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King Pilsner - King Brewery

Not Rated.
King PilsnerKing Pilsner

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

56 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 56
Hads: 97
Avg: 3.84
pDev: 11.46%
Wants: 12
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
King Brewery visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
Czech Pilsener |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-06-2003

An authentic Czech-style Pils Lager brewed with only 100% imported Bohemian malts, Saaz hops and a true strain of Czech yeast.

King Pilsner is bright golden coloured, full-bodied beer with a refreshing taste. It delivers a soft texture, complimented by the proper balance of malt and Saaz hops. Its flavour begins with a pleasing malty taste, imparts a dry bitter tang, and finishes very cleanly. Consumers are quoted saying “there is not a beer in Canada that tastes like King Pilsner”, and “this beer tastes like the true Pilsners in Europe”.
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Reviews: 56 | Hads: 97
Photo of Ardon
2.43/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Was interested in trying this as it has some interesting reviews and its average score places it near the top of the pilsener style but I'm here to knock it down a bit cause I just don't see it. Simple appearance, generally what I would expect from a macro. Smell is pretty muted, sweet bready malts, but not too much coming through. Flavour is subtle with that same malt character and a light citrusy saaz like hop character. Refreshing, in a simple way. Light weight feel on the palate. Overall, nothing I would seek out again. If it were a macro, I'd give it top scores in that vein.

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Photo of DaveBar
2.74/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Purchased at The Beer Store for just under $3.00 for a 473ml can. Served at 4deg C in a draught glass

A- Opens well and pours a tiny head that is gone fast. Medium clear gold color

S- Not a lot here. Some malt. Touch sour

T- Not so great. Has an aftertaste that just bites at you. Malty

M- Unusual to say the least. Dry yet creamy yet not so great.

O- Don't care of this one. Glad I tried it and will not buy it again though.

Food Pairing

This ok beer would do well with........ nachos. The way you like 'em I like ground beef, green onion, cheese, sour cream, corn and salsa.


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Photo of Sammy
3.42/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Volo Cask Days 2008. Extra hopped pilsner. Light yellow with some hop scent. Not characteristic hops come through on an average mouthfeel. Saaz hop presence. Worth trying, but I like the regular pilsner please. Quaffable. Hops is the taste, including the saaz and that's about it.

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Photo of bryehn
3.42/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a typical golden colour, maybe a bit on the pale or watery side. A sizable frothy white head lasts for a few minutes leaving some minor lace and a collar.

Grassy, grainy aroma. Floral notes, some soap and a faint honey sweetness. Wet, sweet malts start to come through about halfway through the glass.

Nice crisp, clean taste with a sweetness coming through on the tongue. Dry aftertaste. Simple, but clean and inoffensive.

Very light-bodied with a medium carbonation. Goes down very easily, maybe a bit watery on the back end. Very clean though.

Not a bad effort at all and one of the better Ontario-brewed pilsners I've had. Very nice as an "ice cold on a hot day" beer, but lost something when I tried it with a couple meals.

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Photo of headlessparrot
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm not really a big fan of the pilsner style, and so I was looking more forward to trying King's Dark Lager than I was their pils. That said, when it came down to it, I'd heard enough good things that I bit the bullet anyway. Most of the pilsners that I do really enjoy are European, and King has been described as a very accurate interpretation of a European pils - so here goes nothing.

There's nothing spectacular about the pour or appearance, but that's because we're all so used to hazy, yellow-ish beers. This one pours nicely, though, a s lightly darker yellow (hazy straw-apple-juice?), and is topped by a nice, vibrant two fingers of head with decent retention and gobs of lacing. Carbonation isn't too visibly intense. This looks better than most light-coloured beers, but doesn't get my engine revved quite like a stout. Still, for the style, it's more-than-respectable.

Nose is nice. From the moment I started the pour I was getting big whiffs of Saaz hops and dried, biscuity malt, with maybe even a touch of indistinct fruit. A closer inspect reveals an assortment of grassy, rural-type notes - grass, hay, a faint spiciness, again just touches of that fruit. Oddly, though, every couple minutes, the smell just dies for me and I have to swirl and take huge sniffs to pick up anything. Flowers. Dry grain. Again, the pils isn't really my style, but quite respectable, and comparable with many European varieties that I've enjoyed in the past.

Taste is more of the same. Starts off malty and a little sweet; as it sits on your tongue, the bitterness and hop character grows, asserting itself with hints of grass, hay, and flowers. Seems to be quite a back-and-forth between the malt and hops, though the bitterness ultimately wins out. Some citrus notes, finishing bitter with a mingling bready maltiness and grassy, citrus-y hops. As it warms, however, the beer becomes somewhat less palatable (and in this respect, I have to go against BA wisdom, if only for this particular brew). Not bad, all in all, and a good try at the style that shows respect for the originals.

Mouthfeel is a touch overcarbonated, even though it doesn't appear to be based on looking at the glass. The body, however, feels quite good - substantial without being too heavy. I'm not so sure about drinkability, though: this is bitter enough (without a sweet counterpoint) that I'd be done (or craving some water) after only a couple.

That said, it's certainly worth a try. And my mixed-feelings are perhaps more reflective of how I feel about pilsners in general than about King Pilsner in particular. A good interpretation of the style, however I grade it, and worth a try.

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Photo of dgilks
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear golden colour with a small white head. Poor head retention.

Moderately grainy malt aroma with some light spicy noble hop notes.

Nice crisp grainy malt with some herbal hops. Clean and simple.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Fine.

A simple yet nice pilsner. Good flavour despite the simplicity. Nicely tasty.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer appears a clear medium golden hue, with one finger of dense soapy white head, which renders a thin wall of lace around the glass. It smells of semisweet white cracker grain, and mildly zesty Eurohops. The taste is white bready grain, and grassy, weedy, somewhat skunky hops. The carbonation is moderate, the body medium weight, and fairly snappy and crisp, and it finishes mostly dry, the Saaz hops bearing down.

I guess "Czech-style" is appropriate, as it does have a number of the required attributes to justly call itself such, but there was just a little too much skunk, which can't be blamed on overseas bottle shipments/light struckedness, in this case.

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Photo of allergictomacros
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear gold with an impressively solid head + lacing.

S - Soft, floral hops. Some grassiness and a honey.Spicy.

T - Light maltiness and a hint of lemon comes through early. Grainy with a solid bitter aftertaste.

M/D - Light, smooth and easy drinking.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

341ml Bottle

Appearance - Clear gold/yellow colour with an average size fizzy and frothy white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is a fair/good amount of lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Grains, malts, corn, light hops

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation. I can taste grains and lemons mixed with malts and some corn. It finishes with a grainy and lightly spicy aftertaste.

Overall – I was pretty impressed with this beer. For an Ontario beer, it has a great pils taste that rivals some of its European counterparts. I’d buy this beer again and it will be perfect for the warmer weather.

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Photo of Popsinc
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: light, clear golden pour with a small white head and lots of bubbly carbonation going on.

Smell: a lightly hoppy nose with plenty of light floral notes.

Taste: very clean body with a medium hop bitterness on the finish. nice lingering hoppiness and grainy notes. slightly sweet.

Mouthfeel: mostly smooth, creamy body with an off-dry finish.

Drinkability: a very smooth and easy drinking beer. reminds me of Mill St Organic Lager....although it's been awhile since i've had that one. still, for a real pilsner have an Urquell, Czechvar or Kozel.

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Photo of Derek
3.61/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Very clear with a fluffy white head, leaving some lacing.

S: Not assertive, but it smells like a pilsner (malt & saaz).

T: Initial taste is well balanced, after taste is quite bitter. Could use some more hop flavour.

M: Light to moderate.

D: Quite good... summer thirst quencher.

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Photo of biegaman
3.61/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It may have been the only bottle in the six pack to produce any head but luckily it's the one I decided to sit down to review (although most all of it abdicated and the strands that didn't were cast away to the perimeter). No complaints with regards to colour or complexion though; this is brilliantly golden and glossy, with an immaculate clarity.

The aroma gives air of pale malts and... nothing else. Czech Pilsners are renown for their zestful, spicy, floral, overtly aromatic Saaz hops but this example has seemingly dispensed of them - too bad, they're always my favourite part! A confident breadiness marches forth without mention of a single strand of lemon zest, flower petal or blade of grass.

Some of those soapy and spicy suds, however, can be found in the taste which fortunately allows more hoppiness to bleed through. The overall character, however, is still largely grainy and bready; it falls relatively flat on the palate without sufficient hoppy spice to enliven it. The malts are exceedingly plain but, to their credit, admirably clean tasting. The bitterness, although greatly perceived, is relatively modest and short-lived.

I prefer Czech pilsners that lean towards the hoppy side but it warrants mention that some of my most purchased brands are more malt-forward German examples. The German style, I find, can easier get away with a lighter hop profile; for my palate, its maltiness seems more complex and attenuated. Pilsners like this can come across as too ordinary and dull.

King Pilsner could better distinguish itself from other mediocre, mainstream lagers on the market by boasting about its specially imported Czech ingredients (namely, the hops) less on its packaging and more in its beer. On its own, this stands fine but in comparison with authentic Czech examples (and many American renditions) this falls a little short.

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Photo of andrenaline
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a slightly hazy pale straw colour with a finger of head that quickly dissipates and leaves little lacing.

S – Scent is dominated by grassy hops and bready malt with a bit of sweet corn on the finish.

T – Much like the scent with the grassy hops with a touch of bitterness and the bready malts linger on the palette.

M – Medium bodied, smooth and refreshing.

O – Tasty for the style but a bit one dimensional and not overly mind blowing. I've had some more bold flavours on a pilsner, but certainly a worthy effort.

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Photo of jbonapar
3.66/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Never really a huge fan of Pilsner's but I heard great things about this, so tried it!

Poured a soft, slightly haze light gold. Nice creamy head. Very minimal aroma. Perhaps just a touch from the Saaz hops.

Taste is nice, crisp, dry with mild bitterness. Creamy with an enjoyable subtle spiciness.

I actually like this, i could drink a few of these on a hot summer day with some BBQ ribs int he backyard for sure. Nice.

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Photo of cratez
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341ml bottle from a 6-pack purchased at the Cooper Street LCBO in Toronto, ON. Currently ranked as the 9th best Czech Pilsner on BA.

A: golden yellow in colour with one finger of bubbly white head. Strands of lacing wrap around the pint glass.
S & T: honey sweetness, oats, toasty, doughy and grainy malts, funk, mild grassiness, wheat cereal, spicy Saaz bitterness on the tongue, somewhat soapy aftertaste. A very true-to-style pils.
M: crisp, medium, lots of bite, nice hop tang, dry and lingering finish.
D: the standard by which other Ontario pilsners are evaluated, but I personally prefer more hops. Having said that, King's version is an accurate and respectable take on the style, and I'll happily buy this whenever I'm looking for a tasty, quaffable lager.

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Photo of Roke87
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

341 mL bottle from the OCB spring discovery pack, chilled and poured into a pilsner glass.

Appearance- Pours a nice golden straw colour that is perfectly clear with two fingers of fluffy white head that quickly dissipates to a nice ring leaving below average lacing throughout the glass till finish.

Smell- Nice bready malt presence that is common in many great pilsners mixed with a bit of grassy hops but not overpowering what so ever, and a slight hint of fruity citrus aromas in there as well.

Taste- Very similar to the aromas, the taste comes through with a big bready malt forefront, followed by very mild grassy hops and an almost none existent fruity taste but it’s still there, the bready malts really do dominate the palate on this one.

Mouthfeel- Light bodied with a below average carbonation for a pilsner, very easy drinking pilsner, goes down very smooth and crisp, nice refreshing pilsner for the summer months that’s for sure.

Overall- This one ranks right up there with some of the best of them, although I would have liked to see a bit more on the taste aspect, it’s very much dominated by the bready malts and not much of the other smells that you get really come through on the palate. Happy that I got to try this one because without the OCB 6-pack I probably would have overlooked this one and not even given it a try, but I could definitely see myself enjoying this one this summer while relaxing on the patio.

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Photo of pootz
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a slightly clouded pale gold...fair white frothy cap..good lacing, medium carbonation...promising nose..musty sweet malt tones over a floral hop presense. Medium malt body ( probably a very nice blend of german light malts) that is slightly over powered by the tart citrus/herbal bittering hops in the front side...leaves a clean finish with a lingering metal taste puching trough that tel-tale Pilsner malt "biscuit" taste...this is a hop heads pilsner that is a domestic attempt at Pilsner Urquell...but the front side delivery is a tad too unbalanced for me.

Still probably the only Ontario Pilsner that approaches authentic Plzen taste profile.

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Photo of MattyV
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks pretty spot on for a pils--crystal clear golden colour, thin white head with average retention/lacing. Sweet grains, grass, mineral water, and a faint hit of Saaz hops make appearances in the aroma department. Picking up some sweet bready malt up front with a tiny bit of grassy/spicy hop flavour. Mild bitterness with a crisp finish. Light and lively mouthfeel. This by no means blew me away but am glad I finally gave it a shot, would make for a fantastic quaff in the dead of summer.

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Photo of TerryW
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is something new from a local brewery north of Toronto available in sixes at nearby LCBO stores.

Pours a nice golden pilsner colour with a white head of reasonable dimension. Sweet and hoppy on the nose.

Some malt up front, but distinguished by a strong, sharp taste of hops. Hangs on with a nice bitter aftertaste.

All-in-all a decent job at a pilsner and one I'd have again.

Now I've had this on tap and from a bottle (both good quaffs) and have seen these folks at a couple of Oktoberfests and such. Just a quick note to acknowledge the good table they lay out when they're on the road. They dressed it up with hop vines, barley, beer books, beer wear and glasses. Interesting and well-presented and an indication of their enthusiasm I would imagine. All that and a decent beer too. Looking forward to visiting their brewery.

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Photo of mick303
3.81/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours an attractive light golden colour, good initial head with light lacing and retention.

S - typical notes of dry grassy hop notes, clean pils malt, dry hay notes, light lemon.

T - grassy, floral, more clean malt, slightly biscuity and also a touch sour, light bodied with floral note coming out, then some light orange and apple. Drying out on the finish, crisp with lingering light bitterness and grassy hop notes.

M - light, full carbonation, moderate malt coating body, satisfying with a good crispness.

A very to style interpretation, nothing especially stands out, it is clean with grassy and hay notes, easy and refreshing, but otherwise I don't think the hop notes are outstanding. A good pilsner but not an outstanding beer overall. Tasty and refreshing.

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Photo of Viggo
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Volo, pours a clear light golden colour with a small head and little lace. Smells like sweet malts, little hop presence. But the taste is pretty good malt presence and pretty decent floral and bitter hoppiness for a pilsner, hops aren't magnificent but good for an Ontario pilsner. Pretty good mouthfeel, creamy and smooth, good carbonation and pretty good pilsner

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Photo of ThatWineGuy
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours yellow and light golden colour, soapy white head rises and falls leaving an etched surface. Solid ring, some slippery lace, medium carbonation, bubbles a bit larger than I prefer. Grassy, skunky smell rings true to the Czech style, hoppy . Taste is sharp and crisp, nice bitterness, dry with huge malt aftertaste that lingers. Light to medium body, I've heard some say this might be the best Ontario brewed pilsner and I think you could make an argument that it's among them. Classic pilsner, nicely done, I'd drink this anytime.

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Photo of kevinlater
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

473ml can into nonic pint. a 4-digit code near the top of the can reads "3281" and i have no idea what this means

a: transparent pale yellow with two fingers of off-white head. typical pils

s: not a lot going on here. sweet grassy malts, touches of apple, and that's about it. it's good though

t: dough-y, bready malts. grassy and slightly floral. shy apple and lemon notes. a more-than-mild-but-less-than-moderate bitterness dries it all out. clean and very tasty

m: light mouthfeel with an appropriate medium-ish carbonation

o: a flavour-packed pilsener that goes down really easily. the nose is a bit lacking but that won't stop me from having this a lot more in the future

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Photo of ZorPrime
3.86/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Received from liamt07 in a recent trade (September 2010).

The beer is pale yellow color, almost golden. Nice white foamy head. The head is similar to a cloud. The aroma's intensity is medium. Cereal and malts. The taste is malty with a nice bitter finnish. A little bit thin in the mouth, feels almost like water. Very refreshing and well balanced. Quite easy to drink too. A nice beer on its own. I like it. Cheers Liam!

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Photo of IdeaSpeeder
3.87/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Serving Type - 473ml can, poured into a pilsner glass

Appearance - Pours a crystal clear golden straw colour with 2 fingers of white head. Head dissipates quickly, leaves behind some lose lacing. Some carbonation is visible.

Smell - Light apple, lots of pilsen malts. Sweet grass and floral bits

Taste - Green apple here again. Sort of odd. Also quite a bit of grass and grains.

Mouthfeel -Light body, moderate carbonation, crisp finish.

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King Pilsner from King Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.