other pilseners. the saaz hops get full reign on the back palate, with a crisp dry finish that still maintains that floral nature of the beer.

we can go thru all the names of the worlds great pilseners one by one, and this isnt up there in that exalted company for sure. but this is australia, and this is its first real pilsener. and in australian conditions there is no better pilsener going around if you want to sit around at the bar or by the pool on a stinking hot summers day and down a few pints. its at this time the things that are good about this beer come to the fore and are to be appreciated and commended. besides, id rather this than vb or tooheys new!

EDIT 7/2/07: i'd just like to add that i would halve the rating of this beer now. Since i did this review JS have been outsourcing their brewing and the quality of this beer has fallen away accordingly. Now it basically just tastes like any other Aussie lager, with the occasional bit of Saaz hops poking its head out. OK i've rescored it. Originally it was 4.15, but nowadays, this is where it's at.

Photo of heygeebee
3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a three ivory finger head from only a moderate pour - coarse bubbles fade after a while. Some lace. Golden straw body. Nice.

Aromas of grassy hops, malt and a hint of lemon.

Taste is malt driven, not too sweet, some bread/dough. Hop bitterness catches up as the bottle goes down.

Mouthfeel sharp and on the money.

Overall - good drinking beer. Whole more than the sum of the parts

Photo of DIM
3.6/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: This was a slightly cloudy pale goldne color. It was served to me with a white, whispy head.

s: Light biscuity malts and some herbal hop notes.

t: Clean overall, with a slight mineral finish. Maybe a bit sweet.

m: Crisp and refreshing.

d: Pretty standard pils, very nice after a tiring day of hiking.

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James Squire Original Pilsener from Malt Shovel Brewery
80 out of 100 based on 50 ratings.