Land Ho! Black Pilsner Style Lager (Devil's Backbone Collaboration) - Heavy Seas Beer

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Land Ho! Black Pilsner Style Lager (Devil's Backbone Collaboration)Land Ho! Black Pilsner Style Lager (Devil's Backbone Collaboration)

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BA SCORE
85
very good

98 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 98
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 10.64%
Wants: 3
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Heavy Seas Beer visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Thorpe429 on 05-09-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 98 | Reviews: 38
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

  None found.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.91/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Iam not sure what a black pilsner is but this is a fine schwarzbier.Poured into my Monchshof scharz glass a deep garnet color with a one finger light tan colored head atop.Black malt aromas that are quite dry a little bitter chocolate and iron round it out.Roasty with a bit of wood on the palate the dry black malts prevail with mild chocolate and molasses flavors underneath the dryness.This is a damn fine dryer black lager,the roast and earthy tones win out.

Photo of chinchill
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle served in a Unibroue snifter.

Creative hybrids once again stretch existing beer categories to the breaking point. For a schwarzbier, this is too highly carbonated, Very hoppy, and too light (dark brown rather than black). But it is just what one should expect in a "black pilsner". The black lager and pilsner play well together, but do not completely gel. Still, I liked the interplay of styles. There’s a good bit of dark malt in this beer as reflected in the nose and flavor. Better and stronger flavor than aroma. Hops are partially masked in the nose but nearly hold their own in tasting.

M: some nice dryness in the finish; medium body; (over?) lively carbonation.

O: A successful collaboration producing a nice combination of styles. Improves with warming; I recommend serving at the warmer schwarzbier range rather than the colder pilsner temperature.

Photo of Brenden
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Close to black, there's definitely some brown easing into the body, especially at the edges, but it is dark. This beer's solid tan head reaches just over one finger tall and shows good retention. Lacing is left in foamy patches and heavily toward the top of the glass, then thinner patches the rest of the way but in good volume.
It's toasty and has some roast to it, almost overwhelming the pilsner malts and the floral hops bitterness. They come out lightly, but underneath some coffee grounds and light smokiness. Hops bring a bit of spiciness more than anything.
The flavor brings out toast and smoky grains primarily, though also present are undercurrents of bittersweet cocoa and coffee balanced against spicy, somewhat grassy hops. There's something almost like dark fruits sweetness / tanginess and light nutty notes.
The light body offers crispness and some smoothness alongsside but gets a little weak at times.

Photo of Loveyourbeer
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a 22 oz bottle at Rick's in Alexandria. Poured into a pilsner glass. Awesome look! Very dark, slightly ruby colored, thick 3 finger head. Tastes very refreshing on a hot day. Smooth feel, tastes lightly of raisins, ends with a very slight hoppiness. Much lighter in taste than I expected based on the color, but very good. I would definitely drink this again.

Photo of tdm168
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - black with a reddish hue; soft cap of off white head that fades to a thin lacing

S - a bit grainy, lager yeast, very faint roastiness

T - faint chocolate, roasted malt, very faint grains, light hop bitterness

M - medium bodied, a bit thin at times, well carbonated

This is a decent Schwarzbier. It has good drinkability and a balanced flavor. If you enjoy this style, it's definitely worth checking out.

Photo of Kegatron
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep clear ruby, with 2 fingers of rich light tan head. This retains nicely, whipping up a robust ¾ finger of thick when swirled, leaving back frothy swathes of lace that stick to the sides of the glass. The aroma smells leafy and spicy, with some ripe and earthy feeling citrus character. Cocoa, a touch of tangier caramel, and light smoky roast fill out the back part of the nose.

The taste is a crisp and smooth blend of caramel, cocoa, roast and green earthy citrus. This finishes dry and bitter with a lingering touch of char and cocoa powder on the tail end. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a bubbly creaminess up front and then a bit more of a firm crispness along the back that helps give this a nice quenching feel.

This was nice take on a Dark Lager, with a smooth flavorful crispness to it that made this a treat to drink. I’m a fan of both of these breweries and I’d really like to see some more collaboration between them.

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

22oz. Very dark brown pour, thin layer of white on top. Not much lacing or retention really.

Aroma, Hay like malt, a lot of herbal and grassy notes. Faint toasted nut.

Taste, the herbal hop notes of the pilsener counteract the toasted malt and molasses of the schwarz. Its not bad, but they don't necessarily work that well together. There is a little phenolic tinge. Finishes with more of the peaty and nutty roast. A little bit of chocolates as well.

Lighter body, pilsener carbonation. It's very interesting and drinks easily enough. But it just seems a bit conflicted.
Does improve as it warms, feels like it is on the verge of being something pretty nice.

Photo of tone77
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 22 oz. bottle. Has a very dark brown, almost black color. Smell is mild, some hops, a bit of malt. Taste is roasted malts, some smoke, a bit of hops, very easy drinking. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle. Served in a pilsener glass, the beer pours very dark brown (with some ruby red tints when held up to the light) with about a half inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. Aroma is nice, it smells like roasted malt, coffee, nuts, and some earthy/grassy hops. Taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes like roasted malt, coffee, bittersweet chocolate, earthy/grassy hops, and some nuts. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and is well carbonated. It's also smooth and easy enough to drink. I think this is an enjoyable brew, and nicely priced at $4.99 a bomber. I don't think I've heard of Devils Backbone until now, but if I ever come across one of their brews in the future I'll make sure to pick some up.

Photo of smakawhat
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into both a pokal and a pilsner glass.

Off the pour a nice off tan and off white caramel head, manages some thin spider lacing. In the pokal sits quietly and manages a collar all around till the end. Body color is a fascinating dark blood red, blackened with chestnut hues at the bottom where the light hits. Interesting! I dig it.

Nose is ambush like. A big whiff of pilsner toasty crsip lager and malt action, then a faint mix of light coffee not unlike a schwarzbier. The body throws me off and I don't expect this. Subdued hop presence, very malt forward. Almost toasty char action.

Taste is a little wet but still manages some good classic crisp baked light malt action but not bringing the baked bread sensations. Coffee angle is down played. Hop bitterness kicks in on the finish. Dry and bitter, eventually as warming up it becomes a little earthy. Roast character seems kind of woody in a sense. Slightly wet, with a medium carbonation profile.

Overall it's an interesting take, don't mind it at all. It not a rock em sock em knock it out of the park beer, but I wouldn't turn it down. It's kind of fun.

Photo of oline73
3.64/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color with a mild layer of tan head. The head goes away completely almost right away.

Smell: Pils malt with some mild notes. There is a mild fruity note that reminds me of cherries. The roast is there, but it's in the background. Sweeter than I expected.

Taste: The flavor isn't very sweet. Pils malt and herbal notes show up here too. There is a bunch of roast, more than the smell. Just a touch of yeast, but the fruity notes from the smell don't really show up. The finish is bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with carbonation that is pretty smooth. The finish is dry.

Overall: I thought this beer was a bit weird, but not unenjoyable. I would probably pass on having another.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.18/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter.

3.5 A: Black color. One and a half fingers of frothy tan head. Retention is about average and a moderate amount of lacing is left.

3.0 S: Dry roastiness and caramel. A bit of neutral sweetness. Not very complex, but pleasant.

3.0 T: Moderate roastiness. Chocolate enters the scene. Caramel helps with the neutral malt sweetness to give this good balance. Still, it's not very complex.

3.5 M: Lighter medium body. Carbonation is somewhat crisp and present is appropriate amounts. Clean and smooth.

3.5 D: It's a decent beer, but it's a little boring, especially for a collaboration beer. Still, it's tasty nonetheless.

Photo of daliandragon
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cool collaboration I picked up for a good price at the Beer Dispensary in Apex. I really like Schwarzbier and it's rare to see one I haven't tried. This 22 oz pours dark chestnut with a wet tan head that leaves a creamy cap and thick lace. Medium roasted malt with coffee tones is the main player in the nose.

The malt flavors are pretty close, although a late kick of sweetness makes me think that the alcohol seems active for 5.25%. Satisfying chocolate malts with flavors of coffee, roasted, and raisins. Noble hops are present in the aftertaste but the malt is the stronger of the two.

Interesting and fairly complex. Not my favorite Schwarzbier; I'd like to see a complete absence of cloying sweetness and a little more smoothness in texture. It's not at all bad, however. i could definitely see picking this up again.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Rustico during the Devil’s Backbone NoVA launch. Served in a taster glass. Pours a very dark brown with a thin head and a bit of lacing. The nose carries some dark malt and a bit of roast, along with some faint earthy hops. Flavor has some roast and hops, leading to a dry finish. Good body and carbonation. Interesting brew.

Photo of Gavage
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: pours a dark brown color with a 1/2" head that falls to a spotty surface foam.

Smell: very mild aroma as a hint of chocolate and malt are all you can detect.

Taste: mild roasted tones with soft chocolate, grass, and a it of earthiness. Bitterness is moderate.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp from start to finish. Short lasting aftertaste.

Overall: this is a very drinkable beer that is refreshing. Definitely worthy of a try.

Photo of John_M
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Hudson St. Stackhouse.

The beer pours a fairly dark brown color with pretty good head retention and lacing. The nose is OK, and seems like textbook schwarbier. There is considerable burnt toast and coffee grounds, with some underlying sweetness. The flavor profile replicates the nose, though there is some nice bitterness in the finish that helps to counter and balance the sweetness in this beer. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a burnt toast and light vanilla finish. Drinkability is pretty good, though I'm surprised this is only 5.3%.

Shrug. This is Ok...

Photo of DefenCorps
3.11/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks, Justin!

A dark reddish brown capped with a dense, fluffy, light brown head with nice retention and lacing, this looks pretty good! The nose is solid. A definite dusty, lemony, earthy hop aroma is present, along with a definite doughy and cereal (Cheerio) aroma. A little bit of roast is present as well. Mild sweetness too. Decent.

The palate opens with a blend of cocoa, roast, a little bit of medium dark chocolate, slightly creamy and slightly sweet. This is followed by a mild hop character,with the earthy and lemony notes really not working with the creamy/roasty notes. In particular, the balance seems to be toward the flavor hop, with the low bitterness not really helping. Drying, a little roasty and creamy on the finish with a definite flavor of Cheerios, this beer is light in body, moderately carbonated and decent on the palate. Not really a schwarzbier IMO, this truly is a "black pilsner", and for the worse.

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

Everything is new again as the normally light colored and flavored pilsner turns black. The experimental nature of "black" pilsners start to resemble what's been called dunkel or schwarzbier for well over a hundred years.

Heavy Seas and Devil's Backbone churn out a beer who's appearance rivals that of any porter or darker brown ale. Bark brown in color, the beer casts mahogany highlights through its crystal clarity. Firmly headed, the beer retains, forms, and laces well with rings at ever stage of the session.

Stronger than expected aromas of heavy toast, caramel, chocolate, and slight sweet smokiness leaps out with an intensity that's more akin to brown ales. The grain lays down the law as any hop or fruit character is left under threshold and makes minimal impact on the nose.

Flavors are a clean malt profile that starts as malty-sweet with slightly scorched caramel, toast, bittersweet chocolate, walnut, and medium roast coffee. Underlying starch and grain flavors support the more dominant taste and provides much of the balance for the beer's taste. Light hopping rates allow for a mildly bitter taste in finish and takes the shape of damp soil and dried bark.

Medium flavored, but certainly fuller in mouthfeel than traditional schwarzbiers or dunkels. But as the carbonation dissipates and the beer's dryness sets in, it elevates its toast and mild roast character and accentuates an almost-ashy texture to finish. Finishing off-dry, the beer is complemented by fleeting malt, mild alcohol warmth, and mild resinous bitterness.

With its strong flavors and simple variation, the beer is dedicated and focused on taste. But straddling the fence causes slight confusion to the palate, making this beer a curious yet rewarding choice for me.

Photo of Suds
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is black, with ruddy brown highlights when held to a light. The head is a small-bubbled foam, thick and tan. The aroma is clean...lots of bready malt. The taste is clean, some malt and a touch of hops. Reminiscently smokey...nothing over the top. Medium body. Drinkable and enjoyable.

Photo of WesWes
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark brown/black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry, roasted scent along with a hint of caramel sweetness. The taste is decent. It has a bone dry, roasted flavor with a thin finish. The caramel malts add a bit of depth, but only add minimal malt sweetness. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a easy drinking black lager, although it could use an additional caramel malt presence.

Photo of micromaniac129
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Almost black in color, almost but instead is a really deep ruby garnet brown. An average size head sits on top lingers but fades to a color and no lacing.

Aroma to me like most pils and lagers is quite thin and in this case is quite the same but there is the sutle nuiance of roasted malts.

Taste is like the nose with a malty up front and some roasted malts in the back.
Drinks like a thin bodied porter and in all honesty is quite good. The aftertaste is abit harsh.
A desent beer but nothing really to hook you in.

Photo of utopiajane
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours black, opaque with just a little light at the bottom when held to the light. 2 thin fingers of foam that fell fast to a filmy cap and ring. Soapy lace. Nose is strong with toast, roasted grains and floral hops. There’s some grass from the hops but almost no fruit except for a hint of dark fruits. Smells a lot like cola. Nose has chocolate but it’s not sweet. It has plenty of grain. There’s some caramel and molasses as ti warms. Taste is strong malt. Toasted, a little smoke, the mild chocolate cocoa powder, and walnut.The hops are floral and earthy with plenty of grass but no real fruit on the palate. Also there is not really any malt sweetness on the palate so it has a dry quality. Body is thin and a little over carbonated. Finishes with toast, roast, coffee and a moderate bitter. It was hard to want more of it because it lacked any kind of sweetness. It tasted a lot like dry cheerios. For the style it’s right on. A neutral malt character with nothing burnt, moderate roast and a bitter chocolate flavor featuring a moderate hop bitterness.

Photo of Theheroguy
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark black in the center but brown around the edges of the glass.

Described as a black pilsner but the hop presence is minor.

Very light bodied and easy drinking. There is a noticeable malt flavor which sort of mingles with the hops to produce the stereotypical schwarzbier flavor.

I don't really like the fact that this is billed as a "black pilsner" its kind of misleading but the beer overall is very good.

Photo of farrago
3.89/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Normal pour fills a third of a pint glass with dark brown microfoam, no larger bubbles at all, burns off swiftly with minor dimpling, like delicate whipped head of a latté, very little lacing and no stick to what’s there. The liquid is a spotless deep brown, not quite black, strong orange to yellow tint at the top and bottom of the glass, not really seeing many bubbles. Malty, roasty nose of caramel, mocha, molasses, caramelized brown sugar and raisin, cherry fruit, presents a peppery side too, as it warms there’s a leafiness too but nothing which really bespeaks a strong hops presence. Medium-bodied, the carbonation is stronger than expected after visual inspection, however, the mouth feel remains on the creamy side. Same high level of toast and roast, more like coffee and cocoa powder than sweeter caramel. Some vanilla bean or cola perhaps. At the same time lemon to sour orange citrus asserts itself and the leaf, grass element bolder as well. The texture is dry and the fruit more of a demure cherry, apple, golden raisin, fig. Leaves a lot of that malty roast behind as a residue. Not a lot of personality yet nothing which perturbs. Can’t say it leaves you yearning for more.

Photo of Chaney
4.18/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Man, I love this style!

Served in a Delirium Tremens shaped-glass.

A: Poured a dark, dark color, with a decent bit of ruby once I held it up to the light. I think if you were to peel away the blackness, the clarity would actually be pretty good here. The mocha head was about a finger or so and stayed a sawdust formation on top of the brew for a good bit.

S: Very muted (weak), yet still present aroma of yeast and fresh clean linen. It didn't really have any sort of cocoa or chocolate per se, but there was definitely a bit of dark malt poking through.

T: Excellent flavor of carmel, yeast, and sort of a smoked or toasted grain bill. This had some of the characteristics of a nice Scottish Ale, but without the heaviness or sweetness sometimes associated with that style.

M: Creamy, spritzy, malty, and fresh! This was just a downright pleasure to drink and fell on the palate almost perfectly. In a market saturated with hops, char, and cocoa nibs, this was a most welcome change. Bravo Heavy Seas and Devil's Backbone!

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Land Ho! Black Pilsner Style Lager (Devil's Backbone Collaboration) from Heavy Seas Beer
85 out of 100 based on 98 ratings.