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Whole Hog Imperial Pilsner - Stevens Point Brewery

Not Rated.
Whole Hog Imperial PilsnerWhole Hog Imperial Pilsner

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42 Reviews
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Reviews: 42
Hads: 55
Avg: 3.58
pDev: 15.92%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Stevens Point Brewery visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Pilsner |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: madtowndmb1 on 05-04-2009

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 42 | Hads: 55
Photo of gobeer
4.88/5  rDev +36.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I should start by saying German Style Pilsner is my favorite kind of beer. This beer reminded me of what I had in Germany. It didn't let me down where other American attempts have. No defects. Clean crisp maltiness with a strong hop assertiveness. What a real pilsner is all about. Thick creamy head. Hallertau hop aroma. Taste was cracker crispness with a sharp bite. Pleasantly surprised. Other brewers should take note in this beer. How did they do this?

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Photo of al3
4.45/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - golden orange, good lacing

S - faint citrus, bread and butter.

T&M- sweet malt, slight grapefruit, finishes with a mild hop flavor. Medium feel, with a buttery characteristic.

D - All night....or day..

Overall a very well balanced beer, not very complex, but an easy drinker that is worth seeking out. One I'd like to try on tap.

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Photo of wheatyweiss
4.42/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a St. Pauli Girl small wannabe weiss glass, a prefect pils glass by the way.

Pours a medium straw with a one inch head that fades immediately and leaves little for lace. Lets just blame it on the ABV.

Aroma is sweet malt, like honey tea, with a small amount of floral clover honey aroma, most likely from the hops. Slight lemon grass aroma and maybe a little orange in the nose.

Flavor is full bready and biscuity malt, sweet and clean at the same time. The middle is bittering hops with a mild floral backing. The hops don't scream nobles, but they say it quietly. Tannic tea like flavor on the finish, most likely from the water (I've said this before), as well as a smallish copperish flavor. Finishes very clean and almost biting, this is quite a hoppy pils. Wow the alcohol is VERY well hidden here, be careful with this one.

Mouthfeel is medium to thick and the carbonation is perfect to cut the sweetness of the malt. Nice.

Wow...not to experienced with "Imperial" Pils, but this is quite nice.

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Photo of rabsten
4.32/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle to East End pint glass. Good head that goes away but there's still lacing opportunities. Clear golden with solid carbonation. Workable.

Good floral pils aroma, somewhat amp'd up. Quite nice.

Clean, crisp flavor, with nice hoppy bite. Very similar to Rogue Morimoto Imperial, which I love, but at a steep, steep discount. Alcohol finish. Nice.

Somewhat dry finish. Drinkability is high but alcohol creeps, so it takes a hit.

Stevens Point - so far, so good. Looking forward to what else you're gonna bring to the Mountain State.

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Photo of madtowndmb1
4.27/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I tried this beer as a sample with a friend the other day.

A: Poured a hazy straw color with a 1/2" foamy white head.

S: Smelled of grassy hops and had a very clean smell about it, but not in a bad way!

T: Very enjoyable! It had a nice malt backbone and just enough hops to add a touch of bite to it. The hops had a grassy taste but not like chewing on your lawn clippings, more of that enjoyable smell of the hay at a pumpkin patch or something.

M: Very clean finishing beer and had a good little lingering after-taste.

D: It would've been a 5 but it is 8.5% beer and I take a little away from that since it is so high. I'd recommend trying this beer even if your not a fan of the style!

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Photo of botham
4.2/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass. Pours a light amber color with golden highlights and one and a half fingers of tight white head. Good retention and light lacings on the glass.

Aroma is of floral hops up front (mildly rich), with a pale malt base and notes of cereal grain and a bit of bready yeast. Nicely composed in the nose with a fresh quality.

Taste follows the nose with an alcoholic tinge and a bit more of a malt presence, albeit small. Finishes on a dry floral hop note. Taste profile is true to an imperial pilsner; all that a great Pilsner should be only dialed up in intensity.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a mild bite from alcohol and a dry finish. An alcoholic tinge comes through as the brew warms a bit, but does not take away from the rest of the profile.

As already said, this brew is exactly what an Imperial Pilsner should be. Floral and lightly malty, with a satisfying quality and crisp finish. All this is present, only the brew is very flavorful and carries an 8.5% APV tag. Very well crafted and pleasant to drink. It is a wonder that more of this style has not been seen. Cheers!

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Photo of Monkeyknife
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a clear gold with three fingers of rich off-white head.

Aroma of big floral hops, lemon, cereal grains, and bready malts.

The taste is classic pilsner. Rich floral hops, sweet lemon, and malty cracker and bread notes. Finishes clean, and the 8.5% alcohol sheds a touch of heat but is pretty well hidden.

Medium bodied, crisp and clean, with a sharp carbonation.

I really enjoyed this Imperial Pilsner from Stevens Point. So drinkable, and what I look for in a quality pilsner.

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Photo of steveh
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Imperial Pilsner doesn't have much of a benchmark, and isn't a recognized style (per se), so I can only go by the Bros' guidelines here. Only had one other, Sam Adams, and found that almost too harsh to enjoy.

Point has long been known as a bland regional in the Midwest, though it has a loyal following. Since trying their Maibock last year and finding a darn good interpretation of the style, I thought I'd throw 8 bucks at a 4 pack of the Imperial Pils.

A -- Very nice, clear golden color with a substantial, long-lasting, off-white head.

S -- Mildly fruity nose with bready malts and some hop spiciness and vague DMS back. Would be good for a straight Pils. Alcohol aromas with warming.

T -- First hit is mild, sweet and bready malt. Hot, peppery, alcohol spiciness follows and finishes. The vaguest of citrus fruit back. It's difficult to tell if the bitterness in the middle is from hops of the alcohol. The Point website says cascades (among others) are used in this -- difficult to tell. To the style and the clean, lager-like flavor, I have to vote high on this.

Others have mentioned metallic, and I can see the spicy alcohol being misinterpreted that way, or maybe an older bottle might get harsh, but there was no off character in my bottles.

M -- Soft to syrupy mouth-feel that finishes very dry. Light medium to medium body.

D -- At 8.5%, the drinkability of this beer isn't bad, though I think the hotness of the alcohol could become hard to get past after a couple. Otherwise, a mighty fine precision lager.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.99/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a dusky, golden-peach hue with a bit more yeast haziness than is appropriate for the style. Plus, the minuscule egg-carton white head recedes quickly to a thin wisp and ring of foam...not much lacing or retention. The aroma is an improvement, with a bit of grassy hay and pilsner malt providing a backbone for a bit of piny hoppiness that smells of pineapple and tangerine citrus fruits.

The flavor mimics the aroma nicely, although a hint of soapiness creeps in among the dusty pilsner malt and bitter, grassy German hop notes. Hops linger in the finish alongside a bit of spicy, medicinal booze. Mouthfeel is crisp and bubbly, and has a nice weight for the ABV without becoming overly taxing or syrupy on the palate. In sum: a solidly built Imperial Pilsner, and one I'd quickly reach for again.

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Photo of lester619
3.92/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep golden honey boardering on orange color. Smells of corn, malt, grass, pear, and citrus with a noticable alcohol presance. The taste is a pretty straight forward clean bitter lager flavor at first. As it warms and I get more of it in me, I pick up a lot more complex bitter fruity hop flavors and a boozy aftertaste. This one will sneak up on you. Very easy drinking for a beer going on 9%. This is a very interesting style. It's a ratcheted up pilsner much like an IPA is a ratcheted up pale ale. I like it.

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Photo of Chaz
3.92/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber-golden ("dark straw") in color, topped with a puffy one-fingered off white head which recedes very gradually, leaving behind a good bit of lace. Coarsely-filtered, but otherwise quite clear.

Pungent, rich blend of malts and plenty of Noble hop presence. Musty/yeasty, and rather Bock-like; this one very much reminds me of certain strong European lagers (Hevelius Caper from Poland, to name just one).

Insistent malts and a light booziness on the first sip, this initial impression fades to a blend of grainy malt character and lingering bitterness after a minute or so.

Not-quite soft on the palate, there's a depth and complexity to this one which is due in no small part to the malts used in the grain bill; hop use is obviously consistent as per the 'Imperial' aspect if the style, and yet there's less and less of them (aside from the bitterness alone) throughout the drink.

I'm not big on the idea of an unfiltered imperial pilsner, but I've enjoyed a handful of zwickels and Landbiers with plenty of character due to the fact that thy were unfiltered, and as such this beer hews close to these stylistic characteristics while also being based on an American stylistic invention: mouthfeel is better than average, to say the least, and the drinkability is very nearly exceptional.

---End Note---
I first tried Whole Hog Imperial Pilsner at the brewery, and shortly after its initial release. It was a real eye-opener at the time! The bottled version (and this sample in particular) has held up quite nicely considering the time it has spent in the bottle. This is especially poignant considering the fact (or my opinion, rather) that the Six Hop IPA did not hold up as well. Of course, we all know that the hop profile of Imperial or Double IPAs diminishes with the consequence being that the overall flavor profile diminishes, too, but these were interesting beers from a heritage brewery, and make me wonder whether you can't teach an old dog new tricks!

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Photo of homebrew311
3.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a pale straw yellow color with a 1 finger head, leaves plenty of sticky lacing, clear

S: nose consists of lemon, grassy hops, toasted bread, caramel, and flowers

T: the flavor begins with a pretty big malt presence in the form of bready grains and follows up with grassy and lemony hops, very well balanced and well hidden alcohol

MF: suprisingly smooth and creamy, medium body, nice

D: this one sure beats the Whole Hog 6-ipa...overall a well constructed brew and a good representation of a pils

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Photo of garymuchow
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired as a special from Big Top liquors.
Presents as in impressively big American-style lager. Strong malt character of American lager style and actually fairly subdued hops.
Appears heavy in the glass and is mostly clear with some rising bubbles. Dense white head settles with a few big bubbles in a small thin layer of white small bubbles. Also leaves considerable lacing as the drink proceeds downward.
Taste is heavy on malt flavor although there is a prominent bitterness which is fairly short-lived as a green hop flavor and contributes a small dry finish. Hops are more noted in taste and then in aroma and blend nicely with the malt characteristics.
A heavy body for a lager with carbonation that blends nicely.
This beer drinks nicely. As noted previously it's a big old American-style lager that is hopped up with some significance.

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Photo of dmamiano
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright golden color with a small white head that fades quickly to some "wispy" lace.
Highly carbonated as I watch the bubbles shoot to the top of the glass.
Nose of grainy malts, faint grassiness with some floral essence.
Taste is nice and smooth on the palate. Almost Belgianesque in nature. Pears, apple come to mind. Fruity with a nice hoppy snap to it.
Bitterness lingers...

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Photo of EwaldEichstaett
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Weak head, golden color which is maybe just a tinge cloudy.

Thick warm bready hops with a fresh bitter hop aroma.

Nice malt background and a bitter hop presence up front. Not overly harsh, but nicely balanced beer. The alcohol is also not notable. The taste is the redeeming quality of this average beer.

Smooth, nice body to this beer. It is quite pleasent to swollow and for 8.5 ABV! nice! It is quite drinkable for the style. I like it :)

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Photo of Rmason104
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: hazy, dark golden, thin head w/ moderate retention & lacing

S: slight floral hoppiness

T: starts w/ a mellow, almost a wheat taste @ the beginning, subtle hint of the underlying alcohol. Finishes with a moderate hop bite. Drinks a bit like a pale ale

D: pretty good. The hop finish moderates the alcohol well

Not bad, my first experience with this style. The hoppy finish was a nice surprise that kept this one clean & crisp.

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Photo of sholland119
3.78/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a clear copper gold with a very thin white head that leaves a small ring of lacing.

S-Sweet caramel and biscuit malt with a light hop background.

T-Sweet in the front with a nice floral hop bite in the finish.

M-Medium bodied with crisp carbonation.

D-Very tasty and delicious. I would gladly have another.


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Photo of cpolking
3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark honey gold in color and slightly cloudy. Aroma of fresh grain and grass with a hint of sweetness. It is sweet and bitter at the same time with a heavy undertone of malted grain and a bracing pilsner hop finish. Not as sweet and alcohol laden in flavor as many imperials.

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Photo of dstc
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep gold color with a big white head. Head falls slow to a small one. Fairly decent lace.

Not bad aroma with sweet grainy malts and mild hops if you get your nose in it.

Decent taste. Rather full malts that are pleasant. Ends with the hops and a lingering bitter mild aftertaste.

Thin to medium bodied and rather smooth.

Nice beer. By far not the best imperial pilsner I've had (thinking of Golden Revolution) but nice for an old brewery like Point. I can see having several of these although deep down you can tell it's another WI lager.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.62/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours a slightly coudy copper color with a small white head that vanishes quickly and very little lacing.

Smell- Lots of alchohol, floral and citrus hops, fig. Very strong overall, almost fels like it could clear your sinuses.

Taste- Isn't as overpowering as the smell. Citrusy hops jump out immediately. The bitterness stands out but it is complemented by a caramel sweet malt. Imperial pilsners like this are interesting because the bitterness of the hops and sweetness of the malts strangely work well together.

Mouthfeel- Thick. Almost a syrupy aspect. carbonation is well balanced.

Overall a good tasting Imperial. Smell and mouth fell might be a little overpowering at times but taste is well balanced.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.62/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a 5 (or so) oz taster glass at the Saukville Beer and Wine Tasting.

A - The bottle pours out a lightly hazy golden yellow with a dense off-white head. Bits of lace left on the glass with moderate retention.

S - The aroma starts with a light pale malt backbone with a fair blend of noble and other hops that impart pine and citrus with a low level alcohol kiss.

T - Big pale and pilsner malt backbone with a crispness and overlapping hop flavor that's noble it seems. A thin dry and bitter finish.

M - Highly carbonated and smooth with a dry and bitter finish to this medium-bodied pilsner.

D - This pilsner falls darn close to a sessionable brew. The medium body and "imperial" boost in flavor knock the drinkability down slightly, but not by a whole lot.

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Photo of samie85
3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a hazy orange color with two and a half fingers of white, thick, dense head.

S-Smells of fruity white wine notes with some light malt and herbal hop notes.

T-Tastes like a sweet, fruity, slightly corny with some piney and herbal hop notes reminiscent of an old IPA.

M-On the light side of medium bodied with relatively low carbonation and a slightly drying wine-like finish.

D-Pretty easy drinking... I was expecting more of a German hop punch in the face with some corn and graininess in the background. An interesting beer and a style that I'd like to try again.

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Photo of cokes
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Basically clear honey gold with a tight off-white head, though it gathers little rise, it throws some nice lacework around and down the glass.
Herbal and dried floral aromas, spiked hard with a pushy bubblegum sweetness and notions of candied orange. Some honey and golden raisin-like maltiness appears, especially as it warms.
Crackery up front, and dry, with a prevasive mien of barely damp hay that lingers for its entirety. Honey and peaches pop up and add sweetness. Bubblegum, again, flares up, and serves as a nuisance. The finish is full of pressed flowers and herb, iron, copper, and mint oil. Alcohol is hardly noted, but comes through a bit on the inhale.
The body is a fattened medium, rounded off a bit with a lively carbonation. It does get a bit sticky here and there, but for a brew this size, that's understandable.
This is drinkable far beyond it's listed strength, and has many things going for it. But- and maybe I'm over sensitive- the bubblegum esters on the nose and in the taste knock this one down a good deal. Subtract them, and you've got a nice, fat pils here....or at least a hoppy maibock.

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Photo of climax
3.56/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep gold with good clarity, this imperial pils offered a modest yet creamy tan head with excellent retention.

The nose, initially left some intensity to be desired. A slight tinny funk was somewhat hard to ignore as I dug deeper for dark sugars and citrus and candied orange.

The flavor was warming, as the high alcohol was well-masked by buttery tones, and appropriately more flavor than the nose. The hop bitterness was much more apparent, offering an especially herbal grassy finish.

The medium to thick body was creamy and smooth. The carbonation was crisp at most, which help bring out the viscosity. Very easy to drink given the strength of the alcohol and the thick body, a little more from the tasting senses would have helped round it out properly.

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Photo of paco1029384756
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a golden orange color with one finger of foamy white head.

Scent of fading hops, light caramel, earth, sugar, some fruit and sharp alcohol. Not bad, but not great.

Taste of strong grain, caramel, light fruit, and some alcohol. A bit boozy, the other flavors fail to hide that, it isn't an unpleasant taste though.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good bite of carbonation, very enjoyable.

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Whole Hog Imperial Pilsner from Stevens Point Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.