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Piercing Pils - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Piercing PilsPiercing Pils

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

236 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 236
Hads: 1,353
Avg: 3.79
pDev: 26.91%
Wants: 64
Gots: 223 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
Czech Pilsener |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Slatetank on 08-19-2013

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 236 | Hads: 1,353
Photo of MattTastrophee
4.04/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Light gold and clear, with a meringue-y head atop it.

Smell: A light sweet aroma. Mostly pear, but not overpowering, with a bit of tea.

Taste: Crisp and clean. The pear is first, and it's not overly sweet. It yields at the right moment. The tea and hops are next, and they dance back and forth for prominence, then they also yield. The last note is that of a nice pilsner. My many sips were stepped like this, and I liked it.

Mouthfeel: Light and good carbonation.

Overall: The balance is impressive, there is just enough of any element. A fine fruit beer, and a refreshing pilsner both.

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Photo of bleggs
4.19/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

~$9 for a fourpack in CT, served in a tulip glass
A: Golden/light amber, with a minimal head and lasting webbing.
S: Pilsner skunkiness, hop bitterness, a little sweetness.
T: Skunk upfront, with a non-citric hop bitterness. Back end is a subtle pear sweetness and back-of-the-tongue tea bitterness. The light fruitiness really compliments the pilsner flavor - I'm normally not a fan of the style.
M: Crisp, some carbonation, an acidic nose.
O: Certainly the most interesting pilsener I've ever had. Not a fruit beer, if that's what you're looking for. Worth it, considering the price. A good example of the style.

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Photo of Scrapss
3.72/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a clean rinsed turbinator.

A: Clear light gold. A few fingers of head dissipate into a 4 mm disk. no lacing.

S: Sewery and skunky euro hops, saaz. Musty pears. Sharply euro pils.

T: Slightly sweet from the pear juice. Euro pils notes throughout.

M: Bittering is mild, slightly chalky. dryness is pleasant. I like it.

O: This is a very nice euro/czech pils with a slight sweet twist. It is not bad. Glad I tried it.

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Photo of rangerred
4.14/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a slightly hazy dark gold with a one finger white head. Not really any lacing but pretty good head retention.

You can definitely tell this is a pilsner immediately from the aroma but there is a nice floral component that accompanies the standard grassy hop nose. Just a touch of skunk but it is not bad.

The added pears are quite evident in the taste. It is kind of surprising how well the pear compliments the noble hop note that is part of a pilsner. Great floral and citrus flavor along with plenty of great. Moderate crisp bitterness along with a very velvety mouthfeel. The finish is very clean and just a touch sticky.

Overall, I was really surprised by this beer. Dogfish head is not know for doing lagers and most of their beers are pretty hit and miss but this one is excellent. Definitely worth picking up.

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Photo of Mosstrooper
4.21/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12oz bottle into Samuel Adams Noble Pils branded pilsner glass.

Appearance: Clear golden in color with a very underwhelming head.

Smell: Has the a typical Czech pils smell with notes of the pears alluded to on the bottle. Hints of citrus and overall very Saaz-y

Taste: Not a whole lot to say- tastes like a very good Czech pilsner with some pear notes added in. Very good- tastes a lot like what a fresh Czech pils tastes like on-tap in Central Europe plus a little extra.

Mouthfeel: Lighter body, balanced carbonation, and a crisp finish.

Overall: An excellent Czech-style pils with a slight American twist that does not overpower the beer. The last time I had a beer of this style that tasted this fresh out of the bottle, I was in Slovakia.

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Photo of philbe311
4.19/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - A really beautiful active pour of swirling carbonation that yeilds a solid two fingers worth of crisp and clean bone white colored froth with a slightly rocky top that is comprised of big chunky bubbles... Really impressive retention for the style... What's ultimately left is a full yet lopsided veil of lacing and a moderately thick collar... The color is equal parts pale gold, straw yellow and honey amber... Completely translucent with a faint glow... Very clean and crisp in appearance... There is a slight to moderate bit of moderate paced carbonation... A slight bit o lacing clings to the glass... Spot on for the style...

S - Fairly mild overall, but loaded with nuance and complexity... The first thing noted are the Saaz hops... Next comes the malt base which arrives in the form of cereal grains... Next are the white tea components... Then arrives the pear sweetness in the form of overly ripe Bosc pears and crisp Asian pears... There is nothing artificial about the sweetness brought by the pear presence... Each whiff reveals a new subtle nuance...

T - The aroma was a wonderful indication of what to expect in terms of flavor... This one walks a fine line between slightly hoppy and slightly sweet and does so in a very exciting way... This is a quintessential Czech Pilsner first and foremost... The hop and tea additions add a subtle sweetness which greatly expands on the depth and complexity of this historic and wonderful style...

M - On the lighter side of medium bodied... Light but crisp carbonation... Even and consistent... Ultra clean and ultra crisp... Each sip is a pleasure... Perfect for the style...

D - This is a ridiculously fantastic brew... It's an outstanding Czech Pilsner... It's a wonderful example of DFH creativity... I would suggest DFH immediately makes this a year-round offering... I could drink several of these in a sitting... No joke, but this would be a staple in my beer fridge... No weak facets... I can't say enough good things about this beer... Highly nuanced... Highly quaffable... Highly recommended... A fantastic job by DFH...

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Photo of wedge
3.79/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pretty clear yellow color topped with a delightfully dense, lumpy white head. Plentiful lacing patterns the glass. Fresh grassy and straw-like Saaz hop aroma under a light pear tea sweetness...quite nice and snappy. Definitely more pear in the flavor, but the quality Saaz-iness remains along with a decent fresh cereal grain note. Perhaps a little too much of that sweet, dry pear juice element getting in the way of the Pils qualities. Light, pretty crisp, some acidity. I enjoyed this, but I can't help but feel this is a really nice Czech Pils with some unnecessary fruit added.

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Photo of CHickman
4.04/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a pilsner glass, it was a clear gold color with bubbles racing up it like champagne to a massive 4 finger foamy white head that didn’t move and then dissipated very slowly leaving excellent sticky foamy lacing; the lacing was ridiculously good and better than most IPA’s.

Smells of floral hops, tea leaf, herbs, grains, yeast, grass, light caramel, some kind of fruit (can’t say it smells like pear) and a sweet funk, like a honey infused Bud. Aroma was interesting and better than anything I’ve encountered thus far in this style.

Tastes like it smells, but sweeter with the pear definitely coming through and mixing well with the floral hops, tea leaf, herbs, grains, yeast, grass, caramel, wheat bread/Ritz Cracker, mild spices and a grainy sweetness that is an odd mix of hop spice and cracker dryness. The fruit starts off the flavor and then fades to the herbs and spices, leaving a malty sweetness - this is a moving target and hard to pin down, so just drink away.

Mouthfeel seems light but the beer drinks and feels heavy as it goes down; carbonation is on the light side, feel is on the watery side and it’s sweet overall and more malty than hoppy.

Interesting take on the style with more flavor and feel than most of its European Brethren; I’d have this again over the summer as it was pretty tasty and very easy to drink.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass at fridge temperature. If there's a bottle code or date, I can't find it.

Pours a pretty light amber color, little head with a gentle pour, and lots of active carbonation. Smell is lagery, definitely noticeable pear in the aroma, but not overwhelming. Slightly spicy smelling.

Taste is crisply bitter. I thought the pear would lend a lot of sweetness, but it apparently does not. Pear is again present, but subtle. I wouldn't notice it in the flavor if I didn't know it was there. Some nice breadiness.

Mouthfeel is crisp and kind of lush. I don't know quite how to describe that in a way that doesn't seem contradictory.

Overall, I think this is a very good pilsner, though it's not a style I'm deeply knowledgeable about. I'm starting to think I need to spend more time tasting pilsners.

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Photo of avalon07
4.24/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured from a bottle to a pilsner glass. Had a golden yellow color and a clear consistency. There was an inch and a half of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A nicely done aroma of hops, malt, and sweet, light fruit.

T: Tasted of a moderate amount of malt, pear, a slight bready quality, and hops. A bit different than your typical pilsner flavor, but definitely tasty. The pear seems to work well with the standard pilsner style.

M: A highly carbonated beer with a dry finish. Light-bodied.

O: Another oddball beer from Dogfish Head that succeeds. Not your typical beer, but certainly well done.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle opened on 12.27.13
Bottled on 2013C

A - Pours a clear golden-orange with a large light tan head that fades slowly.

S - Pear, nutty, skunky.

T - Lager, pear, earthy, but subtle.

D - Light body with good carbonation.

O - Smell is bad, but the pear works out ok here. DFH has been all over the place lately, but I am glad I tried this one.

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Photo of zrbeer1579
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice golden with a little copper thrown in. A two finger white dense head. Steady steam of bubbles. Lots of lacings.

Aroma: Grassy/herbals with slight of floral and citrus. Some pils malt, breadiness. Faint pears.

Taste: Grassy/herbals with slight of floral and citrus come first like aroma. Pears is stronger in the taste and complement well, along with the malt backbone of sweet biscuity malts and light grains. There is a slight sharpness to the pears. The pears come in the middle and a bit in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body and nicely crisp. A bit creamy and refreshing mouthfeel. Drinks very easily. Bitterness is not overpowering and pleasant along with faint pears. Lingering flavors is quite nice.

Overall: Surprisingly very good. Some nice balance. While the pears is subtle; its nuances work well with the base pils, which of itself is great. Great take on the pils. Definitely getting more, maybe even a case.

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle from Super Buy Rite in Pennington NJ.

A - Perfectly clear body, with tons of champagne-like bubbles maintaining a nice frothy white head. Sticky all the way up the glass.

S - Bright and floral hop notes, with some fruity aroma. Hints of sweetness and dryness. You can detect some of the pear.

T - Traditional Czech-style Pilsner. The flavors are way less fruity than the description on the front leads on. A nice balanced brew, with sweet fruity hints, tea dryness, floral bite.

M - Light bodied, soft carbonation, kind of creamy in the finish. Carbonation is refreshing on the palate.

O - A pleasant beer. They have the style down proper. Don't be fooled by the pear ingredients.

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Photo of dwren89
4.69/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: golden straw yellow with fantastic clarity as a thick, fluffy white head

Aroma: defintely a Czech pilsner with its soft water and hop aroma, gentle pilsner malt biscuity-ness, but also noticeable pear fruitiness on the now, with hints that smell very much like a freshly opened can of pears

Taste: soft malty palate with a crispness from the carbonation and a nice bitter finish. Also on the finish, the pear really comes thru with a nice fruity smack. Very balanced, and very drinkable

Mouthfeel: great crispness from the medium-high carbonation, medium body,

Overall: This is a great, great beer. Very refreshing, with a slightly fruitiness and the mouth scrubbing power of the carbonation, but also a very balanced Czech style pilsner showcasing Saaz hops and a soft pilsner malt character.

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Photo of mattkoon
3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this pilsner is a great twist on the traditional pils. the color is the typical clear golden. the smell is hoppy and earthy. the bitter taste is the story with this one, the addition of the pear really pairs well with the pilsner flavor. i will definitely be buying this one again- especially since its a seasonal. ill be sad when it goes away.

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Photo of larryi86
4.11/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass

A- A clear golden color with a four finger white head.

S- Crisp pilsner malts, light pears, some spicy/earthy/herbal hops.

T- Maltier and fruitier than the nose, nice citrus and pear notes, nice pale malts, and hops are again spicy/earthy/herbal, very tasty.

M- Smooth, crisp, medium body.

O- Very enjoyable, easy to drink. I will pick this up again.

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Photo of Billolick
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle with bottled on date (that I cant make any sense of...oh well...they tried)

Pours near clear darker straw in color. Bubbles rising to the top. Delicate off white head, minor film, collar and minor bits of lace.

Seriously hoppy nose with an added lime note.

Brightly flavorful, more lime and some more biting saaz infused hoppy crispness.

Tasty pilsner...good accompaniment for lots of different types of food.

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Photo of Tucquan
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had this again on 2015-03-27 in Lancaster, PA at Quips Pub; on-tap

A decent Pilsner. The pear infusion adds a bit of tartness and subdued pear flavor. I enjoyed the beer but I'd rather have a more-traditionally brewed German Pilsner. .

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Photo of Beejay
3.49/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

A: Pale straw yellow, only the a hint of haze, nice white head on top.

S: Some nice hops in the beginning as well as a strong straw like pilsner malt smell. The hops are earthy and herbal, and there is a touch of sweet fruit in the finish. I can smell a touch of the tea, but I think the pear is lost in there.

T: Nice yeast character, the hops are slightly earthy and slightly herbal with a slight spice note. The finish ends a little on the sweet side, but still crisp. I can pick up a little of the pear and the tea in the finish. At the very front there is almost a toasty, or smokey flavor that I am picking up.. almost like it was floor malted or something.

M: Medium light in body, carbonation is very active. Crisp finish with some sweetness, and a lingering bitterness.

O: Overall a very enjoyable beer, I am torn between wanting more of the pear character, or being happy with the fruit not overpowering the brew. I like the choice of hops, and this beer seems to show off the style well.

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Photo of Rifugium
2.29/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

First had: on tap at DFH, Rehoboth Beach, DE

I have no strong love for pilsners, but when done right, I have no problem drinking one, and the prospect of a pear pils intrigued me. Poured a crystal clear, light golden color, with a thin white head that fizzled out completely, leaving no lacing behind. Pretty blank aroma, thin crackery malts, grains, distant herbal hops. Very disappointingly simple taste of toasted grains, and bitter herbal hops. Absolutely no pear whatsoever, and if it was in there, the graininess totally overpowered it. If it were an old dusty bottle, I'd expect something like this, but this was right out of the tap from the source. Light body, light mouthfeel, lasting bitterness. Pretty unpleasant. Really glad I only got a sampler of this one.

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Photo of Immortale25
3/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Had on-tap at the Rehoboth Beach Brewpub. Served in a pint glass.

A- Pours a clean dark golden color with a 1/2 inch head that doesn't retain long before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a sheer sheet of surface foam.

S- Soap...literally just soapy water.

T- Good thing it doesn't really taste like soap. Crisp pilsner flavor with a small hop bite and soft malt. Very drinkable but there is soap in the aftertaste. No pear flavor to speak of.

M- Like in the taste, crisp and bright with medium carbonation and a light body. Probably the only correct part of the beer.

O- Big letdown. No pear and only above average for a pilsner. I even poured the beer into a previously used glass to make sure it's the beer and not the glass that tastes like soap.

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Photo of bonkers
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a snifter, golden yellow, thin head. the aroma is bready, fresh grass, highlights the Saab hops. Taste follows the nose. I really do do not pick up the pear juice or pear tea. The body is light and easy to drink. A good pilsner, at 9 bucks a 4 pack it is a bit pricey in my IMO.

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Photo of draheim
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz into a weizen glass. Pours a crystal clear golden color w/ a big fluffy head that sticks around forever. Lively carbonation bursts from the bottom of the glass.

Aroma is light and fruity, bready, mild.

Taste is biscuity and dry with hints of pear juice and apple. I'm also picking up a subtle tea-like quality on the palate. Floral hops give it a gently bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is crisp and light but satisfying.

Overall a very nice, balanced, drinkable Pils.

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Photo of Ieatlambfries
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear amber. Two finger creamy off white head which left clingy lace on my glass. Very active effervescence.

Smell was heavy on the Saaz hop skunkiness and grainy malts.

On the sweeter side for a Pilsner. Pear is slightly detectable and bring a crispness to the flavor. Sweetish grainy malt. Hop twang is pleasing, and brings an herbal earthiness to the brew.

Mouthfeeel is crisp. Excellent body.

Overall this is an outstanding Pilsner. I wasn't sure going in regarding the pear juice and tea. But it somehow works without throwing off the flavor. In fact, it actually makes this style more approachable.

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Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into becker pint glass; clear light yellow with a moderate white head that doesn't fade much at first, and leaves spotty, slimy lacing when it does.
Smells very dank at first, but then the scents separate into their parts. It reminds me of something that I can't put my finger on, maybe some sort of cleaning product, although it's not a bad smell. As it warms, some crackery and possibly even slight diacetyl scents emerge.
Taste is clean, crystal malt with a slight tangy sweetness from the pear, and earthy spice notes from the Saaz hops. Finishes dry and crisp, with lingering sour pear and bitterness.
Mouthfeel is well-carbonated and light-bodied.
Overall, this is a very unique and tasty beer. Uses could include a refreshing drink with lunch and giving nightmares to european beer purists.

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Piercing Pils from Dogfish Head Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 236 ratings.