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Steam Whistle Pilsner - Steam Whistle Brewing

Not Rated.
Steam Whistle PilsnerSteam Whistle Pilsner

Educational use only; do not reuse.

134 Reviews
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 134
Hads: 379
Avg: 3.42
pDev: 26.9%
Wants: 9
Gots: 47 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Steam Whistle Brewing visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
American Pale Lager |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-28-2002

We believe that world-class results require focus and dedication, so we developed a distinctive recipe for our single brand based on Europe's renowned brewing standards yet is brewed fresh locally at our independent, Canadian Brewery.

We use traditional brewing techniques and only four natural ingredients including spring water, malted barley, hops and yeast - all GMO-free. There is a fifth ingredient in every refreshing bottle, and that is the passion of our dedicated Brewmaster and staff.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 134 | Hads: 379
Photo of EgadBananas
3.32/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to korguy123 for the local!

Green bottle, nicely oldschool.

Pours a pale straw color, white head, didn't stay long. Aroma is crisp, malt rich, with a bit of nuttiness. That carried over pretty equally into the taste: Malt rich, nutty. Feel was slick and creamy, but crisp and light in body. A pretty standard pilsner; not bad at all, but doesn't wow any.

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Photo of nickfl
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with one finger of white foam on top of a clear, golden body. The head settles rapidly and leaves little lace.

S - Bready malt notes with lots of musty, herbal hop aroma.

T - Dry, grainy malt up front with some biscuit notes. More of the same in the middle as herbal hops begin to appear. A hint of honey shows up in the finish along with more herbal hop flavor and light bitterness.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a somewhat dry finish.

D - Bready and herbal, this is a well balanced and drinkable pilsner. The hop character is fairly robust with a lot of herbal character, but somewhat anemic bitterness. The malt is a bit lighter than I would like it to be as it has only weak touches of honey and bread though it does provide the beer with some thickness and body. Overall, it is a fairly well made pils that hits most of the appropriate notes for the style.

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Photo of SebD
3.65/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a nice yellow/golden colour to it. It has a nice white head that dies down moderatly and has nice lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of sweet bready/grainy malts with grassy and floral hops.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a nice sweet matliness with nice floral and grassy hops coming through to add a slight bitterness. It has a dry finish.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a nice balance of malts and hops.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavours and aromas. It's an overall good pilsener.

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Photo of evlu1441
3.67/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is one of my go-to beers for summer. It comes in a cool retro looking bottle. Unfortunately, the bottle is green.

Pours a medium straw colour. Lots of carbonation and a thin head that stays even after several minutes. Looks decent, and pretty standard for a pilsner.

The aroma is slightly grainy and faintly skunky (green bottle). It's nothing special, but not offensive.

The taste is quite nice. Light hop bitterness followed by rich malt flavours. It doesn't finish on a bitter note, which is a bit uncharacteristic of pilsners, but it makes it extra drinkable. The mouthfeel is medium, and the carbonation makes for a really creamy experience.

Overall, this isn't exceptional or even great, but it really drinks well and tastes good. Really refreshing on a hot summer day without being devoid of flavour.

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Photo of
2.38/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Aroma - Very pale yellow with a nice little head that quickly dissipates.
Aroma - Bready malt aromas with a touch of hops. Not much going on here, really.
Flavour - Bready, sweet, only the slightest note of hops, not enough bitterness to balance it out. Mediocre at best.
I have enjoyed this on tap in the past, so either it is not as good in the can or my palate has improved.

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Photo of Mit
3.51/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a-pours a clear deep golden colour with a nice decent lasting stark white head.

s-bready notes followed by a little hoppiness.

t-hops, slight malt flavour but def balanced. Nice and even, with nothing being too extreme.

m-good for the abv.

d-very drinkable. Great summertime beer.

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Photo of eat
3.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Totally clear golden body with a thin cover of bright-white head. A fairly average looking beer.

Light, peppery Czech hops, citrus, yeast, mineral water. Decent.

Light and pretty uninteresting, though fairly well-balanced and appropriately refreshing. Tastes mostly of Czech hops and slightly too-sweet malt. A tiny bit of diacetyl shows through. The finish is a little drying. Not much to report here; a fairly plain beer.

Medium-light bodied and moderately carbonated. This feel in no way stands out.

Sure, it's drinkable. I guess it's a step up from Molson and Labatt products. As the only beer being brewed by this brewery, however, I'd expect something a bit more solid than this stuff. I bought a few of these to make pizza dough with; I think I'll stick to using it that way.

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Photo of canucklehead
3.65/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pretty good pils that is highly drinakble with enough character that a glass is desired. The nose is there but I could do with more hops but it looks good and drinks clean and crisp. The finish is fairly abrupt for the style making it more of a patio beer than a year round lager.

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Photo of kwjd
3.23/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap as the other choices were horrendous, as is often the case. Poured a pale yellow with nice white head. Good enough retention and a leaves a few spots of lacing. Smell is grassy hops and bread malt, typical pilsner I guess. Taste is muted, but a slight bitterness. This beer is good enough to order when the rest of the beer list sucks, but not good enough to seek out.

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Photo of jpro
3.45/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Courtesy of the massive Canadian beer haul... Poured from the 500mL can into a pilsner glass. Its your typical straw gold, with a white, quasi-fizzy head that recedes pretty quickly; there are a couple bubbles of lace here and there. Aroma is of grains, spicy / earthy hops and some metallic tones. Taste is a bit more bready / doughy, with a well balanced hop bitterness on the finish - pretty smooth. Mouthfeel is on the light side of medium, with a somewhat lively carbonation. Pretty drinkable / refreshing - had one coming home off the golf course and it hit the spot.

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Photo of merlin48
3.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Green bottle pours a crystal clear golden body with a small white head. The head quickly falls to a ring and leaves only a few spots of lace. Aroma has a hint of spicy noble hops and some wet grain. Light medium body has plenty of carbonation. Taste has a dominant sweet bready maltiness that is balanced by a nice hop presence that is spicy, slightly floral, and has a hint of skunk. Drys out at the finish which saves drinkability.

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Photo of scott451
3.55/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tapped into a Steam Whistle glass. Two finger white head on clear golden colour. Moderate lacing. Malty smells. Some grass notes. Moderate flavour. Malty taste with a mild hop twist at the end. Well balanced. Medium body. Fairly high carbonation. Drinkability is fairly high.

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Photo of biegaman
3.26/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-tap at Toast, in Toronto.

Even average pilsners tend to look great. Brilliant, crystalline clarity and a blistering golden colour allows their acrobatic bubbles to be easily observed and their head, fitted tight as the skin of a bongo drum, is invariably pristine white. It's a very attractive and approachable style and this one is no exception. I'm ready to take a drink!

There are two types of Pilsners: those that care about how they smell and those that don't (which is to say, more implicitly, those that are designed to appeal to mainstream drinkers and those that are actually fashioned true to style and have a wonderfully fragrant, hoppy aroma). Steam Whistle, disappointingly, is evidently the former.

Any notions that this local, craft-brewed pilsner will outshine even the industrially produced German examples can be dispensed with fairly quickly. Actually, it's about on par with them. The flavour is slightly emasculated for what it should be, too modest a malt bill and virtually zero hoppiness, and its texture is dissolved by a sharp, piercing carbonation.

Half way through my second pint, something occurred to me: this is really much more of a Kölsch than Pilsner. Its soft, highly attenuated malt profile is awfully redolent of a kölsch, in large part because there's no hop flavour, and so little bitterness, to differentiate otherwise. This is too subtle, too insubstantial for me to truly consider it a pilsner.

Steam Whistle sets out to brew a middle-of-the-road lager and, as their advertising boasts, they do that one thing and they do it really well. To call Steam Whistle ordinary is to understate the fact; while it offers mainstream drinkers a cleaner alternative to most mass-produced offerings it fails to transcend the pedestrian or unmemorable.

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Photo of soju6
3.65/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear golden color with a thin head that fades quickly.

S: Has a clean smell with a trace of sweetness.

T: Has a light sweetness that is crisp & clean and a light bitterness in the finish.

F: Fairly light body that is smooth and goes down easy.

D: This is an enjoyable and drinkable brew. I always look for it when I'm north of the border. Not filling and always room for one more.

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Photo of ritzkiss
3.23/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from a sixer at the LCBO, packaging date of May 5.

Pours a crystal clear light straw golden with a thin finger of head which quickly dies and leaves no head, just bubbles streaming to the top with no retention.

Nose is malt and floral hopping, a little sweetness coming through and if the bottle didn't state all malt I would have guessed some corn.

Taste is similar. Pretty floral and sweet for the style, light bitterness in the finish, crisp but unsatisfying mouthfeel, almost syrupy which for the style is kinda weird. Could use some more hops to tame the sweetness and give more of a dry finish. Not as refreshing as I would want but a fine summer quaff.

Certainly a good step above the macros but this isn't a pils I would recommend, especially due to other quality offerings in the area.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.48/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ Canyon. Served in pint glass.

A - Poured a light yellow colour with a lot of visible carbonation and half a finger of light bubbly white head.

S - Light bready malt nose. Not much else going on.

T - Crisp bready malts with a very subtle hop bite.

M - Light body, lots of carbonation.

D - An excellent pilsener. A little more in the palate would be nice but overall this is a very good beer that goes down very smoothly on a hot summer afternoon.

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Photo of EsoxLucius
3.28/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: looks like a standard, like warsteiner. golden yellow, with a fast fading head, low carbonation.

S: a bit skunky on first crack, after that, it's doughy with some hop coming through.

T: not bad, like a hyrbrid of Warsteiner and Lowenbrau. it's hopsy for sure.

M: about average, it's pretty flat and thin for being 'premium'.

D: it's smooth with minimal bitterness, much enjoyed!

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Photo of mooseisloose
3.2/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500ml can from the LCBO. Popping the top yields a dry malt smell, slightly skunky. Pours to a bright golden yellow with a thin head that fades fast. Taste is decidedly malty with a hint of noble hops and a slight bitter tinge at the end with a tart aftertaste. The malt taste is fresh and the brew is dry throughout. Carbonation is good but could be a little higher. A good tasting brew in a great 1/2 liter package. It's a keeper, eh.

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Photo of ludachris
3.68/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a perfectly clear golden straw hue with one and a half fingers of foamy bone white head that displays decent retention and leaves minimal lace.

Big punch of floral and grassy hops, a bit of skunk, and a strong presence of dry biscuit malt, almost cracker like, that lies just behind the hops. The nose seems like it could be a bit more pronounced, and is missing the fruity aspect of a German pilsner I'm use to smelling.

Floral and grassy hops hit the tongue first but are less pronounced than the nose leads you to expect. Fresh biscuit and bread move in as soon as the hops start to fade and linger for a good amount of time. Very, very dry in the finish, but it adds to its refreshing quality.

Light to medium bodied, crisp, with a nice refreshing bite of carbonation. An excellent quaffer.

Overall, a decent German pilsner. It lacks complexity but makes up for that with the clean and fresh taste of the biscuity malts and floral hops. It's a lot better than the last time I remember having this, and this is one I'd probably buy again. Seems more suited for a hot summer's day than a beer to sit down and savour.

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Photo of ChrisCage
3.95/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- I gave this a fairly hard pour into a mug and was slightly disappointed by the apparent lack of foamy head, of which, settles quickly into a very patchy layer. The coloring is a very slightly hazy golden and the bubbles are noticeable. There is some moderate lacing on the side of my mug. A fairly average looking brew.

S- An overall generally mild smelling beer. What aromas there are include a dominant dried bread/yeast aroma, followed by a sweet malt smell. There are faint smells of grain and floral aromas mixed in there as well. Hop presence is minor. The aroma, I find, gets better as the brew warms up a bit.

T- This is a nicely balanced beer, with those sweet malts on the front of the palate, followed by some neutral grains and finally on the finish, the floral, leafy hops come through. There is a biscuit like flavor that looms on the palate in between drinks.

M- I feel that this has a solid medium body. It is deliciously smooth, as the carbonation is almost foamy on the palate, rather than with the typical zing. Again, very smooth.

D- I think this is a very enjoyable beer. It has a nice flavor, is easy drinking due to its' smoothness and would make a perfect session beer. The alcohol is well hidden and I could see myself having a few pints of this beer at any time of the year. Well done!

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Photo of Hornet2003
3.95/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Drinking out of a bottle I'm not quite sure. However, this type of beer is the only one I can justify drinking out of the bottle. Great looking bottle though! Green, tall 341mL.

Smell: Very German smelling-dry, grassy hops and a nice bready aroma.

Taste: Floral hops, almost grapey in flavour. It starts out with the hops and ends out with the nice biscuity, dry malt.

Mouthfeel: Dry and crisp. Carbonation is spot on for the style-not too prickly but nicely balanced. Nice hop bitterness.

Drinkability: Off the charts. The only limiting factor is perhaps the bitterness. Otherwise, this is a great session beer-Low ABV, clean flavour.

Overall: I was always a little sceptical of this beer, being a relatively mass-produced micro pilsener in Canada. But I'm beyond impressed. This is a great beer that keeps you interested but doesn't kill your taste buds.

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Photo of kjyost
3.74/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A beer that surprised me, as it came to me in a glass and it initially seemed to confirm my fears, a pale yellow straw with a light head that left no substantive lacing. The nose had the standard lager smell, but did leave me with some notes of bitter hops.

The taste though surprised me, as it was pretty darn nice compared to what I was expecting. It had more complexity than I had expected, with a light biting bitterness and notes of bread. Medium carbonation rounded this out and makes this a beer I will drink again if I see it on a menu.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale gold, with a thin white head.

Nose is of hops, bread and grains. Fairly standard for a pilsner of this type.

The taste is surprisingly balanced with sweetness and hops with a touch of honey and bread. Mouthfeel is typical for a standard, medium carbonation.

A very drinkable pilsner, one that I've always enjoyed on summer afternoons. A bit sweeter on draft, but still great for a session.

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Photo of decimator
3.74/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341ml bottle poured into a Pilsner glass.

A - Poured a clear yellow with a 1/2 head. Left a thin cap and little lacing. Looks pretty average.

S - Good balance of grain sweetness and hop bitterness.

T - Like the aroma the taste is a good balance of sweet malts and bitter hops but a bit light overall. Not an aggressive or strong flavour but certainly better then most macro Lagers/Pilsners.

M - Good carbonation, light texture and crisp finish.

D - I could drink only this for hours. (And I have.) This is one brew that can regularly be found in my fridge.

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Photo of ThatWineGuy
2.38/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I seem to recall when this beer was first made available that there was a lot of hoopla. The brewery publicized that they only made one beer but they made it well and a fair number of folks have told me the same thing. Having said that, I've never particularly cared for it although I'll try to be objective given my decision to finally review it.

Pours a clear yellow with a short-lived white head. A few bubble streams on one side of the glass, we soon are left with a ring and not much else. Lace is scarce to non-existent although in fairness a quick swirl regenerated some head throughout.

Smell is malty, soda biscuit, wet grass and marsh, a typical pilsener lager aroma in some respects but just not very pleasant. Taste is sharp and dramatic, loaded with malt it seems to me - but lacking in flavour. Hop character missing in action, not enough to make it interesting or round it out. Mouthfeel dry and thin, lacks hoppy presence, malty aftertaste. Body is lacking even considering the style. Refreshment value compromised by a heavy corn finish, taste is a bit heavy but not in a good way.

Altogether, this is simply not to my tastes; with apologies, I doubt I would recommend this beer to anyone.

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Steam Whistle Pilsner from Steam Whistle Brewing
78 out of 100 based on 134 ratings.