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

Not Rated.
Land Ho! Black Pilsner Style Lager (Devil's Backbone Collaboration)Land Ho! Black Pilsner Style Lager (Devil's Backbone Collaboration)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

38 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 38
Hads: 98
Avg: 3.78
pDev: 10.58%
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 38 | Hads: 98
Photo of WesWes
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

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Photo of jjboesen
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This collaboration is a German black beer brewed with four types of malts and three types of hop, one of which is the ubiquitous salz.

The body is a dark ruby color that sits beneath a moderate froth crown. There is minimal carbonation and a smatterin gof lacing throughout the quaff. There are a few notes of apple and plum; the taste is pleasant if a little sweet with the aforementioned apple that is quickly rushed out with some mild malty toastiness. THe body is very light - nothing unexpected from the style, of course.

Decently made beer and a nice little beer. I hope to see more collaborations from these two brewers,

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Photo of oline73
3.64/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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Photo of utopiajane
3.63/5  rDev -4%
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.

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Photo of tone77
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

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Photo of Brenden
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

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Photo of Bung
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.48/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque cola brown with a fairly thick, if not too persistent, tan head. Malty aroma has hints of burnt hops and a fruity touch. Flavor has a core of roast malt and hints of charred wood and - horehound? Caramel? Not sure. Smooth texture is a teensy on the watery side and has about average fizz. OK, not Heavy Seas’ best, and I hope not Devils Backbone’s best - but an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.41/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Brad while watching Le Tour de France. Merci!

The beer is a dark chestnut color. Very dark, nearing black. Atop the beer rests nearly an inch of light beige head. Spotty lacing.

The aroma is subtle, offering hints of chocolate, roast.

Light, simple, mild roast. Easy drinking and soft on the palate. A touch of pine and bitterness. Overall, the flavor is a bit subdued and understated.

A decent beer. Nothing wrong with it. Good pairing with some spicy food.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.18/5  rDev -15.9%
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.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.11/5  rDev -17.7%
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.

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Land Ho! Black Pilsner Style Lager (Devil's Backbone Collaboration) from Heavy Seas Beer
85 out of 100 based on 38 ratings.