Land Ho! Black Pilsner Style Lager (Devil's Backbone Collaboration) - Heavy Seas Beer
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Ratings: 98 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
3.53/5 rDev -6.1%
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.
05-09-2012 17:36:52 | More by Thorpe429
3.5/5 rDev -6.9%
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.
08-28-2012 06:17:37 | More by BEERchitect
4/5 rDev +6.4%
22 ounce bottle - $3.99 at Lucky's Beverage World in Woodstock, Georgia.
Appearance: Pours out a very, very dark brown body with a medium-sized, frothy, beige head that doesn't stick around for too terribly long.
Smell: Pils malts holding up supporting aromatic notes of milk chocolate, roast, and dark caramel. Lightly spicy, scantly herbal hop hints.
Taste: Upfront pilsner maltiness, then some chocolaty, roasty tones following hot on its heels (plus caramel as it warms). A little bit of the initial roastiness soldiers on, as the German hop's subtle spiciness kicks in. Subdued bitterness. Light herbal undertone. Semi-dry, modestly roasty finish with hints of the pils malt coming in now and again. I'm happy they didn't opt for the over-hopped, highly astringent black malt route.
Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.
Overall: Who the hell is Devil's Backbone Brewing? Fairly decent beer at a good, nod-worthy price.
06-17-2012 22:03:59 | More by ChainGangGuy
3.93/5 rDev +4.5%
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.
07-22-2012 00:48:01 | More by oberon
3.78/5 rDev +0.5%
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.
06-07-2012 19:14:34 | More by Kegatron
3.63/5 rDev -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.
10-14-2012 16:20:52 | More by WesWes
3.63/5 rDev -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.
10-08-2012 19:22:14 | More by oline73
4.13/5 rDev +9.8%
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.
02-10-2013 18:54:21 | More by Gavage
3.9/5 rDev +3.7%
A black pils? An interesting beer for sure. Kind of an odd one, hard to pinpoint any exact flavors, not exactly hoppy and not much caramel malts either, but just a smooth, velvety beer with a bit of a smokiness to it. Felt it could have used a little more flavor, but overall definitely a different beer that was easily drinkable and a solid offering from Heavy Seas.
07-29-2012 18:35:21 | More by oriolesfan4
District of Columbia
3.43/5 rDev -8.8%
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.
07-21-2012 20:27:13 | More by Huhzubendah
3.95/5 rDev +5.1%
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...
07-07-2012 20:47:30 | More by John_M
3.73/5 rDev -0.8%
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.
07-12-2012 23:59:32 | More by smakawhat
3.9/5 rDev +3.7%
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.
07-22-2012 15:31:04 | More by tdm168
3.9/5 rDev +3.7%
22oz bottle poured into my Terrapin glass. It poured pretty close to black in color with a thin tan head barely covering the top.
The aroma shows a good amount of the caramel malt sweetness to it. The darker malts lend a bit of chocolate and slightly roasted character to it. There is a hint of the herbal, slightly earthy hops as well.
The taste shows a little more of the roasted malts to it with some coffee and dark chocolate flavors coming out. A little sweet caramel is there along with a crisp, clean lager finish as well.
The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the style with carbonation being moderate. Overall I thought it was a pretty solid beer all around. Very flavorful for the low alcohol content. The roasted malts especially stood out to me in the taste. Pretty easy drinking, flavorful and good beer of the style overall.
06-16-2012 21:42:17 | More by billab914
3.78/5 rDev +0.5%
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.
11-13-2012 23:54:36 | More by chinchill
Land Ho! Black Pilsner Style Lager (Devil's Backbone Collaboration) from Heavy Seas Beer
85 out of 100 based on 98 ratings.